Lemon Blueberry Sour Cream Muffins

by Michelle on July 16, 2014

Blueberries are in season in the Northeast and I have been buying them up at the farmers’ market with abandon. Last weekend I was at Lyman Orchards in Middlefield, CT for my cousin, Stefanie’s, baby shower, and their market was brimming with fresh berries. I wanted to make muffins with my bounty but hadn’t gotten around to perusing recipes, when Christie sent me a link from the blog The Foodess with the comment, “This recipe did not disappoint.” Um, you can say that again and add that this might be the best homemade blueberry muffin recipe I’ve ever tried!!!! Seriously, I was shocked at how good they were. Light, lemony, with just the right amount of sweetness. This is my new go-to blueberry muffin recipe people and it should be yours too!

Lemon Blueberry Sour Cream Muffins (from The Foodess)

2 cups flour

3/4 cup sugar

1 teaspoon baking soda

1 teaspoon baking powder

1/4 teaspoon salt

1 stick melted butter

1 1/4 cup sour cream

1 teaspoon vanilla extract

1 egg

2 teaspoons lemon zest

1/4 cup lemon juice

1 cup blueberries

Preheat oven to 375 degrees. Grease or line a 12-cup muffin tin; set aside. In a large bowl, whisk together flour, sugar, baking soda, baking powder and salt. In a separate bowl, stir together melted butter, sour cream, vanilla, egg, lemon zest and lemon juice. Add to dry ingredients and stir until just incorporated. Fold in blueberries. Spoon batter into prepared muffin tin. Bake for 18-22 minutes, until golden brown and tops spring back when lightly pressed.

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Grilled Pork Chops with Dijon and Coriander

by Michelle on June 17, 2014

I don’t make pork chops as often as I should, probably because I think they come out much better on the grill then in the oven. But we still have quite a few bone-in chops in our freezer from when we purchased an entire pig from a local farm, so I am trying to make them more often. This has become a much tastier task thanks to this recipe which I found in Real Simple’s June 2014 issue. The marinade couldn’t be more simple to prepare, and the technique of poking holes in the pork with a fork before putting it in the marinade really works. The meat is really flavorful and juicy.We grilled our entire dinner last night, adding sweet potatoes and zucchini as sides to the pork chops. An easy, delightful summer meal. Thanks Real Simple!

Grilled Pork Chops with Dijon and Coriander (adapted from Real Simple, June 2014)

3 tablespoons white wine vinegar

2 tablespoons whole-grain mustard

1/3 cup plus 1 tablespoon olive oil

4 bone-in pork loin chops (1 inch thick; about 2 1/2 pounds total)

1 teaspoon coriander seeds, crushed, or 1 teaspoon ground coriander

Whisk together the vinegar, mustard, and ⅓ cup of the olive oil in a small bowl. Pour the dressing into a large resealable plastic bag. Prick the pork chops all over with a fork and add to the marinade; turn to coat. Refrigerate for at least 1 hour and up to 12 hours.

Heat grill to medium. Once it is hot, clean the grill grate with a wire brush. Remove the pork chops from the marinade and pat dry. Season with the coriander and ½ teaspoon each salt and pepper. Grill until an instant-read thermometer inserted into the thickest chop (avoiding the bone) registers 145° F, 5 to 6 minutes per side.

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Chocolate Chip Cookie Bowls

by Michelle on June 13, 2014

Anyone who knows me knows that I love to throw parties. And my favorite part is planning the menu. (That’s why if Christie and I lived in the same state, we’d totally be in business together. She’d do decor, I would do food.) Summer soirees are always easier because I have the grill at my disposal (and a husband who doesn’t mind slaving over it.) Though I mainly stick to staples—good quality burgers and fixings, some sort of pasta salad, and a green salad loaded with yummy additions, I always try to serve at least one new thing—which I usually make at least once beforehand because it’s never a good idea to debut a dish for guests. We are having a party to kick off the summer later this month and I’ve been paging through recipes looking for inspiration. As I was perusing the Sur La Table catalog, I noticed these chocolate chip cookie bowls. Who wouldn’t want to go to a party where the dessert was ice cream sundaes served in cookie bowls?! I knew I needed to try this out immediately.

Thankfully a Sur La Table recently opened nearby, so last Friday, Charlie and I headed there to purchase Wilton’s Cookie Bowl Pan, which you need to make these bowls. You can also use it to make mini cakes. I figured I should probably try out the recipe and the actual sculpting of the bowls to see if it actually worked, and since it’s been pretty rainy all week, this was the perfect time to do so.

Though I have a chocolate chip cookie recipe that I swear by, the pan did come with recipes for various cookie bowls, so I thought I’d start there. Big mistake. The dough was dry and crumbly and nowhere near kneadable. Into the garbage it went and I got out the ingredients for the recipe I normally use. This worked much better, though I only got about 8 bowls per batch. They stretch out considerably, so next time I will use less dough per bowl. I wondered if this would be worth the effort for a large party, but after tasting the cookies with ice cream, I think it is. They’re really good and will be a total crowd pleaser. If you are having a barbecue or kids’ party this summer, consider putting these cookie bowls on the menu. I am planning on serving mine with different flavors of ice cream and toppings. I can hardly wait!

Chocolate Chip Cookie Bowls

Note: You will need to purchase the Wilton Cookie Bowl Pan, which I’ve linked to above. This recipe is adapted from the blog, Brown Eyed Baker, and is my go-to chocolate chip cookie recipe.

2 cups plus 2 tablespoons white whole wheat flour

1/2 teaspoon salt

1/2 teaspoon baking soda

12 tablespoons (1 1/2 sticks) unsalted butter, melted and cooled until warm

1 cup packed brown sugar

1/2 cup granulated sugar

1 large egg, plus 1 egg yolk

2 teaspoons vanilla extract

1 cup semisweet chocolate chips (I love Ghiradelli)

Preheat your oven to 35o degrees. Grease the cookie bowl pan with cooking spray. Whisk the flour, baking soda, and salt together in a medium bowl; set aside. Either by hand or with an electric mixer, mix the butter and sugars until thoroughly blended. Beat in the egg, yolk, and vanilla until combined. Add the dry ingredients and beat at low speed just until combined. Stir in the chips. Roll the dough out on a generously floured surface until it’s 1/4 inch thick. Break off small circles and drape them over each section of the pan, molding them to the sides. Bake for 10 minutes, or until lightly browned, and cool on a wire rack for 5 minutes. Gently lift the bowls off of the pan and let cool completely. Serve with ice cream.

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