August 25, 2009

Blueberry Cheesecake Muffins

It's surprising to me that being pregnant I haven't really cooked a whole lot of new dessert recipes. Guess i just turn to the old stand byes- guess that's human nature in us all though.

(PHOTO: 28 weeks and counting)

My sister-in-law Annie gave me a cookbook awhile ago and I was thumbing through it last week (I finished my fifth baby book and was in the reading mood- just completed the book Your Best Birth...I think it's the one book every pregnant woman should read). I came across a recipe for Blueberry Cheesecake Muffins and thought to myself...cream cheese, blueberries and lemon peel- how could you go wrong!

I also liked that the recipe included healthy ingredients like bran flakes! I just took these lovely muffins out of the oven about 30 minutes ago and they smell and taste wonderful!

They will make me and Caston (our little one that's on the way) a great late night snack tonight and a sweet start to breakfast in the morning!

Blueberry Cheesecake Muffins
1 pkg cream cheese, softened
1 cup, plus 1 T sugar or sugar substitute
2 eggs
1 tsp grated lemon peel
1 tsp vanilla
3/4 cup bran flakes cereal
1/2 cup all purpose flour
1/2 cup soy flour (or just use another 1/2 cup of ap flour)
2 tsps baking powder
1/4 tsp salt
3/4 cup milk
3 T melted butter
1 jar of no sugar added blueberry fruit spread (you'll find it with the jams and jellies at your local grocery store)
1/2 tsp. ground cinnamon

Preheat oven to 350 degrees. spray 12 muffin cups with nonstick cooking spray.

Beat cream cheese in medium bowl until smooth. Add 3/4 cup sugar, 1 egg, lemon peel and vanilla and beat.

Combine cereal, flour(s), 1/4 cup sugar, baking powder and salt in medium bowl. Whisk milk, butter and 1 egg in small bowl, then add to cereal mixture. Mix gently until blended.

Spoon about 2 T of cereal batter into all muffin cups. Spread a about 1 tsp of fruit spread on top of batter. Then spread cream cheese mixture over fruit spread. Combine remaining 1 T of sugar and cinnamon; sprinkle mixture over cream cheese mixture.

Bake 33 minutes or until toothpick comes out clean when inserted. Cool muffins for about 10 minutes. Refrigerate leftover muffins.

August 24, 2009

Another State Fair Down

I apologize for the blog not being updated for awhile. Each year during this time I sorta blank out because of the Missouri State Fair. We just got back today from the fair and I am so thankful for another fair to be done.

At the fair I help organize and run the Missouri State Fair Farmers' Market, which takes a lot of work and time. Plus, this year we added local food cooking demos to the area. I conducted 7 cooking demos and they went very well. I'm amazed how each time a do one it gets easier and easier.

We had both professional and amateur chefs and all demos were very well attended. Missouri Farmer Today had a nice article about the area, as well as a tv report from KOMU TV.

One of the four different recipes I demonstrated was a very quick and simple recipe for what I call "dressed-up tomatoes." This is how we like to eat tomatoes at our house. I coudl actually make a dinner out of eating tomatoes and veggies!

Dress-Up Tomatoes
By Lane

3-4 different heirloom tomatoes, sliced
feta cheese, herb flavored
balsamic vinegar
basil leaves, chopped
kosher salt

On a tray, plate your tomato slices. Sprinkle with a little kosher salt, drizzle with balsamic vinegar and sprinkle with feta cheese and fresh basil.

* This is a very easy way to add some zing to a simple plate of tomatoes.

August 9, 2009

Pasta with a Twist

It always amazes me how well my husband and I work as a team. Yes, it wasn't always like that. Every couple has to learn about one another and it's not always easy, but it sure is a fun journey! It's taken us a little over 5 years, but we think we have a lot of it figured out.

Building our little man's baby room proved just that. From painting (no, I didn't paint, but I like to say I helped supervised), putting together the furniture, deciding on a theme for the's all about teamwork.

We are definitely going to have to learn about teamwork when our little man comes in November- that's a given. But, I'm not worried. I know that together- Charlie and I make an incredible team and will make great parents.

It all really started right after we got married and started cooking together. Through the years we both cook dinners together about every night and I truly cherish those times.

Tonight was one of those nights in the kitchen. We were both hungry, but didn't feel like making a meal that would take forever- so we opted for a quick pasta dish. Garden tomatoes and basil, capers, olives...and some grilled chicken breast. Talk about a light and healthy meal- and oh so delicious!

Try this recipe for a weeknight meal- you won't regret it!

McConnell Fresh and Light Pasta
3 cups Penne Pasta (wholegrain)
1/3 cup kalamata olives, diced
2 T. capers
1/2 cup garden tomatoes, diced
15 basil leaves, chopped
1 lemon squeezed
3 T. olives oil
1 tsp. garlic powder
2 grilled chicken breasts, sliced

Toss everything in a large bowl and serve with toasty french bread!