Blueberry Crumb Muffins

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It’s blueberry season over here and I received another pint of fresh, local blueberries from the farm! Thanks for reading, enjoy!

Blueberry Crumb Muffins – adapted from Little Sweet Baker

  • 2 & ½ cups all-purpose flour
  • 1 tbsp baking powder
  • 1 tsp baking soda
  • ½ tsp salt
  • ½ cup unsalted butter, melted and cooled – *put 2 tsp aside for the topping*
  • 1 cup sugar
  • 2 large eggs
  • 1 cup milk (any kind, whole or buttermilk is best)
  • 1 tbsp vanilla extract
  • 1 & ½ cups blueberries (fresh or frozen)

Topping –

  • 1  tbsp all-purpose flour
  • 2 tsp unsalted butter, melted
  • ⅛ tsp ground cinnamon
  • 1/4 cup sugar
Directions –
Preheat oven to 425F and spray or line a 12 cup muffin baking pan. Prepare the streusel topping by mixing all the ingredients together in a small bowl.
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In a large bowl, whisk the flour, baking powder and salt together. Set aside. In a medium bowl, whisk the melted butter with the sugar, add the eggs, mix, then add the milk and vanilla, mix again.
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Add the wet ingredients to the dry and gently combine using a rubber spatula until moistened. Fold in the blueberries until just incorporated.
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Divide the batter into the 12 muffin cups, top with streusel and bake for 5 minutes at 425F, then keeping the muffins in the oven, reduce the heat to 375F and bake for another 15 minutes or until a toothpick inserted into the center comes out clean.

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Orange Blueberry Bread

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I received local blueberries in my farm share this week and needed to use them. What better way than in a yummy baked good? 🙂 Thanks for reading, enjoy!

Orange Blueberry Bread – adapted from Julia’s Album

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  • 1/3 cup melted butter
  • 1 cup white sugar
  • 1/4 cup freshly squeezed orange juice
  • 2 eggs
  • 1 and 1/2 cups all-purpose flour
  • 1 teaspoon baking powder
  • 1 teaspoon salt
  • 1/2 cup milk
  • 2 tablespoons grated orange zest
  • 1 cup fresh or frozen blueberries
  • 2 tablespoons all-purpose flour

Directions –

  1. Preheat oven to 350 degrees F (175 degrees C). Butter a 8×4 inch loaf pan.
  2. In a mixing bowl, beat together butter, 1 cup sugar, orange juice and eggs.
  3. In a separate bowl, combine flour, baking powder and salt; stir into egg mixture alternately with milk.
  4. In the same bowl where you combined flour, add blueberries and toss them in 2 tablespoons of flour. This will help prevent blueberries from sinking.

WP_20150421_016                  5. Fold in orange zest, and blueberries into the batter. Pour batter into prepared pan.

WP_20150421_020                   6.   Bake in preheated oven for about 60 minutes, until a toothpick inserted into center of the loaf comes out clean.

WP_20150422_005               7. Cool bread in pan for 40 minutes on a wire rack.

Mint Chip Brownie Ice Cream “Cake”

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My daughter just turned 9! This birthday celebration-worthy dessert was super sweet and decadent – my daughter called it “amazing”! 😉 Thanks for reading, enjoy!

Brownie Layer – adapted from Handle the Heat

  • 1 cup semi-sweet chocolate chips (*next time I think I’ll use bittersweet chocolate*)
  • 1 1/2 sticks (6 ounces) unsalted butter, cut into pieces
  • 4 ounces unsweetened chocolate, chopped
  • 1 1/2 cups granulated sugar
  • 3 large eggs plus 1 egg yolk
  • 1 teaspoon vanilla extract
  • 3/4 cup (94 grams) all-purpose flour
  • 1/4 teaspoon fine sea salt

Directions –

Preheat the oven to 350°F. Line an 8×8-inch or a 13×9-inch baking pan with parchment paper. (*I didn’t do this, but it makes for easier pan removal and slicing later on*)

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Melt the chocolate and butter over a double boiler. Stir to combine and take off the heat and set aside to cool slightly.

In a large bowl, use an electric mixer to beat the eggs and sugar on medium-high speed until light and thick, about 3 minutes. Beat in the vanilla extract. Stir in the cooled chocolate mixture with a rubber spatula. Add the flour and salt, folding gently until combined.

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Pour the batter into the prepared baking pan. Bake until a tester comes out with moist crumbs still attached, 35 to 40 for the 8×8 pan, or 20-25 minutes for the 13×9 pan. Do not overbake. Let cool to room temperature. Once cooled, place it in the freezer for at least 4 hours or overnight in preparation for the ice cream layer.

For the Mint Chip “Cake” – adapted from Glorious Treats

Ice Cream Layer- 

  • 1 carton (1.5 quarts) Mint Chip Ice Cream

Chocolate Layer-

  • 3/4 cup heavy whipping cream
  • 1 cup semi-sweet chocolate chips

Whipped Cream Layer-

    • 1- 8oz tub of Whipped Topping (*I used Truwhip*)

Garnish/Toppings-

  • Chopped Andes Mints, and/or mini chocolate chips

Directions –

Ice Cream Layer

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Allow a carton of ice cream to sit out at room temperature about 20 minutes, until soft enough to spread over the cooled brownies. Once the ice cream has been evenly spread, place the entire pan in the freezer to allow the ice cream to re-freeze.

Chocolate Layer

WP_20150410_008 1Heat the cream in the microwave for 1-2 minutes until hot (watch it so it does not boil). Add chocolate chips to the hot cream and set aside (undisturbed) about 3 minutes to allow the chocolate to melt. After 3 minutes, stir the chocolate until the cream and chocolate are fully combined. Set aside and allow to cool to about room temperature. Once cool, pour the chocolate over the ice cream layer, and spread evenly. Return pan to freezer.

Whipped Cream Layer

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Spread the whipped topping over the chocolate layer, then garnish with toppings of your choice. Return pan to freezer and FREEZE AT LEAST 3 HOURS before serving. The entire dessert can be made ahead, and kept in the freezer (covered) up to 3 days in advance.

The “I want Chocolate Cake” Cake

My son turned 12! Good grief, where did the time go? PicMonkey Collage
The “I Want Chocolate Cake” Cake – adapted from Smitten Kitchen 

Cake

  • 6 tablespoons unsalted butter, at room temperature
  • 3/4 cup firmly packed dark brown sugar
  • 2 tablespoons granulated sugar
  • 1 large egg 1 large egg yolk
  • 3/4 cup buttermilk
  • 1 teaspoon vanilla extract
  • 1/2 cup Dutch cocoa powder
  • 1 cup all-purpose flour
  • 1/4 teaspoon baking soda
  • 1/2 teaspoon baking powder
  • 1/2 teaspoon table or fine sea salt

Frosting

  • 2 ounces unsweetened chocolate
  • melted and cooled
  • 1 1/2 cups powdered sugar
  • 1/2 cup unsalted butter, at room temperature
  • Pinch of fine sea salt (optional)
  • 1 tablespoons cream or whole milk
  • 1/2 teaspoon vanilla extract

Directions –

Make the cake: Heat oven to 350°F. Line the bottom of an 8-inch square cake pan with parchment paper, and either butter the parchment and exposed sides of the pan, or spray the interior with a nonstick spray.

In a large bowl, use a hand or stand mixer to beat the butter and sugars until fluffy; scrape down bowl. Add the egg, yolk and vanilla and beat until combined, then the buttermilk and mix again. Scrape the bowl down well and don’t worry if the batter looks uneven. Place your flour, cocoa, baking soda, baking powder and salt in a sifter (I find this step necessary because my cocoa is very lumpy) and shake it over the batter bowl. Stir on low until just combined; scrape down bowl a final time. Scoop batter into prepared pan and smooth flat.

Bake for 18 to 22 minutes, until a toothpick inserted into the center comes out clean. Let cool for 5 to 10 minutes in cake pan on cooling rack, then flip out onto rack or serving plate to completely finish cooling before frosting.

Make the frosting: Place frosting ingredients in a food processor and run machine to to mix. Scrape down bowl then process for another 1 to 2 minutes, until smooth and somewhat fluffed. Scoop the frosting onto the cooled chocolate cake and swirl it around. Cake keeps at room temperature for a day or two, or in the fridge up to a week,.

Spaghetti Squash Bake

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This recipe makes a huge batch and gets better over time. Thanks for reading, enjoy!

Spaghetti Squash Bake – Mom-Makes original 

  • 1 large spaghetti squash, baked and shredded
  • 3-4 cups roasted veggies – I used zucchini, broccoli, bell pepper and mushrooms
  • 3-4 cups marinara sauce – I used this recipe
  • 8 ounces fresh mozzarella
  • Parmesan cheese

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Preheat your oven to 350 degrees. Spread out the spaghetti squash into the bottom of a 13×9 inch baking dish. Combine the marinara sauce and the roasted veggies in a pot to warm slightly, then pour the mixture over the top of the squash. Top generously with the cheeses. Bake for 25 to 30 minutes.

Pumpkin Spice Bread

The apple spice bread I made two days ago is already gone… I did give my neighbor an entire loaf, so I’m not that much of a glutton 😉 As expected, the bread tasted much better the day after I made it, especially when I topped it with Kerrygold butter and popped it in the microwave! So good and none of the guilt or bloat.

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I used the exact recipe, but exchanged the apple sauce for pumpkin puree – easy swap and an even tastier product! Thanks for reading, enjoy! 🙂

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Apple Spice Bread

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Yum! This was my first attempt at grain-free, gluten-free, refined sugar-free baking… that’s a lot of “free”! 😉 I am so used to baking with flour that I was slightly apprehensive about how this recipe might turn out. I was relieved when this baked up beautifully light and soft. The kids and I, (well, mostly I), ate a whole loaf today. Instead of making one large loaf, I made three minis, cooled them completely, then wrapped them and stored them in the refrigerator. I know I’ll make this again and I’ll have fun trying out new coconut flour recipes soon. My next experiment will be testing this same recipe, but swapping the apple sauce for pumpkin puree. Thanks for reading, enjoy!

1Ingredients, minus the vanilla extract.

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These popped out of the pan nicely after cooling for 15 minutes. I love my USA Pans! 🙂

Applesauce Spice Bread – adapted from Au Naturale Nutrition

  • 6 eggs
  • 3 Tbsp coconut oil, butter, or ghee (melted)
  • 1/2 cup raw honey or maple syrup
  • 1/2 cup unsweetened, natural applesauce
  • 1 Tbsp vanilla extract
  • 1 Tbsp molasses
  • 3/4 cup coconut flour
  • 1/2 tsp sea salt
  • 1/2 tsp baking soda
  • 1 Tbsp pumpkin pie spice

Directions:

Preheat oven to 350. In a large bowl, combine dry ingredients. In a medium bowl, combine wet ingredients. Pour wet ingredients into dry and blend until evenly combined. Grease pan(s).  Pour batter into 3 mini loaf pans or 1 large glass loaf pan. Bake for 35-40 minutes in mini pans.  Bake 65-70 minutes for 1 large loaf. Allow to cool completely.  Store in fridge.

Slow Cooked Pork Roast

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This was so simple and flavorful, makes a big batch and it’s so versatile. We’re using this pork for BBQ pulled pork sandwiches, but you could use some in one of my favorite macaroni dishes or these amazing taquitos. I don’t cook pork often enough, but after trying this recipe out, I’m sure add it to the rotation. If you follow the recipe link, you’ll see that there are a few different ways to season this up, but I chose the “plain” version so the leftovers would be easier to use. Thanks for reading, enjoy!

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**Potato Bun Recipe Here and Creamed Corn Recipe Here**

Slow Cooked Pork Roast – adapted from The Kitchn

  • 4 to 6 pound boneless pork shoulder or butt (or 5 to 7 pounds bone-in), trimmed of excess fat
  • 1/2 tablespoon salt
  • 1/2 tablespoon pepper
  • 2 tablespoons coconut oil
  • 1 yellow onion, sliced
  • 1 carrot, roughly chopped
  • 3 stalks celery, roughly chopped
  • 1 1/2 cups chicken stock
  • 2 bay leaves

Directions –

Preheat the oven to 325 degrees. Place a rack on the lower-third of the oven. Pat the pork dry with paper towels, and season with salt and pepper. Heat a large dutch oven over medium-high heat and add the oil. Sear all sides of the meat, add the vegetables and chicken stock and bring to a simmer. Once it simmers, cover and place in the oven. Bake for 2 to 4 hours, checking after the first two hours for “fork-tenderness” – My 4 pound bone-in roast was fall-off the bone tender at 3.5 hours. Transfer the pork to a large container. When cool enough to handle, use two forks or your fingers to shred the meat into pieces. Remove any large pieces of fat or bones. For more moist and flavorful pulled pork, you can mix some of the cooking liquid back into the pork. Start with a little, mix, then add more until the pork is as wet or dry as you like. Alternatively, for barbecue pulled pork, you can mix in barbecue sauce. Pulled pork will keep for 1 week in the refrigerator or for up to 3 months in the freezer.

Oven-Baked Sweet Potato Fries and Ketchup

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Yum! The “fries” were sweet and a little spicy, soft but not mushy. I really liked dipping in homemade mayo over the ketchup, but over all I would say this was a successful experiment. Thanks for reading, enjoy!

Oven-Baked Spiced Sweet Potato Fries – adapted from The Iron You

  • 3 medium sweet potatoes (about 4 to 5 oz each)
  • 1 tablespoon arrowroot powder
  • 2 tablespoons olive oil (or melted coconut oil)
  • 1 teaspoon paprika
  • ½ teaspoon chili powder
  • ½ teaspoon garlic powder
  • ½ teaspoon ground cumin
  • pinch of cayenne pepper
  • ½ teaspoon fine grain sea salt


Directions –

Preheat oven to 425°F (220°C) and place a rack in the middle.
Wash the sweet potatoes but don’t peel them, Cut each lengthwise in half. Cut again lengthwise into quarters, then once more into eighths and then once more in the same way, so you are left in the end with sixteen long wedges. Finally, cut each wedge in half crosswise.
Place the sliced sweet potatoes in a large Ziploc bag (or other freezer bag) and sprinkle with arrowroot powder. Close the bag and shake until the sweet potatoes are fully covered.
In a small bowl combine paprika, chili powder, garlic powder, cumin, cayenne pepper and salt.
Place the sweet potatoes onto a baking sheet that has been line with parchment paper and brushed lightly with some of the olive oil (or coconut oil). Spread sweet potatoes evenly leaving enough space between them for the air to circulate. Drizzle with the remaining olive oil (or coconut oil).
Sprinkle with some of the spice mixture.
Bake in the oven for 20 to 25 minutes, until golden brown. Turning the sweet potatoes once with the help of a spatula (be careful not to burn yourself though). For crispier fries turn on the broiler the last 3 to 4 minutes.

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Paleo Ketchup – adapted from The Iron You

  • 6 oz  tomato paste
  • 3 TBSP maple syrup
  • 1/3 cup water
  • 1/3 cup apple cider vinegar
  • 3/4 teaspoon fine grain sea salt
  • 1 garlic clove
  • ½ small onion

Directions –

In a medium saucepan over medium heat combine tomato paste, honey, water, apple cider vinegar, salt, garlic and onion. Whisk until very smooth and bring to a boil. Reduce heat to low and let gently simmer for 20 minutes, stirring every so often. The sauce will thicken and the flavors will bind.
Remove from the heat, cover with a lid and let cool at room temperature. (*I used my stick blender to puree the ketchup*)
Once cool, transfer to an airtight container and keep in the fridge.

 

Carrot Cake for My Gram

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My kids and I recently came back from our trip to California. While I was there, I used an entire 5 pound bag of flour…yeah, I went a little overboard spoiling my parents and my Grandma during those two short weeks 😉 I was glad to, and honored to cook with my 85 year old grandmother – the one who inspired me to cook in the first place. While it was a lot of time and effort to make so much for them, I was flattered to hear that my Gram actually learned from me!! and my Dad said my cinnamon rolls reminded him of his mother’s 🙂

Because Gram’s birthday happened the week after we flew in, I told her I would bake her a birthday cake. She couldn’t eat chocolate (huge bummer), but she loved carrot cake. Problem for this baker was that I have never made one, let alone eaten a piece in over 10 years!! Thankfully, a quick search at Pinterest led me to find this recipe that sounded tasty – kind of flimsy evidence to go on, but I went with it. I didn’t try any of it because of my Whole 30 craziness, but the family really enjoyed it and said it wasn’t too sweet and the frosting was perfect. That sounds like a win to me! Thanks for reading, enjoy!

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Carrot Cake – adapted from Sprinkle Some Sugar

  • 1/2 cup coconut oil
  • 3/4 cup granulated sugar
  • 1 1/4 cup light brown sugar (or dark)
  • 5 eggs + 1 yolk
  • 1 tbs cinnamon
  • 3/4 tsp nutmeg
  • 1/4 tsp cloves
  • 3 1/4 cup flour
  • 2 tsp baking soda
  • 1 tsp baking powder
  • 1/2 tsp salt
  • 2 cups finely grated carrots (about 7-8 carrots)

Cream Cheese Frosting

  • 2 8 oz package cream cheese, room temperature
  • 1 cup unsalted butter, softened
  • 6 cups confectioner’s sugar
  • a pinch of salt

Directions –

For the Cake
Preheat oven to 350°. Line the bottom of two 9″ round baking pans with parchment paper and lightly grease and flour sides. Be sure to get every inch! Set aside.
Whisk the flour, baking powder, baking soda, cinnamon, nutmeg, clover all together and set aside.
In the bowl of your stand mixer fitted with the paddle attachment, combine the oil, brown sugar and granulated sugar together. Add in the eggs one at a time, egg yolk and vanilla and mix until smooth.
Pour in flour mixture and mix until just combined making sure everything is well mixed. Fold in the grated carrots by hand with a rubber spatula or spoon. Batter will be thick, this is okay. If you are adding pecans or raisins, do so now.
Distribute the batter evenly into both pans. Place in preheated oven and bake for 30-40 minutes. Start checking cake at 25 and check every 2 minutes after that. Once a toothpick comes out clean, cakes are done. Let them cool on wire rack or counter for 20 minutes. Flip pans over and cakes should pop right out onto wire rack or parchment or wax paper lined counter. Let them cool completely. While they are cooling, mix up the frosting.
For the Cream Cheese Frosting
Cream together the cream cheese and butter until fluffy and light in color. Add in the vanilla and mix until smooth. Add in the powdered sugar 1 cup at a time on low until combined. Whip frosting for another minute or so until smooth and creamy.
Once cakes are completely cooled, cut the domed tops off so they are completely flat and even. Place one cake on the bottom of a cake stand, facing up. Spread some frosting on top until completely covered. Add second cake, bottom up, and frost the rest of the cake. I found it much easier to do one thin layer of frosting, set it in the fridge and as it firmed up a bit, add another thick layer – the frosting looks much more even this way. This cake is even more moist and flavorful the second day once the flavors have all settled in with each other.
Store cake covered in the refrigerator for up to 5 days.