Raspberry, Lemon & Cinnamon Muffins

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Mr MWCED has been asking me for ages when I am going to use up the frozen raspberries in the freezer.  Hmmm, I didn’t really have an answer – we still have PLENTY of berry vinegar so that wasn’t an option.  Go to Google.  Of course!  Muffins.   The lemon cuts the raspberry and sugar, and the cinnamon adds a delightful extra.   These are Very Good.     Be careful when mixing the muffin mix, you want the raspberries to stay as whole as possible.  That way you get lip smacking whole goodness raspberry taste as you bite in.  Yummmm.

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There were quite a few recipes on Google,  I cut and pasted from a couple of them.  Hope you approve of the mix.   Enjoy.

Ingredients

1 1/2 cups (375 ml) all-purpose flour
1 1/2 cups (375 ml) wholemeal flour
2 tsp (10 ml) baking powder
1/2 tsp (2 ml) baking soda
1/2 tsp (2 ml) salt
2/3 cup (160 ml) brown sugar
1 egg
1 1/2 cups (375 ml) milk
1/4 cup (60 mL) butter
2 tbsp (30 ml) freshly squeezed lemon juice PLUS lemon zest from one lemon
2 tsp (10 ml) vanilla extract
2 cups (500 ml) fresh or frozen raspberries

Topping:
1/3 cup (80 ml) brown sugar
1/3 cup (80 ml) quick-cooking rolled oats
1 tsp (5 ml) ground cinnamon
1 tbsp (15 ml) freshly squeezed lemon juice

Preparation

Preheat oven to 375 °F (190 °C). Butter 12 nonstick muffin pans or line with paper liners.
In a bowl, combine sugar, oats, cinnamon and lemon juice; set aside.   If you want a finer topping then quickly whizz these ingredients in the food processor (I did not do that, but think I will when making this again).

In a large bowl, combine flours, baking powder, baking soda and salt.

In the food processor, whisk together sugar with lemon zest.   I couldnt find our zester so had to finely chop before putting into the food processor. You just want the lemon zest pieces to be very tiny. Ok, I admit it, I am a very lazy cook!

Add the egg, milk, butter, lemon juice and vanilla extract. Pour over dry ingredients and sprinkle with raspberries; stir just until moistened.   Really do only just stir so that all ingredients are mixed. Golden rule with muffins is do not over-mix. Even I know that 🙂

Spoon into prepared muffin pan, smoothing tops; sprinkle evenly with topping. Bake for 25 to 30 min or until tops are firm to the touch.  I found my mixture was quite sloppy so baked them for a wee bit longer, probably about 40-45 minutes – just watch the topping……..

Let cool in pan for 10 min. Transfer to rack to cool. And then spread with cream cheese for a truly sinful morning or afternoon delight.

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Oregano Chicken and Rice

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Thanks to http://www.recipetineats.com/one-pot-greek-chicken-lemon-rice/ for the inspiration for this dish. It looked so damn good that I just wanted dinner immediately.   Luckily this is all made in one pot, so even though it wasn’t immediate, it was definitely easy to prepare, cook and serve. Cooking the rice with the chicken on top adds extra flavour to the rice because the chicken juices get soaked up by the rice.  Even Mr MWCED said how tasty it was and went back for seconds. That is no mean feat. The Plus was that there were plenty of leftovers, which could have been another meal at home, but I chose to take some to work for lunch. (Our super spoilt dog had the remainder!).

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Oregano Chicken & Lemon Rice – One Pot

This is made using classic Greek ingredients.  It will feed a hungry three, or maybe 6 if you stretch it out with other courses and some crusty bread.   As it was the weekend and I wanted easy, we ate this dish on its own with no other accompaniments  –  well, chocolate later……)

 Ingredients

Chicken and Marinade

  • 6 chicken thighs, skin on, bone in (about 1 kg) Skin on and bone in will give the best flavour, but if you don’t have that then use whatever you have available. But without bone the chicken will take less time to cook – so you may like to add it a bit later rather than from the beginning.
  • 2 lemons, use the zest + 4 tbsp lemon juice (this will probably be about the amount of juice you get from the 2 lemons – don’t angst if it turns out to be not quite 4 tbsp, just use what you get
  • 1 tbsp dried oregano – again, if you don’t have enough oregano then substitute. I had a nearly empty container of oregano so had to make it up with dried mixed herbs.
  • 4 garlic cloves, minced – my garlic amount is always increased, we eat a lot of it, so use more if you like – you won’t be disappointed.
  • 1/2 tsp salt

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Rice

  • 1 1/2 tbsp olive oil, separated
  • 1 small onion, finely diced
  • 1 cup / 180g long grain rice – I used a good quality basmati – but any long grain would be fine. Don’t use a risotto rice though as it will probably go a bit sticky.
  • 1 1/2 cups / 375 ml chicken broth / stock
  • 3/4 cup / 185ml water
  • 1 tbsp dried oregano (see my note above about subbing if you don’t have enough)
  • 3/4 tsp salt
  • Black pepper

Garnish

  • Finely chopped parsley or oregano (optional)
  • Fresh lemon zest (highly recommended)

Instructions

  1. Combine the Chicken and Marinade ingredients and set aside for at least 20 minutes but preferably overnight.   Either do this in a plastic bag or in a bowl with a cover/lid.

To Cook

  1. Preheat oven to 180C/350F.
  2. Remove chicken from marinade, and reserve the Marinade.
  3. Heat 1/2 tbsp olive oil in a deep, heavy based pan over medium high heat. If, like me, you try to reduce the number of dishes you use in the kitchen, use the pan that you are going to bake the chicken in (so it needs to be oven proof).
  4. Place the chicken in the pan, skin side down, and cook until golden brown, then turn and cook the other side until golden brown. Remove the chicken and set aside.
  5. Pour off fat and wipe the pan, then return to the stove.
  6. Heat 1 tbsp olive oil in the skillet over medium high heat. Add the onion and sauté for a few minutes until translucent. Then add the remaining Rice ingredients and reserved Marinade.
  7. Let the liquid come to a simmer and let it simmer for 30 seconds. Place the chicken on top then place a lid on the pan. If you don’t have a lid use foil. Bake in the oven for 35 minutes.IMG_1294.JPG
  8. Then remove the lid and bake for a further 10 minutes, or until all the liquid is absorbed and the rice is tender (so around 45 minutes in total).
  9. Remove from the oven and allow to rest for 5 to 10 minutes before serving, garnished with parsley or oregano and fresh lemon zest, if desired.

Then enjoy the wonderful flavours and congratulate yourself on yet another tasty dish.

Please, Parsnip

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We were lucky to be given a couple of homegrown mean looking parsnips the other day. In no way were they perfect, but who can say “no” to fresh produce! Somehow soup just seemed the right thing to do, after all it is Winter, and excellent to use for work lunches.

My inspiration came from Deliciously Ella, with a few changes.   I managed to fill 3 small freezer bags plus keep some for lunch tomorrow. So probably about 4 servings. Less or more dependent on how much extra water or milk you might decide to add.

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Spiced Parsnip Soup:

4 parsnips                  you will see from my photos this is a bit of a guess, the shape of my parsnips were not the usual shop type shape!
3-4 small potatoes
1 carrot
Olive Oil          for roasting
400ml water
165ml can coconut cream
1 large clove garlic (peeled)
1 teaspoon tahini (or a bit more, to taste)
1 teaspoon sesame oil
1 teaspoon cumin seeds
¾ teaspoon turmeric
1 teaspoon ground ginger
1 teaspoon apple cider
2 teaspoons chilli flakes
1 teaspoon mustard seeds

Preheat the oven to 180C. Chop the parsnip, carrot and potatoes into chunks. Place in the roasting tray with olive oil, salt and some of the chilli flakes. Roast for about 40 minutes, until soft.

Let cool. In the roasting pan (because I am trying to save you dishes) add all the other ingredients.  Blend in batches until smooth (if too thick add more liquid). To serve just heat – if too thick then dilute with water, more coconut cream or milk, or just milk, or stock.

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I decided to portion this up for the freezer – easy to take to work and reheat in the microwave.

Delicious! And this is all for me because Mr MWCED says he just can’t marry the idea of parsnips and soup. Missing out he is.