So here we are, half a month into the new year, many of us having made health or diet related resolutions. Are you sticking to yours? The owner of my old gym once told me that you can work out for hours every day at the gym, but if your eating is undisciplined, you are wasting your time. I believe him… so just to clear the air, that’s not why I don’t work out there anymore. Today I want to share a cookbook that shifts healthy eating to a preferred alternative. Yotam Ottolenghi, the British restaurateur, chef, and cookbook writer, brings the upscale spa dining experience to your kitchen. That’s how eating at home should be. Ottolenghi keeps healthy cuisine uncomplicated and delicious with 120 beautifully photographed recipes. [Read more…] about A Cookbook That Will Make You WANT to Eat Your Vegetables
Memorial Day is around the corner, so it is time to think about summer menus. Sadly, my grill is not working, so I have been on the hunt for alternative ways to keep healthy eating interesting for now. I’m thinking I may have hit the jackpot with the new Inspiralized cookbook. This is exactly what I was looking for. Ali Maffucci hits it over the fence with a variety of delicious ways to work with seasonal produce that are quick and easy. The recipes present beautifully and make eating Spa Food at home the luxury that I wish I could find when we eat out. [Read more…] about Summer Menu Planning
- 2 1/4 cups King Arthur Unbleached All-Purpose Flour
- 1 1/2 teaspoons baking powder
- 1/2 teaspoon baking soda
- 1/2 teaspoon salt, to taste
- 4 tablespoons butter, at room temperature
- 1 cup granulated sugar (use extra if the blueberries are tart)
- 2 large eggs
- 2 teaspoons vanilla extract
- 2 tsp Fiori di Sicilia
- 1/2 cup sour cream or plain yogurt (use full-fat)
- 1 1/2 cups blueberries, fresh or frozen
- coarse white sugar, for garnish, optional
- Preheat oven to 375°F. Line a muffin tin with papers, and grease the papers.
- In a medium-sized bowl, whisk together the flour, baking powder, baking soda, and salt, then set aside.
- In a large bowl, beat the butter and sugar with a hand-held or stand mixer, until light, fluffy, and almost white in color. Start the mixer at low speed until the ingredients are incorporated, then gradually increase speed to medium-high until the desired color and texture are reached.
- Scrape down the bowl to make sure all the butter is incorporated, then add the eggs one at a time, beating well after each addition.
- Add the vanilla extract, Fiori di Sicilia and sour cream or yogurt, and mix until incorporated.
- Add the dry ingredients and mix on low speed just until the batter is smooth. It will be thick.
- Fold in the berries by hand.
- Scoop the batter into the prepared muffin cups, using a heaping 1/4-cup for each. Sprinkle with regular granulated or coarse white sugar, if desired.
- Bake the muffins for 18 to 24 minutes, until a cake tester inserted in the center of one comes out clean. Remove them from the oven, cool in the pan for 5 minutes, then remove the muffins from the pan to finish cooling on a rack.
*rather than using a muffin pan, I keep paper muffin molds in stock with my baking supplies- they make for a nice presentation and they look considerably nicer if you are giving the muffins away. Buy professional muffin molds here.
*If you are using canned blueberries, drain them first and adjust amount to 1 3/4 c berries
*If you are using frozen berries, mix htem in while they are still frozen, and add up to 5 min to baking time. Frozen berries will turn the batter blue so I don't recommend usinng them if you have other options.
*Flavored yogurt is ok to, if you want to experiment with different options. Just be sure to use full fat yogurt to get moist muffins.
*Also, feel free to try the batter in a loaf pan. Cook time will increase, make sure an inserted knife comes out clean.
*Remove muffins from pan promptly. Allowing them to sit in the pan will steam (sog) them.
*Special touches that make a difference: sparkling suger on top of the batter before the muffins go into the oven, using paper muffin molds (which can be purchased form King Arthur Flour, your favorite cooking store, or amazon), and Fiori di Sicilia.
Amount Per Serving: Calories: 190Total Fat: 7gSaturated Fat: 4gTrans Fat: 0gUnsaturated Fat: 2gCholesterol: 48mgSodium: 257mgCarbohydrates: 29gFiber: 1gSugar: 20gProtein: 3g
Nutrition information isn’t always accurate.
If you are not familiar with King Arthurs products, I highly recommend them. The difference is in the details:
quality ingredients make quality food- always
If you are unfamiliar with Fiori di Sicilia, the best way I can think to describe it is that it offers a floral “essence” to baked goods. The pleasant combination of citrus and vanilla imparts a delightful aroma to your baked goods, drinks and more. An Italian favorite, Fiori di Sicilia is excellent in mild, sweet dishes that allow the complex flavor and aroma to truly shine. Keep a little bottle of this in your refrigerator. The magic that it works will surprise you and your guests. Don’t be surprised when your friends make special requests for more more more of these muffins.
Sparkling Decorating Sugar
This sugar adds a nice crunch and makes the muffins even more visually appealing. Available online at King Arthur Flour, Sur La Table or your favorite cooking store.