Monday, May 28, 2012

Secret Recipe Club - Whole Grain Mixed Berry Muffins

It's reveal time again for the Secret Recipe Club!  That's the club where we're assigned another person's blog, we select a recipe to try, and then blog about it. The blog assigned to me this month was The Daily Dish Recipes.  Nicole is a wife and mom who loves to cook wholesome meals for her family (along with some not-so-wholesome goodies), and is a much better food photographer than I am. In perusing her blog for recipes to try, her Basic Sour Cream Muffins caught my eye. I've been making different kinds of whole grain muffins lately for Don and me to eat for breakfast in place of those white flour/sugar/fat-laden ones at Costco.  Nicole's recipe is intended for different kinds of toss-ins, from fruit to chocolate chips.

I decided to add some fiber by replacing half of the all-purpose flour with whole wheat flour (I use white whole wheat flour from King Arthur) and by adding ground flax and wheat bran. I've been craving anything berry these days, so I added 3 cups of mixed berries (blackberries, raspberries, and blueberries). I buy those by the bag from Costco.

The result was a much lighter muffin than the ones I've made this month, even with the addition of the whole wheat flour and wheat bran.  It must be the sour cream.  These were delightful, and of course, they disappeared in a couple of days.  Again, I used my Wilton jumbo muffin tin and my brownie tin from Pampered Chef - the recipe filled up both. I ended up with 6 jumbo muffins and 12 square muffins that are about half the size of the jumbo ones.

Whole Grain Mixed Berry Muffins

1 stick of unsalted butter, softened
1 1/2 cups sugar
1 tsp. vanilla
4 large eggs
1/4 cup ground flax seeds
1/2 tsp. salt
1 tsp. baking soda
3/4 cup sour cream
1 1/2 cups all purpose flour
1 cup white whole wheat flour
1/4 cup wheat bran
3 cups of mixed berries

Preheat oven to 400˚. Grease the muffin cups or line with paper liners.
In a large bowl, beat the butter and sugar with an electric mixer until light and creamy, about a minute. Next, beat in the vanilla, eggs, ground flax, salt and baking soda.
Next, fold in the sour cream.
Now fold in the flour and wheat bran and any of the add-ins that you have chosen.
Scoop batter into muffin cups. Place in oven and bake for 15-20 minutes or until a toothpick is inserted and comes out clean. (Note:  the Pampered Chef brownie pan only takes about 12 minutes, and the jumbo ones take about 20.)
Allow to cool for about 10 minutes in pan.
Remove from pan and allow to completely cool on wire rack. Makes 24 muffins.

Saturday, May 12, 2012

Stinky! Asiago Broiled Tomatoes

I had some Asiago cheese in the refrigerator that will be used for a potato gratin in the next day or so, and decided to use a little of it on these tomatoes. Don was grilling some pork steaks and corn on the cob, and instead of a tomato salad, I decided on these. They tasted wonderful - but that cheese sure stinks!  Don couldn't wait to light the candles to try to get rid of the pungent smell.

Asiago Broiled Tomatoes

1 medium tomato per person
melted butter
salt and pepper
grated Asiago cheese (or Parmesan, if that's what you have)

Slice tomato(es) into thick slices - about 3/4" - 1" thick. Place on a baking sheet. Brush with melted butter, and top with salt, pepper, and some grated Asiago cheese. Broil 5-7 minutes until cheese is melted and starts to brown. 

Monday, May 07, 2012

This weeks' muffins: Zucchini Gingerbread

As we're enjoying a spring Sunday here in the mountains, as well as a Kings playoff hockey game, I decided to make a batch of muffins for the coming week. As I mentioned before, Don used to eat the ones from Costco - the ones with zero fiber and lots of sugar.  He needs fiber.  So I've been tweaking some of my recipes to add it and still make some decent muffins.

I used two different pans this time - I just got my brownie pan from Pampered Chef, and used it along with the jumbo muffin tin I got at JoAnn (I used a 40% off coupon). The recipe is for two loaf pans, so that's just the right amount of batter for the two pans.

Zucchini Gingerbread Muffins

1 3/4 c whole wheat flour
1/4 c wheat bran
2 c all-purpose flour
3/4 c brown sugar
1 t baking soda
1 t baking powder
1 t cinnamon
1/2 t salt
1/2 t nutmeg
1/2 t ground ginger
1/4 c ground flaxseed
3 c grated zucchini (3-4 small)
3 eggs
3/4 c molasses
1/2 c applesauce
1/2 c oil
1 c raisins

Preheat oven to 350˚. Prepare two loaf pans (or two jumbo muffin tins) by spraying with nonstick cooking spray. (If you're using one of the Pampered Chef brownie tins, it needs no spray.) Combine dry ingredients (except for flax and raisins) in a large bowl. Combine flax and wet ingredients in a medium bowl. Add the wet ingredients to the dry ones, and stir until just combined. Stir in the raisins. Pour into loaf pans or muffin tins. Bake loaf pans 45 minutes/muffins 15-20 minutes or until toothpick inserted in the center comes out clean.