Blueberry Muffins - Real Simple

Monday, July 29, 2013

Blueberry Muffins
Blueberry Muffins

Sometimes, I look for recipes based on ingredients I have sitting around.
Sometimes, I look for recipes based on the time I have to bake.
Sometimes, it's a little of both.

Blueberry Muffins
Sprouts Market had pints of blueberries on sale for 4 for $5 last week. I couldn't pass that up and grabbed a bunch. I had a meeting in the morning and came home exhausted the night that morning, I was looking for a muffin recipe that didn't use the Kitchenaid, had liquid ingredients and could use up some of my pretty blueberries.

Blueberry Muffins
This recipe is from the Real Simple website. It's a simple batter made with melted butter and milk as the main liquid ingredients. I think you should add some vanilla extract, but you can opt to go with the original recipe too.

Blueberry Muffins
Fresh blueberries are a perfect treat for the morning!

Sunday breakfast of plain greek yogurt, blueberry, museli and banana...Yum
This is what I did with some of the other muffins. I love having plain Greek yogurt, Bob's Red Mill Muesli and blueberries & bananas. Do you have a "go-to" breakfast meal?

Blueberry Muffins
Adapted from Real Simple

2 cups (280 grams) all-purpose flour
2 teaspoons baking powder
1/2 teaspoon kosher salt
3/4 cup (150 grams) granulated sugar
1/2 cup (1 stick) unsalted butter, melted and cooled a bit
1/2 cup whole milk (I always have some individual shelf stable one-cup milk cartons around)
2 large eggs
2 teaspooons vanilla extract (the original recipe didn't have vanilla but I like to add a bit of vanilla to almost all my muffins)
1 1/2 cups blueberries (I used fresh blueberries but you can use frozen too)
2 tablespoons turbinado sugar ("Sugar in the Raw") or sanding sugar

1. Preheat oven to 375° F. Line 12 muffin cups with paper liners or spray with non-stick baking spray.
2. In a large bowl, whisk together flour, baking powder, and salt.
3. In a medium bowl, whisk together the granulated sugar, butter, milk, vanilla and eggs.
4. Add the liquid to the dry ingredients and fold together, but don't overmix. Fold in the blueberries.
5. Use an ice cream scoop to divide scoop batter into muffin cups. Sprinkle tops with turbinado sugar or sanding sugar.
6. Bake until a toothpick inserted in the center of a muffin comes out clean, 20 to 23 minutes. Let cool in the pan for 5 minutes, then transfer to a wire rack to cool - or eat warm!
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Intersections as American Life: the Smithsonian Asian-Latino Festival 2013 - Mochi & Tamales

Monday, July 22, 2013

Intersections as American Life  The Smithsonian Asian Latino Festival 2013_a

Hey, I'm happy to say that I have a guest post in the Smithsonian Asian Pacific American Center's blog today!

Here is the post:

Intersections as American Life: the Smithsonian Asian-Latino Festival 2013 is a unique collaboration between the Smithsonian Asian Pacific American Center and the Smithsonian Latino Center. The program will have a panel discussion on July 24th in Washington DC (live event is sold out, but you can watch the live stream), “pop-up” galleries featuring the work of celebrated artists who explore Asian-Latino intersections; and a two day symposium that will incite a creative convening of scholars, artists, writers, and organizers to discuss the future directions of Asian American and Latino studies.

My post is titled: Mochi and Tamales in Los Angeles. It explores my family's Japanese mochi making as well as the many Latino food fusions you can find in my Japanese American family and Buddhist Church festivals. Tamales with Chili...the best of many cultures.

Thanks Smithsonian for the feature! - mary
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Peanut Butter & Jelly Muffins from The Recipe Girl Cookbook

Peanut Butter & Jelly Muffins - Recipe Girl
Peanut Butter & Jelly Muffins

Happy Monday Morning to you! I hope you had a great weekend. Here is something to make to fill your morning with delight...Recipe Girl's Peanut Butter & Jelly Muffins!

Peanut Butter & Jelly Muffins
The muffin is easy to make - mixing dry and wet ingredients with lots of peanut butter. I used Skippy PB. The dough is pretty thick so it makes it easy to scoop into the muffin tins.

Peanut Butter & Jelly Muffins
This makes a little sandwich with your favorite jam in the center. Scoop a small amount of batter into the mold and then top with jam. Follow it up with another scoop of batter. I topped mine with some sanding sugar...that always gives muffins a nice top and sweet crunch.

Peanut Butter & Jelly Muffins - Recipe Girl
Have you picked up Lori Lange's book? She is a great school teacher turned blogger who was in San Diego but just moved to Nevada. I met her at the first BlogHer Food conference in 2009!

Peanut Butter & Jelly Muffins - Recipe Girl
Try these tasty treats - they are perfect for breakfast or an afterschool snack. You know you can eat peanut butter all day long!

Peanut Butter & Jelly Muffins - Recipe Girl

Recipe: Peanut Butter & Jelly Muffins
From The Recipe Girl Cookbook
Find it in your library or on Amazon

Two Peas and their Pod has the recipe posted on her site here
The only difference I made was sprinkling some sanding sugar on top of the muffin before they went into the oven.

Get the book! It has some great savory and sweet recipes with easy to follow instructions.
Disclosure: I'm part of the Amazon Affiliate program and get a few cents if you purchase the book from the link above.

Peanut Butter & Jelly Muffins - Recipe Girl
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Mitsuwa Market's Kyushu and Okinawa Food Fair - This Weekend!

Friday, July 19, 2013

Southern California Friends!

Mitsuwa Japanese Market's Kyushu & Okinawa Food Fair is this weekend in Torrance, Costa Mesa and San Diego (7/18-7/21). More info here

Here are some photos I received from Mitsuwa to give you a sneak preview of what you can get. 

Hakata Nagahama Ramen of Tanaka Shoten (Tokyo) will have a pop-up ramen stall at the Torrance Store only.

Beni Imo (that cool purple sweet yam) balls rolled in sesame seeds.

Since it has Okinawan food, there will be lots of fresh, hot Okinawan Dango (donuts) and other food for sale. I'm looking forward to ending my meal with Blue Seal Beni Imo soft serve ice cream! 

Check out the flyer. I'm going to take my folks today (100% Okinawan!) and will be posting photos to Instagram (@foodlibrarian)

Disclosure: I don't work for nor get any compensation from Mitsuwa. I just like their food fairs! Photos from Mitsuwa.

P.S. If you are in San Diego and at Comic Con, please stop shop at my friend's JustJenn Design's booth in Small Press N10
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Banana Muffins with Oatmeal Streusel Topping

Monday, July 15, 2013

Banana Muffins with Oatmeal Streusel Topping
Banana Muffins with Oatmeal Streusel Topping

You know the sad bananas you have on the counter? I have a home for them!

Banana Streusel Muffins
These muffin have 1 1/2 cups of mashed bananas so it is very banana-y. The muffins don't have any dairy, but the topping has a little butter (you can sub margarine if you want to make it dairy free).

Banana Muffins
I used about 3 1/2 medium bananas, and mashed them with a fork to yield 1 1/2 cups of mashed bananas. It's easy to make with a simple combination of wet and dry ingredients. The brown sugar gets incorporate in the wet ingredients so it can dissolve a bit with the egg and oil.

Banana Streusel Muffins
These are good both warm from the oven and later in the morning.

Banana Streusel Muffins
It's a portable banana bread!!

Banana Streusel Muffins
With a topping that includes oats, put this in the "you can convince yourself it's kinda healthy" category! :)

Banana Muffins with Oatmeal Streusel Topping

1/2 cup (50 grams) light or brown sugar
1/4 cup old fashioned oats
2 Tablespoons (18 grams) all-purpose flour
1/4 teaspoon cinnamon
1 1/2 Tablespoons butter

Batter - Dry ingredients:
1 1/2 cups (210 grams) all-purpose flour
1 teaspoon baking soda
1 teaspoon baking powder
1/2 teaspoon kosher salt
1/4 teaspoon cinnamon

Batter - Wet ingredients:
1 1/2 cups mashed bananas (about 3-4 bananas)
3/4 cup (150 grams) light or dark brown sugar
1 egg
1/3 cup canola oil

1. Prepare 12 muffin tins with paper liners or with butter/flour.
2. Preheat oven to 350 degrees.
3. Mix all the ingredients together (except butter) in a small bowl. Add the butter and use your fingers to make small crumb. Set aside.
4. Mix the dry ingredients of the muffins together in a large bowl.
5. Mix together the wet ingredients with a fork or whisk until combined.
6. Mix the wet batter with the dry ingredients quickly and with a few strokes. Don't overmix.
7. Scoop batter into muffin tin. Fill 3/4 full. Spread topping on each muffin.
8. Bake in middle of the oven for 20-25 minutes (depending on your oven - mine took 23 minutes) until a toothpick inserted in the center comes out clean.
9. Let the muffins sit for 5 minutes and then carefully remove to wire rack to fully cool...or eat them a little warm!
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Nectarine Streusel Coffee Cake - Williams Sonoma

Saturday, July 6, 2013

Nectarine Streusel Coffee Cake
Nectarine Streusel Coffee Cake

The best part of summer has got to be stone fruit! Yippee. There is nothing better to bring to a morning meeting than a treat with stone fruit, cake, and topping of streusel.

Nectarine Streusel Coffee Cake
This has a light cake and a really good streusel topping. The original recipe from the Williams-Sonoma website uses peaches, but I used nectarines instead. My neighbor's plum tree hangs over the yard and I think I might make one with plums next.

Ken's mango flavored nectarines are here! Love these. #happyplace #farmersmarket
I LOVE these nectarines...they have a slight mango flavor. So delicious! I got these from Ken's Produce - he's at several Los Angeles Farmer's Markets (I know he's at Torrance, Palos Verdes, Hollywood).

I cut an "X" on the bottom of the nectarines and blanched them for 20 seconds so the skins came off easily.

Nectarine Streusel Coffee Cake
The cake is really easy to make. It has a streusel topping that you blend together with your fingers or a pastry blender. It's been so hot in Los Angeles lately that I put it in the freezer while I assembled the rest of the cake. I blanched and peeled the nectarines and cut them into thin slices.

Do you make a parchment sling in your pan? I used a 9 x 9 pan and fit in two pieces of parchment. It makes it easier to pull out the whole cake onto a cutting board to slice and serve.

Another day, another meeting. Nectarine coffee cake... recipe on blog next week.
My Instagram photo of the treats brought to a meeting at work. Another day, another meeting. I love these quarter-sheet pans with lids (purchased at my local restaurant supply store).

Nectarine Streusel Coffee Cake
It's summer. It's time for a tasty treat using some stone fruit!

Nectarine Streusel Coffee Cake
Adapted from Williams Sonoma's Peach Streusel Coffee Cake and they adapted it from Williams-Sonoma Collection Series, Muffins, by Beth Hensperger (2003).

3/4 cup (105 grams) all-purpose flour
1/3 cup (65 grams)  firmly packed light brown sugar
1/4 cup (50 grams) granulated sugar
1 tsp. ground cinnamon
6 Tbs. (3/4 stick) cold unsalted butter, cut into small pieces

1 1/2 cups (210 grams) all-purpose flour
3/4 cup (150 grams) granulated sugar
2 tsp. baking powder
1/2 tsp. salt
1 egg, at room temperature
4 Tbs. (1/2 stick) unsalted butter, melted
1/2 cup milk (I used whole milk)
1 1/2 tsp. vanilla extract
Original recipe has 1 tsp. almond extract, but I did not include it
2 firm, ripe nectarines or peaches (about 1 lb. total) peeled, pitted and sliced 1/2 inch thick (original recipe calls for 1 inch thick but I like thinner slices and I used 2 1/2 nectarines)

1. Preheat an oven to 350°F. Line a 9 x 9 baking pan with parchment paper. (The original recipe calls for a  9-inch round springform pan.)

2. Make the streusel:  In a medium bowl, mix together the flour, brown and granulated sugars and cinnamon. Add the butter and, using a pastry blender or your fingers, cut or rub in the butter until coarse crumbs form. Place in refrigerator or freezer while assembling the rest of the cake.

3. Prepare the fruit: Peel, pit and slice the fruit.

4. Make the cake: Mix together flour, granulated sugar, baking powder and salt and set aside. In another bowl, using an electric mixer on medium speed or a wire whisk, beat the egg, melted butter, milk, vanilla and (almond extract, if using) until creamy, about 1 minute. (The recipe calls for "until creamy" but I beat the heck out of the mixture with a wire whisk and never got a "creamy" consistency.) Add to the flour mixture and beat just until evenly moistened. There should be no lumps or dry spots. Do not overmix.

5. Spread batter into the prepared pan and spread evenly using an offset spatula. If using a springform pan, arrange the peach slices in concentric circles from the pan sides to the center. If using a square pan, arrange the slices in rows. Gently press the slices into the batter. Sprinkle evenly with the streusel.

6. Bake until the topping is golden brown and a toothpick inserted into the center of the cake comes out clean, 40 to 45 minutes. Transfer the pan to a wire rack and let cool for 20 minutes. Can be served warm or at room temperature.
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Lemon Blossom Cupcakes from Georgetown Cupcake Cookbook

Monday, July 1, 2013

Lemon Blossom Cupcakes from Georgetown Bakery Cookbook
Lemon Blossom Cupcakes from Georgetown Bakery Cookbook

Libraries are so rad. Ok, I'm a little biased...but I am like many and check out lots of cookbooks from the library (cookbooks are one of the most popular non-fiction circulated titles in public libraries). Recently, I picked up The Cupcake Diaries: Recipes and Memories from the Sisters of Georgetown Cupcake by Katherine Kallinis Berman and Sophie Kallinis LaMontagne.

I've been to Georgetown Cupcake in 2009, and the cupcakes were very pretty. My friend Rosie came over and we made the Lemon Blossom Cupcakes.

Lemon Blossom Cupcakes from Georgetown Bakery Cookbook
Lemon Blossom Cupcakes from Georgetown Bakery Cookbook
Rosie, who recently graduated from Johnson and Wales with Bachelors of Science in Baking and Pastry Arts and Foodservice Management (Yay Rosie!!), made a few gum paste flowers. We put a little candy pearl inside the flower. Doesn't it look wonderful on my Whitney Smith pottery?

Lemon Blossom Cupcakes from Georgetown Bakery Cookbook
We had some issues with the measurements though. The recipe says it makes 12 cupcakes. Since I needed more for a work thing, we doubled the recipe - thinking we'll get 24 cupcakes. However, we got 36 cupcakes plus a 6-cup Bundt cake! So...we think the yield in the cookbook is slightly off or they are making huge cupcakes. I think the basic recipe can get you 20-24 cupcakes, not the 12 cupcakes listed.

Lemon Blossom Cupcakes from Georgetown Bakery Cookbook
Also, the recipe says to use 1/2 CUP lemon zest from 2-3 lemons. I used 4 organic lemons and got only 1/4 of a cup when using the microplane. Do they have really big lemons on the East Coast or am I missing something? Since the recipe called for 1/2 CUP zest in both the batter and the frosting, I zested all the lemons I had (about 6) and used all the zest I got out of them.

Lemon Blossom Cupcakes from Georgetown Bakery Cookbook
I made my first Instagram Video! It shows Rosie frosting the cupcake (with Macklemore playing in the background). Find it here. The frosting was was a combo of butter, cream cheese, powdered sugar and lemon zest!

Lemon Blossom Cupcakes from Georgetown Bakery Cookbook
Thanks to my UCLA college roommate, Agnes for these adorable little cupcake stands. They are making their debut on the blog! :) Also, congrats to the UCLA Baseball team that recently won our first College World Series championship. Woooo hoooo! That gives UCLA 109 NCAA Championships...the most of any college. #GoBruins

Lemon Blossom Cupcakes
From: The Cupcake Diaries: Recipes and Memories from the Sisters of Georgetown Cupcake by Katherine Kallinis Berman and Sophie Kallinis LaMontagne
2 1/2 cups all-purpose flour
2 1/2 tsp baking powder
1/4 tsp kosher salt
1 stick/8 Tablespoons unsalted butter, room temperature
1 3/4 cups sugar
2 eggs, room temperature
2 1/4 tsp vanilla extract
1 1/4 cups whole milk, room temperature
1/2 cup fresh lemon juice
1/2 cup freshly graded lemon zest (2-3 lemons) - this is what is listed in the recipe...I didn't get close to this amount from four lemons.
For the Lemon Cream-Cheese Frosting
4 Tablespoons unsalted butter, room temperature (1/2 stick)
6 oz cream cheese, room temperature
4 cup powdered sugar, sifted
1/2 tsp vanilla extract
1/2 cup freshly graded lemon zest (2-3 lemons) - again, they must have crazy big lemons in Washington DC! :)

1. Preheat oven to 350 degrees. Line a standard cupcakes pan with 12 paper baking cups.
2. Sift together flour, baking powder, and salt on a sheet  of wax paper and set aside.
3a. Measure out the sugar in a small bowl. Add the zest and rub together with your fingers to release the lemon's oil.
3. In the bowl of a stand mixer or in a bowl with a handheld electric mixer, cream together the butter and lemony sugar for 3-5 minutes, or until light and fluffy. Add the eggs one at a time, mixing slowly after each addition.
4. Add the vanilla to the milk in a large liquid measuring cup.
5. Add 1/3 of the dry ingredients followed by 1/3 of the milk, and mix thoroughly. Repeat. Stop to scrape down the bowl as needed. Add the last third of dry ingredients followed by the last third of milk. Mix slowly until just incorporated. Add lemon juice, and mix at low speed.
6. Scoop the batter into the cupcake pas using a slandered size ice cream scoop until the cups are 2/3 full, and bake for 16-18 minutes (start checking at 15 minutes) , or until a toothpick comes out clean. Transfer the pan to a wire rack to cool completely.

1. Combine the ingredients in a mixture and whip together at high speed until light and airy, approximately 3-5 minutes.
2. Frost cupcakes. We used a large tip. See my instagram video:

Disclosure: I'm in the Amazon Affiliate program and get a small percent if you purchase something by following this link. (You don't have to buy this book, you can buy other stuff and I magically get a few cents...and don't worry, I never know who buys what so thank you if you do use the link!)
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