How to Save Time in the Kitchen

Run all of your errands and still get dinner on the table

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Getting dinner ready and on the table isn’t always easy. After work, soccer practice and taking the dog out for a walk, it’s hard to imagine having the time to make a healthy, home cooked meal. However, believe it or not, cooking doesn’t have to take up half of your day. Here are several useful tips to save time in the kitchen, helping you spend more time with your family and make healthier choices when it comes to food.

Freeze Casseroles

During the week the world is a blur; you’re rushing all over the place with barely any time for yourself. The weekends, however, you might find a bit more time. This is when you can bake up a few casseroles to freeze for the week. Freezing casseroles is especially helpful when you have long days that really prevent you from making it to the store, let alone the stove. The best part? If you write down instructions, just about anyone can reheat a casserole, so the responsibility is not all on you. This delicious Turkey Tetra-Ziti is simple to make and one of our favorites to freeze:

Ingredients

1 medium onion, chopped
5 tablespoons butter
1/2 pound mushrooms, wiped clean and sliced
2 tablespoons Clabber Girl Cornstarch
2 cups chicken broth
1 1/2 cups milk
4 cups coarsely chopped cooked turkey
10 ounces frozen or fresh leaf spinach
1 cup frozen peas
2 tablespoons fresh lemon juice
1/2 teaspoon freshly grated nutmeg
3/4 pound dry ziti or penne pasta
2 cups shredded cheddar or Monterey Jack cheese
1-1/2 cups fresh bread crumbs

Instructions

Ingredient Prep

It’s much less daunting to put together dinner when all the ingredients are cut, measured and ready to go. When you have a free moment, take the time to plan your meals and prep the ingredients. Cut your veggies, measure out your seasonings and go ahead and combine what you can. This way, when 6 p.m. rolls around you aren’t rushing to finish up dinner, but are relaxing while a stew simmers on the stove.

Freeze Breakfast Foods

We all love warm waffles covered in syrup on a sunny Saturday morning, but who has the time for that during the week? You do, if you plan ahead. When you make your traditional weekend waffles, be sure to make about a dozen extra and freeze them. Layer them in a plastic bag with parchment paper between them. Then, come Wednesday morning, you can pull out a handful, put them in the toaster and in a matter of minutes breakfast is served. Make it extra healthy with these 100% Whole Wheat Waffles from the Clabber Girl kitchen.

Homemade meals are important not just for nutrition, but also for bringing your family together. Cutting corners in order to get a healthy meal on the table in less time involves a little culinary cunning. These timesaving tips can help you create a delicious, mouth-watering meal without exhausting yourself at the end of the day.

 

 

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Breakfast Better (and save money!)

Not only do made-from-scratch recipes taste better, but they’re better for your wallet too!

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It’s Tax Day and money is on everyone’s mind. Whether you’re expecting to get a refund or to pay a few additional fees, start your day off right with a big, hearty and delicious breakfast. It will give you the energy you need for those last-minute tax returns, and it will be much cheaper than the pre-made breakfast items you buy at the grocery store or your local bakery. Here are four recipes that will make your pockets jingle with a little extra change. Plus, they’re full of the love that only comes from your own kitchen!

Biscuits:
Few things will make your morning brighter than a hot biscuit smothered in melted butter and fresh fruit preserves. And while a can of biscuits is an easy solution to a breakfast conundrum, they cost 29 cents a biscuit and are loaded with preservatives. A little elbow grease will get your homemade biscuits for 21 cents a biscuit and won’t contain ingredients whose names you can’t pronounce.

Muffins:
Jumbo muffins in the display window at your local bakery sure do look delicious, but the price is not quite as appetizing. You could purchase a pumpkin muffin for a little over $2.00, or you could bake these equally tasty pumpkin pie muffins for about 45 cents per regular-size muffin or 90 cents per jumbo-size muffin. Not only is it cheaper, but you can freeze the leftover muffins for breakfast next week. Talk about convenience!

Pancakes:
Buttermilk pancakes are a staple at all of your favorite diners. But our pancakes will give any pancake house a run for their money. A pancake house may charge more than $5.00 for a stack of five pancakes. However, you can make an entire batch of pancakes for $1.28. Throw a handful of fresh fruit on the top of your pancake stack and it will still be cheaper! Leftovers? Freeze those for a quick breakfast later this week.

Breakfast isn’t the only place where you can save a little money. If pizza is your go-to on soccer practice nights or Friday night family dinners, don’t pick up the phone—start from scratch! Top this pizza dough with tomato sauce, cheese and pepperonis for a mere $6.00. Call any delivery pizza place and you will find yourself paying $15.00.

Not only are home-baked meals cheaper, but they are full of fresh ingredients and allow you to get the family in the kitchen to create lots of love and memories.

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All about Muffins

A favorite food of breakfast, brunch and dinner

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Muffins are one of the most beloved breakfast treats, but why stop there? Moist, flavorful muffins can satisfy your hunger any time of the day. From sweet to savory, you can stock your baking arsenal with a variety of versatile recipes.

Believe it or not, you don’t need a whole afternoon in order to mix, make and bake delicious muffins from scratch. With these simple freezing techniques you can bring muffins to the table for a warm breakfast, a comforting snack or as a savory side at dinner.

Technique One: Bake, Freeze, Heat, Repeat (fastest reheat)
Simply start by baking your muffins as directed by the recipe. Let them cool completely, and then seal them up in an airtight freezer bag. Freezing can extend your muffins’ shelf life up to 3 months. To reheat – just pop them back in the oven at 350 degrees until they awaken with a warm center and crispy top.

Technique Two: Frozen Batter (fastest prep)
Mix your muffin batter and then pour into the tin just like you were going to stick them in the oven. Instead, slide the muffin tin into the freezer and allow the batter to freeze solid. Pop or pry out your frozen batter muffins and put them in a large, airtight freezer bag for up to 4 months. When a muffin craving hits, just place them back in the muffin tin, allow the batter to thaw completely and bake as directed.

Ready to stock pile your favorite muffins? Start out with a few of your family’s most loved recipes, then check out these from the Clabber Girl bakers’ kitchen.

Blueberry Coffeecake Muffins
The perfect Saturday morning treat, the aroma of these sweet streusel-topped muffins will wake up the whole house with a smile.

Ingredients:
2 cups all purpose flour
1 teaspoon Clabber Girl Baking Powder
1/2 teaspoon baking soda
1/2 teaspoon salt
1 stick (8 tablespoons) unsalted butter, room temperature
1 cup sugar
2 eggs, lightly beaten
zest of one lemon, about 1 tablespoon
3/4 cup sour cream
1/4 cup water
1 1/2 cups blueberries
Streusel Ingredients
Baking Instructions

Banana Bran Breakfast Muffins
Need to feed an army? These light and fluffy muffins are great for a breakfast-on-the-go. With 24 muffins per batch, these muffins both sweet and healthy.

Ingredients:
1 c. all-purpose flour (white)

1 c. whole flour (wheat)
2/3 c. granulated sugar
2 1/2 tsp. Rumford Reduced Sodium Baking Powder
1 c. bran flakes cereal
1 1/2 c. mashed over-ripe bananas (2 to 3 large)
1/2 c. plain nonfat or low-fat yogurt
1/3 c. corn oil (canola oil)
2 large eggs (6 1/2 tbsp. liquid egg substitute)
1 1/4 tsp. orange zest (optional)
Instructions

Cheddar Bacon Muffins
Bring the joy and delight of muffins to the dinner table with these crowd-pleasing Cheddar Bacon Muffins. They make a savory sidekick to a steamy stew or a tasty culinary companion for a salad or pasta dish.

Ingredients:
1 3/4 c. all-purpose flour
1/2 c. shredded cheddar cheese (2 oz.)
1/4 c. sugar
2 tsp. Clabber Girl Baking Powder
1/4 tsp. salt
1/4 tsp. ground red pepper
1 egg (beaten)
3/4 c. milk
1/3 c. cooking oil
6 slices crisp-cooked bacon (crumbled)
Instructions

Whether you choose to mix and bake immediately or freeze them for breakfast next week, one thing is for sure—muffins are one of the most versatile treats to have on hand. For even more muffin mania, head over to our Pinterest page.

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Spring Break Snacks: On-the-Go or In-the-Home

Perfect for the beach, the car or the couch

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When Spring Break is in full swing you might find yourself with the daunting task of entertaining children of various ages for an entire week. This might mean that your family is enjoying a few uninterrupted days of relaxation during a “stay-cation,” or maybe you’re hitting the road for the beach or the mountains. Either way, you’ll need to find ways to keep your kids happy and fed, so why not find a way to do both?

Creative Spring Break snacks are the perfect way to occupy idle hands in the kitchen, or satisfy cravings on long road trips. From simple to savory, these snacks will feed the troops and fuel the fun.

On The Road: The days of fast food stops are long behind us. We have more opportunities to create our own road trip recipes, especially with kid-friendly dishes the whole family can create. After you pile your family into the car for your annual Florida trip, drive right past the gas station snacks and try out some of these homemade treats instead.

Sweet Popcorn Snax
On a long car ride, food is one of the best ways to keep minds distracted, hands busy and mouths occupied. This Sweet Popcorn Snax recipe from Clabber Girl’s kitchen is a lip-smacking, savory combination of sweet and salty.

Ingredients:
10 cups popped corn (not microwaved)
1 1/2 cups salted peanuts
1/2 cup butter or margarine
1 cup firmly packed brown sugar
1/4 cup corn syrup
1/4 tsp. salt
1/4 tsp. baking soda
1/2 tsp. vanilla

Instructions:
In a large bowl, mix together the popped corn and peanuts. In a saucepan melt the butter; stir in brown sugar, corn syrup and salt. Bring to boil, stirring constantly. Boil for another 3 minutes; remove from heat and stir in baking soda and vanilla. Pour mixture over popcorn and nuts, stirring to coat evenly. Spread mixture in a shallow baking pan. Bake at 250 degrees F. for about 45 minutes, stirring occasionally. Remove from oven and cool on wax paper or aluminum foil.

Whoopie Pies (Gluten Free!)
These soft mini cakes with creamy vanilla buttermilk filling can halt any backseat argument. Quell repetitive chants of “Are we there yet?” with a delicious car ride cake that is sure to please palates of all ages.

Ingredients:
For the whoopie cakes:
1 1/4 cup rice flour
2/3 cup cocoa powder, dutched
2/3 cup tapioca starch
1 tablespoon xanthan gum-optional*
1 teaspoon baking soda
1/4 teaspoon salt
1 1/4 cups brown sugar, packed
1 stick (8 tablespoons) unsalted butter, at room temperature
2 eggs
2 teaspoons vanilla
1 cup plus 2 tablespoons buttermilk

For the filling:
8 tablespoons butter
3 cups powdered sugar, sifted
4 teaspoons vanilla
2-3 tablespoons milk
Instructions

In the Kitchen: If your family is staying put this Spring Break, kitchen activities are a great way to occupy kids of all ages. Cooking brings your family together, laughing over culinary concoctions that teach teamwork and creativity, along with reading and math skills.

PB+J Cookies
You pack peanut butter and jelly sandwiches in the kids’ lunches on a regular basis. Go a little crazy over Spring Break and turn the staple item into a cookie! Not only will you be serving them a protein-filled cookie, but it’s also gluten-free.

Chewy High Protein Carb-Busters Candy
Got a house full of high-energy teenage boys that need some wrangling this Spring Break? Put them to work in the kitchen making these healthy, yet tasty, high protein candy treats. An ideal snack for growing boys, these nuggets are chocked full of honey, nuts, cumin, chili powder and other delicious raw ingredients that wow the taste buds and boost the immune system.

Ingredients:
2/3 cup honey
2 1/2 cups puffed rice cereal, plain and unsweetened- any puffed grain cereal may be substituted*
1 cup peanut butter
1 cup roasted nuts-almonds, pumpkin seeds, sunflower seeds, cashews or a combination
1 tablespoon chili powder
2 teaspoons cumin
1/2 teaspoon allspice
pinch of salt
Instructions

Whether you’re home or away this Spring Break, we know one thing… it’s bound to be sweet!

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Spring: Invite the Unexpected

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Open your door: Spring is knocking

Well, don’t literally open your door, because winter is still throwing its tantrums outside. Winter will not get its way, however, and spring—sweet, green spring—is a matter of weeks away. What you may want to open up is your pantry door. With spring comes a host of new flavors, from first crops to international novelties, and possibilities for fresh beginnings are blossoming. Comfort food will always have its place, but it’s time to sweep clean the hearth and take a few steps out of the comfort zone.

Enter into a world of flavor fusion. With our markets globalizing and local crops beginning to make their first appearances, spring is the perfect time to blend home-cooked with far-from-home flavors. We’re not in Kansas, anymore. Sunshine inspires homemade cold treats, like lemon-thyme sorbet, mango ice-cream with hot chilies or strawberry gelato with balsamic vinegar and basil. Matcha green tea will go nicely in frozen yogurt with orange, walnuts, and ginseng.

It’s true that our taste buds are changing. We’re more aware of other flavors, and it’s time to take them on a few adventures. Brussels sprouts used to be something our grandparents force-fed us, but no longer. Now, we roast them over fire with curry and cashews. Let’s season our almonds with North African za-atar, or pickle watermelon rinds with citrus and ginger. Modify our pineapple upside down cake to make it far more interesting with jack fruit and local buckwheat honey.

Our options have multiplied, and with them the many culinary roads we may take. Spring is a time for blazing trails. Chocolate and hazelnuts now host garden parties with cinnamon and chili. All the things we adore about raw honey, the way it tastes swirled with almond butter, why don’t we see how those things go with protein-dense Greek yogurt? Or how about we try making homemade palm-sugar syrup to drizzle over avocado mousse? This blueberry-lavender cupcake would be lovely garnished with toasted aniseed and sugared pansies. Perhaps we’ll add a little soy sauce to our chocolate soufflé.

Chili and Chocolate

Chili and Chocolate

It’s time to open our eyes to the potential of spring. Crocuses are sending up their shoots, and it’s our turn to stretch out our feelers for a little sunshine. Try growing your own bean sprouts, perhaps—they’ll be great in a salad of arugula, cilantro, and pequin peppers. Toss together figs, goat cheese, and fenugreek for your flatbread. Combine curly parsley, red beets, carrot juice, sweet peas…why yes, we’re making a chocolate cake. If it is fresh, if it is bold, if it is tasty, then why not?

So go ahead: open your door. See what your local farmers are producing, meet the apiary owner down the street, and till up a little soil of your own. Then, go find what you haven’t tried before, and try it. Local and global both have a place in our kitchens, just as clean, healthy food can make our taste buds sing. Our minds are opening as consumers, and our hearts are opening as creators, friends, and tasters. It’s time to shake the dust out of our curtains and let some air in—spring is here. Let’s eat.

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Soup and Bread

Soup and bread

 

Happily Ever After: The Perfect Pairing of Soup and Bread

Nothing is more comforting than a thick soup and warm bread, especially when you’re sitting at the window watching the temperature outside drop lower and lower. Now, some people may think that any old broth and bread will do, but those of us with refined palates know better. Sipping bone broth steeped with herbs has become more ritualistic, like coffee in the morning or tea in the afternoon. Broth has been around for centuries, but usually as a stock for soup. Recently it’s made its way into the spotlight, as a focal point instead of a base ingredient. Partnering the right soup or broth with perfect bread is more than a meal; it’ an art form.

Soup and bread are such a satisfying pair. Together they fill up your belly with warmth and comfort, chasing away the cold from your bones. Delicious apart, they become a filling, savory meal together. Try out a few of these delectable recipes and let us know your favorite!

Roasted Butternut Squash Soup and Focaccia
Your mouth will water just thinking about this dish. It’s a partnership rooted in perfection. The roasting brings out the natural sweet and nutty flavor of the squash, while the warm dough and hint of olive oil brings out the satisfying chewiness in the focaccia.

Roasted Butternut Squash Soup Ingredients:
3 pounds roasted butternut squash
1 pound hot Italian sausage
2 red bell peppers (medium diced)
1 large red onion (julienne)
1/2 cup cold water with 2 tsp. Clabber Girl Cornstarch
See more (and get the instructions!)

Tomato Soup and Tuscan Bread
Nothing heats up a cold day like tomato soup. The aroma alone can transfer you right back into grandma’s kitchen. Pairing this traditional favorite with a crispy slice of toasted Tuscan bread will warm you up inside and out. This is the perfect soup and bread combo for your next Meatless Monday!

Tomato soup doesn’t have to just be for lunch or dinner. Believe it or not, it’s a delectable ingredient in an unlikely place – cake! Don’t believe us? Try Clabber Girl’s Tomato Soup Cake. This tender, rich cake blends cinnamon, nutmeg and tomato soup to create a moist, spice-cake flavor.

Cowboy Stew and Mexican Cornbread
Bring the heat of the Southwest right into your living room with this savory soup and bread combo. Marinated steak gives the Cowboy Stew its hearty flavor, but the Mexican Cornbread really ignites this pairing. Best of all it’s incredibly easy to make. You can bring this dish to your dinner table and still have time to kick your feet up and watch the fire.

Mexican Cornbread Ingredients:
1 1/4 c. all-purpose flour
3/4 c. cornmeal (yellow)
1/4 c. granulated sugar
2 tsp. Clabber Girl Baking Powder
1/2 tsp. salt (optional)
1 c. milk
1/3 c. mild or hot sliced jalapeno peppers (optional)
1/4 c. plus 1 tbsp. vegetable oil
1 egg (beaten)
1 can mexicorn (11 oz.)
1 1/2 c. grated Colby Jack cheese
4 oz. cream cheese
Instructions

Old Fashioned Down Home Potato Soup and Garlic Cheddar Biscuits
This is a cozy in, get under the covers and put on a good movie type of meal. A warm bowl of this rich, cheesy potato and cream concoction is a home-cooked favorite. We don’t know which is better – the way the garlic cheddar biscuits smell or taste. What we do know, is that they are bursting with flavor. The rustic appearance gives them an extra texture that is perfect for dipping in a creamy bowl of potato soup. Serve the soup with bacon and scallions and throw a handful in the biscuits too, to marry the flavors.

Garlic Cheddar Biscuit Ingredients
2 3/4 c. all-purpose flour
1 tbsp. Clabber Girl Baking Powder
3/4 tsp. garlic powder (divided)
1/2 tsp. salt
1 c. shortening
1 c. buttermilk
1 c. shredded cheddar cheese
2 tbsp. melted butter
Instructions

Take “made from scratch” to a whole new level by making your own stock or give your soup an extra boost of flavor with a herb sachet. No matter which soup and bread combo you choose, one thing is for certain—this meal is bound to bring a little extra warmth to your kitchen!

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Free Your Chocolate

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All About That…Box? 7 Recipes to Free Your Chocolate

We’re two weeks into February, and the time has come yet again: Valentine’s Day is upon us. Cupid lets fly his arrows, and meanwhile everyone else lets fly their opinions of the holiday. Discussions of Valentine’s Day are, perhaps appropriately, seething with words of passion—even those who do not “love” or “hate” the day seem to invoke their apathy toward it with an adamant sort of stoicism. Regardless, winter has dragged us to the very precipice of spring madness, and as the days grow longer, we are called to celebrate all the love in our lives. Amid the roses, champagne, pink hearts and stuffed animals, all the kitsch and cliché associated with February 14th, one traditional treat stands head and shoulders above the crowd: chocolate.

What is it about chocolate that feeds the soul? Watch any channel, any time of year, and chances are you’ll encounter at least one commercial featuring a woman nibbling sensuously on a glossy square, a backdrop of red velvet and melted chocolate weaving an ambience of indulgence behind her. Women love chocolate, or so they say, and as such expect that quaint heart-shaped box come Valentine’s Day. The box is nice, but this narrative is too simple. A soul cannot thrive in a box.

Chocolate is so much more than an affectionate gift—it is a global power. One can taste cacao from Peru, Mexico, Brazil, and Indonesia… from tannin-rich and earthy to bright and fruity, chocolate presents a vast spectrum of flavors that open international doors. Let’s take chocolate out of its box for a moment. The entire world is having an affair with chocolate, and on Valentine’s Day, there is even more of an excuse to feel the love, regardless of where you fall on the love-hate scale.

Chocolate is a comfort when sweet, a pick-me-up when dark, a bit of both when spiced. We’ll take any opportunity to become more intimate with chocolate and Valentine’s Day is just one of those opportunities. By all means, enjoy your boxed chocolate, but don’t stop there, for your soul’s sake.

If you’re looking for some inspiration, either to share with a loved one or to hoard, dragon-like, for yourself, here are seven sweet recipes to get you started on the path to freeing your chocolate. Enjoy a piece of chocolate as you read, keeping in mind that these ideas are just a fraction of chocolate’s potential. February 14th, or any other day when you’re feeling the love, know that the options are limitless when it comes to rich chocolate dessert—no box required.

  1. Add a little extra decadence to fudgy brownies with a rich chocolate frosting. Go ahead and lick the spoon, an experience denied you by prepackaged chocolates. No box, no regrets.
  2. Decorate your chocolate layer cake with fancy chocolate swirls and twirls, should you desire to impress. Fancy not in your box of tricks? Simply run a vegetable peeler or paring knife across the thin edge of a bar of your favorite chocolate, at room temperature, to get curls to garnish instead. Go crazy and use flavored chocolate or a combination of light and dark chocolate. If you dare.
  3. Speaking of various chocolates, these cookies are made with both dark chocolate and white chocolate, for a bit of contrast and an extra level of sweetness. Who says you need to limit yourself to one shade, or fifty shades, of chocolate?
  4. It’s possible to provide a classic sort of treat without a box. If you’re feeling adventurous, take your cookie to the next level and make it a whoopie pie. Far better than the purchased version, these match comfort with creativity.
  5. On the other hand, if your passion for chocolate is so great that you can’t wait until dessert to dig in, consider breakfast in bed, instead. Nothing says “good morning” like double chocolate raspberry muffins. Just try to fit these into a box. If you do, ship them to someone who might like a chocolaty breakfast in bed.
  6. And, while we’re on the subject of raspberries, these holiday pancakes from The Baker Chick are equal parts adorable and delicious. Heart-shaped, sans the heart-shaped container.
  7. But if you’re more of a waffles kind of person, we’ve got those for you, too! Top with homemade whipped cream and strawberries for the kind of fresh, irresistible sweetness and warmth you could never get from something pre-packaged.
     
    Valentine’s Day is not for all, but chocolate is certainly for most. If these desserts don’t light your fire, open the box even wider. Go sweet and salty and add coarse flakes of sea salt, caramel, or peanut butter to a chocolate recipe. Get cozy with a mug of homemade bittersweet hot chocolate spiced with chilies, perfect to have alongside any of these recipes. Or, go completely savory and make a chocolate mole to slather over corn tortillas and marinated chicken. In the end, Valentine’s Day is exactly what you make it; don’t limit your love, and certainly don’t limit your love of chocolate. Get out of the box, and take your chocolate with you. Your soul deserves it.
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Beat the Winter Blues

 

Beat the Winter Blues with Baking

When the temperature hits single digits and the snow piles up, where are many people likely to spend their days? Under the covers hibernating, of course!

Here at Clabber Girl we think there are better ways to spend the winter days. Sure the sun sets earlier and the wind chill is absurdly low, but that doesn’t mean you have to hunker down and disappear. There are plenty of warm and cozy ways to enjoy these colder months. Want to beat the winter blues? It’s time to get baking.

Host a Brunch Party
Move over breakfast! Get out of the way lunch! Make way for the newest craze in group dining – brunch! This melding of meals has risen to new and creative heights. Hosting brunch is a fabulous way to stay social during the cold winter months. Invite your friends over for a casual and cozy early afternoon brunch. Let the festivities start by gathering your nearest and dearest around these amazing Banana Crunch Streusel Muffins:

Ingredients:
2 cups all-purpose flour
1/2 cup sugar
2 teaspoons Davis Baking Powder
1/2 teaspoon salt
1 cup mashed bananas (about 2-3 bananas)
1 egg, slightly beaten
1/2 cup milk
1/4 cup vegetable oil
1 teaspoon vanilla extract
1/2 cup chopped walnuts or pecans

Streusel Topping:
1/2 cup chopped walnuts or pecans
3 tablespoons brown sugar
2 teaspoons ground cinnamon
Instructions

Throw a Game Night
Nothing heats up the cold winter nights like the fire of friendly competition. Game nights are a great way to get friends and families together to relax and reconnect. Even though the games take center stage, the menu is just as important. You’ll likely have a variety of tastes and preferences, so to be sure that the pickiest eaters are satisfied will take a little planning. Finger foods are best, as people tend to graze during these kinds of social events. Clabber Girl’s mouth-watering Polish Sausage Appetizer is a guaranteed crowd pleaser. For your vegetarian friends, pairing up crisp fresh veggies with this Red Beet Hummus dish is sure to delight.

Get the Girls Over
Time flies, especially during the winter months when the days are shorter and our calendars more packed with holidays and family responsibilities. One of the best ways to beat the winter blues is to kick the menfolk out and gather your best girlfriends for a night of cocktails, food and friendship.  Nothing says girls night like sinfully delicious chocolate treats. We recommend Bourbon Honey Truffles or Chocolate Raspberry Mousse.

Okay, so the weather outside may, in fact, be frightful, but that doesn’t mean that life during winter can’t be delightful. With the right attitude, you can build lasting memories surrounded by friends and the savory scents of cozy comfort foods.

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ThreeTwists on Carrot Cake

With a food holiday almost every day of the year, there is always a reason to get in the kitchen and bake. Today is no different—happy National Carrot Cake Day!  There are so many variations of carrot cake. Do you add coconut, pineapple or raisins? Or are you a purist that sticks with the classic carrot and spice? Or maybe you’re still trying to decide? If so, here are three of our favorite carrot cake recipes with a twist.

Have you ever tried having cream-cheese filled sandwiches for dessert? Or you can practice your fancy frosting skills and pipe fluffy cream cheese goodness onto these kid-friendly, nut-free cupcakes. And we know you will be the supermom of the basketball team by bringing cake to practice.

There is only one official carrot cake day, but this delicious spiced cake is always in season. For even more carrot cake recipes to last all year long, visit our recipe database.

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Big Game Bites

 

Getting ready for the big game? There are three essential tips for an unforgettable indoor tailgate – good game, clever commercials and fantastic food. Now, we can’t guarantee everyone a good game, especially with this year’s exciting lineup, nor can we assure you that every one of those infamous commercials will be worth the millions.

The food, however, that’s a different story.

Traditional football finger foods like wings, veggies and meatballs, will always make their way to a Super party. But if you really want to amp up the energy, make some creative choices with your game day menu. Think of your football party snacks as another form of décor and make try out regional recipes of iconic foods from the teams’ hometowns. With the right food, you can capture the sights, smells and culture of Boston and Seattle, creating an awe-inspiring spread that will take center stage.

Pass around some Oysters during Half-Time

Oysters are a part of New England history. In Colonial days they were boiled, scalloped or steamed, and sometimes even roasted over an open fire. Raw and natural, oysters on the half shell taste just like the ocean – fresh, cold and glistening.

Many people pair raw oysters with crackers, but we discovered that these sea-water delicacies taste even better with a thick slice of Clabber Girl’s focaccia bread recipe!

Cheering for Boston? Try a Super Bowl of Clam Chowder

Few things say “Patriots” like a hearty bowl of thick, creamy soup. In true Boston style, serve up a traditional New England Clam Chowder that is creamy and savory.  Trying to cater to a variety of tastes? Try this veggie chowder version in addition to the traditional Boston style!

Seattle fan? Sink your teach into these SpaceNeedle Coffee Cookies

Not only is Seattle home to the Seahawks, but it’s also home to the largest clustering of coffee houses in the country. Home to Starbucks and Seattle’s Best, no Seahawk party is complete without a shot of caffeine. Keep the energy up for the post-half-time lull with these bold and rich coffee drop cookies:

Ingredients:

1 c. shortening (butter)
2 c. light brown sugar (firmly packed)
2 eggs
3 c. sifted flour
3 tsp. Rumford Baking Powder
2 tsp. ground cinnamon
1/4 tsp. salt
2 c. seedless raisins (cut)
1 c. coffee (cold and strong)

Instructions: Preheat oven to 375 degrees F. Cream shortening (butter), add sugar gradually, creaming until light and fluffy. Add eggs, one at a time, beating well after each addition. Sift flour, Clabber Girl Baking Powder, cinnamon, and salt together. Add raisins, mix well. Add to creamed mixture alternately with the coffee, beating until smooth. Drop by teaspoonfuls on a greased baking sheet and bake in a moderate oven for 12 to 15 minutes.

 

Take a bite of a Mount Rainier Cherry Cheesecake

There is something special about the flavor of Seattle Rainier cherries. They are juicy and complex, and sometimes carry a slightly bittersweet hint. Using Rainier Cherries turns this cherry cheesecake recipe into a tangy, rich and rapturously delicious dessert.

 

If you want more than just traditional finger foods for game day, fuel up with these signature dishes that are savory and succulent. Using traditional foods from the teams’ hometowns will boost your fandom, and your hosting reputation, to the next level. These mouth-watering munchies will ensure your guests agree that your food scored big.

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