Wednesday, April 25, 2012

Strawberry Lemon Ricotta Muffins...




Well, our move is quickly approaching. We've got our check-out date set, the movers scheduled, and hotels and flight booked.

Only about a month left to enjoy Hawaii before we leave for a most definitely cooler climate!

By the way, I'm still planning two birthday parties before we head out. Yes, you may call me certifiably crazy...... I give you my permission.

Before all of that, though, our family is headed to The Big Island on the Kona Coast. We just can't leave without getting some island hopping in. As you may know, we are leaving a year early, so we had planned to do this sometime next year.

Before we travel to The Big Island, I wanted to bake some muffins...... with lemon...... and strawberries...... some ricotta, too.

Even though they didn't rise as I would have liked, they are very tasty. To correct that I recommend increasing the baking soda in the recipe from 1/4 teaspoon, to 1/2 teaspoon. They're also a dense muffin... which I like, but if you want them lighter, only add one egg as opposed to two.

Now, I'm off to prepare for our trip. While I do that, you go ahead and whip up some of these muffins!

Strawberry Lemon Ricotta Muffins

  • 2 Cups Flour
  • 1/2 Teaspoon Baking Powder
  • 1/4 Teaspoon Baking Soda*
  • 1/2 Cup (1 Stick) Salted Butter, Softened
  • 3/4 Cup Sugar
  • 2 Whole Eggs, Room Temperature*
  • 1 Cup Light Ricotta Cheese, Room Temperature
  • 2 Lemons, Zested And Juiced
  • 1/2 Teaspoon Pure Vanilla Extract
  • 1/2 Cup Buttermilk, Room Temperature
  • 1 Pint Strawberries, Rinsed And Sliced
  • Garnish: White Sanding Sugar, Optional
Preheat the oven to 350 degrees (F).

In a medium bowl, combine the flour, powder, and soda. Set aside. In a large bowl, cream the butter and sugar together for 2 minutes. Add the eggs, one at a time, until just combined. Mix in the ricotta. Add the lemon zest, juice, and vanilla. Alternate the flour mixture and buttermilk, adding half of the flour mixture, all of the buttermilk, then the rest of the flour mixture. Fold in the strawberries.

Divide the batter evenly between two lined muffin pans. Add a little sanding sugar to the top of each unbaked muffin for extra sparkle and crunch. Bake for 18-20 minutes, or until a toothpick inserted into the muffins comes out clean. Makes 24 muffins.

* Up the baking soda to 1/2 teaspoon for a higher rising muffin.
* Use one egg, for a less dense muffin.

Enjoy!

Wednesday, April 18, 2012

Pasta with Goat Cheese

 


Here is a simple pasta dish that literally takes no time to whip up. The goat cheese gives it a nice creamy texture. To balance the tanginess of the goat cheese I thought I'd add some crispy pancetta.

I like it as a main dish, but can definitely serve as a side dish, without a doubt.

Being that we are super busy with our upcoming move, it's a given that I want my meals to come together easily.

Are you in a rush to get dinner on the table or just extremely busy? If so, this is the dish for you...

Pasta with Goat Cheese

  • 1 Pound Cellentani Pasta
  • 1 Teaspoon Olive Oil
  • 4 Oz. Pancetta, Diced
  • 8 Oz. Goat Cheese, Room Temperature
  • 1/2 Cup Hot Pasta Water
  • 1 Cup Frozen Peas, Defrosted
  • 1/4 Teaspoon Black Pepper, Or To Taste
  • 1/3 Cup Shredded Parmesan Cheese, Or To Taste 

Boil water in a large pot and cook the pasta for 8-10 minutes, or until al dente. In the meantime, heat the olive oil in a medium pan on medium/low heat. Dice the pancetta and add to the pan until crispy. Drain on a plate lined with paper towels.

Once the pasta is done, drain it, reserving 1/2 cup of the water. Return the pasta to the pot and add the water and goat cheese. Toss, coating well. Add the pancetta, peas, pepper, and parmesan cheese. Combine well. Makes 8 servings.

Enjoy!

This post is linked to Southern Sundays.

Tuesday, April 10, 2012

Spam Frittatas



Since we are leaving Hawaii, I though I'd share some recipes that have island inspired ingredients.

Spam, without a doubt, is a Hawaiian staple and is found in a lot of local foods. I happen to love the stuff. If you're not too keen on Spam, I totally recommend replacing it with ham.

These are so simple to put together, they are perfect for parties, especially brunches. I enjoy making individual portions by using muffin pans when I can, because it provides the perfect serving size for each guest.

They are also wonderful for storing in the refrigerator and reheating for a quick breakfast or after school snack for the kiddos.

I hope you'll find an excuse to make these... since they're so cute... and simple to make.......

....... Mother's Day (hint, hint).

Seriously, though, make them... they're pretty tasty!


Spam Frittatas

  • 1 Teaspoon Olive Oil
  • 1 Can (12 OZ.) Spam
  • 2 Sprigs Of Green Onion
  • 6 Whole Eggs
  • 1/2 Cup Whole Milk
  • 1/2 Teaspoon Sea Salt
  • 1/4 Teaspoon Black Pepper
  • 1/8 Teaspoon Garlic Powder
  • 2/3 Cup Shredded Cheddar Cheese
Preheat the oven to 375 degrees (F).

Begin by heating the olive oil on medium/low heat in a large non-stick skillet. Dice the Spam into very small cubes. Once the oil is heated, add the Spam and brown until lightly crisp, stirring often so not to burn. 

In the meantime, finely dice the green onion and set aside. In a large bowl, whisk the eggs, milk, salt, pepper, and garlic powder together until fluffy and well combined. 

Once the Spam is done, remove to a plate lined with paper towels to drain a bit. Spray one muffin pan with non-stick cooking spray. Divide the Spam and cheese evenly between the 12 muffin molds. Ladle the egg mixture over the spam and cheese, evenly. Top each frittata with green onion and bake for 22-24 minutes, or until the frittata puffs up and is set. Serve warm. Makes 12 frittatas. 

Enjoy!

Wednesday, April 4, 2012

Nutella Toffee Ice Cream...



As promised, I'm going to fill you in on where we are moving.

I wanted to come up with a recipe with ingredients that are grown in the state we are heading to. After some searching, I decided to go with hazelnuts......

...... and, what better ingredient to use than Nutella, a chocolate hazelnut spread and the star, hazelnuts themselves. Plus, I've been wanting to make ice cream... using whipping cream and sweetened condensed milk... for quite a while now.

So, without further  ado...




We are headed back to the Pac Nor West, to live in Oregon!

Needless to say, we are very excited since this puts us closer to family. We will, however, be exchanging almost year round sunshine for almost year round rain and cloudy skies. But, really, that's okay.

We'll always have our memories of Hawaii.

Since we are moving in a few months... a year earlier than planned, we haven't done everything we wanted to do here, so we plan on fitting in some last minute stuff.

Because of that, moving preparations, PTA duties, and my planning two birthday parties before we leave the island...... I will be very busy. Not to worry, I still plan on posting...... just not as frequently. I do, however, plan on getting in at least one post a week.

In the meantime, I hope you'll make this ice cream... it's fantastically easy...... and it tastes pretty good too!



Nutella Toffee Ice Cream

  • 1 Pint Heavy Whipping Cream
  • 1 Can (14 OZ.) Sweetened Condensed Milk
  • 1/2 Cup Nutella, Plus Some For Garnish
  • 1/3 Cup Chopped Hazelnuts, Plus Some For Garnish
  • 1/3 Cup Heath Toffee Bits 'O Brickle Toffee Bits, Plus Some For Garnish
Begin by chilling a large stainless steal or glass mixing bowl and your mixing beaters in the freezer for 10-15 minutes. 

Pour the whipping cream into the chilled bowl and beat on high with the chilled beaters for about 8 minutes, or until peaks begin to form. Slowly add the Nutella and beat into the whipped cream. Once the Nutella is incorporated, fold in the chopped hazelnuts and the toffee bits. Then slowly fold in the sweetened condensed milk. 

Pour the ice cream mixture into a freezer safe container. For the garnish, swirl dollops of Nutella on top and sprinkle some hazelnuts and toffee bits on the ice cream as well, then tightly seal. Freeze six hours or overnight. Makes 6 1/2 cups of ice cream.

Enjoy! 


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