Ham and Cheese Muffins

Minoo prepared two recipes for the first meeting of Gilmore Park Church Community Kitchen for this fall season.  The first recipe is a hand held breakfast or lunch item which is perfect for families on the go.  These Ham and Cheese Muffins are savory instead of the regular sweet muffins.

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These Ham and Cheese Muffins taste like quiche but they are easier to make.  You can even make them ahead and they can be reheated quickly.  It is also a good recipe to use your leftover bread.

Ingredients

  • 4 eggs
  • 3/4 cup milk
  • 1 tablespoon honey mustard
  • 1/4 teaspoon each, salt and pepper
  • 5 cups cubed whole grain bread (about 5 slices, trim off crust)
  • 1 cup shredded Canadian Cheddar, Swiss or Colby cheese
  • 1/2 cup diced deli ham
  • 12 cherry or grape tomatoes, cut in half lengthwise or quarters if they are large.

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Apple Banana Muffin

Stella made this Apple Banana Muffin for last year’s Caring Place Potluck. She demonstrated this recipe in the Caring Place Community Kitchen upon Minoo’s request.

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The Apple Banana Muffin is moist and the walnuts give it the crunch. This muffin is good for after school snack or breakfast. It can also be made into a loaf.

Ingredients

  • 1 1/4 cups flour
  • 1 teaspoon baking soda
  • 1/3 teaspoon baking powder
  • 2 eggs
  • 1/2 cup oil or melted margarine
  • 1 cup brown sugar (less if bananas are very ripe)
  • 2 to 3 bananas
  • 1 large apple
  • 1/4 cup chopped pecans or walnuts, toasted

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Click on the link below for the instructions.

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New York: NY Bagels in Rockefeller Center

Since Rockefeller Center was so famous, I made it a point to visit the place one morning. Actually, there were hardly anything to see or do. It’s just a massive complex of buildings. As a matter of fact, it is considered as the largest privately held building complex in the world.

I can’t recall any more what the name of this church … maybe it’s St Patrick’s. It’s supposed to be one of the biggest in NYC. Since I was there early … at 8AM, it was still closed.

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I had a view of 5th Ave. It was not really my cup of tea … I don’t care for all the fancy expensive fashion outlets. 5th Ave is perhaps the most expensive real estate in New York.

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I have heard of Radio City. I think it is the headquarters of NBC. Nothing happening here too early in the morning.

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If there is only one thing I wanted to see, I wanted to visit the sunken plaza in the Rockefeller Center and see Prometheus, the Greek mythology Titan who stole fire from Zeus and gave it to mankind. But the sunken plaza was closed for the day. They had taken over the place and put in a curling rink with broadcast equipments. (more…)

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San Francisco Vacation: Boudin Sourdough

So, while in Fishermans Wharf, we also made it a point to visit the Boudin Sourdough bakery. Suanne and I had visited this bakery … oh … perhaps 15 years ago. We simply have to come back here and try their bread again.

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When we were in Boudin, we also made a side trip to their Museum and Bakery Tour. Frankly, it was not worth the money we had to pay to get into the tour. I would have wished that we get really close to the bakery but we just watched from an upstairs gallery. So, save your money.

One thing that we learned though in that tour … that there are so many food that were invented in San Francisco. Here it is … Martini, Cioppino, Popsicles, Chop Suey, Irish Coffee, Fortune Cookie, Mai Tai, and Crab Louis.

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The Boudin Sourdough Bakery is popular and busy … and perhaps a bit too chaotic for me. You order and pay from one end of the counter. You have to give them your name and when your order is ready, they’ll yell your name and you go pick it up. There were so many people milling around the area waiting to pick up their order and the place is so noisy.

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Sourdough bread was the main bread consumed in California during the Gold Rush days. So, it is pretty much part of the culture of the SF.

What is unique about sourdough is that its sourness and tanginess combines very well with seafood and soup such as chilli and chowders. We first ordered one to try but ended up getting another two more because they taste so good.

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Cranberry Bread

October is the month for cranberry harvesting. Do you know that the cranberry farm is flooded to harvest the cranberries? This year, the cranberry farm has a bumper crop due to the warm weather in Vancouver.

Cranberries are a source of polyphenol antioxidant, chemicals which are known to provide certain health benefits to the cardiovascular and immune system. Regular consumption of the cranberry juice is supposed to reduce the rate of urinary tract infections. Cranberries also act as a prebiotic, promoting the growth of beneficial lactobacillus bacteria (those found in yogurt) while inhibiting the growth of harmful E.coli and listeria.

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I made this Cranberry Bread in Minoo’s kitchen at Caring Place. This quick bread is good for breakfast or snack with a cup of coffee or tea.

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I like the sourness when I bite into the bits of cranberries and the bread is very moist.

Ingredients

  • 1 cup sugar
  • 2 cups flour
  • 1 1/2 teaspoons baking powder
  • 1/2 teaspoon baking soda
  • 1/2 teaspoon salt
  • 1 egg
  • 1/4 cup undiluted orange juice concentrate
  • 1/2 cup hot water
  • 2 tablespoons butter/margarine, melted
  • 1 cup raw fresh cranberries

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Chocolate Chip Banana Bread

Out of the blue, I just wanted to bake a quick bread for breakfast. Looking through my recipe file for something which my kids will eat, I found this Chocolate Chip Banana Bread which sounds delicious. I just happen to have some ripe bananas in my fridge and it must be lucky day.

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Ingredients

  • 1/2 cup butter, softened
  • 1 cup sugar
  • 1 teaspoon baking powder
  • 1/2 teaspoon baking soda
  • 1/2 teaspoon salt
  • 2 large eggs (at room temperature)
  • 2 large VERY rip bananas, mashed
  • 1 teaspoon vanilla extract
  • 2 cups all-purpose flour
  • 1 cup semi-sweet chocolate chips
  • 1/2 cup chopped walnut

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Click link below for the instructions.

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Lemon Poppy Seed Loaf

This is a bread good for breakfast or tea. I love the little crunch from the poppy seeds and give a slightly nutty aroma. This bread is not too sweet and it’s just right with your favourite jam or butter.

I am not sure if this is true but I heard that poppy seeds are banned in Singapore because they are suspected to contain some traces of morphine! Any Singaporeans able to confirm this?

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This recipe yields two loaves of bread. If it’s too much for your family, you may freeze one loaf for later consumption. To freeze it, you just need to wrap tightly in plastic wrap and keep in an air tight container or ziplock bag.

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Ingredients

  • 3 cups all-purpose flour
  • 1 teaspoon salt
  • 1 teaspoon baking soda
  • 1/2 teaspoon baking powder
  • 1 cup poppy seeds (or 1 cup sesame seeds)
  • 3 eggs
  • 1 cup oil
  • 1 cup sugar
  • 2 cups yogurt (lemon yogurt if you can find it)
  • 2 tablespoons lemon juice (preferably fresh squeezed)

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Click on link below for cooking instructions.

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Focaccia from President Choice

Let me tell you … we were not that adventurous when it comes to groceries before we started blogging. We just always go to the same aisle and buys only stuff we are familiar with. Since we wanted to blog on something new these days, we began to pay more attention to stuff we normally ignore. This is one new food to us and have never heard of.

Focaccia (pronounced as foh-KAH-cha) is a flat bread topped with stuff, very much like what you see in pizzas. Except that we see that they don’t use pizza sauce, at least not the one we bought. The one below, caramelized oinion and pesto chicken, costs $4.99 only.

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Focaccia is a popular Italian and Greek dish. It is often baked with herbs and cheese added to the dough. Focaccia can be looked upon as a predecessor of the modern pizza.

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Berry Bread

Today, Tammi showed us (the Richmond Community Kitchen Cooking Club) how to make Berry Bread. She made 2 types of Berry Bread, mixed berry (frozen) and strawberry (fresh). She used the same batter recipe for both the bread.

Here is the fresh strawberries bread.

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Ingredients

  • 1 cup of fresh or frozen berries, chopped
  • 2 cups sifted all-purpose flour
  • 3/4 cup granulated sugar
  • 3 teaspoons of baking powder
  • 1/2 cup walnuts, chopped
  • 2 eggs
  • 1/4 cup butter, melted
  • 1 tsp vanilla
  • 1 cup milk

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