Monday, June 25, 2012

Lemon Blueberry Yogurt Loaf

I went for a second day of blueberry picking so I would have fresh berries for this Lemon Blueberry Yogurt Loaf.  I prepared it yesterday and it turned out great.  It is simple to prepare, using only a bowl and a whisk and spoon.  The lemon zest is a delightful compliment to the blueberries.  The loaf is like a pound cake and with the lemon syrup, it is very moist.  I either removed the cake from the pan too soon or the berries made it heavy (I used an extra half cup) and I had a slight baking fail when some of the cake remained in the pan.  I simply pressed it back into place and poured the syrup on, with a piece of waxed paper under the cooling rack to catch what dripped off.  After completely cooling on the rack I flipped it over and added the syrup that was on the wax paper.  You could no longer tell that the cake had fallen apart.  Next time I will let it cool completely in the pan and just pour the syrup on top.  The recipe says to brush the syrup and I guess that will give a more even distribution than pouring.  I skipped the glaze since the cake seemed decadent enough.

Monday, June 11, 2012

Spicy Breading

In a quest to maintain my weight, I am eating "whole" foods that I prepare myself while pushing out processed foods.  I normally achieve this by cooking on Sundays and eating the left overs for lunch.  I am bucking the typical American diet of small breakfast, medium lunch and large dinner by inverting that.  It's the BREAKFAST LIKE A KING, LUNCH LIKE A PRINCE, DINNER LIKE A PAUPER plan.  I have lunch and dinner figured out but having a big breakfast is more like a decent breakfast and then a snack of trail mix a couple of hours later due to my lack of time and eating so early in the mornings.

Besides eating more fruits and vegetables I am eating more fish.  I bought a bag of individually frozen fillets (some type of white fish, I cannot remember which) and I baked the first batch.  Easy to do, healthy, but boring.  I saw this recipe for shrimp and decided the breading would be great on my fish.  Yes, it means frying which is not as healthy as baking but it would mean I enjoyed the taste.  I modified the shrimp version as below and pan fried in about 2 tbs of butter and 2 tbs of oil for 4 fillets over 2 batches.

Breading:

1 cup Flour 
1 teaspoon Onion Bits or Onion Powder
1 teaspoon Garlic Powder
1 teaspoon Dried Thyme
1 teaspoon Dried Oregano
1 teaspoon Rosemary
1 teaspoon Cumin
1 teaspoon Cayenne Pepper
1 tablespoon Kosher Salt 

Mix all of the above on a plate/platter and dredge fish on both sides.  Fry in the butter and oil for about 3 minutes per side, for a golden brown.  Make sure cooked through by testing if it is flaky before removing.  

This is also a great way to use up all your spices! 

Sunday, June 10, 2012

Whole Wheat Apple Muffins

I had left over diced apples in the freezer and I wanted to make a "healthy" muffin, using whole wheat.  This recipe for Whole Wheat Apple Muffins uses equal parts whole wheat flour and all-purpose flour.  That is a good ratio as more whole wheat flour would have pushed these muffins from tasty to saw-dusty.  The brown sugar on the top makes for a nice crust and the cinnamon flavor makes it taste like apple pie.  I found the muffins were best when served warm, so put in the microwave for 30 seconds.  Next time I make these, I will add walnuts for heartiness and white raisins as a nice complimenting flavor.

Friday, June 8, 2012

Lemon Blueberry Crunch Muffins

Recently, I picked blueberries with my parents at the Moorehead Blueberry Farm.  You have to get there early (7:00 am) to not only beat the heat but beat the hordes of people.  When we left around 8:30 it was packed.  The farm is big enough that once you are picking the crowds are not an issue, but parking is.

I made this blueberry muffin recipe because I was intrigued by the topping of butter, lemon juice and sugar.  How simple yet ingenious!  I also learned something new from this recipe:  you can make cake flour by combining cornstarch and all-purpose flour!  Directions to do so are on the cornstarch box.  Since I also know how to make buttermilk by combining milk with vinegar or lemon juice, I do not think I will ever buy buttermilk or cake flour again!



Thursday, June 7, 2012

Orzo with Shrimp and Tiny Peas

I have been craving pasta and I wanted to use up some frozen shrimp so I found this recipe for Orzo with Shrimp and Tiny Peas.  I LOVE peas and the lemon zest and juice in this recipe make it taste like summer.  I am not a huge fan of tarragon though I wanted to make the recipe as is.  The tarragon had a very mild flavor when chopped fine and next time I will add more. 

The lemon flavor dominates, which is a good thing.  The peas are crunchy and blend well with the mild shrimp and orzo.  

I was able to put this together in about 30 minutes, including having to thaw the shrimp and peas.  I think tomorrow it will taste even more flavorful as all the ingredients blend.  It should make great leftovers, served either cold or hot.