Strawberry Shortcake Cookies

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I’m baaccckkkkk! The semester ended last week, which means three things to me. One, my brain can turn to mush. Two, I am unfortunately separated from Nicholas and limited to only weekend visits. And three, limitless time for baking!

Well, not really limitless time- I am a summer nanny. Today I found out that the 2-year old that I watch, Claire, would be attending a play group tomorrow. What a perfect excuse for me to get back in the kitchen! I didn’t want to make something too rich or sweet; essentially I didn’t want the parents to hate me for making their children bounce of the walls.

I decided to utilize this recipe for the occasion. The cookie is sweet, but not too sweet. Most children LOVE strawberries, and parents do too, since it is a simple way to get a child to eat a serving of fruit. They are SO light and airy; they pretty much melt in your mouth. They taste very much like a little mini scone. The best part? There are only 68 calories per cookie! So you can eat  A LOT without feeling guilty or weighed down.

I am planning on giving these to the children for breakfast tomorrow morning. They are light, healthy, and perfectly portioned for their little tummies.

This recipe is from none other than Martha Stewart herself!

Ingredients

  • 12 ounces strawberries, hulled and cut into 1/4-inch dice (2 cups)
  • 1-2 teaspoons fresh lemon juice
  • 1/2 cup plus 2 tablespoon granulated sugar
  • 2 cups all-purpose flour
  • 2 teaspoons baking powder
  • 1/2 teaspoon salt
  • 3 ounces (6 tablespoons) cold unsalted butter, cut into small pieces
  • 2/3 cup heavy cream (if you don’t have heavy cream on hand, don’t worry! I used this simple alternative and the cookies came out perfect.)
  1. Preheat oven to 375 degrees. Combine strawberries, lemon juice, and 2 tablespoons granulated sugar. Whisk together flour, baking powder, salt, and remaining granulated sugar in a large bowl.
  2.  Cut in the butter with a pastry cutter, or rub in with your fingers, until mixture resembles coarse crumbs. (I simply used my KitchenAid Mixer for this step…it made things a lot easier!) Stir in cream until dough starts to come together, then stir in strawberry mixture.
  3. Use a tablespoon to drop dough onto baking sheets lined with parchment, spacing evenly apart. Bake for 12-15 minutes, or until bottoms are golden brown.
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Easy Peasy (and DELICIOUS) Grilled Salmon

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It has been AGES since I have posted on the blog. I have been tied down with a ton of school work, and every week I manage to find myself a new source of stress.

As of late in the kitchen, I have been doing more cooking than baking; I want to improve my skills and impress my man! When making dinner, I affectionately call my boyfriend “Gordon” (as in Ramsey) since he is relatively harsh on my cooking skills. I appreciate the honesty and the critiques, but it hurts :(. After a few MANY kitchen fails, I finally managed to make a dish that Gordon rated as an A+.

For a novice chef, this recipe is incredibly simple, yet amazingly delicious. With bikini season around the corner, I have been trying to eat healthier. This dish is healthy, yet doesn’t have the stereotypical bland taste associated with healthy meals. All you have to do is marinade the salmon for at least two hours, and throw it on a grill for a few minutes.

Since I live in an apartment, I own a George Foreman grill. The salmon only took THREE minutes to grill! Does it get any quicker than that??

I modified this recipe from Allrecipes to cut out even more calories!

Ingredients:

  • two salmon filets, about 1/2 a pound each
  • garlic powder to taste
  • salt to taste
  • 1/4 tsp black pepper
  • 1/3 cup lemon juice
  • 1/4 cup soy sauce
  • 1 tbsp olive oil
  • 1/3 cup brown sugar
  • 1/3 cup water
  1. Season salmon filets with salt and garlic powder.
  2. In a small bowl, stir together soy sauce, brown sugar, water, and olive oil until sugar is dissolved. Place fish in a large resealable plastic bag with the soy sauce mixture, seal, and turn to coat. Refrigerate for at least two hours.
  3. Preheat grill for medium heat. On my George Foreman, I always put the heat all the way up to three.
  4. Lightly oil grill grate. Place salmon on the preheated grill, skin side down, and discard marinade. Cook salmon for 6 to 8 minutes per side (or 3-4 minutes total on the George Foreman), or until the fish flakes easily with a fork.

Super Healthy Blueberry Muffins!

Healthy AND Yummy!

I love chocolate.

Actually, that is a tremendous understatement….I REALLY  love chocolate.

However, there are times (albeit rarely) that I feel like I should cut back on the chocolate and start eating healthy (or at least healthier…). It is during these moments that I whip up a batch of these amazing, healthy (and easy to make) muffins.

Nick LOVES these things; 1/3 of the batch goes straight to him.

Here’s what you need:

1 cup AP flour
1 cup whole wheat flour
1 cup white sugar
1 cup fresh blueberries
1 cup soy milk (you can use any type of milk, however I love the flavor that the soy milk infuses into the muffins!)
1/4 cup wheat germ (totally optional!)
3 teaspoons baking powder
1/2 cup of vegetable oil
1 egg
1 tablespoon pure vanilla extract
1/2 teaspoon salt
3 additional teaspoons of sugar (these will be used later in the recipe!)

  1. Preheat the oven to 400 degrees F. Grease bottoms only of 12 muffin cups or line with baking cups (I would really recommend using liners; it makes clean up a ton easier!)
  2. In a medium bowl, combine the flour, 1 cup of sugar,  blueberries**, salt, baking powder, and wheat germ. In a large bowl, mix together the egg, milk, vegetable oil, and vanilla extract. Blend well.  Add dry ingredients all at once, mixing just until dry ingredients are moistened. The batter WILL be lumpy.
  3. Fill the cups 2/3 full. This is the crucial last step to take these muffins to a whole new level: add 1/4 tsp of white sugar to the top of each blueberry muffin cup. This will add a little extra (needed) sweetness, while giving the tops of your muffins a wonderful crisp look.
  4.  Bake for 15-18 minutes. Tops will look firm, and edges will be nicely browned.
**before I put the blueberries into the dry ingredients, I rinse them off while checking and removing any stems! I also try to dry them a little with a few paper towels…you do not want to add too much water to the mixture!