Sunday, March 31, 2013

Buttermilk-Blueberry Breakfast Cake

Happy Easter Everyone!

Today has been a leisurely day of eating, chatting, and catching up with a dear friend. We originally planned to meet at a restaurant, but, the idea of fighting Easter crowds seemed counterintuitive if we hoped to have meaningful conversation and time together.

Instead, we decided to have a "banquet" breakfast buffet with fresh orange juice, coffee, fresh fruit, yoghurt, sausage-egg strata (next week's blog), and Blueberry Buttermilk Breakfast Cake.

I had discovered this recipe on Pinterest ( over Christmas and made it for Christmas Day breakfast.  Jon, having great taste of course, asked for the here it is.

As with the Salted Caramel Chocolate Chip Bars, or most baking for that matter, you will need an electric hand mixer...hope you've invested in one by now, such as 7-speed Kitchen Aid Hand Mixer or have a generous friend to borrow from.)

Electric Hand Mixer
Mixing Bowls
9"x9" or 9"x13" Pyrex, greased
Measuring spoons & cups
Cheese grater with "fine" side OR Microplane grater
Fully powered oven
Electric bills paid & functioning outlets

1/2 cup unsalted butter, at room temp
2 tsp of lemon zest (about 1 lemon)
7/8 c of granulated (white) sugar
1 Tbls granulated sugar
1 egg, at room temperature
1 tsp vanilla

2 cups all-purpose flour (1/4 c for berries)
2 tsp baking powder
1 tsp kosher salt

2 cups blueberries, washed & dried
1/2 cup buttermilk

7/8 cup = 3/4 cup + 2 Tbls

1. Read the recipe first.
2. Clean kitchen and counter space.
3. Wash your hands.
4. Preheat oven at 350 F degrees.

5. Toss berries in 1/4 c of flour. Set aside.
6. Whisk together flour, baking powder and salt.

7. Cream butter, 7/8 c sugar, lemon zest with mixer until light, fluffy, and silky.
8. Add egg & vanilla. Mix well.

9. Add flour mixture slowly 1/3 c at a time ALTERNATING with buttermilk to butter/sugar mix.

10. Mix well after each addition and scrap down bowl walls with spatula.  Once flour and buttermilk gone:
11. Gently FOLD (do not stir) in berries until just mixed.

12. Pour into greased Pyrex baking dish. Shake dish back and forth to spread batter evenly. Do not flatten with a spoon.

13. Sprinkle with 1 Tbls of sugar.

14. Bake at 350 F for 35 minutes or until toothpick comes out clean.

15. If not done, bake another 5-10 minutes.
16. Consume.

Mother's Day iPhone Case
Mother's Day Coffee Mug

Friday, March 29, 2013

How Do I Make Those Carrots (Green Beans)

One of Jon's (our son) great attributes is his love of food and his love of being adventurous in trying new foods at least once.  I'm a big believer that 'how you prepare vegetables' can change how someone feels about consuming them.*
This theory* has been quite successful in raising Jon's food palate: He loves vegetables roasted, sauteed, stir-fried, or steamed...and preferably, not the traditional way. Broccoli, brussels sprouts, green beans, mushrooms, carrots. Try them all!

I have already posted the sautéed mushrooms, but today's recipe focuses on carrots. And FYI, I use the same steps with green beans. It doesn't matter if you steam or boil them as long as you don't overcook them.  Delicious. Simple. Easy side dish. Enjoy!

*On a side note, and as a reality check, The above theory totally bombed with our other son Ben who hates them in all shapes and colors regardless of preparation.

3 or 5-qt Saucepan
Strainer or colander to drain carrots

5-6 large carrots, peeled and sliced 1/4"
2 Tbls butter
1-2 tsp of dried basil
(1-2 Tbls of fresh basil chopped)
Lemon juice
Salt and pepper

1. Wash your hands.
2. Peel carrots
3. Slice them into 1/4" discs or rounds.
4. Combine water and 1 tsp salt in pan and bring to a boil.
(you can boil water/salt first or cover carrots with water, salt and bring to a boil)
5. Cook carrots for approx 2-4 minutes.

DO NOT OVERCOOK! They get mushy!

6. Check consistency of carrots midway.
7. Carrots should still have some firmness.
8. Drain carrots and return to saucepan.
9. Add butter and lemon juice.
10. Add salt and pepper.
11. Adjust flavor to your taste with more or less salt, pepper, lemon juice and/or butter.

That's all there was to it! Now try it with the green beans.

Sunday, March 17, 2013

Deviled Eggs

Deviled Eggs recipes abound in every possible variation: spicy, sweet, traditional, Cajun, Southern--you name it, someone's made the deviled egg version.

Easy to make. Party-pleaser. Cheap. One of Jon's favorite finger-foods appetizers.

The recipe below is pretty much the 'classic' one developed in the '70's, but in my search for a twist, I've included some simple suggestions (from FoodNetwork stars Emeril and Sunny Anderson) that take the flavors up a notch.

So lets get this on paper and tell me what you think!

Classic Deviled Eggs

3 or 5-qt Saucepan
Mixing bowl
Ziplock bag

12 eggs, hard-boiled, halved, set aside

12 yolks, separated from hard-boiled eggs
4 Tbls mayonnaise
2 tsp Yellow or Dijon mustard
2-3 tsp sweet relish (like for hot dogs)
Salt & pepper
Paprika (really for decoration)

Optional (but delicious) Additions To Filling:
1 tsp white wine vinegar
2-3 drops Tabasco or hot sauce
1-2 tsp pickled jalapeños, chopped
Spritz of lemon juice


1. Place eggs in a single layer in a saucepan.
2. Cover with cold water.
3. Bring water to a boil
4. Cover pot and turn off heat.
5. Let eggs sit for 15 min in hot water.

6. Drain eggs and submerge in cold water.
7. Peel eggs, cut into halves and remove yolks. Set egg halves on a plate.

1. Mash yolks with a fork.
2. Add mayo, mustard, relish.
3. Mix until smooth.
4. Add salt & pepper to taste.

1. Spoon mixture into a small ziplock bag
2. Move filling to one corner
3. Cut off the corner tip.
4. Fill each egg half with yolk mixture
5. Top with paprika, chives, or French fried onions.

If you like it 'sweeter', add more relish.

Eggs and light are beautiful together.
Check out these designs with flair!
Playing Cards

Egg iPhone Case

Small Messenger Bag
Medium Messenger Bag

St Patty Cure

What A Gorgeous Color.

St Patty's Day is really just like any other Thursday night in college. Or Friday night. Or Saturday. But you need 'the morning after' nourishment, right?

Monday morning eventually arrives in full swing. So, you might as well be prepared!

Aside from being trendy right now, smoothies really are a great meal substitute if the ingredients are good-for-you. The recipe below can be used for any on-the-go breakfast, pre- or post-workout routine, snack or however you see fit.

Head over to any health or kitchen store and buy yourself a mini-protein shake blender: single serving, easy to clean and requires minimal shelf space. Try the recipe below. Experiment. Possibilities are endless. Other recipes will follow.

If you like smoothies, bulk up on seasonal fruits by pre-cutting and storing them in zip-lock baggies in the freezer!

St. Patty's Green Smoothie Cure
(Modified from 'What's Gaby Cooking' blog recipe 'Green Machine Smoothie')

Magic Bullet or equivalent blender
Blender cups
Electric Socket
Electric bill 'PAID'

1/2 banana or blueberries, frozen
1/4 frozen mango, chopped
1/3 cup orange juice
1/4 apple, chopped
1 c fresh spinach, washed
1/3 cup Greek yoghurt, plain or flavored
2/3 cup ice water
2-3 ice cubes

Pack all the ingredients into blender cup. And blend until smooth. Enjoy!

Scoop of Vanilla Whey Protein Powder, if you are seriously being healthy or working out and want a little more "umph"

Happy St Patrick's Day!
Be Safe!

Love vegetables? Cooking? Being different?
These Rickshaw Bags say it all

Tomatoes Rock