Streusel-Topped Meyer Lemon Blueberry Muffins

Author: swampkitty05  //  Category: Food Porn, Recipes

I’m not sure exactly why, but over the past couple of weeks the price of blueberries has been down a bit, with the prices for a pint about at the same levels they were last summer when they were seasonal. Of course, my eyes were bigger than my stomach, so once I used them in the recipe I planned, I still had a little over a quart of berries left.

Considering that I had the better part of a bag of Meyer lemons also in the fridge needing to be used up, this recipe seemed like a no-brainer when I first saw it.

They came out tasting as good as they look, incredibly light and moist and chock full of huge blueberries. My favorite part was the streusel topping – somehow it just worked with both of the other main ingredients.

Meyer Lemon Blueberry Muffins with Streusel Topping

Streusel Topped Meyer Lemon-Blueberry Muffins
recipe from Fifteen Spatulas food blog

Ingredients:
8 oz all purpose flour (about 1.5 cups)
3/4 cup sugar
2 tsp baking powder
pinch of salt
Zest of 2 meyer lemons
1/3 cup vegetable oil
1 extra large egg
1/3 cup milk
2 cups blueberries
Streusel crumb topping (recipe below)

Directions:
Preheat the oven to 400 degrees F. Line a muffin tin with paper liners. Prepare the streusel crumb topping (recipe below).

Whisk to combine the flour, sugar, salt, baking powder and meyer lemon zest. Take a tbsp of the mixture and toss it with the blueberries. This ensures that the blueberries stay suspended throughout the muffin, instead of falling to the bottom.

Place the vegetable oil, egg, and milk in a bowl, and whisk to combine. Add that to the flour mixture, and remember, leave lots of lumps. If there aren’t any lumps whenever you are using the muffin method of baking, you have overmixed and invited more gluten (and toughness) to the party than was welcome. Don’t worry, a few lumps will bake out.

Dump in the blueberries, and fold them in gently. Use a disher to portion them out into the muffin cups, and sprinkle the crumb topping all over the tops. Bake for 20-22 minutes until a toothpick inserted into the center comes out with no wet batter. Let them cool, and enjoy!

Streusel Crumb Topping Ingredients:

1/2 cup sugar
2.5 oz flour (1/2 cup)
1/4 cup butter
1 tsp cinnamon (cinnamon goes beautifully with blueberries)

Dice up the butter into cubes, and work all of the ingredients together with your fingertips, until it forms a bunch of crumbs and clumps. You can now sprinkle it over the tops of your muffins.

Richard L. Mason Asset Manag …

The Washington Post July 24, 2005 Richard L. Mason, 51, an asset management executive and a hard- nosed amateur hockey player, died at Inova Loudoun Hospital on July 9, shortly after having a heart attack while playing goalie for the Ashburn Oldtimers, a senior hockey team that plays regularly at Ashburn Ice House.

Mr. Mason — teammates knew him as “Goldberg,” from the movie “The Mighty Ducks” — was “between the pipes,” as hockey players would say, fiercely defending the goal for his team. He was doing what he loved best, friends said.

In addition to the Oldtimers, he played over the years for the Ice Hogs, the Hosers and several other amateur teams, and he rooted for all the Washington professional teams, as well as for the Chicago Cubs. “A great guy” off the ice, he was “ornery and cranky on the ice,” his friend and teammate Bob Flanagan said. “He didn’t like people coming through the crease.” Mr. Mason, a resident of Herndon, was born in Oak Park, Ill., where he began playing hockey as a youngster. He received a bachelor’s degree in real estate in 1980 from Western Washington University, where he played on the hockey team. site ashburn ice house

During the 1980s, he worked as a leasing agent in San Diego and with Freddie Mac in Chicago. He moved to the Washington area in 1991. He worked for Fannie Mae and Freddie Mac in commercial and real estate management for 15 years before becoming senior vice president of asset management for Reilly Mortgage Group Inc. in 2003. go to site ashburn ice house

He was a member of Vale United Methodist Church in Oakton and served on the board of the Wesley Housing Development Corp., an organization that works to make affordable housing available in Northern Virginia. He also was a coach for his children’s hockey, soccer and baseball teams.

In addition to playing hockey and coaching youth sports, he could never resist a good roller coaster ride. “He loved to play,” his wife said.

Survivors include his wife of 22 years, Lynn Mason of Herndon; four children; Tommy, Kate, Billy and Bradley Mason, all of Herndon; his mother, Marjorie Heffernan of La Grange Park, Ill.; and a brother.

Chicken Sate Wraps

Author: swampkitty05  //  Category: Cooking Light, Healthy, Recipes

Every experienced cook has several tricks up his/her sleeve, and one of my shortcuts is to buy a rotisserie chicken (dirt cheap at Costco for a huge bird!), and then use the meat as a base of several dishes. Usually it ends up as a part of a soup or pasta dish, so when I found this wrap recipe in one of my issues of Cooking Light, I was immediately drawn to it. They are amazingly easy to make, and only get better as they chill. I whip these up for lunch regularly. Hard to believe it is a “light” recipe.

Chicken Sate Wrap

Chicken Sate Wraps
recipe courtesy Cooking Light

Cooking spray
1/2 c. matchstick cut carrots
1/3 c. chopped green onions
2/3 c. light coconut milk
1 tbsp. low-sodium soy sauce
1 tbsp. rice vinegar
3 tbsp. creamy peanut butter
1 tsp. curry powder
1/8 tsp. ground red pepper
2 c. shredded skinless, boneless rotisserie chicken breast
4 (8-inch) fat-free flour tortillas
1 1/3 c. packaged angel hair slaw

Heat a large nonstick skillet over medium-high heat. Coat pan with cooking spray. Add carrots and onions; saute 1 minute. Stir in coconut milk and next 5 ingredients (through pepper); cook 30 seconds, stirring constantly. Add the chicken; cook 1 minute, stirring to coat.

Remove from heat; cool. Warm tortillas according to package directions. Spoon about 1/2 cup chicken mixture down center of each tortilla, and top each with 1/3 cup angel hair slaw. Roll up. Cover and chill. Yield: 4 servings (serving size: 1 wrap)

Nutrition: 321 cal (28% from fat), 10.1g fat, 24.1g pro, 49mg chol, 37mg calc, 844mg sod, 4.3g fib, 0.9mg iron, 25.5g carb.

Creamy Chicken and Wild Rice Soup

Author: swampkitty05  //  Category: Recipes

Here’s another one of those super-quick, want dinner in a hurry, but it’s cold outside so it needs to warm me up kind of meals. Uses pantry staples that you probably already have on hand. I like to whip this up when I have extra Snowville Creamery heavy cream that needs to be used before its expiration date. Everyone who has tried it so far has loved it, but it’s definitely not diet food.

Creamy Chicken and Wild Rice Soup

Creamy Chicken and Wild Rice Soup
recipe from Anissa’s Kitchen

4 c. chicken broth
2 c. water
2 cooked, boneless chicken breast halves, shredded OR
1 large can chicken with juice
1 (6.2 oz) Rice a Roni or Uncle Ben’s quick cooking long grain and wild rice with seasoning packet
1/2 tsp. salt
1/2 tsp. black pepper
3/4 c. all-purpose flour
1/2 c. butter
2 c. heavy cream

In a large pot over medium heat, combine the broth, water and chicken. Bring just to boiling and then stir in the rice, reserving the seasoning packet. Cover and remove from heat. In a small bowl combine the salt, pepper and flour. In medium saucepan over medium heat, melt the butter. Stir in the contents of the seasoning packet until the mixture is bubbly. Reduce the heat to low, then stir in the flour mixture by tablespoons to form a roux. Whisk in the cream a little at a time until fully incorporated and smooth. Cook until thickened, about 5 minutes. Stir the cream mixture into the broth and rice mixture.

Cook over medium heat until heated through, about 10-15 minutes. Do not boil once the cream has been added. Makes 6 servings.

Event: 2011 North Market Apron Gala

Author: swampkitty05  //  Category: Charity, Columbus, Events, North Market

Sad to say, I wasn’t able to make it to the Apron Gala this past year. I held an unrealistic hope that I’d be well enough to attend, but that would have depended on me getting off a ventilator, getting my trach removed, and being able to hold myself upright in a matter of 2 short weeks after being in a medically induced coma for over a month. When I plan, I plan big. I was depressed about missing it – it was the first time in many years that I missed both the North Market Apron Gala *and* the Taste of Dine Originals events. Paul, like a trooper, went in my place, and managed to get quite a few nice pictures. But this year? I’m going to go, and will actually wear an apron this year. Save the date, it’s just a few short months away now on Saturday, May 19th. More details as the date gets closer. In the meantime, enjoy these pics of last year’s event. The link to the slideshow of all pictures can be found at the bottom of this entry.

Vegetable Stromboli from Sarefino's

Mixed Baby Green Salad at Pastaria

Pastry from Mozart's

Summer Rolls from Lan Viet

Chicken Salad from Kitchen Little

Ham Balls from Bluescreek

Slideshow:

December 2010 Roundup

Author: swampkitty05  //  Category: Meta, Monthly Roundup, Recipes

This roundup will be a short one, because this was the month I started getting sick..enjoy the few links I managed to salvage – some of these recipes I would love to make ASAP, especially the Pork Belly…

In savory recipes, Slow Roasted Pork Belly with Braised Lentils from 3 Hungry Tummies, Baked Zucchini Risotto from 400 Calories or Less, Slow Cooker Black-Eyed Pea Soup from Around My Family Table, Zaatar and Sumac Crusted Pork Chops from Bite Me New England, and Pepperoni Pizza Bites from Mommy’s Kitchen.

In sweet recipes, from 17 and Baking, Appelbeignets (Dutch Apple Fritters) from Almost Bourdain, and Do It Yourself Mini Donuts from The Family Kitchen.

Tony’s Deviled Eggs

Author: swampkitty05  //  Category: Life, New Jersey, Recipes

I moved to Ohio from New Jersey in 1995, but part of me will always consider Jersey home – the whole South Jersey area holds so many memories, and it’s sad to see the landscape change (for the worse, with lots of big box stores replacing Mom & Pop indies) – I used to go back because the area drew me there, but now when I go back, it’s to reunite with friends and family.

Tony and I have been friends since 1991 or so – in the time since I’ve moved, we’ve communicated occasionally. I remember going back to visit him when his dad was still alive, shortly after I got married. Still, it seemed if time and distance had taken us in two separate directions.

My Friend Tony

That is, until we met up again in person on my last visit back to New Jersey over Thanksgiving 2010. It was as if no time had passed at all, and our friendship picked up where it had left off. We talked for hours, caught up and filled in the blanks. We reminisced about old times. We confided in each other, knowing that each one of us had the other’s back. It was also the weekend of my 20 year high school reunion (more about that and the rest of my trip to NJ later – meant to write about it much, much sooner but ended up getting sick before I could)

It seemed as though I was going to spend Thanksgiving alone – I had made plans to meet up with family, but (no surprise to me) I wasn’t invited to celebrate Thanksgiving with them. I shrugged it off as if I didn’t care, but I felt hurt and alone. Tony and his partner John included both me and my sister Amanda in their holiday celebration. They fed us and welcomed us with open arms and made us feel like family. My family is really dysfunctional – more often than not I’ve been estranged from my parents. But I think that biology shouldn’t dictate family, relationships built on mutual love and trust and inclusion and communication and actions that speak louder than words should. He and his family were there for me in a way that my own family often is not, and for that reason alone, Tony will be always dear to my heart.

This is one of the recipes that he made that day. It’s a little bit different than any other version of deviled eggs I’ve had, but in a good way. These would be great for a spread at any family function, including the upcoming Super Bowl Sunday. I wish I could get him out here to Ohio to celebrate with us – reliving this day to write this entry has me missing him like crazy.

Tony's Deviled Eggs

Tony’s Deviled Eggs

12 eggs, hard boiled
4 tbsp. mayonnaise
1 tsp. brown mustard
3 tbsp. relish
1 tbsp. Parmesan cheese
4 tbsp. bacon bits
1 tsp. basil

Separate yolks into a separate bowel, and mash. Add remaining ingredients and spoon or pipe yolk mixture into egg whites. Refrigerate and serve.

Oma's Potato Salad

Author: swampkitty05  //  Category: Ethnic, Oma, Recipes

I love my sister Maurya’s potato salad (more about that in an upcoming entry) – really, I do. So much so that I will make her recipe 80% of the time we’re having it. However, there’s something about Thurn’s garlic knockers that call out for my Oma’s potato salad. It’s the simplest recipe ever, and everyone who has tasted it has loved it. I’ve remembered it all these years simply because it is so easy and so good. Hopefully, you will love it as well. It uses ingredients that one normally has on hand, and can be whipped up in no time flat.

Oma's Potato Salad

Oma’s Potato Salad

3 lbs. small yellow potatoes (such as Yukon Golds)
1 small to medium white onion, chopped
Cider vinegar, to taste
Mayonnaise, to taste
Salt, to taste

Place unpeeled potatoes in a pot of boiling water, and allow to boil until just tender but still firm (about 10-15 minutes). When done, rinse with cold water to stop the cooking process, and then lay the potatoes on a paper towel to cool down. When cool enough to touch, peel and slice the potatoes into a large bowl. After each pound of potatoes is sliced and layered in the bowl, sprinkle liberally with cider vinegar, one third of the onions, and salt. Add mayo to bowl – you want it to be just enough mayo to hold the salad together, so be careful not to add too much. Check one more time for taste, and add vinegar, salt or mayo as needed to achieve the flavor that you like best. Can be served cold or warm, is great both ways!

LONGEVITY MARRIED 50 YEARS: LARRY AND BETTY HORNER

Daily News (Los Angeles, CA) November 8, 2004 | – Nicole Sunkes Larry and Betty Horner of Thousand Oaks celebrated their 50th wedding anniversary with their family on June 5 at the North Ranch Country Club in Westlake Village.

They met at Fort Benjamin Harrison in Indianapolis where they both worked for the federal government, and Larry had just returned from the Korean War. They were married in Anderson, Ind., at the Second Methodist Church. They moved to Westlake Village in 1968. go to website los robles hospital

Larry earned his bachelor’s and master’s degrees at Indiana University. When they moved to Westlake Village, they became active in civic affairs. Larry became president of the Westlake Athletic Association and president of Foxmoor and Westlake joint homeowners’ associations. He was a former vice president at Northrop Grumman and retired after spending 41 years in the aerospace industry. He also served four terms on the Thousand Oaks City Council spanning 16 1/2 years. Currently, he is working as Senior District Adviser for Congressman Brad Sherman.

Betty graduated from Indiana University. She is a member of Volunteers in Policing, member and past-president of the Westlake Women’s Club, a member of the Civic Arts Plaza, and the Conejo Valley Historical Society. She is on the Board of Trustees for Los Robles Hospital, on the R.S.V.P. Advisory Board, on the Crime Stoppers Board of Directors and a member of Conejo Friends. here los robles hospital

They were recently honored by the Thousand Oaks City Council for their golden anniversary, and have each been honored as Man and Woman of the year by the Chamber of Commerce.

Larry and Betty plan on traveling to Indiana later this year to retrace the beginning of their relationship. They also plan on celebrating in New York as well.

They have three children: Cynthia of New York, Larry Jr. of Simi Valley and Kymberly of Thousand Oaks.

- Nicole Sunkes

Caramel Apple Bread Pudding

Author: swampkitty05  //  Category: Food Porn, Recipes

There are certain ingredients that tend to show up time and time again in my recipes while they are in season, and one of my favorite ingredients that we use in autumn and winter are apples. Made even better with local Golden Delicious apples (because I tend to cook more often with sweet rather than tart apples, and Golden Delicious are a sweet variety that manages to keep its shape when baked). The caramel in the recipe adds something to the whole thing, as does serving it with a nice big scoop of vanilla ice cream.

Caramel Apple Bread Pudding

Caramel Apple Bread Pudding
recipe from What’s Cookin’, Chicago?

5 cups stale bread, cut into 1″ cubes & dried out (challah or gluten free bread)
3 cups apples, peeled and chopped into small pieces
4 eggs
3 egg yolks
1 1/2 cups whole milk
1 1/2 cups heavy cream (or half & half)
3/4 cups light brown sugar
1/4 cups granulated sugar
1/4 teaspoon salt
2 teaspoons vanilla extract
1 teaspoons ground cinnamon
1/2 teaspoon freshly ground nutmeg
1/4 teaspoon ground cardamom
1 tablespoon unsalted butter, diced

Serve/garnish with:
whipped cream
caramel sauce
vanilla ice cream

Preheat oven to 350. Lightly grease or spray a 9×13″ baking dish or pie plate with non-stick cooking spray; set aside.
In a large bowl, combine the dried bread cubes and apples. Transfer to the greased baking dish.

In the same large bowl, whisk together the remaining ingredients except for the butter. Pour the mixture over the bread and apples. Push down on the bread cubes to soak in the milk mixture.

Allow the baking dish to sit for at least 30 minutes, up to 24 hours in order for the bread cubes to absorb the milk and egg mixture. If you plan to make this ahead of time and let it sit for up to 24 hours, cover dish with plastic wrap and chill in the refrigerator.
When the milk and egg mixture has been absorbed, sprinkle the diced butter over the bread pudding and bake in the preheated oven for 40-50 minutes or until the center is set but not dry or burned.

Remove from oven and allow to stand for at least 5-10 minutes before serving. Cut into serving pieces and serve with whipped cream, a drizzle of buttery caramel, or vanilla ice cream… or a combination of these three for something indulgent!

Farm Fresh and Local Produce 10/9/2010

Author: swampkitty05  //  Category: Columbus, Eating Local, Farmer's Market, Produce

Don’t know how I missed posting this one, but here’s another long lost post of the farmers market in October, 2010. This was right before I got sick, so unfortunately it was pretty much the last market I saw until mid-summer, 2011. Looking at this makes me inspired to make some cold weather dishes that encompass these seasonal ingredients. Keep your eyes peeled for some upcoming posts using these very items…’

Monster Cookies at Sassafrass Bakery

Fall Decorations

Painted Pumpkin

Colorful Peppers

Pumpkins of All Colors, Shapes and Sizes

Apples

Sunday Gravy

Author: swampkitty05  //  Category: Ethnic, New Jersey, Recipes

I grew up in South Jersey, where everybody was Italian by extension (if you weren’t, you had at least one friend who was and whose parents would unofficially adopt you). My part of Jersey was all but invisible to anyone who lived north of Trenton, so the only time we’d attract the stereotype (see: any one of the douches featured on Jersey Shore) was during the summer. People are surprised when I say I’m a Jersey girl, because I’m the anti-stereotype – no accent to speak of, very Midwestern polite (i.e. I may think it but won’t say it). But we grew up with an old school pizza/pasta/sub shop on just about every block, so I’ve had my share of both good and bad Italian food. This recipe? An example of the good. I was looking for a recipe that would approximate the “Sunday gravy” my friends parents would make – what sets “gravy” apart from “sauce” is the amount of meat in it – this one is a gravy if ever there was one. This is an all day affair, one that many families do every single week. This is definitely a dish you want to make in the winter (because to me, red gravy is one of the cornerstones of comfort food) – mainly because this will heat (and humidify) your kitchen up something fierce. This? One of the better of the recipes I’ve seen over the years. I saw this on a Chowhound board a while back – and the reading through of the initial recipe amused me so much that I left it intact. If I didn’t know any better I would swear that the original poster was channeling just about anyone I ever asked in Jersey for a recipe. I followed the directions to the letter and was quite pleased with the results.

Sunday Gravy

Sunday Gravy
recipe by John Fodera

First thing to note: This is not sauce. This is not marinara. This is gravy and it must be referred to as such. Capisce? Yes it’s red, yes it’s for pasta, but all the meat is what makes it gravy. So…..this is not my recipe for marinara sauce, or sauce with other accoutrements, but this is a recipe for what???? GRAVY….that’s right! Here goes.

First, you need a BAP (Big Ass Pot) The BAP must be at least 10 to 12 quarts or you are in for trouble. I do not recommend making gravy in pots smaller than 10 quarts – you’ve been warned.

Assemble the meat: For this rendition I used the following -

1 lb. chopped beef which yielded about 10 meatballs. If you don’t know how to make meatballs, either get someone to do it for you, stop reading now, or crush up the meat into bits and brown it that way.

4 links of sweet sausage. A good store bought version could work. Jimmy Deans don’t count. If you have an Italian market, get it there. Can also use hot sausage if you like, but be warned, your entire batch of gravy will taste hot if you do – not simply the sausage.

1 package beef short ribs – Probably about 8 ribs in total

1 package pork ribs – Probably about 8 ribs total

3 Osso Bucco Veal Shanks

Modifications: You are free to add brachiole as well, but see meatballs above. Do not use Lamb, do not use chicken and don’t include anything dumb like feet or ham or tripe. Capisce? Do not use carrots, never add sugar, never use red wine, and Good God!! no friggin potatoes!!!

Brown the meat : Get some olive oil going in the BAP and brown all the meat until nicely brown, except for the meatballs . Brown the meatballs separately in a fry pan. When done, set all meat aside.

Now get some garlic and onions going in the pot. I used 12 cloves of garlic (method to calc. later on) and 2 medium onions. If your definition of these items includes the word powder , read no further. Spank yourself with the wooden spoon you should be using and go buy Ragu.

After these items are sweating and or browning a bit nicely, deglaze the pot with a tiny bit of white wine. Probably just a few tablespoons is all that it will take. No 1/2 cup pours allowed here! Now crank the heat!! and boil off all of that white wine flavor.

Return meat to the BAP! – make sure all juices in dish go with the meat. DO NOT put the meatballs in yet.

Now begin the tomatoes – using fresh tomatoes is a waste of time and too much work. Get this martyr crap out of your head! Excellent canned tomatoes are available and should be used. But don’t go buying Hunt’s here either. You need good tomatoes. San Marzano are far and away the best tomatoes you can get. This is not a brand name, but a specific tomato grown in San Marzano, Italy. They are never sour and are always delicious. If you look carefully at the can, it will say somewhere on there “San Marzano”. The brand I always use is Cento . Progresso is good as well although not SM’s. And the organic Muir Glenn are nice too, but also not SM’s and a bit more expensive.

For this you will need 8 35oz. cans of tomatoes – whole, peeled tomatoes, including basil leaf! NO FREAKIN PUREE Capisce? Put the tomatoes into a blender a can at a time and zap them into a liquid. I use the “chop” setting. You don’t want to liquefy them, just mash them into a runny mess! As you mash them up, into the BAP they go. Calc: I figure a clove and a 1/2 of garlic per can of tomatoes.

When done adding the tomatoes, add S&P to taste along with fresh basil leaves (I used about 20) and some dried Oregano. Cover, set on low to medium heat, and begin simmering.

After 2 or 3 hours of simmering, remove the cover from the BAP and get rid of it. Wash it, let your kid use it for a cymbal, just lose it. Cook the gravy for another 4 to 5 hours until it thickens up. Sunday I added two cans of Stop and Shop tomato paste to speed the thickening process along. It’s thick enough when a wooden spoon does not fall when inserted in the center of the BAP. NO SPOONS OTHER THAN WOOD ALLOWED!!! Capisce?

Now, I cooked my gravy Sunday from 9:30 AM (began prep. at 8:00AM) and cooked it until 5:00 PM. All the meat fell off the bones (a good thing) and the gravy had thickened up and reduced by about 3 or 4″ in the pot. Clear so far?

Then just make whatever pasta you like and spoon the glorious concotion over the top. Remove all meat (that can be removed) from the BAP and serve on the side. Meat that stays in the gravy is a good thing. But do remove and discard the bones.