Tag Archives: chives

it’s a good day for hibernating.. and making bacon & cheddar muffins

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That amount of snow right after Groundhog Day just seems excessive, doesn’t it? It’s definitely a good day to be a cat. Right in front of the fire is prime real estate today.

The tall kid is at her Aunt and Uncle’s place and the dad has gone off to a Super Bowl party in Toronto. That just leaves me, the animals and the small squeaky kid. I made us some bacon and cheddar muffins for a lunch treat – they were a bit of an experiment and turned out quite well. They taste good while still warm and I’m counting on the kids liking them cold in their lunchpails tomorrow.

These are easy and quick to make if you keep some chopped and cooked bacon ready in the freezer. We always have some available – it makes assembling pastas, salads and muffins like these a cinch, rather than a long and splattery process.

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Bacon and Cheddar Muffins

  • 3 cups all-purpose flour
  • 1 cup shredded old cheddar cheese
  • 1/2 cup chopped cooked bacon (~6 strips)
  • 4 tsp baking powder
  • 1/2 tsp cayenne pepper
  • 1/2 tsp garlic powder
  • 1 tbsp dried chives (or use 2 tbsp fresh chopped chives)
  • 1 tsp salt
  • 1 cup milk
  • 2 tbsp maple syrup
  • 1/2 cup vegetable oil
  • 1/2 cup sour cream
  • 2 eggs

To brush on top of finished muffins:

  • 2 tbsp butter, melted
  • 1 tsp maple syrup

Whisk together the dry ingredients; stir in bacon and cheddar.

In a separate bowl, whisk together milk, oil, maple syrup, sour cream and eggs; pour over dry ingredients. Stir together just until moistened.

Spoon into well-greased muffin cups. Bake in centre of 375°F (190°C) oven for 20 to 25 minutes or until tops are firm to the touch and muffins are golden. Brush tops of muffins with the melted butter and maple syrup mixture.

Allow to cool for a few minutes, remove from muffin tin and serve warm. They will store well in fridge or freezer, just reheat to serve.

Makes 12 large muffins.

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ideas for using the chives in your garden, part 2

More uses for all of those chives currently popping up in the garden:

  1. Chop them up and freeze them in a baggie for winter (if you haven’t gotten totally sick of them after all of this).
  2. Add them to eggs (scrambled eggs, egg salad, quiche or frittatas)
  3. Sprinkle them on salads and soups.
  4. Sour cream and chives on a baked potato (my personal favourite).
  5. Make chive oil and & chive oil salad dressing.
  6. Make chive butter (cream together 1/2 cup softened butter, I small clove garlic and 1 tbsp chopped chives) to spread on warm biscuits or bread.
  7. Make chive vinegar (I’ll be making some of this as soon as some of mine flowers).
  8. Make chive biscuits or breads.
  9. Add to soups and stews.
  10. Make chive pesto (I need to try this one).

I wanted to use up the chive oil that I made on the weekend, so I made this salad with a few things I had on hand. My kids were sceptical – they think the chive oil looks like tomato worm guts. The small squeaky kid said she liked the taste (I called it salad with bug juice dressing, so she was briefly intrigued). I used half chive oil and half olive oil because the chive oil I made is pretty strong . You can use full on chive oil if you like, but I’m warning you that it is strong. Like birth control strong. Make sure that you have breath mints available.

 Chive Oil, Couscous, Tomato and Corn Salad

  • 1 cup couscous
  • 1/2 cup corn kernels (I used frozen)
  • 1/2 cup cherry tomatoes, halved
  • 1 cup chopped spinach
  • 1 tbsp chive oil (see this post for recipe)
  • 2 tbsp olive oil
  • 1-2 tablespoons white wine vinegar (depending on how tart you like your dressing)
  • 1 garlic clove, minced
  • salt and fresh ground pepper, to taste

Combine couscous and corn with 1 cup boiling water. Cover and let sit for 5 minutes or until water is absorbed. Fluff with a fork. Allow to cool, then add tomatoes and. Combine chive oil and remaining ingredients, stirring with a whisk. Drizzle over salad; toss well to coat. Let stand 10 minutes before serving.

* The dressing measurements are approximations. I add a little of this and that until it tastes right. You could also add in some honey, if it tastes too tart. I’m open to suggestions if you try it and make improvements. Salad dressings around our house are a little like lab experiments. You never get the same result twice.

Linking to Frugally Sustainable, A Delightful Home

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lots of chives & what to make for dinner on a rainy spring day

The first edible plant to pop up in our garden every year is chives. So, we have chives. Lots ‘n lots of chives. I was first introduced to them when I was in university and working at a country club – the gardener would bring us impoverished students produce from his garden. I’ve loved them ever since and always make sure I have some in my flower garden. They are very hardy (meaning I’ve never managed to kill them) and pretty, if I let them go to flower. I split them occasionally and give some away or move them around a bit. It seems to keep them healthier. They’ve always had a full or partial sun spot to live in, so I assume that is where they prefer to be.

Today we are going with Plan B for the weekend. It’s raining. No yard or garden work possible. I’m ok with that too. Instead, I braved the rain for a few moments to cut some chives to assemble a semi-seasonal dinner tonight. We’ll have tomato soup with croutons and drizzled chive oil and cheddar chive beer bread. Doesn’t it sound good for a dreary spring day? The kids will be less than enthusiastic about the tomato soup (they will probably live through the experience), but they will be all over the bread. We love bread.

The chive oil is super easy. It makes a very small amount, which is good because it only keeps for two weeks in the fridge. Whatever we don’t use tonight will be used for a salad dressing of some sort in the next week.

Chive Oil

  • 1 large bunch chives (1 ounce), minced
  • 1/4 cup extra-virgin olive oil
  • salt, to taste

Whiz the chives with the olive oil in a blender or food processor. Season with salt. Strain the oil through a fine sieve. Cover and refrigerate (1 to 2 weeks maximum) until ready to use.

And the cheddar chive beer bread couldn’t be easier. Six ingredients, minimal assembly and you have a nice warm quick bread loaf in under an hour. Perfect for a weekend dinner. My loaf will be cool by dinner, but I can warm it up again.

Cheddar Chive Beer Bread

  • 3 cups self-rising flour (If, like me, you don’t have this in your cupboard, make your own)
  • 1/4 cup sugar
  • 2 to 3 tbsp chopped fresh chives
  • 1 cup (or slightly more) shredded sharp Cheddar cheese
  • 1 (12-ounce) bottle beer
  • 1/4 cup melted butter

Stir together first 5 ingredients; pour (or more likely pat – it’s a pretty thick doughy batter) into a lightly greased loaf pan. Pour melted butter over top before baking. Bake at 375° for 45 minutes to an hour.

And that’s it. Now all I have left to do is fold laundry and read my library book. I love rainy Saturdays (especially when they prevent you from pulling weeds in the garden).

Linking to A Pinch of Joy, Addicted to Recipes, Frugally Sustainable, A Delightful Home, White Wolf Summit Farmgirl, Gastronomical Sovereignty

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