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Showing posts with label leftovers. Show all posts
Showing posts with label leftovers. Show all posts

Friday, November 5, 2021

Dump-It Blueberry Muffin Loaf


The secret ingredient: mayonnaise! 

I've been super into mayonnaise lately, ever since my mom came to visit a couple of weeks ago to help me with my new baby. I wanted to make a tuna salad but we were out of mayo, and she offered to go buy some. I said we didn't have to worry about it, that I would just make some. Her eyes went wide - she had no idea you could just make mayonnaise. She watched in awe as I took some olive oil out of the cabinet and whipped up some fresh mayo with an egg yolk and a slightly warmed bowl. It was the first time I felt good about what I could do that had nothing to do with the baby since I came home from the hospital. Now that I'm a couple of weeks into the thick of life with a baby, I'm definitely making shifts.

I'm attempting to make life easier for myself by training it to be harder - as in, I'm doing a lot of baking at home to keep myself busy and active to help me both lose the baby weight and keep my energy up with lots of carbs...all while caring for and carrying a newborn in my arms! To be fair, I'm actually wearing him in a sling while I bake. This should credit the ease of this recipe - you can make it while wearing a fussy newborn in a sling - and you can take that one to the bank!

Dump-It Blueberry Muffin Loaf

  • 1 1/4 c or 8.75 oz granulated sugar
  • 1/2 c full-fat mayonnaise
    • I like Hellman's but you can use whatever you have as long as it isn't the low-fat stuff.
  • 2 eggs
  • 1/2 c almond milk
  • 1 tsp good vanilla
    • I like this brand because it's inexpensive but still very good!
  • 2 tsp baking powder
  • 1 tsp kosher salt
  • 2 c or 10 oz flour
  • 3 Tbsp corn starch
  • 1 c fresh or frozen blueberries, crushed lightly
Preheat your oven to 375 degrees F and prepare a loaf pan by rubbing it with oil and a sprinkle of both flour and sugar. I love this method because it adds a special little extra crust to the outside! You can also simply line the sides with parchment paper if you like, but I generally don't tend to do that with loaves. 

Measure out all of your dry ingredients into one bowl, as well as the semi-crushed blueberries. Give them a toss in your dry ingredients to coat. Add your vanilla to your measured-out milk. Cream together the mayonnaise and sugar until light and fluffy using the paddle attachment of your standing mixer for 3 minutes on medium. Add the eggs, one at a time, scraping down the sides of the bowl with a spatula, and alternate adding in your dry and wet ingredients, half at a time until everything is just incorporated. Lumps are okay! Seriously, when it comes to muffins: lumps are absolutely okay to have in the batter.

Allow your batter to rest for at least 15 minutes before adding to your pan and baking in a 375 oven for 45 to 55 minutes, or until the loaf cake pulls away from the sides and springs back when it's touched. Allow it to cool in the pan for at least 20 minutes before turning out onto a cooling rack. I'd let it cool completely before slicing and serving, but I certainly can't stop you if you can't resist. I wouldn't even blame you for it, either! Let's chat for a sec while you're waiting for this to either bake or cool...

I had no idea that mayonnaise got such a bad rap from my fellow Millenials, nor did I have any idea that we killed the mayonnaise industry. Admittedly, I didn't buy and use a ton of mayo except for making sandwiches and the occasional bound salad. The news that my generation had added mayonnaise to the throes of our killing spree along with golf, diamonds, and divorce was honestly a little surprising to me. I always thought that the jar of mayonnaise in my fridge was like an old but good coat, always there in the back of the closet where and when I needed it. I'd never wear it out to anywhere like a party or to temple or brunch, but I'll wear it to the grocery store or to go buy gas or to go to work, certainly. It's a warm and good coat and it's never let me down, even though it's not as pretty as my others.

The article goes on to explain that mayo is likely just getting pushed aside in favor of some more show-stopping condiments with bigger flavors, which makes sense. After all, thanks to the global rise of the internet with Millenials being at the forefront of this frontier, it only makes sense that we're the first generation to be truly globally curious about new flavors. This is going to just be a simple byproduct of living in a more multicultural world, which I think we are all excited about!

Speaking of things to be excited about, can we talk about the no-waste movement when it comes to leftovers? I would never think that we could make Netflix shows or hashtags from leftovers, but Hellman's Mayo has joined the fight against food waste.  I cannot tell you how exciting this is for me, as somebody who at one point made a living out of transforming leftovers while working at a non-profit hunger relief network. I fed 500 people per day using leftovers and donated food that would have otherwise gone to waste. The takeaway from this is that while mayonnaise is a good condiment, it's an even better ingredient for cooking and baking. It helps you produce a wonderfully moist chocolate cake or roast chicken. Give it a shot and see what you can come up with using mayo! Your muffin loaf should be ready for slicing, by the way...


I love this recipe because it's a wonderfully reliable thing to have for a breakfast staple or mid-afternoon snack. It's light enough to pass for a dessert, but it's not too sweet to have with a cup of coffee before you do your morning yoga. I'm super into carbs lately because they help you produce breast milk (or so it has been explained to me) and I've got a very hungry baby at home with me that's getting bigger by the minute. I need to keep up and adequate hydration will only take you so far! The additional vitamins of the blueberries certainly don't hurt, either...

Thank you so much for spending a piece of your day or night with me. Please don't forget to follow me on social media and to have an awesome time making this. Happy cooking and happy eating!

Friday, November 25, 2011

Thanksgiving Day Recap

So Thanksgiving was amazing. Like, historically so. Those of you who saw my twitter posts(if you're not following me, you can do so here at Twitter.com/WannaBGourmande), I made a gravy so awesome that my dad thought it was soup(and he recently went vegetarian). I also made a beautiful Fennel Vichyssoise(which I will be posting the recipe for in a future blog(probably tomorrow, but most-likely later today)), a slew of pot de cremes, and the turkey.

There were about 20 or so of us in Grandma Janie's house, so we made two turkeys. Dad said it was the best turkey he's ever had(but he's my dad so he has to say that), and the family of mine that had some said it was amazing, too. My aunt even asked what my secret was. Well, the secret is brining, and it's in my previous blog, which you can find it here.

At 9 am, after two or three turns in the brine overnight, I took the turkey out and patted it dry. A little trick to browning meat is drying it properly, so remember that. Then I roasted:

  • 1 red onion, cut into 8 wedges
  • 1 gala apple, quartered
  • 1 garlic clove
...all in the oven at 400 degrees on a sheet pan for 5-7 minutes, or just until it got a little soft. I wasn't looking to cook it, just soften it a tad to get the flavors released. Then, take a container of whole cloves and stick each piece of apple with two. So you should have 8 cloves. That's ALL YOU NEED. Stuff the garlic, onion and apple into the cavity of the turkey(DO NOT STUFF IT) along with two sprigs of tarragon.

Once that is done, set it in your roasting pan. Then rub a palm-full of rubbed sage powder all over the bird, and crack some black pepper over the surface. THEN(here comes the cool part) take a large, relatively square piece of tinfoil and fold the corners together to form a kind of triangular shield. Mold the shield to the turkey breast. If you have to, make another triangle shield to cover the breast portion entirely. We want to create a barrier because, let's face it, the dry turkey breast on Thanksgiving is one of the things that we don't have to deal with anymore.

With the oven still at 425, pop your turkey in and let it hang out for 30 - 45 minutes, just until it's browned on the surface. THEN(here comes another cool part) we open the oven door and slide out the turkey to place our shield on the breast. This will keep it moist without having to sacrifice the beautiful and iconic browned turkey color that we all adore. Slide it back in the oven and lower the temperature to about 325 degrees and continue roasting for the duration of the cooking period.This dual-temperature cooking method will allow us to keep the bird moist and cook it all the way through.

We had a 20 lb bird, so it took about 2.5 hours to get it to the sweet spot of 140 degrees in the thigh meat, which is really where you want to check. Always use a thermometer when checking for meat doneness. There are actually super-neat probe thermometers that can go inside the oven with a long wire, while the gauge sticks outside on the oven or countertop and goes off with a beep when its at the right temperature. You can find them at Bed Bath & Beyond for about $20. This is a good model right here.

Anyway, once the thermometer reaches about 150 degrees, simply turn off the oven off and leave it for another 20 minutes. The residual heat in the oven and in the bird will continue to cook the bird, and will leave it so moist. It will look like this once its done.

it's like ZOMG perfect an' stuff!!!!1!
To make the gravy, remove the bird from the pan and set it on a cutting board lined with aluminum foil(to catch extra juices), and pour all the drippings in a sauce pot. Use a ladel or a soup spoon to skim off all but a few tablespoons of the fat. Mix the fat with an equal amount of flour and drop that in the drippings. Cook over a low simmer for about 6-8 minutes to cook out the raw flour taste. Add about two cups of room-temperature milk once that's all done and let simmer longer to develop more flavor. It should simmer for about 10 minutes with the milk, but never boil. Taste often for seasoning, but you shouldn't really need any, since the turkey is seasoned already. Whisk often.

Anyway, once everything was all done, we packed up and went over to Grandma Janie's house. Here's what we ate:

  1. 2 turkeys(one was mine, one was Grandpa Jim's)
  2. 2 stuffings(one was Grandma Janie's, one was Aunt Evonne's)
  3. Roasted squash with pumpkin seeds and balsamic vinager
  4. Mashed potatoes
  5. Green bean casserole
  6. Sweet potatoes
  7. Grandma's homemade rolls
  8. 2 different kinds of gravy
  9. Fennel vichyssoise
  10. Ambrosia
  11. Cranberry relish
  12. Kale salad
  13. Wild rice dried fruit pilaf
  14. Roasted cauliflower
  15. Pecan pie
  16. Pumpkin Pie
  17. Pot de Creme
  18. Sweet Potato Pie
So there you have it. Thanksgiving at my Grandma's house. A. was with us and said it was probably one of the best Thanksgivings he's ever had. I couldn't really move much after that. I'm pretty sure they had to carry me out. Or at least assist. Anyway, we're going over there in a few hours for leftovers. It will definitely be awesome, especially considering there was a lot of gravy and my turkey is still going to be super moist after the brining.