Strawberry Banana Muffins

Mornings are my favorite. The birds are chirping, the rays of sun peak through the clouds, and the rush hour traffic sounds like it’s in my kitchen. Wait. What? Yes, I live in the city, and it is LOUD. Thank goodness I’m moving in a few months. You see, living in the city is good for convenience and convenience only. I don’t have a car so it’s nice to be able to walk anywhere and everywhere I want to go but I miss the stillness of my Nanny’s waterfront. I miss being able to walk in front of my house and be completely positive that I wont see anyone. Maybe someone in a canoe, but that’s about it.

To cheer myself up, and shake the city blues, I decided to make my favorite muffin: Strawberry banana.

Strawberries are hands down my favorite fruit. I must say that I like every fruit, but nothing will ever take the place of my beloved strawberry. It’s plump, it’s juicy, it’s delicious. And mixed with banana? Yes please!

Oh boy, I got so caught up in describing the deliciousness of these beauties that I forgot to mention they’re healthy! This recipe makes 12 perfect muffins that are 3.5 weight watchers points each. Heck, eat two!

1 1/2 cups of all purpose flour
3/4 teaspoon baking soda
1/2 teaspoon ground cinnamon
1/4 teaspoon salt
3/4 stick of butter, (6 tablespoons) melted
1 teaspoon pure vanilla extract
2/3 cups sugar
1 large egg
2 large ripe bananas
1 cup fresh strawberries, diced (I don’t think frozen strawberries would work in this recipe)

1. Preheat oven to 350 degrees. Line cupcake/muffin pan with liners. In a medium bowl, measure out and mix together flour, baking soda, cinnamon and salt. Set aside.
2. In a large bowl, whisk egg and sugar together until well combined. Add melted butter. Mix well. Add vanilla. Squish bananas into the mixture. A nice squish should break the bananas up well enough to be incorporated into the batter.
3. Add strawberries to the dry mixture. Toss until strawberries are well coated with flour mixture. Add dry strawberry mixture to the wet mixture. Use a VERY light hand to mix at this point. The more mixing you do the tougher the muffin so try not to over mix.

4. Divide batter equally in liners. Bake until golden brown, about 22-30 minutes.

5. Cool for 5 minutes in the pan. Then enjoy.

Deviled Eggs

Who likes deviled eggs? Well, if you don’t, I surely do. Like a lot.

I usually blog about sweets, but not today. Nope, nope, nope. Today I’m sharing my scrumptious deviled egg recipe with you. I’m doing this because I wanted to share some different “snack-type” posts simply because I’m ALWAYS looking for a quick snack. And even though sweets are the perfect go-to, sometimes I like a change.

Another great thing about deviled eggs is their beauty. Beautiful eggs? Heck yeah! Just look at ’em.

So here’s my recipe. I dare you to eat just one.

6 large eggs
1 tbsp mayonaise
1/2 tsp mustard (I used Heinz brand)
1 green onion (without white part)
Dash of salt and pepper, and a sprinkle of paprika (for garnish)

1. Boil the eggs for 15 minutes and transfer to bowl filled with cool water to cool the outside of the shells. Peel the shells off.
2. Cut the eggs in half, and scoop out the hard yolk into a bowl. Place the egg whites aside on a pretty tray.

3. Mash the egg yolk with the mayonnaise, mustard, green onion, salt and pepper.

4. Fit a pastry bag (or zippered bag with a hole cut in one corner) with a large star tip. Fill the bag with the yolk mixture. Pipe the whites with the yolk mixture, mounding the filling approximately 1/2 inch above the edge of the whites.

5. Garnish your awesome tray and enjoy!

Individual-sized Strawberry Shortcake

Easter weekend was a blast for me. I baked, I ate, I walked in the sun…I even went four-wheeling! This is why I love going home. Living in the city can be so tiring sometimes and going home for the holidays with family is always a good pick-me-up. I did eat too much chocolate though..oh boy. But alas, this blog post is not about chocolate. It’s about my favorite fruit: strawberries, and their partner in crime: whipped cream.

I knew that making a strawberry shortcake would be the perfect dessert for after Easter dinner. It’s not too heavy, and so perfect for spring. Here’s how I made it..

2 pints fresh strawberries, washed, hulled and sliced lengthwise
1/2 cup granulated sugar
juice of 1/2 lemon, freshly squeezed

Whipped cream:
1 cup whipping cream
1/4 cup granulated sugar (or your own desired sweetness)

Shortcake biscuits:
2 cups all-purpose flour
1/4 cup sugar
1 teaspoon baking powder
1 teaspoon baking soda
1/2 teaspoon salt
1 stick (8 tbsp) cold, unsalted butter (cut into small chunks)
3/4 cup heavy cream

Berries and whipped cream:
1. Combine the sliced strawberries, granulated sugar, and lemon juice in a bowl.  Toss gently and set aside.

2. Meanwhile, with a handheld mixer, beat the whipping cream and sugar until soft peaks form.  Cover and refrigerate while you prepare the biscuits.

1. Preheat the oven to 375 F.
2. Whisk the dry ingredients in a medium bowl until thoroughly combined.  Cut in the butter with a pastry cutter or two knives until the butter is the size of small peas.  Add the cream and incorporate using a wooden spoon until the dough is thoroughly moistened, but not over-worked.

3. Turn the dough out onto a lightly floured, nonstick surface and roll into a 1/2-inch-thick disk with a floured rolling pin.

4. Cut the dough into three-inch rounds using a cookie cutter or drinking cup, gently rolling and re-rolling the dough as necessary. (You should have six to eight biscuits, depending on the size of the cutter and the thickness of the dough.)
5. Transfer the rounds to a cookie sheet and bake for 10-12 minutes or until golden brown.  Allow to cool.

Assembly of the shortcakes:
1. Cut each cooled biscuit in half horizontally.
2. Place the bottom half on a plate and spoon the strawberries and whipped cream over it.

3. Place the top half of the biscuit on top of the berries and whipped cream. Add more berries and cream. Serve immediately.