Monday, June 30, 2014

Strawberry Shortcake in a Glass

Remember when I made those watermelon rum-aritas two years ago?  No?  Well, you should re-visit the recipe (and try it with jalapeño-spiked rum or tequila while you're at me).  One of my favorite things about that recipe is that it uses fresh fruit, liquor, and not much else--no soda or syrups, and it uses whole fruit, rather than juice, so you get more nutritional value.  Yes, I referred to the nutritional value of a cocktail.  I can rationalize anything.  Keep reading.

This next recipe falls in the same vein.  It has 3 simple ingredients, two of which are healthy!  The third is vodka.  How could you go wrong?  This is a beautifully sweet way to cap off a meal.  It also makes a great afternoon snack (hey, it's 5 o'clock somewhere, right?) because it's very filling.  And it quite literally tastes like strawberry shortcake in a glass.  Don't let strawberry season pass you by without giving this a whirl (pun intended)!

Strawberry Shortcake in a Glass (a Blondie original)

  • 1 pint fresh strawberries, washed and hulled
  • 1 to 1 1/4 c. milk (skim works, whole tastes richer)
  • 1 c. cake vodka (we like Pinnacle, but I'm sure other brands work, too)
  • 3 basil leaves (optional)

Combine strawberries, milk, vodka, and basil leaves (optional) in a blender.  You can adjust the amount of milk depending on how creamy you would like it.  Blend until smooth, and then drink up!  Makes about 4 glasses.

Tuesday, June 24, 2014

What's Baking?: Walnute Nectarine Muffins

*Blows dust off blog*  Wow, has it ever been a while.  Suffice to say, between work and life, I haven't had a lot of time to be blogging lately!  When the What's Baking? group threatened to kick me out for lack of participation (ooops, sorry guys!), I figured I should get my behind in gear and get a post written.

This month's challenge, brought to you by Yudith of Blissfully Delicious, was to bake using summer produce.  Now, I don't know about you, but one of my favorite parts of summer is all of the fresh produce!  Watermelons, berries, peaches, plums, cherries--don't make me pick, I love them all!  But for this recipe, I'm using nectarines, because they were on sale at my grocery store.  Grocery store, you ask?  Not Farmers' Market?  Let me tell you.  You would think, given that I live in a rural area, that there would be a lot of Farmers' Markets or other opportunities to buy fresh produce.  Do you want to know what the ONLY stall at my Farmers' Market last week was selling?

Funnel cakes.

Yup, funnel cakes.  Nothing else.  No tomatoes, no cucumbers, no zucchini, and certainly no fruit.  So, grocery store, it is.  I will be scouting various other Farmers' Markets over the next couple weeks in hopes of finding one that actually sells *gasp* produce!  In the meantime, Husband (yup, he graduated from Fiancé!) and I will be enjoying these nectarine walnut muffins for breakfast.  We took his mom's basic muffin recipe and adapted it, and they turned out deliciously!  You could make these with any fruit you wanted, truly, although you'll have to play with the amount of milk, based on how juicy your fruit is!  I'm thinking they would also be delicious with white chocolate chips substituted for the walnuts....

Nectarine Walnut Muffins (adapted from Shirley)

  • 3 1/2 c. flour
  • 2/3 c. sugar
  • 1/2 tsp. salt
  • 2 Tbl. double-acting baking powder
  • 2 eggs
  • 2/3 c. vegetable oil
  • 1 1/4 c. milk
  • 2 tsp. vanilla
  • 3 nectarines, diced (peeling is optional--I didn't bother)
  • 1 c. chopped walnuts

In a medium bowl, whisk together the flour, sugar, salt, and baking powder.  Add the eggs, oil, milk, and vanilla, and mix until mostly combined.  Gently fold in the nectarines and walnuts until they are incorporated and no streaks of flour remain.  Divide batter evenly among 12 jumbo muffin tins (or 24 normal-sized ones).  Bake at 375*F for 20-25 minutes for jumbo muffins or 15-20 minutes for normal-sized muffins.  Muffins are done when a toothpick inserted into the center comes out clean.