Saturday, July 30, 2011

Blueberry Muffins

It's blueberry season in Juneau! We decided we had waited long enough, so last Saturday we put on our tank tops and blueberry buckets and ventured off into the woods of North Douglas to see what we could find.

BLUEBERRIES is what we found.
Lots of them. Enough for gin, baking and freezing until later. So, in honor of my 24th birthday this Saturday, I made big, beautiful, blueberry muffins.

Also, I am dedicating this blog post to Kitchen Dance Party's favorite YouTube celebrity: My Drunk Kitchen! (Seriously. We idolize this woman.)

How? By taking ridiculous photobooth pictures of me cooking, of course.

Here's to you, Harto!

Blueberry Muffins
Adapted from The America's Test Kitchen Family Cookbook

3 cups flour
1 cup sugar
1 Tbs baking powder
1/2 tsp baking soda
1/2 tsp salt
1 1/2 cups greek yogurt, honey flavored
2 eggs
1 stick butter, melted and cooled
1 Tbs lemon zest
1 1/2 cups fresh blueberries

Preheat the oven to 375° and pour yourself a glass of "Congratulations, you're baking!" wine.

Mix the flour, sugar, baking powder, baking soda & salt in a large bowl.

I used the Kitchenaid because I am LAZY.
In a separate bowl, whisk together the yogurt, eggs, vanilla and lemon zest.

 Fold the yogurt mixture into the dry ingredients until just combined.

Until this...

"Dear lord, I hate folding."

.. looks like this!
Fold in the melted butter.

Put the blueberries into a separate container and toss them with 1 Tbs of flour. This is important because Christopher Kimball said it's important.

I will do anything that man tells me to in the kitchen.
Fold the berries into the batter.

Yes, really, more folding.
Spray your muffin tins with a healthy layer of cooking spray and fill each space at least 3/4 of the way full. I usually fill them to the top.

These muffins will be huge!
Bake for 20-25 minutes, until the tops are slightly browned and a toothpick inserted into the middle comes out relatively clean. (It will probably come out purple.)

When they're cool enough to handle, remove them from the pan to a cooling rack. And then put them into your facehole.
You've never seen muffins this cool, man.
Well, there you go. I apologize for not going full-bore on the MDK homage and doing a video post, but I am both terrified by the sound of my own voice and way too LAZY for editing.


A while ago, on a whim, I downloaded a premade playlist of "Indie: Dance/Electronica" music. I has stuff like Bot'Ox, Traks Boys, TROPICS, but I think my favorite song on the whole playlist is "Ofi" by Model 500. Most of this baking process was set to that song at an inconsiderate-to-my-roomates level. 

There is blueberry gin in all of our futures...

Thursday, July 28, 2011

Lemon-Lime Basil Shortbread

If you haven't deduced by now, I like weird things in my baked goods.
So when I saw this recipe in Bon Appetit, I just had to.
They're actually pretty good, basil works in baked goods form.
Next time though, I'd add in a little more lime zest.

Lemon-Lime Basil Shortbread
1 c all purpose flour
1/2 c powdered sugar
1/2 c chilled butter, cut into 1/2 in cubes
2 TBS fresh basil leaves, sliced
1 tsp grated lemon zest
1 TBS fresh lemon juice
1/2 tsp grated lime zest
1/2 tsp kosher salt
White sugar (optional)

-Preheat oven to 375.
-Put everything in your handy food processor (if you don't have one, sorry, you're SOL).
-Pulse until large, moist clumps form.
-Roll tablespoon sized balls, place on baking sheet.
-Lightly dust the bottom of a glass/measuring cup with powdered sugar, press the cookies into discs.
-Sprinkle tops with sugar
-Bake until edges are brown, about 18 mins.

Music Land-
I've been in a Flight of the Conchords mood. Probably just need a good laugh.

Better (for you) than a Big Mac

It's futile, but here is an attempt at healthier cookies.
They taste pretty good, they're very light.
I'm getting closer.

Chocolate Chip-Banana Cookies
 1 c whole wheat flour
1 tsp baking powder
1/2 tsp baking soda
1/2 tsp salt
1/2 tsp cinnamon
1/2 tsp nutmeg
2 TBS butter, room temp
1/2 c white sugar
1/2 c brown sugar
1 egg
1/2 c creamy peanut butter
1/2 c mashed bananas (2 small ones)
1/2 tsp vanilla extract
2 c oats
3/4 c bittersweet chocolate chips
3/4 c toasted walnuts, chopped.

- Preheat oven to 350. Line baking sheets with parchment paper or foil (VERY IMPORTANT).
- mix together flour, baking powder and soda, salt, cinnamon and nutmeg. Set aside.
- Cream butter and sugars until fluffy.
- Mash peanut butter and banana together. Add to the butter/sugar mix.
- Add egg and vanilla extract to banana/butter concoction (don't worry, it should look like barf).
- Stir flour, oats and banana mix until just combined
- Add the chocolate chips and nuts, combine.
- Make into a cookie shape (about 1 TBS size) and put on the baking sheets. Bake for 12-15 mins, until brown around the edges. Don't burn them.  Let cool on the sheet.

Eat all of them. Because they are healthy.

Nothing suits late night baking better than Old Crow Medicine Show.
They were just on A Prairie Home Companion, major points in my book.


I am so ecstatic to have a kitchen again. I missed cooking a lot.

I failed on a couple of different promises:
I did not eat any blog worthy scones,
I didn't make any really crazy cafeteria concoctions
I didn't steal any mashed potatoes.

Roasted Corn and Black Bean salad-thing
Bet you didn't realize I'm a genius when it comes to getting corn off the cob. 

6 ears of corn, unhusked.
2 TBS extra-virgin olive oil
1 can whole black beans
1 TBS butter
1 jalapeno, seeded and finely diced
red pepper flakes
1 cup cheese- Manchego, Asigo or Parmesan, grated
1 lime, cut into wedges
lime zest

- Preheat oven to 450, roast the unhusked corn on a baking sheet for 15 mins, until heated through. Cool, shuck and cut the kernels from the cobs.
- Heat oil in a skillet, saute the corn and beans, 3-5 mins. Add the butter and stir until melted.
- Throw corn/bean mix in a bowl, sprinkle with jalapeno, red pepper flakes, cheese, chives and zest. Squeeze lime juice over it.

Wye Oak's latest album, Civilian. Especially the track "Holy Holy. "
But the slow build of the album lets me find new things every time I hear it, and leaves me wanting more.

Also, if this isn't the best thing you've ever heard, we can't be friends.

Monday, July 11, 2011

Dorm Food: Take 2

It's always only good for the 1st week. 

I don't care if there are other people washing the dishes and I could have pizza every day, 

I would do terrible terrible things for a meal that didn't consist of the standard hot dogs/waffle fries/cereal cafeteria options. 

I would also do terrible terrible things for a hot plate. I miss cooking. 
I'm dreaming of these

Music land:
Still working on Gershwin, but now electronica Gershwin by Sarah Vaughan. It's weird, but I kind of dig it. 

Thursday, July 7, 2011

Taste of New England (At least that's what my dad tells me...)

I live in Alaska. I have been to Maine twice in my life, once when I was a toddler and again on my 7th birthday.

Everything I know about New England has been from my father (who was born/raised in Scarborough, ME) and I think he may be making some of it up.

The one thing about which I will always trust him (no matter how crazy) is food. That man knows his stuff when it comes to the cooking and the eating. So, when he says this is as close as little Alaskan-raised me will come to a Mainer deli-made Italian sandwich, I BELIEVE IT.

So, without further ado, I present to you a simple recipe, years in the making (and still not quite right, sorry) for Italian Sandwiches, also known as MAGS' FAVORITE HAM SANDWICH EVAH.

Italian Sandwiches

Thanks again, mom, for the free plates.

Bread/Roll - This is the trickiest ingredient. For years we have been using french sandwich rolls and cutting out most of the middle part. ("The less bread, the better." - Pop) That's what is shown in the photos here. But of course after I took the pictures and drafted this post, my dad informed me that "plain, white, outdoor sandwich rolls are actually pretty close." So use whatever damn bread you want, as long as it's white in color and there's not much of it.

Cheddar cheese
Chopped white onion
Sliced green pepper
Sliced  tomato*
Sliced dill pickle
Black olives*
Olive oil

*Photos do not depict tomatos or olives in the sandwich. This is because it was my actual lunch and I didn't have a tomato/black olives make me gag.

The first thing I usually do is shave out as much of the inside of the roll as I can. If it's pre-sliced, cut from the inner sides, but try to leave the two halves connected. If it's not sliced, cut a big "U" out of the top of it.
Line one side with ham and the other with sliced cheddar cheese.
More ham is usually better, but that's just me.
Sprinkle the chopped onions along the center.

If the onions look kind of sad, it's because I chopped them ahead of time and then stored them with pickles. Which is tasty, but not so much pretty.
Then layer in the pickles, peppers, tomatos and olives.

Use your imagination about the tomato & olives.

Drizzle olive oil over the entire sandwich and sprinkle with salt & pepper.


East Coast? Whatever you say. Delicious? Definitely!
By the way, has anyone tried dry soda?

It's a great invention. It's really flavorful without being too sweet. It also makes me feel a lot less guilty about indulging in my annual orange soda craving. (Only 50 calories a bottle, bishes. That's good, right?)

It just so happens to go great with a ham sandwich. Just saying.

I just realized all my recipe posts are about sandos. I have an ex-boyfriend who would be proud of me right now.

MUSIC: As I'm writing this I'm listening to Hot Water Music. They're a manly-sounding punk band with some really great music backing it up. Listen to "Remedy" or "A Flight and a Crash" or "Alright For Now" to get a taste.