Thursday, August 03, 2006

Tiny little blueberries...

I love blueberries... I probably have at least a cup a day with yogurt or in a smoothie. I'm not exactly sure what the fresh season for them are out here, but the prices at the store usually give me a clue when they go for $1/pint or so. I like to stock up when they go that low, but since we have not seen them at that price yet, I often times opt for organic frozen tiny wild blueberries.

I'm sure today's muffin recipe, Blueberry-Maple Muffins, might be better with fresh, but they were execptionally good bursting with the wild blueberries.

They are very wholesome with ground flaxseeds and whole wheat pastry flour, but they are light with a delicate texture. Buttermilk keeps them tender with pure maple syrup as the only sweetener. This keeps them from being too sweet with just a hint of maple - more of a filling breakfast muffin than a piece of dessert. Grated orange rind and fresh juice brighten the flavors, but I couldn't really detect anything orangy. I think using lemon instead next time would compliment the muffins better. A crunch and bit of sparkle is made on top with a sprinkle of raw sugar before baking. Starting them at 400 degrees helps get that sought-after rounded crown instead of flat tops - mine were done closer to the 15 minute mark, so be sure to watch them.

I noticed the smell from tonight's dinner had Jeff often walking through the kitchen see what smelled so good. Orzo with Zucchini, Tomatoes, and Goat Cheese was a surprising hit as the combination of flavors came together so well. Once the rice shaped pasta is cooked, thin sliced zucchini caramelizes in a touch of olive oil to start the dish off. Once the garlic goes in, this dish speeds along and is done pretty quickly for a week night meal. Chunky fire roasted tomatoes, mild roasted red bell peppers, fresh parsley and oregano are added in and allowed to simmer until warmed through. The pasta is added back in with nutty freshly grated parmesan and goat cheese. As the goat cheese melts, it lightens the rich red color and gives an ultra creamy texture. The melding of flavors was perfect, although I would lessen the amount of pasta, or bulk up the tomato mixture next time - there just didn't seem to be quite as much sauce as we would have liked.


  1. I've been having dried blueberries in my cereal every morning. Dried and frozen is a good compromise for me... That orzo dish looks yummy!

  2. I also love blueberries and have them everyday with my yogurt, it is so good! The muffins look great, but the pasta dish sounds amazingly good, I like all the ingredients in there! Thanks for the tip for increasing the tomatoes!

  3. That pasta dish looks great! I was curious what you served with it.

    I think it might also be good as a side with some chicken. But I can certainly see eating it as is. Looks great!!

    Your blog is great!

  4. The orzo dish looks wonderful. I am sure to be making it soon.

  5. Joanna - I'll have to look into the dried berries!

    Ana - Thanks!

    Anonymous - I think as a side to chicken would be great! We had a salda with it.

    Heather - let me know what you think!

    Wheresmymind - we used a more soft one.

  6. Just noticed the name change, Joe. Very clever. The blog is as good as ever. Snakes? Yikes!

  7. im definitely going to try those blueberry maple muffins with fresh blueberries being so much cheaper at the moment. They look really delicious!

  8. Thank you for your food blog. I am a new viewer. :-) I love blueberries as well Did I happe to spot a Longaberger basket that is holding the muffins?

  9. Harry - Thanks! Yeah, the snakes can stay far, far away!

    Catesa - I hope we can find some fresh for a decent price soon!

    Fitgal - Thanks! You just may have spotted one!