Savory Spinach, Feta, and Pepper Muffins

Sometimes you come across a recipe that seems so interesting that you just have to try it.  I was browsing through some recipes a few weeks ago and came across this one.  I have never made a savory muffin and these were pretty good – and even better after a day or two in the fridge.

These muffins are great for packing in a lunch, or breakfast on the go, and can be eaten both cold or warm.  Bake them in mini-muffin tins and they’re great for a cocktail party hors d’oeuvre.  The flavor reminded me of a scone or a biscuit, but without the “tanginess” of one.

I think next time I may substitute gorgonzola for the feta and maybe make them with caramelized onions.  Or maybe even smoked salmon (heavenly!) with chives.  The possibilities for ingredients and herb combinations are endless.

The original recipe called for all-purpose flour, but you can use whole wheat in order to make it  slightly more nutritious.  There’s also a little bit of sugar, which, in my opinion, can probably be  halved or even eliminated.

Savory Spinach, Feta, and Roasted Red Pepper Muffins

(makes 12 muffins)

  • 2 1/2 cups flour
  • 1/4 cup sugar
  • 2 tsp baking powder
  • 1/4 tsp cayenne pepper
  • 1/2 tsp salt
  • 3/4 cup milk
  • 1/4 cup vegetable or canola oil
  • 2 eggs
  • 1 cup thinly sliced baby spinach leaves, stems removed
  • 3/4 cup crumbled feta cheese
  • 1/2 cup chopped roasted red peppers from a jar

Preheat oven to 375 degrees.

In a large bowl, mix together flour, sugar, baking powder, cayenne, and salt.  In a separate bowl, whisk together egg, milk and oil.  Add the dry ingredients to the wet and mix gently until the flour is incorporated.  Fold in the spinach, feta, and red pepper.  Divide the batter among 12 muffin cups and bake for about 20 minutes, or until golden on top and a toothpick comes out clean.  Cool completely before unmolding.

Spiced Apple Chips = Apple Pie Awesomeness

Over the past two weeks, the weather has changed dramatically. Summer’s gone and the smell of autumn is in the air. With that comes the scent of apples and cinnamon and mulled cider.  There’s nothing like the smell of a fresh apple pie baking in the oven and permeating throughout your home.

But who’s got time to bake an apple pie from scratch?  And who needs all those calories?  I don’t, that’s for sure.

So, for the last few weeks while I have been lying on the couch recovering from ankle surgery, I have been trying to think of interesting recipes, including what to do with all of those apples in my refrigerator.

These chips take about 1/20 of the time it takes to make an apple pie. Just slice some apples, toss with spices, and then bake.  It doesn’t get any easier.

They’re crispy bites of apple pie awesome-ness!  They’re also a super healthy snack.  I guarantee that your home will smell amazing when you make these.

To slice the apples, I used an inexpensive mandoline that I had bought a while back for about $8 at a discount store.  You can also find them online at Amazon, Overstock, etc.  If you don’t have one, then use a very, very sharp knife (and be careful!).

My mandoline

Spiced Baked Apple Chips
(makes about 40 chips)

  • 1 tbsp of cinnamon
  • 1 tsp brown sugar (you really don’t need much, less is fine here too)
  • 1/4 tsp cardamom
  • 1/4 tsp nutmeg
  • 1/4 tsp kosher salt
  • 2 apples of your choice

Preheat oven to 200 degrees. Line two baking sheets with parchment paper.

In a medium-sized bowl, mix together all of the spices.

Cut off both ends of each of the apples. You don’t have to core them.  Using a mandoline, slice the apples as thinly as possible — think potato-chip width.  Remove and discard any seeds.  Add the apple slices to the bowl and toss with the spice mixture.

Place the apple slices on the baking sheets, making sure they don’t overlap.  Bake for about 30 minutes, then flip them over.  Bake for another 30-45 minutes, or until crispy in appearance.

As they cool, they will become crispier.

The star-shaped core makes it so pretty