Donut Muffins

I was making muffins for a friend of mine and because they have kids, I thought I should do a kid-friendly version as well.  Luckily, also from my mom’s recipe collection, I saw a recipe for donut muffins and knew I had to make it.  These are made in a mini-muffin pan, which then makes the muffins similar in size to donut holes, which is a nice size to grab.  The nutmeg flavor is noticeable in these donut muffins.  It made 18 muffins for me.

I liked the recipe and would use it for kids very easily.  I don’t know that I would make it and bring into work, but they would be perfect to serve to some kids.

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Donut Muffins

1/4 c margarine, melted
1/2 c sugar
1/2-3/4 tsp nutmeg
1/2 c milk
1 c flour
1 tsp baking powder

Mix together margarine, sugar, nutmeg, and milk.  Mix together flour and baking powder and add to the wet batter.

Fill greased mini-muffin pans.  Bake at 375 degrees for 15-20 minutes.

Dip the muffins in 1/4 c melted margarine and then a mixture of 1/2 c sugar and 1 tsp cinnamon

Raspberry Lemon Muffins

I’m continuing to cook through some recipes I’ve written down from my mom and this light and spring-like recipe was calling my name as raspberries are in season.  I’m guessing this was a low-fat muffin recipe, with the addition of yogurt and oil.  The muffins stick to the paper liner a little bit, but the flavor of them was great.  I love a little lemon and raspberry combination.

Raspberry Lemon Muffins

Raspberry Lemon Muffins

1/2 c yogurt
3 Tbsp oil
1 Tbsp lemon juice
2 eggs
1/2 tsp lemon extract
1 1/2 c flour
3/4 c sugar
2 tsp baking powder
1/4 tsp salt
1 tsp lemon zest
1 c frozen raspberries (blueberries, peaches, strawberries)

Mix together yogurt, oil, lemon juice, eggs, lemon extract.  In a separate bowl, mix together flour, sugar, baking powder, salt, and lemon zest.  Mix these two bowls together until blended.  Add the berries.  Spoon into 12 muffin cups and sprinkle with 1 Tbsp sugar.  Bake at 400 degrees for 15-17 minutes.  Cool on rack and drizzle with icing, if desired.

Curried Vegetable Salad

We had a flag day potluck at work to celebrate the summer, which I love for a number of reasons, but also because flag day is my Grandma Freda’s birthday, and so any opportunity to celebrate on her birthday is fun.  I had planned to make a salad that’s been sitting in my list for awhile, but because I was leaving town a day or two afterwards and was trying to use up some of the items in my refrigerator, I went with this curried vegetable salad instead.  This is a recipe from the Minnesota Catholic Daughters Cookbook, which always has some fascinating recipes within it.  It had memories of the cashew coleslaw I made earlier this spring, which was highly enjoyed by some members of the family.

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Curried Vegetable Salad

2 1/2 c broccoli florets
2 1/2 c cauliflower florets
1 pkg dried cranberries
1/4 tsp minced garlic
1 1/2 tsp soy sauce
1/3 c mayonnaise
1/4 c oil
2 Tbsp + 2 tsp white vinegar
1 Tbsp brown sugar
1 1/2 tsp curry powder

Cut up fresh veggies, add cranberries.  Mix together garlic, soy sauce, mayonnaise, oil, vinegar, brown sugar, and curry powder.  Add to the veggie-cranberry mix and mix together.  Add 1/3 c toasted slivered almonds just before serving.

Strawberry Basil Ice Cream

As I have been attempting different ice creams in this summer of ice creams, I came across this different base and thought it might be worthy of trying out.  I’d give it, and the ice cream a “meh” in terms of my interest in it.  I didn’t find it to be overly creamy in nature.  I definitely plan to stick with the base from Jeni’s, because it has yet to fail me, but nonetheless, this ice cream seemed worth the try.  I found the recipe on the Southern Living website.  My lack of enthusiasm for the ice cream should not be taken overly seriously if you are a strawberry ice cream enthusiast.  I cannot recall a time when I have ever sought out strawberry ice cream from the grocery store or elsewhere, but since they are in season, I thought it was worth trying.

Strawberry Basil Ice Cream

Strawberry Basil Ice Cream

1 14 oz can sweetened condensed milk
1 5 oz can evaporated milk
1 ½ c whole milk
2 Tbsp sugar
1/8 tsp table salt
16 oz fresh strawberries, coarsely chopped
2 Tbsp fresh basil
2 Tbsp fresh lemon juice

Whisk together first 6 ingredients; cover and chill 2 hours.  Meanwhile, pulse strawberries, basil, and lemon juice in a food processor 5 or 6 times until finely chopped.  Stir strawberry mixture into chilled milk mixture.

Pour milk mixture into freezer container of a 1-quart electric ice cream maker and freeze according to manufacturer’s instructions.  Remove container with ice cream from ice cream maker and freeze for 30 minutes.  Transfer to an airtight container or loaf pan covered tightly with aluminum foil; freeze 3-4 hours or until firm.

Bacon Candied and Curried Cashews

I was looking for a way to put together some cashews and use some up that I had in my cabinet, when I came across this recipe in the Smoke and Pickles cookbook.  I’ve been doing a fair bit of cooking from that cookbook recently, so you can anticipate more recipes will come from there.

Besides my oven rack being a little warmer than I would like, these were easy to do (I made them on Sunday morning before church) and had a good bit of kick to them.  The cayenne pepper was a nice addition to the other flavors.  The bacon, pre-oven cooking was nice and candied, and the cashews have been great to snack on this week.  I’d recommend trying them if you are looking for something different to have when sitting on the patio, sipping your cold beverage after having taken care of some yardwork.

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Bacon Candied and Curried Cashews

6 slices applewood-smoked bacon, diced
2 Tbsp sugar
1 c cashews
2 tsp curry powder
1/4 tsp cayenne pepper
Pinch of salt and freshly ground black pepper

Preheat the oven to 350 degrees.

Heat a large skillet over medium heat.  Add the diced bacon and cook for 5 to 6 minutes, until most of the fat has rendered and the bacon has started to get crispy.  Drain off all but about a tablespoon of the bacon fat into a small bowl; reserve.

Add the sugar to the skillet and cook, stirring for 2 to 3 minutes, until it has coated the bacon and the bacon starts to look shiny.  Add the cashews, curry powder, cayenne, salt, and black pepper, and toss together to coat the nuts.  If they seem a little dry, add another teaspoon of bacon fat and toss to coat.

Spread the nuts out on a baking sheet lined with parchment paper.  Bake for 12 minutes, or until lightly toasted.  Let cool to room temperature. Store in an airtight container at room temperature for up to a week.

Roasted Chicken with Rhubarb and Tarragon

This rarely happens, but this is one of the recipes that I felt like turned out as nicely as the photo in the cookbook, so that makes my day, if nothing else!

I received the cookbook, Scandinavian Comfort Food from my sister and her family for my birthday last month and when I opened the cookbook, I opened it up to this recipe for roasted chicken with rhubarb and tarragon and immediately knew I was going to cook it.  And, with haste, because rhubarb was in season.  Literally, within four days of receiving the gift, I had made this chicken and it did not disappoint.

I had not previously done much cooking and not baking with rhubarb, to eat it in a way that was more savory and less sweets.  I enjoyed it so much and was glad to eat it throughout the week.  I couldn’t find fresh tarragon, so I used dried tarragon and chicken thighs, rather than a whole chicken.

Roasted Chicken with Rhubarb and Tarragon

Roasted Chicken with Rhubarb and Tarragon

1 organic or free-range chicken
2 shallots
3 garlic cloves, halved
10 tarragon sprigs
1 lb 2 oz rhubarb
1/2 c sugar
sea salt and freshly ground black pepper

Preheat the oven to 400 degrees.

Cut the chicken into 8 pieces, and the shallots into wedges.  Put the chicken pieces in an ovenproof dish with the shallot wedges, garlic, and tarragon.  Sprinkle with salt and pepper and roast in the oven for 30 minutes.

Meanwhile, cut the rhubarb into 3/4 in chunks and mix with the sugar in a bowl.  Take the chicken out after its 30 minutes of roasting and place the rhubarb around and under the chicken.  Put back in the oven and roast for another 20 minutes.  Check to see if the chicken is done and if not, roast 5-10 minutes more.

Braised Bacon Rice

Recently, I have been flipping through a few random cookbooks where I had recipes flagged.  One such cookbook was done by a Top Chef contestant and is called Smoke and Pickles.  It features an updated take on southern cooking, an area of cooking where I have not done much experimenting, but was eager to try.  I found this recipe for braised bacon rice, and while I didn’t see a photo in the cookbook of the recipe, it looked yummy.  I was also pleased because I had the opportunity to incorporate some more cayenne pepper into my cooking, something that this midwestern gal is sometimes apprehensive to do, to say the least.

I was delighted by this recipe.  It had great flavor and with the hint of spiciness at the end of the dish.  It was nice and creamy, almost comfort food-like, and in the heat of the summer, it was a great option for on the stovetop.

Braised Bacon Rice

Braised Bacon Rice

8 oz slab bacon, cut into 1/4 inch dice
1 1/2 c chopped onions
1 c chopped celery, plus 2 Tbsp chopped celery leaves
2 garlic cloves, minced
1/2 tsp dry mustard
1/4 tsp cayenne pepper
1/4 tsp smoked paprika
4 c chicken stock
1/2 c tomato juice
1 c long-grain rice
2 Tbsp unsalted butter
Salt and freshly ground pepper

Cook the bacon in a large pot over low heat until it has rendered most of its fat, about 5 minutes.  Add the onions, chopped celery, and the garlic and cook about 6 minutes, stirring constantly to avoid burning the bottom of the pan.

Add the mustard, cayenne, and paprika and stir, then add the chicken stock and tomato juice and bring to a boil.  Add the rice, stir, and lower the heat to a slow simmer.  Let the rice cook, uncovered, for about 16 minutes, or until most of the liquid has been absorbed.

Add the chopped celery leaves, butter, and salt and pepper to taste to the rice.  Turn off the heat and let the rice stand for a few minutes, stirring occasionally.  Serve hot.