Great Grains Muffins – and a much anticipated cookbook…


Hello! I decided to do a little makeover here – you like?
I wasn´t sure what style or coulour to pick, but when in doubt, go with pink! As the old saying goes… Pink is girlie, sweet, and one of my favourite colours, and goes well with the name of this blog, though it´s not all cake and frosting in here. But maybe that will change. Maybe there´ll be more of that to come from now on. Because. You see. I got a birthday present from my sister. A book. A cookbook, or to be more precise, a baking book. The book we´re talking about is Baking, from my home to yours by Dorie Greenspan. And that probably doesn´t sound like a big deal, but it was. First of all the book was huge, thick and heavy – more than 300 recipes! I didn´t expect that. (My sweet sister had to drag that thing around during her vacation) But I´ve become somewhat obsessed with getting this book, as it turned out that wasn´t so easy for me living in Norway or now Denmark. I tried ebay, but noone would ship to Scandinavia. I tried amazon. They wouldn´t ship to Norway. So I had to move to Denmark. (Not exactly, I´m not that obsessed..) But I did move to Denmark, and decided to try from here. And hooray, Amazon would ship the book here! So I got an account and made an order. I thought. But no, I made three orders! But by the time I noticed, the books were already on their way somewhere over the Atlantic. Ok. I wanted this book, but three? Not really necessary. I could try to sell them, but I guess people aren´t that into cookbooks in English with US measurements here. That´s just me! And either way, it would turn out quite expensive as I had to pay the duty on those massive books. The books made it all the way to my post office, I was informed that they had arrived, and it was sad deciding on not picking them up and let them return to sender. So close! And than it took some time for me to respond to Amazon, and eventually getting my money back, and then decided that if I ever were to get my hands on that book, I had to order a ticket to the US, enter a bookstore physically and purchase it. It was too complicated otherwise. By this time, it was getting into an obsession as you may notice. I stopped thinking about it, as much as I could. But it never completely left my mind. So when my sister was going to California for a wedding this summer, I made a little request Conveniently my birthday was coming up…I was excused! I made sure to write down the name and the author for her. I wasn´t going to let bad memory stop me!

And then. She came back. With a present. She handed it over to me, and I was so glad to see it was a book! Because a book, meant the book. But man, was I surprised by the size!

The reason I had to get this book (I guess the main reason is that it was so hard to achieve) is that I´ve made several of the recipes from this book, only that I found them online. But each and every one of them turned out great! Some of them instantly turned into favourites, like , and not to mention this baby . So now there´s no excuse not to bake – not that there ever is to this girl! My motto is: There´s always an excuse to bake, to celebrate and to have cake! So with finally getting my hands on this baking-bible, I realize I have to get started to work my way through the 300+ recipes! And here it goes, my very first recipe: I started with muffins. Not the overly sweet cake-like kind, but a more filling muffin, that you can easily have for breakfast. It´s still sweet, but not in a sugar-overload kind of way, just perfect for breakfast or as a little accompaniement to a cop of coffee, whatever time of the day. This recipe had a picture of the muffins, and both the picture along with the title of the muffins, was what made me decide on baking these as the very first thing. And a quick look at the recipe showed that they were made partly with oatmeal and wholemeal, and healthier is always a plus when you bake a lot, and live alone… The muffins are called Great grains muffins, and the picture showed a perfect muffin (of course), bursting with prunes, and served with cheddar and a cop of coffee with milk. Yum, yum, yum – I wanted that scenario in my kitchen too! So, on with the apron and get baking!
I didn´t have prunes, so I substituted that with raisins. I didn´t have buttermilk either, but I had some crème fraiche I used instead. I also think I increased the amount of wholemeal. And I didn´t have cheddar either, but as Dorie says, the muffins are great with butter, or even plain. And butter, in my world, is never, ever wrong. Not this time either!

Great Grains Muffins (Dorie Greenspan, Baking from my home to yours)

1 cup all-purpose flour
1/3 cup whole wheat flour
1/3 cup yellow cornmeal
1/3 cup old-fashioned oats
1/4 cup sugar
2 teaspoon baking powder
1/4 teaspoon baking soda
1/4 teaspoon salt
1 cup buttermilk
1/3 cup pure maple syrup
2 large eggs
1 stick (8 tablespoons) unsalted butter, melted and cooled
3/4 cup quartered moist, plump prunes or other dried fruits ( cut up as necessary) and/or chopped nuts (optional)

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What to do with blueberries take 1: Blueberry scones

Blueberry season is upon us folks! And that can only mean one thing. I have berry issues! It’s the same problem every year. And what a problem it is. Ohh, man…. where do I begin! Well, here! You see, here’s the deal.

I love berries. I love to pick berries. And once I start, I can’t finish until, well I’ve finished. Not a single berry will be left behind this maniac! If so, it’s because I’m planning to get back to it the next day. Or else, I’ll have trouble sleeping. I know, I’m weird.

I also love to buy berries when they look totally irresistable and are sold for next to nothing at the supermarket, cause they’re in season. So every year, history repeats itself. Suddenly my fridge is filled with all kinds of berries, and I have to find a clever way to either use/freeze/eat them. And of course I haven’t learned anything from the previous years and got myself a bigger freezer, so now I’m having berries with every meal. No, that’s not true. But every day, yes! And sometimes several times a day! It’s a luxury…that is good for me too! But enough of that already. I wanted to incorporate some of this deliciousness into baked goods. All I made so far was jam. Strawberry and something I call queen-jam. That’s a mix of raspberries and blueberries. It’s jam good! But berries and baking? Together? In perfect harmony? Well, there I said it. Perfect harmony.

Let me introduce you berries to sugar. And fat. Aka carbs and calories. You’re gonna get along and make a great team, for sure. I’ve seen it happen before! And I’m not to change a winning team. Now I just had to decide what to bake first. I have my eyes on a blueberry pie, but that I’m planning to make for the weekend when we’re having my family for dinner. Now I wanted something quick and easy, and I had narrowed it down to scones or muffins. And it suddenly became very easy. I’m not that much of a muffin-enthusiast, probably because I haven’t found a proper recipe. Scones however… It’s a love story.

I found a recipe from Cook’s Illustrated, claiming to be the world’s best scones. I’m very easily lead on by those titles, I fell for it, and made them. Were they the world’s best scones? I don’t know. I haven’t really been that much around the scones block. I mainly eat the ones I get from my job. (That I’ve quit, so I better find a substitute recipe asap! I cannot function without scones) Were they good? Hell, yeah. But the thing is, I made them a little too thin. I managed to make 16, and the recipe yielded 8. So I guess mine came out a little crunchier and crispier than they should be. I’d like them to be a little more chewy, a little more dense. Just a little more. So, don’t do that mistake! Make the exact number according to the recipe, and let me know how it turns out!

I was planning on whipping up some cream to go with them, but I was lazy. But I discovered crème fraiche did the trick. And some day, I’ll do that clotted cream thing, just like the Brits. I’m daydreaming about having a tea-party complete with scones, clotted cream, lemon curd and all that goes along. But for now, serve them with a generous dollop of crème fraiche and some homemade jam on top.