Pumpkin Muffins

If you’re anything like me, you have a hard time making it between meals without a little snack to tide you over.  Not a full mini-meal or anything, just some fruit or nuts or a baked good.  Okay let’s be honest, more often than not, a baked good.  I’ve had the usual suspects in rotation for quite some time – banana bread, oatmeal bars, blueberry muffins – until my sister introduced me to pumpkin muffins this winter, and my snacking world was turned upside down!  What is this delicious treat??  It tastes almost like cake given how soft and moist it is, and is sweet enough to not need frosting, but with the pumpkin puree and spices it tastes healthy enough to not feel (too) guilty for enjoying it between meals.  

Here my friends, is the pumpkin muffin.  Easy to make, hard to eat just one.  This recipe makes a double batch, nearly 30 muffins, so we’re in luck that these muffins freeze and defrost beautifully, if that’s your thing.  For those of you on the gluten free wagon, substitute a good gluten free flour (like Domata or Bob’s Red Mill) one-for-one with its wheat-filled sibling, and that’s it!  You’d never notice the difference.

A big thanks to my sister for sharing this recipe she received from a friend!  That’s one of the beauties of good food – you can share not only the end product but also the recipe, many times over, extending the joy to countless others. So go ahead and make a batch for breakfast, to give to a friend or for a delicious snack!


Pumpkin muffins

 

Pumpkin Muffins
Yields 30
These pumpkin muffins are moist and sweet, and perfect for breakfast or a snack!
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Prep Time
10 min
Cook Time
25 min
Prep Time
10 min
Cook Time
25 min
Ingredients
  1. 12 T butter, melted and cooled
  2. 2/3 cup water
  3. 3 cups sugar
  4. 4 eggs
  5. 1 can pumpkin puree (15 oz)
  6. 3 1/3 cups flour
  7. 2 tsp baking soda
  8. 1/2 tsp baking powder
  9. 1/2 tsp salt
  10. 1 1/2 tsp ground cinnamon
  11. 1/2 tsp nutmeg
  12. 1/4 tsp ground cloves
Instructions
  1. Preheat the oven to 350 degrees.
  2. Grease and flour or line muffin tins with paper baking cups.
  3. In a large mixing bowl, combine the melted butter, water, sugar, eggs and pumpkin puree, and stir until fully combined.
  4. In a separate bowl, sift the dry ingredients together, then combine into the wet ingredients until just combined. Do not overmix! It's okay if there are a few lumps.
  5. Divide batter evenly into muffin cups and bake for 25 minutes, rotating pans halfway through.
  6. Remove from the oven, and let cool in the pan for 10 minutes before removing the muffins to a rack to cool completely.
Notes
  1. Make sure to use pumpkin puree, not pumpkin pie filling.
  2. You can halve this recipe for a smaller batch, or about 12-15 muffins.
Adapted from Courtney Remes
Adapted from Courtney Remes
In Bryna's Kitchen http://www.inbrynaskitchen.com/

Mother’s Day Brunch

As Mother’s Day came ’round this year I was excited to host my sister and her family as well as my parents at our place.  Last year we went out to brunch at my parents’ golf course and while it’s a nice spot, it can be less-than-relaxing to dine out at a nice restaurant with two 2 year olds and all their stuff in tow, so I was more than willing to have everyone at my place for a more low-key morning meal.  In my mind, the key to any good party is to make most of the food in advance so you can be a part of the fun and not stuck in the kitchen.  Here’s what we served up this Sunday morning to honor the three mommas – photos and recipes below!

Scrambled Eggs with Green Onions 

  • The key is to cook these “low and slow” and you’ll get incredibly soft and moist scrambled eggs!
  • This is your item to make at the last minute – they will dry out if you hold them in a warm oven

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Green salad with Champagne Vinaigrette, Candied Almonds, Dried Cranberries and Mandarin oranges

  • Make the candied almonds in advance and toss this together just before serving

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Triple Berry Salad with Vanilla Bean-Infused Syrup

  • The simple syrup can be infused with other flavors than vanilla – think mint, orange or basil!

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Lemon Lime Bundt Cake

  • Use any blend of citrus you have on hand – this cake is delicious and easy to make with any combination of orange, lemon, lime or grapefruit

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Scrambled Eggs with Green Onions
Serves 8
These scrambled eggs are incredibly tender and moist - ensure you cook them low and slow and you'll wonder how eggs could taste this good!
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Prep Time
5 min
Cook Time
10 min
Total Time
15 min
Prep Time
5 min
Cook Time
10 min
Total Time
15 min
Ingredients
  1. 16 extra large eggs
  2. 1 1/2 cups whole milk
  3. 1 1/2 tsp salt
  4. 1/2 tsp ground black pepper
  5. 6 Tbsp butter, divided in half
  6. 2 Tbsp green onions, minced, green and white parts
Instructions
  1. In a large bowl, whisk together the eggs, milk, salt, and pepper.
  2. Heat 3 tablespoons of butter in a large non-stick sauté pan.
  3. Add the eggs and cook them over medium-low heat, stirring constantly with a rubber spatula, until the desired doneness. Eggs should still appear wet and not stick to the pan.
  4. Off the heat, add the remaining 3 tablespoons of butter and the green onions.
  5. Stir until the butter is melted.
  6. Serve immediately.
Adapted from Barefoot Contessa Family Style
In Bryna's Kitchen http://www.inbrynaskitchen.com/
Candied Almonds
Keep your eye on these almonds while cooking them - once cooked and cooled they can be stored in an air-tight container for up to two weeks.
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Ingredients
  1. 1/2 cup sugar
  2. 1/2 cup slivered almonds
Instructions
  1. Heat a medium saute pan over medium-high heat.
  2. Add the almonds and sugar and stir nearly constantly until the sugar has caramelized and coated the almonds, about 3 minutes, being careful to not let the almonds burn.
  3. Pour the almonds onto a piece of parchment paper in a single layer to cool.
  4. Store in an air-tight container for up to two weeks.
In Bryna's Kitchen http://www.inbrynaskitchen.com/
Green salad with Champagne Vinaigrette, Candied Almonds, Dried Cranberries and Mandarin oranges
Serves 8
This green salad is coated in a light, refreshing champagne vinaigrette and topped with a trio of toppings - almonds, cranberries and oranges.
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Prep Time
5 min
Total Time
5 min
Prep Time
5 min
Total Time
5 min
Ingredients
  1. 6 cups organic mixed greens
  2. 2 Tbsp Girard's Champagne Dressing
  3. 1 small can of mandarin oranges
  4. 1/4 cup dried cranberries
  5. 1/2 cup candied almonds
Instructions
  1. In a large salad bowl pour the salad dressing and "dress the bowl" coating it with the dressing.
  2. Quickly add the greens to the bowl and toss to cover with the dressing.
  3. Top the center of the salad with the mandarin oranges, cranberries and almonds.
  4. Serve immediately.
In Bryna's Kitchen http://www.inbrynaskitchen.com/
Triple Berry Salad with Vanilla Bean-Infused Syrup
This simple syrup can be infused with many different flavors other than vanilla - try orange zest, mint or basil!
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Ingredients
  1. 1 cup water
  2. 1 cup sugar
  3. 1 vanilla bean
  4. 4 cups strawberries, hulled and quartered
  5. 2 cups raspberries
  6. 2 cups blueberries
Instructions
  1. In a small sauce pan over medium heat combine the water and sugar, whisking to dissolve the sugar.
  2. Heat the sugar-water mixture until simmering, then remove from the heat.
  3. Slice the vanilla bean lengthwise, scraping the beans from the pod, and place them in the syrup. Place the vanilla bean in the syrup as well.
  4. Let the syrup infuse with the vanilla bean for 2-4 hours off the heat.
  5. Once infused, remove the vanilla bean from the syrup and discard.
  6. Store the syrup in an air-tight container in the refrigerator for up to a week.
  7. In a large bowl, combine the berries and drizzle with 2-4 Tbsp of the syrup.
  8. Serve immediately.
Notes
  1. Simple syrup is a great ingredient to have on hand for many purposes! It's great to top fruit or ice cream or to flavor your beverages!
In Bryna's Kitchen http://www.inbrynaskitchen.com/
Lemon-Lime "7-Up" Bundt Cake
Serves 16
This cake is perfect to make a day in advance and store in a covered container. I don't use 7-Up as this recipe traditionally calls for and substitute a mix of orange juice and carbonated water to add some more flavor to the cake batter.
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Prep Time
20 min
Cook Time
1 hr 20 min
Total Time
1 hr 40 min
Prep Time
20 min
Cook Time
1 hr 20 min
Total Time
1 hr 40 min
Ingredients
  1. CAKE
  2. 3 sticks Butter
  3. 3 cups Sugar
  4. 5 whole Eggs
  5. 3 cups All-purpose Flour
  6. 1/2 teaspoon Salt
  7. 3/4 cup carbonated water
  8. 1/4 cup orange juice
  9. 1 Tablespoon Lemon Zest
  10. 1 Tablespoon Lime Zest
  11. GLAZE
  12. 2 cups Powdered Sugar, Sifted
  13. 1/4 teaspoon Salt
  14. 1 Tablespoon Lemon Zest
  15. 1 Tablespoon Lime Zest
  16. 1 Tablespoon Lemon Juice
  17. 1 Tablespoon Lime Juice
  18. 1 Tablespoon Water
Instructions
  1. Preheat oven to 325 degrees.
  2. In the bowl of an electric mixer fitted with the paddle attachment, cream together butter and sugar.
  3. Add eggs one at a time, mixing after each addition.
  4. Carefully add the salt, then the flour, one cup at a time, mixing after each addition.
  5. With the mixer on low, slowly add the carbonated water and orange juice until just combined.
  6. Add 1 tablespoon of both lemon and lime zest and fold into the batter with a rubber spatula.
  7. Scrape the bowl ensuring the batter is thoroughly combined.
  8. Spray a bundt pan very liberally with nonstick baking spray.
  9. Evenly pour the batter into the pan, evening out the surface.
  10. Bake for 1 hour and 20 minutes until lightly browned and risen.
  11. Remove the pan from the oven and let it sit in the pan for 15 minutes.
  12. Using a knife, carefully lift the cake away from the pan, then invert onto a cooling rack to cool completely.
  13. Place the cake onto a serving platter.
  14. Combine all the glaze ingredients in a bowl and whisk until combined and drizzles off the whisk. Slowly drizzle the glaze over the cake.
  15. Let the glaze set for at least 2 hours before slicing and serving.
Notes
  1. Try any combination of citrus - orange, lemon, lime or grapefruit!
  2. I don't use 7-Up as this recipe traditionally calls for and substitute a mix of orange juice and carbonated water to add some more flavor to the cake batter.
Adapted from Pioneer Woman
Adapted from Pioneer Woman
In Bryna's Kitchen http://www.inbrynaskitchen.com/

Mom’s Blueberry Muffins

The Church of Saint Dominic Cook Book  is a collection of recipes that reminds me of my family and growing up in Northfield – it’s certainly not inclusive of all my family’s recipes, but it goes a long ways towards that goal.  Since as long as I can remember my mom has been using this cookbook for recipes for beverages, hot dishes (GO Minnesota!), cakes, muffins and cookies, and nothing reminds me more of home cooking than the food that comes out of this book.  One of my all-time favorite recipes is from that cookbook and is the feature of this post – Blueberry Muffins.  I’ll admit, I may have sinned last summer and strayed to try a few new recipes for blueberry muffins but found my way back to this one as the proven favorite, plus two small additions.  It’s like I can’t help myself from taking a perfectly good recipe and making a few small tweaks so I can call it my own.  It’s an illness.  

So with no further ado, let’s talk about muffins.

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 Since the first half of this post is a little long I’ll try to make the rest of this short and sweet.  When you make muffins there’s just a few things to keep in mind.

1. Prepare the wet and dry ingredients in separate bowls, and combine at the very end to make your batter.

2. Don’t mix the berries into the batter or it will turn it purple – scoop the batter into the paper muffin liner, top with berries, and then top with more batter.

3. For the love of God – DO NOT OVERMIX THE BATTER.  This should have been tip #1.  If you’re going to over-mix your muffin batter you might as well throw it away and head to the bakery.  Something about over-mixing muffin batter turns it into tough, hard hockey pucks.  So when making this recipe, start with maybe 10 folds/stirs of the batter.  Not enough?  Add ONE more.  The wet and dry ingredients aren’t fully combined yet?  Stir ONE more time.  If you need proof of the importance of this tip I’ll send you a photo of the first round of making muffins for this post, which resulted in a batch I had to throw out because they were so tough you could throw them through a window.

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Ha, look at this, the second half of this post isn’t short and sweet.  Please don’t hold it against me.  Just make these muffins.  The recipe is decades old and has been made at my parents’ and my home countless time so I promise the end result will be great IF YOU PROMISE TO NOT OVERMIX THE BATTER.

Oh yea, those little tweaks I couldn’t resist adding to the original recipe? Lemon zest and vanilla extract – they really add fragrant, citrus, sweet flavors but if you want to try the original St. Dominic Cookbook recipe, just exclude these two items.  Very few recipes in my kitchen epitomize the best of homemade family foods and baked goods more than this one.  

This recipe not only results in delicious muffins, it makes me warm and fuzzy inside every time I pull out the +30 year old St. Dominic Church Cookbook to prepare them.  I’m the third generation in my family to cook from this book and love carrying the tradition forward.

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Mom's Blueberry Muffins
Serves 24
These blueberry muffins are delicious fresh from the oven with hints of lemon and vanilla.
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Prep Time
15 min
Cook Time
25 min
Total Time
40 min
Prep Time
15 min
Cook Time
25 min
Total Time
40 min
Ingredients
  1. DRY INGREDIENTS
  2. 4 1/2 cups rice blend flour (gluten free)
  3. 2 1/4 tsp xanthan gum
  4. 1 1/2 cup sugar
  5. 2 T. baking powder
  6. 1 tsp. salt
  7. 2 tsp lemon zest
  8. WET INGREDIENTS
  9. 1 1/2 cup milk
  10. 3 eggs, beaten
  11. 3/4 cup vegetable oil
  12. 2 tsp. vanilla extract
  13. 8oz frozen blueberries thawed OR fresh blueberries
Instructions
  1. Preheat the oven to 400 degrees and position the baking rack in the middle of the oven.
  2. Fill muffin tins with 24 paper liners.
  3. Mix all dry ingredients in a large bowl, including the lemon zest.
  4. Combine all wet ingredients in a medium bowl, whisking to combine (do not add the blueberries yet).
  5. Pour the wet ingredients into the dry and carefully stir to combine, stirring as little as possible. Start with 10 folds or stirs - try to stir no more than 20 times. Batter may be lumpy.
  6. Scoop 2 T. of batter into each paper liner.
  7. Top batter with thawed or fresh blueberries, roughly 5-6 per muffin.
  8. Top batter and blueberries with 1 T. of the remaining batter.
  9. Place both muffins tins on the middle rack of the oven and bake for 20-25 minutes, until just starting to brown.
  10. Remove the muffin tins from the oven and cool in the pan for 5-10 minutes, then remove muffins to a cooling rack to cool completely.
Notes
  1. This recipe has been adapted from the original to result in a full batch of 24 muffins (instead of 10) and includes lemon zest and vanilla extract for citrusy and sweet flavors.
  2. If you want to make this recipe non-gluten-free, exclude the xanthan gum and use 4 1/2 cups of regular bleached white flour.
Adapted from Church of St. Dominic Cookbook
Adapted from Church of St. Dominic Cookbook
In Bryna's Kitchen http://www.inbrynaskitchen.com/