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February 28, 2013

Recipe for sugar-free applesauce muffins with raisins and pecans

Sugar-free applesauce muffins, great for breakfast or dessert.

Lucky for me, I like my sweets on the not-too-sweet side, and that's a perfect description of these sugar-free applesauce muffins made with ingredients you probably already have in your pantry. The muffins had to have raisins, because I love raisins. And they had to be sugar-free. And they had to be sturdy enough to hold a birthday candle for my friend Charlotte, because I made these muffins for her. Considering all of those "had to" items, they tasted pretty terrific, especially just out of the oven slathered with unsalted butter. No-sugar-added applesauce makes a great substitute for sugar, and it helps keep baked goods moist, too. I used a muffin top pan, because I only like tops, but you can make regular muffins if you like the bottoms. Muffins usually don't keep very well, so make these for a party or a brunch, and eat them the day you make them.

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November 15, 2012

Recipe for squash walnut wheat muffins

Squash walnut wheat muffins add a bit of sweetness to the Thanksgiving table.

Every holiday table needs something small, sweet, orange, and full of carbs. These squash walnut wheat muffins fit the bill. Made with healthy white whole wheat flour and canned squash purée (which could also be pumpkin purée, if that's what you have in the cupboard), these little muffins satisfy the sweet tooth, and the carb tooth (if there is such a thing). And on a table filled with dishes served family-style, it's nice to have something just the right size for one person. Muffins generally don't overnight well, but I like to save a few for breakfast the next morning, when a quick zap in the microwave brings them back to life.

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October 14, 2012

Recipe for pumpkin banana waffles

Pumpkin banana waffles bring out the best in Fall, from The Perfect Pantry.

When our friends Mary and Michael took us to Arthur & Pat's, their favorite beach-side breakfast place, a couple of weeks ago, my husband Ted ordered pumpkin banana pancakes that disappeared before I had a chance to taste them (how's that for a recommendation?). So, when he suggested waffles with the same flavors, we made a batter, and tasted, and added, and tasted, and added, until we got as close as we could to the pancakes Ted remembered. Afterwards, though the waffles were so very good, I realized what was missing: the sea air. Everything tastes better when you're near the water, but I promise that, even inland, you'll fall hard for these waffles. Don't forget to freeze a few to pop in the toaster for afternoon snacks.

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September 25, 2012

Recipe for two-tomato bread salad with roasted garlic dressing {vegetarian}

Two-tomato Tuscan bread salad, from The Perfect Pantry.

To squeeze, or not to squeeze: that is the question. Panzanella, the famously frugal Tuscan bread salad, dates as far back as the 1500s, and I'd be surprised if any two Tuscans have made it exactly the same way since then. Everyone agrees on the basics: panzanella must contain bread, preferably slightly stale; and it must contain tomatoes, preferably perfectly ripe; and it must be bound together with some type of vinaigrette dressing. Beyond the basics, each salad maker creates at will, using other harvest ingredients (cucumber, onion, olives) and whatever else is at hand. Some cooks like to soak the bread briefly in water to rejuvenate it, and then squeeze the water out. I prefer to let the bread soak up the vinaigrette, and retain just a little bit of its crouton-like crunch. In this two-tomato bread salad, I combine ripe red tomatoes with my own slow-roasted tomatoes, which have been packed with their cooking olive oil, redolent with garlic and thyme. The oil and tomato juices, along with roasted garlic, add depth to the vinaigrette, which flavors the bread. Thank you, Tuscany.

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About The Perfect Pantry®

  • My name is Lydia Walshin. From my log house kitchen in rural northwest Rhode Island, I share recipes that use what we keep in our pantries, the usual and not-so-usual ingredients that spice up our lives.

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