Tuesday, April 20, 2010

Saturday, April 3, 2010

April Showers Bring: Muffins, Baking, Brunch, Tulips and Family

Well, I moved to a new apartment -- it is so much bigger and for the first time we can accommodate a number of people at our house. We also have a patio, for the first time in years, and are really excited to finally give our large patio table a nice place to live. We have had dinner on the patio every day that it has been warm enough, and boy has it been great. Until you are couped up in a 500 square foot apartment with no outdoor space for a few years, you might not realize how great it is to be able to eat outside on a patio at your own house. Oh, how I will never take the outdoors for granted again!

This Easter, we are hosting our first holiday! We aren't religious, so Easter is more of a time to get friends and family together and be grateful for the time you have together. It is also an excuse to bake! My mom, our long-time family friend, Phil, and Brian and I will be indulging in a delicious brunch!

I am in charge of the sweet dishes, and Brian is in charge of the savory. So our menu will consist of the following:
- Made to order omelets or egg scrambles with choice of veggies, cheeses, and meats. (I think I will go for a spinach, tomato, goat cheese, and avocado omelet!)
- Bacon and sausage
- Homemade zucchini bread
- Homemade raspberry, blueberry, orange muffins. (Maybe served warm with lemon curd?)
- Healthy, homemade raspberry cream cheese french toast
- Bagels with lox and cream cheese, lemon and capers
- Bloody Mary's
- Mimosas
- Lemon bars
- Homemade low-carb key lime cheesecake (my mom is on Atkins at the moment, though she is a skinny little mini already)

Sounds like a great meal!

I haven't taken pictures of all my homemade goodies, but here is the recipe for the muffins to get you started.

Mmmm. Can't wait to eat all my sweets! Did I mention my mom is on Atkins, or yeah and BF doesn't like "sweets for breakfast"? Soooo, I guess more for me!

Raspberry/Blueberry/Orange Muffins

2 cups all-purpose flour
1/2 cup sugar
3 teaspoons baking powder
1 teaspoon grated orange peel
1/2 teaspoon salt
1/2 cup orange juice
1/2 cup melter butter
1 large egg
3/4 cup frozen raspberries (do not thaw)
3/4 cup frozen blueberries (do not thaw)


1. Preheat oven to 400 degrees. Line 12 muffin cups with paper baking cups.
2. In a large bowl, combine flour, sugar, baking powder, salt, and orange peel. Mix well.
3. In another bowl, combine OJ and eggs. Add melted butter by tempering egg mix. If you temper correctly, you don't have to worry about scrambling BUT the butter, OJ, egg mixture does look a bit chunky. Not to worry, this is the butter trying to re-form. Blend well.
4. Add flour mixture until just combined. (Batter will be very thick!)
5. Gently stir in berries.
6. Divide thick batter into 12 muffin cups. Don't worry if you fill them all the way to the top on these guys. I did and they worked out fine.
7. Bake at 400 for 18-25 minutes (mine went for 23 minutes) or until baking pin thingy comes out clean. Cool in tins for 1 minute. Remove from pan, serve warm.

* These are a bit sour, so I might suggest serving with whipped honey butter or lemon curd. You can buy lemon curd at Trader Joe's if you don't feel like making your own.

Another great thing about spring time at Trader Joe's: You can buy a little posy of cut tulips. They come all closed up, and in different colors. You just snip the bottoms, place them in water and they beautify any room or Easter table!

More recipes to come! Happy Easter!