Are You Waffling?

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Today is one of those days of indecision. It happens from time to time. Soooo many recipes soooo little time. I frequently change my mind, but hedge my bets that you’d prefer two recipes brought to the table instead of one. Having options is a good thing! Both recipes are a bit twisted and are brought to you by a tasty gift sent from my friend, Maryann.

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As a side note, Maryann is one of the dear friends and colleagues I miss most since leaving my job at The Taft School in Connecticut. As a physical therapist and director of the athletic training room Maryann and I worked closely together caring for injured athletes. Smart as a whip, selfless and caring she did whatever it took to get the students well and safely back in the game. Mutual respect and our love for the kids we cared for made us fast friends on and off the field. William adored her.

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Maryann and her husband, Kennie, winter in Arizona. When they came across Queen Creek Olive Mill luckily she was missing me, too. ❤ She sent me a gift box of liquid gold. Pesticide free and non-GMO fruits like blood oranges, meyer lemons and Mexican limes are cold pressed with hand-picked fresh olives to create the most flavorful and aromatic oils I have ever had the pleasure to bake with. Perfect for savory dishes, as well, the oils impart a fresh fruity flavor without any bitterness. These oils are now pantry staples.

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First up are these waffles. Made with ricotta cheese and buttermilk they bake up fluffy on the inside and crispy on the outside with a twist of blood orange flavor.

Blood Orange Ricotta Waffles

1 1/2 cups all-purpose flour

2 teaspoons baking powder

1/2 teaspoon baking soda

1/2 teaspoon salt

3 tablespoons granulated sugar

1 tablespoon fresh orange zest

3 tablespoons unsalted butter, melted

2 tablespoons blood orange olive oil

2 large eggs

1 teaspoon pure vanilla extract

1/2 cup part-skim milk ricotta cheese

1 cup buttermilk

In a medium bowl, whisk together flour, baking powder, baking soda, and salt.  Set aside.In a small bowl, mix sugar and orange zest until the zest is coated in sugar. Add the orange sugar to the bowl with the dry ingredients. In a bowl or large measuring cup, whisk together butter, eggs, vanilla, ricotta, and buttermilk. Whisk until combined well. Add the wet ingredients all at once to the dry ingredients and stir just until dry ingredients are moistened. Don’t overmix. It’s ok if a few lumps remain. Heat waffle iron according to the manufacturer’s instructions. Drop batter into the waffle iron; cook until golden brown.  Serve immediately.  These waffles can also be individually wrapped and frozen.  They’re great heated up in the toaster directly from the freezer.

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You can thank this photo on IG for this banana bread recipe. Too many requests for the actual recipe, so thought it best to share it here. What’s the sign of a perfectly baked quick bread? It’s that crack down the center! Moist on the inside with a bit of crunch on top its a flavor bomb of banana, lime and a touch of ginger. Don’t like ginger or almonds? Use any warm spice or nuts you prefer. No waffling!

Banana Bread with a Lime Twist

2 cups all purpose flour

1-teaspoon baking powder

1-teaspoon baking soda

½ teaspoon fine sea salt or table salt

½ teaspoon ground ginger (or if you prefer, cinnamon)

2 eggs

2/3-cup sugar

¼ cup sour cream

½ cup Mexican lime olive oil*

2 large over-ripe bananas, peeled and smashed

1/3-cup chopped or sliced nuts of your choice

2 teaspoons turbinado or demera sugar

Heat oven 375F. Coat a 9×5-inch loaf pan with baking spray (or grease and dust with flour). In large bowl, whisk flour, baking powder, baking soda, salt and ginger; set aside. In another bowl, whisk eggs, sugar, sour cream, oil and banana; set aside. Using a rubber spatula, stir wet ingredients into flour mixture until blended and dry ingredients are moistened. Pour batter into prepared pan. Sprinkle evenly with nuts and then sugar. Bake 45 to 55 minutes or until golden brown and wooden pick inserted in center comes out clean. There should be the classic quick bread crack down the center. Transfer loaf to wire rack to cool completely before slicing.

*½ cup light olive oil plus the juice and zest of ½ lime can be substituted

Note: if you prefer your quick breads sweeter up the sugar to 1 cup

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Linzer Tart Scones

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Tender and crumbly scones are hands down one of my favorite treats to bake. I also love a traditional linzer tart cookie with its sweet jam filling and nutty almond crunch. Let’s combine the two and while we are at it make them sugar-free. Perfect with a warm beverage these cinnamon laced triangles with a touch of jam are simply the best. Linzer tart scones are actually a remix of a recipe I have been baking for nearly 30 years with an aim to make them healthier. Small changes like eliminating sugar make a big difference in improved health over time. Selected for the Steviva Blogger Recipe Challenge here is what I did.

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Sugar-free with a big boost of protein from almonds and almond flour these scones get their sweetness from all natural Fructevia. Fructevia looks just like granulated sugar, but with twice the sweetness a little goes a long way. Did you notice how brown these scones are? That’s because fructevia bakes up just like sugar with all the golden goodness. Not only that these scones are tender and flaky with lovely crunchy, crumbly almond bits. What’s not to love about a healthy-full of flavor-jam topped scone? Tender, sweet, flaky, nutty….sounds a lot like me!

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While I loved them warm from the oven the truth is the flavors are even more fantastic the next day. Like a linzer tart the cinnamon, almonds and zest meld together and the jam just sinks into the dough. Unlike other sugar-free sweeteners the Fructeviva leaves no aftertaste. It’s super clean and a total healthy win. Even my brother, the doctor, approves. He explained that using products like Fructevia helps to reduce inflammatory processes on the body.

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Here is the quick drill on mixing up a simple batch of scones. Whisk the dry ingredients together; cut in the butter until crumbly. Then whisk the wet ingredients together.

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Make a well in the center of the dry ingredients and pour the wet in. Blend the two just until the dry ingredients are moistened. Knead the dough 3 or 4 times and pat it into a circle right on the baking sheet. Edge with the almonds and fill a small indent with your favorite sugar-free jam. Raspberry is traditional, but I used blackberry here.

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Linzer Tart Scones

1 cup unbleached all-purpose flour

1/2 cup white whole wheat flour

½ cup almond flour

1 ½ tablespoons Fructevia

1 Tbsp. baking powder

1/2 tsp. salt

1/2 tsp. cinnamon

1 tsp. grated orange zest

¼ cup cold, unsalted butter

2/3 cup half-and-half

1 egg

2 to 3 teaspoons no sugar added jam or whole fruit preserves

Heat oven to 400ºF. Line baking sheet with parchment paper. In large bowl, combine flours, fructevia, baking powder, salt, cinnamon and zest; mix well. Using fork or pastry blender, cut in butter until mixture resembles coarse crumbs. In small bowl, combine half-and-half and egg; blend well. Add to flour mixture. Stir just until dry ingredients are moistened. Turn dough out onto well-floured surface; knead lightly 4 times. Pat or roll dough into 8” circle on prepared baking sheet. Sprinkle edge with almonds. Cut into 8 wedges; do not separate. Make an indentation in each scone with tip of your index finger; fill with ¼ teaspoon of jam. Bake 18-20 minutes or until edges are golden. Cut through scones. Serve warm.

Nutrition Facts
Servings: 8
Per Serving % Daily Value*
Calories 210  
Total Fat 12.4g 16%
Saturated Fat 5.5g 28%
Trans Fat 0g  
Cholesterol 43mg 16%
Sodium 206mg 9%
Potassium 271mg 6%
Total Carb 21.1g 7%
Dietary Fiber 2.3g 8%
Sugars 0.6g  
Protein 5.5g  
Vitamin A 9% · Vitamin C 1%
Calcium 10% · Iron 8%
*Based on a 2,000 calorie diet

Thanks Steviva for sharing your products with me. Quite a learning opportunity to know that all natural Fructevia bakes up just like sugar, tastes delicious and will lead me to better health.

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Also… if you want to take advantage of a 20% discount Please use coupon code: THANKYOU when checking out of our on-line store at http://steviva.com/store 

 

Mother’s Day Hot Wing Donuts

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Mother’s Day usually means brunch or better, yet, breakfast in bed. When I wondered what recipe to share with you today I thought I could celebrate my own mom by pulling out one of her old cookbooks for inspiration. She loved this pamphlet from the 60’s and the recipes and brand behind it. I can still hear her voice saying, “Polly-O is the best. Buy the best”. Good advice, mom.

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Flipping through I came across a spattered, well loved page that included ricotta pancakes, cheese blintzes and a peach torte. However, it is the ricotta puffs or fritters that grab my attention and bring me back to an Italian street fair where fried donuts called zeppole were the treat of the day. Crispy fried puffs smothered in cinnamon-sugar and purchased by the dozen still warm in a brown bag. A deliciously good and inspiring memory.

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hands-free frying these donuts flip themselves

But you know me. I can’t just follow a recipe. It’s time to change it up and honor another mom or two I love very much. Like mother like daughter….Caitlin and I like deep frying and donuts on occasion. We also like it spicy.

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Can a mother thank a daughter for becoming a mother? What fun it has been for me to be “Kiki”, aka, Annabelle’s grandmother. Annabelle is such a joy, but more incredible than that joy is watching your own daughter being an amazing mom. My Caitlin loves with her whole heart. Her mothering instincts are spot on. Being a new mom is an exhausting, self-less experience that she is doing with such grace. It makes me feel so proud to be HER mom. Caitlin continues to lift me up and remind me life is good. I’m ever so grateful for her and for that reminder.

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Another mom I love and appreciate is a lady named Suzy. You know her best as the creator of the spectacular  Saucy Mama brand. Suzy not only pours her whole heart into creating amazing sauces, mustards and marinades, but also into investing and empowering women like me. Being a part of Team Saucy Mama is a dream and a privilege. All the women on the team inspire me to be a better cook, a better person and a better mom. I am ever so grateful for their kindness, generosity and friendship.

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Here comes today’s recipe inspired by my mom, Caitlin and Suzy.  I tweaked the original recipe from the Polly-O pamphlet substituting vanilla bean paste for brandy and eliminating dusting the donuts in powdered sugar. Instead the donuts are coated with a mixture of granulated sugar, cinnamon and salt creating a bit of a crispy/crunchy contrast to the soft, almost pudding like ricotta interior. For the perfect spicy heat they are finished with a drizzle of Saucy Mama’s Total Domination Wing Sauce No. 2. The combination of scotch bonnet peppers and blackberry lift this simple donut to another level of goodness. Yes, mom..it’s the best.

Ricotta Puffs or Fritters

  • Servings: 2 to 3 dozen
  • Print

10 ounces ricotta cheese

2 eggs, lightly beaten

1 tablespoon sugar

1 teaspoon vanilla bean paste

1/3 cup all purpose flour

1 teaspoon baking powder

1/8 teaspoon fine salt

oil for deep frying

¼ cup sugar

½ teaspoon cinnamon

½ teaspoon kosher salt

Saucy Mama Total Domination Wing Sauce No. 2

In a medium bowl, combine ricotta, eggs, 1-tablespoon of sugar and vanilla bean paste; blend well with a spoon. In another bowl, whisk flour, baking powder and fine salt; pour into ricotta mixture and stir until mixture is moth and well mixed. Let batter stand for 30 minutes to thicken up slightly. Heat oil to 350F. Drop batter by small, round scoopfuls (depends on size you like) and brown on all sides. Don’t crowd the pan as the puffs need room to flip themselves. Drain on paper towels. With a fork mix remaining sugar, cinnamon a salt in a small bowl. While still warm toss donuts in sugar mixture. Serve with hot wing sauce either drizzled on top or as a dip on the side. Makes 2 to 3 dozen puffs.

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Feel free to dip instead of drizzle. And I hope someone serves you breakfast in bed next Sunday. Happy Mother’s Day in advance. I will be taking next Sunday and a few others off from here in the coming weeks as life is getting a bit busier than usual.