Pear & Banana Muffins

This is a light muffin that makes you feel healthy with every bite! Pear and banana sound weird together but they actually pair well together. Pardon the pun! We hope you enjoy this somewhat healthy treat as a breakfast on the go, or an afternoon treat.  Makes 8 large (delicious) muffins.

Ingredients

  • 1/2 cup (1 stick) butter (room temperature)
  • 3/4 cup turbinado cane sugar
  • 2 eggs
  • 1 tsp vanilla
  • 1 1/2 cup ripe pear and banana, mashed
  • 1/2 tsp cinnamon (freshly ground for best result)
  • 1/4 tsp ginger
  • 2 cups flour
  • 2 tsp baking powder
  • 1 tsp salt
  • Optional pecans/walnuts

Instructions

  1. Preheat oven to 375 F
  2. Prepare large muffin tin with baking cups (or cupcake liners)
  3. In a separate bowl, combine flour, baking powder, salt, cinnamon and ginger, set aside
  4. In a stand mixer, cream butter and sugar, until light and fluffy for 5-6 minutes (scrape down the bowl to ensure even mixing)
  5. Add eggs one at a time, mixing on medium speed until incorporated
  6. Then add vanilla and then the smashed banana/pear mixture
  7. Incorporate dry ingredients into wet, until just combined (careful not to overmix, will become dry)
  8. Bake for 20-25 mins, until fork comes out clean

Spiced Pumpkin Loaf

spicedpumpkinloaf.jpg

Pumpkin and spice, what's more wintery than that? This loaf was inspired by my mom who thought my original pumpkin loaf could use a little pizzazz--and right she was! The sweetness of the pumpkin marries nicely with the bold and spicy flavors of cinnamon, ginger, nutmeg, clove and allspice. We sent these to family and friends as gifts in mini-loaf pans, along with piles of cookies. Enjoy with a hot cup of cocoa, cider or coffee and put yourself in the winter spirit!

Ingredients

  • 1 3/4 cups unbleached all purpose flour
  • 2 tsp ground cinnamon
  • 1 tsp ground ginger
  • 1/2 tsp ground clove (freshly ground if you have time!)
  • 1/2 tsp freshly grated nutmeg
  • 1/4 teaspoon ground allspice 
  • 1 teaspoon baking soda
  • 1 teaspoon baking powder
  • 3/4 teaspoon salt
  • 1/2 cup (1 stick) unsalted butter, room temperature
  • 1 1/4 cups cane sugar
  • 3 extra large eggs
  • 10 oz. canned pure pumpkin
  • 1.5 teaspoon vanilla extract
  • 1/3 cup whole milk

Instructions

  1. Preheat oven to 400 
  2. Butter three mini-loaf pans (6.9"x2.5"x1.8") or one regular loaf pan
  3. Whisk flour, spices, salt, baking soda and baking powder in large bowl, set aside
  4. Using electric mixer, mix butter until smooth and soft
  5. Add to butter, sugar and cream until smooth (remember to use spatula to scrape down the sides and bottom of bowl)
  6. Add one egg at a time, while mixing on medium speed
  7. Next, add vanilla
  8. Finally, add pumpkin, and mix until incorporated
  9. Using flour guard (if using kitchen aid), add flour then milk, alternating until incorporated, careful not to over mix (mixer should be on slow speed, remember to scrape down sides and bottom for even mixing)
  10. Transfer mixture to prepared loaf pans
  11. Bake loaves on cookie sheet for 35-40 minutes, or until toothpick comes out clean

Lentil Soup

Lentil Soup

This soup is inspired by one that my brother (and co-blogger) makes often. It is somewhat reminiscent of a classic South Indian lentil soup (also known as dahl) that is usually served on rice or with rotis (thin bread). Our lentil soup takes the brightness and healthy ingredients from dahl and translates it to make a warm and hearty soup that is perfect for the winter months. Seasoned instead with a hearty dose of lemon juice, lots of freshly chopped cilantro, and some spices to bring the heat; this is a recipe that you will come back to often. It also freezes really well! We often pair it with toasted pita and a cucumber salad.

The first step is to sauté chopped white onion, soon adding cumin, cayenne and chili powder. After cooking the lentils separately, combine the onion mixture with the lentils and mix in lots of fresh lemon juice, chopped cilantro and salt to taste. That's it!

lentil soup process

Lentil Soup

  • 2 cups green lentils
  • 1 large white onion, chopped
  • 3 whole lemons, squeezed
  • 1 cup cilantro, chopped
  • 1 tbsp cumin powder
  • 1/2 tbsp red chili powder (adjust to your palette)
  • 1/8 tbsp cayenne pepper
  • 1 tbsp olive oil
  • salt to taste

Instructions

  1. Cook lentils (any preferred method) and retain water for stock
  2. In a separate pan, heat oil over medium and add in the chopped onion
  3. Once the onion is translucent, add cumin, chili powder and cayenne pepper
  4. Saute the onion mixture for a minute, slowing stirring infuse the onion with spice
  5. Add the onion mixture to the lentils, and stir to combine
  6. Remove the soup from heat, and squeeze in the juice of three lemons
  7. Stir in the chopped cilantro
  8. Add salt according to your taste