Upscale Pigs in the Blanket (Chicken Sausage-Cranberry Pigs-in-Blankets)

IMG_7907

I found this recipe in a mini appetizer book.  It is an upscale mini hot dog with a nice blend of sweet and tangy flavors.  It is always well received.  Kids can help make them in the kitchen.  This recipe can easily be doubled and leftovers can be frozen.  If I know I will be freezing portions to be reheated later I slightly undercook.   Often I need to make this recipe without the nuts because of nut allergies.  I personally think the recipe is more tasty with the almond slivers but it is certainly still good without nuts.  Exact measurements are not required.  Prep time for a double recipe is about 20 minutes using a Cuisinart.  Cleanup is very easy especially if you throw your Cuisinart pieces in the dishwasher.  Cooking time is 20 minutes.  Make sure you allow 30-40 to thaw your dough.  Do not prematurely pull out the dough from the freezer.  If the dough gets too soft, making the hot dogs will become difficult.

Ingredients for 1 batch:  Yields 25-30 mini dogs

1/3rd cup dried cranberries

1/2 cup fresh parsley leaves – do not substitute dry

1/4 cup slivered almonds

1/4 cup grated Gruyere Cheese

1 teaspoon whole-grain or creamy dijon mustard (if I am doubling the recipe I use one heaping teaspoon of each)

1 sheet frozen puff pastry, thawed

2-3 links PRE-COOKED apple flavored (or other) chicken sausage.  The package I show requires just two links given the thickness of the links.

 

Directions:

Defrost Pastry Dough (allow 30-40 minutes).  Open box.  Set on counter.  Do not try to unroll dough until fully defrosted.

Combine cranberries, parsley, almonds, cheese, and mustard in a food processor fired with a metal blade and process to coarse paste.  It takes about 30-60 seconds.

Place pastry dough on work surface (cutting board works well).   Cut into 3 long strips (10 inches) and then 8-10 approximately 1 inch cuts across.

Cut sausage links in half lengthwise and then cut each link 5-7 slices the other direction depending on the brand.

Preheat oven to 400 degrees F.

Prepare a small bowl of warm water and set aside.

Press about a half teaspoon cranberry mixture onto center of each pastry strip, leaving the sides empty of paste.

Top each with piece of sausage.

Slightly wet the sides of each strip (using your water bowl).

Bring the ends together up and over the sausage.  Press firmly to seal and place on a non-stick baking sheet (I usually lay some parchment down or spray some cooking spray but neither step is necessary).

Do not crowd dogs and bake for 20 minutes if serving right away or 18 minutes if freezing for later cooking.  The pastry at either time should be baked through but at 20 minutes the dough will be a slightly darker color.

Serve piping hot with additional mustard.

IMG_7894

 

Sausage – notice words at bottom fully cooked.  I did remove the small amount of casing.  Not not all precooked sausage has a casing film.

IMG_7896

 

Parsley, Cheese, Cranberry Paste

IMG_7899

 

 

IMG_7900 IMG_7901

Prepping Pastry

IMG_7903

Prepping Dogs

IMG_7904

Preparing the Dogs

IMG_7906

Precooked

IMG_7909

Cooked cooling on a baking rack

 

Advertisements

Banana Oat Muffins

IMG_5686

Great option for a healthy breakfast or snack, using up ripe bananas.

Prep Time 15 minutes, Cook Time 20 minutes, Ready in 35 minutes

Degree of Difficulty – Easy

Servings 12 muffins

PREHEAT OVEN 400  DEGREES

Ingredients:

1 1/2 cups all-purpose flour
1 cup rolled oats
1/2 cup white sugar
2 teaspoons baking powder
1 teaspoon baking soda
1/2 teaspoon salt
1 egg
3/4 cup milk
1/3 cup vegetable oil
1/2 teaspoon vanilla extract
1 cup mashed bananas (around 2 medium/large bananas)
1/4 cup almond slivers (optional)
Directions:
  1. In medium bowl combine flour, oats, sugar, baking powder, soda, and salt
  2. In a large bowl, beat the egg lightly. Stir in the milk, oil, and vanilla. Add the mashed banana, and combine thoroughly.
  3. Stir the flour mixture into the banana mixture until just combined.
  4. Line a 12-cup muffin tin with paper bake cups, and divide the batter among them.
  5. Bake 400 degrees F (205C) for 18-20 minutes
  6. Let muffins stay in muffin pan for 5-10 minutes resting on a cooling rack.
  7. Remove muffins from muffin pan  and place on cooling rack.

 

Dry ingredients below

IMG_5676

Wet ingredients below

IMG_5677

Mixed dry, mixed wet below

IMG_5679

Combined wet and dry below

IMG_5680

Baked set of muffins below

IMG_5684

IMG_5687

 

recipe courtesy of Allrecipes.Com

http://allrecipes.com/Recipe-Tools/Print/Recipe.aspx?recipeID=6714&origin=detail&servings=12&metric=false

Apple Spice Muffins (Kids Helpers Welcomed) – Very Easy

Today I made a batch of these.  The recipe was on the back of StonyField LowFat French Vanilla Yogurt.  I was worried we were not going to finish the yogurt and did not want it to go to waste.  Everyone liked these: Mom, Dad, and especially our 4 year-old.  I had the muffins in the oven in less than 15 minutes and was completely cleaned up before they came out. They looked and tasted great.  I froze the extras and presume they will taste fine in the future but will report back.

Kids can do the sifting, mixing, and scooping into the tins.

Equipment

12 muffin tin regular sized

Sifter tool

Wax or Parchment Paper (if you have it; if not just sift into the dry ingredient large bowl)

Preheat oven to 375, & melt and get your butter cooled before doing anything else!  

Ingredients

2 cups flour (dry)

1/2 cup sugar (dry)

1 1/2 tsp baking soda (dry)

2 tsp cinnamon (dry)

2 eggs

1 cup Stonyfield Low Fat Vanilla Yogurt or some other brand

1/4 Cup butter melted and cooled (This is 4 tablespoons, or half a stick).    I cut the butter into 4 pieces before starting the microwave.  Then I melt the butter in the microwave for about 45 seconds.)

1 apple if large peeled and diced small

Steps:

Preheat oven to 375

Sift the first four dry ingredients after wax or parchment paper and pour into a large bowl

Crack two eggs in a small bowl and scramble (remove any shells if needed)

In medium bowl mix eggs, yogurt, and cooled butter.  I stirred around 20 times quickly.

Pour this wet mixture over your dry mixture, add apples and stir.

Do not panic at first this batter will seem hard to come together and you will think you have too much dry ingredients.  However after a minute or so of stirring I got all the ingredients easily incorporated.

Pour the combined batter into the tins and bake for 20-25 minutes.  In my oven they seemed done at 21 minutes but I pulled them out at 23 minutes.  I let them stay in the tins for about 10-15 minutes and then let them cool on a cooling rack outside the muffin tin pan.  Clearly they can be served pretty soon coming out of the oven if needed right away.

I forgot to take a picture but they had a nice brown color with pieces of apples sticking out !