Category Archives: fruit

Cranberry muffins

Breakfast. I am not a huge fan, but I know it’s important. But brunch, I can get behind brunch.  And bacon, always up for some bacon. This is why I go to kickboxing, not so much for the workout, so I can eat bacon. But I digress-these cranberry muffins, they rock. My secret is orange zest, gives them just the faintest of kicks, to get you going for a long day, a slow lazy day, or any day.  

 

Cranberry muffins 

1 cup whole milk

2 lightly beaten eggs

1 tsp vanilla extract or paste (more on the paste in another post!) 

3 1/3 cups all purpose flour

1 cup sugar

1 T baking powder

1/2 tsp kosher salt

half stick unsalted butter cold and cut into small pieces

1 cup frozen or dried cranberries (can also use blueberries if you want)

1 T orange zest

2 T melted butter

1 T raw sugar (optional)

Preheat oven to 350 degrees

Line muffin tin with papers

In a small bowl, combine milk, eggs, and vanilla. Set aside

In a mixer with paddle attachment, mix flour, sugar, baking powder and salt for 1 minute on low speed

Slowly add butter chunks and turn to medium speed until mixture looks like coarse crumbs

Remove 1/2 cup of mixture for streusel

Fold in fruit and orange zest, add milk mixture and mix until just combined

Fill each muffin tin about 3/4 way full of batter

Add melted butter to remaining flour mixture and mix with a fork until combined

Sprinkle on top of muffins.  Add a small pinch of raw sugar on top of mixture for a crunchier top 

Bake for 20-25 minutes, or until center comes out clean

Cool and serve

Can be saved at room temperature for three days

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Quick and easy banana bread

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I always have the best intentions. A to-do list a mile long. Sometimes I accomplish all I mentally set out to do. Nope, not this weekend. This weekend I watched Mad play soccer, did some shopping (kitchen stuff of course) and spent time with friends. So I guess you could say I accomplished a lot of fun stuff, even if the floors didn’t get mopped. But this bread, this banana bread is an easy Sunday night loaf to make, because who doesn’t like a piece of warm bread to slather some butter on while thinking of their week ahead? This recipe is great because you can whip it up and go off and do something else for the almost hour it bakes, with your house smelling great, and a snack for later. 

 

Easy banana bread

1 stick unsalted butter at room temp

1 cup granulated sugar

2 large eggs at room temp

1 1/2 cups flour

1 tsp baking soda

1 tsp cinnamon or nutmeg (your choice)

1 tsp kosher salt

4 bananas mashed (ripe preferably, but I used a mixture and it still tastes great)

1/2 cup sour cream (full fat)

1/2 tsp vanilla

1/2 cup pecans  (optional)

Preheat oven to 350 degrees 

Grease and line a loaf pan with parchment paper

In a mixer fitted with a paddle attachment, cream butter and sugar until fluffy, 8-10 minutes on medium speed

Add eggs and vanilla until incorporated

In a medium bowl, whisk flour, baking soda cinnamon or nutmeg and salt. Add to butter mixture until just combined. Add bananas and sour cream (nuts if using)

Bake for 55 minutes (put loaf pan on a baking sheet for a more even cook) or until a toothpick comes out clean

Cool for 20 minutes on rack, remove and serve

Can be saved for a week wrapped tightly in plastic wrap (usually doesn’t last that long) 

What the what (banana cheesecake)

Social media. It can be a curse or a great way to make friends/connect/learn. I have made some wonderful friends and met some major people in my life via the internet. One is Dawn of Sweet Considerations. She is a gem, and she sent me a bunch of recipes because she is awesome like that. One of the recipes was for Banana Cheesecake. I am always looking for ways to get rid of bananas in my house (Mad always says she will get to them, uh huh) and this was a great way to use them up. While the recipe calls for 6, I only used 3 for the filling and one for the topping. My only other change was I used Nila wafers for the crust, and let me say it was a hit. My work (boss especially) requested this the same day I made it. So twice this week people have been amazed by this great cheesecake which is simple to make, and easy to serve. So Dawn thank you so much, and followers find her on instagram/twitter/facebook, she is talented and wonderful and I can’t wait to get back to Chicago to meet her!

https://www.facebook.com/DawnMariesSweetConsiderations

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Mixed berry lemonade

I am one of the few people who isn’t sad to see summer go. I love fall, with the sweaters and leaves, and baking.  But I still like cool, refreshing drinks, and this is definitely one of them: mixed berry lemonade. Just a funky take on lemonade, tart, fruity, not too sweet and cool for those summer days/nights that are left. 

 

Mixed berry lemonade

1 cup water

1 cup sugar

1 1/4 cups mixed berries (I used raspberries, strawberries, and just a few blueberries) pureed and strained to remove seeds

Lemon juice from 8-10 lemons (I like tart so I used 10)

5 cups cold water

 

Make simple syrup by combining sugar and water in a saucepan, cooking until the sugar dissolves. Let cool about 10-15 minutes

Combine simple syrup, pureed berries and lemon juice into a large pitcher or bowl

Add water until desired sweet/tart combination. 

Serve with ice cubes and more fruit if desired, or keep in the fridge for up to 7 days to drink as the heat continues to waft outside 

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Brick walls and blueberry hand pies

I haven’t been blogging like I should be. I had a few weeks of a too hot kitchen, life bumps and bruises, and lack of inspiration. And then Bon Appetit hit me like a brick wall. They had a beautiful picture of blueberry hand pies. And I knew I had to make them. Usually I am alone when I bake, I turn some music on and go to town. But my lovely friend Abbie had asked to hang out, and she was my company while I mixed and pressed and cut. These hand pies are fun, portable, easy, and delicious. My only changes to the recipe were I added more blueberries, lemon zest and lemon juice. I like my desserts with a tart kick. You can use pretty much any summer fruit that you want. But make something, make it with a friend over, make it to cheer a family member up, or just make them to try a great summer recipe. I think I am back in full force, and I thank all of you for reading.  

http://www.bonappetit.com/recipes/quick-recipes/2013/07/blueberry-hand-pies

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Figs

I was going to bake with figs, but so far I have only gotten to the picture part. My picture/food/baking funk has been going strong for two weeks-is this like writer’s block? I think I am on the road back. I have some recipe testing to do in the next few weeks, so I will be blogging about that. Plus I got a new haircut, so I am hoping that will help. Happy upcoming week! Image

Sweet cherry yogurt pops and product review

I was going to wait a few more days to post this, but I am kinda crushing on the pictures, so I am just going to do it. First off let’s start by talking about my problem with “stuff” You know what I mean, things you don’t in any way need but you see it and are like “uh huh, yes I need that in my life” That is what happened with this popsicle maker. I was reading Joy the Baker and she had made some popsicles and linked this popsicle maker http://www.amazon.com/gp/product/B0000CF7H6/ref=oh_details_o00_s00_i00?ie=UTF8&psc=1. In less than three clicks it was mine. Damn you Amazon for being such a flirt! I usually won’t buy anything that only has one use (thank you Alton Brown for this stern tip) but I had to have this. I don’t regret it either-the pops freeze wonderfully, it comes with sticks! and while you have to run water and tug a little to take them out, they are perfect when you do. So if you are in the market for a popsicle maker, or have a shopping problem, like me, I highly recommend you get this. *see note before making

Onto the pops-I have seen a zillion and one recipes for pops, popsicles with any and all fruit/herbs/juices imaginable. But this is the one I came up with using sweet dark cherries and greek yogurt. Honestly there isn’t that much sugar so it’s a pretty healthy(ish) snack as well. 

 

Sweet cherry yogurt pops

Frozen bag of defrosted sweet dark cherries, 2 cups of fresh cherries pitted, or any mixture of fruit you like (a berry blend would work well, as would mangos, kiwi, strawberries, etc)

16 oz tub of greek yogurt (i used the store brand, but any will do, non fat or regular)

3/4 cup sugar

2 tsp vanilla or one vanilla bean

 

Add 1/2 cup sugar and vanilla to the greek yogurt, stirring well, and divide into two bowls

Puree the cherries with the remaining sugar until smooth. Strain and add to the second bowl of greek yogurt, stirring until combined

Fill the popsicle molds with 1/3 of the cherry yogurt mixture and freeze for 30 minutes

Add 1/3 of the vanilla yogurt to the molds and freeze 15 minutes. If you have any leftover fruit you can add it to the molds at this time.

Add remaining cherry mixture to the molds and freeze for 4-6 hours. 

Enjoy!

*the popsicle maker comes with slots for 10 pops. This recipe used up 8 slots. You can make a bit more to fill the last two or just use any remaining yogurt mixture to snack on!

(this product review is just my own foodie opinion, as I am not affiliated or sponsored by Amazon or the Progressive company that makes this product)

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