Monday, September 29, 2008

muffin time!

eat me, delicious is one of those great food blogs that inspired me to create my own in the first place. Over there is found a recipe for Earl Grey and white chocolate chunk muffins. My love of tea and white chocolate made me realize this was way too good to pass up on. I use an obscene amount of Earl Grey tea in these. There was a major power outage today throughout my town (lucky us, we still had power) so my niece and nephew didn't have school. They were bored and needed something to do. In comes me to save the day! Baking sweets on a rainy fall day...heaven. FYI, I made these into mini muffins.

She's like a little mom sometimes. She loves to bake.

He is less enthused by baking, but likes it none the less...

I add way more Earl Grey than is called for. Yum!

They are all ready to go! I didn't have white chocolate bars, so I just used white chocolate chips instead.

Can we say delicious?! The recipe below is my slightly altered recipe.

Earl Grey and White Chocolate Chunk Muffins
2/3 cup sugar
2 cups flour
2 tsp baking powder
1/4 tsp baking soda
6 bags of earl grey tea
3/4 sour cream
2 eggs
1 tsp vanilla
1 stick of butter (melted and cooled)*
3/4 cup of white chocolate chunks/chips

1. Preheat your oven to 400 degrees.
2. In one bowl mix together the dry ingredients (sugar, flour, baking soda, baking power, and tea).
3. In a seperate bowl, mix the wet ingredients (sour cream, eggs, butter, and vanilla).
4. Gently add the wet ingredients into the dry ingredients.
5. Mix in the white chocolate. Do not overmix your batter!
6. Line your tins with paper and spray with a non-stick cooking spray.
7. Fill cups with batter. I use a mellon baller. It delivers the right amount every time.
8. Bake for approx. 12 mins**. If your knife/toothpick pulls out clean, they are done.
9. Let cool slightly and transfer to a wire cooling rack.
10. Eat and Enjoy!

*I used salter butter and therefore, I omitted the 1/4 tsp of salt from the recipe.
**The recipe says 18-20 mins, but since mine were mini, I found 12 mins was a perfect time.

Wednesday, September 24, 2008

zucchini garlic soup

I obviously read a lot of food blogs. I'm also a big fan of TasteSpotting where I found this recipe. Zucchini and garlic in a soup? Sign me up. The strange thing is, I'm not a soup fan at all. It's the strange combination drinking hot food that doesn't settle well with my stomach. This soup makes me forget all of it. It's blended and creamy, and the best part is that it's done without cream! Not only am I a huge fan of this soup, everyone else that tastes it becomes one as well! On y va!

Most of the ingredients. Zucchini, onion, garlic, and chicken broth.

My sister took a trip to Le Gourmet Chef and bought me this while she was there! Coolest peeler ever. That thing took on the zucchini like it was its job. Oh wait, that is its job! ;)

Onions and garlic first. Well, onions first, then garlic. No one wants burnt garlic. I cook these longer than the recipe says. I cook the onions until everything is caramelized. Careful. Let me repeat though, no one wants burnt garlic! I don't care about the size of the chop very much because everything goes into the blender in the end!

I borrowed my mom's saucepan. This thing is a beast, I swear. Look at all of that fantastic zucchini.

When everything is soft, add some broth. I bought broth. I'm lazy....

What is this? Basil. What would I do without basil? Do you see a theme yet from this summer. Everything was about zucchini and basil. I had loads of both and didn't hesitate to use every bit of it. Basil is not part of the original recipe...

Finished product. This is post-blender and has an added parmesean crisp. The crisp was a failure at what it was supposed to be, but yummy none the less. It's totally not necessary, just an added indulgence.

Creamy Zucchini Garlic Soup
4 tablespoons butter
1 onion
8 large cloves of garlic
4 zucchini (about 1 1/2 lbs)
4 cups of broth (chicken or vegetable)
1/2 teaspoon powdered ginger
Basil (a good handful and is completely optional)
Salt (although I don't use any additional salt for this recipe)

1. Melt the butter. When it foams, add the onions then the garlic. Cook for about 10 mins until onions are soft (or in my case, slightly caramelized).
2. Add sliced zucchini and cook that until soft (the time depends on how you sliced your zucchini)
3. Add broth and basil. Bring to a simmer. Simmer for around 45 mins.
4. Use an immersion blender, or standing blender, and blend the soup. Only do half at a time. You want this too be creamy and well blended. It's much easier to handle this in steps. This is the point where I season with ginger and pepper. I season each blending. I probably use more than 1/2 teaspoon of ginger. It's more like a 1 teaspoon of ginger when I'm all done.
5. Eat and enjoy!

Tuesday, September 23, 2008

insalata caprese

I've been busy lately. Here's some caprese salad to hold you over until I make my post about zucchini soup!


Insalata Caprese
1 tomato
Mozzarella cheese
Olive Oil
Lemon Juice

1. Cut tomato into slices. Do the same with the cheese.
2. Alternate layers of cheese, tomato, and basil.
3. Mix olive oil with a little bit of lemon juice. No, this is not traditional, but it adds a little something for me.
4. Add salt and pepper to top. Eat and Enjoy!

Saturday, August 23, 2008

last taste of summer

A friend of mine gave me some killer zucchini! They are massive vegetables. I decided I wanted some grilled zucchini for dinner. Time for improvisation!
Look at these!

Time to slice this sucker up!

All sliced. I put them in a big bowl and tossed them with some extra virgin olive oil, just enough to coat them well. Don't drown them.

I grabbed some fresh basil (green and purple), threw in some thyme (one of my favorites), garlic/sea salt (one of those fabulous grinders from McCormick!), ground black pepper, oregano, and some paprika for a little kick.

Doesn't it look yummy already? I had to stir this a lot to coat every slice. There was so much zucchini in here to season!

I got the stovetop grill nice and hot (medium-high for mine). I grilled them 3-4 mins. per side. I couldn't wait to eat this!

How fabulous does this look? I decided to be a little sinful and grate some Parmesan cheese on top. Oh my god, it was like heaven! I can give you a rough recipe...

Grilled Zucchini
1 large/super large zucchini
olive oil (just enough to coat zucchini)
handful of green basil chopped
handful of purple basil chopped
1 tbs oregano
2 tsp thyme
palmful of paprika
parmesan cheese

1. Cut zucchini into 1/4" slices. Put into a large bowl. Add olive oil, just enough to coat each piece.
2. Add in herbs and seasonings. I found it easier to add in half the amount, stir, and then add in the rest. I had a lot of zucchini in this bowl to coat.
3. I used a the grill top on my stove, I set it to medium-high. I grilled each slice 3-4 mins. per side, enough to get nice grill marks on them.
4. While hot, grate Parmesan cheese on top.
5. Eat and enjoy!

Tuesday, August 19, 2008

how can you go wrong with honey?

I decided to make this first post something sweet, just like me. Seriously though, I love honey. I love anything related to honey. When I think honey, I think baklava. Oh yeah, baklava! Sticky, syrupy square of heaven. I make it once or twice a year. I should make it more often, but then I would eat it more often, and I don't think my hips would appreciate that...On to the baklava!


I'll post the actual recipe below. I found it over here. This is what most of my recipes look like. Scraps of paper thrown into drawers and random books. I keep saying that one day I will organize my recipes, but who knows when that day will be....

I try to get everything ready before I get going, but I always make it complicated and end up with a big mess.


Mmmm...honey. Yummy.


You know you want to try this. You know you can almost taste it right now. Okay, don't worry. Here's the recipe....

Easy Baklava
1 pound frozen phyllo sheets
1 cup melted butter
2 cups finely chopped almonds*
1/2 cup sugar
1/2 teaspoon ground cinnamon
3/4 cup sugar
3/4 cup honey
1 cup water
1 tablespoon lemon juice

*You can obviously use walnuts, I'm just not a huge fan of walnuts.

1. Thaw phyllo dough.
2. Preheat oven to 400 degrees F.
3. Grease baking pan. It calls for a 15"x10"x1". I think I used a 9"x13".
4. Layer half of the sheet, brushing melted butter between each sheet.
5. Combine nuts, 1/2 cup sugar, and cinnamon. Sprinkle all over the top of the sheet of dough.
6. Layer the remaining sheets, buttering each one as before.
7. Cut phyllo dough into diamonds (I do rectangles) and bake for 30-35 mins.
8. Meanwhile, combine water, 3/4 cup sugar, honey, and lemon juice in a saucepan and bring to a boil. Boil for 20 mins. stirring occasionally.
9. Cool mixture a bit, and then pour it all over the baklava.
10. Eat and enjoy! :)