ATK’s Dutch Apple Cheddar Muffins

Owen and the *almost* 1-lb Jonagold apple from our backyard tree that we used for this recipe.

Owen and the *almost* 1-lb Jonagold apple from our backyard tree that we used for this recipe.

Giving credit where credit is due, America’s Test Kitchen has knocked my socks off again! This recipe for Grandma’s Special Dutch Apple Cheese Muffins is both easy AND delicious – a winning combination in my book! The original post from ATK can be found here.

Three apple slices  get pushed down vertically into the raw batter.

Three apple slices get pushed down vertically into the raw batter.

A dozen freshly baked Apple Cheddar Muffins, complete with glaze.

A dozen freshly baked Apple Cheddar Muffins, complete with glaze.

A couple of tips: Using a food processor to quickly cut the cold butter into the dry ingredients prevents the butter from overheating. For easy apple coring, a common melon baller worked best. Simply use the scoop end to carve out seeds after halving the apple.

MAKES 12 MUFFINS

Crisp, sweet-tart apples like Macoun, Jonagold, Cortland, and Empire work best here. You will need 2 to 3 apples for this recipe (or, as in our case, one GIANT single apple that weighs a pound!).

INGREDIENTS

Muffins

  • cups all-purpose flour
  • 1/2 cup sugar
  • tablespoon baking powder
  • teaspoon salt
  • tablespoons (1 stick) cold unsalted butter, cut into 1/2-inch pieces
  • ounces cheddar cheese, cut into 1/2-inch pieces
  • large egg
  • 3/4 cup whole milk
  • pound apples, peeled, halved, cored, and sliced crosswise into thin half-moons

Glaze

  • 1/3 cup sugar
  • tablespoons water
  • tablespoons Unsalted butter
  • tablespoon lemon juice
  • 1/2 teaspoon ground cinnamon

INSTRUCTIONS

1. For the muffins: Adjust oven rack to middle position and heat oven to 375 degrees. Grease and flour 12-cup muffin tin. Pulse flour, sugar, baking powder, salt, butter, and cheese in food processor until mixture resembles coarse meal; transfer to large bowl. Whisk egg and milk in measuring cup, then slowly stir into flour mixture until combined.

2. Spoon batter into prepared muffin tin. Arrange apple slices, cut-side down, on top of batter, pressing gently to adhere. Bake until edges of muffins are just golden, about 15 minutes.

3. For the glaze: While muffins are baking, heat sugar, water, butter, lemon juice, and cinnamon in saucepan over medium heat until butter is melted and sugar is dissolved, about 3 minutes. Once edges of muffins are just golden, brush muffins with glaze. Return to oven and bake until toothpick inserted into center comes out clean, about 10 minutes. Cool in tin for 5 minutes, then carefully transfer to rack. Cool 10 minutes longer. Serve. (Muffins can be kept in airtight container at room temperature for up to 2 days.)

Muffins have been cooled on the rack and it's time to devour!

Muffins have been cooled on the rack and it’s time to devour!

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Berry and Cream Cheese Galette

berry and cream cheese galette

I originally found this recipe on Pintrest and have made it many, MANY times since. It’s a family favorite. One of the best things about this dessert is you can use any type of fresh berry or soft-fleshed fruit, like plums, apricots or peaches/nectarines.  Tayberries from our backyard are the current favorite at this point in June. I’ve even used a bag of mixed frozen berries, and simply thawed them in the fridge before using. The only thing I think could be added to this recipe, which I will try soon, is a pinch of lemon zest to the cream cheese mixture.  As for the crust, the original recipe uses a store-bought one, but I went ahead and mixed up a homemade one.  Not because I am some kind of crust snob, but because I had all the ingredients on hand, so why not?  Either way works fine.  I love the rustic, informal qualities of a galette – basically a free-form pie – because they are so unfussy; they are supposed to look kind of messy.  A perfect (and perfectly easy) treat for a casual weekend with friends or family.

Ingredients

1 package (8 ounces) cream cheese, softened (I used low fat)
1/2 cup confectioners’ sugar
3 tablespoons cornstarch, divided
1 whole egg, separated
2 cups fruit (see note above)
2 tablespoons sugar, plus a little extra for sprinkling
1 teaspoon vanilla extract or ¼ teaspoon almond extract
1 pie crust, homemade or store-bought

Whipped cream or ice cream, for serving (optional)

Directions

Heat oven to 400 degrees.

Mix cream cheese, confectioner’ sugar, 2 tablespoons of the cornstarch, and the egg yolk in medium bowl.  In a separate medium bowl mix fruit, 2 tablespoons of sugar, remaining tablespoon of cornstarch, and vanilla or almond extract.

Roll out pie dough on a lightly floured surface to a 13? diameter.  Slide onto a cookie sheet and spread evenly with cream cheese mixture, leaving a 2-inch border.  Spoon prepared fruit evenly over cream cheese mixture.  Fold the pie dough border over the fruit, folding and overlapping the dough as needed to make a large, rough circle.  Brush dough perimeter with egg white and sprinkle with a little sugar (I used Sugar in the Raw for this).

Bake galette until golden brown and bubbly, about 30 minutes (most likely, some of the juice will break through the crust and spill out of the galette, it’s pretty much unavoidable; I like to think it adds to the rustic charm).  Loosen with a metal spatula and slide onto a wire rack to cool slightly.  Serve warm (I topped ours with freshly whipped cream).

Serves 6 to 8.

Update: I’ve made this using all frozen blueberries.  I loved the taste of the blueberries, but I used them straight from the freezer, which I do not recommend.  Thaw your frozen fruit before using, otherwise the cornstarch and sugar clump and unevenly stick to the fruit.  Another tweak I made, which I loved, was to add about teaspoon of lemon zest to the cream cheese mixture, and about one and a half teaspoons of lemon juice to the fruit mixture.  Gave it a nice zing; delicious with blueberries…

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Honey Cornbread Muffin Recipe

Cornbread Muffins
Our family enjoys these moist, sweet muffins as an accompaniment to a hearty bowl of homemade vegetarian chilli. YUM!

Ingredients

  • 1/2 cup butter, softened
  • 2/3 cup white sugar
  • 1/4 cup honey
  • 2 eggs
  • 1/2 teaspoon salt
  • 1 -1/2 cups all-purpose flour
  • 3/4 cup cornmeal
  • 1/2 teaspoon baking powder
  • 1/2 cup milk
  • 3/4 cup frozen corn kernels, thawed

Directions

  1. Preheat oven to 400 degrees F (200 degrees C). Grease or line 12 muffin cups.
  2. In a large bowl, cream together butter, sugar, honey, eggs and salt. Mix in flour, cornmeal and baking powder; blend thoroughly. Stir in milk and corn. Pour or spoon batter into prepared muffin cups.
  3. Bake in preheated oven for 20 to 25 minutes, or until a toothpick inserted into center of a muffin comes out clean.
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Back to School

IMG_6706

Both boys are finally in full-day, full-time school! Owen is thrilled to be at the same school as Ayden now… Ayden was happy about it too, until…

A couple of days into the school year, Ayden and Owen’s classes were both headed out to the playground at the end of the day for parent pick-up. Owen’s teacher spotted a buzzed towhead apparently out of line and grabbed him by the shoulder, reminding him to stay in line and not get lost in the mix. Problem was, the towhead was Ayden, not Owen. Needless to say, Ayden (third grade) was not pleased about having been confused for his first grade brother! Since that day, Ayden has insisted on not wearing the exact same uniform combination as Owen (as if that is going to solve the problem of them being confused for twins EVERY. SINGLE. DAY.).

With the beginning of the school year also came the beginning of the Cub Scout year. Here again, we finally have both boys in full participation! Poor Owen feels as though he’s had to wait forever to reach this point (well, two years may actually feel like forever when you’re six years old!).

Scouts in uniform!

Scouts in uniform!

Owen is now a Tiger Cub, and Ayden a Bear Scout.

We have a full and fun year ahead of us :) Stay tuned!

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Creamy Radish (or Turnip) Green Soup

hakurei-turnip

 

 

 

 

 

 

You’re just going to have to trust me on this one! This soup is AMAZING. Seriously, I don’t lie about these things. The boys just devoured their bowls and asked for more (as they do every time I make it)!

Creamy Radish (or Turnip*) Green Soup

Makes 2 servings

2 T butter

2 – 3 cloves garlic, minced

2 green onions, trimmed and sliced ½ inch thick

1 heaping teaspoon, minced fresh ginger

1 bunch radish greens, chopped small (trim ends but use the rest of the stem)

1 medium yam or sweet potato, peeled and sliced ½ inch thick

2 cups veggie broth

¼ cup half and half

Salt and freshly ground pepper

Heat the butter in deep pan over medium heat.  Add garlic, green onions and ginger and sauté for 2 minutes.  Add radish greens and yam and stir to combine.  Add broth and simmer covered for 10 to 15 minutes.  Remover g=from heat and let sit for 5 minutes.  Put soup in a blender and process for at least 30 seconds to make sure all the stems are pureed (otherwise the soup may be stringy).  Return to pan, add half and half and salt and pepper to taste.  Stir to combine and serve.

*We use Hakurei turnips grown in our garden.

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Old-fashioned Honey Plum Cake Recipe

Sometimes a recipe is just too good not to share! This Honey Plum Cake has received a resounding two thumbs up from everyone in the family, young and old, prune fans and not. The icing on the cake, proverbially speaking, is that it’s easy to make – assuming you have these beautiful jarred honeyed plums in your pantry (see photo/link below). Last year we ended up with close to 100lbs of beautiful Italian plums from a couple of local sources. And since there’s only so much plum jam a family can eat and gift away, we desperately needed another way to use and preserve the beautiful plum bounty we scored! After vacuum sealing and freezing as many as we could find space for in the freezer, we still needed another option. My dear friend, and fellow canning enthusiast, Bridget, shared this fantastic idea and link to Whole Plums in Honey. This ended up being easy, quick, and the ideal solution to deal with the plums before they rotted. The photo below links to the source website with the recipe and instructions.whole plums in honey syrup photo from webSo… working off of the assumption that you, too, have a plethora of jarred honeyed plums to use, this cake recipe is a WINNER! The recipe manages to employ not only the fruits, but also the honey liquid (reduced) as the base for the yummy, sweet glaze that graces the top of the cake. Oh.Yummy.Goodness. old fashioned prune cake photo from webI adapted the recipe from one I found at www.thesouthernladycooks.com (also the photo source) which originally uses prunes soaked in buttermilk. The spices and moistness will make it one of your favorites. Even if you don’t like prunes, you will love this cake.

Old-fashioned Honey Plum Cake
1 cup pitted honeyed plums, chopped (I used approximately 7-8 whole plums )
1 cup buttermilk (I rarely have buttermilk on hand and instead use a tablespoon of lemon juice and fill the rest of the cup with regular milk – let this mixture stand for 5-10 minutes before adding to recipe)
3/4 cup oil (I used Canola)
1-1/4 cups sugar
3 eggs
2 cups all-purpose flour
1 teaspoon baking soda
1/2 teaspoon salt
1 teaspoon cinnamon
1/2 teaspoon ground cloves
1 teaspoon allspice
1 teaspoon nutmeg
2 teaspoons vanilla extract
I do not use a mixer with this cake. You will need 3 bowls, 1 large mixing bowl and 2 smaller bowls.  Put your chopped plums in one of the small bowls and set aside.  In the large bowl add together the oil, sugar, eggs, and vanilla, mixing well with a spoon.  In the other bowl combine the flour, soda, salt, cinnamon, cloves, allspice, and nutmeg and use a wire whisk to mix well.  Pour the plums and milk into the large bowl with the sugar, eggs, vanilla, and oil.  Add the dry ingredients and mix well with a spoon/spatula. Spray a 9 x 13 cake pan and add the batter.  Bake in preheated 325 degree oven for 45 to 50 minutes or until the center of the cake is done.  Add the topping recipe below while still warm.
 
Topping for Honey Plum Cake
 
Approx 1 cup honey liquid from  jarred honeyed plums
1 tsp vanilla extract
1 tablespoon butter
splash of half and half (approx 1-2 tablespoons)
 
Reduce honey liquid in a small saucepan on a low simmer until it has reduced by at least 50% and is obviously darker and a more syrupy consistency than before. Just before you’re ready to top your cake with it, turn off the heat and mix in remaining ingredients. Spread evenly over the top of your cooked cake.
 
Enjoy!
 
 
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Chloe’s May Heritage Makers Newsletter & Digicrop Schedule

MY ANNIVERSARY:

No, not the anniversary with my husband (though our 12-year is coming up in August!), but my SIXTH anniversary with Heritage Makers! Wow! Many of you have been with me from the very beginning of my Heritage Makers journey – and both we, and the Heritage Makers company have gone through many changes over the years. I can’t say enough how much I appreciate the loyalty and support I’ve received from my clients and friends over the years. I truly love the Heritage Makers products and creative possibilities – which is why I’ve signed on for my SIXTH year as a consultant! I look forward to continuing to help you celebrate and document the special events, photos, and memories in your lives. This is my love and passion, and I love sharing it with you! Thank you!

RECENT PROJECTS:

12×12 Scrap Page that I created as a gift for the mama of the little girl I watch. I popped it into a frame from the craft store and, voila!, a lovely custom made gift!

5×7 Double-sided Invitation created as a birthday card for my sister.

FREE INSPIRATIONS CLASSES
Gifts and Greetings for Father’s Day (Register by clicking the link!)
May 9th @ 6p.m. PST
Our Inspirations Classes are better than ever with a new format, even more new templates, Studio tips and more!

FREE PREMIER WEEKEND! 

National Scrapbooking Day is Saturday, May 4th! We’re celebrating with our Free Premier Weekend, a FANTASTIC way to discover just how much more design fun and freedom is available with Premier access (comes Free with your Club HM membership)! The “UNLOCK Premier” button will be available (on the page after you log in to their accounts) from Friday, May 3 @ 7 p.m. MDT through noon on Monday, May 6.
FREEpremierWeekendEcard 4-29-13Projects started with Premier art/templates during this time will be able to be completed and published even after the promotion period ends (additional pieces of Premier art will not be accessible).

MONTHLY PRODUCT SPECIALS

10% Discount on already low Club HM prices!
MAY: 7×5 Storybooks, Flip Books, and Swatch Books (think Father’s Day!)
JUNE: Business Booklets and Flyers

DIGICROP DATES:
Sunday, 5/5 at Chloe’s house (Murrayhill near SW Murray & SW Scholls Ferry Rd) 7pm
Sunday, 5/19 at Carrie’s house (near Aloha High School) 7pm
Thursday, 5/30 at Chloe’s house (Murrayhill near SW Murray & SW Scholls Ferry Rd) 7pm

Please RSVP for driving instructions. Don’t forget your WiFi-capable laptop and your latest published project to show off (if you’ve got one!). These events are always free and all experience levels are welcome :) Please join us!

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The Weekend’s Off Road Adventure

Patrick and the boys headed out to Brown’s Camp in the Tillamook State Forest to do some off roading with a group of fellow enthusiasts this past weekend. A friend of one of the guys that went, put together the cool video below:

As always, the boys have a blast being, well, boys!

View the photo gallery HERE :)

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Important Dates

Important Dates 11x14 HM Poster

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Chloe’s February Heritage Makers Newsletter

RECENT PROJECTS:

A Valentine’s Day card for my oldest…

A fun girly one for my sweet niece…

Bookmarks for my MOMS Club book club with our list of books for the year, plus those that didn’t make the cut on the back side. I managed to make these very inexpensively using double-sided 12×12″ scrap pages:

Valentine’s cards for my youngest to give out to his classmates. These were made using single-sided business cards.

Valentine’s cards for my oldest, using double-sided business cards.

FREE INSPIRATIONS CLASSES
FEBRUARY 7 @ 7 p.m. MST (Register by clicking the link!)
FEBRUARY 28 @ 7 p.m. MST
Our Inspirations Classes are better than ever with a new format, even more new templates, Studio tips and more!

NOTEWORTY NEWS
- Heritage Makers Customer Support will be closed on President’s Day, Monday, February 18.
- Heritage Makers is on Pinterest! Be sure to “follow” us and enjoy the inspiration!
- New feature in Studio allows you to sort art collections by date (shows most recently added collections first). More info.

MONTHLY PRODUCT SPECIALS
As a Club HM member, one of the many benefits you receive is an additional 10% discount on select products each month (the discount is applied at checkout). Make a publishing plan ahead of time with the following discount schedule:
FEB: Post-bound Albums and 4 x 6 Invitations
MAR: Scrap Pages and Bucket Bags
APR: Canvases
MAY: 5.75 X 3.5 Flip and Swatch Books
JUN: 8 X 8 Books (hard- and soft-bound) and Business Booklets (both sizes)

DIGICROP DATES:
Sunday, 2/10 at Carrie’s house (near Aloha High School) 7pm
Tuesday, 2/26 at Chloe’s house (Murrayhill near SW Murray & SW Scholls Ferry Rd) 7pm
Please RSVP for driving instructions. Don’t forget your WiFi-capable laptop and your latest published project to show off (if you’ve got one!). These events are always free and all experience levels are welcome :) Please join us!

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