Wednesday, August 31, 2011

Blueberry Muffins... with Jam!

I love muffins and blueberry muffins are probably one of my favorites. This recipe has an extra step but it makes the muffins SO good! Half of the blueberries are cooked down into a jam and then swirled on top of the muffins. Definitely a keeper!!!

Blueberry Muffins
Recipe from Cooks Illustrated (Found at Tracey's Culinary Adventures)

Lemon-Sugar Topping
1/3 cup sugar (2 1/3 oz)
1 1/2 teaspoons lemon zest (about 1 lemon)

2 cups (about 10 oz) fresh blueberries
1 1/8 cups sugar (8 oz) plus 1 teaspoon
2 1/2 cups (12 1/2 oz) all-purpose flour
2 1/2 teaspoons baking powder
1 teaspoon table salt
2 large eggs, at room temperature
4 tablespoons (1/2 stick) unsalted butter, melted and cooled slightly
1/4 cup vegetable oil
1 cup buttermilk
1 1/2 teaspoons vanilla extract

To make the topping: Combine the lemon zest and sugar in a small bowl and rub together with your fingertips until fragrant.

Preheat the oven to 425 F with a rack in the upper third. Spray your muffin tin with nonstick cooking spray.

Combine 1 cup of the blueberries along with 1 teaspoon of sugar in a small saucepan. Bring to a simmer over medium heat, mashing the berries with a spoon and stirring frequently. Continue cooking until the berries break down and the mixture has a thick jam-like consistency; the volume should be reduced to about 1/4 cup. Transfer to a small bowl and cool to room temperature.

In a large bowl, whisk the flour, baking powder and salt together. In another large bowl, whisk the remaining 1 1/8 cups of sugar and the eggs together until pale yellow and thick. Whisk in the butter and oil until combined. Add the buttermilk and vanilla and whisk to incorporate fully. Add the wet ingredients to the flour mixture along with the remaining 1 cup of blueberries. Use a rubber spatula to gently fold until the dry ingredients are just moistened - the batter will be lumpy, that's fine. Don't overmix.

Divide the batter evenly among the prepared wells of the muffin pan - each well should be completely full. Add one teaspoon of the blueberry jam to the center of each well of batter. Use a skewer to gently swirl the jam into the batter. Sprinkle the muffins with the lemon sugar.

Bake for 17-19 minutes, or until the tops of the muffins are golden and they spring back when gently pressed. Transfer the muffin pan to a wire rack and let the muffins cool for 5 minutes before removing them to cool completely.

Makes 12 muffins

Tuesday, August 30, 2011

TWD: Cornmeal and Apple Muffins

This was supposed to be a loaf but I turned it into muffins to make it easier to grab on the go. I chose to use apples to fill them and they are SO good! I love the addition of cornmeal, too. Definitely a great muffin!

Thanks to Caitlin of Engineer Baker for hosting this week. The recipe can be found at her blog.

Monday, August 29, 2011

Twice Baked Potatoes

You can't go wrong with a twice baked potato! Filled with butter, sour cream, bacon, green onions, and cheese.... so delicious!!!

Twice Baked Potatoes
Recipe from The Girl Who Ate Everything

4 large baking potatoes
8 slices bacon, crumbled and divided
1 cup sour cream
1/4 cup milk
4 tablespoons butter
1/2 teaspoon salt
1/2 teaspoon pepper
1 cup shredded Cheddar cheese, divided
8 green onions, sliced, divided

Preheat oven to 350 degrees.

Bake potatoes in preheated oven for 1 hour.

When potatoes are done allow them to cool for 10 minutes. Slice potatoes in half lengthwise and scoop the flesh into a large bowl leaving about 1/4 inch of flesh so the potato maintains it's shape; save skins. To the potato flesh add sour cream, butter, salt, pepper, 1/2 cup cheese, 1/2 the green onions,1/2 the bacon, and milk; mix well.
Spoon the mixture into the potato skins. Top each with remaining cheese, green onions and bacon.

Bake for another 15 minutes at 350 degrees.

Friday, August 26, 2011

Bacon Fried Rice

This fried rice is absolutely AMAZING!!!! I served it with lettuce wraps but everyone kept going back for more rice. I think the bacon sends it over the edge. I think I need to go make more now!
Bacon Fried Rice
Recipe slightly adapted from Taste of Home
1 tsp canola oil
1 egg, beaten
1 lb bacon, chopped
1 cup mushrooms, chopped
8 green onions, sliced
3 cups cooked rice
1 cup bean sprouts
1 cup frozen peas, thawed
1/4 cup soy sauce
Heat oil in a wok. Pour egg into wok. As egg sets, lift edges letting uncooked portion flow underneath. When egg is done, move to plate and set aside.
In same wok, cook bacon until crisp. Remove bacon to paper towels. Reserve 2 TBSP drippings.
Saute mushrooms and onions in bacon drippings. Stir in rice, bean sprouts, peas, soy sauce, and bacon. Chop egg into small pieces; stir into wok and heat through.

Thursday, August 25, 2011

Pineapple-Coconut Dip

This is a delicious after-school snack for the kiddos... and grown-ups, too!
Pineapple-Coconut Dip
32 oz vanilla yogurt
1/2 cup coconut
20 oz can crushed pineapple, drained
1/2 cup brown sugar
Fruit, cookies, graham crackers - for dipping
Mix yogurt, 1/4 cup coconut, pineapple, and brown sugar. Toast remaining 1/4 cup coconut; sprinkle on top. Dip with favorite fruit or cookies.

Wednesday, August 24, 2011

Blueberry Cinnamon Rolls

My daughter started school on Monday and requested these cinnamon rolls for her special breakfast. They were absolutely delicous. Lemon and blueberries always work so well together and it was a great combination for these rolls. We'll definitely be making them again!


Blueberry Cinnamon Rolls

Recipe from Annie Eats

For the cinnamon rolls:
6½ tbsp. sugar
1 tsp. salt
5½ tbsp. unsalted butter, at room temperature
1 large egg, slightly beaten
1 tsp. lemon zest
3½ cups bread flour
2 tsp. instant (rapid rise) yeast
1 cup plus 2-4 tbsp. whole milk or buttermilk, at room temperature

For the filling:
3 tbsp. plus 1 tsp. sugar
¾ tsp. ground cinnamon
1½ cups fresh blueberries

For the glaze:
3 cups powdered sugar
1 tbsp. freshly squeezed lemon juice
6-7 tbsp. milk
1 tsp. lemon zest


In the bowl of an electric mixer, cream together the sugar, salt and butter on medium-high speed until smooth. Mix in the egg and lemon zest until incorporated. Mix in the flour, yeast and milk until a dough forms. Switch to the dough hook and knead on low speed, about 8 minutes until the dough is silky and supple, tacky but not sticky. (You may need to add a little extra flour or liquid to achieve this texture.) Lightly oil a large bowl and transfer the dough to the bowl, turning once to coat. Cover with plastic wrap and let rise at room temperature for about 2 hours, or until doubled in size.

Mist a work surface with spray oil. Roll it out into a rectangle with a rolling pin, lightly dusting the dough with flour if needed to keep it from sticking (about 12 x 14 inches for larger rolls or 9 x 18 inches for smaller rolls). Combine the sugar and cinnamon in a small bowl and mix to blend. Sprinkle the cinnamon sugar mixture over the surface of the dough. Sprinkle the berries over the top evenly of the dough. Starting with the wide edge, roll up the dough into a cigar-shaped log, creating a cinnamon sugar spiral as you roll. Pinch the seam shut, and with the seam side down, slice the log into your desired number of rolls. Transfer them to a baking sheet lined with parchment paper or a silicone baking mat, placing the rolls about ½-1 inch apart.

Cover loosely with plastic wrap and let rise at room temperature 75-90 minutes, until the rolls have grown into each other and have nearly doubled in size. At this point, the rolls can also be covered and retarded in the refrigerator for up to 2 days. Pull the pan out of the refrigerator 3-4 hours before baking to let the dough proof.

Preheat the oven to 350˚ F. Bake for 20-30 minutes, or until golden brown. Let cool in the baking about 10 minutes, then transfer to a wire rack. Whisk together the glaze ingredients in a medium bowl until smooth and then swirl over the top of the cinnamon rolls. Let cool at least 15-20 minutes before serving.

Tuesday, August 23, 2011

TWD: Golden Brioche Loaves

Brioche is an amazingly delicious, super soft buttery bread. If you've never had brioche, you need to either go buy a loaf or make some yourself! Not only is the bread delicious but the dough has got to be the silkiest dough I have ever worked with. LOVE LOVE LOVE brioche!

We ate the brioche plain, toasted with jam, and as French Toast. Dorie had a playing around idea for sugar crusted french toast and we decided to make it. HOLY MOLY!!! Hands down the best french toast EVER!

For the french toast, slice the brioche into 1" slices. Soak 6 1" slices for 3 minutes in a mixture of 6 large eggs, 3 egg yolks, 3 1/2 cups milk, 2/3 cup sugar, 1 TBSP vanilla, and 1/2 tsp salt. When bread is ready, heat a large skillet or griddle and melt 3 TBSP butter. Sprinkle butter with 2 TBSP sugar and top with bread slices. Sprinkle tops of bread with more sugar and flip to cook. Serve with fruit & syrup.
Head over to Tea and Scones for the brioche recipe. You won't be sorry!!!

Monday, August 22, 2011

Delicious Chicken Wraps

My six year old named these wraps. :) She said I should call them Delicious Chicken Wraps because then people would know that they should make them. hahaha But they are delicous and super easy. With school starting and extra-curricular activities, sometimes a quick dinner is neccessary. These wraps fit that bill!


Delicious Chicken Wraps
1 rotisserie chicken, shredded
1/2 red onion diced
1 package cherry tomatoes, halved
1/2 cup cilantro
1 cup feta
2 avocados, diced
Juice of 1 lemon


1/2 cup lime juice
1/4 cup olive oil
1 tsp salt
1/2 tsp pepper

Sprinkle avocados with lemon juice.

Combine chicken through avocados in large bowl.

Mix dressing ingredients; pour over chicken mixture.

Spoon into tortillas, wrap up, and enjoy!

Friday, August 19, 2011

Marbled Nutella Banana Bread

As promised yesterday, here is another banana bread recipe. But this is not just any banana bread. This is Marbled Nutella Banana Bread! YUM! We all know Nutella makes everything better and this bread is delicious! Kinda reminds me of chocolate covered bananas!


Marbled Nutella Banana Bread
Recipe from Sugar Plum

2 1/3 cups all purpose flour
1 teaspoon baking powder
1 teaspoon baking soda
1/2 tsp salt
1 1/4 cups mashed ripe banana
6 tablespoons unsalted butter, softened
1/2 cup granulated sugar
1/2 cup packed brown sugar
1 teaspoon vanilla extract
2 large eggs
1/2 cup Nutella

Heat oven to 350 degrees F. Coat a 9-inch loaf pan with cooking spray.

In a medium mixing bowl, sift together flour, baking powder, baking soda and salt.
In a large mixing bowl, using a mixer on medium speed, beat together banana, butter, granulated sugar, brown sugar and vanilla until creamy and well combined - about 2 minutes. Beat in eggs until well combined - about 2 minutes. Reduce mixer speed to low and beat in flour mixture until just combined. Divide 1/2 of of the batter into a medium bowl; stir in Nutella until combined.

Alternate spoonfuls of batter into loaf pan until all of the batter is used up. Swirl batter gently with a knife (not too much!). Bake 1 hour or until well risen, deep golden brown, and a toothpick inserted into bread comes out with moist crumbs attached.

Thursday, August 18, 2011

Cream Cheese Banana Bread

What is it about banana bread that makes you try recipe after recipe even though you already have a tried and true recipe? I don't know but I do know that I LOVE trying out new recipes of banana bread. Case in point - I have over 10 recipes of either banana bread or banana muffins on my blog. Not counting this one. Or the one I am posting tomorrow! hahaha

The cream cheese in this bread makes it SO moist! It was fantastic and one of my favorites!


Cream Cheese Banana Bread
Recipe from FakeGinger

6 tablespoons unsalted butter, softened
4 ounces cream cheese, softened
1 cup sugar
1 large egg
1 1/2 cups all-purpose flour
1/4 teaspoon baking powder
1/4 teaspoon baking soda
1/4 teaspoon salt
3/4 cup mashed bananas (about 2 medium)
1/2 cup chopped walnuts
1/2 teaspoon vanilla extract

Beat butter and cream cheese at medium speed with an electric mixer until creamy. Gradually add sugar, beating until light and fluffy. Add egg beating just until blended. Combine flour and next 3 ingredients; gradually add to butter mixture, beating at low speed just until blended. Stir in banana, walnuts, and vanilla. Spoon batter into a greased and floured 8- x 4-inch loafpans.

Bake at 350° for 1 hour or until a long wooden pick inserted in center comes out clean and sides pull away from pan, shielding with aluminum foil last 15 minutes to prevent browning, if necessary. Cool bread in pan on wire racks 10 minutes. Remove from pan, and cool 30 minutes on wire racks before slicing.

Tuesday, August 9, 2011

TWD: Carrot Spice Muffins

I love baking with vegetables, especially carrots! These muffins are filled with carrots, raisins, coconut, and yummy spices. We loved them and will definitely make them again!

Thanks to Nancy of The Dogs Eat the Crumbs for hosting this week. The recipe can be found at her blog.

Sunday, August 7, 2011

Cherry Limeade Pound Cake

This is one of the best cakes I have ever had! It is so moist and extremely delicious! All my family could say while eating it was "Mmmmmmmmmm"! You MUST make this cake ASAP!!!

Cherry Limeade Pound Cake
Recipe from RecipeGirl

3 cups all-purpose flour
1/2 teaspoon salt
1 1/2 cups unsalted butter, at room temperature
3 cups granulated white sugar
1 1/2 teaspoons freshly grated lime zest
5 large eggs
3/4 cup Cherry 7-Up (*see tips below)
2 cups pitted and quartered fresh sweet cherries

1 1/4 cups powdered sugar, sifted
2 Tablespoons Cherry 7-Up
1 1/2 teaspoons freshly grated lime zest


1. Preheat oven to 325 degrees F. Grease and flour a 12-cup bundt cake or tube pan.

2. In a medium bowl, whisk together flour and salt

3. In a large bowl, use an electric mixer to cream together butter and sugar. Add lime zest. Beat in eggs one at a time, until each is well incorporated. Mix in 1/3 of the flour mixture at a time, alternating with the 7-Up. Stir in cherries.

4. Scoop batter into the prepared pan. Tap the pan on the counter several times to rid the batter of any air bubbles. Bake 1 hour and 15 minutes, or until sharp, thin knife inserted into the center of the cake comes out clean. Place the pan on a wire rack and let cool for 20 minutes, then place a serving plate over the top and gently flip over. Give the bottom of the pan a few taps if you need to loosen the cake from the pan. Let cake cool completely on the serving platter before topping with the glaze.

5. Prepare glaze: in a medium bowl, whisk together the glaze ingredients until smooth. Drizzle over the cooled cake.


*If you only have regular 7-Up, Sprite, or even generic lemon-lime soda on hand, go ahead and use that- but add in a splash of maraschino cherry juice to make it a cherry flavored soda- and make sure it still comes out to 3/4 cup. For the glaze, use 1 1/2 Tablespoons of soda + 1/2 Tablespoon juice.

Wednesday, August 3, 2011

BLT Pasta Salad

This wonderful pasta salad can be a quick main dish, a delicious side dish, or a great potluck/BBQ dish. We loved it!
BLT Pasta Salad
Recipe adapted from Taste of Home

1 (12 oz) box shell pasta, cooked and drained
1 lb bacon, cooked and crumbled
1 bunch green onions, diced
3 large tomatoes, chopped
4 celery stalks, diced
1 1/2 cups mayo
1 TBSP vinegar
1/4 tsp salt
1/4 tsp pepper

Mix everything together in a large bowl; refrigerate until needed.

Tuesday, August 2, 2011

TWD: Cocoa Almond Meringues

Chocolatey, chewy, delicious!

Thanks to Mike of Ugly Food for an Ugly Dude for hosting this week. The recipe can be found at his blog.

Monday, August 1, 2011

Chocolate Chip Cookie Dough Brownies

Chocolate chip cookie dough on top of a brownie.... is there anything better?

Chocolate Chip Cookie Dough Brownies
Recipe from Brown Eyed Baker

For the Brownie:
4 ounces unsweetened chocolate, finely chopped
1 cup unsalted butter, at room temperature
2 cups light brown sugar
4 eggs
2 teaspoons vanilla extract
1 cup all-purpose flour

For the Cookie Dough:
¾ cup unsalted butter
¾ cup light brown sugar
¾ cup granulated sugar
3 tablespoons whole milk
1½ teaspoons vanilla extract
1½ cups all-purpose flour
1½ cups mini chocolate chips

1. Prepare the Brownies: Preheat oven to 325 degrees F. Line a 9×13-inch pan with foil, with enough to hang over all four sides. Butter the foil. In a medium glass bowl, melt the chocolate in the microwave in 30-second increments, stirring after each, until melted and smooth. Set aside to cool slightly. In a large mixing bowl, mix the butter and brown sugar with an electric mixer on medium speed until light and fluffy. Beat in the eggs and vanilla extract, scraping the bowl as needed. Mix in the melted chocolate until combined. Reduce the speed to low, add the flour and mix just until combined (don’t over-mix). Spread the batter into the prepared pan. Bake 25 to 35 minutes, or until a toothpick inserted into the center comes out clean. Let cool completely.

2. Prepare the Cookie Dough: In a medium bowl, use an electric mixer on medium speed to combine the butter and both sugars. Add the milk and vanilla and mix until combined. Reduce the speed to low and mix in the flour just until combined. Using a rubber spatula, stir in the chocolate chips.

3. Spread the cookie dough over the cooled brownies. Refrigerate until the dough is firm, about an hour. Use a sharp knife or a pizza cutter (my favorite way to slice brownies!) to cut the brownies. Store the brownies in an airtight container at cool room temperature or in the refrigerator.

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