Fresh Nectarine Muffins

YUM. I haven’t made muffins in a while and I have no idea why that is. They are so good! Especially straight out of the oven with a little butter on top. These took no time to make and were nice and moist with the fruit inside. Instead of using buttermilk I went for Greek yogurt instead, which was a nice substitute!

Ingredients: (adapted from Pinch My Salt)
2 1/2 cups all-purpose flour
2 teaspoons baking powder
1 teaspoon baking soda
1 teaspoon ground cinnamon
1/2 teaspoon ground ginger
1/2 teaspoon salt
1 1/3 cups plain Greek yogurt
3/4 cup light brown sugar
2 eggs, room temperature
1/3 cup unsalted butter, melted
1 1/2 teaspoons vanilla extract
1 cup fresh nectarines, diced

Preheat the oven to 375 degrees. In a large bowl, whisk together the dry ingredients- flour, baking powder, baking soda, cinnamon, ginger, and salt. In a separate bowl, mix together the yogurt, brown sugar, eggs, melted butter, and vanilla extract. Pour the wet mixture into the dry mixture and stir until just combined, then add the nectarines. Grease a 12-cup muffin tin or line with paper cups and add the mixture evenly to each. They will fill almost to the top. Place in oven for 25 minutes or until toothpick inserted comes out clean!

Carrot, Cabbage, and Bell Pepper Dumplings

I came across a recipe for vegetable dumplings and was excited to try making them after I got the perfect ingredients in my CSA bag- cabbage, carrots, and orange bell peppers. They were very easy to make and really good! I think the hardest part is forming the dumplings into a pretty shape, so I just simply folded them in half and called it a day. It all tastes the same, right?

1 bell pepper
1 large carrot
1/8 white or red cabbage
3 garlic cloves
1 tablespoon fresh grated ginger
1/3 cup low sodium soy sauce
3 tablespoons rice vinegar
2 teaspoons sesame oil
2 green onions, finely chopped
1 package round dumpling wrappers (I got mine at Whole Foods)
Canola oil
1/2 cup water
Sesame seeds

Roughly chop the carrot, cabbage, and bell pepper, and add it to a food processor. Pulse until finely chopped. Add the ginger, garlic, soy sauce, rice vinegar, and sesame oil. Pulse until combined. Place the mixture in a mixing bowl and add the chopped green onion and some fresh cracked pepper.

Place the dumpling wrapper on a flat surface and scoop one teaspoon of filling in the center. Dip your fingers in some water and moisten the edges of the wrapper. Fold the wrapper in half and pinch the edges together until sealed all the way around. Continue until all dumplings are ready to go.

In a large frying pan, drizzle some canola oil and add the dumplings in a flat layer. Cook until the bottoms are golden brown, then add the 1/2 cup of water to the pan. Cook for about 5 minutes or until the water has mostly been absorbed and the bottoms are still golden down. Make sure not to burn them! Remove the dumplings and top with sesame seeds and more green onion. Serve with soy sauce.

Kale Salad with Peaches, Tomato, and Goat Cheese

This was one of the best kale salads I ever made! I was inspired when my sister made a peach and tomato salad over the weekend, it was perfect for summer and absolutely delicious. I had some fresh kale, tomatoes, and peaches, so all I had to pick up was the goat cheese. It took about 15 minutes to make and was the perfect mix of sweet and sour.

Ingredients: (makes 2 small salads)
2 large kale leaves, stems removed and julienned
1 large peach, chopped
1/2 large tomato, chopped
3 tablespoons olive oil
1 teaspoon apple cider vinegar
1/2 teaspoon maple syrup
Goat cheese
Salt and pepper

Start by removing the thick stems from the center of the kale. Lay the leaves on top of each other, roll it up, and cut thin slices. Add to a large bowl and set aside. Next make the dressing- add the olive oil, cider vinegar, and maple syrup to a small bowl and whisk well. Salt and pepper to taste. Pour the dressing over the kale and massage it into the kale with your hands for a minute or so- this will help the dressing to soak into the kale and also break down the kale a little so it’s not as tough. Chop the peaches and tomatoes, add it to the bowl of kale, and set aside for about 10 minutes. In the meantime, cut a few slices of goat cheese and add it to a pan over medium heat. You’ll know it’s done when the bottom of the cheese starts getting a little golden brown (about 3 minutes.) Also chop a small handful of almonds and toast those in a separate pan until golden as well. To serve, place kale in a dish and top with the warm goat cheese and toasted almonds!

Apricot, Blueberry, and Poppy Seed Scones

Scones are one of my favorite breakfast things- they’re just so good! I love them with a hot cup of coffee…mainly because scones are always so dry that you almost choke on them and need something to wash them down with. When I got a MILLION apricots in my bag this week, I thought it would be a good opportunity to try making scones for the first time. I also though adding fruit would be a good way to add some moisture to them. They were delicious! And incredibly easy to make. It was a successful scone story.

Ingredients: (adapted from Baker By Nature)
1 3/4 cup all-purpose flour
2 1/4 teaspoons baking powder
1/8 teaspoon baking soda
1/4 teaspoon salt
1/2 cup heavy cream
6 tablespoons butter, cold and cut into small chunks
3 tablespoons maple syrup
1/4 cup fresh blueberries
1/2 cup fresh apricots, chopped
1 1/2 teaspoons poppy seeds

Preheat the oven to 400 degrees. In a large mixing bowl combine the flour, baking soda, baking powder, and salt. Next add in the cold butter. You can either incorporate the butter by rubbing the butter chunks into the flour mixture with your thumb and finger (my little sister said it’s the same motion as if you’re trying to snap your fingers, which I thought was a good analogy) or you can use a pastry cutter which is what I did. Try to be fast though so the butter doesn’t melt too much. Next, add the cream, maple syrup, fresh fruit, and poppy seeds. Mix well. Place dough in the fridge for about 10-15 minutes so it hardens a little, will make it easier to handle and cut. Line a baking sheet with parchment paper and place the dough in the center and flatten just a tiny bit. With a sharp knife, cut 8 triangles into the dough and brush the tops with a little heavy cream. Place in oven and cook for 16-20 minutes or until golden brown. Let cool a few minutes before eating!

Roasted Corn and Smoked Mozzarella Pizza

I remembered that I had some fresh corn and decided to stop by the local pizza shop in my neighborhood to pick up some dough on my way home. Corn on pizza is amazing. If you haven’t tried it before, I really recommend it! It’s sweet and gives a nice texture to the pizza. I like to add something a little salty with it, like prosciutto, to balance it out. Pizza at home never disappoints me, it’s always a good idea.

Pizza dough, store bought or homemade
Smoked mozzarella cheese, sliced
Fresh corn, cut off the cob
3 slices prosciutto
1/2 shallot
Olive oil
Salt and pepper

Preheat the oven to 450 degrees. Start by cutting the corn off the cob and chopping the shallot. Add both to a pan with some olive oil and cook over medium heat until the corn starts getting a tiny bit browned. Remove from heat and set aside.

Flour your surface and rolling pin, and roll out the dough. Make sure to keep adding flour as you roll. Brush the dough with a little olive oil, then salt and pepper to taste. Next add the smoked mozzarella, corn, and prosciutto. Place on a baking sheet lined with parchment paper. Cook for 15 minutes or until cheese is bubbling and the crust is golden.

Eggplant and Mushroom Meatballs

I had a huge eggplant on hand and decided to give these “meatballs” a shot. They were so easy to make and delicious! I love regular meatballs, with actual meat, but these were really flavorful and had a nice texture to them as well. So whether you’re a meat lover or a veggie lover, you’ll like these! I ate mine on their own with a little sauce, but they would be great with pasta, over some polenta, or with some melted cheese on a sub!

1 large eggplant, peeled and chopped
5 baby bella mushrooms, finely chopped
1/2 shallot, chopped
1 cup bread crumbs (I used Italian)
1/2 cup grated Parmesan cheese
Fresh basil, about 5 large leaves finely chopped
1 teaspoon fennel seeds, roughly chopped
1 large egg
Olive oil
Salt and pepper

Preheat oven to 400 degrees. Peel and chop the eggplant and add it to a large skillet over medium heat with about 3 tablespoons olive oil. Cook until the eggplant becomes soft, adding more olive oil and a little splash of water at times if it becomes too dry. Remove from heat and set aside in a large mixing bowl. Next add the shallot and cook until translucent, followed by the mushrooms until soft and cooked down.

Smash the eggplant with a wooden spoon a little to break down the pieces. Add the mushrooms, shallots, breadcrumbs, Parmesan cheese, fennel seeds, basil and egg. Mix well with your hands until fully incorporated. Roll two inch balls of the mixture and place on a greased baking sheet. Bake for about 15 minutes, flipping half way through, until golden brown. Serve with sauce and more grated cheese!

Warm Peaches with Vanilla Ice Cream and Basil

This couldn’t be easier to do- all you need are peaches and ice cream! If you have a grill you can grill the peaches which is even better, but roasting or sautéing is just as good!

Fresh peaches
Coconut oil
Vanilla ice cream
Fresh basil

Slice the peach in half, remove the pit, then slice into smaller pieces. Add a little coconut oil to a pan over medium heat. I have coconut oil spray from Trader Joe’s which is amazing. Add the peaches to the pan and cook until softened, flipping occasionally. My mom had given me a panini press for Christmas last year, so I used that to get a good sear on the sides. Add some vanilla ice cream to a bowl, top with roasted peaches and torn fresh basil leaves! If you have the time, I would recommend adding a balsamic glaze to this, it’s delicious and fairly easy to make.