Gluten-Free Cinnamon Raisin Bread

Gluten Free Cinnamon Raisin BreadOver the past few weeks, I have shared with you the two recipes that changed my attitude about gluten-free baking completely.  After so many nasty results with very expensive ingredients, I was ready to give up all together but then tried my Amazing Gluten-Free Chocolate Chip Cookies and the Best Gluten-Free Flour Blend.  I am once again a happy consumer of baked goods :)

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Using the above mentioned flour blend,  I present to you the most remarkable Gluten-Free Cinnamon Raisin Bread.  GF bread is a really, really, really hard item to make taste anything like its gluten loaded cousin since it is that dreaded gluten that gives bread amazing chew and texture.  However, my best friends at America’s Test Kitchen created the most amazing GF recipes that make me so happy and not feel deprived or sad anymore.  They are my heros!  I can’t recommend their Gluten Free cookbook enough.

DSC_0006If you don’t have powdered psyllium husk on hand (and I highly doubt you do) please don’t be tempted to skip this crucial ingredient.  Remember that chew and texture I was talking about?  The psyllium husk is the magic ingredient that gives gluten free bread just that!  Also, if you have a bigger loaf pan than 8.5 x 4.5, your bread will turn out a little shorter than mine did, but no worries, because it will still be a rockstar result :) DSC_0027

Gluten Free Cinnamon Raisin Bread

Ingredients

  • 2 C warm water
  • 2 large eggs
  • 2 Tb butter, melted
  • 3 C plus 2 Tb gluten free flour blend (click here for the best recipe)
  • 1 1/3 C oat flour (or just process some whole oats into flour)
  • 1/2 C dry milk powder
  • 3 Tb powdered psyllium husk
  • 1/4 C sugar
  • 1 package yeast
  • 2 tsp baking powder
  • 1 1/2 tsp salt
  • 1 C raisins
  • Filling
  • 1/2 C powdered sugar
  • 4 tsp ground cinnamon
  • 1/2 tsp salt

Instructions

  1. Attach the paddle to your mixer and mix together the water, eggs and butter. Add all the dry ingredients, except for the raisins. Mix on medium speed for about 6 minutes, stopping once to scrape down the bowl. The dough will be very sticky and look more like cookie dough than bread dough. Add the raisins and mix to combine.
  2. Spray a sheet of parchment paper with nonstick spray. Place half of the dough onto the parchment paper and using wet hands, pat the dough into a 8 x 11 inch rectangle. In a small bowl, mix together the powdered sugar, cinnamon and salt for the filling then sprinkle half of it over the surface of the flattened dough. Lightly spray the dough with some water to moisten the sugar a little bit.
  3. With the shorter side of the dough towards you, use the parchment to help you roll up the flattened dough into a log, pinching the seam closed once it is rolled together. Place the log, seam side up, into a greased 8.5 x 4.5 inch loaf pan. Repeat the same process with the other half of the dough and filling, but being sure to place the seam side down when you place the second log on top of the first log in the pan. Spray the top of the loaf with some water and smooth out the surface if it is rough.
  4. Using a long piece of aluminum foil, long enough to wrap around the outside of your loaf pan, fold it over on itself, lengthwise, two times. Tightly wrap the top lip of your loaf pan with this aluminum foil extension and secure it with staples. This bread is very soft and will need the extra support from this foil band as it rises and bakes above the edge of the loaf pan. Loosely cover with plastic wrap and allow it to rise for 1 hour.
  5. Preheat oven to 350 degrees and bake in the center rack until the top is golden brown, the crust is firm and the loaf sounds hallow when tapped, about 1 hour 15 minutes. Let bread cool in the pan for about 10 minutes before removing it from the loaf pan and cooling completely on a wire rack, about two hours.
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Basil and Balsamic Italian Chicken

Now that we are all back into the swing of the school year schedule at Casa Jones, I’m reminded of why I struggle so much with those dreaded hours from the time my kiddos walk in the back door until we are all sitting down at the table for dinner.  It is nothing short of complete chaos!  Each of my many children has a different story to tell me about their day, plus different school assignments to complete, plus different extra curricular activities all at different locations at different times.  I know you are in the same tumultuous situation as me and I firmly believe that the fact that we all successfully navigate it day after day is nothing short of a miracle.  We are awesome! Now, before we get all prideful and puffed up on our awesomeness, I have yet to mention the most dreaded aspect of our after school pandemonium:  DINNER! Basil & Balsamic Italian Chicken I am certainly not a newbie to this mom job and have plenty of experience with six kids, but even after all these years, it still shocks me when I look at the clock to discover how cruelly 6:00 pm has snuck up on me.  Now, I may be religious at my menu planning each week and sticking to that plan when I go grocery shopping, but I often get too adventurous in what I plan to make and don’t realistically consider the time I will have to make that weeknight dish.  So when I find it is suddenly time for dinner and I have nothing quick to make, it often results in something quick like pancakes or cold cereal for dinner.  While my children get excited seeing breakfast for dinner, it is really important to me to gather my whole family together every night for dinner, which means it is important to have something healthy and delicious to offer as well. In an attempt to become more successful at actually preparing the meals I have already planned out and shopped for, I am working hard to create some new dishes that can be thrown together in under 30 minutes.
Since my kids’ favorite form of protein is chicken, I was excited when I was asked to create a new recipe for Tyson® Fresh Chicken.  I was already an avid user of their products because I love that I am feeding my family chicken that is all natural* with no added hormones and steroids**.  Plus, it arrives fresh to my store within days of leaving the family farms that have been producing this chicken for over 75 years. My Basil and Balsamic Italian Chicken was a massive hit with my family.  So much amazing flavor packed into each bite and I loved it because it was so quick to throw together.  Honest.  It took me less than 30 minutes!
To help you in your own mission to provide your family healthy and amazing dinners at your table, one of my readers has a chance to win a custom gift basket with kitchen gadgets and goodies thanks to Tyson Fresh Chicken! To enter this sweepstakes, simply leave me a comment on this post answering the following question, “What is your favorite quick and easy dinner to serve your family?” 
Basil & Balsamic Italian Chicken

Total Time: 30 minutes

Serving Size: 6

Ingredients

  • 6 Tyson Boneless, Skinless Chicken Breasts
  • 1 lemon
  • salt, pepper, garlic & onion powder
  • 2/3 C balsamic vinegar
  • 1 C fresh basil leaves, chopped finely
  • 3 large garlic cloves, minced
  • 1/3 C extra virgin olive oil
  • 1 tsp salt
  • 1/2 tsp pepper
  • 2 large tomatoes, sliced
  • 4 ounces fresh mozzarella cheese, sliced

Instructions

  1. Preheat oven to 425 degrees and spray a cookie sheet with nonstick spray. Lay the chicken breasts smooth side down on the pan and squeeze half the lemon over the top, then sprinkle on a good amount of the salt, pepper, garlic and onion powder. Flip the chicken over and repeat on the other side. Bake in the oven for 20-25 minutes until the juices run clear. The time will depend on the size of your chicken breasts.
  2. While the chicken is baking, place the balsamic vinegar in a small skillet and bring it to a boil over medium high heat and allow it to reduce to a syrup like consistency, which takes about 5-8 minutes.
  3. In a small bowl, combine the chopped basil, garlic, olive oil, salt and pepper then set aside.
  4. Once the chicken is baked, remove from the oven and layer on slices of tomato topped with slices of mozzarella cheese. Return to the oven for a couple minutes until the cheese melts.
  5. To serve, top each chicken breast with the basil mixture and then drizzle the reduced balsamic vinegar over the top.

Notes

*Chicken must be cooked to an internal temperature of 170 degrees for boneless products and 180 degrees for bone in chicken products.

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This giveaway is open to US Residents age 18 or older. Winners will be selected via random draw, and will be notified by e-mail. The notification email will come directly from BlogHer via the sweeps@blogher email address. You will have 72 hours to respond; otherwise a new winner will be selected. The Official Rules are available here. This sweepstakes runs from 8/27 – 10/26. Be sure to visit the Tyson Fresh Chicken brand page on BlogHer.com where you can read other bloggers’ posts!  

*Minimally processed.  No artificial ingredients.  **Federal regulations prohibit the use of added hormones or steroids in chicken.



Scrambled Eggs in a Mug

As a momma to six kiddos, every Tuesday I am sharing my tips, recipes and anecdotes related to bringing out every kid’s culinary potential.

Click HERE to see all the posts in this series!

Kids in the KitchenLast week, I began my fifth year as the Seminary teacher for a wonderful group of high school students.  They come to class every school day morning, at a bright and early 6:00 am to be instructed and grow their religious education.  As their teacher, I am continually amazed at their faith, dedication and commitment to what they believe.  It is an honor to be their teacher.Scrambled Eggs in a MugAfter class is over each morning, I have to resume my regular role of Mom and rush to get my kids out the door in 30 minutes.  To say it is a crazy and hectic half hour would be quite the understatement.  It is mayhem.

One of the biggest stress inducers is what the kids are going to eat for breakfast because most mornings, they are on their own while I am packing lunches, styling hair, signing daily assignments and getting little ones dressed.  Cold cereal is easy, but it isn’t my favorite as a Mom.  Not only is it mega expensive, it usually isn’t the healthiest option out there either.  That is when amazingly simple breakfast options like these Scrambled Eggs in a Mug save the day!  Not only can my kids make it for themselves, it takes less than a couple minutes from start to finish!

Scrambled Eggs in a Mug

Ingredients

  • 2 large eggs
  • dash of milk
  • salt and pepper to taste

Instructions

  1. Spray a coffee mug with nonstick spray and add the eggs, milk, salt and pepper. Use a fork to mix together until combined. Microwave on high for 45 seconds, then mix well again with the fork. Return to the microwave for another 30 seconds to finish cooking. **Microwave times will vary depending on the strength of your microwave.
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Brown Butter Blueberry Muffins

Are you tired of all the first day of school photos all over social media yet?  If so, I am deeply sorry because I wouldn’t be a true “mommy blogger” if I didn’t share mine :)  Since I have six kids, I will spare you from scrolling through six different pictures of the cutest kids in the world.  Instead, I created a collage of all six into one.  You’re welcome.
1st DayNow that my proud mommy moment is finished, I will move on to what you are all really here to see…..the best blueberry muffins to ever come out of my oven.  Wooooo Weeeee Momma were these good!

Best Blueberry MuffinsThe browned butter creates an amazing richness, and a muffin wouldn’t be a muffin without a great streusel topping.  They are moist, not overly sweet and just down-right perfect!  Make a double batch and freeze some for later, but don’t tell your kids about the ones hiding in the freezer because you might discover them gone when you go to grab one for a quick breakfast.  I speak from experience on this one, so trust me.

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Brown Butter Blueberry Muffins

Yield: 18 muffins

Ingredients

  • 14 Tb butter
  • 2/3 C buttermilk
  • 2 eggs
  • 2 egg yolks
  • 2 tsp vanilla extract
  • 3 C flour
  • 1 1/2 C sugar
  • 3 tsp baking powder
  • 1 1/2 tsp salt
  • 1 pint fresh blueberries
  • For the streusel:
  • 6 Tb cold butter
  • 1 C flour
  • 6 Tb sugar

Instructions

  1. Preheat oven to 375 degrees and line your muffin tins with papers. In a small saucepan over medium heat, melt the butter and allow it to crackle and pop after it melts. It will turn a deep brown color once it begins to foam and this means it is browned and done. Pour into a bowl to cool.
  2. While the browned butter is cooling, mix together the flour, sugar, baking powder, salt and fresh blueberries in a large bowl. Set aside.
  3. In a separate medium sized bowl, beat together the buttermilk, eggs, yolks and vanilla. Once the browned butter has cooled, add it to the egg mixture. Pour it over the flour mixture and carefully fold the two together. Do NOT over mix or your muffins will turn out tough! You want it to just barely come together. Evenly divide the batter among the muffin tins.
  4. For the streusel topping, cut together the cold butter with the flour and sugar until the butter pieces are evenly small. Sprinkle a generous amount of the streusel over each muffin and bake for 25 minutes, or until the middle of the muffin springs back when you touch it. Allow the baked muffins to cool for 10 minutes before removing them from the pan to cool completely on a wire rack.
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