Saturday, August 15, 2009

Bright Raspberry Crumb Topped Muffins

I got 2 1/2 pints of fresh raspberries in my bountiful basket last week. I've been trying to come up with something to do with them before they went bad. Finally, I came across a raspberry muffin recipe that had some great potential. I did a bit of tweaking and they turned out pretty darn fabulous. They muffins are not overly sweet and the brightness of the berries perfectly highlighted, so very fresh tasting.

Bright Raspberry Crumb Topped Muffins

1/2 c. butter, softened
1/2 c. white sugar
1/4 c. brown sugar
1 egg
1/2 c. yogurt (I used a single serving of peach no-fat yogurt and it was perfect. I might try lemon next time.)
1/2 c. milk
1 tsp. vanilla

2 c. all-purpose flour
1/2 tsp. baking powder
1/2 tsp. baking soda
1/2 tsp. ground cinnamon
1/4 tsp. salt
1 1/2 c. fresh raspberries

Crumb Topping
1/4 c. all-purpose flour
1/4 c. quick-oats
3 TBS brown sugar
1/4 tsp. ground cinnamon
1/8 tsp. salt
3 TBS cold butter

1. In mixing bowl, cream butter and sugar until light and fluffy. Beat in egg.
2. In small bowl mix yogurt, milk, and vanilla.
3. Combine dry ingredients (except for Crumb Toppings).
4. Combine dry ingredients; stir into creamed mixture alternatively with wet mixture just until moistened. Gently fold in raspberries.
5. Fill greased or paper-lined muffin cups two-thirds full.
6. Combine crumb topping ingredients, cut in butter till mixture is crumbly. Sprinkle crumb topping over muffins.
7. Bake muffins at 400 degrees for 18-20 minutes or until muffins test done.
8. Remove from pan and cool on rack.


Fresh Salsa

My very favorite salsa has been and will always be my Aunt Jan's homemade salsa. It's summer time and I got a huge box of tomatoes a few weeks ago and summer tomatoes equal salsa in my book. Here's the fabulous recipe. Keep in mind that you can kick-up the heat as much as you want...the heat valve is the jalapeno.

Fresh Salsa
4-5 Roma tomatoes, diced
1-14.5oz can crushed tomatoes
1/2 of a jalapeno pepper (seeded and deveined)
1 whole onion, diced
cilantro, as desired and chopped
juice of 1 lime
2 cloves of fresh garlic
salt & pepper to taste

Add onions, garlic, and jalapeno to a food processor and chop finely. Add Roma tomatoes, can crushed tomatoes, pulse a few times to combine. Pour into a bowl. Squeeze in lime juice and toss in chopped cilantro. Mix and add salt and pepper to taste.

Makes about 40oz.

Tuesday, August 4, 2009

Dutch Oven - Breakfast Pizza & Carmel Pecan French Toast

I'm back! The past few months have been a little busy and it's been a struggle to find time to actually cook anything, take pictures of it, and then post about it. It's been all I can do just to find something to heat up from the freezer.
Anyways, I've got a few things stored up and will finally be posting them. First, I went camping this weekend and did some dutch oven cooking with my family. My mom and dad have always loved to dutch oven cook and so they've taught us all to appreciate a good meal cooked in cast iron over hot coals.
My contribution to the family dutch oven breakfast was "Breakfast Pizza". Here's the recipe:

Dutch Oven Breakfast Pizza

1 can crescent rolls
1 lb sausage; browned & drained
1 c. thawed frozen hash brons
1 green onion; sliced
3/4 c. shredded cheddar cheese
4 eggs; beaten
3 TBS milk
1 TBS flour/bisquick
1/2 tsp. salt
1 tsp. black pepper
3 TBS. parmesan cheese

Unroll the crescent rolls. Line the bottom of a 12" dutch oven with a layer of flattened crescent rolls. Sprinkle evenly with sausage, hash browns, green onion, and cheddar cheese. In a medium bowl whisk together eggs, milk, flour/bisquick, salt and pepper. Pour egg mixture evenly over top of pizza. Sprinkle with parmesan cheese.

Cover and bake using 8 briquettes on the bottom and 12 briquettes on the top for 20-30 minutes, until eggs are set.

  • I found that I actually used 1 1/2 cans crescent rolls in order to thoroughly cover the bottom of the dutch oven.
  • You really need to use name brand -- Pillsbury -- crescent rolls. I tried the recipe the first time with cheap generic crescent rolls and it totally bombed (just ask my dad).
  • I made two dutch ovens of pizza. The first was plain, just the recipe above. The second was a "mexican" style pizza. I added a can of green chilis and browned the sausage with taco seasoning. You could definitely add churizo and some red and yellow peppers and it would be great topped with cilantro or fresh salsa.
My brother and his adorable wife, Ellie, made Caramel Pecan French Toast. It was DELICIOUS. And here is their fabulous recipe:

Dutch Oven - Carmel Pecan French Toast

12" dutch oven-6 servings

3/4 cups butter
1 cup light brown sugar
1 cup chopped pecans
8 large eggs
1-1/2 cup milk
1 tsp vanilla extract
2 tsp cinnamon
1/2 loaf French bread, cut in 1" slices

Place slices of bread in large casserole bowl. Mix eggs, vanilla, milk, and cinnamon, beating well. Pour egg mixture over bread and allow it to soak in. Melt butter in dutch oven, stir in brown sugar and cook long enough for sugar to dissolve.

Add pecans covering bottom evenly. Place bread slices in dutch oven, pouring remaining egg mixture over bread.

8 coals on bottom/ 12 top coals. Cover and bake medium to medium-low heat for 30-40 minutes, adding top coals after 15 minutes. Bake until toast is firm and brown.

This is so good, no syrup is needed... enjoy.