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April 2010

Spiced Apple Walnut Muffins

Apple Muffins 2

Spiced Apple Walnut Muffins     Download Spiced Apple Walnut Muffins Recipe


2 large eggs, beaten

3/4 cup sugar

1 1/2 cups grated apple, about 2-3 medium

2 tablespoons orange juice

1 cup unbleached all purpose flour

½ cup whole wheat flour

2 teaspoons baking powder

1 teaspoon baking soda

1 1/2 teaspoons ground cinnamon

1/2 teaspoon freshly ground nutmeg  

1/8 teaspoon ground cloves  

1/2 teaspoon salt

5 tablespoons butter, melted and cooled about 5 minutes

1/2 cup toasted walnuts, chopped


1.    Adjust oven rack to center position and preheat to 400 degrees. Line a standard 12-muffin pan with papers and set aside.


2.    Whisk eggs and sugar together in a large bowl. Stir in grated apples and orange juice  and let stand for 10 minutes to allow apples to render their juices.


3.    Meanwhile, whisk together the dry ingredients in medium bowl and set aside.


4.    Stir in the melted butter and nuts into apple mixture. Fold in the flour mixture and stir just until blended – do not overmix.  Divide batter among 12 greased or lined muffin tins. Bake at 400 degrees for 14 to 16 minutes, until a toothpick comes out clean. Let cool for 2-3 minutes and then transfer to wire rack.

Apple Muffins baking

Best Flaky Biscuits with Bacon and Cracked Pepper

Bacon biscuits 1 

Best Flaky Biscuits with Bacon and Cracked Pepper

Download Best Flaky Biscuits with Bacon and Cracked Pepper Recipe


These biscuits are perfect for an indulgent weekend breakfast. Serve them with scrambled eggs, your favorite frittata, or make mini sandwiches with leftover ham and cheddar cheese. Saco powdered buttermilk works well in this recipe, but make sure that the water is ice cold when you add the melted butter. The tiny clumps of butter that form from the cold liquid ensure the flakiness of the biscuits – a handy tip from the folks at America’s Test Kitchen.


6 strips bacon, cut in half lengthwise and then crosswise into 1/4-inch pieces 

2 cups unbleached all-purpose flour (10 ounces) 

1 teaspoon coarsely ground black pepper  

2 teaspoons baking powder  

1/2 teaspoon baking soda  

1 teaspoon sugar  

3/4 teaspoon table salt  

1 cup buttermilk (cold) 

8 tablespoons unsalted butter , melted and cooled slightly (about 5 minutes), plus 2 tablespoons melted butter for brushing biscuits 



1.    Preheat oven to 475 degrees and adjust oven rack to middle position. Fry bacon in 10-inch non-stick skillet over medium heat until crisp, 5 to 7 minutes; transfer bacon to paper towel-lined plate and cool to room temperature.


2.    Whisk flour, pepper, baking powder, baking soda, sugar, cooled bacon, and salt in large bowl. Combine buttermilk and 8 tablespoons melted butter in medium bowl, stirring until butter forms small clumps.


3.    Add buttermilk mixture to dry ingredients and stir with rubber spatula until just incorporated and batter pulls away from sides of bowl. Spray a 1/4-cup dry measure lightly with cooking spray and then scoop level amount of batter and drop onto parchment-lined rimmed baking sheet (biscuits should measure about 2 1/4 inches in diameter and 1 1/4 inches high). Repeat with remaining batter, spacing biscuits about 1 1/2 inches apart. Bake until tops are golden brown and crisp, 12 to 14 minutes.


4.    Brush biscuit tops with remaining 2 tablespoons melted butter. Transfer to wire rack and let cool 5 minutes before serving.


 Bacon biscuits pan




Lemony Blueberry Buckle

Blueberry buckle slice

Lemony Blueberry Buckle    Download Blueberry Buckle Recipe


This old fashioned coffee cake can be made with any favorite fruit, including berries or thinly thiced apples, peaches, or pears. It’s a recipe that I’ve used since I first found it while thumbing through an old spiral bound Better Homes and Gardens cookbook back in the late 70’s!


For the Topping:


½ cup all-purpose flour

½ cup sugar

½ teaspoon ground cinnamon

1 teaspoon lemon zest

4 tablespoons unsalted butter, room temperature


For the Coffee cake:


2 cups all-purpose flour

2 ½ teaspoons baking powder

¼ teaspoon salt

½ cup unsalted butter, at room temperature

¾ cup sugar

1 egg

1 teaspoon lemon zest

1 teaspoon vanilla

½ cup milk

2 cups fresh or frozen blueberries


1.    Heat oven to 350 degrees. Butter a springform baking pan (or 9” round cake pan), and dust with flour, tapping out excess. Set aside.


2.    In a small bowl, combine the 1/2 cup flour, the 1/2 cup sugar, and cinnamon. Using a pastry blender, cut in butter until mixture resembles coarse crumbs; set aside


3.    In a medium bowl combine the 2 cups flour, baking powder, and salt; set aside.


4.    In the bowl of an electric mixer fitted with the paddle attachment, cream butter and sugar on medium speed until light and fluffy, about 3 minutes. Reduce mixer speed to low, and add egg, zest, and vanilla, beating until fully combined.


5.    Add reserved flour mixture in three parts, alternating with the milk, starting and ending with the flour mixture. Remove from mixer.


6.    Spoon batter into prepared pan. Sprinkle batter with blueberries.


7.    Sprinkle streusel topping over cake. Bake until cake tester comes out batter-free, 50-55 minutes. Transfer to a wire rack to cool for 10 minutes. Remove from pan; cool for 15 minutes before serving.

 Blueberry buckle batter 

Blueberry buckle berries
Blueberry buckle crumbs
Blueberry buckle baked

Here's an old Better Homes and Gardens cookbook -


Better homes and garden cookbook 

Better homes and garden cookbook open




Deviled Eggs


Deviled Eggs

Hint: To center the yolks, turn the carton of eggs on its side in the refrigerator the day before you plan to cook the eggs.

7 large eggs (cold)

3/4 teaspoon grainy mustard 

3 tablespoons mayonnaise 

1 1/2 teaspoons cider vinegar (or vinegar of your choice)

1/4 teaspoon Worcestershire sauce 

1/4 teaspoon sugar  

1/8 teaspoon table salt  

1/8 teaspoon ground black pepper

1 tablespoon of finely chopped chives 

1. Place eggs in medium saucepan, cover with 1 inch of water, and bring to boil over high heat. Remove pan from heat, cover, and let stand 12 minutes. Meanwhile, fill medium bowl with 1 quart water and 1 dozen ice cubes. Pour off water from saucepan and gently shake pan back and forth to crack shells. Transfer eggs to ice water with slotted spoon and let cool 5 minutes.

2. Peel eggs and slice in half lengthwise, discard 2 halves of the worst looking halves. Transfer yolks to fine-mesh sieve and use spatula to press them through sieve and into bowl. Add remaining ingredients, mashing mixture against sides of bowl until smooth.

3. Arrange whites on serving platter and fill with yolk mixture, mounding filling about 1/2 inch above whites. Sprinkle with chives or paprika. Serve immediately.

Moist Zucchini Pineapple Bread

Zucchini bead slices

My sister has been making zucchini bread for as long as I can remember – and it’s always been a favorite quick bread, especially in the summer. It’s a great way to use up overgrown zucchini from the garden. The pineapple adds some nice flavor and makes a nice alternative to raisins. I like to serve it sandwiched together with cream cheese and thinly sliced granny smith apples.

Download Zucchini bread recipe


2 cups all purpose flour

1 cup whole wheat flour

3 teaspoons cinnamon

1 teaspoon pumpkin spice (optional)

1 teaspoon baking powder

1 teaspoon baking soda

½ teaspoon salt

3 eggs

1 cup canola oil

1 cup sugar

½ cup brown sugar

1 teaspoon vanilla

1 tablespoon fresh lemon juice

1 teaspoon grated lemon peel

2 cups shredded zucchini (about 2 medium, grated with a box grater)

8 oz. can crushed pineapple, drained

1/2 cup toasted walnuts, chopped

1. Adjust oven rack to middle position and heat oven to 350 degrees. Grease 2 medium sized bread tins (8½"x4½" x 3")

2. In medium sized bowl, stir together flour, whole wheat flour, spices, powder, soda and salt; set aside.

3. In a large bowl, beat the eggs, oil, sugars, lemon juice, zest and vanilla with a wooden spoon until light and fluffy. Stir in zucchini and mix well.

4. Add flour mixture and stir to combine. Stir in pineapple and walnuts, and stir together gently. Pour batter into prepared pans. Bake at 350 for 50-60 hour or until toothpick comes out clean. Cool in pan 10 minutes and then turn onto wire racks to cool completely.


Zucchini bread loaves

Slow Cooker Sweet and Sour Baby Back Ribs

Baby back ribs 2

Slow Cooker Sweet and Sour Ribs


I’ve never really use a “crock pot” that often, but these ribs make it worth dragging it out of the basement. They literally fall of the bone and the sauce is the perfect combination of sweet and savory.  They are quick to throw together but take a few hours to cook, so start them early. America's Test Kitchen suggests standing the ribs in the crock. Simply halve each rack of ribs and stand the pieces up in a ring around the outside of the slow-cooker insert, where the heating coils are. Their technique results in perfectly cooked ribs with concentrated meaty flavor and even allows the ribs to brown a little right against the heat source.

Download Slow Cooker Sweet Sour Ribs Recipe


1 medium onion, chopped

1 red pepper, stemmed, seeded and chopped

6 garlic cloves, peeled and crushed

2 teaspoons fresh ginger, minced

2 tablespoons vegetable oil

2 tablespoons tomato paste

8 ounces apricot or peach jam

6 ounces frozen pineapple concentrate

1/4 cup plus 2 tablespoons soy sauce

1/4 cup dark brown sugar

¼ cup rice vinegar plus 1 tablespoon

1 teaspoon grated lime zest

1/4 teaspoon red pepper flakes (optional)

4 lbs baby back ribs (2 pieces)

salt and ground black pepper

1 tablespoon cornstarch

2 tablespoons fresh cilantro, chopped 



1. Place the onion, pepper, garlic, and ginger in a food processor and pulse until finely chopped, about 8 pulses.


2.  Heat the oil in a medium frying pan over medium-high heat. Add the vegetable mixture and tomato paste and cook, stirring occasionally, until it is softened and slightly brown, about 7 minutes.


3.  Stir in the jam, frozen juice, soy sauce, sugar, 1/4 cup vinegar, lime zest, and red pepper flakes.  Bring to a simmer and cook until thickened, about 5 minutes.


4.  Pat the ribs dry with paper towels and season with salt and pepper. Stand upright in the slow cooker, winding them around in a spiral, meaty side toward the wall of the cooker. Pour the sauce over the ribs.


5.  Cook on low for 4 to 5 hours until tender.


6.  Transfer the ribs to a cutting board, tent with foil and let rest for 20 minutes.


7.  Let the cooking liquid settle 5 minutes and pour off the fat. Strain through a fine-mesh sieve into a medium pot. Bring the sauce to a simmer and cook down until it measures about 1 ½ cups, about 5-10 minutes. Whisk the cornstarch and the remaining 2 tablespoons soy sauce together in a small bowl, then stir into pot. Cook until the sauce is glossy and thickened, about 2 minutes.



8.  Stir the remaining tablespoon of vinegar into the sauce and correct the seasoning. Slice the ribs between the bones and toss with the sauce.


9.  Serve on a platter garnished with cilantro. 



Baby back ribs pot