Spring has arrived late here in Portland. The joke is that we are having June-uary weather rather than a typical Portland spring. The berries are late, everything is late. Not much happening in our garden. The peas are flowering but no pods. The greens and lettuces are small and scraggly. The only thing worth eating is the rhubarb. We froze a bunch and I made a crisp with what remained. Really need some vanilla ice cream.
Recipe found here.]]>
EDIT: For the time being you can find me over at FLICKR
My friend Kris teases me about my lemon fetish, but she doesn’t realize I hold blueberries in higher esteem, especially the smallish wild ones. A pancake without blueberries is kinda boring, but a muffin without blueberries is downright drab. I’m on the lookout for the perfect blueberry muffin recipe. I haven’t found it yet, but I did make a darn good muffin last weekend. Nice and moist. Be sure to add the salt, you need it to bring out the brightness of the berries and lemon zest. The recipe is based on one from Donna Hay’s Modern Classics Book 2. I also added streusel topping since I had some languishing in the freezer. Yum.
streusel topped blueberry muffins
2 cups all-purpose flour
2 teaspoons baking powder
1/3 teaspoon kosher salt
3/4 cups white sugar
1 cup sour cream
2 large eggs
1 teaspoon grated lemon zest
1/3 cup vegetable oil
1 1/4 cups fresh or frozen blueberries
streusel topping (recipe below)
Preheat the oven the oven to 350 degrees F. In a large bowl, whisk together flour, baking powder, and salt. In a medium bowl, whisk together sour cream, eggs, lemon zest, and oil. Whisk until smooth. Add the sour cream mixture to the flour mixture and stir until just combined. Do not over mix for fear of making tough muffins! Toss in the blueberries and stir in gently. Spoon mixture into muffin tin (makes 12 standard-size muffins) and fill until 2/3rds full. Generously sprinkle each muffin with streusel.
The original recipe recommends baking for 12 minutes. My batch took quiet a bit longer, closer to 18 minutes. Start with 12 minutes and add small amounts of time, as needed, until a skewer inserted into one of the muffins comes out clean.
This is more like a crisp topping than a traditional streusel. You can make as much or as little as you want or need. This recipe will make more than you need for the muffins. I usually make a big batch and freeze some for future use anyway. With a fork, mix together the following:
1 cup all purpose flour
1 cup brown sugar
1 cup chopped nuts (walnuts, pecans, filberts–whatever you prefer or have on hand)
1 cup oats (not the quick cooking type)
12 tablespoons (1 1/2 sticks) of unsalted butter, melted
1 teaspoon cinnamon
1/2 teaspoon nutmeg
1/4 teaspoon allspice
1/2 teaspoon kosher salt
The streusel should resemble coarse crumbs.]]>
Finally, a food post! Not only did I go to work today, but I also baked scones for a potluck brunch tomorrow morning . I’m starting to feel like myself again, stretching my wings a bit and finding time to putter about the kitchen. I feel good.
These scones evolved from a Nancy Silverton recipe for ginger cream scones. I don’t care for candied ginger and the aging box of cocoa nibs caught my eye when I surveyed the pantry, so I substituted them. I added the glaze to bring the meyer lemon flavor to the forefront.
bittersweet cream scones
makes about a dozen
2 ¼ cups unbleached all-purpose flour
⅓ cup white sugar
1 tablespoon baking powder
zest of 2 meyer lemons, grated
1 ½ sticks salted butter, cut in 1-inch slices
½ cup cocoa nibs
¾ cup heavy cream
1 cup confectioner’s sugar
juice of 1 to 2 meyer lemons
Preheat the oven to 400° F and place rack in the middle of the oven.
In the bowl of a food processor fitted with the steel blade, combine the flour, sugar, and baking powder, and pulse to blend. Add the lemon zest and butter, and pulse on and off untl the mixture is pale yellow and the consistency of fine meal.
Pour the mixture into a large bowl and stir in the cocao nibs. Make a well in the center and pour in the cream. Using one hand, draw in the dry ingredients, mixing until just combined.
Turn the dough out onto a lightly floured work surface and gently knead a few times to gather it into a ball. Pat the dough into a circle about 3/4 inch thick. Using a 2-inch round or square biscuit cutter, cut out the scones, cutting as closely together as possible. Gather the scraps, pat and press the pieces back together, and cut out the remaining dough. Place the scones 1 inch apart on a parchment-lined baking sheet.
Bake on the middle rack for 10 to 12 minutes, until the surface cracks and they are slightly browned.
Prepare the glaze while the scones are baking. Combine the powdered sugar and lemon juice in a small bowl. Stir until well combined, and set aside. When the scones come out of the oven brush them generously with the glaze and let cool.]]>
I made it through my first solo week and made my work deadline (okay, I was 3 days late)! And now, Paul has spring break –it sure is easier with two of us at home. We’ve cooked, cleaned a bit, watched a few movies, worked in the garden, read, napped, shopped, breakfasted out, and spent a lot of time playing with and snuggling Ossley-all good things. Other than being very tired I feel almost “normal.” I even tried on my pre-pregnancy jeans and found that they are too BIG. I can pull them right down over my bottom down to my ankles without unbuttoning or unzipping them and I am still a bit swollen from my c-section. Yes folks, I do believe I’ve come out of this side of pregnancy weighing less than I went in with. I can’t quantify this–I don’t weigh myself. I simply had no appetite during most of my pregnancy. Now I am ravenous. Before you say that you despise me, note that I am a long way from thin and I have a lovely, post-pregnancy, saggy, stretch-marked tummy. Definitely not pretty. Win some, lose some.
Ossley on the other hand is packing it on (see above). I call him cheeks! He is a sweet boy but he does let us know when all isn’t right. He loves to snuggle close, especially at night. See my flickr site for more photos.
On another note, I’m going to make an effort in the coming weeks to return to the original intent of this blog–food, cooking, gardening, and the like. For updates on the house, Ossley, and family life in general, check my flickr site. We are photo obsessed!]]>
Asle Asbjorn Albrigtsen
1898 - ?
Ossley’s great great uncle]]>
Ossley Woodruff Jolstead
Feb. 26, 2008 @ 7:06 a.m. via c-section
9 pounds 9 pounces, 20 1/2 inches (but today he measured 21 3/4″ inches)
For more photos go here.]]>
Anyone care to take a guess as to when wee one will arrive? Name a day and time. Let’s hope soon–I feel like poop. I’ll think up some sort of nifty price for the person who comes closest! “Official” due date is Feb. 23rd.]]>
Hanna was watching plump squirrels flit about our back garden. A good life for an old cat.]]>