Book-club Brunch!

by spiceaholic on July 19, 2008

The girls and I were having our monthly book-club meeting and decided to do a brunch pot-luck along with it. I was wavering between making blueberry muffins and cheesy hashbrown casserole, since both seem to be easy enough to make. So to make things more complicated for myself I just decided to make both!

Any previous experiences with making blueberry muffins up until now have been limited to various boxed mixes, the most recent being the fat-free kind from Krusteaz. Since I’ve been on this random baking kick since last week, I figured I might as well try my hand at making blueberry muffins from scratch. Plus I have some blueberries I bought a few days ago that just aren’t getting eaten! Crazy, I know!

The original intention was to try a recipe for orange-berry muffins from Dorie Greenspan’s book. Alas, the local Kroger yesterday had some very anemic and questionable looking oranges, thus messing up those plans. I went through a bunch of my cookbooks to look up basic recipes for blueberry muffins and finally decided to try the one in the 75th anniversary edition of The Joy of Cooking.

Blueberry Muffins

Adapted from “The Joy of Cooking – 75th Anniversary Edition”

2 cups flour
1 tbsp. baking powder
1/2 tsp. salt
2 eggs
1 cup milk (I used fat-free vanilla soy milk)
1/3 cup sugar
1/2 cup oil
1 tsp. vanilla extract
1 cup fresh blueberries

Preheat oven to 400 degrees. Place paper liners in muffin tin.

In a large bowl, combine the flour, baking powder, and salt. In another bowl, combine the eggs, milk, sugar, oil, and vanilla extract.

Add the liquid ingredients to the dry ingredients and mix lightly just until all the dry ingredients are mixed in — there should still be lumps and clumps of flour.

Add the blueberries and stir as little as possible. Fill the muffin tins almost to the top with batter.

Bake for 20 minutes. Once muffins are done, remove from muffin tin within a few minutes.

Verdict: we all felt that the muffins weren’t sweet enough. I don’t know why this particular recipe only called for 1/3 cup sugar when other ones I looked at called for more. I don’t feel comfortable enough yet with baking sweets to just tweak amounts of ingredients so I tend to follow them as written. I think though that next time I make these I will tweak the sugar. Or better yet, try another recipe! That being said, the muffins weren’t a disaster.

Next up is the cheesy hashbrown casserole. Doesn’t that sound so good? This is another recipe from “Teens Cook.” It’s a very simple, basic, and dare I say bland recipe. So of course I tweaked it!

The picture doesn’t look as good as the one in the cookbook, so I think next time I’ll add a top layer of cheese and green onions to make it look even more indulgent than it was!

Cheesy Hashbrown Casserole

Adapted from “Teens Cook”

1/2 stick butter, melted
1 cup sour cream (I used fat-free)
2 cups shredded cheese ( I used reduced-fat Mexican cheese)
3 green onions, sliced
30 oz. bag of frozen hashbrowns, thawed

My additions:

chili powder
garlic powder
Adobo seasoning

Preheat oven to 350 degrees.

Combine the butter and sour cream in a large bowl. Add the cheese, onions, and spices and mix. Add the hashbrowns in batches, making sure to coat with the butter/sour cream/cheese mixture.

Place mixture in an ungreased 9 x 5 baking pan. You really have to pack it in densely, but everything fits in the pan. Bake in oven for 1 hour.

Verdict: everyone loved it and was incredulous at the fact that the original recipe called for no salt or seasonings.

This was the spread at today’s brunch! It was definitely as yummy as it looks! Clockwise from the top we have macadamia nut Belgian waffles, then mixed veggie omelet with turkey bacon and turkey sausage, fruit salad with a kick (cayenne pepper), cheesy hashbrown casserole, and blueberry muffins.

Naturally we stuffed ourselves silly and went back for seconds (and thirds of the potatoes, ssshhh!). I seriously don’t need to eat anything else for the rest of the day!

{ 0 comments… add one now }

Leave a Comment

Previous post:

Next post: