Banana Buttermilk Pistachio Muffins

August 15, 2014

IMG_7826

I had a couple bananas get a little too ripe the other day. That hasn’t happened in a while and I must say I was pretty pleased, because that meant I just had to make some sort of yummy banana treat. So I decided to surprize the husband with a batch of freshly baked Banana Buttermilk Pistachio Muffins. I love to use buttermilk when I bake. It adds a slight tang to everything and gives baked goods a wonderfully tender and light texture.

IMG_7803

These muffins were indeed light, despite the fact that they had a bit of whole-wheat flour in them, which can make a muffin somewhat heavy or dense. And they weren’t too sweet, which I prefer in a breakfast muffin. If you like a really sweet, almost dessert type of muffin you may wish to up the sugar, add some chocolate chips into the mix or perhaps sprinkle some Demerara sugar over the top when you bake them. I did modify the original recipe a bit as well. It called for canola oil but I used coconut oil which tastes absolutely divine in pastries.

IMG_7836

And although I know that folks mostly use walnuts or peanuts in banana muffins, I decided to go with pistachios and was very pleased with the combination. These Banana Buttermilk Pistachio Muffins were quick and easy to prepare. And made for a delightful start to the day!

IMG_7795

Banana Buttermilk Pistachio Muffins

  • Servings: 12 muffins
  • Difficulty: easy
  • Print

recipe slightly adapted from Williams Sonoma

Ingredients:

  • 1 cup unbleached all-purpose flour
  • 3/4 cup whole-wheat flour
  • 1/2 cup sugar
  • 2 teaspoons baking powder
  • 1 teaspoon baking soda
  • 1 teaspoon cinnamon
  • 1 cup low-fat buttermilk
  • 1 cup well-mashed ripe banana
  • 2 Tablespoons coconut oil, melted ( or you can substitute in canola oil)
  • 1 egg
  • 1 teaspoon vanilla extract
  • 1/2 cup chopped pistachios

Directions:

Preheat an oven to 375°F. Spray 12 standard muffin cups with canola-oil cooking spray, or use paper liners.

In a large bowl, stir together the all-purpose and whole-wheat flours, sugar, baking powder,baking soda and cinnamon.

In another bowl or a large, glass measuring pitcher, whisk together the buttermilk, banana, egg and vanilla. If you are using coconut oil, warm the buttermilk mixture in the microwave ( do this in 5 -10 second bursts, you just want it warmed not cooked and microwaves can get a bit out of control if you are not careful :) ), until it comes to room temperature.  Once it is warmed up, add the coconut oil. If you put coconut oil into a cold mixture it will congeal to solid clumps (yuck!). If you are using canola oil, you can simply add it to the buttermilk mixture. No warming required. Pour the wet ingredients over the dry ingredients and stir just until blended. Do not overmix. Spoon the batter into the prepared muffin cups, filling each about three-fourths full. Sprinkle the tops evenly with the pistachios (or nut of your choosing).

Bake the muffins until they are lightly browned and a toothpick inserted in the center of a muffin comes out clean, 15 to 20 minutes. Let cool in the pan on a wire rack for 15 minutes, then turn out onto the rack and let cool completely. The muffins will keep in a zippered plastic bag at room temperature for 2 or 3 days, or in the freezer for up to 2 months.

Enjoy!

Banana Buttermilk Pistachio Muffins brought to you by: Runcible Eats (http://www.leaandjay.com )

 

 


Irish Leek & Cheddar Tart

March 9, 2014

IMG_6197

There’s more than one day to a weekend. At least that’s what I’ve been told, even though it often feels like the weekend only spans a couple of hours, whereas the work week seems to go on for a bit shy of eternity. Well yesterday, I gave you a great brunch recipe for that Caramel Apple & Irish Whiskey Clafoutis, but I’ve got another great one all lined up for today and since the weekend seems to still be lingering around a bit, maybe you could jump on into the kitchen and whip up this Irish Leek & Cheddar Tart.

IMG_6139

Though this delicious tart should not be relegated to the breakfast/brunch time slot by any means. Truth be told though, we’ve added a simple green salad and eaten this tart for lunch or dinner just as many times as it has appeared in the morning. We are big leek fans around here and will gobble them up in no time flat even when they are just simply sautéed in butter, but once you add some stout beer, nutmeg, and thyme into the mix. Look out!

IMG_6182

The stout adds a real depth of flavour to those leeks. And the sharp Irish cheddar perfectly completed the dish, turning a tart with very simple ingredients into an indulgent delight. Categorize this recipe under “eat anytime” and often!

IMG_6178

Irish Leek & Cheddar Tart

recipe adapted from: Wee Kitchen

Ingredients:

  • 1/2 of Perfect Flaky Pie Crust recipe (recipe found below…or use store-bought if pressed for time)
  • 1 1/2 lbs. leeks, white and pale green parts, washed and chopped
  • 4 oz. ( 1/2 stick) butter
  • 1 Tablespoon flour
  • 3/4 cup Guinness or Murphy’s Stout beer
  • 1/4 teaspoon kosher salt
  • 1/4 teaspoon freshly ground black pepper
  • 1/4 teaspoon freshly ground nutmeg
  • 3-4 sprigs of thyme, leaves only
  • 1/4 cup milk
  • 1 egg, beaten
  • 3 1/2 ounces mature Irish Cheddar Cheese ( I used Kerrygold)

Directions:

Make batch of shortcrust pastry, or open box if using store-bought. Roll out shortcrust pastry on lightly floured work surface. Line 9″ tart pan with the dough. Cover the dough with a piece of aluminum foil and freeze for about 30 minutes.

Preheat oven to 375°F. Place dough-lined pan on a baking sheet with aluminum foil in place. Fill foil with beans or pie weights. Bake dough for 20 minutes, or until dough is beginning to turn golden.

Meanwhile, make the filling. In large saucepan melt the butter. Add the leeks and cook until tender, about 10 – 15 minutes, stirring occasionally. Stir the flour into the leeks and cook for 30 seconds to 1 minute more. Add the stout beer, stirring continuously until combined. Add salt, pepper, nutmeg and thyme. Let mixture simmer until beer is reduced and a thick sauce remains. Remove from heat and set aside.

In bowl, whisk milk and egg together.

Set tart pan on a parchment lined baking sheet. Sprinkle half of grated cheddar over the pastry dough. Add the leek mixture and top with remaining cheddar cheese. Carefully pour the egg mixture into the tart pan over the leek/cheese filling. Return tart pan to oven and bake for 25 – 30 minutes until filling is puffed and golden brown.

Perfect Flaky Pie Crust

Originally adapted from: Inspired Taste but also appears in my Mushroom, Onion & Thyme Galette

Ingredients:

(this recipe makes dough for two pie crusts – you will only need 1 for this tart recipe)

  • 2 1/2 cups (360 grams) all-purpose flour
  • 1 teaspoon kosher salt
  • 1 cup (227 grams) very cold unsalted butter, cut into 1/2-inch cubes (2 sticks)
  • 6 tablespoons vodka (chilled)
  • 2 Tablespoons ice water

Directions:

This recipe will make enough dough for two pie crusts. You will only need one for this tart recipe. You can either half the recipe or go ahead and make the whole thing and freeze half so you’ll be ahead of the game next time you need shortcrust pastry.

Mix 6 tablespoons of vodka and 2 tablespoons of water. Put in fridge or freezer (don’t forget it) to chill.

Add 1 1/2 cups flour, salt to a food processor. Pulse 2 to 3 times until combined.

Scatter butter cubes over flour and process until a dough or paste begins to form, about 15 seconds. (There should be no uncoated flour).

Scrape bowl, redistribute the flour-butter mixture then add remaining 1 cup of flour. Pulse 4 to 5 times until flour is evenly distributed. (Dough should look broken up and a little crumbly).

Transfer to a medium bowl then sprinkle 6 tablespoons of ice water/vodka over mixture. Using a rubber spatula, press the dough into itself. The crumbs should begin to form larger clusters. If you pinch some of the dough and it holds together, it’s ready. If the dough falls apart, add 1 to 2 tablespoons of extra water/vodka and continue to press until dough comes together.

Remove dough from bowl and place in a mound on a clean surface. Work the dough just enough to form a ball. Cut ball in half then form each half into discs. Wrap each disc with plastic wrap and refrigerate at least 1 hour, and up to 2 days. You can also freeze it for up to 3 months (just thaw it overnight in the fridge before using).

Enjoy!


Caramel Apple & Irish Whiskey Clafoutis

March 8, 2014

IMG_5191

Have mercy! Is it the weekend yet? I’ve got just the perfect weekend lazing around and drinking early brunch dish for you. A Caramel Apple & Irish Whiskey Clafoutis! Wowzers right?!! A clafoutis is a french dessert that consists of baked fruit (usually cherries) in a flan like batter. I found this wonderful whiskey splashed Irish twist on that classic French dish over at Edible Ireland  (love that site! – great recipes, beautiful photography – what more could you want)and just couldn’t wait to make it. (as if the weekend could mosey on up any slower…)

IMG_5213

Now I know of few of you folks out there are probably smirking and thinking “Yeah, so much for her lazy weekend if she was making some sort of French thing, which you just know has to be time-consuming, complicated and annoying!” Oh I am so happy to say that you would be wrong. This dish, impressive – yet rustic – as it looks was quite easy to make and delicious to boot!

IMG_5206

IMG_5152

But if you’re still being a doubter, perhaps you would perk up a bit knowing that you can make the apple caramel mixture up the night before. That way when the weekend arrives, you won’t have to spend one more extra precious moment than necessary “slaving away” in the kitchen. You just heat the apples up, mix up the batter, add the apples in and pop it into the oven . Easy peasy. Then you can just sit around sipping your mimosa (or Buck’s Fizz). Before you know it that decadent brunch treat will be ready and your weekend will be off to a fantastic whiskey-caramel-apple-y start!

IMG_5181

Caramel Apple & Irish Whiskey Clafoutis

recipe from: Edible Ireland

Ingredients:

for the batter:

  • 80 g (2/3 cup) flour
  • 75 g (1/3 cup) sugar
  • 1/4 teaspoon cinnamon
  • pinch of salt
  • 1/2 tsp. baking powder (optional – but it will keep the clafoutis from sinking as quickly when removed from the oven)
  • 3 large eggs
  • 100 g (6 tablespoons) butter, melted
  • 250 ml (1 cup) milk
  • 1 teaspoon vanilla

for the apples:

  • 30 g (2 tablespoons) butter
  • 4 crisp eating apples, peeled, cored and sliced
  • 60 g (1/3 cup) light brown sugar
  • 1/4 teaspoon cinnamon
  • 2 or 3 tablespoons Irish whiskey*

Directions:

Preheat the oven to 200°C (400°F). Butter a 25 cm (10 inch) pie plate or cast iron skillet or large individual ramekins.

To make the caramel apples, melt a knob of butter in a large pan over a medium-high heat. When it’s sizzling, reduce the heat to medium and tip in the apples, sugar and cinnamon, stirring to coat the apples in the butter and sugar. Cook the apples for about 5 minutes, until they have softened and the sugar has turned syrupy. Keep warm.

Whisk the flour, sugar, cinnamon and a pinch of salt together in a large bowl. In a separate bowl, mix together the eggs, melted butter, milk and vanilla. Pour half of the liquid ingredients into the dry ingredients, whisking until it looks like a paste, then add in the rest of the liquid, whisking until the batter is smooth and well blended. (Alternatively, you could just place all the batter ingredients in a blender and whizz until smooth.)

Place the pie plate or skillet on a baking sheet to catch any drips when the clafoutis is cooking in the oven. Pour in the batter, then using a slotted spoon, transfer the apples to the plate or skillet, leaving as much of the caramel sauce in the pan as you can and making sure the apples are evenly distributed. Bake the clafoutis in the oven for 25 to 30 minutes, until the clafoutis is puffed up and golden brown and the centre is set.

About 5 minutes before the clafoutis is done, reheat the caramel in the pan to loosen it again, then stir in the whiskey and allow to cook for 1 or 2 minutes to burn off the alcohol. Serve the clafoutis warm with the caramel whiskey sauce drizzled over.

*If you’ve had a “whiskey incident” and know you couldn’t smell, much less taste whiskey first thing in the morning, switch it out for some brandy or calvados.

** This is also a great dessert recipe. Just imagine serving it with a scoop of vanilla ice cream drizzled with that caramel whiskey sauce. Yum!

Enjoy!

IMG_5144


Tourte Milanese

September 6, 2013

IMG_3687

Wow! The summer has just flown by! I must say, I’m not sorry to see it go. Summers in Virginia are not pleasant, to say the least. And I’ve definitely determined that it is the humidity around here that makes it so intolerable. I thought I just plain hated hot weather. But I just got back from a trip to Maui. It was roughly the same temperature in Maui as it is in Virginia. Yet a Maui 89°F day felt entirely different from a swampy 89°F day in good old Virginia. I am happy to report as well that my husband and I did not spontaneously combust the moment our pale skin contacted sand. That being said, we did spend an extraordinary amount of time every morning slathering ourselves with 100 SPF sunscreen. And even with that, my husband managed to get an impressive burn on his back the second day we were there. Maui is simply drop dead gorgeous, from the mountains

P1010544

to the sea

P1000038

and we found plenty to do that did not involve any intentional sunbathing. We saw the sunrise at the top of the volcano Haleakala

P1010325 - Version 2

and then rode bikes twenty-one miles down to the base of the volcano,

IMG_4300 - Version 2

we went snorkeling

P1000247 - Version 2

DCIM100GOPRO

and were thrilled to make the acquaintance of this huge turtle.

IMG_7494

And witnessed many lovely sunsets.

P1010466 - Version 2

Overall a great trip. But enough of that holiday talk, let me get to talking about this Tourte Milanese, which is quite a stunner itself.

IMG_3668

I knew the minute I saw this over at Parsley Sage & Sweet (PSS), I was going to be making it. Now I will admit, I did take some shortcuts from the recipe as listed on the PSS sight. I used store bought puff pastry. PSS gives you a great recipe if you would like to make your own puff pastry. I’m afraid I was not that motivated. Furthermore, I decided that I couldn’t be bothered to roast my own red peppers as PSS did. I simply went out and bought a couple of jars of roasted red peppers and used those. If you are one of those industrious, “everything must be homemade” kind of folks, take a look at the PSS sight for the directions. Actually you should look at the sight anyway because there are some gorgeous step by step photos of the Tourte displayed there that you shouldn’t miss out on.

IMG_3691

With all of my shortcuts, this Tourte was not difficult to make at all. It was a bit time-consuming, but Wowsa… just look how impressive it is. It looks like you spent all day making it. Folks won’t understand that it is mostly just assembly work, with very little actual cooking skills involved. Without a doubt it will be the star of your breakfast, brunch or pot luck supper. With all of its vibrant colours, it would make a holiday brunch all the more festive. And not only is it quite the looker, it is delicious as well! You can’t go wrong with this recipe!

IMG_3678

Tourte Milanese

recipe from: parsley sage & sweet

yield: 6-8 servings

Ingredients:

  • 1 pound store bought puff pastry, chilled.  Roll both sheets together for 1 lb, then cut off a 1/4 lb for the top of the tourte. Use any scraps to cut out designs for the top, if desired.

For the Eggs

  • 10 large eggs
  • 1 tablespoon chopped fresh chives
  • 1 tablespoon chopped fresh flat-leaf parsley
  • 2 teaspoons snipped fresh tarragon
  • Salt and freshly ground black pepper to taste
  • 3 tablespoons unsalted butter

Filling

  • 2 jars roasted red peppers
  • Salt and freshly ground black pepper to taste
  • 1 1/2 pounds spinach, trimmed and washed
  • 1 tablespoon olive oil
  • 1 tablespoon unsalted butter
  • 2 cloves garlic, peeled and minced
  • 1/4 teaspoon grated nutmeg
  • 3 tablespoons heavy cream
  • 8 ounces Swiss cheese or Gruyere, thinly sliced
  • 8 ounces smoked or honey ham, thinly sliced
  • 1 large egg beaten with 1 tablespoon water and a pinch of salt

DIRECTIONS:
Prepare the pastry: Generously butter an 8 1/2-inch springform pan. Cut off one-quarter of the pastry, cover, and set aside. Roll out remaining puff pastry on a lightly floured work surface to a 1/4-inch thick round. Carefully fit the pastry into the pan, pressing to get a smooth fit, leave a 1-inch overhang. Roll out the smaller piece of pastry until it is 1/4 inch thick. Cut out an 8-inch circle of dough for the top of the tourte and lift it onto a plate or baking sheet. Cover both the crust and the lid with plastic wrap and refrigerate while you prepare the filling. If using scraps for cut-out designs, like leaves, place the cut-outs on a separate plate, cover with plastic wrap and chill in fridge along with top and lined springform pan.

Make the Eggs: Whisk eggs, herbs, salt and pepper together. Melt the butter in a large skillet over low heat and pour in the eggs. Gently but constantly stir the eggs around in the pan, pulling the eggs that set into the center of the pan. Slide the eggs onto a plate, without mounding them, and cover immediately with plastic wrap. You want a loose, soft scramble since the eggs will be baking for a little over an hour.

Prepare the peppers: Remove roasted peppers from jar. Cut them into the largish bite size pieces. Blot the peppers dry with paper towels before adding them to the tourte.

Cook the spinach: in a large quantity of boiling salted water for 1 minute to blanch it. Drain spinach in a colander, rinse with cold water, and press it to extract all of the excess moisture. Heat the oil, butter, and garlic in a large skillet over medium heat. Add blanched spinach and sauté for 3 minutes. Season with salt, pepper, and nutmeg, and add a little heavy cream. Bring quickly to the boil and stir so it mixes with the spinach. Remove the spinach from the skillet with a slotted and set aside.  Once it’s coole, squeeze as much liquid out before adding it to the tourte.

Assemble the Torte: Remove the pastry-lined springform pan from the refrigerator and layer the filling ingredients in the following order: (quick tip: Sprinkle a little dry bread crumbs or grated Italian hard cheese on the bottom of the raw crust before adding first layer of scrambled eggs to protect against a soggy bottom crust).

  • half the eggs
  • half the spinach
  • half the ham
  • half the cheese
  • all the roasted peppers, laid flat

Continue layering in reverse order;

  • remaining half of cheese
  • remaining half of ham
  • remaining half of spinach
  • remaining half of eggs

With each layer, make certain that the ingredients are spread to the edge of the pan. Fold the excess crust in over the filling, and brush the rim of crust you’ve created with the egg wash. Center the rolled-out top crust over the tourte and gently push the edge of the top crust down into the pan, pressing and sealing the top and bottom crusts along the sides. Brush the top with the egg wash and cut a vent in the center of the crust. Use the point of the knife to etch a design in the top crust, taking care to cut only halfway into the dough. Chill the fully loaded tourte for 30 minutes to 1 hour before baking.

20 minutes prior to baking; position a rack in the lower third of the oven and preheat oven to 350°F.

Bake the Tourte: Place the tourte on a jelly-roll pan, give it another coat of egg wash, and bake it for 1 hour 10 minutes, or until puffed and deeply golden. Remove from the oven and let rest on a rack until it reaches room temperature. Run a blunt knife or offset spatula around the edges of the pan and release the sides.  Let cool for at least 30 minutes before cutting.

Enjoy!


Lemon Cranberry White Chocolate Scones

September 18, 2012

I love scones! Especially the home-made ones, which put those things that a certain ever-present coffee shop sells to shame!  Scones are very easy to make, so I don’t know why I even bother with the store-bought ones. Yet every once it a while, I’m tempted while getting my morning caffeine fix and I buy one. In a moment of doubt as I’m reaching for my cash, I even think back to the last baked good I purchased there and how it really wasn’t worth the calories, much less the money. But then I convince myself that it was probably just a fluke last time and that the one that’s in the display case today look fresh. It will be different this time. But it’s not. Sad to say, the scones are always sort of stale and sickeningly sweet. What a disappointment. I should have waited til I got home, or bundled up one of my good home-made scones to take along with me for the road. I guess hope springs eternal.

I promise you these Lemon Cranberry White Chocolate Scones will not disappoint. They are just chock-full of favourites of mine, namely cranberries and white chocolate. The lemon zest gives them a wonderful fresh zing as well. Slathered in butter, clotted cream and topped with strawberries…pure heaven!

One taste of these lovelies and you’ll be ruined for the coffee shop scones. They’ll still have you for their coffee elixirs, so you shouldn’t feel but so bad for them. And one day maybe I’ll learn.

Lemon Cranberry White Chocolate Scones

recipe adapted from: The Sweet Chick

yield: 8 scones

Ingredients:

  • 2 cups flour
  • 1/3 cup sugar
  • 2 teaspoons baking powder
  • 6 Tablespoons cold butter, cut into 1″ pieces
  • 1/2 cup milk
  • 1 egg
  • 1 teaspoon lemon zest
  • 1 teaspoon fresh lemon juice
  • 1/2 cup dried cranberries (I used Craisins)
  • 1/2 cup white chocolate chips
  • heavy cream to brush over tops of scones
  • Demerara sugar to sprinkle over scones

Directions:

Preheat oven to 425 degrees. Line a baking sheet with parchment paper.
Place flour, sugar, and baking powder in bowl of food processor. Whirr a few times to combine. Add butter to flour mixture and process until mixture resembles coarse sand. Place flour/butter mixture in large mixing bowl.
In a separate bowl mix egg and milk until blended.  Add to the flour mixture. Mix until just combined. Don’t overmix. Add lemon zest, lemon juice, cranberries and white chocolate chips. Mix gently. The batter will be a dough like consistency.
Turn the dough out on a lightly floured surface. Divide into two equal sized portions. Roll dough out into circles which area about an inch thick. With a knife or pizza cutter, cut each of the dough circles into four equal sized  triangles.
Separate the triangles and place on prepared cookie sheet. Brush the tops of each scone with cream and then sprinkle with Demerara sugar.
Bake at 425° F for 15 minutes or until tops are golden.
Enjoy!

Chocolate Orange Banana Rum Muffins

June 22, 2012

Chocolate Orange Banana Rum Muffins! I don’t know if these are for breakfast or dessert. (I think the answer is “yes!”) They are wonderfully moist and bursting with flavour. I was skeptical of the chocolate/orange combination for a long time. Remember those chocolate oranges? I wouldn’t go anywhere near them for years, but once I finally tried it, I was sold. I already knew that the banana/rum combination was a winner!

Throwing them all together in these muffins, well I just knew I couldn’t go wrong! Oh, and did I mention they are chock full of white chocolate as well? They sure are!

I found the recipe (sans the Rum) on Rock Recipes, a great blog from St. John’s, Newfoundland (“The Rock”), Canada – Gorgeous recipes from a gorgeous spot!

St. John’s is one of my favourite places. Jay & I try to head up there every summer to escape the oppressive Virginia heat, which is in full swing this week. It has come very close to hitting triple digits in the past two days. And oh yeah, the humidity is here as well. I tell you, I just wake up in a bad mood knowing I have to drag the poor dog out for a walk in weather like that. That’s why I need something incredibly delicious for breakfast. You know, something to sooth my summer frayed nerves after my morning stroll on the sun.

Lucky for me, my air conditioner is a real champ. It’s working overtime to cool me down so that  I can enjoy my luscious Chocolate Orange Banana Rum Muffins with a nice cup of coffee, while I dream of moving up to St. John’s next summer!

Chocolate Orange Banana Rum Muffins

recipe adapted from: Rock Recipes

yield: 20 muffins

Ingredients:

  • 1 cup white sugar
  • ½ cup vegetable oil
  • 2 eggs, beaten
  • 3 medium ripe bananas, mashed
  • zest of one orange, finely chopped
  • 3 Tablespoons Rum
  • 1 3/4 cups flour
  • 1/2 cup good quality cocoa
  • 1 tsp baking soda
  • ½ tsp baking powder
  • ½ tsp salt
  • juice of one orange
  • 1 cup white chocolate chips
Directions:
Preheat oven to 325°F. Line muffin tins with 20 cupcake liners. Set aside.
Beat sugar and oil in a bowl until well combined. Add eggs, orange zest, mashed banana and rum. Mix well.
Sift together dry ingredients and fold into banana mixture alternately with orange juice.
Fold in the white chocolate chunks.
Pour batter into lined muffin tins and bake for 25 minutes. A toothpick inserted in the center which comes out clean is the best indicator that the cupcakes are fully baked.
Place on rack to cool.
Enjoy!

Herbed Chickpea Frittata

April 10, 2012

So while you are still thinking about eggs after Easter, I thought I’d share a recipe for Herbed Chickpea Frittata. What an absolutely perfect Spring dish! It is chock full of a ton of fresh herbs which give it it’s lovely spring-green colour. And I must say, in this house, chickpeas get top billing. We love those little guys! So when I saw a recipe for Herbed Chickpea Frittata, I just knew I had to make it.

I did alter a couple of things from the recipe which inspired me. I did not add any mint into the mixture, having none on hand. And I added feta cheese sprinkled liberally over the top of the frittata. The Mess in the Kitchen blog also recommended serving it with fresh squeezed lemon juice, which I’m sure would be lovely and go along fantastically with the whole Spring feel of the dish. We actually served it up with some Tzatziki sauce, which was also quite tasty.

The dish is very easy to prepare, comes together quickly and tastes wonderfully fresh with all of those chopped herbs. I thinks you can even feel somewhat virtuous about eating something which must be healthy. I mean, just look at all those herbs! If you want to just take it over the top healthy, to make up for all of that Easter candy you’ve been eating, serve it for brunch with a green salad. Healthy and delicious! Try it today!

Herbed Chickpea Frittata

recipe adapted from: Mess in the Kitchen

Ingredients:

  • 500 g canned chickpeas
  • 2 onions (chopped)
  • 4 garlic cloves (chopped)
  • 20 g cilantro
  • 2o g parsley
  • 60 g chives
  • 10 g dill
  • 1/2 tsp turmeric
  • two pinches saffron
  • 5 Tablespoons all-purpose flour
  • 1 pinch baking powder
  • 8 eggs
  • salt (about 1 tsp)
  • pepper to taste
  • 2 Tablespoons pine nuts, roasted
  • 1/2 Cup feta cheese, crumbled
  • tzatziki sauce for serving if desired

Directions:

Preheat the oven to 350°F (180°C).

Rinse Chickpeas and set aside.

Roast pine nuts until golden and set aside.

Chop all the herbs and put them in a food processor with eggs, onion, garlic and chickpeas.

Pulse until everything is well combined but not totally pureed.

Add the other ingredients and pulse.

Line a 9×13″ baking pan with parchment paper.

Pour the frittata batter into your pan. Sprinkle Feta Cheese evenly over the top.

Place fritatta on a baking sheet and insert it  into the oven. Bake it for about 30-40 minutes, or until a toothpick comes out clean.

Enjoy!


Banana Rum Muffins to celebrate my food blog’s 1st anniversary!

February 1, 2012

So wow! Today, February 1st marks not only Imbolc, St. Brigid’s Day and Groundhog Day ( I hope the little critter doesn’t see his shadow, not that we’ve had much of a winter thus far), but also one year of blogging about food for me. The first recipe I published was Cream Tea Scones with Currants, which are fantastic if you have yet to give them a try.

Cream Tea Scones with Currants

I really didn’t know at the time that I was starting an actual food blog. I was really just into those scones and wanted to share. This blog started for me almost 3 years ago when my husband & I were planning our wedding, which took place in Ireland.

Cloghan Castle Ireland - Wedding Venue

Yup...no surprizes, it was raining!

We really just used it to easily get our wedding plans as well as travel tips out to our guests who were going to travel to attend. But it seems that now it has evolved into an honest to goodness food blog. In this 1st  year that I’ve been blogging about food, I’ve learned how to do some canning and have some great jams to show for it.

Strawberry Balsamic Jam

Vanilla Bourbon Blackberry Jam

Blueberry Lemon & Chili Jam

Drunken Granny Apple Butter

I’ve not only come across some delicious recipes, but I’ve also learned quite a bit about food styling and photography, so that I’m able to show them off appropriately. (Please see Runcible Eat’s Galleries on Foodgawker and Tastespotting) Not to mention, I’ve had a lot of fun doing it. Thanks to everyone who stops by from time to time to see what I’m cooking! I’m definitely looking forward to year number 2! What can my readers look forward to seeing? I’m hoping to update my site with some fun bells and whistles, like a print button for recipes and the ability to search my published recipes. I will definitely once again be posting a submission for Nutella Day, which happens on February 5th.

Nutella & Banana Stuffed Peanut Butter Ebelskivers - last year's entry

In the days leading up to St. Patrick’s Day, I will once again be cooking up a bunch of great, Irish inspired recipes. Here are last year’s offerings. All of the recipes for the items below can be found in Runcible Eats/ Recipes.

Cheese & Onion Pie

Irish Soda Bread

Shepherd's Pie

Beef & Guinness Pie

Irish Brown Bread

Drunken Irish Brownies

Curry Chips

Deep-Fried Snickers Bar

Gaelic Boxty

Celtic Pork Tart

Chranachan with Irish Butter Shortbread

Irish Car Bomb Cupcakes

And I have some great new recipes in store for everyone. Some family favourites like Jewish Apple Cake and Smith Island Cake. I will definitely be trying out more of Peter Reinhart’s bread. Some Bacon Jam is in the works and I’m sure a few more chili recipes will make an appearance. Where is all of this blogging leading to? I’m not certain. Perhaps one day, someone might even ask me to do a cookbook. My husband wants me to open a bakery…I’m not sure I’m on board with that, but am happy to keep making delicious dishes for my family and friends.

In celebration of this milestone, I thought I’d make my all-time favourite muffin, Banana Rum Muffins. My Mom would always make these muffins around Christmas and I just couldn’t wait! And then it occurred to me…I don’t have to wait. I can have them anytime of the year that I want!

These muffins are very moist and the banana flavour is quite promenent. I hate getting a banana bread that tastes as if a banana might have, at some time, been waved somewhere in its vicinity. You won’t get that here. You’ll know its a banana muffin. And then there is the sauce. That buttery, dark rum laden, syrupy sauce. Oh joy! While the muffins are still hot and in the muffin tin, you pour in slowly all over them. I even use a butter knife to pull the edges slightly away from the pan, so that the rum sauce will run down the sides of the muffin and pool in the bottom of the muffin wells. Then you just allow the muffins to sit an soak it all in for a bit. Once the sauce cools, it gives the muffin a slightly crispy sugary rum glaze. Pure bliss! How perfect for a celebration. Especially when paired with a good old bottle of Veuve Clicquot! Happy 1 year Anniversary to Runcible Eats!

Banana Rum Muffins

yield: 24 muffins

recipe from: My Mom

Ingredients:

For the muffins:

  • 1 stick unsalted butter
  • 1 Cup sugar
  • 1 Cup mashed ripe bananas (about 3 medium bananas)
  • 2 eggs
  • 1 teaspoon vanilla
  • 2 Cups flour
  • 1 teaspoon baking soda
  • 1/2 teaspoon salt

For the Rum Sauce:

  • 1 stick unsalted butter
  • 1/2 Cup dark rum
  • 1 Cup sugar

Directions:

For the Muffins:

Pre heat oven to 350°F

In medium-sized bowl, combine the flour, baking soda and salt. Set aside.

Place butter and sugar in the bowl of a stand mixer. Cream butter and sugar until light and fluffy. Add mashed bananas, eggs and vanilla. Mix well.

Add dry ingredients to the butter/sugar mixture and mix until the batter just comes together. Do not over mix!

Pour batter into muffin pan and bake for 20 minutes. If you wish to bake the batter in a 4×8 loaf pan, bake for 60 minutes.

For the Rum Sauce:

Place butter, rum and sugar in medium-sized sauce pan over medium-high heat. Stir to combine.

Bring to boil for 5 minutes. Do not overcook.

Remove Banana Muffins from oven and set muffin pan on slightly larger cookie sheet. Pour Rum Sauce slowly over muffins just as they are removed from the oven. Let muffins stand for 5 minutes to soak up as much of the Rum Sauce as possible before removing them from the pan.

Enjoy!


Deviled Scotch Eggs

January 23, 2012

O thou! whatever title suit thee,–

Auld Hornie, Satan, Nick, or Clootie!
Wha in yon cavern, grim an’ sootie,
Clos’d under hatches, 
Spairges about the brunstane cootie
To scaud poor wretches!

*Spairges:to bespatter by flinging/Brunstane cootie:BrimstoneBowl

Robert Burns “Address to the Devil”

That’s Right! Robbie Burns Night is coming up soon. Traditionally, Burns Night celebrations are held near the poet’s birthday, January 25th. It was through a post about a Robbie Burns Night last year that I first learned about Scotch Eggs. Having never encountered one before, I nearly couldn’t go on until I made them. I think I instantly fell in love. Are you kidding me, a hard-boiled egg, enrobed in sausage, rolled in Panko and deep-fried?!! Be still my heart!

So this year I decided to step it up a bit and make Deviled Scotch Eggs. (Hence I thought an excerpt from the Burns poem “Address to the Devil” appropriate – if you haven’t read this poem before, it’s pretty amusing, if you can manage to get past his Scots dialect. I provided some translations.) Basically, I made the Deep Fried Scotch Eggs that I did last year, but then I cut them in half, took out the yolks, deviled them and stuck them back in and sprinkled them with paprika. I wanted to sprinkle them with bacon bits, but I didn’t have any on hand. Oh dear Lord! What has gotten into me? These Deviled Scotch Eggs are awesome.! I will say, if you’re feeling a bit more healthy, Edible Ireland has some awesome Oven Baked Scotch Eggs, you might want to check out. If you’re interested in the history and origins of the Eggs, check out my Scotch Eggs blog from last February. This year I served them along with a salad, fresh fruit, and of course, chips.

I mean I already had the deep-fryer fired up. How could I not throw a few potatoes in? I think I might just feel my arteries clogging as I type. But really folks, sometimes you just need to let go and enjoy some awesomely bad for you comfort food and my Deviled Scotch Eggs are just what you need! (if not what the doctor ordered :) )

Deviled Scotch Eggs

yield: 12 Deviled Scotch Eggs

Ingredients:

  • 1 1/2 lb. bulk sausage-we prefer “hot” but  country-style or herbed would work just fine.
  • 6 hard-boiled large eggs-shells removed
  • 1/2 Cup all-purpose flour
  • 2 raw eggs, beaten lightly
  • 1 Cup Panko
  • Peanut oil for deep-frying

For the Deviling Process:

  • 1/4 Cup Mayonnaise
  • 1 teaspoon Apple Cider Vinegar
  • 1 teaspoon Coleman’s English Mustard
  • 1/8 Teaspoon salt
  • dash of black pepper
  • paprika and crumbled bacon to garnish

Directions:

For the Scotch Eggs:

Heat peanut oil in a deep fryer to 365° F.

Cover counter top with large sheet of waxed paper.

Divide the sausage into six equal portions.

Flatten the sausage into thin circles.

Place an egg in the center of each round. Enclose each egg completely in the sausage.

Dredge the sausage-coated eggs in flour, dip them in the raw egg and then roll them in the Panko until they are entirely coated.

Fry Scotch Eggs two at a time for 10 minutes.

Transfer to paper towels and allow to cool to touch.

To Devil them:

Halve the Scotch Eggs lengthwise and remove the yolks.

Mash the yolks with a fork and then place them in the bowl of a stand mixer.

Add the mayonnaise, vinegar, mustard, salt and pepper and mix until smooth.

Using a pastry bag or sandwich bag with an end snipped off, pipe the yolk mixture back into the Scotch Eggs.

Garnish with paprika and bacon crumbles.

Enjoy!


Pumpkin Pie Ebelskivers filled with Vanilla Whipped Cream Cheese

November 10, 2011

Just in time for the decadent food-laden Thanksgiving Holiday, here you have a delicious recipe for Pumpkin Pie Ebelskivers filled with Vanilla Whipped Cream Cheese. “Ebelskivers?” you may ask. Ebelskivers are round pancakes which originated in Denmark and are perfect for breakfast, appetizers or snacks. You will of coarse need one special piece of equipment to make these goodies-namely the Ebelskiver Pan. My husband received one for his birthday a couple of years ago. The ebelskiver turners, long, carved wooden sticks, are great to have, but you could possibly get by with chopsticks, wooden skewers or even knitting needles in a pinch.

Ebelskivers are incredibly versatile. The batter can be savory or sweet and the sky is the limit as far as what you would like to stuff inside the little guys. I have made Nutella & Banana filled Peanut Butter Ebelskivers as well as Cadbury Egg Stuffed Easter Ebelskivers in the past. For Thanksgiving, I wanted to work pumpkin into the mix so I made a pumpkin / graham cracker batter (for those of you in Ireland and the UK you could substitute digestive biscuit crumbs for the graham cracker crumbs if graham crackers are difficult to come by) and decided to stuff each wonderful morsel with a dollop of vanilla whipped cream cheese.

But I wasn’t finished there. Oh no. Then I dusted confectioners’ sugar over the tops of these gorgeous stuffed pancakes. The results were wonderful, a sweet pumpkiny taste followed by the soft, creamy tangy cream cheese filling. Mmmmm….Perfection!

If you didn’t want to bother stuffing the ebelskivers with the cream cheese mixture, you could add a bit of superfine sugar to the cream cheese vanilla mixture and maybe thin it down a bit with some milk and then drizzle it over the top of the ebelskivers as a frosting. I dare say, maple syrup would also be quite tasty over these little gems. Surprize folks over the Thanksgiving holiday with this tasty treat!

Pumpkin Pie Ebelskivers filled with Vanilla Whipped Cream Cheese

Yield: 20 Ebelskivers

Ingredients:

For the pancakes:

  • 1/2 Cup ( 1 1/2 oz./45 g) Graham cracker crumbs
  • 1/4 Cup ( 1 1/2 oz/45 g) All-purpose flour
  • 1/4 Cup ( 2 oz/60 g) firmly packed light brown sugar
  • 1 Tablespoon pumpkin pie spice
  • 1/2 teaspoon baking powder
  • 1/4 teaspoon salt
  • 2 large eggs, separated
  • 1 can (14 oz/440g) sweetened condensed milk
  • 3 Tablespoons unsalted butter, melted  and slightly cooled
  • 1 can ( 15 oz/470g) pumpkin purée
  • Confectioners’ sugar for dusting

For the filling:

  • 1 Cup whipped cream cheese
  • 1 teaspoon vanilla extract

Directions:

Preheat the oven to 200°F (95°C).

In a large bowl, whisk together the graham cracker crumbs, flour, brown sugar, pumpkin pie spice, baking powder, and salt.

In a small bowl, lightly whisk the egg yolks, then whisk in the condensed milk and 2 tablespoons of the melted butter. Add the yolk mixture to the flour mixture and , using a wooden spoon, stir until well blended. The batter will be lumpy.

In a clean bowl, beat the egg whites until stiff, but not dry, peaks form. Fold the egg whites into the batter alternately with the pumpkin purée in 2 additions, just until well blended and no white streaks remain.

In a separate bowl, mix the whipped cream cheese and the vanilla extract together until well blended.

Brush the wells of the ebelskiver pan with some of the melted butter and place over medium heat. When the butter starts to bubble, add 1 tablespoons batter to each well.

Spoon about 1/2 teaspoon of cream cheese mixture into center of each ebelskiver.

Add 1 Tablespoon of the batter to each well, covering the dollop of cream cheese completely.

Cook until the bottoms of the pancakes are lightly browned and crisp, 3-5 minutes. Use 2 short wooden skewers to turn all the pancakes and cook until lightly browned on the other side, about 3 minutes longer.

Transfer the finished pancakes to a platter and keep warm in the oven while you repeat to make 2 more batches. Dust the warm ebelskivers with confectioners’ sugar and serve right away.

Recipe from “Ebelskivers” by Kevin Crafts


Follow

Get every new post delivered to your Inbox.

Join 4,235 other followers

%d bloggers like this: