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Blueberry Streusel Muffins

I’ve always had a thing for blueberries.

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When I was little, my family would go out to Souplantation for dinner once a month. And while there was plenty of food to eat, the only thing I ever wanted were their blueberry muffins. Oh the blueberry muffins. Soft, fluffy, and just warm enough to melt your {sweet honey whipped} butter.

Even though it’s long past blueberry season, I had a serious craving for these muffins as soon as I saw our local grocer having a sale on these tiny indigo gems. It didn’t take me long to fill the kitchen with muffins that I had to send to church send to work eat with Riker’s help (because some people in this house still hate blueberries…). It also didn’t take me too long before I realized everything is better with a crumbly sugary topping of streusel.

If you ever find yourself with excess fresh blueberries, I highly suggest whipping up a batch of these delicious muffins!

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Blueberry Streusel Muffins

Makes 12 large or 18 cupcake-sized muffins — Recipe adapted from Rhonda Bracey

for the muffins…

2 eggs
1 cup milk
1/4 cup melted butter or margarine
1.5 cups all-purpose flour
3 teaspoons baking powder
1/2 teaspoon salt
2 tablespoons white sugar
1 cup fresh or frozen blueberries
1/4 cup all-purpose flour
1/2 cup white sugar

for the streusel…

1/2 teaspoon ground cinnamon
1/4 cup cold butter
1/4 cup all-purpose flour
1/2 cup white sugar

Preheat oven to 400F and spray muffin tins with nonstick spray or use liners. In a small bowl, beat eggs, milk and butter. In a large bowl, mix flour, baking powder, salt and the 2 tablespoons of sugar. In a third bowl, mix together the blueberries with the remaining sugar and flour. In a ramekin, combine cinnamon, flour, and sugar. Cut in the butter until the mixture looks like coarse sand. Set aside.

Stir the liquid ingredients in the small bowl into the dry ingredients in the large bowl. Gently fold the blueberry mixture in to the ‘cake’ mixture in the large bowl. Fill muffin cups and top with streusel (how much you use is your call… but the more, the tastier!). Bake at 400F (200C) for approximately 20 minutes.

Remove from oven and let rest in the pan for 5 minutes before turning out onto a cooling rack. Enjoy warm with plenty of whipped honey butter!

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Roasted Spaghetti Squash with Meat Sauce

…with FIRE-ROASTED tomatoes, but that title was too long and obnoxious to fit up there.

I’ve been playing with spaghetti squash for a few weeks now and honestly, it’s a thing of beauty. Stringy, mild flavored, and highly versatile. Topped with sauce or tossed with pesto, this squash holds its shape and brings a light flavor to the table. And, it’s a squash so it’s gluten free and has WAY fewer carbs than traditional spaghetti.

Check out How to Make Roasted Spaghetti Squash With Meat Sauce by Stephanie Wertman on Snapguide.

I challenge you to find a more filling, hearty cold-weather meal!

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Shrimp Fried Coconut Rice

This fried rice is off the hook!

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We’ve got snow peas, carrots, spring onions, and shrimp, all tossed together with coconut rice. Ohmahgah. I can’t even tell you how badly I wanted to faceplant myself into the pot while this fried. I’m still convinced it would have been the best facial ever. The coconut rice gives off an ethereal scent, and contrasts really well with shrimp and brings a light tropical flair to this meal.

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On a side note, am I the only one who’s never tried snow peas until today? Sadly I’m a little ashamed to admit I didn’t like them, but it’s not the last time I’m going to try them in a recipe! Anyone have any great ideas for using snow peas? Because I kinda have a whole bag to use… Oops!

Shrimp Fried Coconut Rice

Serves 2 as a meal, 4 as a side

1lb shrimp
1/4 cup baby carrots, thinly sliced
1 handful of snow peas, rinsed
1 Tablespoon soy sauce
1 Tablespoon Mirin
2 cups coconut basmati rice
1 Tablespoon olive oil
2 spring onions, thinly sliced

In a small bowl, combine soy sauce and Mirin. Add shrimp and toss to coat. Let marinate while you prep the other ingredients. When stir-frying, it’s important to have all your ingredients ready to go ahead of time. Carrots and onions chopped. Peas washed. Line it all up so you just toss and stir your way to glory.

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In a heavy bottomed, high-sided pot (or a wok, if you’re fancy!), heat olive oil over high heat until shimmering. Add in carrots and stir for 30 seconds.

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Add shrimp and stir to heat through until outside is nearly all pink, about 30-45 seconds. Don’t worry about them not being completely pink right now – we have more cooking to do!

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Add in snow peas and stir for 30 seconds. Then add in rice. Toss and stir vigorously for about 2 minutes to combine and heat through evenly.

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Remove from heat, toss in spring onions, and plate!

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Coconut Basmati Rice

I consider cooking rice to be a true test of a chef.

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None of this Iron Chef, Throwdown, Chopped business… No, anyone can figure out something to cook using eel or duck feet (hint: the deep fryer is never wrong!). But making perfect rice is a whole other game.

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It wasn’t until I met my husband that I discovered all rice wasn’t created equal. Until then I’d only made Minute Rice in the microwave. I had never even heard the word basmati. Color me embarrassed!

4 years later I’m nowhere near a master chef, but I can rock a mean pot of basmati rice, and after this post you will too.

 

Coconut Basmati Rice

Makes about 2 cups cooked

1 cup Basmati rice
1 cup coconut milk
1/2 cup water

Measure out 1 cup of rice and place it in a fine mesh strainer. Rinse with cold water until the water runs clear. Starch = sticky rice. The reason you’re rinsing the rice before it cooks is to get the extra starch off and ensure the finished product is as fluffy as possible.

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Place rinsed rice in a heavy bottomed pot and add 1 cup of coconut milk and 1/2 cup of water. If you want to make plain rice, use 1 1/2 cups of water instead.

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Place pan on stove burner and turn heat to high. Give the pot a stir a few times and then stop and wait for the pot to boil. Stirring the rice too often while waiting for it to boil restricts the air movement between grains, resulting in a sticky mass of rice. Stop stirring as soon as the liquid begins to steam and just watch and wait. It’s worth it, I promise!

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Give the pot a quick shake when the liquid is at a rolling boil. Turn the heat to low, place the lid on the pot, and walk away fro 20 minutes. Don’t even think about touching that pot. Go watch an episode of Portlandia or take a constitutional.

Welcome back! The timer’s gone off, right? Good. Turn the burner off and remove the lid from your pot. Beautiful rice!

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Give your rice a fluff before enjoying alongside some stir fried veggies or your favorite curry!

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Or you can save this for something even more mind blowing… COCONUT SHRIMP FRIED RICE. Come back next week for that recipe!

The secret to fried rice is cold, day old rice. Heck, five day old rice works great too so don’t worry about making this too far in advance. We always have a bowl of cold rice in our fridge just for the possibility of frying it up on our fridge clean-out nights!

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If you’re planning to save this rice for a stir fry, whip out a parchment lined baking sheet and lay the rice down in a thin layer. Pop it in the refrigerator for an hour to cool off before putting it in an air tight container for up to a week.