Blueberry Muffins

I usually don’t crave muffins but for some reason I really wanted some homemade blueberry muffins to accompany my morning coffee. These muffins aren’t too sweet, are super moist (thanks to the sour cream), and are packed with nutritious blueberries. You can also substitute for any other berries you wish, such as raspberries or mulberries.

The below recipe is dairy-free, however feel free to substitute for real milk and sour cream (or yogurt) if you wish.

  • 1 1/4 cups all-purpose flour (you can also use Almond or Whole-Wheat flour)
  • 1 teaspoon baking powder
  • Pinch of salt
  • 2/3 cup sugar
  • 1 egg
  • 1/2 cup vegetable oil
  • 1/3 cup Almond milk
  • 1 teaspoon vanilla
  • 1/2 cup dairy-free sour cream ( I use Tofutti – it actually tastes really good!)
  • 1 1/2 cups blueberries
  • Additional sugar for topping (optional)

Pre-heat the oven to 375.

In a small bowl, combine the flour, baking powder and salt. Mix to combine. In another bowl, combine the sugar, egg, oil,  milk and vanilla. Gradually stir in the flour mixture. Stir in the sour cream until well mixed then gently fold in the blueberries.

Grease a muffin pan or add muffin liners. Pour batter into the muffin tin, filling it to the top. Add a few more blueberries to the top and sprinkle with a little bit of sugar.

Bake for 25 minutes. If you used frozen berries, you may need to bake it for about 4 minutes longer. Check muffins with a toothpick – if the toothpick comes out clean they are ready! Let cool before enjoying.

Makes 10 muffins.

Homemade Spinach Fettuccine

For my birthday, my Mother surprised me with pasta attachments for my KitchenAid® and let me tell you…our house has been making homemade pasta ever since. Pasta is one of the EASIEST things to make, with or without special pasta tools, and only requires three simple ingredients – flour, eggs, salt. From these three simple ingredients you can enhance your pasta with herbs, spinach, beets, lemon, garlic and more! With Spring already upon us, I thought it would be fun to experiment with making different types of pasta using fresh vegetables from my local farmers market.

I’m going to share with you a recipe utilizing my handy KitchenAid tools, however I’m also going to share with you a way to make homemade fettuccine with only a rolling pin and knife.

  • 2 1/2 cups “00” Tipo Flour* (I use this brand)
  • 3 eggs
  • Pinch of salt
  • 3/4 – 1 cup fresh spinach, stems removed
  • 1-2 tablespoons cold water (if needed)

Begin by steaming the spinach until just wilted (about 2 minutes). Drain and squeeze the spinach between two towels to remove excess water. Puree the spinach in a blender with the eggs.  In the bowl of your stand mixer, add flour and salt and make a well. Add in the spinach/egg mixture and combine utilizing the flat attachment on low for about 30 seconds. (alternatively – you can create a well on a clean, wooden cutting board and mix the ingredients until well combined). If mixture seams a little dry (when you pinch dough between fingers it should stick together) add in 1 tablespoon of cold water.

Switch the attachment to the dough hook and knead the dough for another 2-3 minutes on low. Remove the dough from the mixer and knead by hand on a lightly floured surface until dough comes together in a ball. Cover with plastic wrap and let rest for about 20 minutes. (if kneading by hand – use your palm of your hand to knead the dough. If sticky, gradually add some flour and combine until dough is a cohesive mass. Lightly flour the cutting board and knead for an additional 5 – 6 minutes adding flour to the board as necessary. Cover in plastic wrap and let rest for 20 minutes)

Divide the dough into 4 pieces. Roll one of the pieces out to about 1/4 inch thickness. Using the KitchenAid pasta roller pass it through the 1 setting and fold the dough over. Pass through again and repeat until the dough is smooth. Lower the setting to 2 and pass through. Continue until you are at the 4th setting. The pasta will be long – lay it on a lightly floured surface and cut into half. Lightly dust the top of the pasta sheets with more flour. Repeat with the remaining pieces of dough. (if you don’t have a pasta roller – don’t worry! Use a rolling pin to press the pasta as thin as possible. You want to build in layers, folding it back over itself, and flattening again and again. Let the sheets sit out and dry for about 15 minutes)

Switch over to the KitchenAid Fettuccine attachment. Pass the dough through the attachment and hang the fettuccine on a pasta rack or lay flat on a floured surface. (now if you don’t have a pasta cutter, simply take your sheets of dough and fold them at 3-4-inch intervals to create a flat, rectangular roll. Utilizing a sharp knife, cut the roll into strips of your preferred thickness)

Bring a large pot of salted water to a boil.  Fresh pasta cooks WAY quicker than dried so make sure you don’t step away from the kitchen. Add the pasta and cook for about 2-4 minutes (it will float to the top when done). Drain and toss with your favorite sauce. Serves 4.


I made a dairy-free garlic cream sauce (almond milk, fresh garlic, vegan cheese, flour, salt, pepper) and tossed the pasta with fresh spinach, artichoke hearts and garlic chicken sausage.


*You can also use all-purpose flour if that’s all you have. I prefer “00” Tipo because they are the softest, finest, Italian flours resulting is velvety, smooth pastas.

Lumpia

Fried lumpia is a traditional Filipino dish, similar to egg rolls,  that are stuffed with pork and vegetables then fried to perfection. When I think of lumpia it makes me smile because it brings me back to happy childhood memories of helping my Mom in the kitchen. Often times, we would whip up this dish for large family gatherings or as a savory snack during the holidays.
What I love most about Filipino cuisine is its tastes very from salty to bitter; spicy and sweet. And what I love about lumpia (besides the garlic-vinegar dipping sauce) is everyone’s recipe is slightly different. My co-worker Anna usually adds in bean sprouts and green beans to the traditional list of veggies while others add in water chestnuts, mushrooms or even green onions.

Here’s a more traditional recipe for lumpia that was passed down from my Mom, which includes a little cilantro for added freshness.

Lumpia

  • Vegetable oil
  • 1 pound ground pork
  • 3 garlic cloves, minced
  • 1 small onion, chopped
  • 2 carrots, minced
  • 1 tablespoon soy sauce
  • 1 teaspoon garlic powder
  • Cilantro, chopped
  • Salt and pepper to taste
  • 15 – 30 lumpia wrappers
  • Egg wash (to seal the wrappers)

Heat 1 tablespoon of oil in a large skillet or wok and cook the pork until browned. Remove the pork and set aside. Drain grease from the pan leaving a thin coating. Add garlic and onions and saute for about 2 minutes. Add in the carrots and continue to cook until slightly tender, yet still crisp (about 5 minutes). Remove from the heat and stir in the cooked pork. Season filling with soy sauce, garlic powder, salt and pepper. Set aside until cooled. (make sure filling is cool to the touch, otherwise it will make the wrappers soggy)

Place filling towards the center edge of the wrapper. Fold over the corner, tuck in the sides and roll neatly. I prefer to roll shorter / fatter rolls where some prefer to roll long and skinny – it’s up to you. Now seal the wrapper with egg wash or water. Below is an example from the back of the wrapper package:

     

Heat oil in a heavy skillet over medium heat for about 5 minutes. Add 4-5 pieces of lumpia to the oil and fry until golden brown on all sides (about 2 minutes). Drain on paper towels and serve immediately with a garlic-vinegar dipping sauce.

Garlic Dipping Sauce

  • 1/2 cup white vinegar
  • 3 garlic cloves, minced
  • Salt and pepper to taste

Combine all ingredients and serve alongside the lumpia.


To me, lumpia brings people together. I recently made it to surprise my grandmother on her 85th birthday as it’s her favorite Filipino dish.