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Bread, Breakfast, Dessert, Lactose Free, Recipes

Amazing Whole Grain Muffins

May 8, 2017

Whole Grain Muffins with Tart Cherries

These little beauties are my favorite mid-morning snack.  They are 100% whole grain muffins that have the perfect texture and flavor.  Sometimes I add dried tart cherries to the batter but they are just as good without adding any additional ingredients.

White Whole Wheat Flour & Wheat Bran

Whole wheat flour and additional wheat bran make this a very nutritious muffin.  I take one to work each day and enjoy it with my morning cup of coffee. They are low in calories, high in fiber and protein, and just plain delicious.

Apple Bananas

A very ripe banana helps to moisten the batter as well as improve the flavor. These are not tall domed muffins.  The batter makes just enough to fill a dozen standard 12-cup muffin pan.  Use a spoon to fill each muffin cavity 1/2 full then divide any leftover batter between the 12 cups.

Whole Grain Muffins

Whole Grain Muffins with Tart Cherries

I love to split the muffins and toast them until they are nicely browned and crisp around the edges. Slather some Earth Balance Buttery Spread and homemade lilikoi jelly over the warm muffins and serve them for breakfast with cheesy scrambled eggs and bacon.

Toasted Whole Grain Muffins with Lilikoi Jelly


Whole Grain Muffins
Adapted from Cooking Light
Serves: 12
  • 6 ounces white whole-wheat flour (about 1⅓ cups)
  • ¼ cup wheat bran
  • 1 teaspoon baking powder
  • 1 teaspoon baking soda
  • ½ scant teaspoon kosher salt
  • 2 tablespoons Earth Balance Buttery Sticks, melted
  • ¾ cup plain 2% lactose free yogurt
  • ¼ cup lactose free sour cream
  • ½ cup packed light brown sugar
  • 1 teaspoon vanilla extract
  • 1 large ripe banana, mashed (1/2 cup)
  • 1 large egg
  • ½ cup coarsely chopped dried tart cherries, optional
  1. Preheat oven to 375 degrees. Lightly butter the cups of a 12-cup muffin pan (I use a non-stick pan lightly buttered)
  2. Weigh or lightly spoon flour into dry measuring cups; level with a knife.
  3. Combine flour, wheat bran, baking powder, baking soda, and kosher salt in a large bowl. Stir with a whisk to combine ingredients.
  4. Combine 2 tablespoons melted Buttery Sticks, yogurt, sour cream, sugar, vanilla, banana, and egg in a bowl. Add yogurt mixture to flour mixture, stirring just until combined. Divide the batter evenly among 12 muffin cups (fill each cup ½ full then divide the remaining batter between the 12 cups)
  5. Bake for 15 minutes or until a wooden toothpick inserted in the center comes out clean. Cool in pan for 5 minutes. Remove from pan and cool completely on a wire rack.


Bread, Breakfast, Dinner, Lactose Free, Recipes, Sandwiches

Avocado Toast with Bacon & Egg

April 23, 2017

Avocado Toast with Bacon & Egg

Before the last of our avocados disappeared for the season, I decided to make a quick lunch using the creamy and rich Green Gold fruit.  Nothing could be easier and more satisfying than avocado toast.  All you need is good bread, an avocado and salt and pepper.  And maybe a dash of hot sauce too.  But if you want to take it up just a notch, scatter some crispy bacon over the avocado and top it off with a jammy egg.

Green Gold Avocado

We have two varieties of avocados in our garden, both of which are winter bearing.  The Sharwil is very popular here in Hawaii. It produces beautiful fruit, rich and creamy with small seeds.  The Green Gold’s flesh is dense, rich and creamy, perfect for guacamole and avocado toast. I love both of our trees however, the Green Gold is a bit more dependable in producing a large crop each year.

John's 9-Grain Bread

John makes 9-grain bread that is perfect for avocado toast.  It’s hearty and full of flavor from all of the grains that go into the bread.  Whatever bread you use for avocado toast, make sure that it has structure and is not the airy, flavorless type you might find on some supermarket shelves.

Daily's Bacon

One of the best supermarket brands of bacon is Daily’s. Use the best bacon that you can find.

Avocado Toast with Bacon & Egg

Avocado Toast with Bacon & Egg
Serves: 2
  • 2 large eggs
  • 2 - 4 pieces of good bread, toasted
  • 1 tablespoon of your favorite mayonnaise
  • 1 medium avocado, thinly sliced
  • 2 - 4 pieces of crispy bacon, broken into bite-sized pieces
  • chives and Italian parsley, chopped
  1. Cook the eggs: Bring ½-inch of water to a boil over medium high heat in a small pot (one with a tight fitting lid). Using tongs, gently lower eggs into the water and cover the pot. Adjust heat to maintain a gentle boil. Set a timer and cook the eggs for 6 minutes and 30 seconds. Remove the eggs from the pot and run under cool water to stop the cooking (or place in an ice bath for a minute or two). Peel the eggs and set aside.
  2. Spread mayonnaise on the toasted bread. Place avocado slices on the bread and mash lightly with a fork. Season with a little coarse salt and black pepper. Scatter bacon pieces over the mashed avocado. Slice each egg into even pieces, enough for each avocado toast. Season with coarse salt and pepper. Scatter chives and parsley over the top.


Bread, Breakfast, Lactose Free, Recipes

Cream Cheese Biscuits

April 3, 2017

Cream Cheese BiscuitsGood biscuits are an irresistible accompaniment to any meal.  We particularly enjoy them with breakfast as an alternative to our usual toast. Cook’s Country mentions that cream cheese biscuits are a favorite in Charleston, South Carolina.  After making a few batches of these biscuits I can see why they are so popular.  Light in texture and rich in flavor these biscuits are a snap to make for your weekend brunch.

Cream Cheese Biscuit Dough

The dough is gently rolled into a rectangle then cut into 12 squares.  Baked until lightly browned, they are ready in 12 – 15 minutes.

Cream Cheese Biscuits


Cream Cheese Biscuits
Adapted from Cook's Country magazine
Serves: 12
  • 1½ cups all-purpose flour
  • 1½ cups cake flour
  • 1 tablespoon sugar
  • 1 tablespoon baking powder
  • ¾ teaspoon salt (1 teaspoon if using unsalted butter)
  • ¾ teaspoon baking soda
  • 4 ounces Green Valley lactose free cream cheese (or regular cream cheese) cut into ½-inch pieces and frozen 30 minutes
  • 4 tablespoons Buttery Sticks (or unsalted butter), cut into ½-inch pieces and frozen 30 minutes
  • 1 cup + 1 tablespoon lactose free buttermilk (or regular buttermilk)
  • For lactose free buttermilk: 1 cup minus 1 tablespoon lactose free 2% milk + 2 tablespoons fresh lemon juice. Give it a quick stir and let sit for 5 minutes until thickened.
  1. Adjust oven rack to middle position and heat oven to 450 degrees. Line a baking sheet with parchment paper.
  2. Pulse all-purpose flour, cake flour, sugar, baking powder, salt, baking soda, cream cheese, and butter in food processor until mixture resembles coarse meal. Transfer mixture to a large bowl. Stir in buttermilk until combined (dough may appear slightly dry).
  3. Turn dough onto a lightly floured surface and knead briefly until dough comes together. Roll dough into 8x6-inch rectangle, about ¾-inch thick. Cut into 12 squares and transfer to prepared baking sheet. Bake until light brown, 12 - 15 minutes. Transfer to a wire rack and let cool for 5 minutes. Serve warm.


Bread, Breakfast, Dinner, Lactose Free, Recipes, Veggies

Bacon & Cheddar Zucchini Bread

September 25, 2016

Bacon & Cheddar Zucchini Bread

Bacon and cheddar cheese are a perfect match.  This savory zucchini bread, which incorporates that perfect match, does not require any rising, kneading, or special care.  Mix all of the ingredients together and bake it in a loaf pan.  Then, wait patiently while it cools before you cut a thick slice and toast it until the edges are pleasingly crisp.  This recipe is adapted from Carolyn over at Food Gal.  The recipe comes from Katie Sullivan Morford’s new cookbook Rise & Shine. Katie uses kalamata olives and green onions but I wanted to use bacon, because…bacon!  I also used chives from the garden in place of the green onions.  As Carolyn mentions, this savory bread is not just for breakfast.  I toast slices and serve it with roasted meat or grilled chicken.  It is reminiscent of cornbread in many ways.  Serve it with a pat of butter.  Yum!

Toasted Zucchini Bread with Butter

Grated Zucchini

I haven’t grown zucchini but I hear that they are prolific producers and many home gardeners end up with more than they know what to do with.  I also read a few stories that gave me a good laugh: people will leave bags of excess zucchini in unattended cars or on strangers doorsteps. Fortunately, this recipe doesn’t require that much zucchini.

Fresh Eggs

I love the beautiful speckled brown eggs my neighbor Judy shares with us.

Extra Sharp Cheddar, Bacon, Chives

Use extra sharp cheddar and fairly lean bacon for the best flavor and texture.  This rustic bacon and cheddar zucchini bread turns out perfectly each time you bake it.

Bacon & Cheddar Zucchini Bread with Butter & Mango Pepper Jam

Bacon & Cheddar Zucchini Bread


Bacon & Cheddar Zucchini Bread
Adapted from Food Gal
Serves: 1 large loaf
  • 2 cups coarsely grated zucchini (about 2 medium zucchini)
  • 1½ teaspoons kosher salt, divided
  • 1½ cups white whole wheat flour (spooned and leveled)
  • 1 cup all-purpose flour (spooned and leveled)
  • 2 teaspoons baking powder
  • ½ teaspoon baking soda
  • ¼ teaspoon freshly ground black pepper
  • 2 large eggs
  • ⅓ cup extra virgin olive oil
  • ½ cup plain lactose free yogurt (Green Valley lactose free or regular yogurt)
  • ½ cup lactose free milk (or regular milk)
  • 2 tablespoons chopped chives
  • ½ cup chopped cooked bacon
  • 6 ounces extra sharp cheddar cheese, cut into ⅓-inch cubes
  1. Preheat oven to 350 degrees. Generously grease a 9x5-inch loaf pan with oil or nonstick cooking spray and set aside.
  2. Place grated zucchini into a colander set in the sink or over a bowl. Sprinkle with 1 teaspoon of the salt and toss together. Leave zucchini in the colander to allow the salt to draw out some of the liquid.
  3. Meanwhile, in a large bowl, whisk together the white whole wheat and all-purpose flour along with the baking powder, baking soda, black pepper, and remaining ½ teaspoon salt.
  4. In a medium bowl, whisk together the eggs, olive oil, yogurt, and milk until combined.
  5. Squeeze out the liquid from the zucchini, removing as much of the moisture as possible, The zucchini will remain moist but should not be wet. Add the zucchini to the egg mixture along with the scallions and bacon. Mix to combine.
  6. Add the egg mixture to the flour mixture and stir gently with a spoon or rubber spatula, just until the streaks of flour disappear. Add the cheese and stir just enough to distribute it throughout the dough.
  7. Transfer dough to the prepared loaf pan and using your spatula, smooth the top. The dough will be rough and craggy.
  8. Bake for about 50 - 55 minutes, or until the loaf is golden and a wooden skewer inserted into the center comes out clean. Transfer pan to a cooling rack for 15 minutes. Run a knife around the edge of the bread, tip the pan over, and gently dislodge the bread onto the cooling rack. Allow bread to cool for 30 minutes or so, before serving.


Appetizers, Bread, Lactose Free, Recipes, Vegan, Vegetarian

Pita Chips

April 13, 2016

Homemade Pita Chips

Having recently discovered the superlative quality of homemade hummus as opposed to the store-bought version, I thought why not make my own pita chips too?  They are one of the simplest snacks to make and all you need is a bag of pita bread plus olive oil and salt, items that we all have in our pantries.

Pita Bread

You can opt to use all the pita breads in the package, or make a smaller batch using just three.  The pita chips bake for just 10 minutes and come out of the oven perfectly golden brown.

Pita Bread Halved and Split

I tried splitting the pita bread, and not splitting the pita bread.  Conclusion – splitting the pita bread is the way to go if you want thin and crispy chips.  The pita chips that were not split were a bit tough and didn’t seem to hold their crunchy texture for very long, which brought to mind the time I purchased a bag of Stacy’s Pita Chips at Mana Foods.  They were nice and crisp.  Later, I saw a giant bag at Costco so I bought it, after all it was a good deal.  Once I took a bite of Stacy’s Costco version, I was sorely disappointed.  The chips were really hard and not delicately crispy as I had expected them to be.  Curious about why there was such a variation of the two bags, I contacted Stacy’s customer service department and was informed that the pita chips sold at Costco (in the giant bag that’s such a deal) are not split, and the ones at the market are.  So there you have it!

Pita Bread Halved and Split + Olive Oil & Maldon Sea Salt

Brush or dab a little olive oil on the rough side of the pita bread.  Sprinkle with flaky sea salt, such as Maldon.  I like to sprinkle a bit of dried oregano over the pita bread but it is optional.  You could also season the pita chips with pepper, or other dried herbs.  Bake until completely crisp.

Ready to Bake Homemade Pita Chips


Homemade Pita Chips


Pita Chips
Serves: 36 chips
  • 3 pita breads, about 6" diameter each
  • extra virgin olive oil
  • flaky sea salt, such as Maldon
  • dried oregano
  1. Preheat oven to 375 degrees.
  2. Cut each pita bread in half, then split each half making 4 pieces per pita bread
  3. Stack the halves and cut into thirds, making 12 chips per pita (36 wedges total)
  4. Brush a bit of olive oil over the rough inner side of each piece and sprinkle with salt and oregano.
  5. Place wedges on foil-lined baking sheet making sure not to overlap.
  6. Bake for 10 minutes, checking at the 8 minute mark as oven temperatures vary.
  7. Pita chips should be golden brown and crisp. Let cool completely before storing in an airtight container. Serve with homemade hummus.


Bread, Breakfast, Lactose Free, Recipes, Sandwiches

Seeded Whole Grain Soda Bread

February 18, 2016

Seeded Whole Grain Soda BreadJohn is usually our designated bread baker. However, I have a few special breads that I make too, such as this soda bread which makes the best, crunchy, hearty toast.  I fell in love with it the first time I made it.  It’s simple to make with minimal hands on time.  Let the grains and buttermilk soak while you do your errands, then mix everything together and bake this delicious soda bread.

Cream Cheese & Lilikoi Jelly on Seeded Whole Grain Soda BreadOne of my favorite ways to eat this bread is to toast it until it’s super crunchy, then generously spread it with cream cheese and homemade lilikoi jelly.

Seeded Whole Grain Soda Bread IngredientsMillet, quinoa, amaranth, oatmeal, whole wheat flour, flax and sunflower seeds. Lots of “good for you” ingredients go into this bread.

Seeded Whole Grain Soda BreadBeautiful bread.  Serve it with a pat of butter and honey or cream cheese and your favorite jam or jelly.  It also makes the best avocado toast.

Avocado Toast on Seeded Whole Grain Soda Bread

Seeded Whole Grain Soda Bread
Delicious quick bread! Adapted from Bon Appetit
  • ¼ cup millet
  • ¼ cup quinoa
  • 2 tablespoons amaranth (if amaranth is not available substitute 1 tablespoon each millet and quinoa)
  • 1 cup old-fashioned oats, plus more for topping
  • 2¼ cups buttermilk, divided, plus more for brushing (I used lactose free whole milk with 3 tablespoons fresh lemon juice)
  • 1 tablespoon canola oil, plus more for pan
  • 3 cups white whole wheat flour
  • 1 cup all-purpose flour
  • 2 tablespoons flaxseed
  • 1 tablespoon kosher salt
  • 2 teaspoons baking soda
  • ¼ cup unsalted sunflower seeds, plus more for topping
  • 4 tablespoons Earth Balance Buttery Sticks, cut into pieces (or equivalent butter)
  • 3 tablespoons mild flavored (light) molasses
  1. Mix millet, quinoa, amaranth, 1 cup oats, 1 cup buttermilk, and ½ cup water in a small bowl. Cover and let sit 8 hours. (Per the original recipe, you may alternatively bring ingredients to a simmer in a small saucepan over low heat. Remove from heat and let sit until mixture is thick like porridge, about 2 hours).
  2. Preheat oven to 350 degrees. Lightly oil an 8" round cake pan.
  3. Whisk whole wheat flour, all-purpose flour, flaxseed, salt, baking soda, and ¼ cup sunflower seeds in a large bowl. Work in Buttery Sticks with your fingers until pieces are pea-size. Make a well in the center and add molasses, oat mixture, remaining 1¼ cups buttermilk, and remaining 1 tablespoon oil. Mix with a wooden spoon until dough is smooth, homogenous, and still slightly sticky.
  4. The original recipe tells you to form dough into a ball and place in pan. My dough has always been very wet. I dust my hands with flour and quickly place the dough in the prepared pan. Continue with brushing the top with reserved buttermilk, oats and sunflower seeds. Cut a large X in the top and bake until nicely browned and an instant-read thermometer inserted into the center of loaf registers 190 degrees, about 70 minutes.
  5. Let cool in pan for about 30 minutes and transfer to a rack to cool completely. Cut bread into slices and refrigerate for up to two days or freeze for up to a month.
  6. This bread is fantastic served with butter and jelly or honey, or avocado, egg salad, smoked salmon, tuna salad… endless possibilities!



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