Okay, so it’s January, a time when we all resolve to eat healthier, etc. After indulging quite a bit over the holidays, I am one of those people who is looking to balance my indulgences out with some healthy fare. I wanted to shake up my breakfast routine with something different and so I’ve been experimenting with chia pudding (which also makes a great dessert). Ch-ch-ch-chia, ch-ch-ch-chia pudding. Continue reading
I’m not kidding people. These are the absolute best blueberry muffins in the entire world. The secret? Baking powder – and lots of it. I should mention that these are not your typical blueberry muffins. They are light and cake-like and not uber-sweet. My mom always made these when I was a kid, although I have no idea where she got the recipe from. These days I’m making them with my skeleton-pajama-wearing-mini sous chef, who likes to stuff her face with blueberries while whipping these up.
Here is the recipe:
Slavinsky Blueberry Muffins
Makes 12 muffins
½ cup granulated sugar
¼ cup butter, at room temperature
2 ¼ cups all purpose flour
4 teaspoons baking powder
½ teaspoon table salt
1 cup milk
1 teaspoon vanilla extract
1 ½ cups rinsed and drained fresh blueberries (frozen work very well too)
½ cup granulated sugar
½ teaspoon cinnamon
1/3 cup all-purpose flour
¼ cup cold butter (cut into small pieces)
1) In a mixing bowl, cream together the sugar and butter until fluffy. Beat in the egg.
2) Mix together the flour, baking powder, and salt in a separate bowl. (I like to do this a a day ahead so things come together quickly in the morning)
3) Add the dry ingredients to the sugar-egg mixture alternately with the milk, beginning and ending with the flour mixture.
4) Add vanilla and beat well. Gently fold in blueberries. Scoop into 12 muffin cups lined with paper liners.
5) In a small bowl, mix sugar, cinnamon, flour, and butter with your fingers, until crumbly (you can do this a day ahead and keep in the fridge).
Sprinkle over muffins. Bake in a 375-degree oven for 18-20 minutes or until golden brown and a toothpick inserted in the center comes out clean. These are best eaten the day they are made – they are still good the next day, the streusel topping will be softer though. Oh streusel topping, how I love you.
When I saw the first luscious strawberries of the season at the farmers market, one thought came to mind: Strawberry Jam. I had a Quick Strawberry Jam recipe from Martha Stewart that I’ve been wanting to make, so I went for it. I changed things up every so slightly and here’s what I did:
I hulled and chopped 2 overflowing green baskets worth of strawberries (I chopped them rather than put them in the food processor because I like some texture to my jam).
I added ½ cup of sugar and 2 Tablespoons of lemon juice and cooked over medium-high heat for about 10 minutes, until it was the thickness I liked.
It lasted 10 days until it was all gobbled up. The kids had it on they PB&J, my husband put it on toast, and I stirred it into Greek yogurt. The verdict: I thought it was a bit too sweet (and the strawberries weren’t even the uber sweet ones yet), my sweetie-loving husband also thought it was too sweet. So, next batch I’m going to use only 1/4 cup of sugar and 1 Tablespoon lemon juice and see how that tastes; maybe I can get it down to even less sugar than that! One more note – you could make a really big batch of this and freeze it in smaller containers and skip the whole sterilizing process!
The first time I tried rhubarb was about 2 years ago and ever since then I have been obsessed with it. It has such a unique tart flavor that I can’t even describe – you just need to try some!
I’m also obsessed with vanilla beans, so rhubarb and vanilla beans together makes me a very happy person. Instead of a crisp or other baked good, I decided to experiment with a compote – and it came out great!
1 pound rhubarb, cut into 1/2-inch pieces (remember the leaves are poisonous)
1/2 vanilla bean, seeds scraped out (or 1/2 tsp vanilla extract, added at the end)
1/4 – 1/3 cup sugar (more if you like it sweeter)
pinch of salt
Mix everything together in a square glass baking dish and bake in a 350 degree oven for 25 minutes, stirring once, midway through. OR, put everything in a skillet and cook for about 20 minutes until everything is cooked through.
My kids loved this over their ice cream and I loved it over my Greek yogurt for breakfast. It would be great as the J on a PB & J, delicious on toast or scones, or just eaten with a spoon, which is how I ended up eating most of it:)