Tuesday, June 1, 2010

Mid-Week Quickies

Ok, so get your mind out of the gutter! I don't mean a quickie like that ... although ... ok! Focus. I meant that's it's the middle of the week and it's busy, but I have just enough time to share two recipes with you in one quick post. So here goes!

First, I'm proud to say that I made a bechamel sauce all by myself for the very first time! And it wasn't that hard! And oh my, was it delicious. I was even brave enough to make a few substitutions to this wonderful recipe at Everybody Likes Sandwiches. Basically, it's a macaroni and cheese recipe with fresh spring vegetables thrown in along with the summery zing of lemon juice and lemon zest. It was a perfect supper, and easy enough for me to put together in the middle of the week. I made a few little substitutions: I used parsley instead of oregano and broccoli instead of spinach, I used a combination of milk and homemade vegetable stock instead of just milk and I used olive oil instead of butter. What's the trick? Whisking... constantly! This helps to prevent lumps from forming when you stir in the liquids to the flour/oil mixture. I also used a really nice applewood smoked cheddar, so the cheese sauce had an extra little kick. The recipe is really easy to follow and even I couldn't screw it up. I definitely recommend you make this -- even if you're not into creamy sauces, because this sauce is far from those goppy, heavy, alfredo sauces that give my stomach nightmares. It's creamy, but light and fresh and oh so easy to make. PLEASE try it!

Wow! That was quick! One more quick one: yummy raspberry crumble muffins. I made these last Thursday and they stayed amazingly fresh and delicious all weekend -- fresh enough to give as treats to friends. They're sweet, fruity, lemony, very moist and almost healthy -- I made some substitutions to cut back on the amount of fat and sugar and they still came out amazing. The crumble topping is unique -- I used chopping roasted almonds which gave it a lovey deep flavour as well as a little crunch factor. Even though this recipe requires more than one bowl, I'd still say that it's a contender for mid-week baking.

Raspberry Crumble Muffins
(adapted from "Cookies" p. 398 - by Catherine Atkinson, Joanna Farrow and Valerie Barrett.)

Crumble Topping

1/2 cup of chopped almonds
3 tablespoons of melted butter
3 tablespoons of whole wheat flour
1/4 cup of brown sugar


1 1/2 cups of all purpose flour
1/2 teaspoon of baking powder
1/2 teaspoon of cinnamon
3 tablespoons of brown sugar
1/4 cup of honey (I used a fragrant wildflower honey)
1/4 cup of canola oil
1/4 cup of skim milk yogurt
1/2 cup of skim milk
1 egg
juice and zest of half a lemon
1 1/3 cups of fresh raspberries

1. Make the crumble by combining all the ingredients and mixing gently until you get a crumbly, sandy texture. Set aside.

2. In a large mixing bowl mix together the egg, brown sugar, canola oil, honey, yogurt, milk, lemon juice and zest. Give it a good big mix to make sure everything is combined.

3. In a smaller bowl, sift together the flour, baking powder and cinnamon.

4. Add the dry ingredients to the wet mixture in three stages, mixing only until it's combined. Add in the the raspberries and give it a final mix.

5. Spoon the batter into muffin tins (I made 24 minis!) and top with the crumble topping.

6. Bake in a 350 degree oven for about 25 minutes or until a cake tested inserted comes out clean. Don't forget to share them with your friends.


  1. Two thumbs up. They definitely don't taste healthy... nice texture and very moist even several days later. I ate one on the train to Montreal and it made me happy.

  2. glad you liked them, gigglejuice! i'm going to try your chocolate mousse this week!