Wednesday, October 24, 2012

Blueberry Muffins from The New Best Recipe



I've posted about blueberry muffins in the past HERE. 'To Die For' they were called. Mmm, yes, they were.

UNTIL I made the Blueberry Muffins from The New Best Recipe.


(Don't have that cookbook on your shelf yet?! You must. Besides tested and tried dishes, The New Best Recipe has illustrated kitchen tutorials and unbiased product ratings from America's Test Kitchen and it is over 1000 pages of ahh.maz.ing-ness)!


Ok, back to the muffins.


The New Best Recipe Blueberry Muffins should be called 'to die for' or 'the best' or something!

The added sour cream in NBR's recipe takes the cake...or muffin. The sour cream compliments the blueberries perfectly, making a most fabulous tasting muffin.

You must try them!

And, if you have the ingredients around to make the Lemon-Glaze following the recipe...oh, do! That puts these muffins over the top!

(When I don't have those ingredients, I use NBR's other topping variation: Cinnamon Sugar-Dipped OR I brush the muffin tops with a vanilla syrup [like DaVinci's coffee syrups] and sprinkle with turbinado sugar).

Oh, my mouth is watering! Time to share the recipe!

BLUEBERRY MUFFINS
from The New Best Recipe via acookingbookworm.com

2 cups (10 oz) unbleached all-purpose flour
1 tablespoon baking powder
1/2 teaspoon salt
1 large egg
1 cup (7 oz) sugar
4 tablespoons (1/2 stick) unsalted butter, melted and cooled slightly
1-1/4 cups (10 oz) sour cream
1-1/2 cups (7-1/2 to 8 oz) frozen or fresh blueberries

Preheat oven to 350 degrees. Grease a standard 12-cup muffin tin and set aside.

Whisk the flour, baking powder, and salt in a medium bowl until combined. Whisk the egg in a second medium bowl until well combined and light-colored, about 20 seconds. Add the sugar and whisk vigorously until thick and homogenous, 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 thick. Do not overmix).

Using a large spoon sprayed with nonstick cooking spray to prevent sticking, divide the batter among the greased muffin cups. Bake until the muffins are light golden brown and a toothpick or skewer 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. Invert the muffins onto a wire rack, stand the muffins upright, and cool 5 minutes.

Ginger- or Lemon- Glazed Blueberry Topping
While the muffins are baking, mix 1 teaspoon grated fresh ginger or grated lemon zest and 1/2 cup sugar in a small bowl. Bring 1/4 cup lemon juice and 1/4 cup sugar to a simmer in a small saucepan over medium heat; stir to dissolve the sugar and simmer until the mixture is thick and syrupy and reduced to about 1/4 cup. After the baked muffins have cooled 5 minutes, brush the tips with glaze; then, working one at a time, dip the tops in lemon sugar or ginger sugar. Set the muffins upright on a wire rack; serve.


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**DISCLOSURE: Please read my full disclosure policy HERE.**

Monday, October 22, 2012

The Amish Family Cookbook by Jerry and Tina Eicher



Today's featured authors from FIRST are Jerry and Tina Eicher and their cookbook, The Amish Family Cookbook.

SHORT BOOK DESCRIPTION:

From bestselling author Jerry Eicher (more than 350,000 books sold) and his wife, Tina, comes this warm and inviting peek into an Amish kitchen, complete with recipes, Amish proverbs, and a dash of Amish humor. Readers will laugh and eat robustly with The Amish Family Cookbook at their side.

Product Details:
List Price: $ 14.99
Spiral-bound: 272 pages
Publisher: Harvest House Publishers; Spi edition (October 1, 2012)
Language: English
ISBN-10: 0736943773
ISBN-13: 978-0736943772

MY THOUGHTS:
The Amish are well-known for their family-style type meals and are often known as great cooks. I enjoyed looking through the Eicher's new cookbook, which gave the feeling of thumbing through old family recipes, or one of those old-fashioned church cookbook booklets that I found piled in my grandma's cupboard.

You won't find any mouth-watering pictures of the recipes in this cookbook, which may be a turn-off to some, but those who are looking for family-friendly meals and sides, the recipes will speak for themselves.

To successfully review a cookbook, I think you should actually MAKE one or two of the recipes (I AM a 'cooking' bookworm, after all)! The family really enjoyed Yost's Baked Chicken Pieces on page 157 and several other recipes are marked for further testing!


AND NOW...A FEW RECIPES FOR YOU TO TRY (CLICK ON PICTURES TO SEE THEM LARGER):









Thank you to the Eichers and Harvest House through FIRST blog reviews for sending me a copy to read and review!

Also reviewed on Amazon and Christianbook.

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**DISCLOSURE: I was given a free product in exchange for an honest review. Please read my full disclosure policy HERE.**

Wednesday, October 10, 2012

All Things New by Lynn Austin



Today, CFBA is introducing All Things New by Lynn Austin.

ABOUT THE BOOK:
In the aftermath of the Civil War, Josephine Weatherly and her mother, Eugenia, struggle to pick up the pieces of their lives when they return to their Virginia plantation. But the bitter realities of life after the war cannot be denied: their home and land are but shells of their previous grandeur; death has claimed her father and brother; and her remaining brother, Daniel, has returned home bitter and broken. The privileged childhood Josephine enjoyed now seems like a long-ago dream. And the God who failed to answer any of her prayers during the war is lost to her as well.

Josephine soon realizes that life is now a matter of daily survival--and recognizes that Lizzie, as one of the few remaining servants, is the one she must rely on to teach her all she needs to know. Josephine's mother, too, vows to rebuild White Oak...but a bitter hatred fuels her.

With skill and emotion, Lynn Austin brings to life the difficult years of the Reconstruction era by interweaving the stories of three women--daughter, mother, and freed slave--in a riveting tale.

MY THOUGHTS:
Lynn’s books are always well-researched and written, and I have enjoyed each one I’ve read.

Although I’d have to say that Wonderland Creek tops my favorite list, All Things New was no exception to Lynn’s deeply historic, yet easy, style.

The epic saga tells of a mother, daughter, and freed slave in the days following the Civil War. Lynn’s careful descriptions of the landscape, ruined plantations, and even tattered clothing, brought to mind vivid scenes of Gone With the Wind.

The post-war emotions of bitterness, grief, and fear, as well as the struggles to overcome them with hope, are palpable and page-turning to the reader. So much so that my only disappointment was that the story did not continue. Loose ends were tied up adequately, but the epic style (and setting) lends itself to continuing the stories of the characters.

Good cozy-up-under-a-blanket-on-a-gray-day type of read.

AND FOR YOU, a peek into the book:
All Things New

Thank you to Lynn and Bethany House through CFBA for sending me a copy to read and review!

Also reviewed on Amazon and Christianbook.

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**DISCLOSURE: I was given a free product in exchange for an honest review. Please read my full disclosure policy HERE.**
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