Blueberry Muffins with Banana Butter


I made these muffins last week and loved how the tops were crisp and the inside moist and sweet. The banana butter complemented fantastically. This recipe was found in the May 2013 issue of Food and Wine magazine. They are very simple to make.

Blueberry Muffins


  • 2 cups all-purpose flour
  • 2 teaspoons baking powder
  • 1/4 teaspoon kosher salt
  • 1 stick unsalted butter, melted and cooled
  • 1/2 cup whole milk
  • 3/4 cup granulated sugar
  • 1/4 cup light brown sugar
  • 1 teaspoon finely grated lemon zest
  • 2 large eggs
  • 1 1/2 cups blueberries

Banana Butter

6 tablespoons unsalted butter, at room temperature
1 very ripe banana, sliced
1/2 teaspoon fresh lemon juice
Pinch of kosher salt

1. Preheat the oven to 375° and fill 12 muffin cups with paper liners.
2. In a large bowl, whisk the flour with the baking powder and salt. In a medium bowl, whisk the butter with the milk, both sugars, lemon zest and eggs. Add the wet ingredients to the dry ingredients and whisk just until combined. Fold in the blueberries. Spoon the batter into the muffin cups and bake for 20 to 25 minutes, until the muffins are golden. Let cool for 5 minutes. Unmold the muffins and let cool on a rack.
3. In a food processor, puree the butter, banana, lemon juice and salt. Serve with the muffins.

Make Ahead
The muffins can be stored in an airtight container for up to 2 days. The butter can be refrigerated for up to 1 week.

Ricotta and Mozarella Stuffed Shells

For those that know me, they know that ricotta cheese is not my favorite cheese. Cooked this way, mixed with all sorts of goodness, I like it. This recipe is another one of my vegetarian dishes that the kids will eat. The original recipe was found in the 2012 issue of Food and Wine magazine. It has been modified by me.


  • 2 Tbs unsalted butter
  • 2 Tbs extra-virgin olive oil
  • 1 medium sweet onion. thinly sliced
  • 12 oz jumbo shells
  • 2 cups ricotta cheese
  • 12 oz mozzarella cheese, shredded
  • 1/4 cup chopped parsley
  • Salt and pepper to taste
  • 2 large eggs, beaten
  • 3 cups marinara sauce (homemade recipe below, or used store bought for simplicity)
  • 1/2 cup heavy cream


Preheat oven to 375 degrees. In large, deep skillet, melt the butter and oil. Add onion until lightly browned, 15 minutes. Add water as needed to keep from scorching. Set aside and let cool.

Cook pasta shells to al dente, drain, cool under water, and pat dry.

Fold the ricotta, 1 cup of cheese, parsley, and onions and season with salt and pepper. Stir in eggs.

Mix marinara sauce with cream and pour 1 1/2 cups into a 9X13 baking dish. Stuff each shell and nestle close together in the sauce. Drizzle remaining marinara over and sprinkle with remaining mozzarella.

Bake for 40 minutes, until golden. Let rest for 15 minutes.

Marinara Sauce


  • 1/4 cup olive oil
  • 3 garlic cloves halved
  • 1 Tbs tomato paste
  • 1 / 35oz can of whole peeled Italian tomatoes
  • salt and pepper to taste
  • pinch of sugar
  • 2 fresh basil sprigs


Heat oil in large saucepan, add garlic and saute until golden, 5 minutes. Add tomato paste and stir for 1 minute. Add tomatoes and crush with a spoon. Season with salt, pepper, sugar, and basil. Simmer for 30 minute. Makes approx 3 cups.