We spent last Sunday preparing the house for the unwelcome arrival of Irma. We cleared off all three porches and basically turned our basement into an indoor patio - complete with lanterns, furniture, ferns and lawn chairs. (Thank goodness for unfinished basements!)
Since last Sunday morning was anything BUT peaceful and quiet, I've decided to make up for it this week with a special treat.
Blueberry muffins are one of my family's very favorite breakfast treats. I absolutely love how easy these are to put together and my family loves that I don't have to turn on the mixer OR the food processor to prepare them. Apparently they don't really appreciate waking up to the soothing sounds of my kitchen appliances. ;)
Lemon Blueberry Muffins
1 1/2 cups sugar
lemon zest from 2 lemons
2 1/2 cups flour
4 teaspoons baking powder
3/4 teaspoon salt
1 1/2 cups sour cream
7 Tablespoons butter, melted
1 1/2 cups frozen blueberries
Bake 20-25 minutes at 400.
These muffins were a huge hit. They were gobbled up almost immediately.
The second time that I made these muffins I got to the point in the recipe where I was ready to add the blueberries when I realized I had NO blueberries. Uuuggg. So my options were to (a) make a trip to the store in my pajamas, (b) scrap the whole idea of muffins and throw away the batter or (c) find something to substitute for the blueberries. I made a quick dig through the freezer and found a half bag of frozen raspberries. Eureka!! Lemon Raspberry Muffins for the win.
This summer we were lucky enough to take not one but TWO family vacations. Since Ryan interned this summer in North Carolina, I was super excited about having him (and his beautiful girlfriend) join us on vacation for a week at a time. Our trips were all about reconnecting with family, laughing til our bellys hurt, playing games til we couldn't possibly stay awake any longer and consuming lots and lots of really amazing food.
I wouldn't have changed a thing about our vacations and I have some great memories and pictures from both of them. Unfortunately, memories and pictures weren't the only things that I brought home this summer. All of those trips to the seafood restaurants by the shore, cocktails by the sea and late night trips to the ice cream store caught up with me in the form of a few extra pounds. Now that we're done traveling for the summer, it's time for me to get back on track with my healthy eating plan. Blackened halibut sandwiches to the rescue.
Blackened Halibut Sandwiches
1 teaspoon paprika
3/4 teaspoon pepper
1/4 teaspoon salt
4 (6 ounce) Halibut filets
1/4 cup mayonnaise
1 Tablespoon grainy mustard
1 Tablespoon ketchup
4 whole wheat buns
4 pickle slices
8 plum tomato slices
Top with pickle, tomato and filet.
Top with bun and enjoy!
My family absolutely gobbled up these yummy sandwiches. Even my child who really only eats fried fish - finished her entire sandwich. I bought frozen halibut filets and they were a little pricey but they were totally worth it. These sandwiches were AMAZING.
There are just as many definitions of "healthy" food as there are people in the world. For some, healthy is the absence of sugar or flour or butter or salt. For others, it's the presence of omega 3s. Some people define "healthy" by the numbers. Number of calories, fats, sodium, nutrients, etc. in the foods that they're eating. As for me, I define healthy by a combination of all of those things.
When I set out to create a "healthy" tea cake - I tried to keep all of those things in mind. I wanted to make a yummy little cake without white flour, sugar or butter. I wanted my cake to be low in fat so I used a combination of Greek yogurt and coconut oil to make it moist. I sweetened my cake with honey and because it's a natural, unrefined sweetener - even though it's still a form of sugar.
It took a couple of tries but the healthy little tea cakes that I ended up creating were DELICIOUS. Like - I took one bite and I could NOT stop eating them. I seriously could have eaten this entire batch of tea cakes - BY MYSELF. I loved the honey almond flavors. I'm pretty sure that no one would ever guess that these tea cakes were "healthy" unless you told them so.
Honey Almond Tea Cakes
3/4 cup almond flour/meal
1/4 cup coconut flour
1/2 teaspoon baking powder
1/4 teaspoon baking soda
a pinch of kosher salt
1/4 cup coconut oil (solid)
1/4 cup honey
1 large egg
2 tablespoons Greek yogurt
2 tablespoons almond or coconut milk
1 teaspoon vanilla extract
1/2 teaspoon almond extract
Spoon into 7 greased mini bundt pans.
Bake 20 minutes at 350.
This is my new favorite gluten free treat - by a long shot. Whether you're looking for a "healthy" treat or a just a delicious treat - these honey almond tea cakes are perfect.
While we were in Boston, perfecting our lobster catching techniques, we ate our lobster within hours of pulling it out of the traps and it was just amazing as you might think! Unfortunately, in Atlanta - we don't have that capability which is why this lobster bruschetta recipe is perfect for people like my brother who get tired of eating plain lobster AND for those of us who DON"T have endless amounts of lobsters at our fingertips. It doesn't take a huge amount of lobster to really set this bruschetta apart either so it's completely affordable for those of us who don't happen to have a boat docked in the Boston Harbor.
Lobster Roll Bruschetta
1/2 cup red wine vinegar
1 Tablespoon sugar
1/8 teaspoon red pepper
2 small shallots, peeled and cut into thin rings
8 ounces lobster meat (2 tails)
French Bread Baguette, split lengthwise
1/4 olive oil
2 large tomatoes, chopped
1 1/2 Tablespoons fresh lemon juice
1 Tablespoon chopped fresh parsley
1 Tablespoon chopped fresh basil
1/2 teaspoon salt
1/2 teaspoon peper
5 Tablespoons canola mayonnaise
Stir together lobster meat, oil, tomato, lemon juice, parsley, basil, salt and pepper.
Spread 1 1/2 Tablespoons mayonnaise on cut side of each bread. Top with lobster mixture and pickled shallot.
I love the thrill of pulling up a lobster trap anxious to see what treasures from the sea await. I even love putting on the bibs and gloves to retrieve the lobsters that had found their way into the trap. And mostly, I love cooking up the delicious crustaceans and eating until I cant possibly take in another bite. There is just nothing better than fresh lobster and even though I don't get to experience the trill of catching my own lobster often, I can still enjoy some lobster from time to time. I love this Lobster Bruschetta recipe because it's delicious and it reminds me of your fun trip to Boston last Fall.
Happy 4th of July!!!
Happy Birthday America!! It's a beautiful morning in Georgia and after all the rainy days we've had - I'm soaking in all of the sunshine that I can today. How about you? How are you celebrating the 4th of July? A cookout, floating around the pool, fireworks? With any luck - I'll manage to work in all 3 of those things into my day.
If your 4th of July celebration happens to include food - let me recommend this Fresh Fruit Tart. It is just about the most perfect summer sweet treat. It's the perfect combination of light and fruity and crunchy and tart.
Fresh Fruit Tart
1 1/3 cups flour
1/4 cup sugar
1/8 teaspoon salt
10 Tablespoons butter
2 Tablespoons water
1/3 cup white baking chips
1/4 cup heavy cream
1 teaspoon grated lime zest
juice from 2 limes
6 ounces marscarpone cheese
2 ripe peaches, cut into 24 1/4" slices
4 cups raspberries, blackberries and blueberries
1/3 cup apricot preserves
Fill in tart with remaining berries.
Dab over fruit using a pastry brush. Refrigerate tart 30 minutes.
Remove tart from pan and let sit 15 minutes before slicing into wedges.
We had one of these last week to celebrate Ben's birthday. It was such a treat. Honestly, when you live in a house full of cakes and cupcakes - any dessert OTHER than cake is a welcome treat. I thought it made a perfect birthday "sweet" and even though I forgot to take a picture - it looked even prettier with candles.
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