Tag Archives: Sur La Table

Muffin Top Sunday

Banana Oatmeal Muffins

Elaine had a million dollar idea when she became obsessed with muffin tops on an episode of Seinfeld. She insisted that you had to bake the whole muffin and break the top off the stump to get the muffin top. Little did she know that muffin tops would take on a whole new meaning.

A few years ago I mentioned that my jeans were giving me a muffin top and one of my male friends gave me bewildered look. I had to explain just exactly what that was – you see the jean makers of the world got together with the personal trainers of the world and came up with the crazy idea to sell really low-rise  jeans. The result, no matter how flat of a stomach you have those low riders are gonna push that extra fluff right up over that waistband!

So muffin top and all, I decided to make a healthy muffin that won’t add too much fluff to the waistline!


1 cup whole wheat flour

1/2 cup all-purpose flour

1 cup oatmeal (quick cook oats), rough cut in a blender

2 tsp baking powder

1 tsp baking soda

1/4 tsp salt

1/2 cup sugar

1 egg

1 cup low-fat buttermilk

1/4 cup applesauce, no sugar added

1/4 cup canola oil

1 tsp vanilla

3 bananas, mashed

Preheat oven to 400 degrees.

In a blender or food processor, pulse oatmeal a few times for a rough cut – not to0 fine. Combine flours, oatmeal, baking powder, baking soda and salt in a small bowl.

In a large bowl, mash bananas. Then add the egg, sugar, buttermilk, applesauce, oil, vanilla and stir together.

Add dry ingredients to the wet ingredients and fold together. Do not over stir.

Fill muffin cups and bake for 18-20 minutes. This will make 12-15 medium-sized muffins.


I made extra-large muffins using Panettone paper baking molds from Sur La Table. The cook time for an extra-large muffin will be about 20-25 minutes.

When I punched in this recipe to My food diary’s recipe builder. The calorie count per muffin was around 170 calories with 5 grams of fat.

Birthdays are like Potatoes

Potato Gratin

So yesterday was another birthday. When you get to the point like I have and your birthday means being over the hump of mid-thirties and on your way to 40 celebrating is a lot less of a fuss. So I spent the day with my two boys (grown and not), went to lunch and did some shopping.

As I oohed and aahed in Sur La Table, I thought what a difference this is from turning 21 when all you could wait to do is run to the nearest convenient store at midnight and buy beer – all I wanted at 36 was to indulge in a Le Creuset! And then I thought potatoes – they’re a lot like birthdays. You can jazz them up or make them simple. Have a low fat version or go over the top and indulge…the possibilities are endless.

So in the end I choose a lovely baking dish and came home on mission to create a low fat, easy and a little bit exciting birthday, oh I mean potatoes!


1 1/2 lbs yukon gold potatoes

3/4 c fat-free evaporated milk

3/4 c low sodium chicken broth

1 tbsp all-purpose flour

3 cloves garlic, minced

3 tbsp fresh parsley, minced

3 tbsp parmesan reggiano, shredded

salt and pepper

Preheat oven to 375 degrees.

Wash and dry potatoes and then thinly slice, preferably with a mandoline.

In a small saucepan, add evaporated milk, chicken stock and minced garlic then whisk in flour. Heat slowly over medium-low heat until it is just warm.

Spray a baking dish with canola oil spray. Take 1/3 of the potatoes and layer, overlapping in the bottom of the dish. Season the potatoes generously with salt and pepper, then sprinkle 1 tbsp each of parmesan cheese and parsley. Pour 1/3 of the milk mixture over the potato layer and then repeat this process two more times.

Cover baking dish with foil and bake for 35 minutes. Remove foil after 35 minutes and continue baking for 35 more minutes. Top should be golden brown. Remove from oven and let stand for 5 minutes before cutting.

This is not your typical potato gratin. It is not bathed in cheese and butter like traditional recipes. This dish is more a take on a Potatoes Savoyard which uses chicken broth and no cream.

Great Finds at Sur La Table


Oil Mister – just add you own oil, give a few pumps and say goodbye aerosol cans.






Probably the best $20 I’ll ever spend on a kitchen gadget. I had a mandoline but this sleekslice mandoline is compact, folds up and has a finger guard!