Bodacious Blueberries

 The Blueberry is one of my favorite fruits. Since it’s one of North America’s few native fruits I thought that it was wholly appropriate that we celebrate, glorify, and eat as much of them as we can on.

Since it’s a native plant it’s not surprising that North America is the world’s leading blueberry producer. While harvesting runs from mid-April through early October its harvest peaks in July. So, it’s no surprise that in our drive to create bigger and better holidays July is now designated as National Blueberry Month (I can’t wait to see the Hallmark cards).

Blueberries are incredibly good for you. They provide about 5 grams of fiber per cup- (more than most fresh fruits) and I cup of fresh blueberries contain about 15% of our recommended Daily Value of vitamin C.

It’s pretty easy to pick “good” blueberries if you’re lucky enough to have a farm that has a U PICK feature in close proximity to where you live or are vacationing. You should look berries that are firm and dry. The skin should be smooth and deep purple-blue, with a silvery-white bloom. Storing fresh blueberries is simple. They should be covered while stored in the refrigerator and used within 10 days of being purchase. They should be washed just before you serve them.

Everyone seems to be blue berry crazy these days. Lots of communities have festivals and the Internet abounds with sites that offer everything from recipes to on line ordering of anything blueberry (preserves, dried and wild). So  if you have the opportunity (at any time) to revel in (and eat) the fruit that is the blueberry, go for it.

 BLUEBERRY CAKE

This is a classic recipe that no self-respecting chef should be without

1 pint fresh blueberries

1 stick margarine or butter

2 cup sugar

3 eggs

1 cup milk

3 cup flour

1 teaspoon (rounded) baking powder

1 teaspoon vanilla

Preheat oven to 350. In a mixing bowl cream the margarine and sugar until fluffy; add the eggs and beat well. Add the vanilla, milk, and flour and mix well. Add baking powder and stir until blended. Gently fold in blueberries. Bake in a tube pan (angel food or bunt cake pan) for 1 hour. Cool in pan on a cake rack; invert onto rack while warm (but not hot). When cool, drizzle with a glaze made of softened butter, powdered sugar and milk (play with quantities until you achieve ‘drizzle’ consistency). Serves 8 to 10

BLUEBERRY SOUP

This simple start to a summer meal is very easy to make. You can keep pareve or add a little cream or milk to jazz it up.

3 cups water

4 cups fresh or dry-packed frozen blueberries, rinsed and drained

3/4 cup sugar

2 tablespoons corn starch or potato flour

2 tablespoons cream or milk (optional)

dash of cinnamon (optional)

Bring water to a boil in a large saucepan. Add the berries and sugar and cook several minutes, stirring occasionally. In a small bowl mix the potato flour with a small amount of cold water. Stir into berry mixture and bring again to boiling point. Cool, cover and refrigerate for 3 to 4 hours. A dash of cinnamon over the top just before serving is a nice touch. You can stir in the cream or milk just before serving if you like and can serve with a dollop of sweetened whipped cream as a garnish if you like. 4 to 6 servings.

CHEATERS BLUEBERRY BANANA BREAD

2 cups Bisquick

2/3 cup Sugar

1/4 cup Milk

1 cup blueberries, fresh or frozen, (drained if frozen)

 3/4 cup Quick-Cooking Oats

1 cup ripe banana, mashed

 2 eggs

 Preheat oven to 350. Grease bottom of a 9X5 loaf pan. In a mixing bowl combine all of the ingredients except blueberries and stir until mixed very well about 1 minute. Gently fold in the blueberries and pour the batter into the pan. Bake 44-55 minutes. (toothpick test it to see if it’s done)  Cool on a rack for 10 minutes then run a knife around the sides to loosen. Remove from loaf pan and cool completely before slicing. Serves 6

BLUEBERRY SPINACH SALAD

Dressing:

3 tablespoon sugar

2 tablespoon apple cider vinegar

1/4 teaspoon dry mustard

1/8 teaspoon salt

1/4 cup vegetable oil

Salad:

20 Oz fresh spinach

1 cup fresh blueberries

3 oranges

1/2 cup slivered almonds

Combine the sugar, vinegar, dry mustard, salt and oil in a small mixing bowl. Set

aside. Trim the stems on the spinach leaves then wash and drain them in a colander.  Dry on paper towels. Tear the spinach into bite-sized pieces and place them in a salad bowl. Wash blueberries; drain on paper towels. Peel the oranges; separate them into sections and cut into thirds. Add the oranges, blueberries, and nuts to the spinach. Pour the dressing over the salad. Toss lightly to mix. Serves 6.

BLUEBERRY CINNAMON ROLLS

1/4 cup milk

1/4 cup sugar

1/2 teaspoon salt

 3 tablespoon butter or margarine

1 Pkg. dry yeast

1/4 c warm water (105-115 degrees)

2 1/4 cup flour — divided

1 egg

2 tablespoon butter or margarine, softened

1/4 cup brown sugar — firmly packed

1/2 teaspoon cinnamon

1/2 cup blueberries — fresh or frozen

1 tablespoon butter or margarine — melted

1 cup powdered sugar — sifted

2 tablespoon milk

Combine 1/4-cup milk, sugar, salt, and 3 tablespoons butter in a saucepan; heat until butter melts and pour into the bowl of an electric mixer.  Cool to 105 degrees to 115 degrees. Dissolve yeast in warm water in a large mixing bowl; let stand 5 minutes and then add to the milk mixture. Stir the following into the milk mixture, 1-1/2 cups flour, and egg. Beat at medium speed with an electric mixer until smooth.  Stir in remaining 3/4 cup flour. Turn dough out onto a lightly floured surface, and knead until smooth and elastic (about 8 minutes).  Place in a well-greased bowl, turning to grease top.  Cover and let rise in a warm place (85 degrees), free from drafts, 1 hour  (dough will not quite double in bulk).

 Punch dough down; turn dough out onto a lightly floured surface.  Roll dough into a 12- x 8-inch rectangle; spread with 2 tablespoons butter.  Combine brown sugar and cinnamon; sprinkle mixture over rectangle.  Sprinkle with blueberries.  Roll dough jellyroll fashion, starting at long side.  Pinch seam to seal (do not seal ends).  Cut roll into 1-inch slices; place slices, cut side down, in greased 8-inch square pan.  Brush tops with 1 tablespoon-melted butter.  Using a fork, gently lift center of rolls to form a peak. Cover and let rise in a warm place, free from drafts, about 40 minutes (rolls will not double in bulk).  Bake at 350 degrees for 35 minutes.  Combine powdered sugar and 2 tablespoons milk, stirring well.

  Drizzle over warm rolls.  Makes 12.

BLUEBERRY OATMEAL BREAD

2 cups flour

1 cup quick-cooking oats

3/4 cup sugar

2 teaspoons baking powder

1 teaspoon lemon peel — grated

1/2 teaspoon baking soda

1/2 teaspoon salt

1 1/4 cups skim milk

1/3 cup oil

2 teaspoons vanilla

2 eggs — slightly beaten

1 cup blueberries

Preheat oven to 350 degrees.  Grease bottom only of 9″ X 5″ loaf pan.  In large bowl, combine flour, oats, sugar, baking powder, lemon peel, baking soda and salt. In small bowl, combine milk, oil, vanilla, and eggs; mix well.  Add the wet ingredients to the dry ingredients; stir just until dry ingredients are moistened.  Gently fold in blueberries. Pour into greased pan. Bake for 50 to 60 minutes or until toothpick inserted in center comes out clean. Cool ten minutes; remove from pan.  Cool completely.  Wrap tightly and store in refrigerator. Serves 8

CHICKEN BREASTS WITH BLUEBERRIES

1 lb. chicken breasts, skinned and boned

1 tablespoon salad oil – or use spray oil

1/2 cup apricot jam

1 to 2  tablespoons Dijon Mustard

1/2 cup frozen unsweetened blueberries

1/3 cup white wine vinegar

Heat oil in frying pan over medium high heat. Add the chicken and brown on both sides. In small bowl combine the jam and mustard, mix well. Spread the jam mixture over browned chicken in the pan and sprinkle the chicken with blueberries. Reduce the heat to medium low, cover and cook till the chicken is no longer pink in thickest part approx. 15 minutes. With a slotted spoon, take out the chicken and blueberries – keep warm. Add the vinegar to the pan, bring to a boil and cook, stirring occasionally until sauce thickens and is reduced by a third (about 5 min.) Pour sauce over chicken. Serve.  Serves 4.

TURKEY BREAST WITH BLUEBERRY CITRUS SAUCE

1 cup blueberries, fresh or frozen

6 tablespoon orange juice

6 tablespoon lemon juice

2 tablespoon vermouth

2 teaspoon grated orange peel

2 Teaspoon grated lemon peel

1 Teaspoon fresh ginger, minced

3 Teaspoon margarine

1 lb turkey breast medallions

salt and pepper to taste

Combine blueberries, orange juice, lemon juice, vermouth, orange peel, lemon peel and ginger. Stir to blend and set aside. Melt margarine in a large, heavy skillet and saute turkey until brown and just cooked through. Transfer turkey to platter and keep warm. Add blueberry mixture to skillet and cook until mixture thickens, scraping up any browned bits (about 2 minutes). Spoon blueberry mixture over turkey and serve.  Serves 4

WHITE CHOCOLATE BLUEBERRY SCONES
2 1/4 cups flour, sifted
2 tablespoons baking powder
1 teaspoon salt
1/4 cup sugar
1/4 cup chilled unsalted butter, cut into small pieces
1/2 cup white chocolate chips
1 cup blueberries
3/4 cup buttermilk, plus 2 tablespoons buttermilk
2 tablespoons powdered sugar

Combine flour, baking powder, salt and sugar. Cut butter into small pieces on floured surface. Add to dry mixture and mix with pastry cutter until crumbly. Add white chocolate and berries and toss with flour mixture. Add buttermilk and mix until ingredients hold together. Place dough mixture on floured surface and pat into a 9 X 9 square. Cut into thirds. Cut each third into three triangles and place on cookie sheet. Lightly dust each scone with powdered sugar. Bake at 375 for 10 minutes. Makes 9 scones.

GRILLED CHICKEN WITH BLUEBERRY BBQ SAUCE

Making your own BBQ sauce, especially one with a unique flavor such as this one, immediately establishes you as a serious grilling aficionado.

6 bone in chicken breasts

2 cup fresh blueberries

1/4 cup balsamic vinegar

3 tablespoon honey

3 tbsp ketchup

1/2 teaspoon garlic powder

1/2 teaspoon ground ginger

In a sauce pan combine the blueberries, vinegar, honey, ketchup, garlic powder and ginger. Bring the mixture to a low boil. Reduce the heat, and simmer for 10 to 12 minutes until the sauce thickens. Remove from heat and allow the sauce to cool. Pour the BBQ sauce into a blender and blend until smooth. Put the chicken breasts and a 1/3 cup of BBQ sauce into a zip top bag and coat well. Marinate in the refrigerator for 30 minutes to an hour. Reserve the rest of the sauce for serving. Grill the chicken over medium high until cooked, 7-8 minutes per side. Top the chicken with the BBQ sauce and serve. Serves 6.

 

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Super Duper Scones

            If you’re into all things British (Hello!!! wedding of Prince William) you need to know about the scone. The scone is the British version of quick bread and is said to be of Scottish origin. Pronounced “skon” or “skoan”  it’s a cousin to the Scottish griddle cake known as a bannock. In the beginning scones were made from oats and flour and were a stable of everyday life, much like bread. The scone has evolved into a more sophisticated quick bread that can be served at breakfast as a snack or a late night treat.

          A perfect scone is not only a thing of beauty, it tastes not too sweet not too bland and is made from flour, butter, sugar, milk or cream and baking powder. A not so perfect scone (too much flour, not enough sugar or flavoring) tastes like cardboard and crumbles all over you. The typically classic English scone is made with currants and is a tea time staple, typically served with cream and butter and jam.  In the colonies we tend throw everything but the kitchen sink in the mix and enjoy the results.

         A classic scone is triangular shaped because scone dough is usually rolled out into a circle and then cut into eighths (I use my pizza cutter). Scones can be prepared on a griddle but most of us prefer making them in the oven. I like using a specially made pan that’s perfect for scones or corn bread. Scones are super easy to make and once you assemble the ingredients they can whipped up in about 10 minutes.  You just have to make sure that you don’t get freaked out that the dough is sort of crumbly and it won’t hold together, it will. Just don’t add to much flour when you’re rolling it out and you should be fine. Scones typically cook at a high temperature and are done in 15 to 20 minutes so are the perfect treat anytime of the day even when you don’t have time.

 

Note: Scones taste best when eaten immediately after coming out of the oven and stay fresh for about 2 days.

SIMPLE AND CLASSIC SCONES (dairy or pareve)

2 cups flour

1 teaspoon cream of tartar

1/2 teaspoon baking soda

1/4 teaspoon salt

1/4 cup margarine or butter

1/8 cup sugar

1/2 cup milk or cream or non dairy substitute

2 tablespoons milk or non dairy substitute for glazing

Preheat oven to 425 and use parchment paper to line a cookie sheet. In a bowl sift together the flour, cream of tartar, baking soda and salt. Cut in the butter until the mixture resembles tiny pebbles. Stir in the sugar and milk and mix to form a soft dough. You may need to add a little more flour or milk to get the right consistency but try not to over mix the dough. Turn the dough onto a floured surface, knead it gently and then roll it out to 1 inch thick. You can cut it into 8 triangle wedges or cut it into 2 inch rounds and place on the prepared baking sheet. Reroll the remaining dough and cut the remaining scones. Brush the tops of the scones with milk to glaze. Bake for 10 to 12 minutes then cool on a wire rack. Serve with butter or whipped cream and jam. Makes 8 to 12.

You can add nuts or chocolate chips or chopped dried fruit if you like.

CORNMEAL AND PECAN SCONES (dairy)

2 cups flour

1 cup corn meal

1/2 cup sugar

1 tablespoon baking powder

1/2 teaspoon baking soda

1 teaspoon cinnamon

3/4 cup cold butter

1 cup buttermilk plus 2 tablespoons

1 cup chopped pecans

Preheat oven to 425. In a bowl combine the flour, corn meal, sugar, baking powder, baking soda and cinnamon. Cut in the butter until the mixture resembles tiny pebbles Add the buttermilk and pecans. Mix to combine. The dough will be kinda soft. On a floured surface roll out the dough until it’s about 1 inch thick. Cut into 2 to 3 inch rounds. Re roll left over dough and cut out the rest of the scones. Place on an ungreased baking sheet and brush the top with the 2 tablespoons of buttermilk. Bake for 12 to15 minutes or until the top is light golden. Makes 12.

LEMON SCONES (dairy)

2 cups flour

1/3 cup sugar

1 tablespoon baking powder

1/2 teaspoon salt

 zest of 1 lemon

3 tablespoons cold butter

1 cup whipping cream, plus a little for brushing

1 egg yolk, beaten

1/2 teaspoon vanilla extract

LEMON GLAZE:

1 cup powdered sugar

1 tablespoon lemon juice

1/2 teaspoon lemon extract

1 tablespoon melted butter

2 tablespoons whipping cream

Heat the oven to 400. Grease a large baking sheet and set it aside. In a bowl sift together the flour, sugar, baking powder, and salt. Add the lemon zest and mix gently. Cut the butter into the flour mixture until the mixture resembles fine crumbs.

Make a well in the center of the dry ingredients. Pour in the cream, the yolk, and the vanilla. Mix slightly and then use a wooden spoon to combine all the ingredients, just until the dough holds together.

Dump the dough onto a floured surface and then, using floured hands, knead it gently three or four times to form a ball. Flatten the ball into a disk about 3/4 to 1 inch thick, and then cut it like a pie into 8 wedges. Place the scones on to the prepared baking sheet and brush the tops lightly with cream. Bake 16 to 18 minutes or until the scones are golden brown.  Cool on the baking sheet for 5 minutes and remove them to a cooling rack.

While the scones cool, make the glaze. In a bowl combine the powdered sugar, lemon juice, lemon extract, butter and whipping cream and mix until it’s smooth. If the glaze is too thick add a little water, too thin add a little more powdered sugar. When the scones are at room temperature drizzle the glaze over the top. Makes 8 scones.

Modified from the about.com

ORANGE AND CRANBERRY SCONES (dairy or pareve)

1 cup flour

1 teaspoon baking powder

1/4 teaspoon salt

1 tablespoon sugar

1/4 cup butter or margarine, chilled, cut into small pieces

1/4 cup fresh cranberries, coarsely chopped or 1/2 cup dried cranberries

5 to 6 tablespoons orange juice

2 teaspoons orange zest

2 tablespoons milk or non dairy substitute

sugar

Preheat oven to 400. Line a baking sheet with parchment paper. In a bowl combine the flour, baking powder, salt and sugar and mix them together. Cut in the butter until the flour mixture resembles tiny pebbles.  Stir in the cranberries and add 5 tablespoons of orange juice and zest. If the dough doesn’t form a ball, add more juice. Dump the dough onto a floured surface and then, using floured hands, knead it gently three or four times to form a ball. Flatten the ball into a disk about 3/4 to 1 inch thick, and then cut it like a pie into 8 wedges. Place the scones on to the baking sheet and brush the tops lightly with milk and sprinkle the tops lightly with sugar. Bake 16 to 18 minutes or until the scones are golden brown.  Makes 8

Submitted by Charlotte Mays Detroit MI

CHOCOLATE HAZELNUT SCONES (dairy)

2 cups flour

1/3 cup brown sugar, packed

1 cup semi sweet chocolate chips

1/2 cup hazelnuts, chopped

1 egg

6 tablespoons cold butter

1/2 cup buttermilk

1/2 teaspoon baking soda

1 1/2 teaspoon baking powder

1 1/2 teaspoon almond extract

1/4 teaspoon salt

Preheat oven to 400 and grease a cookie sheet. In a bowl combine the flour, brown sugar, baking soda, baking powder, and salt and mix to combine. Cut the butter into the flour mixture. Cut butter into the flour mixture until it resembles small pebbles or breadcrumbs. Stir in the egg, buttermilk, almond extract and mix until just combine. Add in the chocolate chips and hazelnuts and mix to combine. The dough will be slightly sticky. Dump the dough onto a floured surface and then, using floured hands, knead it gently three or four times to form a ball. Flatten the ball into a disk about 3/4 to 1 inch thick, and then cut it like a pie into 8 wedges. Place the scones on to the baking sheet and bake 18 to 20 minutes or until the scones are golden brown.  Makes 8

WHITE CHOCOLATE RASPERRY SCONES (dairy)

1 3/4 cup flour

1 1/4 teaspoon baking powder

2 tablespoon sugar

1/2 teaspoon salt

4 tablespoons cold butter

2 large eggs

1/3 cup whipping cream

1/2 cup white chocolate chips

1/2 cup frozen raspberries

2 tablespoons milk

Coarse sugar

Preheat the oven to 350. Line a baking sheet with parchment paper. In a bowl combine the flour, baking powder, sugar and salt in. Cut in the butter using two knives. Stir in the chocolate chips and raspberries and set the dough aside.

In another bowl whisk together the eggs and the cream until combine. Make a well in the center of the dry mix and pour the egg mixture in. Use a rubber spatula to gently stir until just combined. It will be dry and crumbly and won’t hold together well.

Place the dough onto a floured surface and using well-floured hands, pat the dough into an 8 inch circle, about 3/4 inch thick. Use a pizza cutter and cut the dough into eight wedges.

Brush the tops of the scones with the milk and sprinkle the top with sugar. Transfer the wedges to the prepared cookie sheet and bake for 15 to 18 minutes or until lightly browned. Makes 8.

Modified from Joy of Cooking: 75th Anniversary Edition

 

I’m Raisin the Roof for Father’s Day!

 

            My dad loves raisins. In cereal, in bread, in cookies, covered in chocolate and even, in a pinch, plain right out of the box. As a kid one of the bestest sweet treats he could give us was mixing up a bowl of sweet black and golden raisins with cashews (he’s a dentist so this was as crazy as he’d go in the sugar department). It was only later when I discovered his deepest darkest secret. While he was passing the bowl of these “good for you” natural treats he was stuffing his face with the chocolate covered ones.

            While I’m planning on giving him a pound or two of the primo milk chocolate ones this Father’s Day I’m also going to go all out and create a couple of other “raisin-centric” recipes just to let him know how much I appreciate all the wonderful stuff he taught me all the years of my life, especially  about sharing.

       

APPLE SAUCE RAISIN NUT QUICK BREAD

 

1 cup applesauce

1 egg

1/4 cup butter or margarine, melted

1/4 cup sugar

1/4 cup brown sugar

2 cups flour

2 teaspoons baking powder

1/2 teaspoon each salt

1/2 teaspoon baking soda

1/2 teaspoon cinnamon

1/2 teaspoon nutmeg

1 cup raisins

3/4 cup chopped pecans or walnuts

 

Preheat oven to 350 and grease a 9X5 loaf pan. In a large bowl combine the applesauce and egg. Mix to combine. Mix in the melted butter, brown and white sugars and then set the mixture aside.

 

In another bowl combine the flour, baking powder, salt, baking soda, cinnamon and nutmeg. Add flour mixture to applesauce mixture. Mix just until blended. Gently fold in the raisins and nuts. Spoon the batter into the prepared pan. Bake 50 to 60 minutes or until a tooth pick inserted into the center comes out clean. Cool for 5 to 10 minutes before removing the bread from the pan. Cool the bread on a cooling rack for at least ½ hour before slicing. Makes 1 loaf.

 

RAISIN COFFEE CAKE

 

3/4 cup butter or margarine, softened

2 cups sugar divided

2 eggs

1 teaspoon vanilla

2 1/4 cups flour

2 teaspoon baking soda

1 teaspoon salt

1 cup sour cream

1 1/2 cups raisins

2 teaspoons cinnamon powdered sugar

1 cup chopped walnuts

Powdered sugar for topping

 

Preheat oven to 350. Grease and flour a 9×9 pan.

 

In a large mixing bowl, cream butter. Add 1 1/2 cups of sugar and beat until fluffy. Add eggs and vanilla and beat until light and thoroughly mixed. Sift flour, baking powder, baking soda, and salt into another bowl. Add to butter mixture one-third at a time alternating with sour cream and beating well after each addition. Mix in raisins.

 

In small bowl mix the remaining sugar with the cinnamon. Spread about 2/3’s of the batter on the bottom of the pan. Sprinkle the cinnamon sugar mixture on top and then top with the remaining batter. Sprinkle the chopped walnuts over the top.

 

Bake in middle of oven 55 minutes to 1 hour until pick inserted into centers comes out clean.  Cool for ½ hour and then sprinkle the top with powdered sugar.

 

Modified and submitted by Arthur Parsons Trenton NJ

 

CASHEW AND RAISIN COOKIE

 

1 2/3 cups flour

3/4 teaspoon baking powder

1/2 teaspoon nutmeg

1/4 teaspoon baking soda

3/4 cup sugar

2 teaspoons vanilla

2 large eggs

3/4 cup chopped cashews

3/4 cup golden raisins

 

Preheat oven to 300. Grease a cookie sheet. In a bowl combine the flour, baking powder, nutmeg and baking soda. Mix to combine. In a bowl of an electric mixer combine the sugar, vanilla, and eggs and beat until the mixture thickens. Add the flour mixture, cashews, and raisins to the egg mixture and mix to combine. . Turn the dough out onto a lightly floured surface. Knead the dough 6 or 7 times and then shape it into a 12 to 14 inch roll. Place dough on the prepared baking sheet and then pat the roll down until it’s about an inch thick. Bake for 40 to 45 minutes. Cool 10 minutes on a wire rack.

 

Place the cookie roll on a cutting board and cut the roll diagonally into 24 (1/2-inch) slices. Place the slices back on the cookie sheet and bake for an additional 20 minutes (the cookies will be sort of soft in the middle but harden as they cool. Cool on a cooling rack. Makes 2 dozen

 

QUAKER VANISHING OATMEAL RAISIN COOKIES

This is the recipe is the first one I made myself as an 8 year old!!

 

1/2 lb. (2 sticks) butter, softened

1 cup brown sugar

1/2 cup sugar

2 eggs

1 teaspoon vanilla

1 1/2 cups flour

1 teaspoon baking soda

1 teaspoon cinnamon

1/2 teaspoon salt (optional)

3 cups Quaker Oats (quick or old-fashioned)

1 cup raisins

 

Preheat oven to 350. Beat together butter and sugars until creamy. Add eggs and vanilla; beat well. Whisk together flour, baking soda, cinnamon and salt; stir together until no streaks remain. Stir this into the butter mixture. Stir in oats and raisins; mix well. Drop by rounded tablespoonfuls onto an ungreased cookie sheet. Bake for 10 to 12 minutes or until golden brown. Cool 1 minute on cookie sheet; remove to wire rack. Makes about 4 dozen.

 

Modified from the Quaker Oats web site

 

OATMEAL CHOCOLATE AND RAISIN MUFFINS

 

1 1/2 cups flour

1 tablespoon baking powder

2 tablespoons unsweetened cocoa powder

1 cup rolled oats

1/2 cup white sugar

1/4 teaspoon salt

1 cup raisins

1 cup milk or non dairy substitute

1 egg

1/4 cup oil

 

Preheat oven to 400. Grease a muffin pan or line with 12 paper muffin liners. In a bowl combine the flour, baking powder and cocoa powder. Add the oats, sugar, raisins and salt.  Add the milk, egg, and oil, mix until just blended. The batter will be lumpy. Spoon the batter into the prepared muffin cups, about 2/3’s full. Bake for 15 to 20 minutes, or until a toothpick inserted into the center of a muffin comes out clean. Remove from muffin cups to cool on a wire rack. Makes 12

 

RUM RAISIN CHOCOLATE BROWNIES

 

1 cup raisins

1/4 cup rum

3/4 cup (1 1/2 sticks) unsalted butter

4 ounces unsweetened chocolate

2 cups sugar

4 large eggs

3/4 cup flour

1 cup semisweet or milk chocolate chips

 

Place the raisins in a bowl and pour the rum over them, let them sit for 1/2 hour. Preheat oven to 350. Grease a 13×9 baking pan. In a sauce pan combine the butter and unsweetened chocolate and heat, stirring until the chocolate and butter melt together.  Let the mixture cool for about 10 minutes. Whisk in the sugar and eggs. Mix in the raisins (with the remaining liquid) and then add the flour and chocolate chips. Spoon the batter to pan. Bake 18 to 20 minutes or until a toothpick inserted into center comes out with moist crumbs attached. Cool brownies in pan on rack. Cut into squares. Makes 8 to 12

 

Modified from Bon Appétit | December 1999

 

CURRY AND RAISIN VEGGIE SALAD

 

1 head broccoli, chopped

1 head cauliflower, chopped

1/2 pound bacon, cooked, drained and crumbled

1 cup Sun-Maid Natural Raisins

1/2 cup red onion, thinly sliced

2 shredded carrots

1 cup mayonnaise

1/2 cup plain yogurt

1/3 cup sugar

3 tablespoons apple cider or rice wine vinegar

2 teaspoons curry powder

1/4 cup slivered almonds, toasted

 

In a bowl combine the broccoli, cauliflower, shredded carrots, bacon, raisins and onion, mix and set aside. In another bowl combine the mayonnaise, sugar, vinegar and curry powder. Mix to combine and then pour the dressing over the vegetable mix. Mix to coat, cover and refrigerate for 2 hours. Makes about 12 cups.

 

Modified from sunmaid.com

 

Yo Yo Yogurt

           
After watching Jamie Lee Curtis touting the benefits and joy of regularity that comes with of eating of Activia ® I was filled  with a fair amount of trepidation (and a few really good one liners) as I approached this column about yogurt. I figured I’d take a pass on the gas jokes and just get down to the basics of writing about the benefits and good stuff that comes from consuming of good old fashioned yogurt.
So what exactly is yogurt? While some of the less informed may immediately think of the creamy sweet stuff in little plastic tubs with fruit on the bottom or the frozen custard like stuff with flavors like caramel crème and chocolate mousse plain yogurt is actually milk that has had bacteria added to it. This good for you bacteria causes the milk to ferment and thicken. This fermented thick mixture is strained and the liquid is drained off. The end result is a tangy creamy mixture that has the consistency of sour cream. Besides being delicious yogurt is also full of calcium, riboflavin, vitamin B6 and vitamin B12. Regular yogurt is strained once or twice, the new kid on the block, Greek yogurt is, however, strained three times (or more) making for a much thicker and denser consistency.
           Which yogurt is better for you to utilize when climbing the food pyramid, you ask? On one hand Greek yogurt has almost double the protein and fewer carbohydrates than regular yogurt. However, regular yogurt has three times the calcium as the Greek variety so choose which ever one works best for you. Finally, it’s really a tossup when it comes to calories (watch what you add to it) and if price is your only concern the Greek yogurt is typically far more expensive.
On the technical side, I prefer to use Greek yogurt to replace cream cheese, sour cream, or ricotta cheese in baking or cooking. The regular yogurt tends to curdle more than the Greek variety when you cook with it.  I gravitate towards regular yogurt when I’m making dips, salad dressing, smoothies, desserts and sauces. When you add fresh fruit either variety works great.
So if there was a smack down cooking cage match between regular yogurt and Greek yogurt which should you bet on and buy? The answer is that it’s a draw you win with both and whoever gets to eat what you make takes home the prize.
   
Yogurt Tips:
1. Use yogurt as a substitute for mayonnaise or sour cream to reduce calories and fat.
2. Add yogurt to your marinades. Its high acid content is a great tenderizer.
3.  Add yogurt near the end of the cooking process to prevent curdling.
4. Use yogurt as a substitute for buttermilk, sour cream, or butter to reduce calories and fat in baking.
5. Don’t use aluminum pans when cooking with yogurt, the acid could cause a negative reaction.
YOGURT MASHED CAULIFLOWER

2 heads of cau¬li¬flower (flo¬rets only)
6 oz con¬tainer of Greek yogurt
2 tablespoons but¬ter
3 tablespoons grated Parmesan
1/2 to 1 tablespoon mince garlic
2 tablespoons chopped onion
2 to 3 chopped green onions for gar¬nish
Salt and pep¬per to taste

In a medium pot, bring the water to boil. Add the cau¬li¬flower flo¬rets to the boil¬ing water and let then cook it for about 8 min¬utes or until they are soft. Remove the florets from the heat and drain then in a colander. In a food proces¬sor, com¬bine the cau¬li¬flower with the yogurt, but¬ter, gar¬lic and minced onion and process with pulses until you have a con¬sis¬tency you like. Add the salt and pep¬per to taste. Immediately spoon the mixture into a serving bowl and mix in the parmesan. Top with green onions and serve immediately. Serves 4. This recipe can be doubled or tripled.

GREEK YOGURT BERRY PIE
You can use a readymade pie crust if you like

Crust
1 cup flour
1/4 cup light brown sugar
1/2 cup butter
1 tablespoons water

Yogurt Cream Cheese Filling:
6 oz. Mascarpone cheese
8 oz Greek yogurt
4 oz cream cheese
1 teaspoon lemon zest
1/3 cup powdered sugar
1 teaspoon vanilla

2 to 3 cups mixed berries
3 tablespoons raspberry jam
In a mixing bowl combine the flour and brown sugar. Using a pastry cutter or 2 knives cut the butter in the flour mixture. Add the water the mixture. Mix with a fork until the dough is just moistened. Shape crust dough into a ball with your hands, cover with plastic wrap and refrigerate for one hour. Roll out the dough into a 12 inch circle and then fold it in half then in half again. Place it in a tart pan with a removable bottom and unfold.  Press the dough evenly onto the bottom and sides of a 9 inch tart pan with a removable bottom. Bake in a 400 degree oven for 10 to15 minutes or until golden brown. Cool the crust completely on a wire rack.

In the bowl of a food processor combine all the ingredients and process until smooth. Cover and refrigerate for at least 3 hours. When ready to assemble the pie spread the cream cheese filling evenly over the tart shell. Sprinkle the berries over the top of the filling. In a glass bowl heat the jam slightly and then drizzle the warm jam over the top of the berries. Serve immediately. Serves 8.

Modified from about.com

SEAFOOD LASAGNA

1 large egg, beaten to blend
salt and pepper to taste
12 to 15 lasagna noodles, cooked
1/4 tsp. ground nutmeg
1 tsp. butter
6 tbs. all purpose flour
1/3 cup parmesan cheese, grated
3 cups Stonyfield Farm Lowfat (1%) Organic Milk
2 cups Oikos Plain Greek Yogurt (or substitute with yogurt cheese)
1 1/2 cups shredded mozzarella
1 1/2 cups shredded gruyere
1 lb. lobster meat (slightly undercooked if possible), coarsely chopped
1 lb. small shrimp (uncooked)
1 lb. small scallops (uncooked)

Whisk flour in heavy medium saucepan to remove any lumps. Gradually add 1 cup milk, whisking until smooth. Add remaining 2 cups milk and nutmeg; whisk over medium heat until mixture thickens and boils, about 10 minutes. Remove from heat. Whisk in Parmesan, egg and butter. Season with salt and pepper. Can be made 1 day ahead, just cover and refrigerate. Reheat over low heat until heated through before using; do not boil. Preheat oven to 350. In a mixing bowl combine lobster, shrimp, and scallops together In a separate bowl fold together 1 1/4 cup gruyere, 1 1/4 cup mozzarella and yogurt. In 8 1/2 by 11 inch baking dish, start by coating the bottom of the dish with a thin layer of white sauce; next add a layer of lasagna noodles placing tightly together, cut to fit if necessary. Spread 1/3 of yogurt and cheese mixture, and sprinkle with 1/3 seafood. Repeat layers 2 times ending with lasagna noodles. Finish the top with white sauce and sprinkled with remaining cheese. Cook for 35 minutes on top of sheet pan in case it bubbles over

From stoneyfield.com

ZUCCHINI GRIDDLE CAKES WITH YOGURT SAUCE

3 to 4 medium zucchini, shredded
Salt and pepper
3  eggs, beaten
1/2 cup  flour
1 tablespoon  olive oil
1 cup shredded mozzarella
3 green onions, finely chopped
1/3 cup finely chopped fresh dill or 2 tablespoons dried
1 teaspoon baking powder
4 to 6 tablespoons oil (or more as needed)

Yogurt sauce
2/3 cup plain yogurt
2 tablespoons minced cloves garlic
3 tablespoons chopped cucumbers
1/2 teaspoon salt.

Place the shredded zucchini in a colander over a bowl or in the sink and mix it with 1/2 teaspoon salt. Drain for five to 10 minutes and then place the zucchini in a towel and squeeze out as much liquid as you can. Try squeezing it a second time just to make sure you got all the liquid out. Put the zucchini in a bowl and add the eggs. Mix to combine. Add the flour, salt, olive oil, mozzarella, green onions dill and pepper. Mix and add the baking powder. Mix to combine. Place the griddle on the heat and brush 1 to 2 tablespoons of oil on the surface Spoon heaping tablespoons of the batter several inches apart so they have room to spread (don’t make them too big). They may need to be flattened slightly. Cook until they are golden on one side (3 to 4 minutes) and then flip them and cook for another 3 to 4 minutes on the other side. The griddle cakes should be crispy. You can make them up ahead of time and keep them warm in the oven. Serve hot. Makes 12

For yogurt sauce: In a small bowl, combine the yogurt, garlic, cucumber and salt. Mix well, and serve on the side or on pancakes.

Submitted by Brian Zimmerman NY, NY

APPLE AND CARROT YOGURT SALAD

1 cup yogurt
2 tablespoons apple cider vinegar
1/4 teaspoon pepper
1/2 teaspoon salt
4 tablespoons chopped fresh parsley
4 carrots, peeled and shredded (3 1/2 cups)
2 apples, cored and cut into 1/4-inch sticks (3 1/2 cups)
1 cup shredded jicama
1 head red leaf lettuce, torn in to bite size pieces
1 cup chopped pecans

In a salad bowl combine the yogurt, vinegar, pepper, salt and parsley in a bowl. Add the carrots, apples, jicama and mix well. Cover and refrigerate for a few hours to soften the vegetables slightly. Place the lettuce on a platter and then spoon the apple mixture over the top.  Sprinkle the pecans on the top and serve. Serves 6
 
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AVOCADO AND MANGO WITH SPICY TAHINI YOGURT DRESSING
I
1 cup plain yogurt
1/3 cup tahini
1/2 teaspoon ground cumin
Pinch of ground coriander
1/4 teaspoon minced garlic
1 tablespoon fresh lemon juice
1/2 teaspoon kosher salt
1/4 teaspoon freshly ground pepper
Pinch of cayenne pepper
3 ripe avocados, peeled and sliced
3 mangos, peeled and sliced
1/2 cup sliced almonds, toasted

To make the dressing combine the yogurt and tahini in a bowl and whisk them together until smooth. Add the cumin, coriander, garlic, lemon juice, salt, pepper and cayenne and whisk to combine. Cover and refrigerate at least 1 hour. Divide the avocado and mango slices between 6 plates. Spoon the dressing over and sprinkle with almonds.

Modified from Taste of Israel by Avi Ganor and Ron Maiberg

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FRESH HERB TUNA PASTA WITH YOGURT DILL SAUCE

1 cup orzo pasta
3 green onions (sliced thin tops included)
1 green bell pepper (minced fine)
1 red bell pepper (minced fine)
2 tomatoes (diced)
1/2 cup black or kalmata olives (finely diced)
2 eggs (hardboiled finely diced)
2 teaspoon fresh dill (finely minced)
1 tablespoons dill (fresh, finely minced)
2 teaspoons celery seeds
2 teaspoon Dijon mustard
2 tablespoons fresh parsley (chopped)
2 teaspoon lemon juice
1 cup plain yogurt
6 oz water (tuna, drained)
1 cup Parmesan cheese (freshly grated)
 salt
 pepper

Cook the pasta according to package directions, drain, and rinse under cold water to quick chill, drain well and pour into large mixing bowl.  Stir in green onions, bell peppers, tomatoes, olives, egg, fresh herbs, mustard, and parsley; mixing well.  Add the lemon juice, yogurt, tuna and cheese, mix well; add salt and pepper to taste. Garnish with a sliced bell pepper slice, sliced tomato or additional cheese if desired. Serves 4 to 6.

Submitted by Sharon Barlone West Bloomfield MI
RIGATONI WITH YOGURT LIME SAUCE

4 cups cooked rigatoni pasta
2 cups frozen peas
1 red pepper diced small

Sauce:
2/3 cup plain Greek yogurt
2 teaspoon minced garlic
Zest of lime
Lime juice to taste
Salt and pepper to taste
4 green onions, sliced thin
Parmesan cheese to taste

Cook pasta according to package directions.  While pasta is cooking, in a bowl combine the yogurt, garlic, and lime zest. Mix to combine and add the lime juice, salt, and pepper to taste.  Stir well and set aside.

Just before draining pasta add the diced pepper and peas to the pot and let cook for 1 minute. Save 1 cup of the salted pasta water and then drain the rest.  Return pasta and peas to pot.  Stir in yogurt sauce.  Add the saved pasta water slowly mixing until you get the desired consistency for the sauce.  Serve immediately, topped with green onions and Parmesan. Serves 4

CHICKEN AND CHICKPEA CURRY

1 tablespoon + 1 teaspoon olive oil
1 1/4 lb. package ground chicken or turkey
1 large onion, chopped in medium dice
2 tablespoons sweet curry powder
1 can petite dice tomatoes with juice (14.5 oz.)
1 can chickpeas (also called garbanzo beans, 15.5 oz. can)
12 oz. Greek yogurt
salt and black pepper to taste
1/4 cup chopped parsley for garnish, optional

Heat 1 tablespoon olive oil in a heavy frying pan, add ground chicken or turkey, breaking it apart with the turner and sauteing until it is well cooked and lightly browned about 8 to 10 minutes.

Push the chicken or turkey to one side of the pan, add the 1 teaspoon olive oil, then add the chopped onions and cook 3 to 4 minutes, until onions are just starting to get some color. Sprinkle onions with the curry powder and cook about 2 minutes more, turning a few times, then stir the onion mixture into the chicken. Add the tomatoes with juice and drained chickpeas and let simmer about 5 minutes, or until some liquid has evaporated and flavors are well blended. Turn heat to low, stir in yogurt, and simmer about 3 minutes more. (Don’t let it come to a boil after the yogurt has been added.)

Season to taste with salt and fresh ground black pepper. Serve hot, sprinkled with chopped fresh parsley or cilantro if desired. Serves 4.

Modified from Chicken Chickpea Curry Bowls by Rachel Ray