Blueberry Lemon Mini Scones

I’m a sucker for miniature food.

Bite-sized morsels taste better, somehow, and these mini-scones are no exception.


The recipe is remarkably similar to my cranberry orange scone recipe, but these are improved by, well, tininess.

If captioned cat photos on the internet were edible, they’d taste like blueberry lemon mini scones.

They’re just so cute. I want to hug them with my teeth.

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Pear and Gorgonzola Grilled Cheese Sandwich

In honor of National Grilled Cheese Month, I’m posting a different grilled cheese sandwich every single day through the month of April. You’re welcome.

I think it’s clear by now that I like grilled cheeses with a spoonful of sugar. You can candy coat your sammich with honey, jam, brown sugar, and best of all, fruit. If you start with a ripe, tender pear, the fruit will melt right along with the cheese for a soft and luscious, salty-sweet, flavor-packed filling between two slices of golden, bitter beer bread.

I’m really going to miss National Grilled Cheese Month.

For general grilled cheese tips, visit the inaugural grilled cheese sandwich post.

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Beer Cheese Soup Grilled Cheese Sandwich

In honor of National Grilled Cheese Month, I’m posting a different grilled cheese sandwich every single day through the month of April. You’re welcome.

I first decided to embark on my 30-day grilled cheese adventure last fall. That left me about six months to test recipes and resist the urge to spill the beans about my project. I failed utterly at keeping quiet. I shamelessly celebrated each successful sandwich on Facebook. Fortunately, my loose lips inspired sandwich suggestions from my pals, including today’s masterpiece.

My friend, Deb, came up with the brilliant idea of transforming beer cheese soup into a grilled cheese sandwich, with homemade bread providing the beer. She even suggested serving the sandwich with the traditional garnish of popcorn, and if I had realized earlier that I was out of popcorn, you’d see it in the photos.

So you’ve got lovely Deb to thank for this incredible, savory sandwich. The bread recipe is worth making whether you want the sandwich or not – it’s tender and pillowy with a crunchy, buttery crust and the tiniest hint of bitterness from the beer. You’ll want to toast it, smear it with butter, and dunk it in soup.

I filled the beer bread with a combination of cheddar and American cheese to mimic the creamy, orange soup. Then I topped the cheese with onions caramelized in brown sugar, Worcestershire sauce and hot sauce. The flavors were rich and strong and unmistakably Midwestern.

Oh, and I used the leftover caramelized onions to make homemade French onion dip. It was about a zillion times tastier than that store-bought stuff.

For general grilled cheese tips, visit the inaugural grilled cheese sandwich post.

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Banana Walnut Muffins

I despise banana-flavored candy. Laffy Taffy, Runts, popsicles, Lifesavers, Now and Laters, jelly beans, Dum Dums, Pez, Dubble Bubble, Starburst – I will ALWAYS toss out the banana flavored ones.

When I was a kid, my banana-flavor loathing prejudiced me to all things banana. I thought I hated bananas, and by extension, any foods baked with bananas. And so I turned up my nose at banana bread, banana cream pie, banana pudding, and sadly, banana muffins.

Thankfully, I came around to baked banana goodness on a family vacation to Toledo when my great grandma tricked me into eating zucchini bread. “Here, have a piece,” she said, with a sly smile. Wildly suspicious, my sister and I asked what was in it. “Oh, just try it. I promise you’ll like it.” And she was right – it was delicious.

Banana Muffin Batter in Tin

That zucchini was my gateway bread. The next morning when she offered me a piece of her freshly baked banana bread, I tried it without first scrutinizing the list of ingredients, and I finally realized what I’d been missing.

While I can’t imagine duplicating my great grandma’s magical banana bread, I think I’ve found a pretty darn good banana muffin recipe. I tried to make them a little more heart-healthy than your average muffin, subbing a bit of wheat flour for some of the AP, and a bit of heart-healthy spread for some of the butter. They came out delicious – sweet and moist and buttery – and they didn’t taste like health food at all.

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Corn Muffins

Friends, I have some very important, exciting news: today is my one year blogiversary! A year ago today, I set out to learn more about cooking, writing, and photography. On a beautiful, crisp September day, I posted my very first recipe—Caramel Apple Crisp—and Galley Kitchen was born.

I started with a very simple recipe that was not my own. In the following months, I grew more and more adventurous with ingredients and techniques, and I found that blogging was really changing the way I cook.

Thanks to Galley Kitchen, I conquered my fear of pie crust, addressed my perfectionism, made candies with Cap’n Crunch, entered a baking competition, learned to splurge on myself, and baked an apple pie with bacon on it.

I’ve had a perfectly lovely year sharing my successes and failures, and stories from my kitchen and my life.

My goals for the coming year include learning to cook fabulous dinners on an unemployed lady’s budget; learning to take decent photos after the sun has set; and learning some new adverbs. Someday I’d like to have the money to hire a designer to create a pretty, custom header for the top of my little blog, rather than the boring old WordPress default header. In the meantime, the food photos will have to suffice for decor.

For my blogiversary post, I’m sharing a recipe adaptation from my all-time favorite food blog, Smitten Kitchen, with thanks to the blogstress, Deb Perelman, for inspiring me to begin writing about food. Deb’s corny corn muffins are light and crumbly, and bejeweled with sweet, chewy bits of corn. The muffins are a perfect accompaniment to the rainbow chard chili I posted last week.

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Homemade Cheez-Its

I’m pretty sure that everyone has a goldfish food. Y’know, that one tasty treat that you’ll eat until you explode? My goldfish food is buttery, salty popcorn topped with M&Ms. Toss the candies on top while the popcorn and the butter are still hot, so the M&Ms get a little melty and slippery from the butter and I totally forgot what I was talking about.

Oh. Yes. Goldfish food. For Handsome Greg, that tasty, eat-until-you-explode treat is Cheez-Its.

If there is a box of Cheez-Its within his reach, he will plow through the entire box, no matter how small his appetite at the moment. It’s a compulsion.

When I thought about what in the world to make him for his birthday dinner this year, I considered truffle salt and imported cheeses and lobster and organic balsamic vinegar and duck fat and caviar.

Happy Birthday, Uncle Grogg!

And then I thought about what HE would like, and took a stab at making homemade Cheez-Its. I started with a recipe for cheese straws at Smitten Kitchen (I really, really love Smitten Kitchen), made one small substitution in the recipe (below), and cut them in squares, rather than straws. They’re just as addictive as the original Cheez-Its, but flaky and tender. They start with sharp cheddar cheese and truly come to life with a pinch of red pepper flakes.

I’ve made them for nearly every gathering at my place since Handsome Greg’s birthday, and they’re always scarfed up in record time.

Edited to add: I tried this recipe with orange cheddar, and I cut the crackers in one-inch circles with a biscuit cutter, and they were drop dead adorable:

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