Monthly Archives: October 2012

Honey Bran Muffins


We used to live in Utah where there was a Mimi’s Cafe, which is an ok restaurant.  The thing that I do LOVE LOVE LOVE is their Honey bran muffins.  I’ve been thinking about them for a long time and found a recipe so I figured might as well give it a try.  They were delicious!!

Honey Bran Muffin

Makes 12 regular sized muffins

dry ingredients:
1 cup flour
1 cup wheat bran  (I actually couldn’t find any wheat bran at the stores, so I did about a third of wheat flour, a third of wheat germ, and a third of ground flax seed).  I looked it up and you can use wheat germ or flax for a substitute.
4 tsp dry milk powder
1/4 tsp baking powder
1 tsp baking soda
1/4 tsp salt
“liquid” ingredients:
1/3 cup brown sugar (it called for dark, but all I had was light)
1/4 cup honey
2 Tbsp molasses
1/4 cup vegetable oil
1 egg
1/2 cup water
2 Tbsp grated orange zest (the orange flavor is a little overpowering, I’d probably reduce this to 1 Tablespoon or maybe even 2 teaspoons)

3 Tbsp sugar
3 Tbsp brown sugar, packed
3 Tbsp butter (very soft or slightly melted – I put this whole mixture on top of the fridge while I did the rest and it worked really well)
2 Tbsp honey
2 tsp water

Preheat oven to 350 degrees

Distribute about 1 Tbsp of the Glaze into 12 muffin tins and be sure to coat the bottom and sides of each muffin tin. (I did this just before I mixed the wet and dry ingredients so that the glaze was fairly liquid, and I just spread it evenly between all 12 tins rather than measure)
In a medium bowl mix all the dry ingredients.
In a separate bowl (I didn’t do this I just put all the wet ingredients into the middle of the dry ingredients and mixed them all together), mix the “liquid” ingredients.  Stir the liquids into the dry ingredients until just moistened.

Fill muffin tins 2/3 full, bake at 350 for 20min, until a toothpick comes out clean (be sure not to fill the muffins too full because even at 2/3rds they spring up over the tops a little.
Immediately invert the baked muffins onto foil or wax paper to cool.

Bran is the hard outer layer of a grain.  Oat and rice bran are also available. Bran can be milled from any grain: rice, corn, wheat, oats, barley and millet (rice bran comes from the layer that is removed when brown rice becomes white rice).

Bran is REALLY good for you.  Not only does it contain a great amount of dietary fiber, but also essential fatty acids, starch, protein, vitamins and minerals!  Also, it’s very filling.


Sheperd’s Pie

Sheperd’s pie is a comfort food and I love eating it during fall and winter.  I made this new recipe last night.  It’s not like my mom’s but I liked the variety.  The recipe called for lamb and I just used ground beef and it was fabulous.


1 to 1 1/2 lb. ground lamb (I used ground beef)
1 large onion, diced

2 carrots, peeled and finely minced
2 large cloves garlic, minced
2 cups beef broth
1 cup red wine (I didn’t have red wine and used red wine vinegar, but use 1/4 cup at the most if you do)
1 Tbsp. tomato paste
2 sprigs fresh thyme (or 1/4 tsp.)
1 small sprig fresh rosemary, leaves only, finely minced (or 1/2 tsp. dried)
1/4 tsp. black pepper
salt, if needed

For mashed potatoes:

2 lbs. russet potatoes, unpeeled and left whole
2-4 Tbsp. butter

For topping:

1 1/2 cups extra sharp cheddar (we like Tillamook Special Reserve)


For lamb:

Heat a large skillet over medium-high heat.  Add the ground lamb, onion, carrots, and garlic.  Lower heat as necessary and cook until lamb cooks through.  Add the beef broth, wine, tomato paste, thyme and rosemary.  Lower to a simmer and cook until the liquid is reduced quite a bit, as long as 30-45 minutes.  Season with black pepper, to taste, and add any salt, if needed.  Remove the thyme stem.

While lamb is cooking, prepare the mashed potatoes.  When the lamb is finished cooking, transfer to a deep-sided casserole.  (I used a 3 quart enameled cast iron casserole pan.)

For mashed potatoes:

Place the potatoes on a large pot and cover with water by a few inches.  Bring to a boil and lower heat to a simmer.  Cook until potatoes are very tender.  Drain the water and carefully peel using a sharp paring knife.  (Note:  you can do this ahead of time and allow the potatoes to cool a bit before handling and peeling.)

Mash the potatoes with a masher and add the butter and enough milk for a good consistency.  You don’t want these to be too wet, so go easy on the milk.  Add salt and taste.

To assemble:

Spoon mashed potatoes over the lamb and spread to the sides of the pan.  Top with the cheddar and bake at 400 degrees until bubbling all over and the cheese has browned.

Serve hot.  Makes enough for 8.

Note:  The meat and mashed potatoes can be made ahead of time and assembled without the cheese.  Just add extra baking time.

Cheesy Zucchini Rice




Recipe from


Oh how I love zucchini and squash and I think you can make this with either…the plus is that my kids didn’t know they were eating zucchini and they normally won’t eat it or squash…but they LOVE cheese and rice.  It was fabulous and a nice change from normal rice.

1 cup long-grain white rice
2 cups low-sodium chicken broth
1 medium or 2 small zucchini, grated on a box grater or with a food processor (no need to peel beforehand)
1 cup shredded sharp cheddar cheese
1/2 teaspoon garlic powder
Salt and pepper, to taste
1-2 tablespoons milk, if needed

In a medium saucepan, combine the rice and chicken broth. Bring the mixture to a boil, reduce the heat, cover and let the rice simmer for 15-20 minutes until the rice is tender and most of the liquid has been absorbed.

Remove the rice from the heat and stir in the grated zucchini, cheese, and garlic powder. Add salt and pepper to taste (don’t skip this step – I needed at least 1/2 to 1 teaspoon of salt to boost the flavor). Add a tablespoon or so of milk to adjust the texture if needed. Serve warm.

Chicken Enchiladas

Recipe from


I usually make my mom’s classic cream of chicken enchiladas with sour cream so I felt like I was going against what I had been raised on but I gotta say I really like these.  I did think the flavor wasn’t as strong as I’d like so I did add some cumin to the filling and that helped.  Anyway, I would make these again..maybe more than the cream of chicken kind…shhh don’t tell my mom.

  • 1 cup diced sweet onion
  • 3 garlic cloves, minced
  • 1 tablespoon canola oil
  • 2 cups chopped fresh baby spinach
  • 2 (4.5-oz.) cans chopped green chiles, drained
  • 3 cups shredded cooked chicken
  • 1 (8-oz.) package 1/3-less-fat cream cheese, cubed and softened $
  • 2 cups (8 oz.) shredded pepper Jack cheese
  • 1/3 cup chopped fresh cilantro
  • 8 (8-inch) soft taco-size flour tortillas $
  • Vegetable cooking spray
  • Tomatillo Salsa


  1. 1. Preheat oven to 350°. Sauté onion and garlic in hot oil in a large skillet over medium heat 5 minutes or until tender. Add spinach and green chiles; sauté 1 to 2 minutes or until spinach is wilted. Stir in chicken and next 3 ingredients, and cook, stirring constantly, 5 minutes or until cheeses melt. Add salt and pepper to taste. Spoon about 3/4 cup chicken mixture down center of each tortilla; roll up tortillas.
  2. 2. Place rolled tortillas, seam sides down, in a lightly greased 13- x 9-inch baking dish. Lightly coat tortillas with cooking spray.
  3. 3. Bake at 350° for 30 to 35 minutes or until golden brown. Top with Tomatillo Salsa.
  4. To Make Ahead: Prepare recipe as directed through Step 2. Cover and chill overnight. Let stand at room temperature 30 minutes. Uncover and proceed as directed in Step 3.

Blueberry Scones

Recipe from

My friend made these for book club and they have been a favorite ever since.  I seriously crave them.  They are best served with lemon curd which I buy mine from Trader Joes.  This recipe is easy but has a lot of steps so be prepared but definitely worth it and very doable.  mmmm…i’m thinking of them right now.

8 tbsp. (1 stick) unsalted butter, frozen whole
1½ cups (7½ oz.) fresh blueberries
½ cup whole milk
½ cup sour cream
2 cups (10 oz.) all-purpose flour, plus more for dusting the work surface
½ cup sugar, plus extra for sprinkling
2 tsp. baking powder
¼ tsp. baking soda
½ tsp. salt
1 tsp. finely grated lemon zest
2 tbsp. unsalted butter, melted

Adjust an oven rack to middle position and preheat to 425˚ F.  Grate the frozen butter on the holes of a large box grater.  (I like to use my food processor for this – fast and easy.)  Place the blueberries in the freezer until needed.

Whisk together the milk and sour cream in a medium bowl; refrigerate until needed.  Combine the flour, ½ cup sugar, baking powder, baking soda, salt and lemon zest in a medium mixing bowl.  Whisk to combine.  Add the grated butter to the flour mixture and toss with fingers until thoroughly coated.

Add the milk mixture to the dry ingredients and fold with a spatula just until combined.  Transfer the dough to a generously floured work surface.  Dust the top of the dough with flour, and knead with well floured hands, 6-8 times, just until the dough holds together in a ragged ball.  Add small amounts of flour as needed to prevent sticking.

Roll the dough into a 12-inch square.  Fold the dough into thirds like a business letter (a dough scraper really helps with these steps).  Fold the short ends of the dough into the center in thirds, to form an approximate 4-inch square.  Transfer the dough to a plate lightly dusted with flour and chill in the freezer for 5 minutes.

Return the dough to the floured work surface and roll into an approximately 12-inch square again.  Sprinkle the blueberries evenly over the surface of the dough, and gently press down so that they are slightly embedded in the dough surface.  Using a dough scraper, roll the dough up to form a tight log.  Lay the log seam side down and press the the log into a 12 by 4-inch rectangle.  Using a sharp, floured knife, cut the rectangle crosswise into 4 equal rectangles.  Cut each rectangle diagonally to form 2 triangles.  Transfer to a parchment lined baking sheet.

Brush the tops of the scones with melted butter and sprinkle lightly with sugar.  (If freezing ahead of time, flash freeze on the baking sheet for 20 minutes, then wrap individually and store in a freezer bag until needed.)  Bake until the tops and bottoms are golden brown, 18-25 minutes.  Transfer to a wire rack and let cool at least 10 minutes before serving.