Sunday, May 13, 2012

Lemon Blueberry Bread

I'm not much of a dessert eater, but I do love making dessert breads. Not quite a cake and definitely not a bread…who could ask for more? Anyone that follows this blog knows by now that I just love anything with lemons in it. You may even try to make it with different berries next time.. I chose blueberries this time, but last week it was rhubarb The lemony taste in the bread plus the moist base make it really tasty enough on its own, but when my freezer passed away this week I had six pounds of frozen blueberries that needed to be used clearly a blueberry theme of menu was on my agenda this week!

We had Tuscan Blueberry Port chicken and lots of blueberry Merlot jam was made which my farmers market customers scooped right up, along with the blueberry muffins. For a friend's birthday this week I made her a lemon blueberry tort that I'll definitely be making again this summer once blueberry picking time rolls around again, and finally this bread I made last night just for me. I'm going to miss my blueberry stash but so thankful none of them had to be tossed out. Happy Mother's Day everyone!

Lemon Blueberry Bread with Lemon Glaze

1/2 cup butter, softened
1 cup granulated sugar
2 eggs
2 tsps vanilla
1 cup sour cream
zest and juice of 2 lemons
2 1/4 cups flour
1 tsp baking soda
1 tsp baking powder
1 1/2 cup fresh blueberries


1 cup powdered sugar
2 tsp whipping cream
1 tsp lemon extract

Heat oven to 350°F. Grease bottom only of 9x5-inch loaf pan with cooking spray.
In medium bowl, beat butter and granulated sugar with electric mixer on medium speed until smooth. Beat in eggs, vanilla, sour cream, lemon peel and juice. Stir in flour, baking soda and baking powder. Fold in 3/4 cup of the blueberries. Spoon batter into pan. Sprinkle remaining 1/4 cup blueberries on top. Bake for 1 hour or until toothpick inserted in center comes out clean. Cool 10 minutes; remove from pan to cooling rack. Cool completely.

In small bowl, mix glaze ingredients until smooth. Drizzle glaze over loaf and allow to set before slicing. Enjoy!

Wednesday, May 9, 2012

Warm Cannellini Bean Dip

I just love dips. So last weekend I made this warm bean dip made with creamy cannellini beans, roasted tomatoes, balsamic vinegar and pesto. I say warm because at the last minute I decided to toss in some hot chili flakes as well. What a great surprise of flavors popped onto our taste buds with every bite. The white Italian kidney bean has a potato like texture and very creamy. Roasting the tomatoes with balsamic vinegar and olive oil brought out a sweetness from those little grape tomatoes. I roasted extras to make some tomato risotto later in the week. The basil pesto was made fresh from far too many basil plants I've grown for this seasons garden. Hey, you can never have too much basil right? The flavors of the pesto give the dip a mild fresh summer flare.

Use this dip as an appetizer served on crusty breads, crackers, or cut up vegetables. If you have any leftover, try using it as a spread for wraps or Italian subs.. just yummy!

Warm Cannellini Bean Dip

2 cans cannellini beans and drained
1 container grape tomatoes cut in half
3 TBLS basil pesto
3 shallots, minced
3 TBLS sesame tahini
juice of 1 squeezed lime
1/2 tsp red pepper flakes
balsamic vinegar
1/4 cup olive oil
1/4 tsp sea salt

Heat oven to 375 degrees. Cut tomatoes in half, and place on baking sheet. Drizzle the olive oil and balsamic vinegar over tomatoes and roast for about 8-10 minutes. Remove the tomatoes from the oven and allow to cool.

In a food processor add beans, tomatoes, pesto, shallots, tahini, lime juice, red pepper flakes, sea salt and begin to process. Slowly drizzle olive oil in, to make a smooth blend. Serve with crackers or crusty bread slices and enjoy!