Sunday, September 29, 2013

Plum Cakes and Chocolate Chip Cookies

Baking on a Sunday morning isn't for everyone, but the payoff is pretty sweet when you make the effort. My rewards include a kitchen that smells like goodies and a large inventory of baking. 

Now baking was just part of the day's cooking bonanza, but let's focus on one item at a time. First, the plum cakes. In an effort to sway those health nuts out there, I should refer to the cakes as muffins instead. They are lower in fat and nutritious enough that I'm in the process of making a second batch for the week's afternoon snacks. The butter amount is reduced thanks to the addition of avocado and they aren't loaded with sugar. My favourite touch is of course the plum wedges that top them. If plums aren't in season, top them with another pitted fruit. 

The cookies, on the other hand are my answer to an ongoing household debate: what constitutes a good cookie? Ruedi is a wholesome treat eater. His favourite cookies contain items like orange zest, ground almonds, seeds of some kind, squirrels' teeth, you know, nature's little gems.

My favourite cookies include of a lot of processed crap. Cream cheese, candies and artificial fillings really do it for me. I can't help it. I dig that shizzle. The recipe below is one my mom first introduced me to as a kid. It's just a basic chocolate chip cookie recipe, using milk chocolate chips and vanilla pudding. Even though Ruedi has his principles, I did spot him scarfing a few down between naps. What a trooper. 

Plum Cakes


Makes 12 cakes muffins 


  • 3/4 cup flour
  • 1/4 cup ground flax
  • 1 1/2 t baking powder
  • 1/4 t kosher salt
  • 3 T butter
  • 2 T avocado
  • 1 t lemon zest
  • 1/3 sugar
  • 1 egg
  • 1 t vanilla extract
  • 2/3 cup of low fat milk
  • 1T raw sugar (optional-I opted out)


Preheat oven to 350F. Apply cooking spray to a 12-portion muffin tin. Set aside.

Whisk the flour, flax, baking powder and salt together in a bowl. In the bowl of your kitchen mixer, combine the butter and avocado, mixing until blended, about 3 minutes. Add the lemon zest and blend for another minute. Pour in the sugar and egg, continuing to mix until combined. Finally, add the milk and flour mixture in 3 phases with the wet ingredients.  Once well blended, spoon the batter evenly into the muffin tin. Bake for 20 minutes. Remove from oven and let sit for 5 minutes. Remove the muffins from the tin and let cool completely on a wire rack.

Chocolate Chip Cookies

Makes 3 dozen
  • 2 1/4 cups all purpose flour
  • 1 t baking powder
  • 1 cup butter (room temp)
  • 3/4 cup of golden sugar
  • 1/2 cup of granulated sugar
  • 1 package (100g) of instant vanilla pudding
  • 2 eggs
  • 1 t vanilla extract
  • 2 cups milk chocolate chips
  • 1 cup chopped walnuts (optional-I opted out)


Preheat your oven to 350F. 

Sift the flour and baking powder into a bowl. In the bowl of your kitchen mixer, combine the butter and both sugars until smooth. Incorporate the pudding mix in with the wet ingredients until well blended. Add the eggs, vanilla until combined. Finally, fold in the chocolate and nuts using them, into the dough. Spoon 12 tablespoon-sized portions of the dough onto your cookie sheets. Bake for 10-12 minutes, or until golden brown. Remove from oven and let cool before storing.  

Tuesday, September 17, 2013

Turkey Meatloaf Muffins

I've had such a long summer break, I've almost forgotten how to write. What a summer it has been! Fun, sun and a LOT of eating. Having just returned from booze and treat-infused vacation, I felt the desire to look into some fit-inspired recipes. This is what you'll see over the next few weeks. These are items that are lower in carbs, higher in protein and natural with respect to ingredients. That last item isn't new. Synthetic doesn't usually appeal to me. 

Anywho, I have two friends who have made these muffins and enjoyed them. This is key because you won't catch me eating something I don't enjoy. The second piece of good news is the recipe took me 15 minutes to assemble and pop into the oven. I actually baked on a weeknight. Obscene! If the idea of savoury and/or meat-filled muffins don't appeal, I'll keep trying. 

Adapted From:


  • 2 lbs ground chicken or turkey
  • 3 egg whites
  • 1 cup cooking oats
  • 1/2 t ground cumin
  • 1/2 t dried thyme
  • 2 t ground mustard
  • 1 t pepper
  • 1 t chipotle pepper powder
  • 1 t salt
  • 2 cloves garlic minced or 2 T garlic powder
  • 1 small onion, chopped
  • 2 stalks celery, diced


Preheat your oven to 375 degrees. Spray a 12-piece muffin pan with a non-stick spray or coat ever-so-lightly with butter smudged on a piece of wax paper.  Mix all ingredients into one bowl and blend with your hands. Roll the mixture into balls and place them into the muffin tin. Bake for 40 minutes.