Lemon Crumb Muffins

Another batch of muffins for post-hospital entertaining of guests. These freeze really well – I defrosted and zapped them in the microwave some for visiting grandparents the other day and they turned out really moist and fluffy. I used a base recipe from Taste of Home, with just a smidge of substitution in the main muffin but quite a bit of tweaking for the topping and glaze. Despite my increasing the natural lemon ingredients, I probably would go so far as to add in a splash of lemon extract in my next batch, like some reviewers have suggested, just to …

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Sugar-Crusted Raspberry Muffins

A few years ago, I visited a friend who took me to see her friend, who had just recently had a baby. I remember being totally impressed with how together this woman was, despite her chaotic schedule, recovering health and our last-minute visit — to the point where she sat us down and busted out fresh baked goods in what seemed like mere minutes. It was like magic! Just make a pot of tea and that’s that. I promised myself that I would learn from her and stock up on frozen pre-prepped items to make entertaining guests stress-free. Never did get …

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Not so Blondie Brownie

I took a break from my fudge-centric ice cream purchases last week to try another flavor in the Core line, Blondie Brownie. The label read “A Soft Salted Caramel Core Surrounded by Chocolate & Vanilla Ice Creams with Chocolate Brownie chunks & Blondie Brownie chunks”, which sounded promising enough. Salted caramel is a close second to fudge in my list of favorite toppings of all time, and it didn’t disappoint in this tub. However, the blondies did. It was kind of weird — on the chocolate side, I dug up plenty of brownie bits (yes, I do fish out the …

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Mustikkapiirakka (Finnish Blueberry Pie)

Whilst digging through the downstairs freezer for smoothie ingredients the other day, I came upon a bag of wild bilberries (the juicier European cousin of blueberries) that I’d picked in the forest surrounding our house during our first year living here. Cue excited glee, since I’d thought they were all used up ages ago and they’re not the cheapest things to buy frozen at the supermarket. Last year was exceptionally bad for wild berries and mushrooms, since we didn’t get much summer rainfall in our area — I went out with my berry bucket and came back with 2 (count them) …

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In which there is ice cream and flailing. (A mini Dough-ble Impact review.)

I popped by my favorite grocery store yesterday to refill my asthma meds and grab a few small items to keep us until our big supermarket binge later this week. They had moved things around since I was last there, so I spent about five minutes stalking up and down the frozen foods aisle, looking more and more perturbed with each round. There was not a single tub of Ben & Jerry’s in sight, you see. This was highly unlike them, since this is the one store that can always be counted on to have a lot of non-Finnish specialty …

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Mmmm is for mämmi.

This is mämmi. It’s traditionally served in Finland and Sweden during the Easter holiday, hence why I’m posting about it now. We had some this past weekend along with dessert – a big dollop served with cream and sugar. It isn’t the most attractive-looking holiday dish on its own, no. Taste-wise, it’s balanced between bittersweet and nutty — pretty much what you’d expect of a paste made from rye flour and malt. Mämmi also happens to be one of those regional dishes that locals like to make you try in the hopes that you’ll make a funny face. Which doesn’t …

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Pumpkin Puree -or- Squashing a Squash.

I’ve been thinking a lot about instructions and tutorials lately at work, and that must have made its way into my subconscious because I’m starting to feel guilty about not updating this blog very much. It’s not for lack of material, since I’ve got a whole folder of photos and notes saved from various projects over the past year — it just seems like there’s always something else more pressing. Given, that’s probably because there was — planning an international wedding, making a pile of holiday presents, then starting a new job will get to ya like that — but …

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Nov 2010 Daring Bakers: Apples and Cream Crostata

The 2010 November Daring Bakers’ challenge was hosted by Simona of briciole. She chose to challenge Daring Bakers’ to make pasta frolla for a crostata. She used her own experience as a source, as well as information from Pellegrino Artusi’s Science in the Kitchen and the Art of Eating Well. Back in late October, I decided to join the Daring Bakers community because I’d seen several other people doing it and having lots of fun trying out new recipes. They tend to choose things that are a bit more complicated than I would normally bake without some sort of impetus, …

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Strawberry Pie

It’s the last days of strawberry season and I just realized that I haven’t made a single strawberry pie this year. Well, there was that pie with the strawberries in it, but not one featuring them on their own. How this managed to happen when we walk by fresh local strawberry stands several times a week is beyond me. I’d originally intended to make a fabulous pie from the berries harvested off my little balcony plants (one mother crown and two rooted runners), but one hanging container hasn’t given me nearly enough to work with. This could partly be due to …

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Buttermilk Crepes -or- A Tale of Two Pancakes

The boy is a huge fan of pancakes. While any form they might take will be greeted with glee, his favorite ones are the classic European sort (flat, eggy and eaten rolled up with jam). Just like his mother and grandmother make, obviously. Now, the pancakes I knew growing up were a bit different — while my mother didn’t really make any herself (our family’s idea of “breakfast” was never in tune with the American norm), we had them fairly frequently at school functions — fluffy, cake-like, and eaten in a stack with maple syrup and butter. So the first …

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