Strawberry Muffins

So last week, they had an amazing deal on strawberries and of course by today, they were starting to get a little too ripe and sad looking.  After about 30 seconds of searching, I found a recipe with Greek yogurt as an ingredient, and I was sold!  I am slightly obsessed with Greek yogurt at the moment, I use it as a sour cream substitute (it fooled my husband, so it really does taste like the real thing), I used it in the turkey meatballs earlier this week (still need to post) and now I used it in muffins.  I am pretty sure it actually has magic powers, but I have yet to confirm that.  Oh and most importantly, Little Man E loves plain greek yogurt, which during this ugly teething phase, I’m happy to give him anything as long as he eats it!  Anyway, back to the muffins.  This recipe is incredibly light and airy, and the almond extract adds a delicious warmth and richness to the strawberry flavor.  I think this is the perfect toddler recipe, but if you haven’t introduced nuts, I am sure omitting the almond extract would taste great too!  This is a slightly modified recipe from http://penguinsandcupcakes.tumblr.com, and it made 12 regular sized and 18 minis total.

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Strawberry Yogurt Muffins (makes 12 standard muffins, plus 18 mini)

Ingredients

2 cups all-purpose flour
1 tsp. baking powder
1 tsp. baking soda
½ tap. Salt
¼ cup butter
¼ cup vegetable oil
¾ cup sugar
1 egg
1 cup plain greek yogurt
½ tsp. almond extract
1.5 cups chopped strawberries (toss in sugar if they are a bit sour)

Directions

Preheat the oven to 450 degrees F. In the bowl of an electric mixer, cream together the butter, sugar and oil until smooth.  Add the egg, yogurt and almond extract and mix until combined.

In a separate bowl, combine the first four dry ingredients. Slowly add the dry mixture into the wet mixture.

Add the strawberries and fold in, do not mix.

Place paper muffin liner in your muffin tins. Use a ¼ cup scoop to fill the liners.

Bake for 10-12 minutes or until tops are golden.

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Martha’s One-Pan Pasta

I have a confession, I love Martha Stewart.  Actually, I love Martha Stewart’s brand, it is the epitome of all things food, craft and beyond.  Usually, if I come across a recipe with her name attached, it is pretty tasty but often too complicated for a weeknight meal.  During one of my many 10pm Pinterest marathons, I came across a beautiful picture of fresh tomatoes, basil, and other fresh ingredients with the title “one-pan pasta”.  When I clicked through and discovered it was Martha, I knew I had to put it on my meal plan.  This is the perfect weeknight meal, and I was able to prep everything earlier in the day, the actual cooking time is less than 10 minutes!  I added some sliced chicken for extra protein, next time I think I will add chicken sausage instead.  Oh, and I tried to photograph mine to make it very Martha, it just looks so pretty!  Below is my adapted recipe, here’s the link to the original:  http://www.marthastewart.com/978784/one-pan-pasta.

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One-Pan Pasta (4 Servings)

Ingredients

  • 1 box long pasta (I used whole grain spaghetti)
  • 10-12 ounces cherry or grape tomatoes, halved or quartered if large
  • 1 onion, thinly sliced (about 2 cups)
  • 4 cloves garlic, thinly sliced
  • 1/2 teaspoon red-pepper flakes
  • 2 sprigs basil, plus torn leaves for garnish
  • 2 tablespoons extra-virgin olive oil, plus more for serving
  • Coarse salt and freshly ground pepper
  • 4 1/2 cups water
  • Freshly grated Parmesan cheese, for serving

DIRECTIONS

  1. STEP 1

    Combine pasta, tomatoes, onion, garlic, red-pepper flakes, basil, oil, 2 teaspoons salt, 1/4 teaspoon pepper, and water in a large straight-sided skillet. Bring to a boil over high heat. Boil mixture, stirring and turning pasta frequently with tongs, until pasta is al dente and water has nearly evaporated, about 9 minutes.

  2. STEP 2

    Season to taste with salt and pepper, divide among 4 bowls, and garnish with basil. Serve with oil and Parmesan.

Salmon with Lemon and Dill and Other Sunday Adventures

I love Sundays. We are all together as a family, we usually cook a fun dinner and I ignore the typical daily housework until Monday. I usually make a dinner that requires my Sous Chef (aka Husband) to help in the kitchen, as weekends are the one time I do not prep meals in the middle of the day. Tonight’s dinner was inspired by some amazing Coho Salmon we received from friends. By amazing, I mean wild caught in Alaska, then cleaned and immediately put into dry ice to travel back here for our enjoyment. I am not particularly good at cooking fish, although I absolutely love eating it! So, I believe the most important rule with good and fresh fish is keep it simple, and that is exactly what we did. My husband loves dill, so let’s say he inspired this tasty dish. For those of you following the meal plan that I am now posting weekly, the ingredients will not be on my grocery list. We had broccoli in the freezer, some red potatoes leftover from another meal and the fish was given to us. I love a free meal 🙂  The picture doesn’t do this meal justice, but we baked an entire half of the salmon, so they are not in perfect pieces.

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Salmon with Lemon and Dill (4 Servings)

Ingredients

1 pound salmon fillets
1/4 cup butter, melted
5 tablespoons lemon juice
1 tablespoon dried dill weed
1/4 teaspoon garlic powder
sea salt to taste
freshly ground black pepper to taste

Directions

Preheat oven to 350 degrees F (175 degrees C). Lightly grease a medium baking dish.
Place salmon in the baking dish. Mix the butter, lemon juice, garlic powder and dill in a small bowl, and drizzle over the salmon. Season with sea salt, and pepper.
Bake 25 minutes in the preheated oven, or until salmon is easily flaked with a fork.