Monday, July 21, 2014

Blueberry Corn Muffins

This summer I'm participating in a CSA (Community Supported Agriculture) program. The way this one works is that you purchase a "share" for the season which translates to a weekly produce box from June till November. My box includes 8-10 freshly picked fruits or veggies, a dozen fresh farm eggs, and a bread item from a local bakery that uses freshly milled wheat. It's been an awesome experience thus far and actually not too expensive seeing as the produce is organic and locally sourced. Obviously the produce is supposed to be the star of the show and the eggs and bread simply extras, but I've had a blast trying different bread products. Since I make my own sandwich bread, I've been free most weeks to try a "fun" bread item. I've tried pretzel rolls, challah bread, and the inspiration for this recipe--blueberry corn bread! I'd never had such a thing and found it tasty as well as intriguing. So I turned to Pinterest for a version to bake at home. This recipe from Two Peas and Their Pod might be even tastier than the cornbread I had from the bakery as I think I've eaten 6 muffins since baking them this morning. I used fresh blueberries from the week's box, but you could easily use frozen. I've made this recipe with regular buttermilk as well as King Arthur's buttermilk powder with great results each time. Light and airy, these muffins make for the perfect morning breakfast accompaniment or afternoon snack.

 photo 623D9A08-5BB7-4664-8AEC-79CC31F81DA1.jpg

Blueberry Corn Muffins
1 cup white whole wheat flour (or all purpose)
1 cup course ground yellow cornmeal
1/2 cup granulated sugar
2 1/2 teaspoons baking powder
1/4 teaspoon baking soda
1/2 teaspoon salt
1 cup buttermilk
3 tablespoons butter, melted and cooled
3 tablespoons canola oil
1 teaspoon vanilla extract
2 large eggs
1 cup blueberries

Preheat the oven to 400 degrees. Prepare a standard sized muffin pan with paper cups or spray with cooking spray.

In a large bowl, whisk together the flour, cornmeal, sugar, baking powder, baking soda, and salt. Set aside.

In a medium bowl, whisk the buttermilk, melted butter, canola oil, vanilla, and eggs until well blended. Pour the liquid ingredients over the dry ingredients and mix until combined. The batter will be lumpy. Gently fold in the blueberries. Divide the batter evenly among the muffin cups.

Bake for 15 minutes, or until the tops are golden and a toothpick inserted into the center of the muffins comes out clean. Transfer the pan to a rack and cool for 5 minutes. Remove muffins from pan and serve or cool completely for storage (1-3 days) or freezing.

Makes 15 muffins

 photo 7701D7DC-AAD3-4796-AC42-CC1E735C459F.jpg

Garlic, Lemon & Rosemary Marinade for Chicken

Good morning! It's been grilling season for awhile here now, so I figured it's about time I shared my new favorite marinade for grilled chicken. I've never been too big a marinade fan, but this recipe from The Naptime Chef sounded so fresh and easy that I had to try it. It's quickly become my go-to recipe when I want to grill chicken. (Move over bbq sauce!) I've basically halved the ingredients from the original recipe . With lemons sometimes being quite pricey most of the year, not to mention the cost of good olive oil, I'm pleased to report that the result is still very flavorful. I've only made this recipe with chicken breasts, but you could use any cut of chicken (thigh meat on kabobs would be great), pork or fish. As you can see from the picture, I don't mind the texture of rosemary, but leave the needles on the sprig so you can remove it at the end or chop them up finely if you do.

 photo 75381F92-B954-4D9E-8765-1B8EB8EBA03F.jpg

Garlic, Lemon & Rosemary Marinade

1-2 lemons, halved and juiced (save rind)
3-5 cloves garlic, smashed with flat side of knife or roughly chopped
3 large sprigs of rosemary
1/2 c olive oil
1 tsp salt
½ tsp red pepper (optional, I sometimes sub black pepper)
½ tsp cinnamon
4 boneless, skinless chicken breasts (or any meat that might pair well)

Whisk together lemon juice, olive oil, salt, pepper, and cinnamon. In a gallon sized bag, pour marinade over chicken and add garlic cloves, rosemary (on or off the sprig), and lemon halves. Turn to coat well. Place in refrigerator for at least 30 minutes but ideally an hour. The acidity in the lemon juice will eventually "cook" the chicken so you don't want to leave it too long, but the original poster states that she's let it rest for 5 hours with great results.

Preheat grill to medium heat. Discard rosemary sprigs and lemon rinds. Grill chicken 5-7 minutes per side, until cooked through (165 degrees F).

Serves 4