Saturday, April 30, 2011

BlueBerry Muffins and Running around


A crate of Fresh Florida Blueberries arrived at my front door!!! My mom came to visit and brought blueberries from the Webster farm. They were So fresh and perfect by themselves, but I had so many that I had to make some blueberry muffins. I found this recipe online and liked the different texture they had compared to a regular muffin. They were pretty doughy and very moist. Get some blueberries and buy them from FLORIDA, they are at their peak in taste.

Florida Blueberry Muffins

Recipe from Smitten Kitchen (one of my favorite blogs!), originally adapted from Cook's Illustrated

The line up:
5 Tbs unsalted butter, softened
1/2 cup organic sugar
1 large organic egg
3/4 cup organic sour cream or full-fat greek yogurt
1/2 tsp grated lemon zest
1 1/2 cups all purpose flour (I used 3/4 cup of whole wheat flour and 3/4 cup all purpose flour)
1 1/2 tsp baking soda
1/4 tsp salt
1 heaping cup fresh Florida blueberries (can use frozen if fresh aren't available)

Directions: Preheat oven to 375 degrees F. Line a muffin tin pan with paper liners or spray
each cup with nonstick spray. Beat butter and sugar with an electric mixer until light and fluffy. Add egg and beat well, then add the sour cream (or yogurt) and lemon zest. Put flour, baking powder, baking soda and salt into a sifter and sift half of the dry ingredients into the batter. Mix until combined and then sift the remaining dry ingredients into batter and mix just until the flour disappears. Gently fold in your blueberries. The dough will be very thick. Scoop with an ice cream scoop into the muffin tins, filling about 3/4 of the way full. Bake for 25-30 minutes, until the tops are golden and the center is cooked (insert toothpick to check the center). Allow to cool or enjoy right away!

In other news, I have been jogging a little bit lately. It helps that I got a great new pair of kicks! I am obsessed with these shoes and already own two pair:

Jogging has always been so hard for me but something I aspire to do. The weather has been perfect for jogging which helps a lot. As long as I can find a relatively flat path, I can jog for a while. When it starts to get mountainous I get exhausted quickly. I have been keeping track of when I jog in my workout log on the left.

Plus, what is the best way to take water with you? Do I need one of these running belts or a CamelBak Charm????
Nathan Sports Speed 2 Running Belt

Please send inspiration my way and any running tips that you may have...

Thursday, April 28, 2011

Pecan Crusted Baked Chicken

I made these Chicken Breasts last week and really enjoyed the flavor and more importantly the ease and quickness of them. I have been super busy with work and haven't had time to prepare a lot of meals, like I usually do. I served them alongside broccoli one night and on top of a salad the next.

Pecan Crusted Baked Chicken
Recipe inspired by Jennjo, original recipe of Pearce Kitchen

2 chicken breast, halved (or 4 cutlets, note you want the chicken pieces thin)
1 cup finely chopped pecans (place pecans in a food processor, want them very fine)
1/2 cup panko bread crumbs
salt and pepper to taste
sprinkle of crushed red pepper flakes
1 egg

Preheat oven to 375 degrees F. Mix the pecans, bread crumbs, salt, pepper, and red pepper flakes on a large plate. Place egg in a small mixing bowl, beat egg. Dip chicken in the egg mixture and immediately into the pecan mixture. Press the crumb mixture into the chicken on both sides. Place the chicken on a baking sheet with non-stick spray. Continue to coat the other chicken breasts in the same way. Place in the oven and bake for 15 to 20 minutes, until done. Be sure to check for doneness and not to overcook the chicken.

Saturday, April 23, 2011

Happy Easter

Happy Easter! Easter is such an important celebration in our family. Not only do we have the traditional rack of lamb with dyed eggs, but we celebrate the greatness of this special day. Our Church this year will definitely awaken the spirit and we can be thankful that there is a purpose in our lives. Thankful for family and friends and prayerful for health.

Mom is here, along with Jaxon and Coby (Australian Shepherds). Needless to say, 3 aussies in one house is a lot of fun! However, we only have 2 frisbees.... Lots of shopping and good eating are in order for this weekend. Last night we visited Ocean Restaurant. Mom's favorite and definitely delicious. Assorted fish like Corvina, Halibut, and Scallops were enjoyed. If you are in Birmingham, definitely try this restaurant out soon!

Happy Easter from My Sweet Boy!

I thought that I would share with you my "tablescape" for Easter. I made the little bunnies that were cut out and decorated the rest of the table with collected decorations. They were for Holly's shower and after trying to remember to take them to her house, I finally just used them here (why can I procrastinate so much!).

Tuesday, April 19, 2011

Summer Salad

Light and Refreshing

I love making this salad. I often top it with Shrimp or Grilled Chicken, or simply as a side salad. I make a variety of dressings to go along with it or sometimes just a light olive oil and vinaigrette does the trick. This is pretty much our lunch every day!

Summer Salad

Mixed greens and spinach
Fresh Organic Strawberries, cut into quarters
Fresh Organic Blueberries
Slivered Almonds
Dried Cherries

Dressing of your choice (One of my favorite that goes nicely with this is Cindy's Raspberry Nectar Vinaigrette)
*Image From Google Images

Thursday, April 14, 2011

Pepper Place

If you live in Birmingham.... It is that time again when Pepper Place Farmer's Market opens! It starts this Saturday and while there won't be tons of tomatoes or peaches, there will be lots of plants and some veggies to enjoy! Support the local farmers and shop at Pepper Place!
Pepper Place Saturday Market
A quote from the Pepper Place Website: "Spring in Alabama means seedlings and young plants. Stop by and pick up a flat of locally grown plantings for your vegetable and flower beds! Strawberries and other early crops will be sold as they come in from the field."

PS: Sorry I have been MIA but it has been super busy around here. I promise some good recipes are coming your way soon!