The Best Berry Muffins You’ll Ever Eat

December 12, 2014 | by Deb Ng

This is another re-post of a recipe from March 2008, this time by THE Deborah Ng – my sister, partner (for a while), friend and mentor for Cookerati all of these years. She, like Buff also has moved on to various opportunities, and is a very busy person in the social media world. There wouldn’t be a Cookerati all of these years if she wasn’t around to answer my questions. I miss her here, but still… These are The Best Berry Muffins You’ll Ever Eat.  It’s hard to believe that 7 years of blogging has gone by.

 

berry muffins

The Best Berry Muffins You Will Ever Eat

 

My son and I make these muffins throughout the summer as soon as the strawberries are ripe. These muffins work well with any type of berries, though we like it with strawberries best. It has a buttery, vanilla flavor so you can bake them without any berries at all…but we recommend you toss some in the bowl! They’re easy to make and the house smells incredible while they’re baking.

Make enough for a double batch. Trust me, they’ll go quick

 

The Best Berry Muffins You'll Ever Eat
 
6 tablespoons butter ¾ cup sugar 2 eggs 2 cups flour 2 teaspoons baking powder ½ teaspoon salt ½ cup milk 2 teaspoons vanilla 1 quart fresh berries
Author:
Recipe type: Berry Muffin
Cuisine: American
Ingredients
  • Preheat the oven to 375 degrees.
  • Prepare muffin tin with non-stick spray or butter. In a large mixing bowl, cream the butter and sugar. Add the eggs and vanilla until well blended.
  • In a separate bowl, whisk together the flour, baking powder and salt.
  • Add the dry ingredients to the creamed mixture alternately with the milk and blend well.
  • Stir in the strawberries and divide the batter evenly among the twelve muffin tins.
  • Sprinkle the tops with a bit of additional sugar and bake for 30 minutes or until lightly golden brown and risen.
  • Cool for at least 10 minutes before removing from the pans.
Notes
If fresh berries are out of season, rinse frozen berries with cold water until it runs clear. Dry with towel carefully so as not to smush. Stir in the berries, but don't over stir.

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Split Pea Soup With Ham

December 7, 2014 | by Buff

This is a reprint from our very first recipe posted in 2007 by Buff (aka Thomas Tilert).  All of the other contributers including Buff have moved on to other ventures but we still value their recipes. No photo with this, but split pea soup is one of my absolute favorites, and if my mom has ham bones, I stick it in a zippered bag and freeze it to take it home with me. An interesting note – when we were kids, my dad used to open cans of pea soup for us to have – before he started making his own. The only way he could get us to eat it was to add hotdogs to the split pea soup which was our own version of a Split Pea Soup With Ham. This is Buff’s recipe:

Ingredients

Method

1. Put the oil, carrots, garlic, onions and celery in a large soup pot; cover and over medium heat, “sweat the onions” – about 5 minutes or so.

2. Add the rest of the ingredients and bring to a boil.

3. Reduce heat and simmer until pea soup is thick as fog.

Serve with hardy bread.

This recipe is easily halved, but I like to make a lot so that I can freeze or can the remainder so that I have it on hand.

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Food News – Truvia Baking Star Video Contest

October 14, 2014 | by Diana

I wanted to share this quickly. I’m trying out the Truvia Brown Sugar Blend. It’s a blend of brown sugar and truvia – reducing the number of calories in your baking without losing the sweetness. The important part of this post is that you have today to post a video using Truvia Brown Sugar Blend (and/or Truvia Baking Blend)  in your baking for their contest.  It’s not much time and to help you out – here is a link to the where to find page - I had difficulty finding the Truvia Brown Sugar Blend, but the Baking Blend was a little easier to find.  The finalists of this Video Baking Contest win a trip to NYC (along with a guest) to compete for the grand prize winner who will star in a professionally produced Truvia Baking Star video and the title of Truvia Baking Star.

If you don’t have time to get a video produced, you can still participate by watching and voting for your favorite video (and maybe finding a recipe you would like to use in your own kitchen).

Here’s the schedule:

I’m working on a recipe to try out myself, and I’ll share when it’s ready, though I don’t have a video. But I think one of our Cookerati Friends probably has what it takes, and should enter! Let me know if you do, and post a link in the comments so we can vote for you.

 

Slow Cooker Southwest Chicken

September 21, 2014 | by Diana

Red Gold Tomatoes sent me some of their tomatoes to try out, and also to ask me to promote a fantastic giveaway they are holding. I try to make my own sauces, but sometimes I resort to canned. As a full-time drive to the office worker (and chauffer to school events but they’re grown now), I love slow cooker meals for quick dinner prep and serving. Southwest chicken dinner can be served over rice, or if you like, put it into a taco and add cheese, salsa and sour cream.  This served us for more than one meal, the second day I put into a casserole dish with salsa and cheese over top and baked in the oven.

I used fresh corn and prepared (dried) beans, canned corn and beans may be substituted, but drain them first. I used a can of Red Gold Petite Diced Tomatoes with Green Chilies – a little bit of heat and flavor to the chicken. My chicken was boneless skinless thighs, but you can use a combination of thighs and breasts, the broth when cooked in the crockpot will add liquid to the dish. The can says hot, but with all of the other ingredients, you get a little heat, but not a huge amount of heat. Add some hot pepper flakes if you want more heat.

Look into the 2 a day giveaway by Red Gold on their Facebook Page – They’re giving away 2 slow cookers every day through October 8, 2014. Forty four crockpots in total.

Slow Cooker Southwest Chicken Over Rice - Cookerati.com Southwest Chicken Over Rice - Cookerati.com

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Tomato Cucumber Salad

July 8, 2014 | by Diana

Tomatoes and cucumbers are the staple of just about every summer kitchen. I had plans to do an elaborate salad for the holiday weekend, but when it came down to it, I went quick and easy with my tomato cucumber salad. As a non-mayo, vinegar based salad, it travels well and doesn’t go bad quickly on a hot summer day. If you don’t want to mess with a dressing, store bought will work just fine and save even more time.

Tomato Cucumber Salad - Cookerati.com

Tomato Cucumber Salad

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Tomato Caprese – Delicious and Beautiful

July 6, 2014 | by Diana

I’ve been making Tomato Caprese for years, and I see it served almost everywhere.  I’ve made it and seen versions of it done so different ways.  I placed it on a platter for a gathering, but we’ve had it chunky with mozzarella balls or small tomato pieces with small mozzarella pieces in a bowl or even mozzarella and basil stuffed cherry tomatoes.  No matter how you slice it or stack it, it’s just a perfect side dish to a meal.  It’s fast and easy and delicious.  It goes very quickly and no leftovers.  Not only that, but it’s such an easy recipe, that once someone sees it they copy it for their own gatherings because it’s both delicious and beautiful.

Tomato Caprese

Tomato Caprese

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Slow Cooker Smoked Turkey Red Beans and Rice

June 20, 2014 | by Diana

Today as part of the summer series round robin, Sheena from Hot Eats and Cool Reads is guest posting today – I like her idea of Slow Cooker Smoked Turkey Red Beans and Rice to keep the kitchen cool on a hot summer day.

Slow Cooker Smoked Turkey Red Beans and Rice

Hi everyone! I’m Sheena and I blog at Hot Eats and Cool Reads! I am so excited to share with you today here at Cookerati! I’ve been blogging for almost 3 years and absolutely love coming up with new recipes. I’m a single Mom to a 7 year old daughter and we live in Central, Minnesota! Besides recipes, you can find book reviews, restaurant reviews and product reviews over at the blog. I would love if you stopped by!

We all love slow cooker recipes, so I’m bringing you my recipe for Slow Cooker Smoked Turkey Red Beans and Rice! They have tons of flavor and are really good leftover for lunch the next day at work. I love the smokey flavor from the turkey and the beans taste amazing. I’m such a fan of the slow cooker in the summertime. No heating up the house using the stove! I hope you enjoy this recipe!

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Nonni’s THINaddictives

May 30, 2014 | by Diana

Nonni’s is a brand I know. They make biscotti – hard crunchy thick biscotti that you can dip into your coffee. When you dip it in, the biscotti gets really soft and mushy and melt into the coffee if you dunk too long. Actually, I love the meltiness, but not drinking it but that’s a different story. We’re going to talk about their THINaddictives today because I was sent a couple of boxes to try out.

The THINaddictives are 100 calorie packs of thin sliced cookies or biscuits. They aren’t biscotti though. These cookies don’t dissolve in your coffee like biscotti, they stay crunchy/chewy. I think that’s because of the juice used to flavor it. They’re packaged in 100 calorie packs, 6 – 3 packs to a box.

Thin Addictive Blueberry Oat       THINaddictiveBananaDark

I was sent both Blueberry Oat Almond Thins and Banana Dark Chocolate Almond Thins. I thought Banana Dark Chocolate would be the clear winner, but it turned out the opposite was true, while I enjoyed the Banana Dark Chocolate, the Blueberry Oat Almond surprised me with a  really good blueberry flavor.  My husband and daughter both tried the THINaddictives and agreed that they were tasty.  The ingredient list passes my inspection, with no high fructose corn syrup or artificial sugars.  There are banana chips in the banana and blueberries in the blueberry and of course real chocolate chips and almonds.

I think the best thing is that they are convenient and portable. I grabbed a pack right before my Mother’s Day run for a quick snack that wouldn’t make me sick if I ate right before a 5K. I also brought it to work, and it was easy to grab a snack in a small portion size. I’m not always a fan of pre-packaging, but it does keep you from eating the whole box in one sitting, which is a good thing because it would be easy to do.

If you’d like to try Nonni’s THINaddictives, enter the sweepstakes to win a free box on their facebook page. This contest ends on June 1st, so don’t wait.

 

 

Disclosure: I was given a box of Blueberry Oat Almond and a box of Banana Dark Chocolate Almond THINaddictives to try out. The opinions are my own.

 

Chicken stuffed with Asparagus and Herbed Garlic Chevre

April 18, 2014 | by Diana

Since it’s National Garlic Day on April 19th, I wanted to come up with a dinner that had some nice garlic flavor.  Originally I was going to make a salad with garlic chicken and asparagus, but while I was at the store other thoughts entered my mind and I went with it.  I grilled asparagus on a grill pan first, but maybe it doesn’t really need it.  We loved the whole meal and I will definitely do it again when my daughter’s home, she enjoys it when I come up with something delicious. Chicken stuffed with Asparagus and Herbed Garlic Chevre is something your family would enjoy too.

Chicken stuffed with Asparagus and Herbed Garlic Chevre Ingredients:

Dollop the Herbed Garlic Chevre on the flattened chicken breast and place 4 spears of asparagus on top.  Roll the chicken up around the asparagus.  Sprinkle with Parmesan Cheese, Salt, Garlic Pepper and Herbs. Place in glass pan, or casserole dish, and cover with aluminum foil.  Bake in the oven on 350 until Chicken is done.  About 10 minutes before it will be done take the aluminum foil off.

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Don’t forget the Jelly Beans.

April 18, 2014 | by Diana

Mike and Ike Jelly Beans - Cookerati.comJelly beans are a go to for the special Easter baskets. I like jelly beans, but only if they have flavor.  I don’t like the jelly beans that are bland and all taste the same, I want the different colors to taste like different flavors. Mike and Ike have flavored jelly beans that are pretty cool.  You can pick up different assortments, like fruit flavored, or tart, or even cinnamon – which I usually hate, but didn’t this time they were good too. I loved the assortments, and I also like that on the bag, there’s a guide to tell you which one you picked – like banana, pineapple, cherry, citrus punch, lemon lime. They also have a specialty box made with fruit juice (but it also contains sugar and corn syrup) – with a specially Mike and Ike shaped Easter Treats. So don’t forget the jelly beans, and pick up some that have flavor like Mike and Ike!

Disclosure: I was sent some jelly beans in order to do this review, the opinion presented and the photograph are my own.