Saturday, December 31, 2011

Blueberry Poppyseed Coconut Crunch Muffins

Whenever I come across a recipe that claims to be the "best" anything, it immediately makes me want to try it. I was craving muffins this morning, so after rummaging through my freezer and finding a bag of frozen blueberries, I decided to try out this recipe for the "Best Blueberry Streusel Muffins" from I changed the recipe up by adding poppyseed and coconut. I am in love! I don't know why coconut and blueberry don't come together more often! The juicy blueberries are perfectly complemented by the sweet crunchy coconut. The streusel and poppyseed add even more crunch and texture. You should really make these for breakfast. Soon.

Blueberry Poppyseed Coconut Crunch Muffins
adapted from
Yield: 12 muffins
2 cups all purpose flour
1 1/2 teaspoons baking powder
1/2 teaspoon salt
1/2 cup (1 stick) unsalted butter, softened
1 cup sugar
2 tablespoons poppyseed
3/4 cup coconut
2 large eggs
2 teaspoons vanilla extract
1/2 cup whole milk
2 cups blueberries, fresh or frozen

Preheat oven to 350º. Lightly grease a muffin tin with cooking spray or vegetable oil, or line with paper muffin liners. Prepare streusel topping (recipe below) and set aside.
In a large bowl, beat butter and sugar until light and fluffy. Add eggs, vanilla and milk.
Add flour, coconut, poppyseed, baking powder, and salt and stir until just combined.
Stir in blueberries.
Divide batter evenly into 12 muffin cups. Sprinkle muffins with streusel topping.
Bake at 350º for 20 to 25 min, until a tester inserted into the center comes out clean.
When muffins are done, cool for a few minutes in the muffin pan before removing to cool on a wire rack.

Streusel Topping:
4 tablespoons sugar
1 tablespoon flour
2 teaspoons vegetable oil
2 tablespoons coconut
In a small bowl, whisk together sugar, coconut and flour. Add oil and mix together until incorporated and you have a sandy texture.
Now get your coffee, sit back, relax, and bliss out on blueberry muffins!
Have a joyous New Year!

Saturday, October 1, 2011

Curry Chicken Salad

Chicken salad takes me right back to my childhood, finding a chicken salad sandwiches packed in my lunch was a special treat. This recipe is a variation on the chicken salad I remember from my childhood as it adds in curry powder and hard boiled eggs. I left out the celery and onions (didn't have any), but next time I'll add them in, it was missing crunch. I recommend that you let it sit overnight to allow the curry flavor to intensify and serve it the next day over salad greens or in a sandwich if you like. On a side note, I think craisins and or cashews would be a delicious addition, but beware that it will up the carb count!

Curry Chicken Salad
3 hard boiled eggs
2 cups chopped, cooked chicken meat
4 stalks celery, chopped
2 tablespoons chopped green onions
2 tablespoons dill pickle relish
2 1/2 teaspoons curry powder
3 tablespoons mayonnaise
Salt to taste

Peel and chop hard boiled eggs.
In a large bowl, combine the chicken, celery, eggs, green onions, dill relish, curry and mayonnaise.
Stir together until mixed well. Refrigerate until chilled, preferably overnight.

Nutrition Data Entire Recipe
743 calories
    65.12 grams protein; 49.65 grams fat; 9.09 g carbs; 3.99 g net carbs

    Nutrition Data per 1 Serving
    149 calories
    3 g protein; 9.9 g fat; 1.8 g carbs; .8 g net carbs

Thursday, September 22, 2011

Coco-Hazelnut Cookies

    Last week I went to Oktoberfest up in Mount Angel, Oregon. While there, I walked by a booth with a nice German lady selling all things hazelnut. I couldn't resist picking up a bag of hazelnut flour and a jar of hazelnut butter. While the jar of hazelnut butter is already long gone (it is DELICIOUS), the hazelnut flour has been waiting around in my freezer for the past week. I came across a recipe for Coconut Thumbprint Cookies on the Atkins website and decided to change it up and give it a try with hazelnut flour. The cookies came out really tender, my sister commented they were more of a scone consistency than a cookie. The way the flavors of the hazelnut and coconut meld together is delicious. The jam thumbprint is ok, but not really necessary. Next time I am going to make them in scone shape and just eat them as is or put the jam on afterward.
Hazelnut Coconut Cookies
Adapted from Atkins Website
Yield about 30
    ½ cup shredded unsweetened coconut
    ½ cup hazelnut flour
    ½ cup soy flour
    2½ tablespoons granular sugar substitute (I used Splenda)
    1 stick (½ cup) unsalted butter, chilled and cut into 8 pieces
    1 large egg
    1 large egg yolk
    1 teaspoon coconut extract (I used vanilla)
    3 tablespoons any flavor unsweetened fruit jam
    Mix coconut, hazelnut flour soy flour and sugar substitute to combine. Cut in butter until mixture resembles a coarse meal.
    Add egg, yolk and extract and mix until dough just comes together. Cover and chill for at least 3 hours, until somewhat firm. Roll dough into balls and arrange on an ungreased baking sheet. Dip thumb into warm water and make a depression in the center of each ball, forming a doughnut-like shape (but not pressing completely though).
    Fill each depression with ¼ -teaspoon jam. Bake until golden, about 6 minutes. Cool 1 minute on baking sheet before transferring to wire racks to cool completely.

    Nutrition data for one cookie (if you make 30)
    Calories: 61.5
    Fat: 5.71 g
    Total Carb: 1.36 g
    Net Carb: .85 g
    Protein: 1.17 g

    Nutrition data for whole recipe
    Calories: 1846
    Fat: 171.3 g
    Total Carbs: 40.87 g
    Net Carbs: 25.37 g
    Protein: 35.21 g

    After cooking the cookies had absorbed some of the jam so I added a bit more on top to make them look prettier.
    Hope you all enjoy!

Tuesday, September 13, 2011

Low Carb Berry Shortcake Parfaits

One of the challenges I have encountered with low carb baking is making desserts look elegant and appetizing. Many of the creations I have tried taste great but end up looking less than appetizing. When I was asked to make a dessert for a Memorial Day barbecue, I really wanted to make something delicious AND pretty. I found this recipe on and customized it, using a different biscuit recipe and adding raspberries. I was not all that happy with the appearance of the biscuits, but in the parfaits I crumbled them up and I think they turned out pretty elegant! The recipe came together quickly, and it satisfied even the strongest sweet tooth. Some people don't like taste of soy flour but I didn't get any complaints on the biscuits even from non low-carbers. The dough turns out really sticky, but if you dust your hands with a bit of flour and pat out the dough, it turns out well. You can make the biscuits a day or two before you are planning on serving the dessert, just store them in a Ziplock in the fridge. They did come out small so instead of layering them whole
in the parfaits, I crumbled them up. Doing this allows them to absorb more of the liquid from the berries. The whipped cream is just your basic homemade whipped cream, you can add Splenda or not depending on how sweet your berries are. I recommend serving these up in wine glasses for an especially fancy touch. Hope you all enjoy!

Berry Shortcake Parfaits
Adapted from
3 pints berries, cleaned and sliced (I used raspberries and strawberries)
  • 1/4 cup, or less depending on taste, sugar substitute (recommended: Splenda)
  • 1 recipe low-carb shortcake biscuits (recipe follows)
  • Low Carb Fresh Whipped Cream (recipe follows)
  • Few sprigs fresh mint

Combine berries and sugar substitute and refrigerate for at least 30 minutes. Crumble biscuits. Place half of the crumbled biscuit in a wine glass. Top with berry mixture and cream. Sprinkle on more crumbled biscuit and continue layering until you run out of berries and cream. Garnish with whole berries, and fresh mint.

Shortcake Biscuits
Adapted from
1 cup soy flour
1 teaspoon baking soda
6 teaspoons Splenda
1 1/2 teaspoons cinnamon
1/4 teaspoon salt
1 egg, lightly beaten
1/4 cup cream

Preheat oven to 350 degrees. Lightly grease a baking sheet and set aside.
Sift together dry ingredients.
Combine egg with cream and add to dry ingredients. Divide dough into 7 equal balls. Place on baking sheet.
Pat the dough balls into flat circular shapes (do the best you can, remember your going to crumble them anyway). Bake for 10-12 minutes or until firm when pressed.
Allow to cool, store in a ziplock bag until ready to use.

Low-Carb Whipped Cream
1 cup heavy whipping cream
1/4 cup sugar substitute (Splenda is recommended)
1 teaspoon vanilla extract

With an electric mixer on high, whip the heavy cream just until frothy. Then add in the sugar substitute and vanilla extract and continue to whip on high until peaks form. Be careful not to over-whip, or cream will break. Store in a pastry bag or glass dish with a lid and refrigerate.

Monday, May 30, 2011

Coconut Chocolate Chip Nutella Zucchini Muffins

I love taking great healthy ingredients and assimilating them into tasty delicious baked goods. Every time I successfully incorporate a vegetable into a dessert it makes me that much prouder of what I have made. I'm not sure why... maybe it is the melding of ingredients that aren't traditionally used together, maybe it is the surprise on people's faces when I tell them the ingredients... Case in point, Coconut Chocolate Chip Nutella Zucchini Muffins! The muffins are super moist and on the heavier more decadent side. I spread half with a layer of chocolate frosting to kick them up a bit. They are the perfect (if a bit unbalanced) mix of healthy and indulgent.

Coconut Chocolate Chip Nutella Zucchini Muffins
Adapted from
1 egg
1/2 cup vegetable oil
1 cup white sugar
1 cup grated zucchini
1 teaspoon vanilla extract
1 1/2 cups all-purpose flour
1/2 teaspoon baking powder
1 teaspoon baking soda
1/2 teaspoon salt
1/2 cup flaked coconut
3 tablespoons Nutella
3/4 tablespoon cinnamon

Preheat oven to 350 degrees F (175 degrees C). Grease and flour or line muffin tins.
In mixing bowl beat egg, oil, and sugar. Warm nutella a bit in the microwave to make is a softer consistency.
Stir in zucchini, nutella and vanilla.
In another bowl, measure flour, baking powder, soda, salt, cinnamon, and coconut. Stir to combine thoroughly. Pour all at once over batter in mixing bowl. Stir to moisten.
Spoon into muffin tins. Bake at 350 degrees F (175 degrees C) for 20 - 25 minutes until an inserted toothpick comes out clean. Cool in pan 10 minutes. Turn out on rack.
Allow to cool a bit, and enjoy!
You could also make this in a loaf pan for a chocolaty twist on zucchini bread!
Hope you have a wonderful memorial day with family and those you love!

Thursday, May 19, 2011


I used to think that a cup of tea, a good book, and Lola (my chihuahua) curled up on my lap were all the ingredients I needed to weather a rainy spring afternoon. Little did I know that I was missing something, that something being a cookie to go with my tea. And not just any cookie, a "cubretaza" cookie. Cubretaza literally means 'cup cover' in Spanish, and that is exactly what these buttery shortbread cookies do. You set them over your tea cup and the steam from the tea warms them up to the perfect cookie temperature. Dipping the edges in a bit of chocolate and coconut or sprinkles provides the perfect finishing touch. They would be adorable for a tea party, or do what I did and enjoy them with your afternoon tea.

1 1/4 cups flour
3/4 cups sugar
1 teaspoon vanilla extract
10 tablespoons cold butter
3 egg yolks
3 tablespoons milk
Pinch of salt

To Decorate:
Chocolate for melting
Sprinkles or shredded coconut

Preheat the oven to 350 degrees. Mix the flour, salt, sugar, and vanilla.
Cut butter into small pieces and add to flour mixture. Work the mix with your hands until well mixed with lumps no bigger than the size of a pea.
Add the egg yolks and milk.
Mix until you have a smooth dough. Wrap dough in plastic wrap and refrigerate for at least an hour. When dough is chilled, remove from refrigerator and place between two pieces of wax paper. Get out your rolling pin, roll dough out to about 1/4 inch thickness.
Using a circle cutter slightly bigger than the size of the mug you like to use, cut dough into circles.
Use the leftover scraps of dough to make little rolls to use as the cookie "handle", stick the handle to the circle of dough using a bit of water. To keep the them from collapsing while cooking, place a little roll of parchment paper or aluminum under each handle for support. Be sure not to roll the paper tight, or the pressure will unravel it and your handles will fly off! Bake for 10 minutes, or until lightly golden. Remove from oven and allow to cool. Dip edges in melted chocolate and cover with sprinkles or coconut.
Coconut or sprinkles?
Decisions, decisions.....
Hope you're having a fabulous week!

Saturday, May 14, 2011

Raspberry Filled Buttermilk Scones

This recipe is just perfect for brunch. The scone is familiar and comforting and the fruity filling makes for a lovely little surprise in the middle. You can use almost any jam or filling you have on hand, and the recipe can be doubled for larger crowds. The recipe originally calls for a food processor, which I don't have, so I included food-processor free directions as well. Just be sure not to over mix the scone dough as the texture can quickly go from light and tender to tough and dry when mixed with too much vigor. But if you keep your mixing and kneading to a minimum, in very little time you will have a steaming batch of buttery, flaky, fruit filled scones. Impressive and delicious!

Jam Filled Scones
Adapted from Country Living
1 1/2 cups all-purpose flour
1 1/2 cups cake flour
1 tablespoon baking powder
1 teaspoon salt
16 tablespoon unsalted butter, cut into 1-inch pieces
1 cup buttermilk
1 tablespoon lemon zest
1/2 cup jam (raspberry was my choice)
3 teaspoons sugar

Preheat oven to 400 degrees F. Place the flours, baking powder, and salt in the bowl of a food processor fitted with a metal blade and pulse until combined. Add the butter and pulse until the mixture resembles coarse meal. Add the buttermilk and zest and pulse until the dough is just combined.****
For people who don't have a food processor, place flours, baking powder and salt in a bowl. Using two knifes or a pastry blender, cut butter into flour mixture until mixture resembles coarse meal (no bigger than pea size clumps of butter). Add buttermilk and zest and mix until just combined (use a wooden spoon or your hands).
Shape the scones: Line a baking sheet with parchment paper and set aside. Place an 18-inch sheet of parchment paper on a work surface and sprinkle it lightly with flour. Transfer the dough to the paper and, with floured hands, gently press the dough into a 12- by 12-inch square; the dough should be about 3/4 inch thick.
Cut out two 6-inch circles, reshape the remaining dough into a 3/4-inch-thick square, and cut out one more 6-inch circle. Gather the remaining scraps and form into one final 6-inch circle. (basically you will end up with four equally sized circles).
Place 1/4 cup of jam on two of the circles. Top each with the remaining dough rounds and pinch the sides shut.
Using a knife, score the top of each scone with a large cross marking 4 quadrants. Sprinkle the tops with sugar. Transfer scones to the prepared pan and bake until golden -- 30 to 35 minutes.
Transfer to a wire rack to cool.
Split or cut on the scores. Serve warm or at room temperature.
Have a lovely weekend! Linking up