Monday, September 17, 2012


Ever heard of a puffin? Neither had I. That is, until this recipe. It's basically a pancake muffin that kids (and kids at heart) will love. It's pretty simple and you can use any number of ingredients to create your own concoction. The following one is filled with chocolate chips - my personal fave. Yum! Enjoy!

Mini Maple Chocolate Chip Pancake Muffins 
(that's the "official" name of this recipe)
Makes 24 mini muffins

1 cup flour
1 tsp. baking powder
1/2 tsp. baking soda
1/4 tsp. salt
2 tbsp. sugar
2/3 cup buttermilk
1 egg
2 tbsp. pure maple syrup
2 tbsp. melted butter
1/2 cup milk chocolate chips

Preheat oven to 350 degrees.

Combine flour, baking powder, baking soda, salt and sugar in a medium bowl. Sift together with a wire whisk.

In another bowl, stir buttermilk, egg, maple syrup and melted butter until just combines.

Add wet ingredients to dry ingredients and stir with a spoon until well combined.

Stir in chocolate chips. Reserve a few chocolate chips to sprinkle on the tops.

Bake for 8-9 minutes.

Monday, September 10, 2012

Salami Caprese Salad

This salad is clearly an oxymoron. It is hearty, yet light. No matter. The combination of flavors are fresh and dee-lishous! And it's such a pretty salad to bring to a potluck or when guests come over. I would wait to drizzle the balsamic vinaigrette on top of it until right before serving so the mozzarella cheese stays nice and white to contrast the beautiful colors in the salad. And voila! You have the perfect lunch or side dish.

Salami Caprese Salad
Serves 4

For the pasta salad:
1 container fresh mozzarella cheese balls (8 ounces)
1-1/2 cups cut sweet grape, teardrop or cherry tomatoes
16 slices of salami
2 tbsp. of olive oil
1/3cup thinly slice basil
1/2 cup cooked small size penne pasta

For the balsamic vinaigrette:
2 tbsp. balsamic vingear
1/4 cup olive oil
2 tsp. brown sugar
2 dashes garlic powder
3 dashes ground black pepper
3 dashes salt

For the pasta salad:
Boil water in a medium size pot and add the pasta. Let cook until al dente (approximately 10 minutes) and then rinse, and set aside.

Drain the liquid out of the container of mozzarella cheese. Add the mozzarella cheese to a large bowl.

Cut the tomatoes in half width-wise, and add to the bowl.

Then cut each piece of salami into 6 triangular pieces (like you would cut a pizza), and add to the bowl.

Next add the pasta, olive oil and salt and pepper to the bowl.

Gently stir all the ingredients together so that the pasta is coated with the olive oil, salt and pepper.

Top with the thinly sliced fresh basil.

For the balsamic vinaigrette:
Add all of the ingredients in a small bowl and whisk together.

Just before serving, drizzle the vinaigrette on top of the salami caprese pasta salad.