Baking, Breakfast, Entertaining, For the Freezer, Recipes

Blueberry Streusel Muffins

I have been on a muffin kick lately.  I came up with a technique that produces those tall bakery-style jumbo muffins and I’ve been baking, testing and adapting recipes like mad.

This blueberry muffin recipe uses yogurt instead of butter, which my cholesterol appreciates (except in the streusel topping, but that’s minimal.)  The family really likes them – even the boy, who says he doesnt like chunks of berries in things.  I guess he changed his mind.

To get tall muffins here are a few tips:

  1. Don’t be afraid to use your baking powder.  I live at high altitude so I find this is really important – 3 tsp per 2 Cups of flour sounds like a lot, but it’s not…could probably even have another and not be affected.
  2. Use a jumbo muffin tin, with a regular baking cup liner (not the jumbo ones).  I spray the tin AFTER I put the liners in – but the space between the top of the liner and the top of the muffin cup seems to give it something to cling to and climb up.  It works well.
  3. Fill the paper liners up TO THE TOP.  Because you are using a regular liner in a jumbo tin, filling the cups up is important.  it may seem like they’ll be messy but because you spray them, they slide right out onto the rack – I use a small offset spatula to just lift them right out.

I use frozen wild blueberries, but you could easily use fresh – or frozen regular blueberries – either will work just fine.  I’ve found that if I use frozen, I leave them frozen and mix them in.  Once I have everything in the muffin cups, I let them sit on top of the oven while it preheats – it relaxes the batter, which gets stiff from the cold berries.  Right before I slide them in the oven I top with the Streusel – and BE GENEROUS with this stuff – it really makes a difference in the muffin.

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Baking, Breakfast, Entertaining, Recipes

Blackberry Muffins

This is a keeper of a Blackberry Muffins Recipe for sure!  We are at the time of year around here where fruit is stupidly expensive.  $1.99 a lb for apples is higher than I’ve ever seen it.  Hopefully spring brings with it some new crops that bring our prices down.  Berries must be in season because they’ve been fairly reasonably priced, with blackberries at $.99 a 1/2 pt at City Market – and I got some for $.99 a pint at Sprouts the other day as well.

Berries keep for a good long time in the fridge if you rinse them well, and get them OUT of that stupid plastic container and diaper thing they come in – that diaper thing causes rot faster than anything.  I put mine in a sealed container with a few paper towels in the bottom, that way they’re ready to go when you want to make this blackberry muffins recipe!  I’ve had blackberries and blueberries keep for 2-3 weeks in the fridge like this.  Raspberries are a bit more delicate, though – they don’t keep as long – but they should be stored the same way.

So needless to say, I had a lot of blackberries on hand and while we eat them happily – I wanted to make something for the boys to take with lunch es and have for breakfasts this week.  I’m on a low-fat diet so I adapted this recipe just a bit from one I found at SimplyRecipes.com.  Hope you like it!

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Entertaining, Light and Healthier, Menu Planning, Recipes, Veggies and Fruit

Cucumbers with Lemony Dressing

I love salads that don’t actually involve lettuce.  While lettuce is fine, it’s like a talisman to the fact that I’m actually dieting, which irritates me, so I pretend I don’t like it.  I’m always looking for something quick to throw together to make a non-lettuce salad to go with dinner.  I stumbled across this recipe from The Dinner Daily and adjusted it a bit for our tastes.

Whether you use cucumber, pour it on a zucchini noodle salad, pour it on a regular salad, or spoon a bit over blanched or roasted asparagus, this is really fresh and light.  You may be tempted to skip the salt and pepper, but that’s probably the most important part – it brings out the liquid in the veg, and salt counter-balances the sweet from the lemon and sugar.  you could substitute stevia in here if you wanted, easy peasy.

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small cowboy caviar recipe
Entertaining, Light and Healthier, Recipes, Weeknight Favorites

Cowboy Caviar – Small Batch

I found a nice recipe for Cowboy Caviar but honestly – they make SO MUCH and I really didn’t need to have so much in my fridge.  I cut the recipe here and there and it still made quite a bit – great for a couple or small gathering.

Hubby hates cilantro – so I made it optional here.  Use whatever bell pepper you have on hand, I like yellow, orange & red better than green – but green would work okay as well.  I do think that red onion is a must, a regular yellow onion would be too strong.

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Baking, Entertaining, Recipes

Easy Apple Crisp Recipe

I found this recipe and modified it a bit, and although I think it’s VERY good – it feels weird to call it a “crisp” when it contains no oatmeal.  Apple crisp – growing up, anyway- always had oatmeal.  

This recipe is great because it only takes 4 good size apples, 5 if they’re smallish – and cooks in an 8×8 pan – so its a good way to use up fruit without making a giant pan of something.  Good for small dinner parties or potlucks too.  Enjoy!

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Entertaining, Light and Healthier, Menu Planning, Recipes, Weeknight Favorites

Grilled Chicken with Mango Salsa and Coconut Rice

I have posted previously about my dislike for fruit and meat combos, and I’ll stick to that in MOST cases – but last night I made a mango salsa that was amazing with grilled chicken.  Coconut rice was the perfect accompaniment – its not overpowering, and it was really tasty on a piece of Naan Bread with the salsa and chicken.

I bet this salsa would be good with fish, too.  I’m not a huge fish fan – but if I get some nice Cod, Halibut or something else I’ll try it grilled with this salsa.

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