Summer is in the air so it’s time to start making and baking our favorite summertime treats. This time of year is perfect for making recipes using fresh fruit and berries.
These blueberry muffins can be made in the traditional size or as mini muffins. I like to make them in the mini size so each tiny bite is packed with fresh whole blueberries. They are quick and easy to make in the morning and leave out on the counter for your friends and family to grab during the day. Assuming, of course, that you resist eating them all yourself.
The blueberry muffins are topped with a white sugar crumble that creates a delicious crunch on the top of the muffins. The muffins are delicious eaten right away but also freeze beautifully. Simply defrost on the counter or warm them up in a 300 oven.
Can I Substitute the Blueberries with other Fruit?
Yes, you can put chopped chopped peaches or strawberries in the muffins or substitute the blueberries with fresh raspberries.
Two variations of the same recipe – One sweet, one savory
Have you ever tried pull-apart bread? I saw this recipe posted by King Arthur Flour in a savory version layering garlic, herbs and butter between thin layers of dough. It looked so delicious I absolutely had to try it. I then decided to bake a sweet version of this recipe by spreading Nutella in the layers instead of garlic and butter. It is a positively beautiful bread and so delicious.
The recipe calls for two tablespoons of potato flour which I think is essential in making a soft bread that doesn’t dry out too quickly. The bread can be wrapped in foil and placed in a sealed plastic bag to stay fresh for three days.
Pull apart bread requires time to make. The dough comes together very quickly but requires 90 minutes for the first rise and another 90 minutes for a second rise after the loaf has been formed. I decided to make the savory garlic and butter version when I was having some friends over for dinner. I started to make the bread early in the day and the second rise was done by 4:00pm. My friends weren’t due to arrive until 6:30 and I wanted to serve the bread fresh from the oven. I put the loaf in the refrigerator after the second rise was complete. Putting dough in the refrigerator won’t reverse the rise but it will slow down the yeast. I took the loaf out a half hour before I baked it so that it would be room temperature when it went into the oven. The pull apart bread came out great. This pull apart bread is so beautiful to serve and the buttery garlic layers in between the dough ensures equal flavor in every bite.
Next, I decided to use the same dough recipe but used Nutella in the middle of each layer to create a breakfast version. My son Max could not get enough of the Nutella bread. Three mornings in a row he woke up and warmed a piece of the pull apart Nutella bread to have with his coffee. The dough worked equally well with the sweet version as it did with the savory.
I like to make this dough with my hands, not a mixer. Mix the ingredients together as instructed and form it into a shaggy ball. Place ball on the counter and knead the dough until it comes together and is smooth and slightly stick. You do not want a dry dough. The dough should be stick but not wet.
After the dough has risen to about double in size divide the dough into 2 pieces. Roll each piece into a circle that is about 1/4 of an inch thick. Use a round cookie cutter or top of a glass to cut out disks that are 3.5 inches in diameter. You want disk to be about the same width as the loaf pan. If your disks are too small just roll each one out a little more before you put the filling on.
You will have leftover dough after you have cut out the circles. I like to roll pieces and tie knots with the dough. Place knots on a parchment lined baking sheet and let rise until double in size. Bake in 350 oven for 10 – 15 minutes until light brown. When knots come out of the oven toss them with softened garlic butter. You can also let them cool and place them in a plastic bag and freeze them for another day.
Fresh baked bread with layers of garlic and butter OR Nutella
Prep Time15 minutesmins
Cook Time25 minutesmins
Course: Breakfast, Main Course, Side Dish, Bread
Cuisine: Italian, American
Keyword: bread, breakfast
2 Standard loaf pans (8½x4½x2½)
4cupsall purpose flour
Filling Option 1
1garlic clove peeled and minced
½tspfresh parsleychopped fine
Filling Option 2
Heat milk, butter, sugar and salt in a sauce pan until butter melts. Do not boil
Let milk mixture cool to lukewarm
When milk is luke warm pour it into a mixing bowl and add yeast and eggs
add half the AP flour and potato flour mix until incorpoated then add rest of flour
form dough into a shaggy ball and place on work surface
knead dough by hand until very smooth. Should take 5 or 6 minutes
place into a lightly greased bowl and cover with a kitchen towel
Place in a warm place and let rice for 90 minutes until double in size
lightly grease (2) 8 inch loaf pans with butter OR line them with parchment paper
when dough has doubled in size press down gently to deflate
divide dough in half and work with one half at a time
roll into a circle that is ¼ inch thick
cut (12) 3½ inch circles out of the dough using a round cookie cutter or top of a glass
You can roll each circle a little more after it's cut out so it fits in the loaf pan
cover half of one side of circle with filling and fold circle in half
place folded side down in loaf pan and continue to line up circles in pan
cover with plastic and a kitchen towel. Place in a warm place and let rise for 90 mintues
preheat oven to 350
bake loafs uncovered on middle rack for 25 minutes until golden brown on top. If browning too quickly tent loaf with foil.
Remove from pan and serve
Wrap leftovers in plastic and foil and store at room temperature for up to 3 days. Tip 2: You can make recipe through the second rise and place in refrigerator if you would like to bake the loaf later. Remove loaf from refrigerator 45 minutes before baking to bring to room temperature.Tip 3: Roll leftover dough into 3 inch rods and tie into knots. Let rise on a baking sheet for 90 minutes. Bake at 350 for 10 minutes until golden brown. Toss knots in meted butter with garlic and herbs
An easy and delicious coffee cake with a sugary glaze
The term Coffee Cake simply means any cake that is intended to be eaten with coffee. This cake can be eaten in the morning or with a cup of tea in the afternoon. The ingredients come together very quickly so it is an ideal recipe to make if you do not have a lot of time but would like to bake something homemade. I make this recipe in one big 9 x 13 pan but it would also work in individual muffin tins. Coffee Cakes are typically a moist crumb cake flavored with cinnamon and sugar. Some recipes use sour cream or yogurt but I prefer to use milk. I feel that milk add the right amount of moisture without making the cake too heavy. I also do not feel that you need a lot of butter or oil in the recipe. After many tries I have figured out the exact amount of butter and oil that is necessary to create a light cake that has the right amount of cinnamon and sugar.
The one thing I can promise is that when this Cinnamon Coffee Cake is baking in your oven everyone in your house will say “Oh, that smells so good.” There is something so delicious about the smell of cinnamon and brown sugar baking in the oven. In this recipe I layer the cinnamon and brown sugar in the batter so there is a good ratio of batter to cinnamon sugar. I drizzle a little melted butter over the cake before it bakes in the oven. After the cake comes out of the oven I let it cool for 10 minutes before drizzling the coffee cake with a sugar glaze. The sugar glaze looks so pretty on top and works well with the brown sugar and cinnamon flavors.
This is a perfect Coffee Cake to serve at brunch time or if you are having some friends over for coffee. I really like to serve it warm fresh out of the oven or reheated. To reheat the coffee cake in the oven you will need to wrap it in foil and warm it at 325. You can also use a microwave to warm up the cake. You want the coffee cake to be warm, not hot. The Coffee Cake will stay fresh for 2 days out of the refrigerator or 5 days in the refrigerator. You can even freeze the Coffee Cake for up to a month. Just make sure you store the Coffee Cake in an air tight container.
Some Delicious Variations:
You can add fruit in the middle of the coffee cake as well.
Mash a cup of fresh or frozen raspberries with a half of tablespoon of cornstarch.
Chop up some walnuts or almonds
A cup of mini semi sweet chocolate chips
Add 1/4 tsp of instant coffee to glaze to give it a little coffee flavor
Spoon the added ingredients over the first layer of batter before you sprinkle on the brown sugar and cinnamon.
mix flour, baking powder, baking soda, salt and sugar together
In a seperate bowl mix eggs, milk, vanilla and ¾ cup oil or melted butter together
add wet ingredients to dry ingredients and mix well
lightly grease a 9 x 13 pan and pour half the batter in. Batter will be a little thick so shake pan to spread out evenly.
mix together brown sugar and cinnamon and spread half over batter
use a spoon to add spoonfuls of batter over the top and gently spread out with wet fingers.
top with remaining cinnamon and brown sugar
drizzle with 3 tbsp melted butter
Cover with foil and bake in oven for 20 minutes then remove foil and bake for another 20 minutes until toothpick inserted in middle comes out clean. Do not overbake or it will be dry.
let cool for 10 minutes then drizzle with glaze
Batter will be thick so spreading the second layer may be tricky. You should place spoonfuls of batter over the top and wet your fingers to gently spread the batter so you do not disturb the cinnamon layer.Coffee cake is best eaten warm. To reheat, wrap lightly in foil and heat in 300 oven for 5 minutes or reheat for 45 seconds in microwave
I have been wanting to make English Muffins for awhile. My family loves to eat English Muffins for breakfast and lunch. English Muffins are great to use for a bacon, egg and cheese sandwich or a tuna melt or simply toasted with some jam.
I saw this recipe on King Arthur Flour website. I love King Arthur Flour and always keep a supply of their all purpose, bread flour and “00” flour on hand. This English Muffin recipe calls for bread flour. The main difference between all purpose flour and bread flour is that bread flour has a higher protein content which produces lots of gluten which is essential in creating more stability and rise in the dough. All purpose flour is better for cakes and cookies.
This English Muffin recipe comes together very quickly but does require a double rise. The first rise is about 1.5 hours and the second proofing is a quick 15 minutes after the muffins have been shaped. Since this is a softer dough it is a good idea to shape the English Muffins and place them on the griddle or heavy bottom frying pan that you will be baking them on. The pan or griddle should be heavily sprinkled with semolina flour before you place the English Muffins on the pan. After the English Muffins have been placed on the pan you will need to sprinkle more semolina flour on top, cover with parchment paper and let proof for 15 minute . The semolina flour will prevent the bottom of the English muffins from burning before the inside is cooked. After the second rise you should place the griddle or frying pan on medium low heat.
The first side of the English Muffin will take 15-25 minutes, the second side will take roughly 15 minutes to bake. I like to turn the muffins periodically so that they brown evenly on the bottom. The English Muffins are done when the internal temperature reaches 185-200. After the English Muffins are ready let them cool completely and then brush off most of the semolina flour from both sides. After the English Muffins have cooled completely you can use a fork to cut them in half. Do not use a knife or else you won’t have the nooks and crannies.
In a stand mixer fitter with dough hook add butter, sugar and mix
add egg and milk and continue to mix for 1 minute
add flour mixture and mix for 5 minutes until dough is smooth and puuls away from sides
shape into a ball, place in bowl, cover with a dish towel and let rise for 1.5 hours until double in size
remove from bowl and gently press down in center of dough to deflate
divide the dough into 16 pieces, gently roll into a ball and flatten into a 3½ inch disk shape
Place each disk on a cast iron griddle or heavy bottom frying pan heavily sprinkled with semolina flour
sprinkle more semolina flour on top of muffins and cover with a piece of parchment paper
let english muffins rise for 15 minutes
place griddle or frying pan on medium low heat
cook English muffin for 15 – 25 minutes until bottom is a light golden brown
flip muffins over and continue to cook for an additional 15-20 minutes until golden brown on bottom and internal temperature is between 185 and 200. Adjust heat lower if muffin bottom is beginning to burn.
Let English Muffins cool completely.
Scrape most of the semolina flour off of the muffins when they are cool
Always use a fork to cut muffins in half. DO NOT USE A KNIFE.
Semolina flour prevents the bottoms of the muffins from burning. I like to brush most of it off before once the English Muffins are cool.Muffins can be frozen in airtight plastic bags.
These homemade pancakes are super easy to make. Try them plain or with a few chocolate chips scattered inside.
Weekend mornings were meant for fluffy, light pancakes. This pancake recipe is ready in a jiffy and absolutely delicious. The key to fluffy pancakes is baking powder and not over-mixing the batter. If you mix the batter too long you will activate the gluten. Too much gluten will result in gummy, dense pancakes. This applies to all batter recipes. You want to incorporate all the ingredients but it is ok for the batter to be a little lumpy. In this fluffy pancake recipe I recommend you mix the dry ingredients first then mix the sugar, butter, milk and eggs in a separate bowl and add them to the dry ingredients to blend together. A few turns with a whisk is all you need to fully incorporate the wet and dry ingredients. After the ingredients blend together let the batter rest for a minute while you are heating up the griddle.
The batter should be slightly lumpy but all the ingredients should be combined. Make sure you mix the bottom of the bowl.
What is the best pancake pan?
A cast iron griddle works best for fluffy pancakes. Lodge makes a great cast iron griddle that doubles as a grill available here on Amazon. This is one of my favorite pieces of cooking equipment. I use it for steak, burgers, fish, pancakes and grilled cheese sandwiches. A good cast iron grill will last many years if you care for it properly. After use, wash the grill and dry with a towel then lightly coat with vegetable oil before putting the grill away. This will prevent the cast iron from rusting.
What about the Buttermilk?
Indeed a lot of fluffy pancake recipes call for buttermilk but since I usually decide to make pancakes when I’m still in my pajamas and I don’t keep buttermilk in my refrigerator on a regular basis I had to come up with a fluffy pancake recipe that would use ingredients that most people have as staples in their home. Buttermilk does help pancakes rise but you will be equally pleased with my no buttermilk recipe.
Chocolate chips: sprinkle a bunch of chips on top of the pancake immediately after you pour it in the pan. Adding it to the batter will effect the rise.
Blueberries sprinkled on the pancake just after pouring the pancake in the pan
Sauté slices of banana in butter and brown sugar and serve over the pancakes
Top pancake with Jenn’s View candied bacon recipe and warm maple syrup with a splash of bourbon
My mother gifted to me her beloved asparagus dishes. I absolutely love these dishes. They have a beautiful vintage feel and are specifically designed to be used only for asparagus. It’s a pleasure to pull these dishes out of the cabinet to serve asparagus. I don’t use them often but when I do it reminds me of how detailed my mother was when she entertained. It’s very special to acquire some kitchen pieces that you can pass down to future generations. There is a closeness that is felt when you know that you are eating off the same plates that your ancestors ate from.
Should I buy thick or thin asparagus?
There are different size asparagus available. Some are pencil thin and others are thicker. If you are roasting the asparagus in the oven the thin asparagus will work great. You do not need to peel thin asparagus. You simply trim off the bottom, rinse them off, toss with olive oil and sprinkle with salt and pepper. The asparagus will be done in under 5 minutes in a 400 degree oven. You can serve them with a little salt and pepper or shave some Parmigiana Reggiano on top. This makes a beautiful appetizer or side dish.
The thicker asparagus need to be trimmed and peeled from below the tip to the bottom. In this recipe I boil the asparagus for around 6 minutes until they are tender but still bright green. You do not want to serve a brown, over-cooked asparagus. After six minutes you should spill out the water and rinse asparagus with cold water and place in an ice bath to stop the cooking. After 5 minutes you can remove the asparagus from the ice bath and place on plates. The asparagus can stay at room temperature for an hour so this is a great appetizer to make when you are entertaining.
How to make a perfect hard boiled egg:
The perfect hard boiled egg should not have dark area between the yolk and white. That does not look nice. You need to pierce the bottom of the egg with an egg piercer before you gently submerge the egg into water. I like the Endurance egg piercer available on Amazon. Take the eggs out of the refrigerator 5 minutes before you place them into the boiling water so they are not shocked by the water. After the eggs have boiled for 10 minutes, turn off the heat and allow them to remain in water for a few minutes. Then set them aside or refrigerate until you are ready to use them. You will have beautiful yellow and white hard boiled eggs.
Some other serving ideas for asparagus:
A simple dressing made with Olive Oil, Red Wine Vinegar, a touch of Dijon and salt and pepper
Chilled chopped crabmeat or shrimp mixed with mayonnaise and dill
Shredded Gruyere or Parmigiana Reggiano. Place under the broiler for a minute to melt if desired.