Monday, July 29, 2019

Lemon Cream Cheese Muffins #MuffinMonday

These fluffy lemon cream cheese muffins are the perfect breakfast or teatime treat, with just the right amount of sweetness to balance the zippy lemon juice and lush cream cheese.

Food Lust People Love: These fluffy lemon cream cheese muffins are the perfect breakfast or teatime treat, with just the right amount of sweetness to balance the zippy lemon juice and lush cream cheese. Fresh lemon juice and zest are preferable but if all you’ve got is lemon juice in a bottle, make these muffins anyway. They’ll still be delightful.


If you have only ever lived in one place, you might be amazed at the disparity of ingredients that exists from one country to the next. I’m not talking about specialty items either but things we completely take for granted in one place, that is unavailable in another.

When we were living in France, for example, I had no problems at all finding whole fat yogurt for our infant and toddler who, since they were younger than two years old still needed the milk fat for brain growth. Or so said the nutritional authorities at the time. But when we were on holiday visiting family in Houston, all the yogurt seemed to be low fat.

The reverse is true of firm cream cheese in blocks. They are standard in every American grocery store but many places overseas, for instance here in the Channels Islands, cream cheese comes in tubs and is whipped, completely unsuitable for recipes calling for normal cream cheese.

I get around these problems by having a shopping list for every country I travel to. In Malaysia, I buy crispy chili prawn paste, dried shrimp, good morning towels, Chinese sausage, curry powder and chili pork, just for a start.

In the US, there are many items on my list, which includes but is not limited to smoked sausage, dried black beans, Jif peanut butter, microwave popcorn, Crystal Light lemonade mix, Aunt Jemima Butter Light syrup, Karo, pecans and Crisco. You get the idea.

Recently we took the ferry to France and the shopping list was long! Wine, cheese, duck confit and saucisson, of course, but also practical things like rubbing alcohol, concrete nails and our favorite mayonnaise by Lesieur. Also on the list was cream cheese in blocks! Just so I could make these muffins.

What do you haul home from your travels, whether abroad or from another city or county close by? Extra points if it’s an ingredient I’ll then feel the need to add to my shopping list!

Lemon Cream Cheese Muffins

Fresh lemon juice and zest are preferable but if all you’ve got is lemon juice in a bottle, make these muffins anyway. They’ll still be delightful.

Ingredients
2/3 cup or 132g sugar
Zest 1 lemon
2 cups or 250g flour
2 teaspoons baking powder
1/2 teaspoon baking soda
1/2 teaspoon fine sea salt
1/2 cup or 120ml milk
1/2 cup or 120ml canola or other light oil
1/4 cup or 60ml fresh lemon juice
2 eggs
5 1/3 oz or 150g cream cheese

Method
Preheat your oven to 350°F or 180°C and prepare your 12-cup muffin pan by lightly brushing it with oil or lining it with silicone muffin cups.  When I am baking with cheese, I find it’s best not to use paper muffin liners because the cheese can stick to it. If you have a non-stick muffin pan, that would be ideal.

In a large mixing bowl, whisk together your sugar and lemon zest. Set aside a rounded tablespoon of the lemon sugar for topping.

Add the flour, baking powder, baking soda and salt to the sugar bowl and mix thoroughly.



In another smaller mixing bowl, whisk together the milk, oil, lemon juice and eggs.

Cut the cream cheese into cubes and add them to the flour mixture. Stir gently to coat the cubes so they don’t stick together.



Pour your wet ingredients into your dry ones and fold until just combined. A little flour might still show.



Divide the batter between the muffin cups and top with the reserved lemon zest sugar.

Food Lust People Love: These fluffy lemon cream cheese muffins are the perfect breakfast or teatime treat, with just the right amount of sweetness to balance the zippy lemon juice and lush cream cheese. Fresh lemon juice and zest are preferable but if all you’ve got is lemon juice in a bottle, make these muffins anyway. They’ll still be delightful.


Bake in your preheated oven for about 20-25 minutes or until the muffins are golden and a toothpick inserted comes out clean.

Food Lust People Love: These fluffy lemon cream cheese muffins are the perfect breakfast or teatime treat, with just the right amount of sweetness to balance the zippy lemon juice and lush cream cheese. Fresh lemon juice and zest are preferable but if all you’ve got is lemon juice in a bottle, make these muffins anyway. They’ll still be delightful.


Allow the muffins to cool for a few minutes in the pan then remove them to a wire rack to cool completely.

Food Lust People Love: These fluffy lemon cream cheese muffins are the perfect breakfast or teatime treat, with just the right amount of sweetness to balance the zippy lemon juice and lush cream cheese. Fresh lemon juice and zest are preferable but if all you’ve got is lemon juice in a bottle, make these muffins anyway. They’ll still be delightful.


Enjoy!

Check out all the delicious muffins my Muffin Monday friends are sharing today:
Muffin Monday

#MuffinMonday is a group of muffin loving bakers who get together once a month to bake muffins. You can see all of our lovely muffins by following our Pinterest board. Updated links for all of our past events and more information about Muffin Monday can be found on our home page.


Pin these Lemon Cream Cheese Muffins! 

Food Lust People Love: These fluffy lemon cream cheese muffins are the perfect breakfast or teatime treat, with just the right amount of sweetness to balance the zippy lemon juice and lush cream cheese. Fresh lemon juice and zest are preferable but if all you’ve got is lemon juice in a bottle, make these muffins anyway. They’ll still be delightful.
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Friday, July 19, 2019

Grilled Parma-wrapped Stuffed Sardines #FishFridayFoodies

These grilled Parma-wrapped stuffed sardines have a flavorful filling of spicy seasonings, breadcrumbs and toasted pine nuts. We cook them over hot coals, which crisps up the Parma ham and adds a delightful smokiness.



I am fortunate to be able to get fresh sardines at my local fish market here in the Channel Islands. In fact, with the exception of Singapore, where I could only assume the fishermen didn’t bother catching them because they would have sold for so little, they’ve been available every place we’ve lived. (On the other hand, Singapore had cheap green-lipped mussels, something we never saw in Malaysia. Same fishing waters so it was a mystery.)

We love fresh sardines because they are not only full of flavor but they are quick cooking and cheap. If you are lucky enough to have a fishmonger who will debone the sardines for you, you are off to an easy start. If not, it’s really quite simple. Check out this butterflied stuffed sardine recipe for instructions with photos.

This month it’s my turn to host Fish Friday Foodies so I chose Grilled Seafood as our theme. Make sure you scrolled down to the bottom to check out the other grilled recipes we are sharing.

Grilled Parma-wrapped Stuffed Sardines

These guys make a lovely dinner with side dishes or serve them up individually on a bed of lightly dressed mixed greens as a starter at your next barbecue.

Ingredients
1/4 cup or 35g toasted pine nuts
1 tablespoon olive oil, plus extra for greasing the aluminum grilling tray
1 large onion, peeled, finely chopped
1 red chili, finely chopped
1 large clove garlic, peeled and minced
2/3 cup, loosely packed, or 40g fresh breadcrumbs
1 tablespoon butter
Fine sea salt
Freshly ground black pepper
10 small sardines, gutted, heads and bones removed
5 slices Parma ham, cut in half lengthwise

Lemon wedges to serve and parsley to garnish, optional

Method
First, make the stuffing: Heat the olive oil in a pan and gently cook the onion, garlic, chili until they are tender and almost a mush. Do this slowly so they don’t brown too much or scorch.



Remove from the heat and leave to cool slightly, then stir in the butter, the breadcrumbs and pine nuts. Season with a sprinkle of salt and pepper.



Open the deboned sardines up and divide the filling between them.



Fold them back into shape then wrap each one with a half slice of Parma ham.






Refrigerate covered with cling film, until ready to grill.



Light coals in your barbecue pit. When they are grey, which usually takes about 20 minutes, you are ready to grill the sardines. Meanwhile, lightly grease an aluminum grilling tray* with olive oil.   (*Amazon affiliate link)

Place the grilling tray on the barbecue grill and add the stuffed sardines.

Cook for a couple of minutes uncovered, then put the lid on with the vent well open for another three.

Use a metal spatula to loosen the sardines from the grilling tray, then turn them over carefully.



Cook for another couple of minutes uncovered, then put the lid on, again with the vent well open.



Cook for another 4-5 minutes or until the sardines are cooked through. I gently separate the meat with the point of knife at the thickest spot to check. It should be whitish and opaque.

Transfer the stuffed sardines to a warmed serving dish, sprinkle with parsley and serve with lemon wedges.

Enjoy!



Check out the other grilled seafood dishes my Fish Friday Foodies friends are sharing today!

Would you like to join Fish Friday Foodies? We post and share new seafood/fish recipes on the third Friday of the month. To join our group please email Wendy at wendyklik1517 (at) gmail.com. Visit our Facebook page and Pinterest page for more wonderful fish and seafood recipe ideas.

Pin these Grilled Parma-wrapped Stuffed Sardines! 


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Thursday, July 18, 2019

Buttermilk Raspberry Vanilla Bundt #BundtBakers

The tender vanilla crumb surrounds sweet raspberries for a little slice of summer berry heaven in this delectable buttermilk raspberry vanilla Bundt cake.

FoodLustPeopleLove: The tender vanilla crumb surrounds sweet raspberries for a little slice of summer berry heaven in this delectable buttermilk raspberry vanilla Bundt cake. If fresh raspberries aren’t available where you live, you can use frozen ones or feel free to substitute your favorite summer berry.


I’ve just finished reading Kate Morton’s The Forgotten Garden, which contains fairy tales interspersed with the story, an epic of family and secrets and generational connections. I can’t remember the last time I read a fairy tale before this. When I got to the first one, I almost skipped over it since it was an interruption to the main narrative and I wanted that to continue. But I honored the author's intentions and read it after all. I've been in a weird philosophical mood ever since.

Fairy tales are a genre that don’t often present themselves as adult fare but, honestly, they should be. Some of them are really scary. But they also open our minds to the possibility of magic and mystery in the world around us.

For instance, have you ever seen a magnified photo of a raspberry? The tiny “hairs” and round globes filled with juice and seeds are otherworldly; like little bunches of bright red grapes just the right size for fairies to eat. I think they’d be fans of my raspberry vanilla cake as well.



Buttermilk Raspberry Vanilla Bundt

If fresh raspberries aren’t available where you live, you can use frozen ones or feel free to substitute your own favorite summer berry.

Ingredients
For the cake:
2 cups or 250g all-purpose flour, plus more for flouring pan
1 teaspoon baking powder
1/2 teaspoon baking soda
1/2 teaspoon salt
1/3 cup or 75g unsalted butter, softened, plus more for greasing pan
3/4 cup or 150g sugar
1 teaspoon vanilla extract
2 large eggs
3/4 cup or 180ml whole fat buttermilk
1 1/2 cups or about 180g fresh or frozen raspberries

For the easy raspberry glaze:
5-6 fresh or frozen raspberries
1/3 cup or 41g icing sugar
water or lemon juice, as needed

Optional for serving (instead of the glaze): icing sugar

Method
Sprinkle two tablespoons of the sugar on the raspberries in small bowl. Set aside.



Preheat your oven to 350°F or 180°C and generously butter and flour a 10-cup Bundt pan.

In another mixing bowl, sift together the flour, baking powder, baking soda, and salt.

Beat the butter and the balance of the sugar with electric beaters or in stand mixer at medium-high speed until pale and fluffy, about 2 minutes, then beat in the vanilla. Scrape down the bowl, then add the eggs one at a time and beat well with each addition.



Have a quick look at your raspberries and sugar and give them a stir. If they look really juicy, put one tablespoon of the flour mixture into the bowl and fold it into the berries. This will help them stay in the batter rather than falling to the bottom of the cake.

Add half of the remaining flour mixture and half of the buttermilk into the big mixing bowl. Beat on low until combined. Add in the other half of both and beat until just combined.



Spoon the sugary raspberries onto the batter along with any syrup they've created. Raspberries do tend to break down rather nicely. Gently fold them into the batter.



Spoon the batter into your prepared Bundt pan, smoothing out the top, if necessary.



Bake until the cake is golden and well-risen, about 40-45 minutes. A wooden toothpick inserted into center should come out clean.

FoodLustPeopleLove: The tender vanilla crumb surrounds sweet raspberries for a little slice of summer berry heaven in this delectable buttermilk raspberry vanilla Bundt cake. If fresh raspberries aren’t available where you live, you can use frozen ones or feel free to substitute your favorite summer berry.


To make the raspberry glaze, add the raspberries and powdered sugar to a small bowl. Mash the raspberries with the back of a spoon until they've completely dissolved into the sugar. Add a few drops of water or lemon juice till you get a pouring consistency, if needed. Warm the glaze over a low heat in a small pot, until it turns clear. Set aside to cool.

Cool the Bundt cake in the pan for about 10 minutes. Loosen the sides with your testing toothpick, then turn the cake out onto a wire rack.

FoodLustPeopleLove: The tender vanilla crumb surrounds sweet raspberries for a little slice of summer berry heaven in this delectable buttermilk raspberry vanilla Bundt cake. If fresh raspberries aren’t available where you live, you can use frozen ones or feel free to substitute your favorite summer berry.
Cool completely before sprinkling with a little icing sugar or spooning on the easy raspberry glaze to serve.

FoodLustPeopleLove: The tender vanilla crumb surrounds sweet raspberries for a little slice of summer berry heaven in this delectable buttermilk raspberry vanilla Bundt cake. If fresh raspberries aren’t available where you live, you can use frozen ones or feel free to substitute your favorite summer berry.


Enjoy!



My favorite part of summer is the plethora of seasonal fruit in farm shops and supermarkets so I was delighted when this month’s Bundt Baker host, Kelley of Simply Inspired Meals chose that as our theme. Check out all the other lovely summer fruit Bundts we’ve baked for you today.


BundtBakers

#BundtBakers is a group of Bundt loving bakers who get together once a month to bake Bundts with a common ingredient or theme. You can see all our of lovely Bundts by following our Pinterest board. We take turns hosting each month and choosing the theme/ingredient. Updated links for all of our past events and more information about #BundtBakers, can be found on our home page.

Pin this Buttermilk Raspberry Vanilla Bundt!

FoodLustPeopleLove: The tender vanilla crumb surrounds sweet raspberries for a little slice of summer berry heaven in this delectable buttermilk raspberry vanilla Bundt cake. If fresh raspberries aren’t available where you live, you can use frozen ones or feel free to substitute your favorite summer berry.
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Tuesday, July 9, 2019

Fried Jalapeño Corn Puffs #BreadBakers

Crunchy on the outside and fluffy on the inside, these fried jalapeño corn puffs are savory doughnuts of a most delicious kind.

Food Lust People Love: Crunchy on the outside and fluffy on the inside, these fried jalapeño corn puffs are savory doughnuts of a most delicious kind. These would be perfect appetizers for a summer cocktail party, made with fresh sweet corn.


If you’ve been reading along here for the past eight years, you’ll know that I seldom deep-fry anything. I know, I know. Odd for a cook raised in the southern tradition. My grandmother thought nothing of frying chicken, often more than once a week, if we were visiting. I think she could do it in her sleep. Her fried chicken was the best, a dish I still attempt occasionally. Despite watching and helping her many times, even taking notes, somehow mine is never quite as good.

In fact, there are only three fried recipes on this blog, if you don’t count pan-frying in very little or no oil, which I do not: Spicy fried chicken à la Maya Angelou; deep fried cod fritters, a Brazilian specialty; and tali machchi, a spicy fish dish from Goa on the west coast of India.

But when our host for this month’s Bread Bakers chose fried bread leavened with yeast as our theme, I couldn’t resist making a savory snack. These would be perfect appetizers for a summer cocktail party, made with fresh sweet corn.

Fried Jalapeño Corn Puffs
These crunchy outside, fluffy inside little corn puffs are well worth heating up the oil and throwing an apron on. When deep-frying, always be aware of the possibility of popping oil, keeping your face well away from the pot. I also suggest making sure pets and children are not underfoot.

Ingredients
For the puff dough:
1/2 cup or 120ml warm water
1 teaspoon active dry yeast
1 tablespoon sugar
1 large egg, lightly beaten
1 tablespoon shortening, at room temperature
1/2 teaspoon fine sea salt
1 1/2 cups or 190g strong white bread flour
1 cup or 145g sweet corn niblets, fresh cut off the cob or frozen
1-2 jalapeños, depending on your spiciness tolerance

To fry the puffs:
Canola or peanut oil – enough to allow 2 in or 5 cm of oil in your deep frying pot

Optional for serving:
Freshly grated Parmesan cheese

Method
If you are using frozen corn, thaw it and leave it to drain on a clean kitchen towel or paper towels, until you are ready to add it to the dough.

Measure the water into bowl. Add the yeast and sugar. Set aside for a few minutes to make sure your yeast is active. It should begin to bubbly and froth.

Meanwhile cut the stems off the jalapeños and mince them finely. If you have a low tolerance for spicy heat, use only one pepper and remove the seeds and membrane before mincing. We fall very much into the spicier the better camp.



Whisk the shortening, egg and salt into the bowl.

Sift in the flour and mix well. This creates a very thick batter or a very soft dough. Same same.



Fold in the corn and jalapeños. Cover and let rise overnight in the refrigerator or until doubled in a warm place.



Heat your oil in a wide deep pot to the ideal deep-frying temperature of 375°F or 190°C. I always use a thermometer because I am very bad at guessing how hot the oil is. (If you don't have a thermometer, here are some tips from E-How.)

Use a tablespoon or cookie scoop to gently drop the batter into the hot oil, being careful not to overcrowd the pot, which lowers the oil temperature. I have a two-tablespoon cookie scoop. Filling it about halfway made these perfect little puffs.



Fry the puffs until golden brown on one side, turning them over to lightly brown the other side.

Food Lust People Love: Crunchy on the outside and fluffy on the inside, these fried jalapeño corn puffs are savory doughnuts of a most delicious kind. These would be perfect appetizers for a summer cocktail party, made with fresh sweet corn.


Use a slotted spoon to scoop the puffs out of the oil and drain on a wire rack or on paper towels. Keep warm in a very slow oven until all the puffs are fried.

Food Lust People Love: Crunchy on the outside and fluffy on the inside, these fried jalapeño corn puffs are savory doughnuts of a most delicious kind. These would be perfect appetizers for a summer cocktail party, made with fresh sweet corn.


Once my fried jalapeño corn puffs were all ready, I pulled them out of the warm oven and grated a little Parmesan over the top. I suggest you do the same.

Enjoy!

Food Lust People Love: Crunchy on the outside and fluffy on the inside, these fried jalapeño corn puffs are savory doughnuts of a most delicious kind. These would be perfect appetizers for a summer cocktail party, made with fresh sweet corn.


Many thanks to Sneha of Sneha’s Recipe, our host for this month’s yeasty fried bread event. It was an excellent challenge! Check out the great recipes our members have created today.
#BreadBakers is a group of bread loving bakers who get together once a month to bake bread with a common ingredient or theme. You can see all our of lovely bread by following our Pinterest board right here. http://www.pinterest.com/flpl/bread-bakers/ Links are also updated after each event on the BreadBakers home page. http://www.foodlustpeoplelove.com/p/breadbakers.html We take turns hosting each month and choosing the theme/ingredient.
BreadBakers

Pin these Fried Jalapeño Corn Puffs! 

Food Lust People Love: Crunchy on the outside and fluffy on the inside, these fried jalapeño corn puffs are savory doughnuts of a most delicious kind. These would be perfect appetizers for a summer cocktail party, made with fresh sweet corn.
 .