blueberry

Honey Yogurt Berry Pops

Happy 4th of July folks!  The biggest Summer holiday that celebrates all the important essentials-- swimming, BBQing, soaking up the rays while sipping on some ice cold beer lemonade.  Are yall feeling me?  Aside from getting a day off work, 4th of July is actually one of the most important holidays in America as it celebrates the legal celebration of the Thirteen Colonies from Great Britain.  Pretty big deal guys, without the the Declaration of Independence America wouldn't be the land of dreams and opportunities known to so many people today.

With that in mind, we must be sure to celebrate her marvel and grace that is America.  Raise your glasses this year and celebrate your patriotism to the US of A -- be loud and be proud for being an American no matter what race, color, or religion and make a vow to be the best citizen you can be.  What we have here is beautiful and we should always take the time to cherish and appreciate what our founding fathers have done for us.  I hope you enjoyed that Independence Day PSA, I felt really patriotic after watching Team America last night: I am officially ramped up for this weekend.

Honey Yogurt Berry Pops
Recipe Type: Dessert
Author: Joy Zhang
Serves: 8
Bring on the fireworks, slather on that sunscreen and party hardy with family and loved ones. And if you're experiencing the same sweltering hot weather as we're having in Texas you'll appreciate this recipe for Honey Yogurt Berry Pops. It's a healthy way to stay cool and it literally takes a few minutes to make. I used the Norpro popsicle molds and they worked great, I recommend letting the pops defrost for 3-5 minutes before trying to pop them out.
Ingredients
  • 2 cups 0% Greek Yogurt, I used Fage (Chobani will work as well)
  • 1/2 cup raw honey
  • 1 cup mixed berries, washed (blueberries, strawberries, blackberries)
Instructions
  1. Blend yogurt and honey together in a large bowl. Fold mixed berries in. Transfer into a container with a spout so the mixture can be poured into popsicle molds. Fill popsicle molds close the top and put in popsicle sticks. Freeze for 3 hours or overnight.
  2. You can use any of the remaining mixture and blend it with some ice for a yogurt berry smoothie!

I love the wholesomeness of this recipe -- just 3 simple ingredients: fresh berries, fat free Greek yogurt and raw honey.  It truly is simplicity at its finest.  Since Greek yogurt has a thicker and creamier consistency and flavor than regular yogurts, these popsicles taste absolutely decadent without the guilt.  Using honey as a natural sweetener, it adds a nice floral body to the yogurt and brings out the sweetness of the berries even further.

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Blueberry Muffins with Streusel Topping

I've fallen in love with Nashville, Tennessee.  I never imagined the south to be so beautiful but Nashville has everything I have ever dreamed of -- huge front and back yards adorned with beautiful hydrangeas,  soft rolling hills filled with Dogwoods, Maple and Magnolia trees, and SWEET TEA oh man do I love a tall glass of sweet tea on a warm Summer evening... I was there for one of my dear friend's wedding, Tammy Cheng Anderson, as her wedding photographer and I had a blast.  I want to move there, seriously.

I love the South, and as a tribute I wanted to make some muffins.  I've realized I don't post much breakfast food on here -- probably because I usually skip breakfast.  I KNOW I KNOW, it's the most important meal of the day which is why I've made a conscious effort this year to eat every morning.  I admit I have certain bad eating habits, I always go for the late night snack and it's usually ice cream or cookies (I am so glad my mother doesn't read this or she would flip out).  I realize as a result, I don't wake up very hungry in the mornings and skip breakfast.  Now I've cut out my late night snacks (mostly) and lone behold, I wake up hungry.

Since Summer is the best season for berries, I opted to make these moist blueberry muffins from the Le Cordon Bleu textbook.  These are perfect for a weekend breakfast or brunch and they are not only easy to make but the results are phenomenal.  I also like to cut any leftover muffins up and put them in the freezer, they are awesome on top of some vanilla ice cream!

Muffins are known as "quick breads" where only slight gluten development is desirable.  Tenderness is a desirable quality opposed to the chewy quality of many yeast breads.  Over mixing muffin batter produces not only chewiness but irregular shapes and large, elongated holes inside the muffins known as tunneling.

The muffin method is used largely for muffins, pancakes and waffles.  Muffin batter should be mixed only until the dry ingredients are just moistened.  Do not attempt to achieve a smooth batter, remember low gluten development is necessary to develop a delicate and moist texture for your muffins.

Ingredients for Blueberry Muffins:

  • 2 1/2 cups pastry flour
  • 1 1/4 cups sugar
  • 1 teaspoon baking powder
  • 1/2 teaspoon salt
  • 3/4 cup eggs, beaten
  • 1 3/4 cups milk
  • 1 teaspoon vanilla
  • 1 cup butter or shortening, softened
  • 1 cup blueberries, rinsed

Preheat oven to 400F.

Combine the butter, vanilla, milk  and sugar and cream the ingredients together in a large bowl until light.  Add the eggs in two or three stages.  Cream well after each addition before adding more eggs.  Sift together the flour, baking powder and other dry ingredients in a separate bowl.  Stir together the liquid ingredients until well combined.  Add the sifted dry ingredients alternately with the liquids, adding 1/4 of the dry ingredients with 1/3 of the liquid, mix until just blended in.  Carefully fold in blueberries and remember to not over mix the batter!

Ingredients for Streusel Topping:
  • 1/4 c. brown sugar
  • 1 tbsp. soft butter
  • 1/2 tsp. cinnamon
  • 1 tbsp flour

Mix all together, using a fork or spoon to combine ingredients. Sprinkle over the top of the muffins before baking.

Grease and flour muffin tins.  Fill tins 1/2 to 2/3 of the way full.  Place in the oven and bake for about 20-30 minutes or until a toothpick comes out clean when inserted into the center of the muffins.  Place muffins on cooling rack and serve with milk, tea, or coffee.  Muffins can keep in airtight box in the fridge for up to a week and for up to a month in the freezer.

Warm Mixed Berry Crumb Cake

Food Blog 183 Have you ever had one of those desserts that are so addicting that you could finish off the whole darn thing if no one was standing around to judge you? Every time I make this cake my fiance, Collin polishes the entire thing off within the first night.  It has never made it to see a second day hahaha.

I found this wonderful recipe on Food and Wine and just fell in love with it.  It is so delectable and would be perfect for the upcoming Holidays.  This week I will be featuring Thanksgiving food since it is right around the corner!  I am having my annual feast this weekend with friends and family so there will be a lot of good stuff posted this week :) Be sure to stay posted!

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Ingredients for Berry Filling:

  • 3 pounds strawberries, hulled and halved (8 cups) **I used 2 pounds strawberries, 1 pint of blueberries (Thanks Kristan ^_^)
  • 1/2 cup sugar
  • 2 tablespoons freshly squeezed lemon juice
  • 2 1/2 tablespoons cornstarch dissolved in 2 1/2 tablespoons of water

Preheat the oven to 350F.

In a large bowl, toss the strawberries with the sugar, lemon juice, cornstarch mixture and allow the berries to stand for 30 minutes, until the juices of the berries have been drawn out a bit.   Pour the fruit filling into a 9-by-13-inch glass or ceramic baking dish and set on a sturdy baking sheet to catch any overflowing cake batter or crumbles.  Meanwhile make the crumble topping.

In the original recipe, it asks to add fresh vanilla bean.  They are quite pricey so I decided to leave them out, you can always use a teaspoon of vanilla extract instead.

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Ingredients for Crumb Topping:

  • 1/2 cup lightly packed light brown sugar
  • 1/2 cup plus 2 tablespoons all-purpose flour
  • Pinch of salt
  • 4 tablespoons unsalted butter, cubed and chilled

3

Mix all of the ingredients in a medium bowl.  Using your fingers, break the butter and form the mixture into a coarse clumps or "crumbles".

Ingredients for Cake:

  • 2 1/2 cups all-purpose flour
  • 1 tablespoon baking powder
  • 3/4 teaspoon salt
  • 1 stick unsalted butter, softened
  • 1 1/4 cups sugar
  • 3 large eggs
  • 1 1/2 teaspoon vanilla extract
  • 3/4 cups buttermilk

2

Mix the flour, baking powder and salt thoroughly in a medium bowl.   In a  beat the butter with the sugar at medium-high speed until light and fluffy, about 3 minutes. Add the eggs, one at a time, beating well between additions. Beat in the vanilla extract and scrape down the bowl. Add the dry ingredients to the batter in 3 additions, alternating with the buttermilk.  If you do not have buttermilk, you can use yogurt as a substitute!

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Spread the batter over the fruit filling to the edges of the baking dish.  Sprinkle generously with the crumb topping and bake in the center of the oven for 1 hour and 15 minutes.  The fruit filling will be bubbling, the crumb topping should be golden and test the doneness by sticking a toothpick into the center of the cake.  If it comes out clean it is done! Allow the cake to cool on a cooling rack.  You can serve it warm with a scoop of ice cream or eat it plain.

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This dessert is an absolute delight -- it has a delicious crunchy topping with a moist crumble cake hidden underneath.  After breaking into the crust, the rich fragrance of the mixed berries rushes to your nose.  In every bite you get the warm berry filling with the gooey yellow cake with the nice buttery crunch at the end.

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You honestly can't stop eating it, my fiance is living proof.  He walked up to the empty cake pan last night and looked upon it with sad eyes and said to me " Why is there never any leftovers for this cake?" -- that's because you eat it all Collin :).