Saturday, January 31, 2009

More blueberries!

This one is a keeper.... not too sweet, but it has a lovely, sweet, crispy topping that gives it that little something extra. Definitely the perfect afternoon snack with coffee or tea.....













....or, for later with a sip of wine.......











perhaps a dollop of ice cream or frozen yogurt if you are eating healthy. I ain't sayin' that other word..you know the one that starts with die?....

This recipe is from Company's Coming Muffins and More. I used butter instead of the cooking oil... just can't seem to bring myself to use oil for baking...... and so I changed the mixing method a bit to the old standby...beat butter, sugar, eggs, etc.. for my method... however, here I give you the original and you can give it a try as is.. or change things as you please. Remember what Michael Smith always says about recipes being more or less a guideline....and every single time I hear him say it I laugh... thinking of Johnny Depp and the pirates... .. arrrhhhh, matey.... "it's not really a code.. it's more like yer guidelines" ... ..... lol...



Blueberry Coffee Cake

2 cups flour
1/2 cup sugar
3 tsp. baking powder
1/2 tsp. salt
2 eggs
1/4 cup cooking oil
3/4 cup milk
1 cup blueberries fresh or frozen

Topping:
1/3 cup flour
1/3 cup brown sugar
1/4 cup butter
1 tsp. Cinnamon


Mix flour, sugar, baking powder and salt together in mixing bowl. (I don't bother with salt as I use salted butter)

In another bowl beat eggs until frothy. Mix in oil and milk. Pour into dry ingredients. Mix together. Fold in blueberries. Scrape into greased 9 inch tube pan. I used a shallow 9 inch cake pan and panicked a bit when it rose almost over the top... but, it was fine.

Topping: Mix flour, brown sugar, butter and cinnamon together. Sprinkle over top of batter. Bake in 350F (180C) for 50-60 minutes or til it begins to shrink away from sides of pan. Cool about 30 minutes before removing from pan. Turn right side up.


(when I turned it out of the pan..I used a cookie sheet instead of cake rack over pan so I wouldn't have a million crumbs all over the place. Then..put cake plate on bottom of cake... turn right side up and take off the cookie sheet.) whew...but, it worked...hardly any crumb-y mess!

You could use cranberries, raspberries or even a bumbleberry mix instead of blueberries....










okay...there you have it...now, I'm off for tea and blueberries....oh, and cake....

Thursday, January 29, 2009

Blueberries.....

I'm doing Chic Life's blueberry challenge..... ..

This is a recipe I have had for eons. Okay..maybe just decades. It's one of the many recipes in my stash that I just saved and saved... somehow remembering which little booklet of recipes it was in. A prize winning recipes booklet from 1983 if you can believe it. Anyway... finally I got some pumpkin (because it calls for a cup of that) and actually mixed and baked it. Sigh.......................... it was quite bland even though I added some spices and extra moisture because I didn't like the proportions of wet to dry ingredients. What a disappointment... I don't think I will even bother printing out the recipe... but, here is a pic of the winner...and a pic of mine. How can something look so good and taste so....... .. average.........??










My sweetie seems to think it's okay....he is eating it and even seems to enjoy a slice. I can't bother putting calories into "the temple" that aren't amazing to taste. It's just too much work trying to stay trim and keep off unwanted pounds.










......instead of this Indian Cornbread recipe ....

may I offer instead, my own version of Lemon Blueberry Muffins. I played with this recipe one winter and got it to where we loved it. Now, these are worth every minute of my workout.... I make them at least once a month, but, after I eat the one (or sometimes even two) that I allow myself.... ... they get bagged and frozen for Mr. BumbleVee's lunches...











Hopefully I'll get around to trying one more this week..... Blueberry Coffee Cake......

Sunday, January 25, 2009

Sabotage!!

Oh, I'm bad..... last post was a salad and talking about eating healthy ...now, here I am with the chocolate.... sorry..... but, they were just too good not to share!











I changed a few things to suit myself...but, the original recipe is from the Company's Coming book Muffins and More. The original recipe called for cooking oil but I prefer to use butter in my baking.. . so I changed the mixing directions. They are called Chocolate Filled Muffins in the book if you have it and want to try their version. It called for a coconut filling to be pressed into the center of each. But, there was an alternative ...... maraschino cherries. I still had some in a jar from Christmas baking ... hey! perfect.

































Chocolate Cherry Muffins

2 cups all purpose flour
3/4 cup sugar
1/4 cup cocoa powder (I like to sift it for easier mixing)
3 tsp. baking powder
1/2 tsp. salt ( I never use it)
1/2 tsp. cinnamon
1 egg
1 cup milk
1/3 cup butter
option:: handful of drained maraschino cherries, chopped into halves or thirds.


Beat butter in mixing bowl, add sugar and mix well. Add egg and beat again.

In large bowl, mix flour, cocoa, baking powder, (I always slightly less because I don't like to taste it at all !) salt, (if you use it), and cinnamon. Add to butter mixture... stir gently just a bit, then add milk... mixing just until moistened.

Gently fold in maraschino cherries or... place by hand into mixture after placing small amount into muffin cups then fill cups. I pushed mine well into the dough so they were not really visible from the outside... I didn't want them to get crispy or burn on any edges.

This dough is not really a wet mixture and I think next time I will also add a few tablespoons of the maraschino juice as well and perhaps even a teensy drop of almond flavouring...

Bake at 375 F. (180 C. ) for 20 minutes. Only makes 8 good size muffins.

Wednesday, January 21, 2009

Citrus Sprout Salad ....

.... with Poppy Seed Vinaigrette











Lots of us are trying to get back to some healthy eating after the festive season... here's a great salad I found in a little magazine called Flavours. I don't often use the sprouts...and not always the poppy seeds either...but, the rest is a pretty tasty salad. The vinaigrette is easy to make... again, don't feel you have to use all ingredients. Remember, a recipe is just a guideline.... add and subtract as you like. .. (or, sometimes...as the ingredients you prefer or have on hand dictate)


Citrus Sprout Salad

6 cups baby Romaine leaves
1 each, navel orange, blood orange, mandarin orange, tangerine
1/2 cup juice from the fruit
1 ruby grapefruit
1/2 red onion, thinly sliced
1/2 cup toasted almonds coarsely chopped
1 cup bean sprouts

Peel, pith and section fruit. Arrange on bed of baby romaine and red onion. Sprinkle with almonds. Top with sprouts.


Poppy Seed Vinaigrette

Pinch of salt
1/2 cup citrus juice
1 tbsp. raspberry vinegar
1/2 cup extra virgin olive oil
1 tsp. honey
1 tsp. cayenne
2 tsp. poppy seeds
fresh ground black pepper

Whisk salt with citrus juice and vinegar. Slowly add olive oil. Stir in honey, cayenne and poppy seeds.

Just before serving, pour dressing on salad and toss lightly. Add a grind of pepper to finish...

I like a chunk of toasted Peasant Bread with mine.......

Wednesday, January 7, 2009

Tropical Christmas Bread...











It is called Christmas Bread....but, this is not a yeast loaf... and truly... since we can find Macadamia nuts all year round... why wouldn't we just enjoy it whenever?? I call it Tropical Fruit Bread myself. Sometimes I bake it when I want a tasty loaf instead of muffins....and, at the festive season, I even give it a little splash of rum....

Tropical Christmas Bread

1 14 ounce (398 ml) can pineapple tidbits
1 1/2 cups golden seedless raisins (any raisin will do)
1/3 cup diced candied ginger
1 cup flaked coconut
1 cup macadamia nuts (I like to roughly chop mine )
1/2 cup butter
1 cup sugar
4 eggs
1/2 cup reserved pineapple juice
1 1/2 cups flour
1 tsp. baking powder

Place pineapple bits in deep bowl. Add raisins, ginger, coconut, and macadamia nuts. Mix well.

In mixer bowl... cream butter and sugar until fluffy. Add eggs, one at a time, beating well after each addition. Stir in pineapple juice.

Sift together flour and baking powder. Add to sugar mixture. Fold in fruit mixture.

Spoon into 5 greased and floured mini loaf pans. Bake in 350F oven for 20 - 25 minutes or til toothpick inserted in centre comes out clean. Cool. Remove from tins..











My 5 mini loaf pans are varying sizes, so I treated myself to this. It makes 8 tiny loaves....

























In actuality...they are more the size of giant muffins..... how cute are these in a little gift basket with some cranberry pistachio biscotti ?...














...or, just on my plate.... next to a steaming cup of tea or coffee..... mmmmmm.....












This is an ancient recipe... clipped from newspaper years ago..

Friday, January 2, 2009

Ackkkkkkkkk!














The magazine tarts...and my own little beauties.. if I do say so.... and I'm just cheeky enough to do that...


Just looked on this blog and saw the 357 days til Christmas sign is still up!!! Who needed to know that...already?! However, perhaps it is a good thing....maybe I should have one up somewhere in the house all year 'round...just as a constant reminder that I am getting behind on my Christmas ideas and plans.... hmmmm......

And, it might be a long ways off...but, seeing as I didn't get this great recipe for some wonderful tiny chocolate tarts posted before the day...nor even during the week....... here it is for next year. Or.... you could just try them any old time... 'cuz they are so yummy.....AND....so easy!

The pastry is just butter, cream cheese and flour.... I don't even bother taking out my mixer.

German Chocolate Tarts

1 cup butter or margarine
2 3-ounce packages cream cheese, softened
2 cups all purpose flour
2 eggs
1 14 ounce can sweetened condensed milk
1 4 ounce package sweet cooking chocolate, melted (I used semi sweet baking squares)
2 teaspoons vanilla extract
1/4 teaspoon salt (I never use it if I used salted butter)
1 1/3 cups flaked coconut... ( I just tossed in a small handful )
48 pecan halves

Beat butter and cream cheese until light and fluffy. With spoon, stir in flour until blended. Wrap each piece in plastic wrap;refrigerate 1 hour or til easy to handle.

Meanwhile, prepare filling: In large bowl, beat eggs slightly. Add sweetened condensed milk, melted chocolate, vanilla extract, and salt (if using); mix until smooth.

Cut 1 piece of chilled dough into 12 pieces; press evenly into bottom and up sides of twelve 1 3/4 inch muffin pan cups. (I make them into a ball...flatten the ball and they are already up the sides of the cups when you place them into each...then just shape a bit more) Spoon one-fourth of filling into pastry lined cups until each is 3/4 full; top each with a pecan half. Bake 20 minutes at 350 - 375 .. or until golden brown. Cool cookies 5 minutes in pan on wire rack. Remove cookies from pan. Repeat with remaining dough, filling and pecans.
Store cookies in tightly covered container. Makes about 4 dozen.