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Rhubarb Cardamom Muffins

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I woke up today with this weird feeling. I wanted to make something, bake something to be exact, however I wanted it to be simple. And I didn’t want to use my stand mixer. Don’t ask me why I wanted these things specifically, but I did. And so this Saturday morning I decided to make these easy Rhubarb muffins.

I adapted a few small things from the original recipe, though the original is delicious as well! But I wanted to make something that was slightly healthier than what was listed. I subbed in nondairy milk (see below) and got rid of the topping. If you want the original recipe, follow the link.

Recipe adapted from A Farm Girls Dabbles

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Cardamom and Rhubarb Muffins

  • 1 large egg
  • 1/2 c. milk (I used almond coconut blend, unsweetened, from Blue Diamond)
  • 1/4 c. vegetable oil (I like canola)
  • 1-1/2 c. flour
  • 1/2 c. sugar
  • 2 tsp. baking powder
  • 1/2 tsp. salt
  • 1/2 tsp. cinnamon
  • 1/8 tsp. nutmeg
  • 1-1/2 c. chopped fresh rhubarb
  • 6-7 cardamom pods

Preheat oven to 400 degrees F. Line your muffin pan and thoroughly spray with cooking spray (I used PAM).

Mix egg, milk, and oil in small bowl. In a large bowl, whisk the flour, sugar, baking powder, salt, cinnamon, and nutmeg. Add the wet ingredients to the dry ingredients and stir. Do not over mix. Fold in rhubarb. The batter will be sticky, this is okay.

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Spoon into muffin tin and let rest a few minutes while you prepare the cardamom ( this batch made 9 muffins for me).

Place your pods on a flat surface, and with the jar they come in, or with a mug, gently push down, crushing the green shells. Open up the shells and remove the seeds. They will be black or tan/brown in color. Sprinkle them all over the muffins.  The original recipe calls for a cardamom crunch topping, but to save on the extra carbs and calories I opted to just add in the seeds for the flavor and non of the extras I didn’t really need.

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Place pan in oven and bake until golden, about 18 to 20 minutes. Let rest in pan for 5 minutes before removing to wire rack to cool. Serve warm or at room temperature. The muffins are best the day they are baked, but morning after was quite delicious as well.

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Rhubarb and Blueberry Jam

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It’s blueberry season again. I know that last year I went a little crazy and although I only posted once last year about my jam, I continued to make it all summer long. Similarly was my obsession was apple butter two years ago. I couldn’t get enough of the stuff .This year I’m going to be adding a bit of rhubarb to my jam, as well as a whole vanilla pod. This way I can get more of the creamy, vanilla flavor to balance the sugar necessary for the rhubarb to be sweet enough to be edible.

Rhubarb and Blueberry Jam (with balsamic vinegar and lemon)

  • 4 rhubarb stalks
  • 2 cups of blueberries (fresh is preferred, buy frozen works just as well, do not thaw when adding)
  • 2 1/2 cups of sugar (I used  1 1/2 cups of regular sugar, and 1 cup of vanilla sugar)
  • 1 vanilla pod (opened and seeds scraped out)
  • 1 pectin box (1.75 oz sure-jell containers)*
  • 1 tbsp butter
  • 1 tbsp balsamic vinegar
  • 1 lemon

Place everything but pectin in a dutch oven and slowly heat on stove, over medium heat. After ten minutes of warming the fruit should be releasing the juices. Add in the pectin and stir.

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Let bubble away slowly, about thirty minutes, keeping an eye to make sure it doesn’t stick.

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Continue to cook till desired consistency is reached, about 1.5 hours.

Using a potato masher, attempt to pulverize the fruit that is now lovely, and soft. Using a whisk add in juice of one lemon with zest. The Whisk will allow the fruit to soften even further.

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To test that the jams doneness, place a plate in freezer for ten minutes. Take out and add a line of jam (about a teaspoon) to cold plate. Let sit for a few seconds, and move plate around to see if the jam has set. If it has, you’re all set for canning! If not, bubble away a little longer and retest (there is too much natural juice that needs to evaporate).

* The rhubarb gives off A LOT of juice, therefore the sugar is not enough to solidify it. The extra use of the pectin here will help with that.

Dreaming of Summer

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Here in Southern California summer lasts for a good 5 months; starting at about May and going all the way to October some years. Considering that, I have at least two more months of lovely summer fun left to get all of my sunny fun needs done. I know in summer there are a lot of wishlists, to-do lists, and pretty much every other form of lists people can manage to make. It’s the good weather that gets people going in a productive way, I suppose.

I thought I’d share one of my lists with you.

These are things that I want, specifically for end of summer. This way I’d have a nice, mellow and smooth transition into the colder days of fall.

 

First my drink of choice, tea. And not just any tea, this lovely number from Teavana has the great tropics with warm spices so it’s the perfect blend for September. Why September? I don’t know.  But it seems right to me.

WHITE AYURVEDIC CHAI TEA

Next, is this Hot Milk bath bomb from Lush. I love all things Lush, but I have to say taking a bath in summer is almost impossible to do. I really miss it, and I just have to put this on my list to prepare for the cooler season cause I’ve missed my baths. Too much.

Usually I get my soaps from Villianess. Their products are hands down the best I’ve ever used. Yes, even better than Lush soaps, I think. However, they take a while to deliver some days, and once you have a good stock of 6 soaps from her, it’s hard to order more. I usually leave these out for hand washing on my vanity. But once in a while, I stray into Lush and run right into this beauty.  How can I not buy it? How can I not want to buy it?

Sultana of Soap by LUSH

Now for some fun.

Something from Sephora is on my list almost year-round. This time I have to say Kat Von D’s Triple Threat Liner Set is staying forever! I’ve read four other blogs and countless beauty site reviews on her eyeliners and they all say they’re amazing, better than urbandecay, and 100% worth it.

So for those lazy, hazy summer days and nights, I dreamily put this trio of liners on my last Summer Wish List of 2012.

Finally, and thanks to InStyle magazine, I was introduced to this great serum. Yes to Blueberries is a great brand, I use Yes to Cucumbers Facial Wipes all the time before and after working out because it’s easier and less harmful than washing my face four times a day, and with this new age and skin repair line, I’m 100% set.

This serum isn’t anti-age, although it could be used as such, it’s actually got antioxidants and vitamins to repair sun damaged skin. This is amazing considering I’ve spent a good 2 hours a week sitting by the pool. Not to mention a ll those times I forgot to put sunscreen on my face when going out to the store, work, or even to the beach (yikes!).

I’ve heard good things about it, and while I love my Vitamin C Truth Serum (my skin is amazing after starting to use it regularly) it’s not designed to reverse skin damaged  by the sun, only aid in it’s natural and slow healing processes.

Point being, at $20 a pop at Target, I’m totally down to get this after summer is over.

Hello, my Pretty