Banana Nut Muffins

This banana nut muffins recipe is outstanding: moist, nutty and perfectly sweet! It will become a family favorite. Here’s an…

A Couple Cooks – Recipes worth repeating.

This banana nut muffins recipe is outstanding: moist, nutty and perfectly sweet! It will become a family favorite.

Banana nut muffins

Here’s an unexpected family favorite muffin: this Banana Nut Muffins recipe! They’re sweet and exceedingly moist, with an irresistibly nutty flavor from toasted walnuts in the batter and sprinkled on top. Add a little crunchy sugar to those muffin tops, and the sweet- salty-nutty flavor combination is out of this world. Our family went wild for these, and I dare say we love these even more than Banana Chocolate Chip Muffins…if that’s possible. Here are the tricks to this tasty muffin!

Ingredients in banana nut muffins

These banana nut muffins are moist and fluffy, with the best nutty flavor that’s infused into the entire muffin. But there’s no tricks here: they’ve got basic ingredients and follow the traditional muffin method. The only added bonus: toasted nuts. Here are the ingredients you’ll need:

  • All-purpose flour
  • Cinnamon and ginger: these spices make for just the right cozy, nuanced flavor
  • Baking powder, baking soda and salt
  • Bananas
  • Egg
  • Granulated sugar
  • Vegetable oil: using oil instead of butter makes extremely moist muffins
  • Vanilla extract
  • Walnuts: you’ll toast the nuts to bring out the flavor: see below! You can also use pecans if you like.
  • Turbinado sugar: this chunky sugar makes a lovely glittery topping
Banana nut muffins recipe

Toasting the nuts brings out the flavor

The key to this banana nut muffins recipe? Toasting the walnuts. Don’t be tempted to skip this step! Toasting nuts is like adding salt to savory food: it intensifies the nutty flavor. It takes just 5 minutes to toast walnuts on the stovetop. Here are the basic steps:

  • Place the nuts in a dry skillet (no oil) over medium heat. Heat, shaking the pan and stirring often with a wooden spoon, until the nuts are fragrant and slightly darker brown, about 4 to 5 minutes.
  • Stay at the stove because the nuts can easily burn! Remove immediately from the heat and transfer to a plate to stop the cooking.
Banana nut muffin

More tips for banana nut muffins

Aside from toasting the nuts, there are a few basic tips for banana nut muffins that are important to keep in mind. Here’s what to know:

  • Very ripe bananas are key. The riper and browner the better! Very ripe bananas make an intensely moist texture and sweet flavor: and there’s no faking it with a plain old ripe banana.
  • Resist the urge to overmix. Overmixing muffin batter causes holes in the crumb and a denser texture. Mix just until the streaks of flour disappear.
  • Baking at 400 degrees makes a taller muffin. Our favorite temperature for baking muffins is 400 degrees Fahrenheit (versus 350F, which you see more often). It makes a taller and fluffier muffin.

Variations and mix-ins

Of course, you can add even more mix-ins to this banana nut muffins recipe to customize it. It would be great with one of the following:

  • Use pecans or macadamia nuts instead of walnuts
  • Chocolate chips: add ½ cup bittersweet or semisweet chips
  • White chocolate chips
  • Butterscotch chips: butterscotch would go well with the nutty flavor
Banana nut muffins

Storage info

What’s the best way to store these banana nut muffins? Here are the best practices for muffin storage:

  • Room temperature up to 4 days: Store at room temperature in a sealed container. You can place a paper towel inside to absorb extra moisture and keep the tops crunchier.
  • Refrigerated 1 week or more: These muffins store well in the refrigerator. (We kept ours almost 2 weeks and they still tasted great.)
  • 3 months: Freeze in a sealable container and store up to 3 months.

More banana muffin recipes

There are lots of ways to make a banana muffin! Here are some of our top muffin recipes:

This banana nut muffins recipe is…

Vegetarian.

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Banana nut muffins

Banana Nut Muffins


  • Author: Sonja Overhiser
  • Prep Time: 20 minutes
  • Cook Time: 15 minutes
  • Total Time: 35 minutes
  • Yield: 12

Description

This banana nut muffins recipe is outstanding: moist, nutty and perfectly sweet! It will become a family favorite.


Ingredients

  • ¾ cup chopped walnuts (or substitute pecans)
  • 1 ½ cups all-purpose flour
  • 2 teaspoons cinnamon
  • 1 teaspoon ground ginger
  • 2 teaspoons baking powder
  • 1 teaspoon baking soda
  • ½ teaspoon kosher salt
  • 1 ½ cups mashed banana (about 3 large or 4 medium)
  • 1 egg
  • 2/3 cup granulated sugar
  • ⅓ cup vegetable oil
  • 1 teaspoon vanilla extract
  • Turbinado sugar, for topping

Instructions

  1. Preheat the oven to 400 degrees Fahrenheit. Add 12 muffin cups to a muffin tin.
  2. Toast the walnuts: Chop the nuts. Place the nuts in a dry skillet (no oil) over medium heat. Heat, shaking the pan and stirring often with a wooden spoon, until the nuts are fragrant and slightly darker brown, about 4 to 5 minutes. Stay at the stove because the nuts can easily burn! Remove immediately from the heat and transfer to a plate to stop the cooking.
  3. In a medium bowl, whisk the all-purpose flour, cinnamon, ginger, baking powder, baking soda, and kosher salt.
  4. In another medium bowl, mash the banana. Whisk in the egg, granulated sugar, vegetable oil, and vanilla.
  5. Mix the wet ingredients into the dry ingredients using a spatula, and stir until a smooth batter forms. Avoid the urge to overmix. Gently fold in ½ cup of the walnuts. Divide the batter evenly into the muffin cups. Sprinkle the tops with the reserved ¼ cup walnuts (split between all) and sprinkle with turbinado sugar.
  6. Bake the muffins for 15 minutes, until puffed and golden on top. Cool for 5 minutes in the pan, then transfer to a rack to cool fully, about 1 hour. Store up to 4 days in a sealed container at room temperature, refrigerated up to 1 week or more (allow to come to room temperature before serving), or frozen up to 3 months.
  • Category: Muffin
  • Method: Baked
  • Cuisine: American
  • Diet: Vegetarian

Keywords: Banana nut muffins, banana nut muffin, banana nut muffin recipe, banana nut muffins recipe

A Couple Cooks - Recipes worth repeating.

Ricotta Pancakes

This ricotta pancakes recipe is light and fluffy: perfect for weekend breakfasts! Adding cheese makes the best texture for pancakes.…

A Couple Cooks – Recipes worth repeating.

This ricotta pancakes recipe is light and fluffy: perfect for weekend breakfasts! Adding cheese makes the best texture for pancakes.

Ricotta Pancakes

There are so many ways to make a pancake, and we’ve tried almost every which way: like classic, buttermilk, blueberry, almond flour, oatmeal, and banana pancakes. But at the very top in our favorite methods for this tasty breakfast are Ricotta Pancakes! Adding ricotta cheese to pancakes makes a lusciously fluffy texture and rich flavor. It also packs the breakfast cake with protein, making them more filling than the standard flapjack. Taste it once and you won’t want to go back!

Ingredients in ricotta pancakes

Ricotta cheese is a creamy Italian cheese with a mild flavor. It’s most famously used in lasagna recipes: but add it to pancakes and it makes them extra fluffy! This ricotta pancakes recipe is simple, and the only special ingredient you need is the cheese. Everything else you likely already have on hand in your pantry and fridge. Here’s what you’ll need for ricotta pancakes:

  • Eggs
  • Ricotta cheese
  • Maple syrup
  • Vanilla extract
  • All-purpose flour
  • Baking powder
  • Kosher salt
  • Butter, for cooking

Want to mix it up? Try our Lemon Ricotta Pancakes for a tangy spin on the classic. Adding lemon zest is a natural way to heighten the flavors and bring a citrusy brightness to the dish.

Ricotta Pancakes

Ricotta makes high protein pancakes

Ricotta cheese makes an impossibly fluffy, delightful texture to a pancake. At the same time, it adds a significant boost of protein. This makes these flapjacks much more satisfying than a classic pancake, and helps them keep you full for hours. Here’s a comparison of the protein levels in ricotta pancakes vs the standard all-purpose flour flapjack:

  • 1 ricotta pancake has 9.6 grams protein! That’s 20% of your daily protein: in one pancake.
  • 1 standard pancake has approximately 4 grams protein. So the cheese version has almost double the protein!

Tips on cooking ricotta pancakes

Cooking ricotta pancakes is similar to the traditional flapjack method. But keep in mind, the texture is slightly different because of the eggs and cheese. Here’s what to note when cooking:

  • Use a large griddle: non-stick is helpful. Some griddles are uneven with their heating, so find a quality pan. Non-stick is helpful and you don’t have to grease it.
  • Experiment to find the right heat level. Medium low heat is ideal, but it’s different on every stovetop. It should take a few minutes to get the pan up to heat.
  • When you flip, the pancake may ooze at the edges. The batter may ooze out a bit at the sides, which is expected. Just keep cooking until it is fully cooked, adjusting the heat as necessary so it doesn’t brown too fast.
Ricotta Pancakes Recipe

Pancake topping ideas

This ricotta pancakes recipe is so light and fluffy, you barely need any toppings to make it taste good! Just a drizzle of maple syrup and a dusting of powdered sugar are perfect. However, if you’d like to get fancier, you can dress up your ricotta pancakes: and it’s fun to bring in seasonal elements! Here are a few ideas:

And that’s it! Let us know what you think of this recipe in the comments below. It’s one of our favorite ways to enjoy a lazy morning breakfast.

Ricotta Pancakes

More ricotta recipes

Love this Italian cheese? Here are a few more great ways to enjoy ricotta; some traditional and some more unique:

This ricotta pancakes recipe is…

Vegetarian.

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Ricotta Pancakes

Ricotta Pancakes


  • Author: Sonja Overhiser
  • Prep Time: 10 minutes
  • Cook Time: 10 minutes
  • Total Time: 20 minutes
  • Yield: 8 to 9 medium pancakes

Description

This ricotta pancakes recipe is light and fluffy: perfect for weekend breakfasts! Adding cheese makes the best texture for pancakes.


Ingredients

  • 4 eggs
  • 1 ½ cups ricotta cheese
  • 3 tablespoons maple syrup
  • 1 teaspoon vanilla extract
  • ¾ cup all-purpose flour
  • ½ tablespoon baking powder
  • ¼ teaspoon kosher salt
  • Butter, for cooking

Instructions

  1. In a medium bowl, whisk the eggs, ricotta, maple syrup and vanilla extract.
  2. In another medium bowl, whisk the flour, baking powder and salt. Add it to the bowl with the wet ingredients and mix until a smooth batter forms.
  3. Heat a non-stick skillet or griddle over medium low heat, then add a bit of butter to coat. Scoop out ¼ cup portions of batter and cook the pancakes until golden brown on one side, adjusting the heat so it doesn’t brown too fast. Flip and cook until cooked through and no longer gooey at the edges (the batter may ooze out a bit at the sides; just keep cooking until it is fully cooked, adjusting the heat as necessary so it doesn’t brown too fast). Place the pancakes in a stack under an overturned bowl, and cook the second batch of pancakes.
  • Category: Breakfast
  • Method: Stovetop
  • Cuisine: American
  • Diet: Vegetarian

Keywords: Ricotta pancakes, Ricotta pancake, ricotta pancake recipe

A Couple Cooks - Recipes worth repeating.

Easy Baked Fish

This baked fish recipe uses simple ingredients for big Mediterranean flavor! It’s a crowd-pleaser with any type of white fish.…

A Couple Cooks – Recipes worth repeating.

This baked fish recipe uses simple ingredients for big Mediterranean flavor! It’s a crowd-pleaser with any type of white fish.

Baked Fish

Baked fish might sound a bit pedestrian…until you’ve tried this Mediterranean baked fish recipe! One bite and you’ll be singing its praises. Roast up any white fish with lemon, garlic and a simple mix of tomatoes, onions and olives. It comes out perfectly fork tender with a punchy zip from the lemon and tender vegetables to flavor each bite. The minute we tried it, we knew it was destined for our regular rotation: it works as both an easy weeknight meal and for dinner parties!

Types of fish to use

You can use any type of white fish in this baked fish recipe: in fact, it doesn’t even need to be white fish! It works with salmon too. Here are some varieties of mild white fish that work well. Keep in mind that each type of fish has a varying level of fillet thickness:

  • Tilapia
  • Halibut
  • Cod
  • Grouper
  • Snapper
  • Pollock
  • Bass
Baked Fish

Ingredients in this baked fish recipe

This baked fish recipe uses a simple Mediterranean preparation to bring big flavors to the dish! It’s easy to slice up the vegetables before baking, and it comes together into something that seems much greater than the sum of its parts. The genius of this recipe is this: the fish bakes on top of the Mediterranean-style vegetables, which give it just the right amount of moisture. The vegetables then form a tangy sauce that infuses a pop of zingy flavor into each bite. When you plate it up, make sure to add Here’s what you’ll need:

  • White fish fillets
  • Cherry tomatoes, red onion, garlic
  • Green olives and capers
  • Fresh parsley
  • Olive oil
  • Dried oregano
  • Lemon juice
  • Salt and pepper
Baked Fish

How to bake fish

Baking white fish is pretty straightforward: it’s all about how thick the fillet is! Here are a few simple tips for how to bake fish:

  • Pat the fillet dry, then season with olive oil, salt, pepper and lemon. This is a great basic flavor profile.
  • Bake the fish for approximately 20 minutes at 425 degrees Fahrenheit. The exact timing depends on the thickness of the fish. A very thin fillet may take 15 minutes, and very thick may take 25 minutes or more.
  • Bake fish until the internal temperature is 140 degrees Fahrenheit when measured with a food thermometer. This is a more precise measurement that yields perfectly cooked fish.

About the olives

This baked fish recipe uses olives for the Mediterranean-style preparation: which can be a polarizing ingredient! You can omit the olives if you’re cooking for olive haters; the dish is still delicious. But we highly recommend using them for the best flavor here! The Italian variety Castelvetrano is a green olive with a mild, buttery flavor: you can find this variety in many grocery stores near the other canned olives.

Baked Fish Recipe

Sides for baked fish

Once you’ve got a pan of this baked fish recipe, we think you’ll agree: it’s a winner! Our entire family loves this one. Here are a few ways to pair this Mediterranean-style dinner: both for quick weeknight meals and for dinners to impress:

More baked fish recipes

Love baked fish recipes? There are loads of ways to prepare fish in the oven. Here are a few more ideas:

This baked fish recipe is…

Pescatarian, gluten-free and dairy free.

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Baked Fish

Easy Baked Fish


  • Author: Sonja Overhiser
  • Prep Time: 10 minutes
  • Cook Time: 20 minutes
  • Total Time: 30 minutes
  • Yield: 4

Description

This baked fish recipe uses simple ingredients for big Mediterranean flavor! It’s a crowd-pleaser with any type of white fish.


Ingredients

  • 1 1/2 pounds white fish fillets (tilapia, halibut, cod, snapper, and so forth)
  • 1 pint cherry tomatoes, sliced in half
  • ¼ cup green olives, sliced in half (optional*; we like Castelvetrano)
  • ¼ cup red onion, thinly sliced
  • 3 garlic cloves, minced
  • 2 tablespoons capers, drained
  • 2 tablespoons chopped fresh parsley, divided
  • 2 tablespoons olive oil, divided
  • 1 teaspoon kosher salt, divided
  • Fresh ground black pepper
  • 1 tablespoon dried oregano
  • 2 tablespoons lemon juice

Instructions

  1. Preheat the oven to 425 degrees Fahrenheit. Allow the fish to stand at room temperature while prepping the vegetables.
  2. Chop the tomatoes, olives, red onion and garlic, as noted above.
  3. Place the chopped vegetables, drained capers, and 1 tablespoon chopped parsley in the bottom of a 9 x 13″ baking dish. Mix with 1 tablespoon olive oil, ¼ teaspoon salt, and fresh ground black pepper.
  4. Pat the fish dry. Rub it with 1 tablespoon olive oil and ¾ teaspoon kosher salt, split between the filets. Sprinkle both with the oregano and a few grinds black pepper. Place the fillets on top of the vegetables in the pan, then gently drizzle the fillets with the lemon juice.
  5. Place the pan in the oven and bake for 20 to 25 minutes (depending on the thickness of the fish; check at 15 minutes for very thin fillets), until the fish is flaky and the internal temperature is 140 degrees Fahrenheit when measured with a food thermometer. Garnish with the remaining 1 tablespoon chopped parsley and serve immediately, adding a few spoonful of vegetables to each plate (over the top or next to the fish).

Notes

*Omit the olives if you’re cooking for olive haters; the dish is still delicious. But we highly recommend using them for the best flavor here! The Italian variety Castelvetrano has a mild, buttery flavor. 

  • Category: Main dish
  • Method: Baked
  • Cuisine: Fish
  • Diet: Gluten Free

Keywords: Baked fish, baked fish recipe, how to bake fish, baked fish recipes

A Couple Cooks - Recipes worth repeating.

Best French Toast Recipe

Here’s how to make the best best French toast recipe! It’s caramelized on the outside with a sweet custardy interior.…

A Couple Cooks – Recipes worth repeating.

Here’s how to make the best best French toast recipe! It’s caramelized on the outside with a sweet custardy interior.

French Toast

It’s cinnamon-scented, crispy on the outside and custardy on the inside: try our best French toast recipe! It’s basic, but it can taste like a luxurious morning of hotel room service if it’s done right. Here we’ve cracked the code to the very best way to make this classic breakfast recipe: and it’s all in the ingredients. Here’s what to know!

Ingredients in a French toast recipe

Classic French toast is sliced bread soaked in a mixture of egg, milk and sugar, then fried until golden crisp on a griddle. This genius way to reinvent stale bread has been around for hundreds of years. In fact, the earliest French toast recipe is in a collection of Roman recipes from the 1st century AD (“The Art of Cooking” by Apicius). How’s that for history?

The early version was even simpler than today’s. But the genius of French toast is that it uses basic ingredients to make a hearty meal. Here’s what you need for a basic French toast recipe:

  • Eggs
  • Milk: whole milk gives the richest flavor, or use 2% or non-dairy milk
  • Sugar: just a hint is all you need
  • Vanilla extract: this recipe uses a hefty amount of vanilla for a bold flavor
  • Cinnamon and nutmeg: adding nutmeg to the mix gives just the right complexity
  • Salt: salt accentuates the flavors; don’t omit it!
  • Bread: an Italian or French loaf, artisan bread, or sourdough bread are our preference, but you can also use challah or brioche for lighter texture
  • Butter: for cooking
French Toast Recipe

Best bread for French toast

The type of bread can make or break a French toast recipe. A slice of flimsy store-bought sandwich bread loaf just doesn’t hold a candle to a more artisan-style bread. Here are a few of the best breads for French toast:

  • Sourdough bread: Sourdough bread has a naturally firm texture and a slight tang to the flavor. It’s our top choice for French toast!
  • Italian or French loaf: Each grocery store uses a different name for this type of bread, but look for an artisan loaf with a firm crust and sturdy texture. You can also use a French baguette.
  • Artisan bread: Look for any style of artisan bread in the bakery section of your grocery store. We recommend avoiding very seedy whole-grain breads for this recipe.
  • Challah or brioche: Egg-based breads like challah and brioche make a fluffy, custardy texture to the French toast. (It’s not our preference, but it’s a specific style!)

Bread to avoid for French toast? We don’t love purchased white or whole wheat sandwich bread. Sure, it’s classic: but the texture can come out mushy and bland. Of course, you can use it if it’s all you have. But for the best French toast recipe, stick to the types above.

How to make French toast

French toast is arguably one of the simplest breakfasts you can make: it’s even easier than pancakes or waffles. Why? All you’ve got to do is mix up the custard, dip the bread, and fry. Here are a few tips for the process:

  • Whisk: In a wide shallow bowl or container, whisk together eggs, milk, sugar, vanilla, cinnamon, nutmeg and kosher salt.
  • Dip: Preheat a griddle over medium heat and melt 1 tablespoon butter. Soak each side of 4 slices of bread in the egg mixture for 10 to 15 seconds. Try not to oversoak the bread or it will become mushy. However, if you’re using a bread with more structure like sourdough, you can soak slightly longer. 
  • Fry: Place the bread on the hot skillet and cook 2 to 3 minutes per side, until browned.
  • Repeat: Repeat with the remaining butter and 4 slices bread. Serve immediately with maple syrup and a dusting of powdered sugar.
French Toast

Avoiding mushy bread

The best way to have full-textured French toast is to use great bread. As noted above, purchased sandwich bread has a flimsy structure and can become mushy. Here’s what to know:

  • Use a bread with texture like a sourdough or Italian or French artisan loaf.
  • Consider using stale bread or bread that is a few days old, which soaks up the egg mixture more. (This isn’t necessary with sturdier breads like sourdough.)
  • If you’re using a purchased sandwich bread with a flimsy texture, consider lightly toasting it in the oven or toaster it before soaking.

Decadent variation: heavy cream

Want to amp up this French toast recipe? Replace half the milk amount with heavy cream! Adding this silky, creamy dairy to the mix makes French toast richer, more buttery and over the top luxurious. Try this when you want an extra special meal, like birthdays, Mother’s Day or holidays.

French toast toppings

For this best French toast recipe, we like to keep toppings simple. A pat of butter, a dusting of powdered sugar, and a drizzle of maple syrup are all you need! But if you want to get a little fancier, here are some gourmet topping ideas:

Breakfast recipes

Diet variations

Do you have a special diet? Here are a few ways to modify this French toast recipe:

  • Dairy-free: This recipe works with non-dairy milk; we recommend oat milk.
  • Gluten-free: Use any type of gluten-free bread.
  • Vegan: Try Vegan French Toast with Caramelized Bananas! Using banana makes a flavorful soaking mixture.

More classic breakfast recipes

Love a great classic breakfast or brunch? Try these breakfast recipe ideas:

This French toast recipe is…

Vegetarian.

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French Toast

Best French Toast Recipe


  • Author: Sonja Overhiser
  • Prep Time: 5 minutes
  • Cook Time: 5 minutes
  • Total Time: 10 minutes
  • Yield: 8

Description

Here’s how to make the best best French toast recipe! It’s caramelized on the outside with a sweet custardy interior.


Ingredients

  • 4 eggs
  • ½ cup milk (whole or 2%*)
  • 2 tablespoons sugar
  • 2 teaspoons vanilla extract
  • 1 teaspoon cinnamon
  • ¼ teaspoon nutmeg
  • ⅛ teaspoon kosher salt
  • 8 slices bread from Italian or French loaf, sourdough, challah, or brioche loaf (cut 3/4” thick)**
  • 2 tablespoons butter, for cooking

Instructions

  1. In a wide shallow bowl or container, whisk together eggs, milk, sugar, vanilla, cinnamon, nutmeg and kosher salt.
  2. Preheat a griddle over medium heat and melt 1 tablespoon butter. Soak each side of 4 slices of bread in the egg mixture until it becomes saturated (about 10 to 15 seconds per side for an artisan or sourdough bread**). Place the bread on the hot skillet and cook 2 to 3 minutes per side, until browned.
  3. Repeat with the remaining butter and 4 slices bread. Serve immediately with maple syrup and a dusting of powdered sugar.

Notes

*Use whole milk for the best rich flavor. For a decadent twist, use half milk and half heavy cream.

**If you’re using a bread with more structure like sourdough, you can soak it in the egg mixture slightly longer if you like. If you’re using a sandwich bread with a flimsier structure, you may want to toast it first before soaking, otherwise it can become very mushy. 

  • Category: Breakfast
  • Method: Stovetop
  • Cuisine: American
  • Diet: Vegetarian

Keywords: French toast, how to make french toast, best french toast recipe, easy french toast recipe

A Couple Cooks - Recipes worth repeating.

Cilantro Lime Slaw

This cilantro lime slaw is fresh and zingy, with just the right pop from the citrus! It’s great as a…

A Couple Cooks – Recipes worth repeating.

This cilantro lime slaw is fresh and zingy, with just the right pop from the citrus! It’s great as a side dish or taco filling.

Cilantro Lime Slaw

There’s something about a creamy slaw that’s irresistible, and we couldn’t stop shoveling in bites of this one. Try this Cilantro Lime Slaw! Cabbage in a creamy dressing is one thing. But add the bite of fresh cilantro and a pop of lime, and it’s next level! The flavor is creamy, savory and ideal as a side dish for chicken, fish or veggie mains. Or, throw it into a tortilla as a taco filling, and eat the rest on the side. Here’s how to make this irresistible recipe (we’re already getting hungry).

Ingredients in cilantro lime slaw

There’s a bit of a shortcut in this cilantro lime slaw: a bag of coleslaw mix! Here’s the thing: when it comes to coleslaw, slicing cabbage always makes a bit of a mess. A bag of coleslaw is nearly as fresh, and saves a load of time! For this recipe, we added in some additional red cabbage because we wanted a colorful look, and most coleslaw bags don’t have much red cabbage. You can omit the red cabbage if you prefer: it will still taste great! Here’s what you’ll need:

  • Coleslaw mix
  • Red cabbage
  • Cilantro
  • Mayonnaise
  • Greek yogurt
  • Lime juice
  • Maple syrup
  • Chili powder
  • Salt and pepper
Cilantro Lime Slaw

A winning combo: mayo plus Greek yogurt

When it comes to creamy dressings and dips, we’ve discovered a secret: Greek yogurt plus mayonnaise. Traditionally mayo-based foods can be rather rich, so here’s a trick: cut the mayo with a little Greek yogurt! It lightens up the calories and flavor, keeping it creamy and adding a little tang. We use this trick often, like with our Creamy Caesar Dressing or Spinach Artichoke Dip.

This cilantro lime slaw also features mayonnaise and Greek yogurt in the coleslaw dressing! If you prefer dairy-free recipes, simply use an equal part mayonnaise for the yogurt. It tastes great and has an even richer flavor.

Cabbage vs coleslaw mix

Want to use cabbage instead of coleslaw mix in this cilantro lime slaw? You can do that too! Here’s what’s in a 14 to 16 ounce bag of coleslaw mix:

  • Use 6 to 7 cups shredded green cabbage
  • Add 1 cup shredded carrots
Cilantro Lime Slaw

Serving cilantro lime slaw

This cilantro lime slaw is the ideal side dish for any protein or main: and it’s great for picnics and barbecues. Or, throw it in tacos! Here are a few ideas:

More coleslaw recipes

We can’t get enough of coleslaw (not sure why, but the savory sweet ticks all our boxes!). Here are a few more tasty coleslaw recipes:

This cilantro lime slaw recipe is…

Vegetarian and gluten-free. For vegan, plant-based and dairy-free, use vegan mayo and omit the Greek yogurt.

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Cilantro Lime Slaw

Cilantro Lime Slaw


  • Author: Sonja Overhiser
  • Prep Time: 15 minutes
  • Cook Time: 0 minutes
  • Total Time: 15 minutes
  • Yield: 6

Description

This cilantro lime slaw is fresh and zingy, with just the right pop from the citrus! It’s great as a side dish or taco filling.


Ingredients

  • 14 to 16 ounce bag coleslaw mix (7 to 8 cups)
  • 2 cups shredded red cabbage*
  • ¾ cup chopped cilantro, plus more for serving
  • ¼ cup mayonnaise
  • ¼ cup Greek yogurt**
  • 4 tablespoons lime juice
  • 1 tablespoon maple syrup
  • ½ teaspoon chili powder
  • 1 teaspoon kosher salt
  • Fresh ground black pepper

Instructions

  1. Shred the red cabbage and chop the cilantro. Place it in a large bowl with the coleslaw mix.
  2. Mix in the mayonnaise, Greek yogurt, lime juice, maple syrup, chili powder, kosher salt, and fresh ground black pepper to taste. Serve immediately or refrigerate for up to 4 days.

Notes

*Or omit the red cabbage, if you’re feeling lazy! It still comes out great. If you prefer not using coleslaw mix, you can use 6 to 7 cups shredded green cabbage and 1 cup shredded carrots.

**For dairy free or for a richer overall flavor, use ½ cup mayo and omit the Greek yogurt.

  • Category: Side dish
  • Method: No Cook
  • Cuisine: American
  • Diet: Vegetarian

Keywords: Cilantro lime slaw

A Couple Cooks - Recipes worth repeating.

Lemon Poppy Seed Muffins

These lemon poppy seed muffins are perfectly bright and zingy! Cover them in a lemon glaze for even of a…

A Couple Cooks – Recipes worth repeating.

These lemon poppy seed muffins are perfectly bright and zingy! Cover them in a lemon glaze for even of a citrus pop.

Lemon Poppy Seed Muffins

When it comes to baked goods, there’s nothing like a great banana muffin or blueberry muffin. But if you’re a citrus-lover, there’s another in the muffin hall of fame: Lemon Poppy Seed Muffins! This muffins recipe is bright and zingy, with just the right light texture and citrusy zing. Seal the deal by drizzling on a quick, flavor-popping lemon glaze. These are the perfect fun recipe for a special breakfast or brunch: or leave them un-glazed for quick breakfasts throughout the week.

Ingredients in lemon poppy seed muffins

The most important ingredient in a lemon poppy seed muffins recipe? Fresh lemons! There’s no substitute for the bright, tangy juice and citrus pop of lemon zest. Outside of poppy seeds, the rest of the players are all common pantry and refrigerate ingredients. Here’s what you’ll need to make this recipe:

  • All purpose flour
  • Granulated sugar
  • Baking powder
  • Salt
  • Eggs
  • Vegetable oil
  • Greek yogurt
  • Milk
  • Lemon juice and lemon zest
Lemon Poppy Seed Muffins

Lemon juice and zest

How many lemons do you need to buy for lemon poppy seed muffins? Here’s a key for how much lemon juice and zest comes from one lemon:

  • How much juice in one lemon? One medium lemon yields about 3 tablespoons juice; one large lemon yields 4 tablespoons juice or more.
  • How much zest in one lemon? One medium lemon has about 1 tablespoon lemon zest.
  • For this recipe, you’ll need 4 tablespoons lemon juice and 2 tablespoons lemon zest. So, make sure to buy 2 medium lemons.

Tips for this lemon poppy seed muffins recipe

Outside of the ingredients list, this lemon poppy seed muffins recipe is pretty standard. Mix the dry ingredients, mix the wet ingredients, and bake! Here are a few notes to keep in mind during the process:

  • Zest your lemon first before juicing it! It’s difficult to grate once it’s juiced, so don’t forget the zest.
  • Microplane makes for easy zesting. microplane grater is a handheld grater with sharp holes in it and it’s quicker and easy to clean than a box grater.
  • Resist the urge to overmix the batter. Overmixing muffin batter causes holes in the crumb and a denser texture. Mix just until the streaks of flour disappear.
  • The muffin cups will be very full. We think a good muffin should be tall with a generous muffin top, so batter amount may be more than you’re used to.
  • Baking at 400 degrees makes a taller muffin. Baking muffins at 400 degrees Fahrenheit makes a taller and fluffier muffin than at 350 (plus, it’s quicker!).
Lemon Poppy Seed Muffins

These lemon poppy seed muffins are deliciously zingy, with a hefty amount of lemon flavor. But want to step it up a bit? Add the the lemon glaze, which infuses a huge citrus burst. It’s not required, but we think it brings the flavor to just the right pop. Here’s what to know about the glaze:

  • Wait until the muffins are cool prior to icing. Otherwise, the icing will melt into the muffins.
  • Use a fork! A fork makes the best drizzly lines: with a spoon it’s a bit too chunky.
  • Use less if desired. You can make a half recipe of the icing if you’re worried about too much sugar in your muffins.

Storage info

What’s the best way to serve lemon poppy seed muffins? The icing will hold up at room temperature for a few days, though if you’re planning to freeze some muffins it’s best to freeze them un-iced. Here’s what to know:

  • At room temperature: Store up to 3 days in a sealed container at room temperature: they become even more moist over time.
  • Refrigerated: Store refrigerated up to 1 week or more: allow to come to room temperature before serving.
  • Frozen: Freeze the muffins in a sealed container for up to 3 months.
Lemon Poppy Seed Muffins

More muffins recipes

Love baking? Here are a few more of our top classic muffins recipes:

This lemon poppy seed muffins recipe is…

Vegetarian.

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Lemon Poppy Seed Muffins

Lemon Poppy Seed Muffins


  • Author: Sonja Overhiser
  • Prep Time: 20 minutes
  • Cook Time: 20 minutes
  • Total Time: 40 minutes
  • Yield: 12

Description

These lemon poppy seed muffins are perfectly bright and zingy! Cover in a lemon glaze for even of a citrus pop.


Ingredients

For the lemon poppy seed muffins

  • 2 ½ cups all-purpose flour
  • 1 cup granulated sugar
  • 3 tablespoons poppyseeds
  • 1 tablespoon baking powder
  • ½ teaspoon kosher salt
  • 2 eggs
  • ½ cup vegetable oil
  • ½ cup Greek yogurt (or sour cream)
  • 1 cup milk
  • 2 tablespoons lemon juice
  • 2 tablespoons lemon zest*

For the lemon glaze (optional)

  • 1 cup powdered sugar
  • 2 tablespoons fresh squeezed lemon juice

Instructions

  1. Preheat: Preheat the oven to 400 degrees Fahrenheit. Spray a standard 12-cup muffin tin with cooking spray or add muffin cup papers.
  2. Make the batter: In a large bowl, whisk the all-purpose flour, sugar, poppy seeds, baking powder, and salt. In a separate medium bowl, whisk the eggs, then whisk in the vegetable oil, yogurt, milk, lemon juice and lemon zest. Stir the wet ingredients into the dry ingredients with a spatula until a thick batter forms. Scoop the batter evenly into the muffin cups: the cups will be full to the top, using about a heaping ¼ cup per muffin. 
  3. Bake: Bake the muffins for 20 minutes, until puffed and golden and a toothpick comes out clean. Cool for 5 minutes in the pan, then transfer to a rack to cool fully, about 1 hour.
  4. For the glaze: In a medium bowl, mix the powdered sugar with the lemon juice until a thick icing forms. If the texture is not drizzlable, add a few more drops lemon juice and continue stirring until it comes together. Drizzle with a fork across the muffins in a diagonal pattern.
  5. Serve: Eat immediately or store up to 3 days in a sealed container at room temperature, refrigerated up to 1 week or more (allow to come to room temperature before serving), or freeze unglazed muffins for up to 3 months.

Notes

*One lemon yields about 1 tablespoon lemon zest, so buy 2 lemons for this amount of lemon zest and juice (including the glaze).

  • Category: Muffin
  • Method: Baked
  • Cuisine: Baked Good
  • Diet: Vegetarian

Keywords: Lemon poppy seed muffins

A Couple Cooks - Recipes worth repeating.

Healthy Mac and Cheese with Broccoli

Healthy mac and cheese? This recipe has big flavor with less cheese than most and added broccoli for fiber and…

A Couple Cooks – Recipes worth repeating.

Healthy mac and cheese? This recipe has big flavor with less cheese than most and added broccoli for fiber and nutrients!

Healthy Mac and Cheese

Healthy mac and cheese? There are lots of implications around the word healthy (which we’ll get into below). Here’s the thing: mac and cheese can be part of a healthy, balanced diet. And this one is all about balance: it’s got big flavor, a bit less cheese per serving than the standard recipe, and it’s loaded with broccoli for a dose of nutrients and fiber. What’s not to love? This one’s on our regular rotation (and it’s 100% kid friendly: our 5 year old adores it!).

Ingredients in this healthy mac and cheese

The word “healthy” is a loaded term: to many people it connotes shame and diet culture. It’s also incredibly subjective, because there’s no exact definition on exactly what healthy is. Mac and cheese can be part of a healthy, balanced diet when it’s eaten in moderation and served with a balance of fruits and vegetables.

This recipe is an exercise in that balance: it’s got a bit less cheese than the standard mac and cheese recipe, and it’s got broccoli to balance the carbs out with fiber. Of course, you can have your broccoli on the side if you prefer it that way: and it’s just as good. Here’s what you’ll need for this recipe:

  • Pasta: macaroni, shells or short pasta (we used cavatappi)
  • Olive oil
  • Broccoli
  • Butter
  • Flour
  • Milk
  • Mozzarella cheese
  • Cheddar cheese
  • Pecorino Romano cheese
  • Salt
  • Italian panko, for serving: we like to top with seasoned breadcrumbs! Italian panko are seasoned with Italian herbs and salt (you can also use them instead of croutons, like in this Kale Caesar Salad).
Healthy Mac and Cheese

The secret ingredient

The secret ingredient in this healthy mac and cheese? Pecorino Romano cheese! Pecorino Romano is an aged cheese with a very salty, savory flavor. This cheese has long been one of our favorite types of cheese to use because it’s so flavorful. It especially transforms vegetarian dishes because of its intensely savory flavor.

All you need are two tablespoons of grated Pecorino Romano here, and it makes all the difference! Try not to leave it out. (We tried once and it didn’t taste nearly as delicious!) You should be able to find it at your local grocery store in either grated or shredded containers. If you can’t find it, use Parmesan cheese and a few more pinches of salt. 

Healthy Mac and Cheese

Why to add broccoli to healthy mac and cheese

Of course, you can eat the broccoli on the side: or a side salad! But this healthy mac and cheese actually very tasty with the broccoli intermixed. Here’s why we like it:

  • The contrast in texture helps you slow down while eating it. Ever feel like you can quickly inhale a mountain of mac and cheese? The different texture of broccoli helps us to slow down and enjoy each bite, making it a more satisfying meal and helping us eat a reasonable portion size.
  • It adds fiber. There’s no fiber in noodles. But 1 cup of broccoli adds 2.4 grams fiber, which is 5 to 10% of your daily need (this is the amount in one serving of the mac and cheese).
  • It also adds nutrients. Broccoli is also high in nutrients like iron, folate, potassium, manganese, and vitamins C and K1.

Sides for healthy mac and cheese

This healthy mac and cheese is part of our regular repertoire — our 5 year old in particular loves it! And so do we. Here are a few kid friendly and adult friendly side dish ideas to pair with it for an easy weeknight:

Healthy Mac and Cheese

More mac and cheese recipes

We’ve got traditional mac and cheese recipes too! Here are a few of our top favorite ways to make this classic:

This healthy mac and cheese recipe is…

Vegetarian. For gluten-free, use gluten-free pasta.

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Healthy Mac and Cheese

Healthy Mac and Cheese with Broccoli


  • Author: Sonja Overhiser
  • Prep Time: 5 minutes
  • Cook Time: 15 minutes
  • Total Time: 20 minutes
  • Yield: 4

Description

Healthy mac and cheese? This recipe has big flavor with less cheese than most and added broccoli for fiber and nutrients!


Ingredients

  • 8 ounces elbow macaroni, shells or other short cut pasta (if desired, use gluten-free or legume pasta)
  • 1 tablespoon olive oil
  • 4 cups small florets of broccoli (2 heads)
  • 2 tablespoons unsalted butter
  • 2 tablespoons all-purpose flour
  • ¾ cup 2% milk
  • ½ cup shredded mozzarella cheese
  • ½ cup shredded cheddar cheese (or 1 cup cheddar)
  • 2 tablespoons grated or shredded Pecorino Romano cheese (don’t omit!*)
  • 1/2 to 3/4 teaspoon kosher salt
  • Italian seasoned panko, for serving (optional)

Instructions

  1. Bring a large pot of salted water to a boil. Add the pasta and cook just until al dente, (about 8 minutes; start tasting a few minutes before your package instructions indicate). 
  2. Cut the broccoli into very small florets. In a large saucepan, add a drizzle of olive oil and heat on medium high. Add the broccoli and cook for 4 minutes until tender, then add a splash of water and ¼ teaspoon kosher salt. Cook 2 minutes more until bright green and tender. Remove the broccoli from the pan (and wipe it out if necessary).
  3. In the same pan, melt the butter over medium heat. Reduce the heat to low and whisk in the flour to create a paste for 1 minute. Gradually add the milk and whisk until smooth. Increase the heat to medium and continue whisking until the sauce starts to thicken, about 2 minutes. Stir in the shredded mozzarella, cheddar and Pecorino Romano cheese and continue stirring until the cheese is melted and the sauce is smooth. Add the ½ teaspoon salt. (If the sauce is too sticky, you can add ¼ cup more milk to get a creamier texture.) 
  4. Add the pasta and broccoli to the sauce, stirring to combine, and heat just until the pasta is warmed through. Taste and add the remaining ¼ teaspoon kosher salt. If desired, sprinkle with Italian panko and serve. 

Notes

*This is the secret flavor maker. Pecorino Romano is an aged cheese similar to Parmesan, but saltier and more savory. If you can’t find it, use Parmesan cheese and a few more pinches of salt. 

  • Category: Main dish
  • Method: Stovetop
  • Cuisine: American
  • Diet: Vegetarian

Keywords: Healthy mac and cheese

A Couple Cooks - Recipes worth repeating.

Best Non Alcoholic Beer

Non alcoholic beer is on trend and for good reason: it actually tastes good! Here’s how to pick the best…

A Couple Cooks – Recipes worth repeating.

Non alcoholic beer is on trend and for good reason: it actually tastes good! Here’s how to pick the best non alcoholic beer.

Best Non Alcoholic Beer

A new type beer of beer is spreading like wildfire, and here’s thing: you can sip it after a workout or enjoy it while pregnant. It’s non alcoholic beer! Alcohol free beer of the past tasted flat and watery. But new technology has enabled a way to make non alcoholic beer that actually tastes good. (Yes, it’s not just O’Doul’s anymore!)

Here at A Couple Cooks, we’re created hundreds of cocktail recipes and love appreciating great alcohol. However, we’ve found ourselves moving toward non alcoholic beer for our everyday drinking! Alex loves to sip on one in the evening with a book. And while I’m pregnant, there’s nothing better than being able to grab a “beer” at my local bar with a friend.

The market has exploded with brands and types: but which is the best non alcoholic beer? Here’s a little background on the product and our favorite brands and types.

What is non alcoholic beer?

US federal law defines a non alcoholic beer as a beer with less than 0.5% alcohol by volume. This type of beer attempts to approximate the flavor of standard beer without the inebriating effects of alcohol. This makes it ideal for enjoying responsibly, such as before driving, after a workout, or while pregnant.

Keep in mind: because beers labeled “non-alcoholic” contain a very small amount of alcohol, some US states require you to be of legal drinking age to purchase it.

Non alcoholic beer also has less calories than alcoholic beer, making it a relatively healthy drink option. The calories in a non alcoholic beer range from 50 to 100 calories per drink, whereas a standard beer can range from 150 to 200 calories.

What does it taste like?

Complaints about non alcoholic beer in the past has been that the flavor is flat and diluted. But new technologies have emerged that allow brewers to create robust flavors without alcohol. One is called controlled fermentation, which allows the brewer to produce beer without alcohol instead of removing the alcohol after brewing, which is detrimental to the flavor. For more on beer technology, see this NPR Article, “Non-Alcoholic Beers Are Finally Good” or listen to the podcast What’s Your Problem? “Beer Without the Buzz.

So what does it taste like? Many non alcoholic beers on the market taste full-flavored and satisfying, though everything varies based on brand. In general, the beverage looks like a beer with the foam and color, and tastes like a beer with hops and malt flavors. The only thing missing is the effervescence that comes from alcohol.

With some brands, you might at first mistake it for a real beer on first taste. A few sips in you’ll likely find it’s not exactly the same as an alcoholic beer, but the overall experience makes it absolutely worth drinking.

Best Non Alcoholic Beer

What is the best non alcoholic beer?

Now for the big question: what’s the best non alcoholic beer? One general recommendation: avoid non-alcoholic versions from your favorite standard breweries and instead look for beers from companies that specialize in non-alcoholic brewing. The brands and types available at your liquor store may vary. After taste testing the choices available at our local liquor store, we recommend the following brands and beers:

  1. Athletic Brewing Co. Hazy IPA. A great IPA; complex and hop-forward, with a juicy, floral and subtly citrusy character. This beer has won several awards and has a fan following. You can browse more types at Athletic Brewing Co.
  2. Clausthaler Original. This German brand is a favorite of ours: you’d almost mistake it for the real thing! The flavor is crisp and fresh, with a refreshing dose of hops. Browse more types at Clausthaler.
  3. Brewdog Punk AF. This light, golden beer has a clean, hoppy flavor that doesn’t taste like you’re missing out. Tropical fruits, caramel, grassy and pine notes precede a lightly bitter finish. Browse more types at Brewdog.

A few brands to avoid? We’d suggest side-stepping Two Roots Brewing or Lagunitas; the flavor can’t compete with the brands above.

What do you think is the best?

We want to hear from you! Let us know what you think is the best non alcoholic beer in the comments below. We’ll continually update this list as the market grows and changes.

More drinks and cocktails

Love to enjoy a drink? Here are a few more of our popular alcoholic drink and cocktail posts:

A Couple Cooks - Recipes worth repeating.

Strawberry Cheesecake Ice Cream

This strawberry cheesecake ice cream is rich and decadent, pairing zingy sweet fruit with creamy vanilla and graham cracker chunks!…

A Couple Cooks – Recipes worth repeating.

This strawberry cheesecake ice cream is rich and decadent, pairing zingy sweet fruit with creamy vanilla and graham cracker chunks!

Strawberry Cheesecake Ice Cream

In the mood for a treat? Try this over-the-top dessert: Strawberry Cheesecake Ice Cream! This homemade ice cream is decadent and rich, featuring zingy-sweet fruit against a creamy vanilla base and soft graham cracker chunks. Take one bite and you’ll mumble “wow” before immediately poising your scoop for another. (At least, that’s what we did!) It takes a bit of effort to put together, but it’s worth it for this special indulgence. Our family went crazy over this one…and it’s hard to find a person who doesn’t!

Ingredients in strawberry cheesecake ice cream

This strawberry cheesecake ice cream recipe has several components and takes a bit of time to put together. But if you’re up for the challenge of making a showstopper of a dessert recipe, it’s absolutely worth it! This recipe uses our base cheesecake ice cream recipe, then swirls in a homemade strawberry sauce. You can also shortcut the recipe a bit by using purchased strawberry jam, which makes it more manageable. Here’s what you’ll need for this recipe:

  • Cream cheese
  • Cornstarch
  • Whole milk
  • Granulated sugar
  • Heavy cream
  • Kosher salt
  • Vanilla extract
  • Graham crackers
  • Strawberry sauce: strawberries, sugar, balsamic vinegar and cinnamon
Strawberry cheesecake ice cream

Homemade strawberry sauce and a shortcut

The best way to make this strawberry cheesecake ice cream? With homemade strawberry sauce! It has a pure, sweet tart flavor that’s not possible with any other store-bought shortcut. In particular, we love how the balsamic vinegar and cinnamon flavors accent the sweet berries. It takes a few minutes to prep and 10 minutes to simmer on the stove.

But we get it! Sometimes you don’t have the extra 15 minutes or want to clean up a sticky pan. (Noted!) So you can easily make this ice cream recipe with purchased strawberry jam. Try to find the best brand you can: a more expensive jam will most likely taste better than the cheapest jar on the shelf.

Strawberries

Required equipment: ice cream maker

Strawberry cheesecake ice cream requires an ice cream maker, so make sure to have one hand before you start! You’ll find this piece of equipment a great investment you can use to make sorbetssherbet and ice creams year round. There are two main types of ice cream makers to try:

  • Freezer bowl ice cream maker (inexpensive). This type of ice cream maker is the most economical choice. Here’s the 2 quart freezer bowl ice cream maker we use. It’s a little more expensive than some in the category, but it’s held up well over time. With this type of maker, make sure to freeze the base of the ice cream maker overnight before churning.
  • Automatic ice cream maker (expensive, but easy to use!). Do you make ice cream often? You might want to consider this automatic ice cream maker, which is larger and more expensive. It requires no pre-freezing of the base, so you can make ice cream any time you please.

How to make strawberry cheesecake ice cream (basic steps)

This strawberry cheesecake cream recipe is a classic ice cream: you’ll make a custard base, then churn in an ice cream maker, then add mix-ins and freeze it again in your freezer. It does take a bit of effort to put together, but it’s well worth it for an over-the-top treat! Here’s what you’ll need:

  • Make the custard (5 minutes): Soften the cream cheese. Simmer the cornstarch, whole milk and sugar 4 to 5 minutes, taking care that it doesn’t boil. Then add in the heavy cream, more milk and vanilla. Pour it over the cream cheese and whisk to combine.
  • Cool the custard (1 hour): Cool down the custard before churning it. You can do this in a few ways. Our favorite is to transfer the mixture to a large metal or glass bowl and place the bowl in a smaller bowl of ice water for 1 hour.
  • Make the strawberry sauce (during the cool time): Make the homemade strawberry sauce. Place it in the refrigerator to chill.
  • Churn (25 minutes): Then churn the custard in the ice cream maker.
  • Add the graham crackers and strawberry sauce: Swirl the chopped graham crackers and strawberry sauce into the custard (if using).
  • Freeze or “ripen” for hard ice cream texture (at least 2 hours): Freeze the ice cream for 2 to 4 hours for a scoop-able, hard ice cream texture.
Strawberry cheesecake ice cream

Storage info

Some homemade ice cream recipes turn into a frozen block after storing for more than a day. But this strawberry cheesecake ice cream stays creamy over the storage time! (The secret? Cornstarch keeps it creamy over time.) The flavor is best right away, but you can store this ice cream for up to 2 weeks and it still tastes delicious.

After you store the ice cream in the freezer for several days, it will be very hard. Allow the pan to sit at room temperature for 10 to 15 minutes before scooping.

More ice cream recipes

There are so many ways to use your ice cream maker to make homemade treats! Here are a few of our favorite ice cream recipes:

This strawberry cheesecake ice cream recipe is…

Vegetarian. For gluten-free, use gluten-free graham crackers.

Print
Strawberry Cheesecake Ice Cream

Strawberry Cheesecake Ice Cream


  • Author: Sonja Overhiser
  • Prep Time: 1 hour 30 minutes (including chill time)
  • Cook Time: 15 minutes
  • Total Time: 1 hour 45 minutes
  • Yield: 1 quart

Description

This strawberry cheesecake ice cream is rich and decadent, pairing zingy sweet fruit with creamy vanilla and graham cracker chunks!


Ingredients

For the ice cream

  • 8 ounces cream cheese, softened
  • 2 tablespoons cornstarch 
  • 1 ½ cups whole milk
  • 1 cup granulated sugar
  • 1 cup heavy cream
  • ⅛ teaspoon kosher salt
  • 1 tablespoon vanilla extract
  • 2 whole graham crackers, chopped

For the strawberry sauce (or substitute 2/3 cup purchased strawberry jam)

  • 2 cups diced strawberries (¾ pound)
  • ¼ cup sugar
  • 1 teaspoon balsamic vinegar
  • ¼ teaspoon cinnamon

Instructions

Note: Make sure to freeze the base of your ice cream maker overnight before making this recipe.

  1. Soften the cream cheese by placing it on a plate and microwaving for 10 seconds per side. Place the cream cheese in a large metal bowl and cut into a few pieces.
  2. In a medium saucepan, slowly whisk the cornstarch into 1 cup whole milk, then whisk in the sugar. Apply medium heat and heat for 4 to 6 minutes, whisking frequently, until it just starts to bubble and the mixture thickens.
  3. Remove the mixture from the heat and pour it over the cream cheese. Whisk vigorously until it is fully smooth (it will start out chunky). Stir in the remaining ½ cup whole milk, heavy cream, salt and vanilla extract.
  4. Place the bowl with the custard in a smaller bowl of ice water for 1 hour, making sure not to splash any water into the ice cream. Alternatively, simply place the bowl in the refrigerator and wait for 3 to 4 hours or until the temperature drops to 40 degrees Fahrenheit.
  5. Meanwhile, make the strawberry sauce (or make it ahead): Clean, hull and dice the strawberries. Add them to a medium saucepan with sugar, balsamic vinegar and cinnamon and cook over medium heat, stirring occasionally while it bubbles gently. Cook about 9 to 10 minutes, until all the berries are cooked down. Immediately transfer to a medium bowl and place in the refrigerator to cool (we recommend first placing it in the freezer for about 10 minutes to speed up the cooling process.)
  6. Churn according to your ice cream maker instructions, about 25 minutes for soft serve consistency. Transfer half the ice cream to a loaf pan or freezer container, add a layer of chopped graham crackers and strawberry sauce, then top with the remaining half and more graham crackers and strawberry sauce. Insert a butter knife vertically into the pan and draw an S pattern through the ice cream a few times to distribute the graham crackers and fruit. Freeze in the freezer for at least 2 hours (or up to 4 hours). Store in a loaf pan with a parchment sheet over the top or a sealed container for up to 2 weeks. Allow the pan to sit at room temperature for 10 to 15 minutes before scooping.
  • Category: Ice Cream
  • Method: Frozen
  • Cuisine: American
  • Diet: Vegetarian

Keywords: Strawberry cheesecake ice cream

A Couple Cooks - Recipes worth repeating.

Perfect Focaccia Bread

This focaccia recipe makes the perfect bread! It’s tall and fluffy, crispy on the outside with pillowy air pockets on…

A Couple Cooks – Recipes worth repeating.

This focaccia recipe makes the perfect bread! It’s tall and fluffy, crispy on the outside with pillowy air pockets on the inside.

Focaccia Recipe

Did you know it’s easy to make bakery-style focaccia bread at home? Introducing the perfect focaccia recipe! No need to shop around. Make this simple bread once, and we guarantee you’ll find it’s the best focaccia bread you’ve made at home. It’s thick and airy, crispy on the outside with beautiful pillowy air pockets on the interior. The flavor is developed and perfectly seasoned, with the classic notes of salt, rosemary and olive oil notes. Even better: it’s one of the easiest homemade bread recipes. Our family goes crazy over this one, and we can’t wait to share it with you.

Why this focaccia recipe is the best

Focaccia bread is an Italian flatbread baked in a sheet pan and flavored with olive oil. A good focaccia should be thick and airy, with signature air pockets in the crumb (interior texture). Focaccia dough is similar to pizza dough, but it’s made using a strong flour and more yeast, which makes it taller and fluffier.

There is a lot of variation in focaccia recipes on the internet. If not formulated correctly, focaccia bread can come out very dense, with little or no holes in the crumb. Or it can come out very thin or dry, or fluffy and soft like a roll. None of these are what you want with this special bread! What’s great about this focaccia bread recipe? You’ll find it:

  • Is very thick, perfect for eating plain or slicing in half as sandwiches
  • Has a beautiful airy crumb, which comes from an overnight rise in the refrigerator
  • Has a developed, well-seasoned flavor that tastes like it’s from an Italian bakery!
Focaccia Recipe

How to make focaccia bread: an overview

Here’s the basic outline of the of the focaccia process. The process takes 5 minutes the night before, and then about 2 hours the day of. It is one of the easiest bread recipes we have, but you do need to think ahead! We like to make the dough at around 9:00 pm the night before, then bake it around 1:00 pm the next day. Here’s an outline on the steps required:

Mix, Rest overnight5 minutes active, 12 to 16 hours hands off
Shape & Proof5 minutes active, 45 minutes hands off
Add brine5 minutes
Bake35 minutes, hands off
Cool45 minutes, hands off

Required equipment

One of the great things about homemade focaccia? You need minimal special bread-making tools. Many of our bread recipes require a Dutch oven, bread basket, special knife for scoring, and other equipment. That’s not so here! There are a few optional tools that are helpful, but not required. Here’s what you’ll need for this recipe:

  1. Large bowl
  2. Plastic wrap or large zip-top bag
  3. 9 x 13″ baking dish
  4. Kitchen scale (optional): while it’s optional, we highly recommend weighing the ingredients for best results when you’re baking
  5. Pizza stone (optional): it helps to heat the bread quicker and make an airier dough. Here’s the pizza stone we use. (You can also use it for these pizza recipes and other breads, so it’s a great investment.)
Focaccia Recipe

Ingredients for this focaccia recipe

There are only a few ingredients required for this focaccia recipe: but each is important! Here’s what to know:

  • Bread flour: Bread flour has a higher protein content than all-purpose flour, which makes for a lighter, airier texture. It’s worth finding for this recipe!
  • Active dry yeast
  • Kosher salt
  • Olive oil
  • Fresh rosemary: Fresh rosemary is traditional in Italian baking of focaccia and it adds just the right herbaceous scent to the fresh bread. Trust us: it’s required!

Tips for baking

Once you’ve got your ingredients and tools, baking focaccia bread is simple! Here are a few tips to remember when you’re making the recipe:

  • Remember to start the night before! That’s right: you’ll need an overnight rise. Think about mixing up the dough around 9 pm, and you can bake the bread around 1:00 pm the next day. 16 hours is best if you can swing it.
  • Be gentle when shaping and handling the dough. A great part about homemade focaccia bread is that it doesn’t require any rolling or technical shaping. All you do is gently press it out into the pan. Just use care so you don’t deflate any air bubbles.
  • Use a pizza stone if you can. Again, a pizza stone lets the bread get hotter, thereby making it rise faster and get taller and fluffier. If you don’t have one, here’s the pizza stone we use.
Cheese Board

Serving focaccia bread

That beautiful loaf of focaccia bread will make your kitchen smell like a bakery. If you can resist, wait until it’s fully cool to take a taste. However, this type of bread won’t suffer if you try to sneak a piece when it’s warm (which is a no-no with sourdough bread). Focaccia works served on its own as a side for lunch, dinner, or soups, or sliced for sandwiches. Here are a few ways to serve focaccia bread:

How do you plan to serve it? Let us know in the comments below!

Storage info

How to store homemade focaccia bread? You can store homemade focaccia for up to 3 days in a sealed plastic bag with excess air squeezed out, or in a sealed container. It’s great room temperature or you can reheat it in a 375 degree Fahrenheit oven until warm.

More homemade bread recipes

Making homemade bread is a fun hobby that makes delicious sides and sandwich bread for your weekly meals! Here are a few favorite bread recipes to try:

This focaccia recipe is…

Vegetarian, vegan, plant-based, dairy-free and gluten-free.

Print
Focaccia Recipe

Perfect Focaccia Bread


  • Author: Sonja Overhiser
  • Prep Time: 12 hours
  • Cook Time: 35 minutes
  • Total Time: 12 hours 35 minutes
  • Yield: 18

Description

This focaccia recipe makes the perfect bread! It’s tall and fluffy, crispy on the outside with pillowy air pockets on the inside.


Ingredients

For the bread

  • 630 grams (4 ½ cups) bread flour
  • 1 ½ teaspoons active dry yeast
  • 2 teaspoons kosher salt
  • 532 ml (2 ¼ cups) warm water
  • 1 ½ tablespoons olive oil

For the brine

  • 2 tablespoons olive oil
  • 1 tablespoon water
  • 1 teaspoon kosher salt

For topping

  • Leaves from 2 rosemary sprigs

Instructions

  1. In a large bowl, stir together the flour, yeast and kosher salt. Add the warm water and 1 ½ tablespoons olive oil and stir with a wooden spoon until sticky dough is formed.  With wet hands, lift the bottom of the dough and wrap it over the top a few times, folding the dough to make a ball and to ensure all of the flour has been incorporated. Place the dough back in the bowl and cover the bowl tightly with plastic wrap or place in a large zip-top bag.
  2. Proof overnight at room temperature, preferably 12 to 16 hours. The dough will rise and double in size, and then collapse. (For example, we like to mix at 9:00 pm and start the baking process at 1:00 pm the next day.)
  3. After the rise, add a small drizzle of olive oil into a 9″ x 13″ baking pan and use your hands to spread it across the bottom. With your oiled hands, turn the dough into the baking pan and gently press and stretch the dough so that it is evenly distributed across the pan (take care not to smash all of the air out of the dough). It may take several times of stretching it out to reach the corners. Cover the pan with plastic wrap or a large zip-top bag and rest for 45 minutes.
  4. Preheat the oven to 425 degrees Fahrenheit with a pizza stone inside. You can still bake without the pizza stone, but it will yield an airier dough.
  5. In a small bowl, stir together the brine ingredients.
  6. Pour the brine over the puffy dough and lightly press your fingers into the dough, all the way across, to dimple the dough. Sprinkle with rosemary leaves.
  7. Bake immediately: place the pan on the pizza stone and bake for 30 to 35 minutes until golden brown on top. Cool completely before cutting. Store up to 3 days in a sealed plastic bag with excess air squeezed out or a sealed container. 
  • Category: Bread
  • Method: Baked
  • Cuisine: Italian
  • Diet: Vegan

Keywords: Focaccia, focaccia recipe, focaccia bread, focaccia bread recipe, best focaccia bread, recipe for focaccia bread

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