Blueberry Muffins and Easy Ciabatta Pizza

Summertime cooking is all about quick and easy. Who wants to stir a pot all day or have the oven on for hours as a roast roasts away? I like to grill a lot, eat cold things like sandwiches and salads, and of course partake in all the fresh fruits and veggies I can get.

I know you all know how much I love magazines, so a few months back when my mother-in-law called me and asked if I’d like any magazine subscriptions (she was cashing in her airline miles before they expired) I said YES. So, a bevy of magazines comes to my door every month. One of those magazines is Glamour. I know I’m pretty much not their demographic – many of the articles are geared towards the young career woman and while I am a woman I am not too young and have a career (ahmm… housewife!)  which only requires fashion advice on what yoga pants are best to wear while shopping at Target – yet, I really enjoy looking through the pages.

Did you know Glamour has recipes in it? It does, and I decided to try a couple.

The first was a recipe for Berry and Cream Cheese Muffins. These muffins were very easy to make and are a yummy way to start the morning – or so I thought. I was the only one in my family who would eat them! The muffin part was sweet without being too sugary and the cream cheese in the middle gave them some substance. I used frozen blueberries to make mine, but fresh from the farmers market would probably be even better.

Blueberry & Cream Cheese Muffins

Makes 12

  • 7 tbsp. unsalted butter
  • 3 tbsp. sunflower or vegetable oil
  • 1 cup low-fat plain yogurt
  • 2 tsp. vanilla extract
  • 3 large eggs
  • 3 ¼ cups all-purpose flour
  • 1 tbsp. baking powder
  • Just under 1 cup superfine sugar
  • ¼ tsp. fine salt
  • 6 oz. blueberries
  • 4 oz. cream cheese

Line a muffin pan with wrappers; preheat oven to 400°F. Melt butter in a  medium nonstick pan over low heat. Remove from heat; whisk in the oil, yogurt,  vanilla, and eggs. Sift flour and baking powder into a large bowl, stir in the  sugar and salt, then make a well in the middle. Pour the yogurt mixture into  flour well. Lightly fold the dry ingredients into the wet using a rubber spatula  until the mixture has just come together. Pour in the blueberries, working them  into the batter with the bare minimum of stirring. (The mixture will still look  lumpy.)

Spoon half the batter into the prepared baking cups. Then dot about ½ tsp. of  the cream cheese on top of the batter in each half-filled muffin cup. Add  remaining batter, then another ½ tsp. of cream cheese on each muffin. Bake the  muffins for 18 to 20 minutes, or until golden. Let cool in the pan for 10  minutes, then transfer to a rack and let cool completely.

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The next recipe up was for a Ciabatta Pizza. This was easy to make and EVERYONE ate it – even Buddy. Of course he ate it only because I didn’t use any of the toppings of the original recipe, but that’s the cool thing about this meal. The toppings can be made to order. The tomato paste sauce is really good, and be sure to spread it to the very edges of the bread – it’ll keep it from burning. While My Man and I ate the original version (just substituted baby spinach sprinkled on top instead of arugula because of course the Commissary didn’t have any) the kids ate a version with mozzarella cheese instead of goat. I also sprinkled a bunch of shredded mozzarella on the pizzas My Man and I ate as well.

Ciabatta Pizza
Serves 4 to 6
  • 3 tbsp. tomato paste
  • 2 tsp. dried oregano
  • 2 tbsp. extra-virgin olive oil, plus more for drizzling Sea salt and freshly  ground black pepper
  • 1 large garlic clove
  • 1 medium ciabatta loaf or Italian bread loaf
  • 4 oz. goat cheese
  • 1-3 tomatoes, sliced
  • 10 slices spicy salami
  • ½ cup pitted black olives
  • 2 handfuls arugula or fresh flat-leaf parsley

Mix tomato paste, all but a pinch of oregano, the olive oil, and some salt  and pepper in a small bowl. Crush garlic, and stir into mixture. Preheat the  broiler. Cut bread in half lengthwise, then place on baking sheet, cut side up.  Put under broiler until pale golden, about 2 minutes. Spread the tomato-paste  mixture over the bread. Slice or crumble goat cheese, and put on top; add  tomatoes, salami, and olives. Sprinkle with remaining oregano and some black  pepper, then drizzle oil on top to meld it all together. Broil pizzas for about  10 minutes. Top with arugula or parsley. Cut into halves for entrées, thirds for  apps.

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I may not be sporting the most current trends for the 20-something office worker, but I am making some yummy summer meals. Go Glamour!

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