Recipe Review: Trish Magwood’s Lemon Poppy Seed Muffins

I became a Food Network and HGTV Canada junkie in high school. Anytime I was home, the TV was turned onto either channel- Martha Stewart, Trading Spaces, Restaurant Makeover, Party Dish- you name it, I watched it.  One show that I really enjoyed was Party Dish with Trish Magwood. Author, Chef and Food Consultant, Trish would create these lavish, yet easy platters to set up at small and large gatherings and functions.  After Party Dish went off the air, I kind of forgot about Trish until I recently heard someone mention her name.  After Googling her, I found Trish’s website and began to go through her free recipes.  Like her, I am a fan of Starbucks’ Lemon Poppy Seed Loaf. I love the tangy flavour of the lemons with the sweetness of the powdered sugar glaze.  YUM!  What I don’t like is the number of calories in the cake.  In Canada, restaurants do not have to list the number of calories in food items, but in the US, by law, calories for every drink and dish has to be listed somewhere.  Guess how many calories are in a slice of that loaf? 410 calories!! Lucky me, Trish has come up with a slightly healthier version of the Lemon Poppy Seed Loaf that I desire to eat every time I go to Starbucks.  I followed her recipe with one exception- I did not dress my muffins with the lemon glaze because I didn’t have powdered sugar on hand.

Lemon Poppy Seed Muffins

(pic below shows what happens when you over fill the muffin tins and then have to go sooth a crying baby which then makes you forget you have muffins in the oven!)

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2 cups  all-purpose flour

1 tsp  baking soda

1 tsp baking powder

1/2 tsp  salt

1/4 cup  poppy seeds

3/4 cup  butter, softened

1 cup  sugar

2 eggs

1 cup  buttermilk

1/4 cup plain yogurt

Zest and juice of 2 lemons (about 1/2 cup juice)

Preheat oven to 375°F. Line standard muffin tin with paper liners. Mix together flour, baking soda, baking powder, salt and poppy seeds. In another bowl, cream butter and sugar until light and fluffy. Add eggs, one at a time, beating between each egg until the mixture is a light yellow colour. In a measuring cup, mix buttermilk, yogurt, lemon zest and lemon juice. Add half the dry mixture to the batter, then half the buttermilk mixture. Repeat, stirring until just incorporated. Do not over-mix. Using an ice cream scoop or 1/3-cup measure, fill muffin cups three-quarters full. Bake for 15 to 20 minutes or until a toothpick inserted in the centre comes out clean. Let stand 10 minutes.

My thoughts after making the muffins: 
1. Trish says this recipe makes 12 muffins…umm NO! This recipe made about 16 standard-size muffins. I followed her meausrements exactly, so I’m not sure what happened. Maybe I whipped too much air into the butter?
2. These muffins can easily become gigantic muffins if you fill the cup too much (see picture )
3. The cake has a mellow lemon flavour. I think if I added the lemon glaze, it would kick it up a notch. However, if I don’t want to empty calories from the glaze, I may just add more lemon rind and lemon juice to the mix.

JewelMint

I recently got introduced to JewelMint– a website that asks you a bunch of questions and then matches you with jewelry pieces all for $29.99.  I watched the site for a while, but never found anything really interesting or worth spending $30 for.  Christmas came and a ring popped up. A HINNA-style ring If you know me, and know me well, I have a collection of rings that are interesting and can be known as rings only I would wear. I can spot a good ring from a mile away. This one I knew was a keeper, but I didn’t like the price. Unless it was gold or silver, I was not going to spend more than $10 on it. Then came the “you’re a new member, here’s a deal” offer. Ding, ding ding…any piece of jewelry for $10!  Guess who got the ring?  Let’s just hope Amina won’t rip it off my finger.

The packaging:

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The ring:

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Chicken Pastry

I’m trying to squeeze in a quick blog post as Amina goes through her second sleep cycle. Let’s just say a whole lot of crying was happening while I was trying not to rush in and be Super Mommy.  It’s been hard, but hopefully I will be able to stay out of the room and Amina will learn how to put herself back to sleep.

This recipe that I’m going to share with you comes from Fauzia’s Kitchen Fun and was one that I tried back in August {crying episode 1 break-phew back to sleep!}, but I was in my last month of pregnancy and was way too sleep deprived to sit down and write a post about it.  Little did I know that it would be MORE challenging to write now that lil’ Amina has arrived!

{2nd crying episode break…which turned out to a wake up, feed and do grocery shopping break… 3 hours later I return to complete this post}

Fauzia calls this recipe Chicken Bread, but I call it Chicken Pastry because I didn’t make bread dough, rather I used frozen puffed pastry to save time and save my poor feet from swelling any further.

Chicken Pastry

{Unfortunately there is no picture of my Chicken Pastry because my hard drive died and I never got to save the picture, however, I have linked to Fauzia’s recipe which will show you what it’s supposed to look like}

Pastry

2 puff pastry sheets, thawed

Chicken filling

2 cooked chicken breasts (I took mine of a rotisserie chicken), shredded

1 small onion, chopped

8 baby carrots, shredded

1 tsp black pepper

1 tsp salt

1/2 tsp garam masala powder

1/2 tsp corriander powder

2 tbsp corriander leaves, chopped

2 tbsp flour

1 tbsp olive oil

1 cup milk

seasame seeds as needed

1 green chili, chopped finely

1 egg and 1 tsp water, beaten together

Pre-heat oven to 350 degrees.

Heat  oil in a small pot and fry onions till soft. Add flour, salt, black pepper, garam masala and coriander powder.  Add milk and cook till mixture is a thick consistency. Stir in shredded chicken, green chili and coriander leaves. Remove pot and let mixture cool completely.

Take the thawed puff pastry sheets and place them on parchment-lined baking sheets. Put the cooled filling in the centre of the puff pastry rectangles and make slits on the left and right sides of the pastry sheet. Bring the top slits across the filling and alternate between pastry slits on either side of the sheet. (Please see Fauzia’s site as it has detailed, step-by-step instructions on how to plait the pastry slits.

Once the pastry has been plaited,  wash it with the egg and water mixture, sprinkle with seasame seeds and put into the oven for 15-20 minutes or until the pastry is golden.  Serve with ketchup or chutney.

Good bye 2012 and Hello 2013

Good bye 2012.  You were probably one of the best years of my life- why? Well because I was blessed with a beautiful, healthy baby girl. My life will forever now include that special someone who follows my every move and squeals with delight when she sees me. Life has changed, but for the better. Here’s to hoping and praying that 2013 will be filled with lots of joy, good health and happiness for my family.

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