Fluffy Blueberry Muffins, Chicken Tortilla Soup, and Strawberry Rhubarb Jam! Not Mixed Together.

Hello all! Enjoying your summer? I hope everyone has a chance to be good and lazy this summer. I am just embarking on what may be my laziest summer ever. No work, no pressing concerns. Just baking, sleeping, and seeing friends.

And having a baby. That may infringe on my lazy time eversoslightly.

One drawback of all this lazy time? Bad blogging! For example here are three dishes I've made in the past few weeks. All wonderful, all deserving of sexy close-up shots. None were completed. Lazy.

Lazy, and also in all three cases I had already eaten the results before I even thought of taking pictures (with the exception of the tortilla soup, which I'd only partially eaten. See the sloppy edge in the photo? My husband pushed me off the couch and made me take some pictures before finishing).

One of the many pitfalls of blogging about food.

Still. I think I'll be able to manage it. And I hope you can too - just think of these incomplete photo shoots as teasers for a wonderful summer meal. Chicken tortilla soup, Bed and Breakfast Blueberry Muffins (you know the ones, the puffy, white, big ones), and Strawberry Rhubarb Jam. Please to enjoy.

Bed and Breakfast Blueberry Muffins (taken from Brown Eyed Baker)

2 c flour
1 T baking powder
½ t salt
1 egg
1 c granulated sugar
4 T unsalted butter, melted and cooled slightly
1¼ c sour cream
1½ c frozen or fresh blueberries

Preheat the oven to 350 degrees. Grease a standard 12-cup muffin tin (or line with paper liners) and set aside.

Whisk the flour, baking powder and salt in a medium bowl untill combined. Whisk the egg in a separate medium bowl until well-combined and light-colored, about 20 seconds. Add the sugar and whisk vigorously until thick, about 30 seconds. Add the melted butter in 2 or 3 additions, whisking to combine after each addition. Add the sour cream in 2 additions, whisking just to combine.

Add the berries to the dry ingredients and gently toss just to combine. Add the sour cream mixture and fold with a rubber spatula until the batter comes together and the berries are evenly distributed, 25 to 30 seconds. Small spots of flour may remain and the batter will be very thick. Do not overmix.

Using a large spoon, divide the batter amount the muffin cups. Bake until the muffins are light golden brown and a toothpick or thin knife inserted into the center of a muffin comes out clean, 25 to 30 minutes, rotating the pan from front to back halfway through the baking time. Immediately remove muffins to a wire rack and cool for at least 5 minutes. Serve immediately or at room temperature.

Chicken Tortilla Soup (adapted from www.food.com)

1 cup carrot, diced
1 cup celery
1 cup onion, diced
1/2 teaspoon garlic powder or 1 fresh diced garlic clove
1/8 teaspoon salt
1/4 teaspoon pepper
2 tablespoons corn oil
60 oz chicken broth
1 (15 ounce) can tomatoes, diced (optional)
1 (10 ounce) can tomatoes & chilies, diced
1 Tablespoon chile powder
1/4 teaspoon garlic powder
1/4 teaspoon onion powder
1/4 teaspoon crushed red pepper flakes
1/4 teaspoon dried oregano
1/2 teaspoon paprika
1 1/2 teaspoons cumin
1 teaspoon sea salt
1 teaspoon black pepper
1 (10 count) package corn tortillas (broken or cut into small pieces)
12 ounces chicken meat, poached, diced
1 cup milk
12 ounces monterey jack cheese or 12 ounces Mexican blend cheese, shredded
corn tortilla chips, broken into small pieces

Saute carrots, onions, celery in corn oil, garlic, salt and pepper until tender.

Add chicken broth and bring to boil.

Add tomatoes, tomatoes and chilies, seasonings, and chicken.

Cut Tortillas into small pieces and add to broth mixture.

Let boil for 20 minutes or until tortillas are thoroughly incorporated into soup stirring occasionally to keep from sticking.

Reduce heat and add 8 oz. cheese. Simmer for additional 10 minutes.

Add milk and simmer for additional 10 minutes.

If thicker soup is desired, add more diced tortillas and let incorporate into soup.

Garnish with shredded cheese and broken tortilla chips.

Strawberry Rhubarb Freezer Jam (adapted from cooks.com)

4 c rhubarb, diced
4 c sugar
2 t lemon juice
1 c fresh strawberries, sliced
1 (3 oz.) pkg. strawberry gelatin

Combine rhubarb, sugar, strawberries, and lemon juice in saucepan; stir to blend. Place over low heat, stir until juice forms. Bring to boil, stirring occasionally. When mixture is at full boil, cook 15 minutes; time carefully.

Remove from heat, stir in gelatin. Pour into small containers and seal. Store in freezer, refrigerate after opening.

Fluffy Blueberry Muffins


jeannesioux said...

I have tried something like this freezer jam. Yum. Grow a rhubarb plant sometime. They are so incredibly easy. They also make a very good cobbler.

Evelyn said...

It looks so good! And the soup is even gluten free, it appears, so I'll definitely be making it! :-)

a. maren said...

o hooray evelyn! glad to post something you can eat :)

Cakebrain said...

ah. bad blogging. I have done it quite often. I'm doing it now in fact. Bad photos with my iPhone4 instead of using my expensive Nikon. Too lazy to lift the heavy Nikon! Good recipes though are redeeming! So you've more than made up by having not one but three good recipes!

a. maren said...

hehe thanks cakebrain! heavy nikons. i hear that. and jeanne, i would LOVE to grow a rhubarb plant! then i wouldn't have to forage stalks from my neighbors in late night guerilla commando attacks...