Raspberry Muffins

Raspberry Muffins

These are easy enough to whip up for a weekend morning breakfast or brunch. Feel free to substitute blueberries, strawberries, blackberries, or a combination of berries for the raspberries in this recipe.

Raspberry Muffins

1 3/4 cups flour
1/2 cup sugar
1 1/2 teaspoons baking powder
1/2 teaspoon salt
3/4 cup milk
1/3 cup canola oil
1 teaspoon vanilla
1 egg, beaten
1 1/2 cups fresh or frozen raspberries (you do not have to defrost the frozen berries)
extra sugar for sprinkling on top of muffins

Preheat oven to 400º F. Spray muffin pans lightly with cooking spray (or use paper baking cups) and set aside.

In a large bowl, mix the flour, sugar, baking powder, and salt together. Set aside.  Combine the milk, oil, vanilla, and egg together and then add to the dry ingredients.  Mix until moistened, but do not over mix. Gently mix in the raspberries.  Fill muffin pans about half full with batter. Sprinkle the tops of the muffins with a little bit of sugar.  Bake for 20 minutes or until golden brown.

Makes approximately 12 large muffins or 24 mini muffins.

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Fuyu Persimmon Crumble

fuyu-persimmon-crumble2

Recently, one of my customers gave me a bunch of Fuyu persimmons from her tree. Best tip ever. Fuyu Persimmons are delicious!

There are basically two types of persimmons, astringent and non-astringent. Astringent persimmons must be very, very ripe before they can be consumed. Non-astringent persimmons can be eaten when firm. Fuyu persimmons are non-astringent. They have a taste and texture similar to pears and apples. They are  great eaten raw, in salads, and in salsas. They are also delicious baked into pies or crumbles.  

persimmons

Cinnamon and pistachios compliment the flavor of persimmons, so I wanted to incorporate them into this recipe. The persimmons I had were very sweet, so I didn’t have to add much sugar. Feel free to adjust the sweetness level based on how your fruit tastes. I served this crumble with some whipped cream. So good.

fuyu-persimmon-crumble

Fuyu Persimmon Crumble

6 Fuyu persimmons,
3 tablespoons sugar
1/4 teaspoon ground cinnamon

Crumble Topping
1/2 cup oats
1/4 cup flour
1/4 cup chopped pistachios
2 tablespoons brown sugar
2 tablespoons butter

Preheat oven to 350° F.

Cut off the stem end of the persimmons. Peel and cut each in half. Slice each half and place pieces in a bowl. Sprinkle the sugar and cinnamon over the persimmons and mix well. Place in a small oiled baking dish.

In a bowl, combine the oats, flour, chopped pistachios, and brown sugar. Work the butter into the mixture with a fork, pastry cutter, or your hands. Spread evenly over the fruit in the baking dish. Bake at 350° for 40 to 50 minutes, or until the crumble is golden brown and the fruit is bubbly. Serve warm or at room temperature.


Chicken with Balsamic Blueberry Sauce

Chicken with Balsamic Blueberry Sauce

One of the blueberry bushes in my yard is heavy with blueberries right now. Being a fan of savory fruit sauces, I used some of the fresh berries to make this dish for dinner tonight. It was really, really good. Served alongside some roasted fingerling potatoes, this was a meal worthy of a special occasion.

Fresh Blueberries sm

This recipe makes enough sauce for four generous servings. If you are cooking 2 chicken breasts, only use half of the sauce and save the remainder for another time. I think it would be excellent on salmon.

Chicken with Balsamic Blueberry Sauce

2 – 4 chicken breasts
2 tablespoons olive oil
2 tablespoon butter
1/4 cup finely chopped Vidalia onion (or favorite sweet onion)
1 cup fresh blueberries (frozen should be a fine too)
1/4 cup balsamic vinegar
2 tablespoons honey (you may want to add an additional tablespoon of honey if your blueberries are not very sweet – taste the sauce and adjust as necessary)
salt and pepper, to taste

Preheat the oven to 400º F.

Heat the olive oil in a skillet over medium-high heat. Season the chicken breasts with salt and pepper. Add to the skillet. Brown the chicken breasts on both sides. Place the seared breasts in a baking dish and place in the oven.

Add 2 tablespoons of butter to the skillet the chicken was seared in (no need to clean it out). When the butter is melted, add the finely chopped onion. Cook, stirring, until softened and starting to caramelize. Add the blueberries and cook for 1 minute. Add the balsamic vinegar and honey. Reduce the heat and simmer, stirring frequently, until slightly thickened, about 5 to 10 minutes. Keep warm.

Spoon some of the sauce over the chicken breasts and return them to the oven until cooked through, about 10 more minutes.

Serves 2 – 4.


Spicy Cranberry Sauce

Spicy Cranberry Sauce

Making cranberry sauce from scratch is almost as easy as opening a can. The result tastes so much better than anything you find in a can. If you are having turkey for Thanksgiving, you have to have cranberry sauce as well. The two just go together. I like to make the cranberry sauce a day or two before serving. That gives the flavors time to develop.

My family are not crazy about cranberry sauce, so we always have leftovers. I never know what to do with them. What are your favorite ways to use leftover cranberry sauce?

Cranberry Sauce

Spicy Cranberry Sauce

1 12-ounce bag of fresh (or frozen) cranberries
1 cup water
1 cup sugar
1 – 2 jalapenos, seeded and minced
1 1-inch piece fresh ginger, peeled and minced
juice and zest of 1 lime
1 cinnamon stick
pinch of salt

Place all of the ingredients in a medium saucepan. Bring to a boil, reduce heat and cook for 10 minutes, stirring occasionally. Cool completely before refrigerating. Remove the cinnamon stick before serving.

Spicy Cranberry Sauce


Peach and Blueberry Crumble

Peach and Blueberry Crumble

I picked up 3 pounds of locally grown South Carolina peaches this week at Aldi for only $1.38! I used some of those peaches and some blueberries from our blueberry bush to make this crumble. We ate the crumble with a dollop of whipped cream, but vanilla ice cream or even just a splash of cream is delicious too.

Peach and Blueberry Crumble

4 peaches
1/2 cup blueberries
2 tablespoons sugar
1/2 cup oats
1/4 cup flour
1/4 cup sliced almonds
2 tablespoons brown sugar
2 tablespoons butter (or substitute coconut oil)

Preheat oven to 350° F.

Cut the peaches in half and remove the pit. Slice or chop the peaches and place in a small baking dish. Add the blueberries to the peaches and sprinkle with the sugar (you can skip the sugar or adjust the amount to suit your taste) and gently stir to combine.

In a bowl, combine the oats, flour, sliced almonds, and brown sugar. Work the butter into the mixture with a fork, pastry cutter, or your hands. Spread evenly over the fruit in the baking dish. Bake at 350° for 30 to 40 minutes, or until the crumble is golden brown and the fruit is bubbly. Serve warm or at room temperature.

 


Strawberry Infused Vodka

Strawberry Infused Vodka (427x640)

We made our first trip of the year to the local strawberry farm recently and picked some beautiful berries. I froze the majority of the berries we picked to use in smoothies throughout the year, but saved enough to make a jar of Strawberry Infused Vodka.

strawberries

Making fruit infused vodka is easy. Too easy. Pineapple is my favorite, but strawberry is a close second. I especially love the resulting color of using strawberries. So pretty.

Strawberry Infused Vodka

fresh strawberries, washed, hulled, and sliced
vodka (my favorite is Tito’s)

I don’t have exact measurements for this recipe. Just place the sliced strawberries in a quart sized Mason jar. Don’t pack them tight. Pour the vodka over the berries almost to the top. Place the lid on the jar and place in a cool place for 3 days. Gently shake the jar each day.

Strawberry Infusing in Vodka

After 3 days, strain the vodka in a coffee filter-lined mesh strainer. I strain the vodka into a glass measuring cup and then put the strained vodka into a clean Mason jar. Store the Strawberry Infused Vodka in the fridge.

Strawberry Infused Vodka is delicious mixed with a little limeade. It’s also good with a splash of sparkling water or mineral water. If you like a sweeter drink, you can add a touch of simple syrup.

Strawberry Infused Vodka Drinnk


Savory Pear Tart from The Texitarian

Savory Pear Tart 2

Yesterday, I made the Savory Pear Tart recipe found on the blog, The Texitarian, to take to an Easter potluck. I thought it turned out beautifully. I enjoyed the tart and even got a couple of compliments on it.

Pear Tart

The tart was really easy to make. I just laid the ingredients out on a thawed piece of puff pastry and baked it. I got the spinach and rosemary out of my garden. I thought the results were quite impressive.

Here’s what the tart looks like before baking:

Savory Pear Tart Before Baking

You can find the recipe for this tart here:  http://texitariankitchen.wordpress.com/2014/04/14/savory-pear-tart/