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Posts tagged ‘breakfast’

A Breakfast Skillet And Dessert

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First let me say how encouraged and overwhelmed I am by all the support from all of you good people. Thank you, thank you!! Because of the outpouring of support it made me even more resolute. I have to say it really helps baring your soul to your friends, I have always found that a diet and exercise buddy helps me stay on track,  I  live alone it’s and it’s really easy to fall off the wagon, my best friend Carla lives in Long Island, not exactly close to Brooklyn but we talk on the phone almost every day and encourage each other. I feel now like I have LOTS of diet buddies in all of you and it has helped tremendously. I encourage anyone in the same shoes to do this, we will all cheer you on.  Special thanks to Elaine @foodbod who chatted with me by PM on Instagram in the wee hours and Cheryl @cheryl cheffie cooks Wiser, who did a special post for me with fantastic salads, I am so touched.  It means the world to me.

So far I am doing fine. This morning I wanted something substantial that would nourish and keep me from getting hungry. There is nothing worse than being hungry and perusing all the food blogs and food photo’s on instagram. I used what I had for this breakfast skillet, eggplant, zucchini (used the pieces left from spiralizer) tomatoes, kale and micro potato. Half roasted in the oven, I wanted the kale crisp like a kale chip, transferred to a 6″ skillet (portion control) added an egg and completed the cooking until the egg was done. At the very end I added a little bit of raclette and put it under the broiler for a minute. A dash of hot sauce and it was a great meal.

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Skillet Breakfast

Made 2 #6 inch individual size servings

4 micro potatoes cut in half

approx a half of a medium zucchini cut into bite size pieces

handful cherry tomatoes larger ones cut in half

generous handful of kale leaves

4 asparagus stalks with tough end broken off and cut in half

4 tiny fairy eggplant cut in half or quartered lengthwise

Cheese, just a little, didnt’ measure. I used raclette but any good melty cheese will do

Pre heat oven to 375. Place all of the vegetables on a parchment lined baking tray. Drizzle with olive oil and sprinkle with salt and pepper, make sure the vegetables are coated with the oil. Bake for approximately 20 minutes, kale will be crisp and vegetables will have softened. Arrange in skillet, crack an egg on top and bake (again at 375) until the egg is done to your liking it took about 20 minutes for an egg where the white was done but yolk was runny.  Add some cheese, I used raclette, and place under the broiler just until the cheese melts.

Dessert

Dessert

I have to have dessert, something sweet it’s part of the fabric of my being. You have to be a bit creative when trying to lose weight and maybe a little crafty. I came up with this recipe, well it’s not really a recipe, but it is really good.  It made 2 small parfait or maybe they are more like an ice box cake or a combination thereof.

Strawberry and peach parfait

makes 2 small parfait

4 Carr’s whole meal biscuits smashed into crumbs

1 7 oz container plain greek yogurt (I used whole milk yogurt)

3 tbs heavy cream

1/2 tsp vanilla

honey to taste ( I used a little more than a tbs for both the fruit and yogurt mixture)

fruit of your choice, I used strawberry and peach.

Cut the fruit into bite size pieces and drizzle with a little honey. Smash the whole meal biscuits into crumbs. Whip the yogurt and cream, sweeten to your liking and add the vanilla. Layer into small containers and refrigerate at least an hour or two before eating. The biscuit absorbs some of the fruit juice. It’s delicious.

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I just have to show you the throw pillow I won in a charity auction to help pets with liver shunt disease. I love it!!

pug pillow

pug pillow

Lastly in memoriam for little Caleb a 3-4 month old dog in Atlanta that was brutally abused, if you think of the worst this is 100 times worse than you could possibly imagine. You can sign a petition by going to my facebook page . This has me so upset, to my very core, and it’s all over the news. Hoping they catch the monsters that perpetrated such a heinous and evil crime. Little Caleb is not the first dog to suffer horrific abuse and unfortunately he will not be the last. Raising awareness, supporting rescue organizations and being pro active reporting abuse perceived or otherwise is so important. RIP little Caleb. #justiceforcaleb

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The Versatile Crepe

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Does anyone remember Magic Pan Creperie? I don’t know if they are still around but it was always one of my favorite places to eat. Crepes are such a wonderful food you can have them at any meal, they can be a lovely breakfast either sweet or savory and make an amazing dessert, think Crepe Suzette. They are light and paper thin pancakes, more egg than flour, a very runny batter swirled in a crepe pan. They take only minutes to cook and are so delicious. I have used this recipe for many years, it’s from Julia Child and it never fails to produce a perfect crepe.

Fill with ricotta or farmers cheese and serve with a mound of berries, they are delicious served as shown in my photo at the top of the page, very simple, folded, topped with blackberries macerated in orange or tangerine syrup and a squeeze of orange or tangerine juice and dust with some confectioners sugar, or a savory breakfast crepe can be filled with scrambled eggs, chives, cheese  and if you like bacon. ham or sausage. A dinner crepe can be filled with meat or vegetables or make manicotti . For dessert you can serve Crepe Suzette or simply fill with vanilla ice cream and add roasted apples or pears. The possibilities are endless, and it’s all good.

I am bringing the manicotti to Fiesta Friday #114,  steadfast Angie has this party every week without fail and this week her co host, yep co host this week is the lovely Jhuls @ The Not So Creative Cook 

I am also bringing Mr. Percy I hope it’s a pet friendly party, maybe there will be some other dogs for Percy to play with and I got him an assortment of bow ties just for the occasion. Which one should Percy wear to the party, they are all so festive. Percy is part of a pug pack on Instagram and you will see many of the pugs wearing these adorable bow ties. I got these ties from Mollys Pawtique in case anyone wants a super cute bow tie for their fur kid.

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Crepes

Makes 10 8 inch crepes

1 cup all purpose flour

2/3 cup cold milk

2/3 cup cold water

3 large eggs

1/4 tsp salt

3 tbs melted unsalted butter

Put all ingredients in a blender and blend until it’s all combined and there is no trace of lumps or flour. Refrigerate at least 1/2 hour or more before making the crepes.

Heat your pan (I recommend non stick)  until drops of water dance on the surface. Brush pan with butter and pour approximatly 3 or 4 tbs of batter into the pan swirling the pan in all directions until the bottom is covered. Cook  on medium high until the edges start to come away from the sides of the pan, gently flip with spatula the crepe will be lightly browned, let the other side brown, stack on rack with parchment in between each crepe. If serving immediately you can keep them in the oven with the temperature on warm. They freeze beautifully as well separated by parchment and place in zip lock bag.

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Manicotti

Makes 4

1-1 1/2 cup whole milk ricotta

1 egg lightly beaten

small handfull Italian flat leaf parsley chopped

1/4 cup grated parmesan or romano cheese, plus more to sprinkle on top

salt and pepper

your favorite marinara sauce

Coat the bottom of a baking dish with some of the marinara. Place a crepe on work surface and add a few tbs of the ricotta filling, roll the crepe and place seam side down in baking dish. Spoon more of the marinara on top of the manicotti and sprinkle with some grated cheese. Bake in 350 degree oven for approximately 20-30 minutes. Serve immediately with some more sauce and grated cheese.

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Whole Grain Waffles

Handsome waffle maker

Handsome Breville waffle maker photo from Williams Sonoma website

I procrastinate, a lot. I have been wanting to get a new waffle maker for about a year or more but thought I would wait for old one to die, it didn’t but was producing some pretty sorry waffles. I threw caution to the wind and took the plunge. I bought the Breville Smart Waffle maker, and I am really glad I did. It’s wonderful and I have been making waffles for a couple of days now and having a lot of fun experimenting with different recipes. I love how nice and thick the waffles are, uniformly cooked and crisp on the outside, very tender on the inside. This is not a sponsored post by the way, I bought and paid for it this is entirely my opinion and I was not coeerced.

Today I made some whole grain waffles using spelt, oat and almond flour primarily. The waffles are really good, very light and flavorful and I feel pretty good about eating one. A little fresh fruit and drizzle of honey or maple syrup, some butter and you have a nutritious start to the day. I adapted the recipe for Classic Waffles that came in the instruction book.

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Whole Grain Waffles

Made 9 waffles

1 cup spelt flour

1/2 cup oat flour

1/2 cup all purpose flour

1/3 cup almond flour

1 tbs baking powder

1 tsp kosher salt

1/4 cup organic sugar (can adjust more or less or use honey or coconut sugar)

1 3/4 cup milk (almond milk would be nice also)

3 large eggs

5 oz butter melted

1 tsp vanilla

Add the flours, baking powder, salt and sugar to medium size mixing bowl. Whisk to combine and make a well in the center. In another bowl beat the eggs with a whisk, add the milk, melted butter and vanilla. Pour the wet ingredients into the center, whisking while p0uring. Don’t over mix, there may be a few small lumps, thats ok. Let the batter rest while your waffle maker heats. Follow manufacturers cooking instructions. Enjoy!!

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Buttermilk Pancakes

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I am sure you are saying, ho hum who doesn’t know how to make panceakes and who needs another pancake recipe. Well, I am always on the lookout for a basic recipe with a technique I have never used before when making it in the hopes that it will be just a little more stand out. I saw this recipe on Food and Wine Daily, the pancakes looked so good I had to give it a try, The difference here is that you beat the eggs with a hand held mixer until they double in volume about 3-4 minutes.  Most pancake recipes you simply beat the eggs with the milk and fat and add the wet to the dry, this is sort of the reverse and intrigued me.

The perfect opportunity for me to give these a try was this morning, I had Air bnb guests here and they wanted pancakes.  The pancakes are a little more labor intensive than the recipe I normally use. Hopefully the extra effort will pay off.

The batter is very thick and fluffy. These are not pancakes you pour into the pan or onto the griddle. See…

Really thick batter

Really thick batter

You have to have the temperature right a medium flame works well, they are thick so the batter takes a while to bubble and if the temperature is too high the middle will not be done. The first 4 I fried in butter, the pancakes pictured here I sprayed oil in the pan and I prefer it that way, although the butter gave a nice crispy exterior. The pancakes had kind of a light cake like texture and tasted really nice. I think it’s a good recipe but will probably stick to my go to pancakes from Betty Crocker that my Mom used and so do I. It’s quick and easy and they are always good.

Buttermilk Pancakes

Made 7 pancakes (heaping 1/3 cup of batter)

1 1/2 cups All purpose flour

1 1/2 tbs baking powder

1/2 tsp kosher salt

2 large eggs

1 1/2 cups buttermilk

3 tbs unsalted butter melted plus more for cooking the pancakes

Warm maple syrup and soft butter for serving

You can add blueberries when you pour the batter on the griddle if you like.

Whisk the flour, baking powder and salt together. Beat the eggs until light and creamy and doubled in volume, now beat in the buttermilk and butter. Gently fold in the dry ingredients. Put about 1/3 cup batter on griddle or in non stick skillet. Cook on moderate heat for 1-2 minutes or until they are golden brown and bubbles appear on the surface. Flip over and cook another 1-2 minutes. Place in warm oven while you make the rest.

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Happy Halloween And Some Pumpkin Spice Latte Doughnut Muffins For Fiesta Friday

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How many of you have had a Pumpkin Spice Latte? They are really delicious and are a greatl hot beverage on a cold Fall/winter morning. This was my inspiration for these muffins. Pumpkin, spice, coffee baked into a delicious cake like muffin dipped in butter and rolled in cinnamon sugar. The recipe is one of my favorite muffin recipes from Food52 Cinnamon Sugar Breakfast Puffs. It’s really delicious. I wanted to switch it up a bit and add some pumpkin and coffee to mimic the latte.  They are wonderfully soft and cake like with a hint of pumpkin and coffee.

I thought this would be a nice sweet treat to bring to Fiesta Friday, sorry Angie you might find some sugar granules on your floor, they are a little messy but sooooo good. There are no co hosts today so sweet Angie is manning the helm herself, Thanks Angie for always being there and if any of you would like to join the party feel free to follow the link, we need co hosts to step up to the plate.

Muffins and Coffee

Muffins and Coffee

Pumpkin Spice Latte Doughnut Muffins

Adapted from a recipe on Food52 from five and spice

Makes 12 muffins

1/3 cup melted butter

1/2 cup sugar

1 large egg

1 1/2 cup all purpose flour

1 1/2 tsp baking powder

1/2 tsp salt

1/2 tsp cinnamon

1/4 tsp nutmeg

1/4 tsp allspice

1/8 tsp ginger

1 heaping tsp powdered or granulated coffee or espresso powder

scant 1/2 cup whole milk at room temperature

3 tbs pumpkin puree

1/2 stick or 4 tbs unsalted butter melted

cinnamon sugar

Melt butter either on the stove or in the microwave in glass or ceramic. Set aside to cool. Pre heat oven to 350 degree’s and butter or oil/spray muffin tin.

Add sugar and egg and cooled butter to mixing bowl and beat until light and creamy approximately 2 minutes. In separate bowl combine the flour, baking powder, salt and spices and set aside. Heat the milk just until warm in the microwave and add the coffee, stir in the pumpkin.  On medium low speed alternately beat the flour mixture and wet ingredients only until combined. Spoon into muffin tin (NOTE: the muffins are small so spoon only a little of the batter to each) The recipe makes exactly 12 muffins.  Bake for 20-25 minutes. Let cool in muffin tin until they are just warm enough to handle. Have your melted butter and cinnamon sugar ready. Dip each muffin in butter first covering the entire muffin and then into the cinnamon sugar. Enjoy immediately.

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Business are decorated

Business are decorated

Saw these on pinterest and couldn’t resist. I miss dressing Izzy and Nando for Halloween.

Witchy pug

Witchy pug

iphone pug

iphone pug

Have a wonderfully spooky and treat filled Halloween everyone! I will be walking the neighborhood today taking photo’s that I will share with you all. Remember to set the clocks back an hour. Day light savings time ends at 2AM.

 

 

 

Nutty Granola

Granola

Granola

Granola is one of my favorite breakfast cereals, most mornings I have a shake or smoothie but when a shake just won’t do this is my breakfast choice. I like to make my own, it doesn’t take long and the results are fantastic. This granola is chock full of nuts, 3 varieties, almonds, hazelnuts and walnuts, the lightly sweetened, roasted nuts and oats is irresistible. I don’t add fruit to the granola, I save that for serving. One thing I really like about this is that it’s substantial, you only need a little and it fills you up and you know you are getting a nutritious meal. This recipe makes a lot, it’s almost half nuts, sweetened with a little maple syrup and coconut palm sugar, I also add coconut flakes and flax seed. Serve on its own or with fruit and I like my DIY almond milk with it. You might notice I use olive oil but you can use whatever you like, vegetable/canola oil or coconut oil.

A bowl of goodness

A bowl of goodness

Makes a lot of granola

3 cups oats (not quick cook)

1/2 cup finely ground hazelnuts

1 1/2 cup ground almonds (I use the almond meal left from making almond milk)

1 cup chopped walnuts

1 cup coconut flakes (preferably unsweetened but sweetened is fine)

1/2 cup olive oil

1/4 cup coconut palm sugar or you can use organic or turbinado sugar

1/4 cup maple syrup (I used grade A but B is also good)

2 tbs flax seeds

Optional: drizzle a little honey on top before baking

In large mixing bowl add all the ingredients, stir to combine. Pre heat oven to 300 degrees. Line a baking sheet with parchment and spread the granola in one layer, drizzle with honey (this is optional).

Place in oven and bake, stirring every 10 or 15 minutes. You have to watch it especially towards the end of the baking time. It takes almost an hour to bake. The granola will be a lovely golden brown. Cool and place in air tight storage jars or containers.

Simple Concord Grape Jam

Grape Jam on buttered english muffin

The last two weekends at the farmers market I have found plentiful amounts of concord grapes, it’s that time of year you know. I love them, eating them right off the stem sweet and tart at the same time and an intense burst of concord grape flavor. I bought a lot of them, really way too many to eat so I decided to try my hand at making jam. I have never canned or preserved anything before, one day I will, but not this time, so this jam has to be used fairly quickly within a month or so but honestly, it’s so good it didn’t last more than a week. I sterilized some canning jars poured the hot jam in the jar, sealed and refrigerated it overnight, by the morning it was thick rich intense grape jam.  I have become somewhat obsessed with making jam now, giving jars to my daughter to take home for the kids and they are really enjoying it. This weekend I made a spiced plum jam following a recipe from Hannah and her beautiful blog, Blue Kale Road, it is amazing and you should try it. Back to the grape jam though, it’s so easy to make, and you can make it in small batches. This is going to make a really good PB&J sandwich.

Ingredients:

2 quarts (about 8 cups) concord grapes, cleaned and removed from stems

4 -4.5 cups sugar

juice of 1 lemon

Add grapes, sugar and lemon juice to a medium saucepan mash the grapes to release some of the juices. Bring to a boil on high heat, when it comes to a rolling boil reduce heat to medium and let simmer uncovered for about an 1-1 1/2 hours. You will notice it is thickening and it will coat your spoon. Drop some of the jam onto a saucer and if it thickens it’s ready.

simmering grapes

While the grapes are simmering sterilize your jars and lids, let them boil for 15 minutes, remove to a clean tea  towel to dry. When the grapes have finished cooking take a large non reactive bowl, I used an 8 cup heatproof glass measuring cup place a sieve on top and carefully pour the grapes into it. Stir it so that the liquid drips into the bowl, stir constantly and scrape the bottom of the sieve from time to time.

Strain it well

All you want left is the skin and seeds, push the pulp through, there will be very little left in the sieve.

See not much left only seeds and skin

Place the liquid back in the saucepan and simmer on medium for about 15 minutes. Pour into sterilized jars, screw lids on tightly and let sit until it reaches room temperature. You then refrigerate overnight or several days. It will become very thick and jam like.

Apple Cider Applesauce Coffee Cake

Apple Cider Applesauce Coffee Cake
I make this recipe every year during apple season, it’s hands down one of my favorites. The cake is so moist and the aroma when baking is heavenly. I like to make homemade apple cider applesauce for the cake, it’s so easy and I think it really adds to the flavor of the cake, but using commercially made applesauce is perfectly acceptable. I saw this recipe in Martha Stewart Living magazine about 6 years ago. It’s loaded with apples, spices and is utterly delicious. I can’t wait for the apples to arrive at the farmers market this will be the first thing I make. My family loves it as do I. It keeps well and even tastes better the next day.
APPLE CIDER APPLESAUCE
  • 1 pound juicy apples (Macintosh work very well) peeled. cored and cut into quarters
  • 1/4 cup  apple cider
  • 1 tablespoon sugar, you can use white, turbinado or brown your choice
  • pinch of salt
  1. Clean, peel, core and quarter the apples. Add to a medium saucepan. Add the cider, sugar and salt and boil until apples are soft. Remove from heat and mash (I used a potato masher) keep some small chunks of apples. Set aside to cool.
THE CRUMBLE TOPPING AND CAKE
  •  The Crumble Topping
  • 4 tablespoons  unsalted butter
  • 1/2 cup dark brown sugar packed
  • 1/4 cup old fashioned rolled oats
  • 3/4 teaspoons cinnamon
  • 1/4 teaspoon  salt
  • 1 cup toasted pecans chopped (If you have a nut allergy the nuts can be omitted)
  •  The Cake
  • 2 cups all purpose flour
  • 1 teaspoon  baking soda
  • 1/2 teaspoon nutmeg
  • 2 teaspoons  cinnamon
  • 1/8 teaspoon cloves (Optional, I didn’t use, really don’t like cloves)
  • 1/2 teaspoon  salt
  • 8 tablespoons 1 stick unsalted butter softened
  • 1 cup granulated sugar
  • 1/2 cup light brown sugar packed
  • 4 large eggs at room temperature
  • 1 1/2 cup  apple cider applesauce
  • 2 small juicy apples (Macintosh work very well) peeled and sliced
  • 1/2 cup toasted pecans chopped OPTIONAL
  1. Make your crumble topping. In small bowl combine the butter, sugar, oats,flour, cinnamon, salt and pecans mix with fork or by hand to combine. Set aside.
  2. Pre-heat oven to 350 degrees. Coat your tube pan with cooking spray or vegetable oil. (I recommend using a non stick pan) Sift flour, salt, baking soda and spices. Cream butter and white and brown sugar in your electric mixer until smooth about 3 minutes. Add the eggs one at a time make sure egg is incorporated before you add another one. With mixer on low add the applesauce and then the flour mixture. Mix just until combined. Add the optional chopped pecans and fold in.
  3. Pour batter into oiled pan. Place apple slices on top of cake tucking some into the batter,sprinkle on the crumble topping. Bake for 60-70 minutes check by inserting cake tester (I used a bamboo skewer) near the middle of the cake and it should come out clean. Remove from oven and let cake cool in pan on wire rack.
  4. Remove from pan and if you do not serve immediately wrap in plastic wrap and store at room temperature until ready to serve. NOTE: if you make in a bundt pan like I did it could take some coaxing to get it out of the pan when  cooled. It could be easier to remove from a tube pan because it does not have all the grooves that a bundt pan does.

Stuffed Avocado With Poached Egg

The food52 contest is all about avocado’s. My entry is very simple and makes a fantastic breakfast or brunch but can really be eaten anytime of day. I stuffed the avocado halves with sauteed grape tomatoes and shallots, topped with breadcrumbs and heated in the broiler for about a minute and then topped it with a poached egg. It’s delicious, loaded with flavor and you can make this your own by adding whatever you like.

Serves 2

1 ripe avocado halved

1/2 cup  grape or cherry tomatoes halved

1 lobe of the shallot chopped

1/2 cup fresh breadcrumbs

olive oil for pan

salt and pepper to taste

2 large eggs poached or fried

1/2 lime (for the avocado)

  1. Add olive oil to saute pan and add the chopped shallot, when it has softened add the tomatoes and saute just until the tomatoes start to soften and give off a little of their juices, season with salt and pepper. Remove from pan and add the bread crumbs.saute until they have absorbed the oil and are lightly browned. Remove from pan
  2. Turn oven to broil, place rack in the middle of the oven. Line a baking sheet with foil. Cut your avocado in half, squeeze the lime on both halves, sprinkle each with a pinch of sea salt. Fill the cavity with the tomato and shallots, top with bread crumbs and place in oven for approximately a minute just so it’s warmed and the crumbs are golden brown.
  3. Top with a poached or fried egg and enjoy

Bake Together:Date And Orange Cornmeal Buttermilk Muffins With Cardamom Streusel Topping

Bake together with Abby Dodge  this month is Cornmeal buttermilk muffins. I just want to say that I love participating in this, it is a wonderful way to be creative and as always I have a lot of fun. I used Abby’s basic recipe for Cornmeal Buttermilk muffins (original recipe found by clicking on Abby Dodge above) and added my own touch. My latest obsession is with Medjool dates, the are so soft and creamy and sweet I find myself snacking on them several times a day. Dates and orange and cardamom  go together really well so I thought I would incorporate all those wonderful ingredients into these muffins. The muffins contain orange zest and dates and I made a streusel topping flavored with cardamom. NOTE: I also decreased the sugar to 1/4 cup because the dates are so sweet and I made a dozen mini muffins rather than 6 large ones.
For the muffins:
3/4 cup (3 3/8 ounces) all purpose flour
1/3 cup (1 1/3 ounces) finely ground yellow cornmeal
1/4 cup granulated sugar
2 teaspoons baking powder
1/4 teaspoon table salt
1/2 cup buttermilk, at room temperature
1 large egg, at room temperature
3 tablespoons canola or vegetable oil
1/2 cup chopped medjool dates pitted
1 1/2 tsp orange zest
Streusel Topping
3 tbs flour
2 tbs light brown sugar packed
2 tbs granulated sugar
1/4 tsp cardamom
2 tbs soft butter
Position an oven rack in the center of the oven. Heat oven to 350°F. Line 6 regular-sized muffin cups with paper or foil liners or to make mini muffins 12 liners in 12 cup muffin tin.
Mix the soft butter, flour, sugars and cardamom and set aside.
In a medium bowl, combine the flour, cornmeal, sugar, baking powder and salt.  Whisk until well blended. Measure the buttermilk using a 2 cup glass measure, pour buttermilk into blender and add the chopped dates , pulse a few times so that the dates are broken up but still are in small pieces, add back to 2 cup measuring cup. Add the egg, oil, and orange zest  and mix with a table fork until well blended. Pour the liquid over the dry ingredients. Using a rubber spatula, gently fold (no stirring) until just blended.
Portion the batter evenly among the prepared muffin cups (1/4 cup of batter per cup will be about three-quarters of the way full a little less for mini muffins). Crumble the streusel topping on each muffin. Bake until the tops are pale golden brown and a pick inserted in the center comes out clean, 18 to 20 minutes for larger muffins because mine were smaller it took 15 minutes to bake. Move to a wire rack and let cool for 15 minutes. Carefully remove the muffins from the pan and set them on a wire rack. Serve immediately or cool completely and stow in an air-tight container at room temperature for up to 2 days. I like them best when they are served warm so please reheat before serving.