i’m on a blueberry kick – blueberry ricotta muffins

blueberry ricotta muffins with lemon

Blueberry ricotta muffins with lemon.

this recipe makes a small batch, and is easy to make with just two bowls, a whisk and a rubber spatula. perfect for littles to help with, as they’re pretty forgiving. they’re light and fluffy with plenty of lemon zing and a juicy kick from all the blueberries.

ingredients

1 cup flour
5 tablespoons sugar
1/4 tsp baking powder
1/4 tsp baking soda
1/4 tsp salt
zest of one lemon
1 egg
1/2 cup ricotta cheese
1/2 tsp vanilla extract
3 tbsp lemon juice (about 1 lemon, depending on how juicy it is)
1 tbsp milk
about 1 tbsp honey
3 tbsp olive oil
2/3 cup of frozen wild blueberries

instructions

preheat oven to 350. add the flour, sugar, baking powder, baking soda, lemon zest, and salt into a small bowl. whisk together to incorporate. in a separate larger bowl whisk together the egg, ricotta, lemon juice, milk, honey, oil, and vanilla. add the dry ingredients and the blueberries to the wet. fold together until just moistened. either spray muffin tin with cooking spray or line with muffin liners. fill each muffin cup to about 3/4 and bake for 15-20 minutes depending on how your oven cooks. Mine are usually done at 19 minutes but i always start checking them at 15. cool in the pan for at least ten minutes before turning out onto a cooling rack. enjoy!

have dessert for breakfast – blueberry bagel french toast

blueberry bagel french toast with blueberry syrup and cream cheese icing

i’ve had blueberry bagels sitting around not getting eaten for about a week… stale bread = french toast. the cream cheese glaze is a nice nod to a traditional bagel, and the chewy bread stands up well to the custard.

french toast
blueberry bagels
3 eggs
1/4 cup coconut milk, half and half, or regular milk
1 tsp sugar
dash of cinnamon, to taste
pinch of salt
splash of vanilla extract
butter, for cooking

blueberry syrup
1 cup frozen wild blueberries
½ cup water
½ cup of sugar
juice of half a lemon
cornstarch slurry (about 1 tbsp of cornstarch and 3 tbsp cold water)

cream cheese glaze
¼ block of softened cream cheese
2 tbsp softened butter
½ cup powdered sugar
pinch of salt
splash of milk

instructions

whisk together the eggs, milk, 1 tsp of sugar, vanilla, pinch of salt, and cinnamon. split bagels in half, sit two of them in the custard to soak. i put the custard mixture in a large flat pasta serving dish so i could fit two at a time. since bagels are much denser than bread, i let them soak for about five minutes each. heat a nonstick skillet or pan to medium. melt some butter in the pan and cook each French toast piece for about 4 minutes on each side or just until golden brown. meanwhile in a sauce pan, heat blueberries, water, sugar, and lemon juice on medium until bubbling. reduce for about 3-5 minutes. mix together cornstarch and cold water to create a slurry, then add to blueberry mixture. this will thicken and become nice and syrupy. before serving, whisk together the cream cheese, butter, powdered sugar, and salt. add a splash of milk to thin out the glaze (about a tablespoon, give or take). enjoy this delicious blueberry bagel french toast as dessert for breakfast!

this sandwich is lit – bbq cuban panini

bbq cuban panini with pickles

BBQ Cuban panini sandwich.

smoky pulled pork, salty ham, tangy pickles, sweet barbecue sauce… this sandwich has it all. ITS LIT FAM. bbq cuban panini is a mashup of two of my favorite things… bbq pulled pork and cuban sandwiches. plus a tangy sweet barbecue dijon mustard spread. definitely an amazing lunch or dinner, and can be made with leftovers of any pulled pork you have.

ingredients

leftover pulled pork – see my instant pot recipe here!
deli ham (i go for the ham off the bone, sliced thin)
panini bread (the pane turano panini bread from aldi is our go to)
2-3 slices havarti cheese depending on how big your bread is
kosher dill sandwich slices
your favorite barbecue sauce
dijon mustard

instructions

mix together half and half dijon mustard and bbq sauce to make bbq dijon spread. butter each slice of bread generously. build the sandwich by spreading the first slice with the bbq dijon spread. place the cheese first, then pork, ham, pickles, and finally cheese again. spread the other side with sauce and place on top. press in a panini press until golden brown and cheese is melted, or if you’re like me and don’t have a panini press, grill on the stovetop and use something heavy to press the sandwich down. i used a cast iron skillet. hope you love this barbecue cuban sandwich as much as i did… if you try it let me know in the comments!

nugget life – toddler and mom approved vegetable chicken nuggets

veggie chicken nuggets with carrots and broccoli

Vegetable chicken nuggets.
Vegetable chicken nuggets.

kid approved and mom-approved, these vegetable chicken nuggets are kind of a pain in the butt to make, but as my 2-year-old would say, “so delicious and so healthy!” plus they’re packed with healthy veggies. inspired by perdue chicken plus nuggets which i can’t find anywhere in california! love that my kiddos are getting a good serving of vegetables and protein in these nuggets and they really are delicious. i probably ate more of them than my son… enjoy!

ingredients

1 lb ground chicken
3-4 large broccoli florets
1 medium-sized carrot
½ red bell pepper
¼ large yellow onion (If it’s a small onion, use a half)
1 large egg, beaten
¼ tsp kosher salt
fresh ground black pepper to taste
1/8-1/4 tsp garlic powder
Few shakes of smoked paprika
1/3-1/2 cup italian seasoned breadcrumbs, plus more for coating
panko breadcrumbs
olive oil

instructions

pulse broccoli, carrots, onion, and red pepper in a food processor. saute over medium heat with some olive oil until veggies start to soften. in a large bowl, beat egg and add chicken. once veggies are softened, add into chicken and egg. add salt, pepper, garlic powder, and paprika. add in 1/3-1/2 cups of the italian breadcrumbs until meatball consistency. You want it to be able to hold its shape together enough to form into nugget shapes. mix together about half and half panko bread crumbs and italian seasoned breadcrumbs in a separate bowl. form meat mixture into nugget shapes (I just grabbed about as much as I would need for a meatball, rolled it into a ball and pressed it flat). it’s easier to do with wet hands so the mixture doesn’t stick. coat each nugget in breadcrumbs and set aside. heat oil over medium heat in a skillet. cook nuggets for about 4 minutes on each side. i’m a crazy person and put the lid on the pan while they were cooking on the first side, just to make extra sure i wouldn’t give everyone salmonella (but this probably isn’t necessary). 🙂

the pork speaks for itself – instant pot pulled pork

instant pot pulled pork

Instant Pot bbq pulled pork.

…the two year old ate his entire serving (unheard of), and the 8 month old couldn’t stop shoveling it in. enjoy!

ingredients

6-7 pound bone in pork shoulder

dry rub:
¾ cup packed dark brown sugar, 1 ½ tbsp kosher salt, ½ tbsp fresh ground black pepper, 1 tbsp smoked paprika, 1 tbsp ancho chili powder, 1 tsp garlic powder, a few shakes of cinnamon (to taste).

braising liquid: 1 can of beer (i used blue moon), about ½ cup of water, 2 tbsp apple cider vinegar, 1 tbsp soy sauce

olive oil

instructions

the night before, mix together dry rub and cut pork into 2-3 large pieces. add pork and dry rub to a bowl or gallon sized plastic bag, along with dry rub and a few glugs of olive oil. mix together so all the pork is coated in the dry rub/olive oil mixture. refrigerate overnight. next day, add pork and braising liquid to instant pot. cook on manual mode, high pressure for 90 minutes. let pressure cooker naturally release for at least 10 minutes, then you can manually release steam. enjoy tender, juicy pulled pork 🙂

hello!

can’t wait to share some food, photos and fun. i won’t be sharing long posts, what i ate in a restaurant five years ago that “inspired” this recipe, or tons of filler you have to scroll through to get to the goods.

so I’m here to be short, sweet, and to the point. if you’d like to check out my day to day life, check out my instagram! enjoy!