Showing posts with label thyme. Show all posts
Showing posts with label thyme. Show all posts

Monday, August 29, 2016

Blackberry Lemon Thyme Muffins #MuffinMonday

Blackberry Lemon Thyme Muffins marry a trio of flavors that go so well together in a syrup or in a muffin. First make the syrup then use the leftover blackberry puree to make these fluffy delectable muffins.

Just yesterday, over on the Sunday Supper Movement website, I posted a recipe for blackberry lemon thyme syrup from the new cookbook, Not Your Mama’s Canning Book* by Rebecca Lindamood. I divided the ingredients list by three which made two almost full 8 oz jars of the most delightful ruby syrup, full of flavor and sweetness. But after draining the puree of the syrup, I couldn’t just throw the sweet mashed blackberries away. With Muffin Monday coming up – always the last Monday of the month – I knew just what to do with them!

If you’d like to learn how to can or are already a avid fan of canning, you’ll want to check out my post. Thanks to the Page Street Publishing, Sunday Supper is giving away one copy of Rebecca’s book.

For the blackberry lemon thyme puree and syrup
10 3/4 oz or 300g fresh blackberries
1 1/2 cups or 300g granulated sugar
Juice of 1/2 lemon
1 sprig fresh thyme

For the muffins
2 cups or 250g all purpose flour
3/4 cup or 170g sugar
1 tablespoon baking powder
1/2 teaspoon fresh thyme leaves
1/2 teaspoon salt
1 cup or 240ml milk
1/2 cup or 120ml canola oil
2 tablespoons lemon juice
1 teaspoon vanilla
2 large eggs
1/2 cup or 160g blackberry puree
Optional – 12 fresh blackberries for decoration

Follow these instructions to make the blackberry syrup but with the amounts indicated above. Discard the thyme sprig but save the strained blackberry puree to make these muffins. Trust me. That syrup is worth the time and effort.

Preheat oven to 350°F or 180°C. Generously grease cups and top of 12-cup muffin pan or line them with paper liners

In a large mixing bowl, whisk flour, sugar, baking powder, thyme leaves and salt together. In another bowl, whisk together milk, oil, lemon juice, vanilla and eggs.

Add all the milk mixture to flour mixture.

Gently fold just until dry ingredients are moistened.

Drop dollops of the blackberry puree on the batter then use a spatula to swirl them in, leaving streaks of color.

Divide your batter relatively evenly between the 12 muffin cups. Top each with a blackberry, if desired.

Bake 20-25 minutes or until muffins are golden.

Remove from oven and let cool 5-10 before removing muffins from pan.


Check out all the other muffins we have for you this month!

#MuffinMonday is a group of muffin loving bakers who get together once a month to bake muffins. You can see all our of 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.

*Amazon affiliate link

Friday, April 29, 2016

Mushroom Feta Tart with Feta Thyme Crust #FridayPieDay

 This lovely mushroom feta tart is filled with mixed mushrooms, seasoned with thyme and white wine and sharp feta, baked in a yeast dough crust.  

Here’s a little news for those of you who think mushrooms can only grow in humid, dark places. The mushrooms I used in today’s tart were all grown here in the sunny United Arab Emirates.  Yeah, I know, I know, they are farmed and not wild, but still. The farms here are a testament to the persistence and dedication of many dreamers who have worked hard to see their dreams fulfilled. Emirates Mushrooms is fully organic and, according to their website, they have a growing capacity of 8000kg of mushrooms per week! Which I find incredible. And, no, this is not a sponsored post – I just thought I’d share a little of my world with you.

It’s Friday Pie Day again so let’s get on with the pie.

For the crust:
1/2 teaspoon active dry yeast
1/2 teaspoon sugar
3/4 cup or 180ml warm water
1/2 teaspoon salt
About 2 1/4 cups or 280g all-purpose flour
1 3/4 oz or 50g feta, crumbled
Thyme leaves off a few fresh sprigs, maybe two teaspoons
Olive oil for bowl

For the filling:
3-4 cloves garlic
1 medium onion (Mine was 90g.)2 tablespoons butter (or olive oil)
2 teaspoons fresh thyme leaves plus a sprig or two for garnish, if desired
2lbs + or 950g mixed mushrooms
1/2 cup or 120ml dry white wine
Freshly ground black pepper
3 1/2 oz or 100g feta, crumbled

First we’ll make the dough for the crust. Put the warm water in a bowl with the yeast and sugar and leave to prove. The yeast should turn foamy if it’s active. If not, go buy some more yeast and start again.

Assuming you’ve got foam in your bowl, add in 2 cups or 250g of the flour along with the thyme and salt. Mix well until you have a nice wet dough. You can knead by hand but this will be easier with a dough hook if you have a stand mixer.

Add in the crumbled feta and about one more tablespoon of flour and keep kneading with the dough hook until it’s incorporated.

Turn it out onto a floured surface and knead for a few good turns by hand, adding just a little more of the flour if necessary. Form the dough into a ball.

Oil your mixing bowl and put the ball of dough in. Turn it over to coat with oil. Set aside in warm place until doubled in size.

To make the filling, clean your mushrooms, making sure to remove any dirt that clings to them.

Slice the garlic and onion finely and pull the thyme leaves off of the stems.

Melt the butter in a very large pan and sauté the garlic, onion and thyme over a low heat, until they are very soft. Stir occasionally.

Meanwhile, cut your mushrooms in two if they are small and in quarters if they are larger.

Add the mushrooms to the onion pan. Raise the flame under the pan and cook the mushrooms, stirring often, until the water comes out of them.

Continue cooking until the water all evaporates and they are dry. Cook over a high flame until the mushrooms start to brown. Keep stirring.

Add in the white wine and keep cooking until it has all evaporated and the mushrooms are almost completely dry again.

Remove the pan from the stove. Set aside a few crumbles of feta to add to the top before baking then add the rest to the pan.  Give it a few good grinds of black pepper and then stir.

Season to taste with salt. I added just a couple of pinches since the feta is quite salty. Leave the filling to cool.

Preheat your oven to 400°F or 200°C and line a baking pan with parchment or a silicone liner.

Punch down the dough and tip it out onto a lightly floured surface.

Roll it out into a circle about 13 1/2 in or 34cm wide.

Carefully transfer the circle to your prepared baking pan.

Heap the mushroom filling in the middle then spread it around until it’s about 2 in or 5cm from the edge.

Fold the sides in to contain the filling. Top the mushrooms with your few reserved feta crumbles and a couple of small thyme sprigs, if desired.

Bake in your preheated oven for about 25-30 minutes or until the crust is golden brown.

Remove and allow to cool on a wire rack for about 15-20 minutes before cutting.


My friend and creator of Friday Pie Day, Heather, over at All Roads Lead to the Kitchen was thinking outside the box this month. She's sharing a cherry pie milkshake today!

I am pleased to join her on the last Friday of each month for pie and crust recipes, techniques, tools of the trade, and other inspiration.

For more information and recipes, please check out her #FridayPieDay page!


Sunday, March 6, 2016

Browned Butter Braised Baby Turnips

Sweet baby turnips, cooked till tender then pan-roasted in browned butter are seasoned with garlic and thyme for a special side dish where this much maligned root vegetable shines.

When I say much maligned, I am talking about by me personally. When I was young, my mom made a delicious vegetable soup with beef that was the perfect meal for a chilly day, except that in addition to chunks of potato, she also added similarly cut turnips. Try as I might when serving my bowl, I invariably ended up with a turnip or two. I did not like turnips, not one bit. The potential of the unexpected bitter bite made eating that otherwise tasty soup like spooning my way through a minefield of bitter turnips that might be masquerading as innocent potatoes.

I am more fifty years old now and I decided at the end of last year that I should give turnips another try. After all, some say that our tastes change every seven years and it has probably been a good 35 or 40 since I last accidently ate a turnip. (I certainly never ate one intentionally.) My mom says that since turnips are a winter crop, that is when they are they are tender and most flavorful.  

Before Christmas I bought a few and started searching “turnip recipes for haters”  and “turnip recipes for turnip haters.” A surprising number show up! Time for a true confession: Despite the research and initial enthusiasm my motivation was low and I ended up conveniently forgetting the turnips in the vegetable drawer. I found them there, wizened, in the new year and threw them away with just the slightest twinge of regret and guilt for wasting food.

When the root vegetable event was announced for Sunday Supper, I knew what I had to do: Pull up my big girl panties, buy some more turnips and get serious about creating a recipe that I might eat. I found some baby turnips that said, “Naturally sweet and tender” which seemed like a promising place to start. The baby turnips brought to mind a recipe I had tested for America's Test Kitchen for brown butter braised new potatoes so the recipe part was settled quickly, even as I put the babies in my shopping basket.

I am pleased to tell you that I am now a turnip eater. At least of baby ones cooked with browned butter, garlic and thyme. Sure, some of them were still a little bitter but not any more than Brussels sprouts, which I adore.

Small turnips work best with this recipe, but you could also use larger turnips and quarter them.

1 lb or 450g baby turnips
1 cup or 240ml water
3 tablespoons or 43g unsalted butter
3 garlic cloves, peeled
3 sprigs fresh thyme, plus extra to garnish, if desired
1/2 teaspoon fine sea salt
1 teaspoon fresh lemon juice
Freshly ground black pepper

Top and tail the turnips. That is, trim both the root and the stem ends down to the white part. Cut the baby turnips in half.

Arrange turnips in single layer, cut side down, in a large non-stick skillet.

Add water, butter, garlic, thyme, and salt and bring to simmer over medium-high heat.

Reduce heat to medium, cover, and simmer until turnips are just tender, about 10 minutes.

Use a slotted spoon to transfer garlic to small bowl with the lemon juice. Use the tip of a sharp knife to cut the garlic into small bits. Add in a few generous grinds of fresh black pepper.

Increase the heat under the uncovered turnip pan to medium-high and vigorously simmer, swirling the pan occasionally, until the water completely evaporates and the butter starts to sizzle, 7 to 10 minutes.

Continue to cook turnips, swirling pan frequently, until butter browns and turnips are golden and roasty looking, 6-7 minutes longer.

Just at the end, add the garlic/lemon juice mixture and toss to thoroughly coat.

If you are transferring the baby turnips to a serving bowl, make sure to scrape the pan with a silicone spatula and drizzle all the lovely browned butter over them.

Garnish with additional thyme, if desired.


Are you a fan of root vegetables? If your answer is yes, you are in for a treat this week with such a great line up of recipes from our Sunday Supper tastemakers. If not, perhaps we’ll win you over! Many thanks to Cindy from Cindy’s Recipes and Writings who is hosting this week.


Thursday, October 1, 2015

Easy Avocado Lemon Basil Pesto

Loaded with flavor, this creamy pesto made from avocado, basil, thyme, oregano and lemon is meant to be served over pasta. I could just eat it with a spoon!

My friend Kathy Hester of Healthy Slow Cooking has another cookbook on the shelves and I’m delighted to say that I have a copy to give away! This one’s called The Easy Vegan Cookbook (<Amazon affiliate link) and it’s perfect for folks who are short on time but don’t want to skimp on flavor. Typical of Kathy’s books, there aren’t a bunch of weird substitutions for non-vegan ingredients, just great tasting vegetable-centric meals. And who couldn’t use more of those in their diets?

Make sure to scroll to the bottom and leave a comment to enter the cookbook giveaway!

As I mentioned in my Muffin Monday post earlier this week, my younger daughter has been with us all summer. She’s been a good sport about being flexible about what she’ll eat because she is mostly vegetarian, making the rare exception for a good hamburger once in a while. “All hamburgers are good hamburgers” is another of her axioms. But we have eaten more all veggie meals while she’s been here, especially on days when her father is traveling on business. One of her own specialties is pasta with pesto to which an avocado is added just before serving so I knew that Kathy’s Avocado Lemon Basil Pesto would be a hit.

And how! This stuff is good. So good that I just wanted to eat it with a spoon and forget the pasta. But that wouldn’t be much of a meal so I restrained myself and tossed the noodles in it. Still divine - creamy, luscious, bright and beautifully green. We will definitely be making this one again!

Kathy’s instructions say not to let the specialty basil intimidate you. “If you don’t have lemon basil, you can use regular basil and add lemon zest, extra lemon juice or another lemony herb like lemon verbena or lemon balm.”

I couldn’t find lemon basil. Instead I used lemon thyme, adding a few extra sprigs, but I also added the lemon zest along with a little more lemon juice, as suggested.

Recipe ©Kathy Hester from The Easy Vegan Cookbook, included here by permission from Page Street Publishing.

1 medium-sized ripe avocado
1/2 cup (12g) fresh lemon basil leaves (or substitute regular basil)
1 (2 to 4 in [5 to 10cm]) sprig fresh thyme
1 tablespoon (3g) fresh oregano leaves
1 tablespoon (15ml) lemon juice
1/2 teaspoon salt, to taste
Pepper, to taste
1/4 cup (59 ml) water plus more if needed
1/2 lb (227 g) cooked whole-wheat angel-hair pasta (I used regular linguine pasta.)

My optional addition: dried red chili flakes

Scoop out the avocado.

Put the avocado flesh, basil, leaves from the thyme and oregano, lemon juice, salt and water in a blender and blend well until the herbs are puréed.

(I used my hand blender instead, pureeing the avocado with the lemon juice, lemon zest, salt, thyme and oregano first.)

(Then I added in the basil and pulsed again until smooth.)

(I completely forgot the water but we liked the thickness of the pesto and it coated the pasta beautifully! Just look at that gorgeous color!)

The creamy avocado lemon basil pesto with just a couple of teaspoons missing! Sooooooo good!

If the purée is still too thick, add 2 more tablespoons (30 ml) of water and blend again. Toss with the cooked pasta.

One more tip: This pesto comes together in minutes, so put your pasta in the boiling water while you make it. The pesto will be ready to toss with your piping hot, perfectly cooked pasta. You’ll be out of the kitchen before the pesto has time to get too hot!

If you’d like a sneak peek at some of Kathy’s other recipes, check out the links in this line up from some other participants in the cookbook blog tour. Good stuff! Make sure to scroll to the bottom and leave a comment to enter the cookbook giveaway! I've been wanting to try the Creole Okra Corn Soup but I couldn't get any takers at my house for anything okra. So I'm just going to have to make that when I'm home alone. Not a problem because I am sure I can eat the whole pot.

Many thanks to Page Street Publishing for generously donating one copy of Kathy's wonderful book for this giveaway. Please be aware that they will only ship to US or Canadian addresses. You must be 18 or older to enter.

Please leave a comment and tell me why YOU should be the winner of this great cookbook full of delicious recipes - Are you cooking for yourself or for friends and family? - then click on the rafflecopter for other opportunities to enter. Not leaving a comment will disqualify your other entries.

a Rafflecopter giveaway

Disclosure: I received one copy of The Easy Vegan Cookbook for review purposes. No other compensation was received. This post contains Amazon affiliate links.

Monday, August 26, 2013

Thyme Chèvre Blackberry Muffins #MuffinMonday

Savory muffins with fresh thyme, goat cheese and blackberries, these thyme chèvre blackberry muffins make a most delicious breakfast or tea time treat. They are also perfect with a glass of wine!

Food Lust People Love: Savory muffins with fresh thyme, goat cheese and blackberries, these thyme chèvre blackberry muffins make a most delicious breakfast or tea time treat. They are also perfect with a glass of wine!
My younger daughter has been with me all summer, which has been such a joy.  We have spent time together shopping and cooking and traveling and just hanging out.  I am thankful that neither she nor her sister ever went through that awkward teenage time when some children just want to pretend they sprung wholly formed from the earth and their parents don’t exist.  We’ve always enjoyed each other’s company.  But summer comes to an end soon and I know she needs to go back to school.

As I commented on my friend, Marilyn’s blog the other day, I am always relieved that I did something right when my girls can take care of themselves and deeply sad that they don’t need me in the same way any more.  So I send them out in the world and pray!  Part of me would just like to keep her home and safe where we love her.  But the larger part of me feels secure knowing that she is strong enough to be independent and will have a fabulous year of growth and learning.  Besides that, I think she would be bored silly if this were a long-term arrangement.  She absolutely needs the creative atmosphere of art school!  

Meanwhile, though, as her father travels around the world on business, the two of us have been making fancy salads and eating whatever we want for dinner.  Fancy salads, by our definition, are a full meal and must have pretty greens, fruit, nuts and special cheese.  The combinations are endlessly delicious!

Thyme Chèvre Blackberry Muffins

Inspired by recipe on a blog I love called Annie’s Eats for a salad with blackberries and goat cheese that turned out wonderfully, these muffins go equally as well with a mug of coffee, cup of tea or a glass of wine.

7 oz or 200g chèvre or aged goat cheese
Several sprigs fresh thyme
3 oz or 85g fresh blackberries
2 1/2 cups or 315g flour
1 tablespoon baking powder
1 teaspoon sea salt
1 tablespoon sugar
1/2 cup butter or 115g, melted and cooled
1 cup or 240ml milk
2 eggs

Preheat your oven to 350°F or 180°C and prepare your 12-cup muffin tin by lightly rubbing it with oil or use non-stick spray to coat or lining it with paper liners.  When I am baking with cheese, I tend to forgo the papers because the cheese sticks to it.

Snip the tender ends off of your sprigs of thyme for garnishing your muffins before baking and set them aside.  Pull the leaves off of the rest of the sprigs.

Cut the goat cheese into cubes and crumbles and set aside.  I leave the rind on but you can cut it off if you prefer.  Reserve some cheese for topping the muffins before baking, if desired.

You can totally drink wine with these.  It's not just a breakfast muffin!  Or have wine with breakfast.  I won't judge.

Cut the large blackberries in half or thirds, leaving the little ones whole.

Whisk the cool, melted butter, egg and milk in a smaller mixing bowl.

In a large mixing bowl, whisk together your flour, salt, sugar and baking powder.

Pour your wet ingredients into your dry ones and stir a couple of times.

Add in the thyme leaves, blackberries and goat cheese and fold to combine.

Divide the batter between the muffin cups and top with the reserved cheese and tender bits of thyme.

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

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

You may need to run a knife around the edge to get the melted cheese loose.  Any little melted cheese that falls outside the muffin area is yours to eat immediately.  Baker’s privilege.

Food Lust People Love: Savory muffins with fresh thyme, goat cheese and blackberries, these thyme chèvre blackberry muffins make a most delicious breakfast or tea time treat. They are also perfect with a glass of wine!

Food Lust People Love: Savory muffins with fresh thyme, goat cheese and blackberries, these thyme chèvre blackberry muffins make a most delicious breakfast or tea time treat. They are also perfect with a glass of wine!