Wednesday, February 29, 2012

Blueberry Muffins

I love buying fruit from Costco.  I always feel I get the most bang for my buck there.  Especially on fruit such as blueberries.  I always want to eat blueberries cause they are a healthy snack.  But at the grocery store they are always a arm and a leg for a small container.  Not at Costco!  You get a huge container of blueberries for maybe just a buck more than the grocery store price.  Gotta love Costco!

On my last trip to Costco I saw chocolate covered blueberries.  I resisted the urge to buy them but I am starting to think that it would make a good cookie.  Oh well.

I decided to make some blueberry muffins with the fine blueberries that I purchased at Costco.  When I told the husband he seemed extremely happy.  Poor guy must be sick of eating banana bread. 

Blueberry Muffins

1 1/2 cups all purpose flour
3/4 cup white sugar
1/2 teaspoon salt
2 teaspoons baking powder
1/3 cup vegetable oil
1 egg
1/3 cup almond milk
2 cups fresh blueberries

Streusel Topping
1/2 cup white sugar
1/3 cup all purpose flour
1/4 cup butter, cubed
1 1/2 teaspoons cinnamon

1.  Preheat oven to 400F.  Line with muffin liners.
2.  Combine flour, sugar, salt and baking powder.
3.  Place vegetable oil into a 1 cup measuring cup; add the egg and enough milk to fill the cup.  Mix this with flour mixture.
4.  Fold in blueberries.
5.  Fill muffin cups about 2/3 full or use a ice cream scoop
6.  Sprinkle with streusel topping mixture
7.  Bake for 20 to 25 minutes or until tooth pick inserted comes out clean.

Please excuse how my muffin pan looks.  Can you tell I've had it for a very long time?   These muffins came out fantastic.  However they were a little to blueberry for me.  I think next time I will reduce the blueberries to 1 cup instead of 2.  But for those who need the antioxidants these muffins should be right up your ally.  El Hubby enjoyed them and my dad even came over for breakfast and took some home with him.  All in all a good recipe.

My fur baby makes me so happy.  Sometimes I am amazed on how much I could love a furry creature.

Life is short, eat dessert first!


Friday, February 24, 2012

Mini Turkey Sliders

Have you heard of Jeremy Lin?  Unless you have no TV, no internet access and no friends you KNOW of Jeremy Lin.  If you are NOT Asian ALL your Asian friends continuously post about Jeremy Lin on Facebook.  If you are Asian you probably have LINsanity. 

My family has LINsanity.  Oh it's bad.  I have cousins who post about Jeremy Lin on Facebook every hour when the game is on.  I have a aunt who is considering buying a bigger tv so "watching games can be more exciting".  My grandparents know who Jeremy Lin is.  I was informed yesterday by my husband that Nike LINsanity shirts have been ordered for us.  See?  At least we are NOT bandwagon-ers like "those" new Clipper fans cause of CP3.

So my father sends me a Facebook message asking if the husband and I will be watching the Knicks vs Heat game.  I answer yes and that he is welcome to come over and watch.  When I drove into my garage after work in my rear view mirror I see my mom's car come to a speeding stop in front of my house and my father running out to my front door.  My mom slowly gets out of the car and give me a look.  LINsanity!

So what is more appropriate for watching a game than sliders?  NOTHING!  Okay okay maybe I had some ground turkey in my fridge that I needed to cook.  

Mini Turkey Sliders
Adapted from I am a food blog

1 package of ground turkey, about 1 pound
salt and pepper
onion, small & diced
olive oil
 Hawaiian rolls
1/4 cup mayonnaise
1/2 tablespoon ketchup
1/2 tablespoon yellow mustard
4 slices of deli pickles, minced
pinch of garlic powder, paprika, cayenne pepper

1.  Combine ground turkey, salt, pepper, diced onion and splash of olive oil in a bowl.  Use a ice cream scooper to make mini burger patties.
2.  Cut Hawaiian rolls in half and spread with butter. 
3.  Grill turkey patties and rolls
4.  Take mayonnaise, ketchup, yellow mustard, pickles, garlic powder, paprika, and cayenne pepper and mix well to make sauce. 
5.  Make sliders with grilled turkey patty, roll and spread with sauce. 

These mini burgers were delish!  Something about the Hawaiian bread that pulls it all together.  Ground turkey can be hard to season sometimes but I have found that a little onion helps with flavoring a lot.  And oh the sauce.  It was amazing!  I will for sure be making more the next time we have burgers. 

Me and my fur baby.  As you can tell I force her to do all kinds of things.  Such as take a picture with me.  Oh she lives such a hard life. 
Keep cooking friends and remember, summer is right around the corner!

Thursday, February 23, 2012

Crab & Brie Stuffed Mushrooms

What to do on a Saturday night for dinner?  Well I made El Hubby and me some crab and brie stuffed mushrooms.  To be quite honest I did not to make dinner at all.  But since I was planning on feeding El Hubby clam chowder and sour dough bread I figured I better make something yummy to make up for my laziness.  So I busted out a crab and brie stuffed mushroom recipe that I have been meaning to try.
Crab & Brie Stuffed Mushrooms
Adapted from Pink Parsley 

16 mushrooms
3 tablespoons olive oil, divided
kosher salt and freshly ground black pepper
1/4 cup minced onion
1/4 cup cream cheese
1 teaspoon lemon zest
1/4 cup parmesan cheese
1 cup brie, cubed rind removed
1/4 cup panko bread crumbs
1 cup lump crab meat

1.  Preheat oven to 350 degrees
2.  Remove the stems from mushrooms, chop them finely, and set aside
3.  In a medium bowl, toss the mushroom caps with 2 tablespoons of olive oil, then salt and pepper.  Arrange in a single layer on a lightly greased baking sheet, open side up.  Set bowl aside to use for the filling.
4.  In a medium skillet, heat the remaining tablespoon of olive oil over medium heat.  Saute the onions and reserved mushroom stems until softened (about 3-4 minutes).  Remove from heat, stir in the cream cheese and transfer the mixture to the bowl.
5.  Mix in the lemon zest, parmesan cheese, brie, and panko bread crumbs.
6.  Lightly fold in the crab meat.
7.  Season with salt and pepper to taste
8.  Spoon the filling into the mushroom caps.  Bake for about 15-20 minutes or until the mushrooms are browned and the filling is hot and bubbly.

This recipe is soooooooooo good.  No joke.  And since I was making it at home I can make however many I want.  I hate when you go out to eat and you only get like 1 or 2 stuffed mushrooms cause you have to share.  That is janky.  You should be able to eat as many as your heart desires.  Just put your running shoes on after wards and walk the pup to work it off.
Since I was a mean ole mom and didn't give the fur baby any crab she got to have a biscuit.  Of course she didn't bother to eat it until she was positive that there was not crab left.  

Cook up a storm friends cause summer is just around the corner.


Monday, February 13, 2012

Peanut Butter Banana Chocolate Chip Bread

There is no better combination than peanut butter and chocolate.  I am pretty sure no one would disagree with me.  If you do ... YOU ARE INSANE!

Of course once again I have ripe bananas in my kitchen so of course I have to make something with bananas.  Of course my pup in laying in the sun in my kitchen waiting to be spoiled so I have to bring out the peanut butter.  So ... what does a girl do?  She makes peanut butter banana chocolate chip bread!

Peanut Butter Banana Chocolate Chip Bread
Adapted from Lauren's Latest

1/2 cup all purpose flour
1/2 cup wheat flour
1/2 teaspoon baking powder
1/2 teaspoon baking soda
1/2 teaspoon salt
1/2 teaspoon cinnamon
1/4 cup sugar
1/4 cup packed brown sugar
1/4 cup vegetable oil
1/4 cup smooth peanut butter
1 egg
2 very ripe bananas, mashed
1 teaspoon vanilla extract
1/2 cup chocolate chips

1.  Preheat oven to 325F.
2.  Whisk flour, baking powder, baking soda, salt, cinnamon, sugar, and brown sugar.
3.  Create a well in the center and pour in vegetable oil, peanut butter, egg, bananas, and vanilla extract.  Mix until just combined.
4.  Stir in chocolate chips.
5.  Grease a mini loaf pan.
6.  Divide evenly between loaf pans and bake for about 20-25 minutes or until a toothpick comes out clean when inserted.
7.  Cool 5 minutes in pan and remove to cooling racks.  Serve warm or at room temperature.

These were delish!   And since I used a ice cream scooper to scoop the batter into the pans my mini loafs were easy to break in half to share or double fist.  I need to make these more often.  Maybe next time I will sprinkle some oats on top to make it look healthier.  Muahahaha!

The pup got her spoon full of peanut butter so she is a happy camper and ready to play.  I swear she should do Kong ball commercials.  I for sure buy enough of those balls to keep the company in business. 

Keep baking and playing with your fur babies!

Friday, February 10, 2012

Better-than-sex Cake

Last weekend was a crazy weekend.  There was the Tzu Chi new year blessing event, meeting the brother in law's girlfriend for the first time, and last but not least Super Bowl Sunday.  Like I said, jammed packed!

The new year blessing was a success.  Around 200 people attended the event not including the volunteers that ran the event.  Thankfully I did not forget any of my sign language that I had to perform.  Man did I practice for that thing and am so glad it is over.  I am not artistic at all when it comes to artsy stuff like drawling and sign language.  But I survived!  Survived without embarrassing myself or my loved ones!

My mom was in charge of providing breakfast for the set up crew in the morning.  So what does she do?  She has me bake.  I am such a good daughter!  Actually not so good daughter cause the cake I decided to make was better-than-sex cake.  I found this recipe online and marked it as a must try.  I mean come on.  With a name like better-than-sex cake who wouldn't want to try it.  Of course I had to call it something else at Tzu Chi.  I guess better-than-kissing cake.

I ended up making this cake for Super Bowl Sunday too to bring to my cousin's party.  I think after hearing the name of the cake it makes people want to try it more.

Better-than-sex Cake

1 box yellow cake mix
1 box instant vanilla pudding (4oz)
4 eggs
1 cup sour cream
1/2 cup vegetable oil
1 cup water
1 cup mini semi sweet chocolate chips

1.  Preheat oven to 350F and grease a bundt pan
2.  Mix cake mix, vanilla pudding mix, eggs, sour cream, oil and water.  Mix well.
3.  Stir in chocolate chips.
4.  Pour batter into prepared bundt pan and bake for 1 hour or until a toothpick inserted comes out clean.
5.  Allow to cool in pan for about 15 minutes.  Turn cake out and let cool before eating.

This cake was amazing.  Super moist.  But I guess that is expected from a cake that has pudding mix and sour cream.  Oh and so easy to make!  I love semi-homemade recipes.  They are easy yet still have that homemade touch.

So is this cake better than sex?  Well know one said it wasn't.  Try it for yourself and let me know!

Keep on baking!

Monday, February 6, 2012

Oatmeal Banana Bread

I try to bring some baked goodies for every Tzu Chi event I go to.  Sometimes what I bring is healthy and sometimes not so healthy.  It all just depends on my mood and what is currently on the top of my "recipes to try" pile. 

I had a oatmeal banana bread recipe that I have not had a chance to try yet.  Perfect! 

I brought this bread to a meeting.  Judging by the empty plate I will say it was a hit.  This bread is perfect for the people who do not like things too sweet.

Oatmeal Banana Bread

3 bananas, very ripe
3/4 cup packed brown sugar
1/4 cup vegetable oil
2 large eggs
1 teaspoon vanilla extract
1/4 cup wheat flour
1 1/4 cup all purpose flour
1/2 cup oats
1 teaspoon cinnamon
1 teaspoon baking soda
1/2 cup raisins

1.  Preheat the oven to 350F.
2.  Mix mashed bananas, sugar, oil, eggs and vanilla extract.
3.  Mix four, oats, cinnamon, baking soda and stir until combined.  Add to banana mixture.
4.  Stir in raisins.
5.  Pour batter into a greased mini loaf pan.
6.  Bake for about 37 minutes.

You can add chocolate chips if you like but since I was going with the healthy theme I stuck with raisins.
My crazy pup and husband keep me quite busy.  These two seem to always be up to no good.  It's either playing fetch inside the house or jumping on furniture these two are always up to something.  What can a girl do?

Keep baking friends!

Wednesday, February 1, 2012

Pumpkin Bread

I feel since I was sick for most of the holidays I missed out on all the holiday baking.  So I couldn't resist and made some pumpkin bread.  Cause of course I stocked up on canned pumpkin right before I got sick.

I brought this pumpkin bread to my Tzu Chi sign language practice for everyone.  It was a big hit.  This moist cake was super yummy and who can say no to chocolate chips.  I used my mini loaf pan.  Now this recipe was originally for 2 regular loaf pans but I shoved all the batter into 4 mini loaf pans.  The mini loaves were big but I still like it better than baking normal loaf pans.  I know, I am weird.

Pumpkin Bread
Adapted from Eat Cake For Dinner

1 cup vegetable oil
3 eggs
1 (15oz) can pumpkin
3 cups flour
3 cups sugar
1 (3oz) box instant vanilla pudding
1 teaspoon salt
2 teaspoon cinnamon
1/4 teaspoon nutmeg
1/4 teaspoon pumpkin pie spice
1 teaspoon baking powder
1 teaspoon baking soda
1 1/2 cup semi sweet chocolate chips

1.  Preheat oven to 350F.
2.  Beat oil, eggs and pumpkin until combined.
3.  Add sugar and mix well.
4.  Add flour and all the spices
5.  Stir in the vanilla pudding mix and chocolate chips.
6.  Pour evenly into 6 greased mini loaf pans.
7.  Bake for about 45 minutes.
8.  Cool in pan for about 10 minutes.  Then cool on a rack.

You can pretty much not go wrong when you add a pudding mix to your batter.  Whatever you make will be moist unless you seriously burn it.  Also, the pudding mix seems to help keep the bread moist longer too.  So it can last for a couple of days ... if people can resist eating it for that long!

Khloe the pup is not fond of gloomy weather.  She is more of a sunshine kind of pup.  We have had some fog and gloomy weather with a little bit of rain.  She hates it.  The pup looks at the window with a sad look on her face.  But gloomy weather is perfect for naps!  It's like the pup is smiling in her sleep.  I wonder what she is dreaming of.  Maybe sunshine so she can go to the park.

Keep on baking friends!