Tag Archives: poppy seed

lemon poppy seed ginger muffins

lemon poppy seed ginger muffins | dragitthroughthegarden.wordpress.comI love breakfast food. (Muffins do count as breakfast food, right?) Maybe it is the carb-overload that happens in a lot of breakfasts or the combination of sweet and savory foods, but I could eat breakfast for every meal of the day. Seriously.

There’s something refreshing about lemon and ginger together. And as a breakfast food? With poppy seeds? Gotta love it.

I have this problem of not eating breakfast on the weekends until about 11. Which I don’t qualify as breakfast any more. It’s either that I start doing homework really early and just buckle down into it to get done as soon as possible or I go to the grocery store.

As many of you probably know, grocery store on an empty stomach never is a good idea. I should probably note the overflow of food in my cabinets at this point. Oops. But something weird happens when I’m hungry and go to look for something to eat. It’s like 90% of my food vanishes and I feel like I have limited options. There must be some science behind that because it just doesn’t make any sense to me.

lemon poppy seed ginger muffins

Makes 16 Muffins

1 large lemon
About 3 inches ginger root, peeled and cut into small cubes
1 cup granulated sugar, divided
3 cups all-purpose flour
1 tablespoon baking powder
1 teaspoon baking soda
½ teaspoon salt
10 tablespoons unsalted butter, room temperature
2 large eggs
1 teaspoon vanilla extract
1 cup plain yogurt
½ cup sour cream
2 tablespoons poppy seeds
1 cup powdered sugar
juice from 1 large lemon (about 3 tablespoons)

Preheat oven to 350°F. Line 2 12-cavity muffin tin with 16 liners, if desired, or grease.

Peel off yellow part of lemon (try not to get any white) using a vegetable peeler and chop up a bit. Squeeze lemon juice into a food processor or blender. Add lemon zest ginger, and ¼ cup sugar. Pulse food processor until a fine paste is formed.

In a medium bowl, whisk together flour, baking powder, baking soda, and salt. Set aside.

In a large bowl, cream together butter and remaining ¾ cup of sugar. Mix in eggs, vanilla, and lemon-ginger paste. Beat in one-third of the flour mixture until just combined. Mix in half of the yogurt. Mix in one-third of the flour mixture until just combined. Mix in the remaining yogurt. Mix in the rest of the flour mixture. Mix in the sour cream. Stir in the poppy seeds.

Evenly distribute the batter among the cups. Bake in the preheated oven for 20-25 minutes, until golden and a toothpick comes out with only moist crumbs. Cool on a wire rack.

For the glaze, whisk together powdered sugar and lemon juice. Spoon over the top of each muffin while still warmed. 

Source: Adapted from Simply Recipes


baked ham and swiss sandwiches with poppy seeds

baked ham and swiss sandwiches with poppy seeds | drag it through the garden

You might recognize these sandwiches. Yep, I have posted them on here before. I did not know whether I should post them again. It felt a bit like turning in the same paper to two different professors.

…not that I would know…

But, I made these for dinner with spicy kale chips and it felt like a waste not to take pictures. And then when I compared the old pictures with the new ones (ignoring those not-so-pretty blinds in the background), I decided I in favor of re-publishing this recipe. Cut in half, of course. Because, as much as I love these sandwiches, I do not think I could eat 24 all by myself.

I told you before how I was voted “Most Likely to Open a Sandwich Shop” in my Spanish class solely because of these sandwiches.

I was also voted “Most Likely to Be Married First.” And while I don’t actively keep up with my fellow students from that class, no news of any engagement has appeared on Facebook. And Facebook knows everything, obviously. So, I suppose I still have a chance to fulfill both superlatives, although the second seems a lot more likely right now than the first.

Speaking of marriage, does anyone watch “The Bachelor” or “The Bachelorette”? Well, Lauren and I watched an entire season of “The Bachelorette” last week, the season with Emily Maynard (hey, it’s addicting). Anyhow, Jef is so freaking adorable. Who comes up with these sticky sweet things to say while avoiding sounding corny or like he did something wrong? Because, let’s face it, a lot (or at least some) of the sweet things that comes out of some guys’ mouth are just a way to butter you up before dropping a bomb. Like they turned all of your whites to pink in the wash…

baked ham and swiss sandwiches with poppy seeds

Makes 12 sandwiches

12 dollar buns or small rolls, sliced in half
¼ pound deli ham
3 slices Swiss cheese, cut into four pieces each
¼ cup butter (1/2 stick), melted
2 tablespoons brown sugar
1 teaspoon poppy seeds
1 tablespoon Dijon mustard
1 teaspoon Worcestershire sauce

Preheat oven to 350°F. Assemble sandwiches by evenly distributing ham and cheese to each bun. Replace top part of bun on top of cheese. Place sandwiches in a 9×13” pan.

In a small bowl, mix together butter, brown sugar, poppy seeds, Dijon mustard, and Worcestershire sauce. Drizzle over sandwiches. Bake in the preheated oven for 10-15 minutes, until sandwiches are heated through and cheese is slightly melted.

colleen’s spinach salad

spinach salad | drag it through the garden

I love salads with raw baby spinach. Anything with cooked spinach, however, I will definitely pass on. I feel like a five-year-old that won’t eat her vegetables, but I just can’t handle it. I try to convince myself that I like cooked spinach (aka I force myself to eat it over and over again), but it hasn’t worked. I’m still in the process of trying to convince myself that I like raw tomatoes too. I feel no different towards raw tomatoes than the day I started.

Anyhow, back to the raw baby spinach. My version of a spinach salad.  I say “my version” because this is by no means the “classic” version of a spinach salad. I don’t care for hard-boiled eggs and I try to steer clear of most nuts (Is it just me or am I sounding super picky? I promise I’m not!). In honor of my dietary dislikes, I made this salad without the nuts and the eggs. And I made sure I cooked the onion, too. Not only because the one I had was pretty hot, but cooking them brings out a bit more sweetness as well.

On a holiday note, Lauren, my mom, my dad, and I went to go see Trans-Siberian Orchestra on Thursday. Super amazing. My mom and dad went last year with some other people (and didn’t invite me! Can you believe it?). I’ve been begging them for years to go and it finally happened. And it was great! The musical talent, the lights, and everything all combined just made it an extraordinary experience to remember. I’m already thinking about next year (and I better be invited again!).

lauren and colleen

Lauren and me at Trans-Siberian Orchestra concert

colleen’s spinach salad

Makes 1 Serving

2 strips bacon, thinly sliced
¼ small red onion, thinly sliced
½ teaspoon sesame seeds
½ teaspoon poppy seeds
1 tablespoon red wine vinegar (other kinds of vinegar will work)
½ tablespoon olive oil*
1 teaspoon sugar
2 cups baby spinach

Add bacon to a cold skillet. Turn on burner to medium heat. Once bacon starts to sizzle, add in red onion. Cook for about 5 minutes, or until bacon is just crisp and onion is cooked through, stirring occasionally. Add in sesame seeds and poppy seeds. Cook for about a minute longer, until sesame seeds are lightly toasted.

Add in red wine vinegar, olive oil, and sugar. Cook until heated through, about thirty seconds. Toss with baby spinach and serve.

*If a lot of grease comes off the bacon, you may want to decrease the amount of olive oil you add. There should be about one tablespoon of fat total (bacon grease + olive oil).

lightened up poppy seed chicken casserole

lightened up poppy seed chicken casserole

It is almost Christmas and I cannot believe it! I know it’s a cliché, but time just seems to go by faster and faster every year. I remember the years when it would feel like forever before Christmas came around. Right now, I feel like I should still be wearing flip-flops and tank tops.

Well, I suppose I could. I just might be a little cold.

I love casserole dishes when it starts to get chilly outside. They just feel so homey no matter what gets thrown into them (within reason, people). I had never heard of poppy seed chicken until I saw it on Bev Cooks, but as soon as I spied it, I knew I needed to make it.

Long story short, I am very happy I did. It’s creamy with a little crunch from the breadcrumbs and a bit of tang from the roasted red peppers. Plus, I love poppy seeds (recall those little ham and swiss sliders with poppy seeds on top?).

So, two more days until Christmas. I hope everyone is prepared and done wrapping presents. We are almost done here, just a few more things to finish and then time to relax. Just in time to unwrap all that hard work. I did get an early Christmas present: an admission letter from Saint Louis University School of Law notifying me of my acceptance.

That was right before I smashed my head in the car door. And grabbed a pan I just pulled out of the oven. Without a potholder. Oops. I guess Mother Nature just needed to balance out the good news with some pain.

So, merry Christmas, everyone! I hope you all enjoy this time with family and friends and take in all this special season has to offer.

Plus eat lots of good food.

lightened up poppy seed chicken casserole

lightened up poppy seed chicken casserole

Serves 4

2 raw boneless skinless chicken breasts
1 teaspoon black peppercorns
1 teaspoon coarse salt
2 garlic cloves, smashed and peeled
1 10-oz. can condensed cream of chicken soup
¼ cup sour cream
¼ cup plain Greek yogurt
2 cups baby spinach
½ cup sundried tomatoes, sliced
1 jarred roasted bell pepper, sliced
2 tablespoons poppy seeds
½ cup plain breadcrumbs
½ cup panko
2 tablespoons butter, melted

Fill a large pot with water. Add peppercorns, garlic, and salt, and bring to a boil. Once boiling, add in chicken breasts. Return to a boil and continue boiling for 3 minutes. Remove from heat. Cover for 15 to 18 minutes, until chicken is cooked through and white in the center. Remove to a separate plate to cool.

Preheat oven to 375 °F.

In a large bowl, combine cream of chicken soup, sour cream, and yogurt. Chop chicken into bite-sized pieces and add to bowl along with spinach, sundried tomatoes, bell pepper, poppy seeds, and plain breadcrumbs. Season to taste with salt and pepper. Mix thoroughly.

Transfer mixture to a casserole dish (I used an 8”x8” square dish).

Mix butter and panko and sprinkle on top of casserole. Bake in preheated oven for about 30 minutes, until heated through.

Source: Adapted from Bev Cooks

ham and swiss mini sandwiches with poppy seed glaze

I have only one piece of advice for you: make these sandwiches. Make them for a work function or a dinner party. Make them for a school get-together or for a neighbor’s house warming. I don’t care what you make them for… you just have to make them! But don’t just make them for you; make them for someone else too.

I’ll tell you a little story about these party sandwiches. Once upon a time way back in freshman year of high school, I made these sandwiches for a fiesta in my Spanish class. Then, they were specially requested for a History review session after school. Right before my eyes, these sandwiches were making me popular (kind of…). Before I knew it, no matter what the school occasion, every person in my class knew to ask me to make those sandwiches I was so famous for. No longer could I sign up for soda or napkins on the sign-up sheet before the class party. No longer could I pretend as if I had forgotten the special event that day at school. I was forever attached to these sandwiches.

I was even voted Most Likely to Open a Sandwich Shop in my Spanish class my senior year of high school solely for these little ham and swiss poppy-seed glazed sandwiches. But, hey, I was also voted Most likely to Open for Blink-182 earlier that year, and we all can see how far I got with that one.

Anyhow, what I’m trying to say (and I know I’m taking forever to say it) is MAKE THESE SANDWICHES! Everyone will love you… and you’ll love yourself for trying them, too.

Ham and Swiss Party Sandwiches with Poppy-Seed Glaze

Makes 24 sandwiches

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1 package or 24 dollar rolls

1/2 lb. sliced deli ham

1/4 lb. sliced Swiss cheese

1 stick butter, melted

4 tbsp. brown sugar

2 tsp. poppy seeds

2 tbsp. Dijon mustard

2 tsp. Worcestershire sauce

Preheat oven to 350 degrees Fahrenheit.

Slice rolls in half to make a bun. Distribute ham and cheese evenly among the sandwiches. Place in a baking dish.

Combine melted butter, brown sugar, poppy seeds, mustard, and Worcestershire sauce in a small bowl. Pour evenly over the sandwiches in the baking dish. Bake in the preheated oven for 15 minutes, or until the cheese is melted and the sauce has slightly hardened.