Strawberry French Toast Muffins
There is nothing better than french toast on Sunday mornings. Being able to have it weekday mornings would be a major accomplishment, so cooking it ahead of time in muffin-form sounded perfect to me. This French Toast Muffin recipe is a good one and relatively healthy; I didn’t change much — added extra cinnamon and used fresh diced strawberries instead of frozen mixed berries (I did this to appeal to my daughter Lauren’s taste, but since she picked around the strawberries anyway, I’ll stick to the nice assortment of mixed berries next time). Just pop the extras in the fridge and then heat them up for 20-30 seconds in the microwave. And of course, extra maple syrup drizzled on top is a must.
I love shopping at Central Market. It’s a good idea to go on an empty stomach, as they are always sampling a ton of delicious food. I was picking up some fresh basil when I saw a woman putting together skewers of tomato, basil, and mozzarella. After enjoying my little treat, I decided we definitely had to have Caprese Pops as our salad with dinner.
This dish (I’m not sure you can even call it a recipe) was easy enough to assign to my seven and four-year old daughters — and they loved making them. I set out grape tomatoes, basil leaves, cubes of mozzarella, olive oil, balsamic vinegar, a grinder of sea salt (I like Maldon), and pepper. They did the rest. It seemed the tomatoes were magically removed from their skewers after reaching the dinner table, but I was happy that they at least tried them.
- Nummmm, Caprese Flat Omelet (thewiseacres.wordpress.com)
- A Delicious Pantry Upgrade (myreciperesolution.wordpress.com)
Orange-Scented Carrot Soup
I really enjoy a quick soup-and-sandwich dinner on busy nights. Any kind of vegetable-based soup with a grilled cheese or tuna melt is easy, healthy, and on the table in five minutes. The problem is that my sweet 4-year old, Lauren, does not seem to like ANY of the soups I have put in front of her. Every time I try a new variety, she responds with, “I only want carrot soup Mommy”. Okay, I have never seen a plain carrot soup in the store, and trust me, I have done a lot of looking.
I saw Melissa d’Arabian making Orange-Scented Carrot Soup on her show, Ten Dollar Dinners, and realized it was time to invest more than my normal five minutes and cook up some carrot soup at home. As a bonus, oranges are another of Lauren’s favorites. But knowing this was my chance at creating a soup my daughter would actually eat, the pressure was on. And did I mention she’s never actually tried carrot soup?
After reading the reviews on this recipe, I cooked the carrot-onion mixture a lot longer than five minutes before going on to the next step (at least 15 minutes). I also cut the oregano down to 1/2 tsp, added 1/2 tsp of ground cumin, and a pinch of ground ginger. Since I had already zested oranges per the recipe, I squeezed in some orange juice along with the wine. I used an immersion blender to blend the soup right in the pot. The sour cream swirled in at the end is a great addition — don’t skip that part.
The soup was simple, nutritious and tasty. You could really taste and smell the orange after adding the zest and juice. As for Lauren — she ate a few spoonfuls, said it was, “okay”, and then told me what she really wanted was tomato soup.