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Matcha White Chocolate Mini Muffins

Matcha White Chocolate Mini Muffins

matcha white chocolate mini muffins

I’ve been having a lot of fun lately creating recipes like these Matcha White Chocolate Mini Muffins that make use of my mini-muffin tin.  Mini muffins are such a perfect work snack.  I love having a couple of muffins with coffee first thing in the morning while I figure out what my day is going to look like and prioritize my to-do list.

Plus, we are getting close to St. Patrick’s Day, and I feel like I’d be remiss as a food blogger if I didn’t eke out at least one sort-of-green recipe.  Matcha White Chocolate Mini Muffins aren’t intensely green, but definitely have the light spring green hue of matcha going on.  I love the intense green tea flavor that matcha brings to these, as well as the soft sweetness of the mini white chocolate chips.  As yummy as these are with my morning espresso, they are also great as a treat served with more green tea.  My two favorite green teas (outside of matcha, of course) are Moroccan Mint Green Tea and Genmaicha, which is a green tea combined with toasted rice.  Trust me, it’s delicious.  These are even better when served alongside matcha white chocolate mini muffins.

The batter for these muffins is silky and lovely.  After mixing the ingredients, it takes just a scant tablespoon to fill up each muffin cup.

Matcha White Chocolate Mini Muffins

The muffins bake for about 20 minutes (or until a skewer poked in the middle comes out clean).  They definitely need to cool, as the matcha seeps a bit while the muffins are still warm.  Once they’ve cooled though, they are heavenly.

Matcha White Chocolate Mini Muffins

Matcha White Chocolate Mini Muffins

Matcha White Chocolate Mini Muffins

Matcha White Chocolate Mini Muffins

Enjoy these Matcha White Chocolate Mini Muffins with a cup of green tea, while gazing out the window and looking at the daffodils blooming.  Trust me, it will be worth it.

Matcha White Chocolate Mini Muffins

Ingredients

  • 1/2 cup butter, softened
  • 1/3 cup plain Greek yogurt
  • 1/4 cup sugar
  • 1 egg
  • 1 1/2 teaspoons Matcha tea powder
  • 1/2 teaspoon vanilla
  • 3/4 cup all-purpose flour
  • 1/2 teaspoon baking powder
  • 1/2 teaspoon baking soda
  • 1/4 teaspoon salt
  • 1/3 cup mini white chocolate chips

Instructions

  1. Preheat oven to 350 degrees.
  2. Cream the butter and sugar in a medium sized bowl. Add the eggs, vanilla, matcha powder, and Greek yogurt and mix.
  3. In a separate bowl, combine the flour, baking powder, baking soda, and salt. Add the dry ingredients to the wet ingredients a bit at a time until all the dry ingredients are combined.
  4. Add the mini white chocolate chips. Stir to combine.
  5. Butter or line each cup of a mini-muffin pan. Spoon a tablespoon of the muffin batter into each cup.
  6. Bake for 15 minutes or until a knife or toothpick entered into the center of a muffin comes out clean.
  7. Enjoy!
  8. Makes 24 mini-muffins
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Check out these items similar to those I’ve used in my post:

 

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Santa Fe Chocolate Chip Cookie Baked Oatmeal

Santa Fe Chocolate Chip Cookie Baked Oatmeal

Santa Fe Chocolate Chip Cookies Baked Oatmeal

Disclosure: This post contains sponsored content brought to you by Flavahan’s.  I received free products to use in this promotion, but all opinions expressed in this post are 100% my own. 

I’m partnering with Flahavan’s for this Santa Fe chocolate chip cookie baked oatmeal recipe.  Flahavan’s is an Irish company that’s been milling oats for over 200 years.  I always think it is kind of wonderful when a company has been around since the late 1700s and has been family run throughout multiple generations.  Both of these are true for Flahavan’s.  They also are a company that values environmental sustainability and sources from local farmers.  In addition to being available via Amazon, Flahavan’s products are also available at Whole Foods here in the PNW.  Happy day – when I run out of the box they sent me, I can go buy more!  I was really delighted with how flaky and easy to cook the oats were.  Best yet, they produce an instant steel cut oatmeal that can be microwaved.  My favorite go-to breakfast when I’m traveling is oatmeal, as it can be easily packed and made (if necessary) using a hotel room’s coffee maker to heat up water, so the instant steel cut oat packets were perfect for my quick business road-trip this week.

instant steel cut oatmeal

Back to the Santa Fe chocolate chip cookie baked oatmeal.  I’ve been looking for an oatmeal recipe that both Clay (my husband) and I can enjoy.  I love oatmeal – the texture doesn’t bother me a bit.  But Clay is not a fan, at all.  At the same time, we both know that oats are incredibly healthy to eat and we probably don’t get enough whole grains in our diet.  I had Clay try the Santa Fe chocolate chip cookie baked oatmeal when it came out of the oven and his response was enthusiastic – he really likes the texture of the baked oatmeal.  We have a winner and a new recipe to add to our weekend breakfast repertoire.

Santa Fe Chocolate Chip Baked Oatmeal

I opted to add in pine nuts on this one because the combination of chocolate chips and pine nuts always transports me back to New Mexico.  While I’m a perfectly happy PNW transplant (yay for rainy weather this week!), I have a special place in my heart for Northern New Mexico.  Some of my best vacations were spent with Clay in Santa Fe and at Ojo Caliente (which is a hot springs resort close to Taos, New Mexico).  Pine nuts are a frequent ingredient in New Mexican cooking and I’ll always remember my first taste of a chocolate chip cookie with pine nuts.  The flavor evokes the smell of a burning pinion in a fire in a kiva, the smell of creosote after the rain, and the smell of warm pine in summer.

Santa Fe Chocolate Chip Baked Oatmeal

Baked oatmeal is so incredibly easy to make.  It took me about 5 minutes to gather all the ingredients and mix them up and then it went into the oven for 40 minutes and came out a perfectly moist, slightly chocolatey-gooey, wonderful breakfast.  The leftovers held up just fine in the fridge and I’ve been taking a serving with me each day to heat up at work in the afternoon for a coffee break snack.

Santa Fe Chocolate Chip Baked Oatmeal

Santa Fe Chocolate Chip Baked Oatmeal

Santa Fe Chocolate Chip Baked Oatmeal

Ingredients

  • 3 cups rolled oats
  • 1 teaspoon baking powder
  • ¼ teaspoon salt
  • ½ cup pine nuts
  • ¼ cup chocolate chips or chunks
  • 1 cup milk
  • 1/3 cup maple syrup
  • ¼ cup coconut oil
  • 1 large egg
  • 1 teaspoon vanilla extract

Instructions

  1. Preheat oven to 350 degrees
  2. Butter an 8 inch by 8 inch baking pan.
  3. In a small bowl, combine the oats, baking powder, salt, pine nuts, and chocolate chips. In a larger bowl, combine the milk, maple syrup, coconut oil, egg, and vanilla extract. Stir to combine.
  4. Add the dry ingredients to the wet and stir until the mixture is thoroughly incorporated.
  5. Pour the mix into the prepared baking pan. Bake for 40-50 minutes or until the oats are soft and the top looks lightly browned. Enjoy!
  6. Serves 4 – 6
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Spooky Halloween Onigiri

Spooky Halloween Onigiri

Halloween is almost here!  This year, I’m feeling particularly inspired – I think it started with our neighbors decorating their yard with tombstones and skeletons, and I realized I’ve been sad that I haven’t done anything Halloween-y for the past two years (lots of reasons – but mostly around a work life that just ate all my enthusiasm).  It helped, too, that the movie for Food ‘n Flix for October was Beetlejuice hosted by Deb at Kahakai KitchenBeetlejuice is one of my favorite Halloween movies.  First, it’s a Tim Burton film and I love the Burton universe with its over-the-top weird. Second, it’s not a scary, slasher film – I’m not a fan of those.  I also discovered, as I was writing this post, that there is another Burton related challenge this month (Fandom Foodies) hosted on Witchy Kitchen.  It’s #Burtoween!

So in honor of all things beautiful and strange and Burton-esque, I made Spooky Halloween Onigiri for my Beetlejuice inspired post.  I love onigiri – they are such a simple lunch snack to make, consisting of sushi rice, filling and nori.  I did a Fubonn run after work on Friday (Fubonn is the spectacular Asian grocery store on 82nd and Division in SE Portland) and bought umeboshi, which are very tart, salty and sweet plums that are used as a filling for onigiri.  I used both umeboshi and tomolives (pickled green tomatoes – more about these later this week) as my fillings.  The Spooky Halloween Onigiri get their shape from some Wilton Halloween molds from Amazon.  These onigiri make such a good lunch.  They are perfect as part of a bento box and would be great served with some roasted squash or a small salad.  Wrapped tightly in plastic wrap, they survive fairly well for a day or two in the refrigerator, though if you are planning to store, I recommend keeping the nori separate until you are about to eat (it can get soggy).

I can completely see dancing sushi rice in the Burton universe, as well as onigiri decorated as spooks, bats, and Jack-O-Lanterns.  Nori is a perfect decorating tool for these onigiri.  I also realized belatedly that onigiri could so easily be decorated as Jack Skelington – I can just see it and probably ought to go make it.  I love having fancy onigiri in my lunchbox – it makes me smile in the middle of the day.

halloween-molds

These are the molds I used for the onigiri.

halloween-onigiri

onigiri-with-bat

That bottom thing is a bat – probably not the best mold for this purpose

Spooky Halloween Onigiri
Serves 2

3/4 cup sushi rice (be sure to use sushi rice – any other rice will not stick together as well)
1 cup water
1 sheet nori
Filling – umeboshi, tomolives, smoked fish, olives, etc. (the best fillings for onigiri are salty or tart – or both)

Combine the sushi rice and water in a small saucepan and bring to a boil.  Cover and turn heat to low.  Simmer for 20 minutes.  Turn off the heat and let the rice sit for 10 minutes.

Cut the nori into various shapes to decorate the onigiri.  If you are using molds, the nori can be used to make eyes, mouths, etc. or can be used in one long strip to ring the onigiri.  Set the nori aside.

When the rice is slightly cool (but still warm to the touch), moisten your hands to keep the rice from sticking to them and shape the rice into the desired shape.  Create an indent in the middle of the rice and fill with your chosen fillings.  Cover the fillings with more rice or shape the rice around the filling.  Decorate with nori and enjoy!

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Easy Tomato Bruschetta

Easy Tomato Bruschetta

I’ve been on an easy snack food kick all weekend long, which isn’t unusual for me in the summertime.  We are starting to see an abundance of tomatoes in the farmer’s market and in the grocery stores finally, and I even think some of our home-grown tomatoes are considering ripening.  This tomato bruschetta takes advantage of that summer abundance – it’s a great way to use up both tomatoes and basil.

My inspiration for this recipe comes from the movie Juile and Julia, which I admit to watching during a hotel stay recently.  I particularly love the scenes in the movie in which the only reader of Julie’s blog is her mother – I’ve had my own moments starting out with my food blog when I’ve wondered if I have any other readers out there beside my mom and a couple of loyal friends.  But I digress – what really stayed with me was a scene in which Julie is making bruschetta by toasting slices of bread in a pan in a lot of butter.  The golden browned bread is then laden with tomatoes and basil – and dinner is served.  The key here is the butter.  Don’t skimp – it’s not worth it to try to be healthy on this recipe.  The tomatoes are plenty healthy, anyway.

Pair with a light, fruity white wine.  I finished off a bottle of Semillon with this.  It would pair well with a Vinho Verde or similar.

easy tomato bruschetta

Tomato Bruschetta
Serves 2

8 slices of a baguette or similar
2-3 tablespoons butter
1 heirloom tomato
1 small bunch basil (about 8 – 10 leaves)
Olive oil
1 garlic clove, peeled and cut in half
Salt

Melt the butter in a non-stick or cast-iron pan over medium heat.  When the butter is melted, add the bread and toast on each side until it is golden brown.

Meanwhile, chop the tomato into a small dice.  Chop the basil finely and mix basil and tomato together.  Drizzle with olive oil.

Rub the garlic clove half over each slice of toasted bread.  Spoon the tomato and basil mixture on the bread, and sprinkle with a bit of salt.  Enjoy!

Roasted Artichokes

Roasted Artichokes

This week has been all about the easiest route to fresh, good food.  I believe in elaborate snacks at my lunch – the best way for me to get through the day is to have good food to look forward to. Given the time constraints this week, I didn’t have hours to prep this weekend.  I had a few vegetables languishing in the vegetable tray and I wanted to make sure I used them before they became compost.  One of those vegetables was a pair of sangria artichokes we’d picked up last week at Trader Joe’s.  I love artichokes – whether they are designer or not.  I’ll eat them, I’ll grow them and I’ll even let them go to full flower, because they are so lovely (in addition to being tasty).

artichoke_flower

But back to the sangria artichokes.  In addition to being a beautiful deep purple hew, these are named after sangria – and since I also love sangria, I figured the artichokes must be good.  I did a bit of research to find that these are a new kind of artichoke, coming exclusively out of California. I didn’t notice a particularly significant different taste, though they did roast up perfectly with all leaves being very tender.  I think they are just pretty – and what’s the harm in enjoying a pretty, in addition to tasty, snack at work?

sangria_artichoke

Roasted artichokes take about an hour, but the prep time itself is minimal.  I didn’t do anything to these to eat them other than toss on a bit of salt.  If you are going to eat these at work, be sure to have a spoon or knife with you to remove the fuzzy parts from the heart.

artichoke_roasted

Roasted Artichokes
Serves 2

2 large artichokes, stem trimmed and leaves gently spread out
1/2 lemon
2 tablespoons olive oil
Salt to taste

Preheat oven to 425 degrees.  Place each artichoke in a large piece of aluminum foil (large enough to fully wrap the artichoke).  Before you wrap it up, drizzle the artichokes with lemon juice and olive oil.  Sprinkle with salt.  Wrap up the artichokes in the foil and put in a pie pan or on a baking sheet.  Bake for 75 minutes or until a knife can easily pierce the base of the artichoke.  Serve as is or with melted butter with garlic salt.

 

 

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