Heartland Blueberry or Saskatoon Yogurt Muffins

Blueberry muffins 2

Growing up, when our dog (a bearded collie named Sundance) was getting old, I remember my horror when I realized why my mom was buying smaller and smaller bags of dog food. It feels a little like that here… we’re in the final stages of tweaking the back end of the new website and moving everything over, at which point most of the photos won’t fit the new layout, and so posts are getting fewer and further between – more stuff means more to move, and resize.

And I’ve been in Edmonton all week – I just got back – but I did bake a batch of muffins on Sunday night before I left, to bring with me in the car on my pre-dawn drive out to Viking, Alberta, and for Mike to tuck into W’s insulated lunch fish (it’s a fish) to relieve some of the guilt I always have over going away. These are good muffins – ones we used to go to Heartland just for. (They’re also delicious with chopped thin rhubarb stalks – I just plucked a few from the back alley to stash away before the frost gets everything.)

Heartland Blueberry or Saskatoon Yogurt Muffins

Adapted from The Heartland Cafe Cookbook.

3/4 cup canola or other mild vegetable oil
1 cup brown sugar
3 large eggs
2 cups plain yogurt
3 cups all-purpose flour
2 – 2 1/2 cups oats (old fashioned, if you have them, or quick)
2 tsp. baking powder
1 tsp. baking soda
1/2 tsp. salt
2 cups fresh or frozen blueberries or saskatoons (don’t thaw them)

Preheat the oven to 400F. In a large bowl, beat the oil and sugar, and add the eggs one at a time, beating after each until the mixture is thick and creamy.

The original recipe instructs to stir in the yogurt, then whisk together the dry ingredients and berries and add them. I whisked together the dry ingredients, stirred in half, then stirred in the yogurt, then the remaining dry ingredients along with the berries.

Fill paper-lined muffin tins and bake for 20-25 minutes, until golden and springy to the touch. Tip them in the pan to help them cool. Makes 1 1/2 dozen muffins.

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September 16 2015 | bread and breakfast | 4 Comments »

(Greek) Green Goddess Dip

green goddess 3

My mom is a great cook. I didn’t realize this as a kid, when her focus was on cooking healthy 80s-style meals for her three daughters and aerobics-doing and squash-playing husband. For the most part, my memory clings to the meals I dreaded, and those wondrous packaged foods (Oreos! Fruit Roll-Ups! Wonder Bread!) I wasn’t allowed to have.

Whether she evolved as a cook or my palate did, she turns out amazing dinner parties, but rarely emails with a recipe she insists I must have. My sisters and I all got an email after a meeting last week at which one attendee brought this ‘Greek goddess dip’, the dregs of which were retrieved from the bowl by finger once the veggies and pita chips were gone. “Trust me,” she said, “you want this recipe.” Although I’m already familiar with green goddess dip, I took her seriously.

green goddess 2

It turned out this wasn’t your usual Green Goddess, but Greek Goddess, so named for the inclusion of crumbled feta and fresh dill. I don’t make dip often, but it is the season of super-sweet carrots and a plethora of zucchini (the ones I planted at Mike’s mom’s house survived the hail! and are perfoming!) it seemed like a good thing to have sitting in the fridge for lunch at my desk. (And if you’re taking it to go, I like the idea of pouring a bit into a jar, then standing your veggies upright in it, ready to nibble.)

green goddess 1

Green Goddess Dip

Adapted from Melissa Clark of the New York Times, who calls it Greek Goddess Dip on account of the feta and dill.

1/2 cup packed fresh dill or watercress
1/2 cup packed fresh mint
1/2 cup packed fresh flat-leaf parsley
1/3 cup packed fresh basil
2 garlic cloves, peeled and crushed
2 green onions, chopped (or 1/4 cup chopped chives)
1 1/2 Tbsp. lemon juice
pinch salt
1/2 cup extra virgin olive oil
1/2 cup crumbled feta
1/2 cup plain Greek yogurt
1/4 cup mayonnaise (optional)

Combine the dill, mint, parsley, basil, garlic, green onions, lemon juice and salt in the bowl of a food processor and pulse until finely chopped.

With the motor running, drizzle in the olive oil. Add the feta and process until smooth; pulse in yogurt. Taste and add more salt, if desired. If you like a creamier, richer dip, add the mayonnaise.

Serve immediately with veggies or pita chips, or refrigerate for up to 4-5 days. (The flavour improves with some time in the fridge.)

Makes about 2 cups.

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September 01 2015 | appetizers | 4 Comments »

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