Tuesday, June 20, 2023

Summer Fresh Series: Lemon Poppyseed Double Berry Muffins

These grab and go muffins are bursting with 2 types of berries, lemon flavor and poppyseeds.  The perfect use of summer berries!




Lemon Poppyseed Double Berry Muffins



Time for another Summer Fresh recipe!  This series brings you easy recipes that highlight fresh summer produce, and are oh sooooo tasty!

Today the focus is on summer fresh berries.  I stopped by the farmer's market this weekend and picked up some pints of fresh raspberries and blueberries.  They were so plump and juicy you could just eat them like candy.  These are the perfect berries to star in my infamous muffins.  

Ripe, plump and juicy raspberries and blueberries are the star of the show in these muffins but I've also upped the flavor by adding lemon zest and juice along with some poppyseeds for added texture.  Heaven in a muffin!  These came out moist and tender and bursting with lemon and berry flavors.  Absolutely nothing better than a muffin hot from the oven!

Enjoy!





What Ingredients do I need?

  • fresh raspberries
  • fresh blueberries
  • lemon
  • poppyseeds
  • eggs
  • low-fat milk
  • canola oil
  • all purpose flour
  • sugar or alternative sugar 1:1 ratio (for Keto, low carb)
  • baking soda
  • salt


Substitutions and Variations

  • Use white whole wheat flour in place of the all purpose flour
  • Make mini muffins or small loaves instead

  • Doing a Keto diet or want lower carb? Use an alternative sugar of you choice as a substitute.  I like King Arthur's sugar alternative.



Kitchen Tips and Notes

  • 1st rule of thumb when making muffins is not to "overmix" the batter.  You want it batter to just come together.  Little spots of flour is okay.
  • To get high muffin tops turn your oven up to 400 degrees.
  • Make sure you are using fresh baking powder.  To test put 1/2 teaspoon into 1/4 cup of boiling water.  If it bubbles, you are good.

  • Double the recipe for 12 muffins.
  • Muffins can be frozen individually and kept for 3 months.

  • Fill the muffin tin almost to the top for nice big muffins.



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More Muffin Recipes





Lemon Poppyseed Double Berry Muffins


Makes 6-8


1 egg 1/2 cup 2% milk
1/4 cup canola oil
1 1/2 cups all purpose flour
1/2 cup sugar or sugar substitute
2 teaspoon baking soda
1/2 teaspoon salt
1/2 of a pint of fresh raspberries
1/2 of a pint of fresh blueberries
1 tablespoon poppyseeds
zest of 1 medium lemon


Preheat oven to 400 degrees. Spray a 6 well muffin tin with non-stick cooking spray and set aside. (you may need another tin for 8 muffins)

In a large bowl add the egg, milk, and oil. Mix together using a whisk.

Add the flour, sugar, baking powder, and salt, lemon zest, and poppyseeds.  Stir just until combined.  Do not over mix.  Fold in raspberries and blueberries, holding a few back to add to the tops.

Using a cookie scoop, add batter to a muffin tin to make 6-8 muffins. Add a few raspberries and blueberries to the top of each muffin.  Bake 18-20 minutes until golden brown. Remove from the oven and allow to cool 5-10 minutes in the tin. Remove from the pan and serve.

 











Saturday, June 10, 2023

Summer Fresh Recipe Series: Margherita Pita Pizza

Margherita Pita Pizza is a quick and easy weeknight meal that makes use of fresh summer produce!



Margherita Pita Pizza


It's June and time to kick off my Summer Fresh recipe series!  This is where I bring you recipes that include fresh summer produce, and are easy, light, and oh sooooo tasty!

Today the focus is on summer fresh tomatoes and basil.  I can't wait each year until summer so I can get my hands on the freshest tomatoes and pick the basil from my herb garden.  We're keeping it simple today and making personal pizzas using Greek style (no pocket) pitas as the base.  My Margherita Pita Pizzas are so easy to make and are a classic using slices of fresh tomatoes, mozzarella cheese, your favorite pizza sauce, and fresh basil.  

These can be baked in the oven or cooked on a grill if you prefer.  They're simple and easy, but very scrumptious.  Great for a weeknight dinner, weekend get-togethers, and easy lunches.  You can even make extra and freeze them for another time.  This is one recipe you'll make on repeat.

Enjoy!




What Ingredients do I need?

  • mozzarella cheese - shredded or whole
  • tomatoes - choose on the vine, roma, or beefsteak
  • fresh basil leaves 
  • Greek style pita bread
  • Pizza sauce - your favorite brand or make homemade


Substitutions and Variations


  • Veggie: Mushrooms, bell peppers, cherry tomatoes, onions
  • Greek: Kalamata olives, tomatoes, feta cheese, marinated artichoke hearts
  • BBQ chicken: Chicken strips or shredded, bbq sauce, cheddar cheese
  • Buffalo chicken: Shredded chicken tossed with buffalo sauce, & blue cheese crumbles
  • Pesto: Pesto sauce, feta cheese, roasted red peppers
  • Hawaiian: Canadian ham & pineapple
  • Dessert: Smore's anyone? (marshmallows creme, chocolate chips & crushed graham crackers) or Nutella & strawberries
  • Try grilling them instead of baking them in the oven




Kitchen Tips and Notes

  • Buy the best, freshest ingredients available since your have so few ingredients.
  • Leftovers:  may be stored in the fridge for up to 3 days in sealed bags or containers.
  • Freezer instructions:  Wrap cooked pizza (unsliced) in foil and freeze up to 3 months. Reheat from frozen at 375 F for 25 minutes or until heated through.





Equipment you will need:

















Margherita Pita Pizza


Yield: 4 personal pizzas


4 Greek-style pitas
2 cups pizza sauce
4 cups mozzarella cheese, grated
1 tomato, sliced
1/2 cup basil leaves


Preheat oven to 440 degrees F.

Top each pita with sauce and divide cheese among pizzas. Add sliced tomatoes, then add pizzas to a parchment-lined baking sheet.

Bake 10-12 minutes until cheese is melted and edges are golden brown. Remove from oven and top with fresh basil leaves.

Cut in to slices, serve and enjoy!




















Saturday, June 3, 2023

Fattoush Salad with Chicken

Fattoush Salad is a light and fresh salad of Lebanese origin, that combines veggies and herbs and the use of day old pita bread.  This variation includes grilled chicken for that extra bit of protein and the whole salad is topped with a refreshing lemon vinaigrette.




Fattoush Salad with Chicken


If your following a more Mediterranean Diet then this salad fits right in.  There are many different variations out there for Fattoush Salad made in different Middle Eastern countries.  The key is the use of day old pita that is torn in to pieces that are toasted in olive oil and used in the salad.  Similar to the Italian Panzanella Salad, or any salad with homemade croutons.

This variation is filled with lettuce, cucumber, radishes, green onions, with fresh herbs.  I've added grilled chicken slices to the salad for more protein which turns this into more of an entrĂ©e salad.  Everything is combined and then tossed with a refreshing lemon vinaigrette.  Perfect for summer!

Enjoy!




What Ingredients do I need?

  • extra virgin olive oil
  • pita bread
  • romaine lettuce
  • cucumber
  • green onions
  • radishes
  • mint
  • parsley
  • cooked grilled chicken
  • lemon
  • garlic
  • sumac - a tangy, lemony spice used in many Middle Eastern dishes.  It can be found in the spice section of your grocery store.


Substitutions and Variations

  • Use red leaf, green leaf, or butter lettuce
  • Use Persian cucumbers
  • Add any vegetables that you like, such as ripe summer tomatoes
  • Add feta cheese
  • Switch the dressing - try a different vinegar or add pomegranate molasses



Kitchen Tips and Notes

  • Pita chips may be tossed with olive oil and toasted in a 350 degree oven for 10 minutes.



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Fattoush Salad with Chicken


serves 4


2 Tablespoons olive oil
1 pita bread round, torn into bite sized pieces
4 cups romaine lettuce, torn
1/2 of a large hot house cucumber, chopped
1/2 cup sliced radishes
1/2 cup sliced green onions
1/4 mixed chopped mint and parsley
2 cups of grilled, sliced chicken breast

Lemon Vinaigrette
1/4 cup extra virgin olive oil
1/4 cup fresh lemon juice
2 cloves garlic, minced
1/4 teaspoon salt
1/4 teaspoon pepper
1/2 teaspoon ground sumac

In a skillet over medium heat add 1 Tablespoon of olive oil and allow to heat.  Add half the pita pieces and toast in the skillet for about 2-3 minutes until golden brown.  Remove pieces to drain on a paper towel.  Repeat with the remaining 1 Tablespoon of olive oil and pita pieces.

In a small bowl or jar add the vinaigrette ingredients and whisk or shake until combined.  

In a large bowl add lettuce, cucumber, radishes, green onions, and herbs.  Toss with some of the salad dressing.  Add the pita chips and the chicken breast tossing to combine.  Serve with the remaining lemon vinaigrette on the side.














 


Thursday, June 1, 2023

Ham and Swiss Sliders

These scrumptious Ham and Swiss Sliders are so melty and gooey, yet easy to make for all your gatherings.




Ham and Swiss Sliders


It's the season of summer gatherings; graduation parties, baby showers, pool parties, picnics, game day, potlucks and BBQs.  Sliders are the perfect finger food that can be an appetizer, or the main meal, and work for any gathering.

Ham and swiss are iconic flavors and when you serve it hot and I'm in heaven with that melty cheese.  So these are right up my alley.  I've even made these for lunch on the weekend, (adjusting the quantity) just for me and my husband (pictures are from our weekend lunch).  You've gotta change up the plain old sandwich sometimes!

This one has a mix of spicy brown mustard and mayo to accompany the ham and cheese, and it's served on dinner rolls that are topped with a savory butter, garlic mixture.  The topping takes these slider over the top with flavor!  Easy to assemble and then pop them in the oven to melt the cheese and heat up that topping.  Yum!  I'm ready to make another batch just thinking about them.

Enjoy!




What Ingredients do I need?

  • dinner rolls
  • spicy brown mustard
  • mayonnaise
  • sliced deli ham
  • sliced Swiss cheese
  • butter
  • poppy seeds
  • garlic

Substitutions and Variations

  • Use Hawaiian Sweet rolls
  • Use any sandwich condiment you like, or try adding some horseradish to the mayo
  • Switch up the cheese, try pepper jack, provolone, or Monterey Jack
  • Change the meat to turkey or roast beef
  • Use the topping for any slider, try Italian cold cuts with provolone etc.



Kitchen Tips and Notes

  • Make sure to cut the rolls in half horizontally without separating the rolls.  It will make assembly so much easier.
  • You will need aluminum foil to cover the sliders when baking.
  • Taking the aluminum foil off for the last 5-10 minutes will help them get brown and a little crustier on the top.
  • Make as many slider as your want to fit the situation or number of people you are serving.




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Ham and Swiss Sliders


makes 12 sliders




1 package of 12 dinner rolls
spicy brown mustard
mayonnaise
1 pound sliced deli ham
6 slices Swiss cheese, halved
4 Tablespoons butter, melted
2 teaspoons poppy seeds
2 cloves garlic, minced

Preheat your over to 350 degrees.

Without separating rolls, cut rolls in half horizontally and then place bottom halves of rolls in a baking pan. Spread bottom rolls with spicy brown mustard, and the tops with mayo.  Layer with ham and cheese, then place on the tops.  

In a small bowl add melted butter, poppy seeds, and minced garlic.  Stir to combine.  Brush the tops of the rolls with the butter mixture making sure to get the garlic and poppy seed that tend to go to the bottom of the mixture.  Cover with aluminum foil.

Bake, covered, 20 minutes. Uncover and bake another 5 minutes.  Serve hot.
















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