Saturday, April 6, 2024

Spring Fling: Blackberry Swirl Muffins with Crumb Topping - Small Batch

Fresh hot muffins swirled with a blackberry syrup and topped with a streusel topping make these spring muffins crave worthy!




 

Blackberry Swirl Muffins with Crumb Topping


I love when Spring arrives and all the berries are bursting with flavor.  I end up buying berries every week for yogurt parfaits, toppings for waffles, tossing in salads, and addition to muffins.  This week I made a blackberry syrup that I swirled in to my base muffin recipe for a different take on a fruit laden muffin.  If this wasn't decadent enough I added a streusel topping which took it to the next level.

These muffins are so good you are gonna crave them!  Laced with a little cinnamon that totally compliments the blackberries these muffins will bring you warmth and comfort.  This is another small batch of 6 so double the recipe if you want 12 muffins.

Enjoy!





What Ingredients do I need?

  • fresh blackberries
  • eggs
  • low-fat milk
  • canola oil
  • all purpose flour
  • sugar or sugar alternative if using (for Keto, low carb)
  • baking powder
  • salt
  • brown sugar
  • cinnamon
  • butter


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.
  • Any add-ins (shredded coconut, walnuts, pecans, granola) will work.




Kitchen Tips and Notes

  • 1st rule of thumb when making muffins is "do not 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 domed muffins.




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Blackberry Swirl Muffins with Crumb Topping


Makes 6


Blackberry swirl:
1 cup fresh blackberries
1 teaspoon granulated sugar
1/4 teaspoon cinnamon

Muffins:
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 powder
1/2 teaspoon salt
1/4 teaspoon cinnamon

Crumb Topping:
1/6 cup packed light brown sugar
1 1/2 teaspoons sugar
1/2 teaspoon cinnamon
2 Tablespoon butter, melted
1/3 cup flour


Preheat oven to 400 degrees. Spray a 6 well muffin tin with non-stick cooking spray and set aside. 

In a small saucepan over medium-high heat add blackberries, sugar, and cinnamon.  Stir mixture until the blackberries cook down and get syrupy, mashing the blackberries with a spoon as they cook about 5 min. Set aside and allow to cool. 

In a medium bowl add all the crumb topping ingredients and use your fingers to mix together until crumbly.  Set aside.

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

Add the flour, sugar, baking powder, salt, and cinnamon.   Stir just until combined.  Do not over mix.  

Using a cookie scoop, add batter to a muffin tin to make 6 muffins.  Add one teaspoon of the blackberry swirl to each top and swirl in the batter with a toothpick.  Sprinkle each muffin with the streusel topping.  (You may have leftover blackberry swirl and streusel topping.)  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.









Monday, April 1, 2024

Breakfast Tostadas

Breakfast Tostadas are a morning favorite, 15 minute meal, with a Latin spin. 




 

Breakfast Tostadas


I love a good hearty breakfast on the weekends.  It provides us with much needed energy for all the activities during the day and since I often skip lunch it keeps me going until dinner.  My Breakfast Tostadas are like an open faced tortilla breakfast treat.  They have a Latin spin with only 4 ingredients (plus pantry staples) and so much flavor!

Lightly crips corn tortillas provide the bed for scrambled eggs which are topped with a sour cream mixture that includes cumin and hot sauce for a spicy bite.  Garnish with some cilantro and you have a meal that is ready in 15 minutes.  Easy and tasty, that's how heaven in my book!

Enjoy!





What Ingredients do I need?

  • corn tortillas
  • sour cream
  • cilantro
  • eggs
  • Pantry staples: - canola oil, hot sauce, ground cumin, salt


Substitutions and Variations

  • Use yogurt or crema instead of sour cream
  • Leave out the cilantro and try Italian parsley
  • Add crumbled feta, queso fresco, or cotija cheese on top
  • Leave out the hot sauce if you don't like it spicy



Kitchen Tips and Notes

  • Shallow fry:  You don't need much oil in a skillet to shallow fry the corn tortillas.  About 1/2 inch should work.  Get the oil nice and hot then fry each side about 10-15 seconds per side.  You want them slightly crisp and not really browned.
  • Scrambled Eggs: Use the right pan.  This is where your non-stick skillet reigns supreme.  Use a small one for 2-4 eggs and a large one for 5+ eggs.  Don't crack the eggs in to the pan, whisk them together first with a splash of milk.  The more air you whisk in to the eggs the fluffier they will be.  Cook low and slow and remember that eggs will continue to cook after you have removed them from the heat.  So remove them while they are still a little loose.



More Egg Dishes:

Asparagus and Tomato Frittata

Scrambled Eggs with Fresh Herbs

Herbed Scrambled Eggs in Toast Cups

Farmhouse Scramble

Italian Breakfast Sandwich

Bacon Egg Biscuit Sandwich

Mushroom Chive Omelette

Huevos Rancheros with Monterey Jack "Gringo" Style

Swiss Cheese and Oregano Scrambled Eggs

Pesto Scrambled Eggs



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Breakfast Tostadas

serves 4

4 corn tortillas
Canola oil
1/2 cup sour cream
1 teaspoon hot sauce, such as Cholula
1 teaspoon ground cumin
1 teaspoon kosher salt
8 large eggs, whisked with a splash of milk
1 Tablespoon fresh cilantro

In a medium nonstick skillet over medium-high heat, heat enough canola oil for 1/2 inch in the skillet. One at a time, lightly crisp the corn tortillas, about 10-15 seconds per side.  Remove and set aside on a paper towel lined sheet pan.  Repeat for all corn tortillas.

In a small bowl add the sour cream, hot sauce, cumin and salt.  Stir to combine and set aside.

Reduce your heat to medium-low and drain off all the oil with the exception of 1 1/2 teaspoons.  Add the whisked eggs and cook, scraping the bottom of the pan with a rubber spatula until cooked and scrambled, 3-4 minutes.  

Place the tortillas on 4 plates and top evenly with the scrambled eggs.  Top each with a collop or drizzle of the sour cream mixture and sprinkle with more hot sauce and cilantro. Serve immediately.



Adapted from: The Quick Six Fix













Saturday, March 23, 2024

Sumac, Tomato & Garlic Ciabatta Toasts

As a variation on Italian bruschetta my Sumac, Tomato & Garlic Ciabatta Toasts are bursting with flavor and a middle eastern flair.  Serve them as a starter or eat several of them as a light lunch.




Sumac, Tomato & Garlic Ciabatta Toasts


I've always loved fresh tomatoes on toast whether it's Italian bruschetta or Spanish pan con tomate. I can eat them all the time and my husband is simply obsessed.  Today's version brings in some middle eastern flavor to the mix.  The use of sumac gives the tomatoes a citrusy note and fresh cilantro (coriander) gives it another level of fragrant citrusy notes.  With the additional flavors of red onion, garlic, olive oil, and a dollop of Greek yogurt these are very addicting and you will probably want to eat more than one slice.  For the base I used Ciabatta rolls that I sliced in half, and pan grilled with butter and garlic.  Feel free to use a good French, Italian, or even sourdough as your base.

These will be perfect during the summer months when vine ripe tomatoes are at their peak but you can make this all throughout the year.  Use the freshest and most ripe tomatoes you can find.  Cherry, grape, and Campari tomatoes are usually tasty all year round and would be good to use when vine ripened tomatoes are not at their best.  These are very easy to make and yet simply delicious!

Enjoy!



(Sorry I forgot to add the cilantro!)


What Ingredients do I need?

  • ciabatta rolls - or ciabatta bread
  • butter
  • garlic cloves
  • ripe tomatoes
  • red onion
  • sumac
  • fresh cilantro
  • extra virgin olive oil
  • Greek yogurt (such as Fage) or labneh

Substitutions and Variations

  • Bread - can't find ciabatta try a crusty French or Italian loaf, or even sourdough bread.
  • Onion - choose yellow, white, a milder shallot, or chives.  Or leave it out if you choose.
  • Yogurt topping - This dollop of thick yogurt give the dish a creaminess.  You could also use labneh, a soft middle eastern cheese made from strained yogurt.  You can also try ricotta cheese.
  • Cilantro - can't stand cilantro?  Use parsley instead.




Kitchen Tips and Notes

  • Prep your ingredients first, such as chopping the vegetables so you can pull this together quickly.
  • Dicing Vegetables - I use this wonderful chopper by Mueller to quickly chop my tomatoes and onions.  It has 8 different cutting templates and can accommodate small or large dice as well as julienne, grater, and slicers.  Plus it's part of Amazon's Big Spring Deal and is 50% off!
  • Grilling indoors - I use this indoor grill pan by Cuisinart.  I've had it many years and it had held up beautifully.  It heats evenly and make great grill marks on your food.
  • In season tomatoes - depending upon where you live in the US tomatoes are in season from May - October.  You can find tomatoes year round at the grocery store but their flavors are best during the summer months. During off the off season I would choose a cherry, grape, or cocktail (sold as Campari) tomato as these are usually sweet all year round.  During the summer go for a nice plum (Roma) tomato, heirloom, or juicy on the vine tomato.



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Sumac, Tomato & Garlic Ciabatta Toasts


serves 6


3 ciabatta rolls, cut in half
2 tablespoons of butter softened
2 garlic cloves, minced
3 vine ripe tomatoes, finely chopped
1/3 red onion, finely chopped
1 1/2 teaspoons sumac, plus extra for garnish
1/4 cup fresh cilantro, finely chopped , extra for garnish
extra virgin olive oil
thick Greek yogurt (such as Fage) or labneh
kosher salt & black pepper

In a small bowl mix together the softened butter and the minced garlic.  Spread the butter mixture on each of the ciabatta halves/slices.  Using a grill pan or griddle over medium-high heat grill the bread until toasted and golden.  

In a medium bold mix together the tomatoes, onion, sumac, and cilantro.  Add a drizzle of olive oil and season with salt & pepper.  Mix to combine.

Divide the tomato mixture among each slice of toast applying it across the surface of each piece.  Top each with a teaspoon of yogurt and garnish with a pinch of sumac and reserved cilantro.  Drizzle with olive oil.  Serve immediately.


Source:  adapted from Bazaar






 







Saturday, March 16, 2024

Carne Guisada - Instant Pot and Oven/Stove Top Versions

This mouthwatering Carne Guisada has tender chunks of seasoned beef cooked in a luscious tomato-based sauce.  It's a fiesta in a bowl!





 Carne Guisada


Enjoy a wonder meal with this succulent Latin flavored stew.  Tender chunks of stew meat are cooked in a luscious tomato-based sauce that filled with onion, tomatoes, and Latin spices.  It's said that Carne Guisada is originally from Puerto Rico although there are many variations across Latin countries.  This is a very simple dish to make and it all cooks in one pot.

Serve it over a nice bed of rice along with tortillas for a great meal.  Any leftovers can be stuffed in to tortillas for soft tacos or rolled in to enchiladas.  The flavor is amazing and this dish is all about the sauce and the tender meat.  I made this in my Instant Pot and the meat was falling apart.  You can make this on the stove top or in the oven in a Dutch oven.  It will take you about 1 1/2 to make this start to finish so plan on making this on the weekend for Sunday dinner or even game day!

Enjoy!




What Ingredients do I need?

  • 2 pounds of stew meat
  • white or yellow onion
  • cumin
  • canned diced tomatoes 
  • beef broth - low sodium
  • olive oil
  • dried oregano
  • flour


Substitutions and Variations

  • Vegetables - add potatoes and carrots





Kitchen Tips and Notes

  • serve over steamed rice or mashed potatoes
  • serve with tortillas or cornbread
  • leftovers can be kept in a sealed container in the refrigerator for 3 days
  • turn leftovers in to tostadas, tacos, enchiladas, or use in quesadillas





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Carne Guisada


serves 4-6


4 cloves garlic, minced
2 teaspoon cumin
2 teaspoon ground black pepper
1 teaspoon kosher salt
2 cups beef broth, low sodium
2 lbs beef stew meat, cubed
1 Tablespoon olive oil
1 teaspoon dried oregano
14.5 oz can diced tomatoes, with their juices
1/4 cup flour
1/4 cup water
1 large yellow or white onion, chopped

Pressure Cooker:

Turn your Instant Pot on sauté mode and add the olive oil to heat up.  Add 1/2 of the beef and brown on all sides.  Remove from the pot and set aside.  Continue to brown the remaining beef on all sides.  Hit the cancel button to turn off.  

Add in the onion, garlic, tomatoes, beef broth, cumin, salt& pepper, oregano and return the browned beef to the Instant Pot.  Place the lid on the pot and turn the vent knob to "seal".  Press the pressure cook button and set the time for 50 minutes.  When the time is up turn the knob to vent and allow the steam to release.  

In a small bowl mix together the flour and water until smooth.  Open the lid and turn on the sauté button again.  Once the mixture heats up to almost boiling add the flour/water mixture and stir in.  This will thicken the sauce.  Continue to boil on "sauté" for about 5 minutes until thickened.  

Serve over rice.


Oven/Stove Top:

If using the oven preheat to 325 degrees.  In a Dutch oven over medium high heat add the olive oil and heat up.  Add 1/2 of the beef and brown on all sides.  Remove from the pot and set aside.  Continue to brown the remaining beef on all sides.  Remove and set aside.

Reduce the heat to medium low and add the onions and saute until transparent.  Add in the garlic, return the beef to the pot and add in the cumin, salt & pepper, and oregano.  Stir to coat.  Add in the tomatoes, broth and bring to a boil.  Reduce heat to low and simmer for 1 hours or transfer to the oven and cook for 1 hour.  

In a small bowl mix together the flour and water until smooth. Stir the mixture in to the pot and boil on the stove top for about 10 minutes to thicken the broth. 

Serve over rice.












Sunday, March 10, 2024

Honey Garlic Chicken with Sugar Snap Peas

Forget the takeout and make this Honey Garlic Chicken with Sugar Snap Peas.  Tender chicken is coated in a sticky, sweet honey and garlicky sauce that is to die for!  Pair it with some crispy sugar snap peas and serve over rice for a meal that beats takeout any day!




Honey Garlic Chicken with Sugar Snap Peas


Stir frys are my go to meals during the week when I'm tired and want to get dinner on the table fast.  30 minutes is all you need to make my newest stir fry creation.  Tender chunks of chicken and stir fried along with crispy sugar snap peas and the whole dish is tossed with a combination of honey, garlic, soy, sesame oil, and sriracha.  Let's be honest, this dish is all about the sauce.  Sweet sticky honey laced with soy sauce, sesame oil, ginger, and a bit of sriracha for heat. Yum! 

Stir frys are a one pot wonder and are quick and easy to make.  They are usually made in a wok, but don't worry if you don't have one.  A good large skillet with work just fine.  I typically serve my stir frys over steamed rice and it would be equally good over fried rice.  You can't beat a good stir fry and a quick meal for a weeknight or even a weekend dinner.

Enjoy!






What Ingredients do I need?

  • Honey
  • Garlic
  • soy sauce - low sodium
  • toasted sesame oil
  • ginger - whole or paste
  • chicken broth - low sodium
  • cornstarch
  • sriracha
  • chicken breasts
  • sugar snap peas


Substitutions and Variations

  • Use chicken thighs or even pork in place of the chicken breasts
  • Veggies - try snow peas, baby corn, broccoli, or sliced bell peppers for an alternative
  • Heat level - if you don't care for heat, leave out the sriracha.  If you like more increase the amount
  • Serve with steamed white or brown rice, or fried rice



Kitchen Tips and Notes

  • Gather all your ingredients and do all your prep work for your chicken and your sauce before you start cooking.  Once you start cooking things go really fast and won't take long to cook.
  • You can refrigerate left overs in an airtight container or bag for 3 days.



More Popular Stir Frys



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Honey Garlic Chicken with Sugar Snap Peas

serves 4


Stir Fry Sauce:
½ cup chicken broth low sodium
4 tablespoons soy sauce low sodium
½ cup honey
1 tablespoon cornstarch
1 teaspoon ginger, minced
1 teaspoon toasted sesame oil 
1 teaspoon sriracha 

Chicken:
2 to 3 tablespoons canola oil
1 to 1 ½ pounds boneless skinless chicken breasts, cut into 1 inch bite size pieces
¼ cup cornstarch
2 to 3 cloves garlic minced
8 oz sugar snap peas


To make the sauce whisk together in a glass measuring cup the cornstarch with the chicken broth until smooth.  Add in the soy sauce, honey, toasted sesame oil, ginger, and sriracha and whisk again.  Set aside.  

Add oil to a large skillet and heat over medium high heat.   Place the cornstarch on a plate and toss the pieces of chicken in the cornstarch tossing until coated.  Add the chicken to the skillet, in batches if necessary to avoid overcrowding, and cook for about 5 minutes stirring often until the chicken is browned and cooked through.  Remove chicken to a plate or baking sheet and set aside.  

Add a little more oil to the skillet and add in the sugar snap peas.  Cook for 5-6 minutes until they are crisp tender.  Return the chicken and their juices back to the skillet.  Add the minced garlic to the skillet and stirring continuously for 1 minute.  Give you sauce another whisk to combine everything and pour in your sauce, stirring to coat all ingredients.  Allow sauce to thicken for 2-3 minutes.  Remove to a platter and serve over rice.   













Friday, March 1, 2024

Blueberry Smash Muffins - Small Batch

Blueberry Smash Muffins are the ultimate breakfast treat.  You get double the blueberry flavor in every bite!




Blueberry Smash Muffins

 

I'm ready for Spring and that reminds me of blueberries.  I love blueberry muffins.  I make them often but always want to overload them with blueberries so I get that luscious flavor in every bite.  To fix that I tried a new technique that uses fresh whole blueberries and the addition of smashed blueberries.  The results are perfect Blueberry Smash Muffins.

This recipe makes a small batch of 6 muffins.  You can easily double the recipe for a batch of 12.  These are perfect for a Sunday breakfast, or on-the-go muffins during the week.  They are made all in one bowl and can be done start to finish in about 40 minutes.  There's nothing like a fresh muffin and these extra special Blueberry Smash Muffins are the ultimate Spring treat.

Enjoy!




What Ingredients do I need?


  • fresh blueberries
  • eggs
  • low-fat milk
  • canola oil
  • all purpose flour
  • sugar or sugar alternative if using (for Keto, low carb)
  • baking powder
  • 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.
  • Any add-ins (chocolate chips, shredded coconut, walnuts, pecans granola, cinnamon chips) will work.








Kitchen Tips and Notes

  • 1st rule of thumb when making muffins is "do not 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 domed muffins.


More Blueberry Recipes

Berry Almond Smoothie Bowl

Peach Blueberry Ginger Crisp

Lemon Blueberry Scones

Blueberry Coconut Banana Bread

Easy Country Blueberry Pancakes

Lemon Blueberry Bread



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Blueberry Smash Muffins

Makes 6


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 powder
1/2 teaspoon salt
1 1/2 cups blueberries

Preheat oven to 400 degrees. Spray a 6 well muffin tin with non-stick cooking spray and set aside. 

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

Add the flour, sugar, baking powder, and salt.   Stir just until combined.  Do not over mix.  Take 1/2 cup blueberries and smash them until chunky (not totally smashed to pulp) with the back of a spoon.  Add this to the batter and gently fold in.  Add 2/3 cup of whole blueberries to the batter and fold in gently.  

Using a cookie scoop, add batter to a muffin tin to make 6 muffins.  Add remaining blueberries to the tops of your muffins.   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.











 


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