Thursday, December 31, 2009

Blueberry Heaven

I posted this on my other blog, but just had to put it up here as well.

Here's a recipe for THE MOST DELICIOUS BLUEBERRY MUFFINS EVER! I am not kidding. FABULOUS! I am confident that I will be gaining a couple pounds over the next few days because of the remaining 10 muffins that are in my kitchen. I made them for Braelyn and me, but she decided she didn't like the warm, fresh blueberries that were oozing with flavor and deliciousness, and I'm not sure I am willing to share with anybody I will be FORCED to eat the rest by myself. I feel convicted that these muffins cannot go to waste and are worth the extra pounds. Anyways, my dear friend, and former apartment tenant, Erica, gave me this cookbook, Cooking with Marie. Marie is the genius that put this blueberry muffin recipe in her cookbook. Enough gabbing...let's get to it:

2 cups flour (I used half white half wheat)
1 T baking powder
1/2 t salt
1 1/2 cups fresh or frozen blueberries
1 large egg
1 cup sugar
4 T unsalted butter, melted and cooled
1 cup sour cream (I think this is where the magic is)
2 T fat-free milk (cause we're watchin' our calories ;)

Preheat oven to 350. Grease 12-cup muffin pan with butter or cooking spary.

In a large bowl combine flour, baking powder, salt. Add blueberries and toss until coated.

In a separate bowl, whisk the egg. Add sugar, butter, sour cream and milk. Whisk until combined. Fold into dry ingredients. until just combined. Do not over mix.

Spoon into muffin cups. I filled mine pretty much to the top. Bake for 25-30 mins. Let cool for a second and then dive into blueberry heaven! Enjoy!
Happy New Year!

New Year's Hoppin' John and Skillet Cornbread

My mother is superstitious. She is a Christian but, she is superstitious. (Sorry Mom, its true!) I have been brainwashed all my life that if I don't eat black eyed peas on New Year's Day, the year will not go well...rather it will not be a 'good' year. I guess you could add even more horrible thoughts to just what might happen if you skip on even just one spoonful of black eyed peas on New Year's Day. So, just so you will not be caught without is my recipe from memory which I plan to make tomorrow if I manage to get out to the grocery store for black eyed peas......oh yeah, I have to don't I Mom?!

2 Tbsp olive oil
1 whole white diced onion
3-4 stalks chopped celery
fresh parsley
veggie bouillon or chicken bouillon
salt and pepper to taste
1-2 pounds fresh black eyed peas (plentiful in the grocery stores right now)

Saute the onions and celery in the oil until clear or tender. Add the bouillon to water per directions (better yet, use your own stock!) You want this to be like soup and not like stew. Bring to simmer (this may be about 10-12 cups of water with bouillon added) Once simmering, add peas and then cook on simmer for about an hour or so until peas are tender and flavors blend. Add the fresh minced parsley and, salt and pepper to taste towards the end of cook time.

Skillet Cornbread

Set oven to 450 degrees first.

Medium skillet
coconut or other high heat oil, including bacon drippings if you are a true Southern girl ;-)
3/4 cup fine to medium ground cornmeal
1 tsp salt
1 tsp baking soda
2 1/2 cups buttermilk (you can sour your own milk with lemon juice by adding 2-3 Tbsps lemon juice to 1 cup milk and let sit for 15 mins. to sour)

With ingredients ready, put oil in cold skillet and place in oven for 10 minutes. Mix cornmeal, salt, baking soda with whisk then, whisk in buttermilk. Immediately, pour into hot skillet. I put the hot skillet, with an oven gloved pair of hands, on the oven door, then pour in mix, then lift with both hands carefully back onto middle rack of oven. Bake for 15 minutes. Place on table on top of a trivet/hot pad. (tell little ones NOT TO TOUCH)

Serve Hoppin' John in bowls and the cornbread with butter along side. Yum! Thanks Mom! By the way, Mom is a lot of fun, so we forgive her superstitions. Happy New Year!

Wednesday, December 23, 2009

Bread and Butter Pudding

This recipe is from Earth to Table, Seasonal Recipes from an Organic Farm, by Jeff Crump.  It's a beautiful new cookbook that I picked up.  This is the first thing I've made from it, and it turned out fantastic.

This is the original recipe, which serves at least 12.  Definitely feel free to half it.

1/4 c dried currants
1/4 c dried cherries
(Note: I used a dried mix of raisins, cherries, cranberries and currants.)
16 cups cubed day-old bread, preferably real-butter croissants or brioche
(I used a big package of croissants from the HEB deli)
6 eggs
1 c sugar (I used white, but I bet brown would be tasty, or maple syrup)
3 c cream
1 tsp nutmeg
1 tsp vanilla
Grated zest and juice of 1 lemon and 1 orange
1/4 c chopped pecans, toasted
1/4 c maple syrup

 1. Preheat oven to 350.  Place dried fruit in a bowl and cover with hot water; set aside for between 10 minutes and one hour.
2.  Place bread cubes in a shallow baking dish (I used my largest skillet).
3.  In a bowl, whisk together eggs and sugar.  Stir in cream, nutmeg, vanilla, lemon zest, lemon juice, orange zest and orange juice.
4.  Drain dried fruit and sprinkle over bread cubes, along with pecans.  Pour in egg mixture, pushing bread down into the liquid.  Cover with foil.
5.  Place baking dish in a large roasting pan.  Place in oven and pour in enough hot water to come halfway up sides of dish.  Bake 45 minutes.  Remove foil and bake until golden and puffed, about 15 minutes.  Pour maple syrup over top.

Tuesday, December 22, 2009

Butternut Squash Pasta

Let's face it. I am busy. I am still working on two little boys Christmas stockings (the TWO sewing machines I own are cranky and I have been trying my luck and patience and minute skills to whip one of them into to shape to do some simple but sturdy applique'...again, note to self, start Christmas crafting much earlier next year) ...not to mention the laundry piles and our dishwasher is temporarily out of service so we are hand washing am not cooking as much as I would like to cook.

Boys eating pb&j as I type. I did toss in some french onion dip and carrots. Remember can always serve raw veggies and fruit when you are busy and all the time for that matter. Easy, easy.

This post may not follow blogging etiquette (is there such thing?) at all. At the least, this is not creative or my creation. I am going to link you to another website that I saw a bit on some variety show while I was getting dressed this morning. So go here to get this quick and healthy pasta dish for your table tonight. (The link says Pumpkin Squash Pasta but you could use any good sweet squash in the same family.) It is going on my table tonight. We love butternut squash but Mama needed a quick way to use it. You may already have all of these ingredients in your kitchen right now. Hope this helps during these last days before the birth celebration of our Saviour.

Merry Christmas!
Dinner addendum: I did realize while making this dish that we would want more. I made basic baked chicken breast with bone in (already thawed out in fridge) with olive oil, salt, pepper and poultry seasoning..cover and bake for 45 mins. on 400 degrees. Also, some whole okra sauteed in olive oil with Bragg's Sprinkle and sea salt.

Thursday, December 17, 2009


I wanted to make gingerbread men with my little men and I found this recipe in The Living Cookbook (which I love)! I'll put the recipe from the book and then tell you what I did.

2 1/2 cups whole wheat flour
1 1/2 t baking soda
1 t ginger
1/2 t cinnamon
1/2 t cloves
3/4 cup butter, softened
1/3 cup honey (I used real maple syrup b/c that's all I had)
1 egg
1/2 cup molasses
sesame seeds

Measure flour, baking soda, ginger, cinnamon and cloves onto wax paper. Beat butter, honey and egg in a large bowl with an electric mixer until light and fluffy. Add molasses, blending thoroughly. Stir in flour mixture. Shape dough between palms of hands, a level tablespoon at a time, into balls. Roll in sesame seeds. Bake at 350 for 8 minutes.

Cheryl's modification:
After mixing all of the ingredients together I rolled out a hand full of dough at a time on the wax paper and used our handy dandy gingerbread man cookie cutter to cut out little men. We also used a star at Jay's request. I put them on a cookie sheet and baked them for 8-10 minutes. They expand. So don't put them too close together. I think I put them about 3/4 inch apart and they were fine. let them cool or a minute or two and serve! They are a soft cookie and really yummy. The boys loved them. We didn't decorate them or even get a picture of them...they didn't last that long. Those cute little gingerbread didn't even stand a chance against my hungry people!

Sunday, December 6, 2009

Marie's Easy Slow Cooker Pot Roast

I don't know who Marie is but she makes one tasty pot roast! =) I put the roast in the marinade overnight and John was supposed to put it on to cook the next morning while I was at Traci's for G6 and W3 birthday party. Well, he forgot....
So it marinaded for 2 nights....maybe THAT was the secret! I used a chuck roast from Yonder Way Farm and it was fabulous! I'll stop gabbing on and on and just post the recipe so you can make it for your family! This is great weather for it! it is!

Marie's Easy Slow Cooker Pot Raost
  • 4 pounds chuck roast
  • salt and pepper to taste
  • 1 packet dry onion soup mix (I used Frontier brand organic b/c the other brands have MSG as a main ingredient and it's yucky! Check your local health food store, they can hook you up!)
  • 1 cup water (I used veggie broth - would have used beef but didn't have any)
  • 1/4 c Worcestershire sauce
  • 2 garlic cloves, minced
  • 3 carrots, chopped
  • 1 onion, chopped
  • 3 potatoes, peeled and cubed (I used a combo of sweet and red potatoes)
  • 1 stalk celery, chopped
  1. Take the chuck roast and season with salt and pepper to taste. Brown on all sides in a large skillet over high heat.
  2. Place in the slow cooker. Place carrots, onion, potatoes and celery on top. Combine soup mix, water/broth, Worcestershire sauce, and garlic in small bowl or measuring cup, mix well and pour over meat and veggies.
  3. Cover and put in refridgerator for a night or two. Cook on low setting for 8 to 10 hours. The meat falls off the bone! It's so yummy!