Monday, January 31, 2011

Double Berry Muffins

double berry muffin

The very first time I made these muffins, intending on only making a great blueberry muffin, I hit a bit of a bump in the road. I was measuring out the blueberries and got to the bottom of the bag (I always use frozen. I live in Michigan and the fresh berry season is depressingly short, and I’m not about to fork out $10 for imported “fresh” berries to put in muffins. Plus? Handy. They’re always in the freezer when I need them.) when suddenly the bag was empty and my measuring cup was not yet full. Sorting through the freezer I didn’t find any other blueberries (Ok, so maybe they’re not always on hand) but I did come up with a bag of raspberries. Shrugging and hoping for the best I topped off the measuring cup with raspberries and mixed them in. I waited patiently for the muffins to cool the requisite amount without burning the living crap out of my mouth a few seconds before giving them a taste. Heaven. Something about the combination of the blueberry and the raspberry make these soar. And I’m not one to be stingy with berries. A berry for every bite!

The thing I like most about these is that, at least for me, the ingredients are all things I have on hand all the time. And if not, change it up! Don’t have raspberries? Do only blueberries? Only have raspberries? Ditto! Don’t have either berry, only have turnips? Well… you might want to think about making something else for now. And if you don’t have buttermilk, make your own “butter”milk. Put a cup of milk in a small bowl. Remove a tablespoon of the milk and add a tablespoon of white vinegar. Stir it around a bit and let sit for about 5 minutes or until it is thickened. Ta-da! Instant buttermilk!

Double Berry (blueberry & raspberry) Coffee Cake Muffins
printable recipe
makes 24 muffins

12 tablespoons unsalted butter, at room temperature
1 1/2 cups granulated sugar
1/4 cup brown sugar, packed
2 large eggs
1 cup buttermilk
1/2 cup plain Greek yogurt
1 1/2 teaspoons vanilla extract
2 1/2 cups all-purpose flour
2 teaspoons baking powder
1/2 teaspoon baking soda
1/2 teaspoon kosher salt
1 1/4 cups each, frozen blueberries and raspberries.

Directions:Prepare 2 muffin pans with paper liners and set aside. Pre-heat oven to 350.

In the bowl of an electric mixer beat together the butter and sugars until light and fluffy. Add in the eggs, one at a time, beating well between each addition. Add the vanilla, buttermilk & Greek yogurt to the bowl and beat to combine until smooth.

In a medium bowl stir together the flour, baking powder, baking soda and salt. Gradually mix into the butter mixture until just combined.

Using a rubber spatula gently stir the frozen berries into the batter until evenly dispersed. Quickly scoop the batter into the prepared muffin tins.

Bake for 25-30 minutes, or until lightly golden and a toothpick inserted into the center of a muffin comes out clean.

Remove from the oven and let cool in the pans on a wire rack for 5 minutes. Gently lift the muffins from the pans and place back on the wire rack to let cool completely.

Source: Laura’s Recipe Collection original

Monday, January 24, 2011

Baked Potato Soup

baked potato soup

I’ve made a few different potato soups in the past, all of them good. But for some reason when I wandered across this recipe when browsing Pennies on a Platter I just couldn’t get it out of my mind. A few days after finding this recipe I made it for dinner and let me tell you it was Heaven-sent, in so many ways. First, of course, it was delicious. But a very close second: It was super fast and easy to put together.

The night I had this scheduled I was running a bit behind schedule getting home from work and was feeling a bit frantic. I called Brian and asked him to chop some potatoes for me, and beyond that I’d deal when I got home. Maybe our kids could eat PB&J that night since there was no way soup would be done before they needed to get to bed. Right?

Wrong! About 20 minutes after I got home and got started dinner was sitting merrily on the table. Madeline, in between painting her high chair with it and giving herself a facial with it, ate almost as much soup as Brian or I did. Rebecca, confessed hater of all things potato (including French Fries. Somehow I gave birth to a child that hates French fries. Someone do DNA testing, STAT!) took her required taste and declared that she didn’t hate it. She didn’t spit it out, she didn’t complain. I’ll call that a win.

Loaded Baked Potato Soup
printable recipe

2/3 cup butter
2/3 cup flour
7 cups milk
4 large baking potatoes, baked, peeled and cubed (about 4 cups)
4 green onions, sliced, plus more for garnish
12 bacon strips, cooked and crumbled
1 1/4 cups shredded cheddar cheese
1 cup sour cream
3/4 teaspoon salt, plus more for seasoning
1/2 teaspoon pepper, plus more for seasoning

Melt the butter in a large soup pot or Dutch oven. Stir the flour with the butter mixing until smooth. Pour the milk into the pot and stir until thick, about 10 minutes. Add the potatoes and onions to the pot and bring to a boil. Lower to a simmer and cook for 10 minutes or until potatoes are tender.

Stir in the cheese, sour cream, bacon, salt and pepper until cheese is melted and combined.

Garnish with additional bacon, sour cream and green onion if desired. Serve

Source: Pennies on a Platter

Friday, January 21, 2011

Cheeseburger Macaroni

cheeseburger macaroni

I firmly believe every busy mom needs to have a few dinnertime tricks up her sleeve. This, dear friends, is one of mine. It’s quick, it’s simple, and it’s pretty tasty. A great weeknight dinner that my kids devour.

Sure, it’s not exactly Beef Wellington, but who says every night has to be fine dining. We can slum it with hot dogs like the best of ‘em. I kid, of course, about the slumming thing. Sometimes hot dogs just rule.

Cheeseburger Pastaprintable recipe
serves 4-6

1 pound lean ground beef (this would be great with ground turkey also)
1 medium onion, finely chopped
1 1/2 tablespoon butter or Olive Oil
1 tablespoon chili powder
1 teaspoon garlic powder
1 teaspoon paprika
1 teaspoon fresh ground pepper
2 tablespoons flour
3/4 cup chicken or beef broth
1/2 cup milk
1 cup shredded cheddar cheese
8 ounces dry pasta shape of your choosing

Sauté the onion in the butter until soft and translucent. Add the beef to the pan and brown, chopping into small pieces as it cooks.

Meanwhile, cook the pasta according to package directions and drain.

Once the beef is cooked through add the chili powder, garlic powder, paprika, pepper and flour to the pan. Mix to combine well. Pour the broth into the pan and bring to a simmer, stirring occasionally, until the broth has reduced by half and is starting to thicken slightly.

Turn off the heat and add the milk and cheese to the pan, stirring to melt the cheese and combine evenly.

Mix the sauce with the pasta and serve!

Source: What’s Cooking in the Orange Kitchen