Sunday, June 26, 2011

Recipe of the Week: Queso Blanco Dip

Source: Annie's Eats

This week's selection is another recipe from Annie's Eats– classic queso dip. I made this as an appetizer for friends before a night out and it was gone within a matter of minutes. Since everyone loves tortilla chips slathered in cheese, this recipe is a safe bet for any party or potluck.

I loved this recipe and give it two thumbs up, but I do have one thing I would change– it could use some kick. I am a big fan of spicy food and this dip was lacking in heat. I recommend leaving in the jalapeƱo seeds or adding some Tabasco to kick it up a notch.

Source: Annie's Eats

Thursday, June 9, 2011

Recipe of the Week: Green Monster Smoothie

Source: Annie's Eats

I have become slightly obsessed with this smoothie over the past few weeks. I haven't had the time or funds for more elaborate cooking projects, but I've managed to find some basic tasty recipes that have come in very handy, including this one. This green smoothie combines pineapple, pear, banana, orange juice, honey and spinach, with some flax seeds thrown in for a little added health benefit.

I was first attracted to the smoothie because of its striking green color and when I learned the source of the color– spinach– I was even more intrigued. I had heard of spinach smoothies before, but I thought they were only for those health nuts who will juice any fruit or vegetable they can get their hands on– carrot & cucumber juice? No thanks. But, I found this recipe on one of my favorite blogs, Annie's Eats, and in the entry Annie mentioned that you can't even taste the spinach, despite it being a primary ingredient. I was doubtful, but guess what? She was right. No hint of spinach in this recipe. Don't believe me? Try it out for yourself. It is tangy, refreshing and delicious and I highly recommend it.

Source: Annie's Eats

Sunday, June 5, 2011

Blueberry Muffins

I have a confession to make. I love Gwyneth Paltrow. A lot, like an unhealthy amount. She can act, she can sing, she can cook and she's absolutely gorgeous. And have you seen those arms? I don't care what anyone says, the woman is amazing.

My love affair with Gwyneth began about a year ago when I started reading her blog, Goop. To me, she seemed like a modern day Renaissance woman. I was particularly struck by her love of food. After all, a true passion for food is not something often found among female celebrities (with the exception of Food Network stars). Her culinary philosophy is simple– make great tasting food that's great for you, but allow yourself to indulge along the way. Sounds good to me.

As you can imagine, I was thrilled when I heard about Gwyneth's cookbook, My Father's Daughter. I've now read it cover to cover several times and I highly recommend it. She makes cooking super accessible and My Father's Daughter is chock-full of simple, yet delicious recipes.

The first recipe I decided to try out actually comes from Gwyneth's mom, Blythe Danner. Apparently Gwyneth constantly requested these muffins while she was pregnant, and after trying them, I can see why. They are packed with blueberries and don't contain a ton of sugar, so they're the perfect balance of tart and sweet. Also, they are quick and simple, which is always a plus. Since they're pretty hard to mess up, they would make a really fun baking project for kids.

My favorite thing about this recipe is the abundance of blueberries

Bon appetit!

Blythe Danner's Blueberry Muffins
Makes 12
1/2 cup unsalted butter, melted and cooled slightly
2 eggs
1/2 cup whole milk
2 cups unbleached all-purpose flour
3/4 cup plus 1 tbsp sugar, divided
2 tsp baking powder
1/2 tsp salt
2 1/2 cups fresh blueberries, washed and patted dry

Preheat oven to 375° F. Line a muffin pan with paper liners and set aside. Whisk butter, eggs and milk in a bowl. Combine flour, 3/4 cup sugar, baking powder and salt in another bowl. Stir wet ingredients into dry ingredients. Fold in blueberries.

A little lemon zest would be a great way to spice up this recipe

Divide batter evenly between 12 muffin cups. Sprinkle the tops with the remaining sugar (or demerrara sugar, if you prefer).

Bake until muffins are golden brown and a toothpick inserted in the center comes out clean, 25 to 30 minutes. Serve warm with a glass of cold milk.

Muffins can be saved for several days. Store in an airtight container, but let them cool for an hour or so before packing them up. If you put them in the container too soon, the steam will create moisture and make the tops of the muffins sticky and they will stick together if stacked. Reheat quickly in the oven, toaster oven or microwave before serving.

Source: My Father's Daughter