June 30, 2011

Lemon Blueberry Muffins

We were lucky enough to have a great sale on blueberries recently. I have been putting them in everything - smoothies, steel cut oats, and of course, for Sunday breakfast, I made blueberry muffins.
This was a great recipe I found online. They had a lot of blueberries in it, next time I will probably cut it down to a cup.

Lemon Blueberry Muffins
from Food Network Kitchens
2 cups unbleached all-purpose flour
2 tsp baking powder
1/4 tsp fine salt
1/2 cup unsalted butter, softened, plus more for preparing the muffin tin
1 tsp finely grated lemon zest
2/3 cup sugar, plus 1 tablespoon for the top of the muffins
2 large eggs, at room temperature
1/2 cup whole milk
1 1/2 cups fresh blueberries, rinsed and dried

Preheat the oven to 375 degrees F. Lightly brush a 12-muffin tin with butter and set aside. Sift the flour, baking powder, and salt into a medium bowl and set aside.
In a standing mixer fitted with the paddle attachment, or with an electric hand-held mixer in a large bowl, cream the butter, zest, and 2/3 cup of the sugar until light and fluffy, about 2 minutes. Scrape down the sides of the bowl with a rubber spatula. Add the eggs, one at a time, beating well after each addition. Remove the bowl from the mixer.
Using a rubber spatula, fold the flour in 3 parts into the butter mixture, alternating with the milk in 2 parts, until just combined. Fold in the blueberries. Take care not to over mix the batter. Divide the batter evenly into the muffin tin and sprinkle the tops with sugar. Bake until golden brown, about 25 minutes. Cool muffins in the pan on a rack. Serve warm.

June 28, 2011

Roasted Beet Salad

This weekend we went to the local farmers market. I thought I would decide what we were having for dinner on Sunday depending on what looked good at the market. I bought some salad greens, kohlrabi, and beets. I am saving the kohlrabi for dinner tonight - but the salad greens and beets I used in the most delicious salad!
I am a little ashamed to say this was my first experience with fresh beets. My husband loves beets, and after Sunday, so do Lou and me! They were so sweet! It was perfect in the salad - a great balance of sweet, savory, bitter, sour, earthy. Yum!
The farmer I bought the beets from told me the beet greens were edible. I tossed them in with the salad greens. They have a thicker texture than a typical salad green and were slightly bitter. If you don't like this, just keep them out. I only put a few leaves in.

Roasted Beet Salad
Lemon Vinaigrette (recipe follows)
about 4 cups Spring Mix
about 1/2 cup Radish Greens
1 bunch Beets, roasted (recipe follows)
1 small onion, caramelized
shaved Parmessan
In the bottom of the salad bowl, mix the salad dressing. Top with salad greens, beets, onions, and Parmesan. Toss. Serve.

Roasted Beets:
1 bunch small beets
2 tsp olive oil
Preheat oven to 375 degrees. Peel beets and cut in half. Place on sheet of foil, drizzle with olive oil and sprinkle with salt, toss. Wrap the beets up tightly in foil. Bake in oven about 30-45 minutes, or until beets are tender. If you poke with a knife and it slips out, it is ready. Set aside to cool, about 10 minutes.

Lemon Vinaigrette:
Juice of 1/2 a lemon
1 Tbsp olive oil
salt and pepper, to taste
Combine all ingredients in the bottom of the salt bowl. Whisk to combine.

June 21, 2011

Bruschetta Burger

Almost three weeks ago when I posted last, I assumed I would be back into the swing of things. Well, that obviously was not what happened. I haven't really had much to post because I haven't really made anything new. I have made easy, family favorites that I have already posted, or my mother-in-law made dinner for us. Oh it was so nice having my mom and then my mother-in-law here!
I am still having a little hard time adjusting to the life of a mother of two. I will confess that I have had a few hard days after my mother-in-law left trying to figure out how I would do it all - the housework, the cooking, taking care of a newborn, and entertaining a toddler without the television. I cried. I whined to my husband. I told myself "Enough!" I made some goals. I got organized (a bit). And I am feeling better about things. It is 3pm and I am still in my pajamas - but that's okay because today I have vacuumed, tidied up, done the dishes, made dinner, played Memory and playdough with my toddler. That may not seem like much, but for me, I think that isn't too bad!
Yesterday I was inspired when I saw a cooking show (what I watch when I am nursing sometimes) make bruschetta. My basil plant has been growing well and I thought that I would do something with it. So I decided to make an Italian Burger with a Bruschetta topping.
I am still trying to loose some "baby weight" (although these last few pounds are from the first baby, not the second). So I am trying to make things a little healthier now. I made these burgers with ground turkey and instead of fries, we had zucchini sticks and dipped them in marinara. I was pleasantly surprised with the whole meal!

Italian Turkey Burgers with Bruschetta Topping
For the Bruschetta (recipe from my friend Jenny):
4 Roma tomatoes, cubed
2 Tbsp fresh basil (I used about 10 leaves)
1/4 c grated Romano cheese
2 Tbsp olive oil
1 clove garlic, crushed
seasoning salt to taste
ground black pepper to taste
2 Tbsp balsamic vinegar

In a medium bowl, mix tomatoes, dried basil, cheese, olive oil, garlic, vinegar, seasoned salt and ground black pepper.
Cover and chill in the refrigerator 8 hours, or overnight, before serving.

For the Burgers:
1 19oz package of ground turkey
1 Tbsp olive oil
1 tsp fresh rosemary
1 tsp fresh thyme
2 tsp garlic powder
2 tsp onion powder
pinch red pepper flakes
1 Tbsp Worcestershire sauce
1/2 cup freshly grated Romano cheese
Seasoning Salt
Fresh ground black pepper

Combine all ingredients until well incorporated, but don't overmix. Test the seasoning by taking a teaspoon of the mixture and cook. (see here) Adjust seasoning as needed. Divide meat mixture into 4 equal portions. Shape into patties. Cook on grill or skillet (medium high heat) until done.
Top with bruschetta topping and a toasted bun. Serve with zucchini "fries" - cut zucchini into the french fry shape, toss with olive oil, salt and pepper, and roast under broiler until browned.

If you have leftovers:
Crumble meat over a bed of lettuce, top with bruschetta and use the bruschetta liquid as your salad dressing. Delicious! (that was my lunch today!)

June 03, 2011

What's in Season - June

Time flies when you have a newborn. I can't believe it is June! Summer is here. Farmer's Markets are open, fresh fruits and vegetables are more available. I can't wait to see what Nebraska Farmer's Markets have to offer. Here is what is in season this month - either at your grocery store or your Farmer's Market.

What's in Season in June:
Green and wax beans
Snap peas
New potatoes
Summer squash
Canary melon
Passion fruit

Also, check out this link to see what is in season in your area.

Thanks to all those who have asked. I am slowly coming back. We are very grateful for all those who have brought meals and for my mom for stocking our freezer with ready made meals. I haven't made any new recipes lately - but when I do, I will let you know!