Tag Archives: whole wheat

Sunny Boy Muffins and Strawberry Jam

What a busy couple of weeks.

First there was my in-laws’ family reunion, followed by EPC’s Aunt and three cousins staying with us for a few days, topped off with strawberry picking and preserving, and then a BBQ at EPC’s Dad’s place.

I certainly got a lot done, but man am I tired!

Since we had company staying with us for a few days, I figured they needed something special for breakfast, so I made up some delicious Sunny Boy Whole Grain Muffins.  I have been on a Sunny Boy cereal kick for the last few weeks, so I decided to take a look at the recipes on their website and came across a wonderful looking recipe for hearty (read: non-cupcake style) muffins.

I loved the muffins and so did the relations.

We enjoyed them with a dollop of homemade nectarine jam gifted to me by a coworker, as I didn’t make the strawberry jam until the weekend after they left.

The muffin recipe wasn’t followed exactly, because I was in a hurry and wasn’t paying attention to what I was doing. This can be a disaster when you are baking, but fortunately the recipe was saved by the addition of some large flake oats to soak up the extra milk.  If you end up adding twice as much milk like I did, you can save the recipe by adding 2/3 cup large flake oats.  In addition, I swapped out the all purpose flour for whole wheat.

And now on to the sweet stuff.

The strawberries were incredible.

I picked 50$ worth of strawberries in 45 minutes.  Don’t ask me how many berries that equates to, but it was a lot and the picking was easy too.  In case you live in the Edmonton area, I picked my berries at South Windermere Gardens.

Aside from berries for eating and freezing, I was able to get two batches of jam. Both jam recipes come straight off the Bernardin website.  The first, No-Pectin Strawberry Jam (shown on the muffin pictured above) was made with the addition of unripe berries.

No pectin jams are nice, because you make them with a bit less sugar.  You still need to add sugar though.  I have made the mistake of trying to do it with less than the recommended amount of sugar and, trust me, it doesn’t really work so well.

The second jam I made was Strawberry Balsamic Jam.

It is to die for.

If you are looking for a different jam, this is the one to try.  Bernardin recommends serving it with cheese and crackers, but it is also great with plain yogourt, slathered on fresh bread or by the spoonful.

I can’t wait to serve it to guests this winter as a sweet addition to a cheese tray!

Sunny Boy Whole Grain Muffins

Bernardin No-Pectin Strawberry Jam

Bernardin Strawberry Balsamic Jam


Raisin Squares for my Husband’s Suitcase

Ok, I know.  It is Lorna Sass Month, so what am I doing posting a recipe for raisin squares from The Deaf Smith Country Cookbook?

Well, I really wanted some and I love to bake.  But even more than that, I wanted to make a sweet treat for EPC.   He is away on a work trip again this week, so I thought he needed a treat to take with him in his suitcase.  Since he has traveled  for work a lot lately, I have been a little cranky.  I guess in retrospect I needed him to take the raisin squares with him, so he could feel my love while he is a few provinces away.

EPC loves these raisin squares.  They make a great snack.  Full of raisins and nuts with a base of whole wheat pastry flour and a touch of honey these squares won’t cause your blood sugar to skyrocket, so they make for a perfect late afternoon protein-rich snack to get you through to dinner time.  Of course, this can be said about many of the sweeter recipes in this cookbook.  As a result, this is the only cookbook that EPC will consistently eat the cookies or other treats out of.  So, if I don’t want to get stuck eating all the cookies myself (which isn’t necessarily a bad thing) this is the cookbook I turn to.

In case you are interested, the Deaf Smith Country Cookbook is the very first cookbook I ever owned!    My Mom and Dad gave it to me when I moved from Ontario to Alberta almost 20 years ago.  They inscribed it with “Happy healthy cooking”.  My Mom even has the original edition of this cookbook at home that came out a year or so after I was born.  So, in the spirit of the inscription: Happy healthy eating!

Raisin Squares

2 cups of Thompson raisins
1 1/2 cups of water
2 tablespoons of butter

1/2 cup of honey

1 teaspoon of cinnamon
1 teaspoon of allspice
2 cups of chopped nuts (I used almonds, but walnuts work too)
2 cups of whole wheat pastry flour (if you can’t track pastry flour down, use 1/2 whole wheat and 1/2 white flour instead)

  • Put the raisins, water, and butter in a saucepan and bring to a boil
  • Remove from heat and add the honey, stirring until blended.  Let cool
  • Mix the flour, spices and nuts.  Add to the raisin mixture and stir well.
  • Pour into a greased and floured 8 x 8 can pan.
  • Bake for 40 minutes at 350°C
  • Cool and cut into squares

I always store these at room temperature, or in the freezer for long-term, because I find they tend to dry out in the refrigerator.

Click to print

Peanut Butter Oatmeal Cookies

I love cookies, especially peanut butter ones.

I had some time on Sunday afternoon, so I thought why not whip up a batch of chewy cookies.

Why not, indeed!

I really enjoy having cookies around the house.  I use to be terrible and gobble almost all of them up within a day or two of my baking them, terrible only because I would quickly be out of cookies.  Now that I am older and, I hope, wiser I tuck the cookies into a tin and stick them in the freezer.  That way I can grab a couple on my way out the door in the morning and they will be perfectly defrosted when I am looking for something sweet after lunch.

The nice thing about these cookies, and with all the baking I do out of my Uprisings cookbook, is that you get a satisfying treat that is not half bad for you.  These cookies boast butter, honey, natural peanut butter, whole wheat flour, oatmeal and raisins.  I have made these once before and substituted carob chips for the raisins, but chocolate chips would work too.

How can you go wrong with ingredients like that?

Peanut Butter Oatmeal Cookies – makes 15-20 cookies

1/3 cup softened butter
1/3 cup natural peanut butter
1/3 cup honey
1/2 tablespoon of vanilla
1/2 cup whole wheat pastry flour
1/3 cup milk powder
1/4 teaspoon baking powder
1/4 teaspoon baking soda
3/4 cup large flake rolled oats (not instant)
3/4 cup raisins

  • Preheat oven to 325°C (not 350°C)
  • In a large bowl cream butter, peanut butter, honey and vanilla until blended
  • In a small bowl stir together flour, milk powder, baking powder, baking soda and oats.
  • Add flour mixture to the wet ingredients and stir until combined.
  • Spoon on an oiled, or parchment paper lined, cookie sheet and flatten with a fork.
  • Bake at 325°C for 15-20 minutes.  These cookies brown quickly, so check after 15 minutes.

Click to print

Cookies, Cookbooks and Printable Recipes!

Oh joy!

What a great week for receiving packages of cookbooks in the mail.

On Wednesday EPC and I received our much-anticipated “Christmas Chapter’s gift card” cookbooks. Then on Saturday I went to the courier’s and picked up a package of review cookbooks from Lorna Sass.

Needless to say I am very behind in my reading.

Although I have not had a chance to comb through the new additions to my cookbook shelf, I do have a few cursory ideas.  After noticing that Totally Vegetarian has about 3 vegetable burger recipes and reFresh has one, I thought I should do a veggie burger cook-off and see if I can find a few top burger recipes for you all to try.  Furthermore, I received a veggie burger recipe from a friend a few years ago and cut one out of the newspaper just last week, so it is time I put these recipes to the test!

EPC and I love eating veggie burgers with roasted root vegetables or a side salad, but have avoided them as of late, because we have gotten quite tired of store-bought. In that case, the burger cook-off will be appreciated at my house. What a better way to get reacquainted with our favorite quick meal by trying out some homemade concoctions.

I plan on revisiting Mexico quite often, if only in taste, by trying out some recipes in A Taste of Mexico by Kippy Nigh.  I can only hope the flavours will bring the warm weather and sunshine north!

In order to make the recipes I selected for this week I needed to take a trip to the Mexican grocery.  Here I was able to pick up  dried guajillo chilies and dried epazote, a popular Mexican herb.  I recalled that a few of the other recipes called for smoked dried chipotle peppers , so I picked up a bag of those for another day.  In fact, I don’t think I will have any trouble finding items from Kippy’s ingredient list here in Edmonton.

Since Lorna Sass was kind enough to send me two of her great cookbooks: Great Vegetarian Cooking Under Pressure and Short-Cut Vegan, I thought why not dedicate a month, perhaps February or March, to Lorna Sass, featuring her cookbooks and recipes. According to the reviews I have read so far this will be a real treat.

The excitement doesn’t end there!  Lorna Sass is an expert on pressure cooking and if I manage to secure a pressure cooker for my birthday I will be learning how to cook yummy vegetarian meals quickly.  Quicker than you or I could imagine.  The cover on her cookbook promises “two-hour taste in ten minutes”!

Finally, I have figured out how to include printable copies of the great recipes that I post on Cookbook Cooks, so you can look forward to that when I get to the cookie part of this post.  Thanks to Closet Cooking! I know from experience that a recipe is more likely to be tried if one can print it off and have it handy while cooking!

As you may have guessed I baked some cookies today.  They are wholesome little egg-free snacks made with whole wheat flour and honey.  I found the recipe in one of my favorite cookbooks Uprisings: The Whole Grain Bakers’ Book.

Jammies – you can look forward to about 24 cookies

1/2 cup butter
1/2 cup vegetable oil
3/4 cup honey
1/2 teaspoon vanilla extract
3 3/4 cups whole wheat pastry flour (I used regular whole wheat flour)
1/2 teaspoon cinnamon
1/2 teaspoon salt (I did not add salt, because I used salted butter)
Your favorite jam (I used tart chokecherry spread)

  • Preheat oven to 350°C
  • In a large bowl, whip the butter with a blender
  • Add the vegetable oil, honey and vanilla extract and beat until mixed
  • In a separate bowl mix the flour, cinnamon and salt.
  • Add the flour to the oil and honey mixture and mix well.  The dough may be quite crumbly, but it will stick together just fine.
  • Roll the dough into small balls and place on a parchment paper lined cookie sheet.
  • Make a dent in the top of each cookie with your fingertip and fill with 1/2 teaspoon of jam.
  • Bake at 350°C for 12-15 minutes until lightly brown and the jam bubbles a little

Click for printable version