Cinna-mmmmm-mon Muffins

Cinna-mmmmm-mon Muffins

On a trip to Penzey’s Spices, I idly picked up the catalog as I purchased my delicious shallot salt. As Bill drove us back home, I was perusing the listings and recipes when I stumbled across this muffin recipe. Since Bill is a HUGE fan of cinnamon, we both love muffins, and it looked super-simple, I decided to make muffins for dinner that night.

Since then I have not been able to stop making these muffins! Bill took them to school of the first day, I made them this weekend for a lacrosse coaches meeting, and I think we’ve had them for breakfast every other weekend for a few months now.

It’s basically a one-bowl recipe, no mixer required, and I have all the ingredients on hand in my pantry just by default. Try them, and let me know if your family loves them too!


Cinna-mmmmm-mon Muffins

Ingredients
  • 1 cup and 2 Tbsp. flour, separated (all-purpose or whole wheat)
  • ¼ cup and 2 Tbsp. sugar, separated
  • 3 tsp. baking powder
  • ½ tsp. salt
  • 3 Tbsp. oil
  • 1 egg, beaten
  • 1 tsp. vanilla extract
  • 1 cup milk
  • 1 cup oats (any kind will work)
  • 1 tsp. cinnamon
  • 1 tsp. butter, melted
Directions
  1. Preheat oven to 425°.
  2. In a large bowl, mix together the 1 cup flour, ¼ sugar, baking powder and salt.
  3. Add the oil, egg, vanilla, and milk. Stir only until moistened.
  4. Gently stir in the oats.
  5. In a small bowl, combine the 2 Tbsp. flour, 2 Tbsp. sugar, cinnamon and melted butter. S
  6. Fill greased or lined muffin cups 2/3 full.
  7. Sprinkle each muffin with topping.
  8. Bake for 15 minutes until puffy and golden brown.

based on recipe from Penzey’s Spices

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That’s Mancktastic: Cappuccino Edition

That’s Mancktastic: Cappuccino Edition

About a month ago, Bill randomly got a wild hair to go out for cappuccinos one night just before we went to bed. (Honestly, I think it was an excuse to drive around in his “new” car)

I decided to go with him for a mini-date night and was blown away by how much I loved the foamy, rich coffee!

Sidenote: I gave up caffeine this year, completely unintentionally. I went a few days in the New Year without it, and decided to just roll with it. My caffeine-addict of a husband finds this beyond the pale.

As the weeks went by, I customized my Starbucks order to just how I liked it: grande, decaf cappuccino with sugar-free vanilla syrup. Then… my (cappuccino) life changed forever when we went up to Albany for vacation and visited our favorite coffeeshop: Perfect Blend. -cue the angels singing for THE BEST COFFEESHOP OF ALL TIME-

There, the espresso was delicious, lacking the burned quality of most Starbucks roasts, and they were GENEROUS with the foam. Over our two week stay, I watched the baristas like hawks to deduce all their secrets.

Since we’ve returned to Houston, I am getting close to mastering the perfect homemade cappuccino – which is good for my wallet – and here’s a That’s Mancktastic! of my favorite tools 🙂


Espresso Machine: IMUSA 4-Cup Espresso Machine

We bought this espresso machine a few months ago to try and wean Bill off his Starbucks addiction since we needed to buy a new car and he had one priiiiicy habit… It’s super-easy to use, cleans up easily and, most importantly, is cheap!! I mean, $30 for an espresso machine? That’ll do. It’s a no-frills work-horse that doesn’t take up a lot of counter space and it’s just what we needed.



Milk Foamer: Kuissential Deluxe Automatic Milk Frother

One of my main loves of cappuccino is the FOAM! After our New York trip, and the deepening of my cappuccino obsession, a ManckWhite household decision was made that we must needs get a milk frother of some sort because I am incapable of steaming milk.

After watching this very informative video about which milk frother is right for you, we settled on the Kuissential because we wanted the heating and the frothing to happen all together instead of several steps. In addition to the hot foam for cappuccinos, it also makes warm, non-frothed milk and cold milk froth for iced drinks in COMPLETE SILENCE.

We’ve had this frother for a week now, and it’s just great. Works really quickly, easy to clean, and make yummy, yummy foam. I use the foam on every coffee now, not just cappuccinos 😉


Espresso: Lavazza Decaffeinated Ground Espresso

Before I was spoiled on the Perfect Blend home-roasted espresso, we’d been contenting ourselves on Starbucks brews and the in-house beans from HEB. Since we’re back, we’ve upgraded to the Lavazza which Bill said was his go-to before grad school made him poor 😉 Now that we’re DINKS (dual income, no kids), we’re back on the good stuff! Flavorful, no burnt essence, and beautifully ground.



Vanilla Syrup: Torani Vanilla Bean Syrup

This is the main takeaway from my Perfect Blend addiction – Vanilla Bean is the key! Something about the extra oomph of vanilla BEAN as opposed to straight vanilla brings the whole cappuccino together. The drink is traditionally unsweetened, but this makes it perfect for me.


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So, there you have it. The perfect ManckWhite cappuccino tools are simply… Mancktastic!
Let me know what your home barista secrets are!

(note, these are affiliate Amazon links – thanks!)

Greek Mac & Cheese (αφρογαλακτώδης & νοστιμότατος! )

Greek Mac & Cheese (αφρογαλακτώδης & νοστιμότατος! )

Greek food holds a special place in my heart. The taste of dill, oregano and garlic send me back to one of my first dates with Bill where we discussed everything under the sun. You can still regularly find us at the site of that date, Niko Niko’s, now often accompanied by family and friends. A few days before our wedding, we took Bill’s parents and brother to Niko’s; we celebrated Mom’s most recent birthday there. At the end of each school year, Bill meets with his Latin classes there for an end-of-year celebration with gyros and baklava. Once we take you to Niko’s, you’re officially part of our little clan. It’s at Niko’s that I discovered my cumin allergy, at Niko’s that we celebrate any occasion, and at Niko’s that we began falling in love. Is it any wonder that Greek food is special to us?

Greek Mac and Cheese from Mancktastic! at mancktastic.wordpress.com

One of our other favorites in all the world is, of course, Macaroni and Cheese! Simple box macaroni and cheese was the first dish I made after Bill and I got engaged, and I’ve made several versions of mac n’ cheese here on Mancktastic. From the fancy Brie-based Manckwhite Mac & Cheese to the decadent Gnocchi Mac and Cheese, it’s pretty clear that our family loves pasta and cheese sauce together. Macaroni and cheese is a wonderful base for delicious customizations to enjoy. It can be part of any flavor family by simply changing up the cheeses and mixing up the spices used.  Last week I thought, why not combine one of our favorite foods with our favorite flavors? And thus, we enjoyed Greek Mac and Cheese!

Greek Mac and Cheese from Mancktastic! at mancktastic.wordpress.com

This tasty dish combines fragrant dill with creamy graviera cheese and aromatic shallots, creating a rich, filling dish that you won’t be able to stop eating. Baby spinach wrapped in velvety cheese sauce finds every nook and cranny of your pasta, so you get a delicious bite every time. The feta and breadcrumb topping is the perfect mix of savory, salty, crunchy and chewy to cap this dish. I recommend you enjoy Greek Mac & Cheese as a side with yogurt-marinated chicken kabobs or a thick, juicy steak.

And I know you’ve been wondering about the squiggles in the title above; my Greek scholar husband assures me it means creamy and delicious in Greek! 🙂

Greek Mac and Cheese from Mancktastic! at mancktastic.wordpress.com

Greek Mac & Cheese

  • ¾ cup seasoned breadcrumbs
  • 8 ounces hollow pasta
  • 6 Tablespoons butter
  • ¼ cup flour
  • 3 cups milk
  • 4 cups grated graviera or kefalotyri cheese
  • salt and pepper to taste
  • 2 Tablespoons olive oil
  • 2 shallots, finely chopped
  • 16 ounces baby spinach, roughly chopped
  • ⅓ cup fresh dill, roughly chopped
  • 1¾ cups crumbled feta
  1. Heat oven to 350° F.
  2. Bring a large pot of salted water to a boil. When the water has reached a rolling boil, add pasta and cook until cooked halfway through, about 3 minutes. Drain pasta and rinse pasta, then set aside.
  3. Heat butter in a large saucepan over medium heat. When butter is melted, add flour and cook for 1 minute, whisking constantly. Continue whisking while you slowly drizzle in the milk. Continue to cook until the sauce has thickened and coats the back of a spoon, about 10 minutes. Remove pan from heat.
  4. Stir cheese into the butter and milk mixture, then season with salt and pepper; set aside.
  5. Heat olive oil in a medium pot over medium heat. Add shallots and spinach to the oil, stirring for 1 minute, then cover and let cook for 3 minutes. Add the sauce, dill, and pasta to the pot and stir to combine.
  6. Transfer mixture to a 9″ x 13″ baking dish and top with breadcrumbs and feta. Bake until golden brown and aromatic, about 30 minutes. Let cool for 10 minutes before serving.

based on a recipe from More Than Just Dinner

Greek Mac and Cheese from Mancktastic! at mancktastic.wordpress.com