Blueberry Lemon Loaf

I had so much fun participating in the last recipe swap that I had to do it again! The blog I got this time was Jenna’s Cooking Journey. Several recipes caught my eye, but I was in the mood to bake (when am I not in the mood to bake? ha!). So when I saw this recipe for a Blueberry Lemon Loaf, I was sold. Blueberries, lemons, sugar, and baking? These are a few of my favorite things.

The loaf came together easily. The only change I made was to slightly increase the vanilla, and to wait to add the lemon juice with the milk. The outside of my bread got a little darker than I was hoping for, but I wasn’t too surprised. My oven has some crazy hot spots and a light that is always on when the oven is on. It still tasted great! A tender crumb with a hint of lemon and bursts of blueberry. And the lemon glaze was perfect for keeping the bread moist. I will definitely make it again!



 

 

White Cake with Lemon Curd Filling

Last week I told you about the birthday party that we threw for our friend. As much as I wanted to celebrate her birthday, I selfishly also wanted to throw the party so I could make a cake. I love making cakes and I just don’t have very many opportunities to do it. When I find an excuse to bake, I take it!

Mandy, the birthday girl, didn’t have any special requests for her cake. Just something sweet. With no requests, the possibilities seemed overwhelming. Of course I thought of several chocolate cake variations, but I do a lot of chocolate desserts, so I decided to take the road less traveled (for Jesse and I anyway). I am really happy that I decided to go with this non-chocolate cake. It was a nice light finish to our burrito bowl dinner and it was so pretty.

I did make a last minute decision to not use Swiss meringue buttercream (SMB) frosting. In the US, I’m not afraid of the eggs in SMB at all. I know the eggs in the US are safe. I am not as confident in the eggs here. I buy eggs from the refrigerated section but I’ve seen the same brand at other stores not refrigerated, so I’m not convinced they are kept that way through out shipping. I also know that in other countries it’s common to not keep eggs in the fridge. For just Jesse and I, I honestly wouldn’t put as much thought into it, but I was having 10 guests. The thought of a bad egg and all my guests getting sick – eek! Not a risk I was willing to take.

Anyway, SMB would be a great choice for this cake. The fluffy vanilla frosting I used also worked really well. I’ll leave a link for both recipes and you can decide for yourself! Also, I went grocery shopping with the birthday girl the night before the party and she picked out her favorite fruits for the top of the cake. Most any variety of fruits would work! The recipe I used called for a glaze over the fruit, but I didn’t want it to be too sweet so I skipped it and it was fine.

 

 

Blackberry and Lemon Muffins

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I can not believe how quickly this last month has gone. I swear it was Sunday and now it’s already Friday again. In fact every night this week I would think, “I need to get a post up tomorrow.” Guess that didn’t work out so well since this is my first post this week. Oops.

The good news is that I am T-minus 21 days to China! Of course, as with every move in my life, I am full blown denial and shut down mode. Denial and shut down mode is when I reach the point of knowing that the move is right around the corner and knowing that there are a bajillion things I need to do and somehow being completely unable to complete any one task. Seriously, I require the assistance of person with the ability snap me back to reality. Lucky for me my sister will be here Saturday to [hopefully] do just that.


In the meantime I have managed to whip up some goodies to share on the blog in the coming weeks. Since it’s Friday, you know I had to share something sweet.

I have a huge soft spot in my heart for muffins. It might be because it’s kind of like eating a cupcake for breakfast. That, and it love a good breakfast on the go. Since I have zero time in my morning for “extras”, a breakfast that I can grab and eat while walking to my car is really ideal. These muffins have a fresh lemon flavor (yay for lemon trees in SoCal backyards!) with bursts of berry goodness. I chopped my blackberries up pretty finely (part of my weird cooked fruit texture aversion) but you could also leave them more chunky, if you’re into that sort of thing. Definitely don’t skimp on the lemon zest because it really brightens them up!


Blackberry and Lemon Muffins

Ingredients
2 1/2 cups all purpose flour
1 Tbsp baking powder
1/2 tsp baking soda
1/2 tsp salt
Grated zest of 1 small lemon, about a heaping tablespoon
2 large eggs
1 cup sour cream
1 tsp fresh lemon juice
1 cup sugar
8 Tbsp warm melted butter (1 stick)
1 tsp vanilla
1 1/2 cups (about 6 oz) chopped fresh or frozen blackberries*, if frozen defrost and drain liquid

*Yes I realize blackberries are not in season. They just looked so good and I was craving them, so I bought them. You can always use frozen berries and brands like Trader Joe’s are pretty good.

Directions

Preheat oven to 400 degrees. Prepare 2 muffin tins with 18 liners.

In a medium mixing bowl, whisk together the flour, baking powder, baking soda, salt, and lemon zest. Set aside

In a large glass measuring cup, whisk together the eggs, sour cream, sugar, lemon juice, butter and vanilla.

Add the wet ingredients to the dry ingredients and, using a wooden spoon or rubber spatula, mix together just until evenly combined. Add the blackberries and gently fold into the batter. Careful not to over mix, that can cause tough muffins.

Divide the batter into the muffin cups, filling each about 2/3 full. Bake for 18-20 minutes, or until a toothpick inserted in the middle comes out clean. Cool in pan for just a few minutes, until the muffins are cool enough to handle and transfer to a wire rack.

Adapted from Simply Recipes

Cranberry White Chocolate Chip Muffins

Oh man, I’m excited about this one!

First, I love re-purposing foods. I knew that cranberry sauce would go over like a lead balloon with my Thanksgiving crowd, but I like it and it’s traditional so I made it. As much as I love it, I can only handle a few spoonfuls with my meal. Needless to say, I had a ton left over! But I didn’t want to throw it away so I needed to come up with a new way to use it. I asked around for ideas and then overnight I had a very vivid dream about turning it into muffins.

Which brings me to the second reason I am so excited about these. I couldn’t find a recipe that matched what I had been dreaming of. So I headed to the kitchen with the goal of making my own. And it was a success! Score!

I should also mention that everyone that turned their nose up at the cranberry sauce at dinner, gobbled up the muffins and said they were awesome.

Cranberry White Chocolate Chip Muffins

Ingredients
1 1/4 cup flour plus 2 Tbsp, divided
1 tsp baking powder
1/4 tsp baking soda
1/2 tsp kosher salt
1-2 tsp orange zest
3/4 cup sugar
6 Tbsp unsalted butter, softened
1/2 tsp vanilla
1 large egg
1/4 cup greek yogurt
1/4 cup milk
1/2 cup white chocolate chips
1/2 cup cranberry sauce*

*I only used 1/3 cup but once they baked it like they could use a little more, so I recommend a full 1/2 cup. Also, I’m sure you could substitute cranberry sauce from a can, especially if you can find some with whole cranberries in it.

Directions
Preheat oven to 350 degree. Line a muffin pan with paper liners.

In a medium bowl, whisk together 1 1/4 cup of flour, baking powder, baking soda, and salt; set aside. In glass measuring cup stir together the greek yogurt and milk; set aside.

In another medium bowl (or a standing mixer with paddle attachment) beat the butter and sugar until light and fluffy. Add the vanilla and egg and beat until combined. Next, alternate adding the dry ingredients in 3 additions and wet ingredients in 2 additions, beginning and ending with the dry. Mix just until incorporated. Scrape down the sides of the bowl, making sure there are not patches of unmixed dry ingredients. Toss the white chocolate chips with 2 tablespoons of flour then use the spatula to mix them into the batter. Next, carefully fold in the cranberry sauce, so it creates a marbling effect in the batter.

Divide the batter into the 12 muffin cups. Bake for 18-20 minutes, or until a toothpick inserted into the center comes out clean.

Yields 12 muffins

Sunny Side Up original, with the muffin base adapted from Sunday Nite Dinner as I previously posted it here.