Tuesday, October 14, 2014

Raspberry Almond Brown Sugar Muffins

Wow, this pregnancy was a rough one for me in regards to wanting to do anything in the kitchen.  Just the mere thought of doing any sort of cooking or baking made my stomach turn.  I would do it because well, my family had to eat.  But it wasn't the wonderful, enjoyable hobby that I have had my whole life.  And unfortunately for that my blog posts suffered as well.  I am sorry and hope that you will all welcome me back with open arms! 
Now that our sweet Aaron is here, my aversion to all things "kitchen" are finally gone!  Halleluiah!  Last week as a part of International Babywearing Week we went to Rosby's Berry Farm and picked the most beautiful raspberry's!  
The harvest was bountiful and the berries sugary sweet.  I picked three quarts of them!   So today I celebrate with Raspberry Almond Brown Sugar Muffins.   These muffins are so amazing.  Seriously, they have the best of everything- sweet-tart raspberries and the crunch of the almonds and brown sugar topping make for the most perfect muffin. Being a nursing mom made it totally acceptable to have two this morning right?! 
Raspberry Almond Brown Sugar Muffins

2 cups all-purpose flour
1 teaspoon baking powder
1 teaspoon baking soda
1/4 cup shaved almonds
1/4 teaspoon salt
1 large egg
1 cup packed light-brown sugar
1/2 cup butter or margarine, melted
1 cup milk
2 teaspoons vanilla extract
1 cup raspberries (fresh or frozen)

Position the rack in the center of the oven and preheat to 400 degrees F. Lightly grease or line with paper baking cups (makes 12-18 muffins).

In a large bowl, blend together the flour, baking powder, baking soda, almonds, and salt.  In a medium bowl, beat the egg and brown sugar together until thick.  Beat in the butter, milk and vanilla extract.  Combine the two mixtures, blending until the dry ingredients are just moistened.  Gently stir in raspberries. 

Spoon the batter into the prepared muffin cups, filling each 3/4 full. Sprinkle the Streusel Topping (recipe follows) over the tops of the muffins.  Bake for 15-20 minutes, or until a cake tester or wooden toothpick come out clean.  Cool in the pan on a wire rack for 5-7 minutes.  Serve warm, or transfer to the rack to cool completely. 

For the Streusel Topping
1/2 cup all-purpose flour
1/4 cup brown sugar, packed
1/2 stick unsalted butter
1/2 teaspoon cinnamon

Combine all of the ingredients in a food processor and pulse until crumbly.  Alternately you can mash the ingredients with a fork.  Sprinkle over muffins immediately before baking.

Streusel Topping recipe courtesy about.com 

Friday, March 28, 2014

New Day Cleveland Apperance- Good Morning Idaho!

Yesterday was back in the studio for my 8th time- can you believe it?!  I'm not exactly sure how I scored such an awesome little gig, but I am loving it!  New Day Cleveland is a lovely show, and has seriously the nicest people. 
For my segment yesterday we were planning for Lent- Meatless Meal for a Family of 4 for under $20.  Challenge taken!  Breakfast for Dinner is an awesome way to stretch the bank, and who doesn't love it?!  My boys would eat it every night if it was up to them. Good Morning Idaho is a recipe that takes a fun twist on the traditional eggs and hash brown breakfast. 
Here I am prepping for the show- we go live in half an hour! 
My sister came along for some moral support and to help me out getting things together before the show.  She is one of my favorite people in all the world and I am so lucky to have her not only as my sister but also best friend favorite Partner in Crime!  Here we are hanging out in the Green Room backstage waiting for the show to begin.  Perfect opportunity for a Sister Selfie! 

Here is a link to my clip, if you were unable to watch live!  Aside from a stubborn potato that refused to come off my cast iron skillet, everything went incredibly smooth.  I think I am beginning to get the hang of this....

Oh, and at the 5:21 mark you get to see a perfect shot of my very pregnant belly :)  So now I have two children that have made an appearance with me! lol.  Love it.

Wednesday, March 26, 2014

I get to be a TV Star tomorrow!

Set your DVR's, I am back on New Day Cleveland tomorrow morning at 10:00am (I will be the first one up, so tune into the very beginning!) This week they gave me a new challenge for Lent- Meatless Meal for 4 for under $20. Our family LOVES breakfast for dinner and I am sharing a favorite of ours- "Good Morning Idaho", which is eggs baked in a potato! It is a fun twist and not to mention completely delicious! See you tomorrow on Fox 8 News!

Thursday, January 30, 2014

Hearty Vegetable Beef Soup

My mom makes the best soup.  Seriously, she should go into business selling it- everyone would go crazy over it!  There isn't a soup that comes out of my mom's kitchen that isn't amazing.  Her Vegetable Beef Soup is a huge family favorite.  Super simple to make, but jam-packed full of flavor, it is comfort food at it's best.  This one is nice and hearty due to the large chunks of beef and loads of veggies.  My mom always serves the large chunks of meat on the side, giving you the option of putting some in the soup and the other enjoying with good mustard, making it a satisfying dinner with just a hunk of butter bread.

With the ridiculous Polar Vortex we have been experiencing here in the Midwest, this is exactly the kind of food you want to be eating.  Put the pot on the stove in the afternoon and just let it simmer away throughout the day.  By dinner it will fill your home with the most wonderful smells and make your kids and husbands asking for dinner the moment they walk in the door from work and school.  if you are unable to stay home to keep an eye on your pot of soup, a crock pot on low for the day works just as nicely.  A nice hot bowl of soup says "I Love You" in the most snuggly, delicious way.

Hearty Vegetable Beef Soup

2 32-oz Beef Stock (or 32-oz beef stock AND 2 tablespoons of beef bouillon dissolved into 4 cups of water)
1 beef chuck roast (1.5-2 lb) excess fat removed and cut into very large chunks
1 bay leaf
1 large onion, chopped
3 carrots, peeled and sliced into coins
3 stalks of celery, chopped
3 russet potatoes, peeled and cubed (about 1 cup)
1 cup corn (frozen or canned is fine)
(you may add any other veggies you like or have on hand, green beans, peas, cabbage, tomatoes...)
Salt and fresh ground black pepper to taste

In a large stock pot combine the beef, stock, chopped onion and bay leaf and allow to simmer over medium high heat for 45 minutes. Add the rest of your veggies, and a good sized squirt of ketchup- I know crazy ingredient! But it rounds out the flavor of the soup perfectly.  You can also use 1 tablespoon of tomato paste, but trust me, ketchup is the secret ingredient!  Allow to simmer for at least an hour, stirring occasionally. 

Taste and season accordingly with salt, pepper and additional ketchup if desired.  The longer the soup simmers the more it will thicken.  I prefer a heartier soup, almost like a stew, making it a bit easer for my children to eat by themselves.   But if it reduces a little too much for your liking or if you prefer a thinner soup, add a bit more water until you get the desired consistency.

Serve the meat alongside the soup with a good mustard for dipping.  One of my boys likes his meat all on the side with loads of mustard and ketchup.  My other son likes his meat totally in his soup.  My husband and I like some in and some out!  Enjoy with crusty bread slathered in butter. 


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