Orange Muffins (Nonnettes) with Grand Marnier

October 3rd, 2019

IMG_9081 (1)

Nonnettes are tender little muffins originating in Dijon, France.  What sets them apart is the warm spice (pain d’epices) which is a blend including cinnamon, ginger, star anise, cardamom, cloves, nutmeg and coriander.  It is easy to make and I will include the recipe at the bottom of this post.

IMG_9083 (1)

In addition to the spices, the Nonnettes have a filling of orange marmalade, orange zest and Grand Marnier.  They are perfect for the Fall weather to come.  It is still summer on Lake Lure even in these early days of October.

IMG_9128

I made these Nonnettes a few months ago and photographed them.  The leftovers were frozen.  I forgot to add the drizzle to them before I froze them.  The muffins above came from the freezer.  I added the glaze and enjoyed them just as much as when they were freshly made.

ORANGE MUFFINS (NONNETTES) WITH GRAND MARNIER (Adapted from The French Life)

3/4 Cup Water
7 Tbls Butter
3/4 cup Honey
1/4 cup Light Brown Sugar
1 Tbls Pain d’épices spices
2 Tbls Grand Marnier
3/4 Cup Whole Wheat Flour
1/2 Cup All-Purpose-Flour
1 Tbls Baking Powder
Zest of 1 Orange
6 tsps. Orange Marmalade
3 Tbls Orange Juice
1/3 to 1/2 cup Confectioners’ Sugar

Heat water, butter, honey and sugar, just until butter is melted. Remove from the heat and stir in the spices and Grand Marnier. In a large bowl whisk the flours and baking powder. Add the orange zest and stir to combine. Pour in the syrup (it should still be fairly hot). Stir until combined. Flour and butter a 12-hole muffin tin. Divide the batter over the holes. Chill for half an hour. Preheat the oven to 400°F. Using a teaspoon, make a little well in the center of the batter and fill with half a tsp of marmalade. Bake the nonnettes for 20 minutes. The nonnettes should be tender and spring back when pressed. Allow to cool completely before unmolding. Place the nonnettes on a rack, making sure there is a sheet of tin foil underneath it. Make a thin glaze by whisking the orange juice into the powdered sugar. Drizzle over the nonnettes and leave to set.

Pain d’épices Spices:
2 tsp cinnamon
2 tsp ginger
4 whole star anise ground
1 tsp cardamom
1 tsp ground cloves
1 tsp nutmeg
1 tsp coriander

Use 1 tablespoon of this mixture in the muffins and save the rest.

Printable Recipe

Cottage Cheese and Bacon and Egg Breakfast Muffins

August 22nd, 2019

IMG_9111

One of my favorite “low-carb conscious” recipe websites is Kalyn’s Kitchen.  She has creative recipes for South Beach, Paleo and Keto diets to name a few.  David has been on the Keto diet for long enough for it to have become a lifestyle choice.  Sometimes he craves more than bacon and eggs for breakfast.  These muffins made with mostly almond flour fit the bill.  There is a small amount of flour in the mix, but not enough to give him pause.  The muffins are spiked with bacon crumbles, green onions and Parmesan cheese.  I love them too.

IMG_9112

I thank Kalyn for this wonderful recipe.  I may serve them when the whole family comes for the Labor Day Weekend.  They are quick to assemble and will be an easy breakfast for 14 people all on different schedules.  Let the fun begin!  Happy Fall.

COTTAGE CHEESE AND BACON AND EGG BREAKFAST MUFFINS (Slightly adapted from Kayln’s Kitchen)

INGREDIENTS:

  • 2/3 cup cottage cheese (regular or low-fat)
  • 1/2 cup grated Parmesan cheese
  • 1/4 cup white whole wheat flour
  • 2/3 cup almond meal
  • 1 tsp. baking powder
  • 1/2 tsp. salt
  • 3 T water
  • 4 eggs, beaten
  • 4 strips bacon, cooked until crisp, fat blotted with paper towel, then crumbled
  • 3 T thinly sliced green onion (scallions)

DIRECTIONS:

  1. Preheat oven to 400 F. Spray muffin tins with cooking spray
  2. In mixing bowl, combine cottage cheese, Parmesan cheese, white whole wheat flour, almond meal , salt, water, and beaten egg. Mix well.
  3. Gently mix in crumbled bacon and green onion, until well distributed in batter.
  4. Fill muffin cups 3/4 full with cottage cheese and egg mixture.
  5. Bake 25 -30 minutes, until muffins are firm and lightly browned.

Printable Recipe

Southern Biscuits and The James Beard Outstanding Chef Award

June 19th, 2019

Ashley Christensen James Beard 2019

I am beyond excited about the results of this year’s James Beard Awards ceremony.  The winner of Outstanding Chef of the year is Ashley Christensen of Poole’s Diner in Raleigh North Carolina. Her empire has expanded to several other restaurants in Raleigh.  We spend a lot of time in the Raleigh area because our family is there.  Eating at Poole’s Diner has been on our bucket list, but it hasn’t happened yet.  The lines are long and reservations are not taken.  We even have a kitchen connection.  Our DIL Kristen’s brother David is one of the line cooks at the restaurant.  We will make it in there one of these days.  Her other local restaurants are Death and Taxes which specializes in Wood Fired cooking, Beasley’s Chicken + Honey for fried chicken, biscuits and waffles, Chuck’s for burgers, Poole’s side Pies for Pizza and Fox Liquor Bar, a subterranean drinking den.  The chef is multi-talented.

Chef Ashley Christensen’s first restaurant, Poole’s Diner hit the mark for traditional Southern fare with a creative edge.  Her signature macaroni and cheese au gratin is the most popular item on the menu.  You can find the recipe here.

pooles-macaroni-au-gratin-angie-mosier1

But the reason I am thrilled by Ashley Christensen’s recognition  is because she is a good person.  There is no cheffy persona in her wheelhouse.  She has turned her celebrated life toward good works.  She was quoted as saying  “I think that philanthropy, through restaurants, will ultimately end up being my life’s work.”  She works for both the Southern Foodways Alliance and the Frankie Lemmons School for Disabled Children.  The local Stir the Pot fund raiser is also one of her projects.  Supporting her community and other chefs is what she is all about. IMG_9041

In honor of her Southern roots, I want to share this biscuit recipe that I have found to be a winner.  I could never find Ashley’s biscuit recipe on line, but I have a feeling that it might be close to this one.  The flakey layers are obvious in these biscuits.  It is important to keep the butter cold while working the biscuits.  Instead of cutting the butter into the flour, which will warm the butter, the stick of butter is frozen and then grated directly into the flour and stirred in.   Working and turning the dough a few times ensures that it is not overly handled and produces many layers.  Making these biscuits puts me in mind of Edna Lewis, Ashley Christensen and all of the Southern cooks that have made our region recognized for its creative cuisine.  Congratulations to Ashley Christensen, a North Carolina native.

FLAKEY BUTTERMILK BISCUITS

Ingredients

  • 2 cups all-purpose flour (250g)
  • 1 Tablespoon baking powder
  • 1 Tablespoon granulated sugar
  • 1 teaspoon salt
  • 6 Tablespoons unsalted butter (Frozen) 
  • 3/4 cup Buttermilk

Instructions

Preheat oven to 425 degrees F.  Line a baking sheet with parchment paper.

Combine the dry ingredients.

With a box grater, grate the frozen stick of butter into the flour mixture.  Stir into mixture. Add the buttermilk and stir just until combined.

Dump the mixture onto a floured board.  Lightly flour top of dough and shape into a rectangle.  Gentle fold into thirds like a letter.  Rotate the dough 90 degrees and fold again.  Repeat several times.

Gently flatten dough to 1″ thick.  Using a 2 3/4″ biscuit cutter, cut out about 3 biscuits.  Pull dough back together and cut the remainder into biscuits.  You will get about 6 biscuits.

Place biscuits on baking sheet and bake for 12-15 minutes.  Remove from oven and brush the tops with melted butter.

PRINTABLE RECIPE

Sausage, Cheese Balls (Lower Carb)

January 30th, 2019

IMG_8860

With the Super Bowl approaching, I wanted to make an appetizer that my husband would enjoy on his low Carb diet.  Over Christmas I made sausage cheese balls the way most people make them with Bisquick, sausage and cheese.  We both love this old standby.  I decided to experiment with lessoning the carbs by using almond flour.  But almond flour does not have a leavening agent like Bisquick.  After several attempts, I settled on a combination of almond flour, baking powder and Bisquick.  I halved the amount of Bisquick and combined the baking powder with the almond flour for the other half of the dry ingredients.

IMG_8862I loved the results.  Another tip for mixing the ingredients is to bring the grated cheese and sausage to room temperature before mixing them together.  Then add the dry ingredients.  All of this should be done by hand.

Deland ShoppingA friend and I spent a day in DeLand, Florida, a small inland community about 20 miles from New Smyrna Beach.  It is a vibrant community with lots of shops and restaurants.  One of my favorite shops is Anna Bananas. The subheading of the shop is Recycled, Repurposed and Reclaimed.

Anna Bananas

The owners build furniture using antique elements and creative uses of old wood.

Deland Lunch

We had lunch al fresco at a delightful restaurant (BakeChop) in a spiffed up alley.  It was a warm and sunny day; one of few that we have had in Florida lately.   The BLT on sourdough bread was great, but the chickpea salad with Brussel sprout leaves, tomatoes and red onions was a real winner.  The chickpeas were crispy and the dressing light.  I will have to experiment with duplicating this take on three bean salad.

IMG_8853

Enjoy the Super Bowl.  Hope you give this adaptation of Sausage Cheese Balls a try.

SAUSAGE CHEESE BALLS (LOWER CARB)

1 Pound Breakfast Sausage (Hot or Mild or a combination)
8 Oz. Sharp Cheddar Cheese
1 cup Bisquick Baking Mix
1 cup Almond Flour
1/2 teaspoon Baking Powder

Grate the cheese into a large bowl and bring to room temperature.  At the same time, bring the sausage to room temperature.

While cheese and sausage are resting, combine the Bisquick, almond flour and baking powder in a small bowl.

With your hands, combine the cheese and sausage until well blended.  Add the dry ingredients and roll and squeeze until the flour is fully combined with the cheese mixture.

Preheat oven to 375 degrees.  Line baking sheet with parchment paper or use a non-stick baking sheet.

Form mixture into about 1 inch balls and line baking sheet with them.  I can get 24 balls unto the pan.  The recipe makes about 48 balls.

Bake for 15-17 minutes.

Printable Recipe

Buttermilk Cornbread

March 8th, 2018

Buttermilk Cornbread

Crumbly, rich cornbread always has a place of honor on my table.  My favorite is Rosa’s Cornbread which I blogged about here.  But Rosa’s Cornbread is almost too rich for most meals.  I save it for our yearly New Year’s Day celebration.  I found this recipe in a Southern Living Cookbook.  It has much less fat and more buttermilk.  Since I had a carton of buttermilk in the refrigerator that needed to be used, this was the perfect way to accomplish that.

Buttermilk Cornbread

This is a winner with its golden crust and tender crumb.

Blue Wave

We are enjoying the restaurants in New Smyrna Beach.  I loved this wall of herbs at the entrance to The Third Wave Cafe.  The secret garden behind the restaurant is a favorite place to eat.

Third Wave Cafe

It is a magical spot at night.

Chicken Salad Third Wave

The food is sourced from local farmers.  The chicken salad croissant is made from organic chicken, dried cranberries, orange mayonnaise, apples and mixed greens.  The evening menu includes tapas, wood-fired pizzas and full entrees like Shrimp and Grits and Shrimp and Scallop Scampi.

Forgive me for not blogging more often, but we have been very busy this winter.  Our friends will arrive for bike week tomorrow so I probably won’t be on my blog for a little while.  We return to Lake Lure the first of April.

If you like cornbread, I think you will like this one.  Hope you give it a try.

BUTTERMILK CORNBREAD (Southern Living)

1/3 cup butter
2 cups self-rising white cornmeal mix like White Lily
3/4 cup all-purpose flour
1 Tablespoon sugar
2 1/4 cups buttermilk
2 large eggs

Place butter in a 10-inch cast-iron skillet, and heat in a 425 degree oven 5 minutes or until melted.

Combine cornmeal mix, flour, and sugar in a large bowl.

Stir together buttermilk and eggs.  Add to dry ingredients; stir just until moistened.  Pour over melted butter in skillet.

Bake at 425 degrees for 25 to 30 minutes or until golden.  Cut into wedges.  Makes 6 servings.

Printable Recipe

© Penny Klett, Lake Lure Cottage Kitchen. All rights reserved.