Tuesday, June 22, 2010

Margherita Grilled Cheese

It hit me the other day that we tend to throw out a lot of food.  I tend to forget what's in the fridge, or sometimes I just have a little bit of a lot of things and don't really know what to do with them.  Then, I start to get the waste not/want not guilties.  I've made a pledge to myself to try and use up what we have before I buy more.

Tonight, I had some shredded mozzarella and basil left over from making Cheesy Ravioli Bake a few days ago.  I also had a couple of tomatoes and a loaf of french bread.  I decided to combine my favorite Italian flavor profile, tomato and basil (margherita), with the American classic, grilled cheese sandwich.  I brushed the bottom of the bread with melted butter, sprinkled on the shredded mozzarella, chopped tomatoes (seeded), and chopped basil, topped it all with another buttered slice of bread, and fried it up in a pan.  You know, standard grilled cheese procedure.  It was really good.  I may have to make sure to have left-over cheese, tomatoes, and basil on hand at all times!  Next time, though, I will sprinkle the filling with a little bit of salt to amp up the flavors a bit.

Wednesday, June 16, 2010

Coffee Cake Muffins

I am fortunate to have a handful of friends who are willing to help me out at the drop of a hat.  About a month ago, I needed someone to pick Sweetpea up from school for a few days.  One of my trusty mom friends came to my rescue and asked for nothing in return.  I decided that I wanted to bake her a little something sweet as my way of saying, "Thanks".  I had bookmarked this delectable recipe in The America's Test Kitchen Family Baking Book and figured this was a good time to try it.  I'm so glad that I did!

Coffee Cake Muffins

1.  Preheat your oven to 350 degrees and grease a standard 12-cup muffin tin.

2.  Pulse 1 cup (7 ounces) sugar, 1/2 cup (2 1/2 ounces) all-purpose flour, and 1/4 cup dark brown sugar in a food processor to combine.  Transfer 3/4 cup of the sugar mixture to a medium bowl and whisk in another 1/4 cup dark brown sugar and 1 tablespoon cinnamon to make the streusel filling.  Leave the remaining sugar mixture in the processor.

3.  Add 1 cup (5 ounces) flour, 1/2 teaspoon baking powder, 1/2 teaspoon salt, and 1/4 teaspoon baking soda to the processor and pulse 5 times to combine.  Scatter 12 tablespoons (1 1/2 sticks) chilled, unsalted butter (cut into 1-inch cubes) into the processor and pulse until the mixture breaks down into small pebbly pieces; about 10 pulses.  Add 3 large eggs and 1/2 cup sour cream and pulse 8 times until the batter is combined and thick.

4.  Scoop a rounded tablespoon of batter into each muffin cup, then sprinkle 1 1/2 tablespoons streusel mixture into each cup.  Divide the remaining batter evenly among the cups.  Bake until golden brown and a toothpick inserted into the center comes out with just a few crumbs attached, about 20 to 24 minutes.  Rotate the muffin tin half-way through.

5.  Let the muffins cool in the tin for 5 minutes.  Remove them from the tin* and cool on a wire rack for 10 minutes.  Dust with powdered sugar before serving.

* When I first tried removing my muffins from the tin, the tops separated from the bottoms at the filling.  I ran a thin spatula around the edges and used it to help lift the muffins out of the cups; this worked well.  I reassembled the ones that had come apart, and they stuck together fine when cooled.

Monday, June 14, 2010

Long Time, No See

Well, I haven't been blogging lately for a number of reasons:

1.  The end of the kids' school year had me crazy busy.
2.  I seem to have been making mostly the same stuff I've already blogged about.
3.  Some of the new recipes that I've tried have not been blog-worthy.
4.  Hubby has been taking an online continuing-ed class which has been eating into MY computer time.

And lastly,

5.  I've been too lazy to copy down recipes.

I promise to get off my duff and post some new things soon.  (Or, I guess that means that I still need to sit on my duff, just in front of the computer.)