All posts filed under: Muffins

Bread Whore ~ The Modern English Muffin

The other week, out of the blue, Jane says, “I’ve been trying to think what this thing is called…” “What thing..” “Breakfasty, brunchy kind of thing” “What’s in it” Poached eggs and an English muffin…” “Oh, it’s an Eggs Benedict.” She thanked me – obviously it had been nagging at her head for days. A couple of days later…. a repeat of the initial Q & A. Then, last week… “What’s that thing again?” “Eggs Benedict… Do you want one?” “Well… yes. If it’s not a lot of trouble.” Trouble… considering the hoops I have to jump through navigating Jane’s growing food allergies, something like an eggy thing shouldn’t be very high up on the difficulty list. However, all English Muffins contain either soy… or unsafe dairy… or an unrecognizable oil… or a combination of all three. So, getting to the Benedict was going to take some work. Trouble… I poked around several recipes.  There are ones that sound and look like thick, doughy pancakes. There are a couple that have you making your own starter – …

Not another pancake…

If you’re a newcomer then you probably don’t know my particular aversion to pancakes. I know it’s irrational, and the fact that my siblings have no recollection of that never-ending year is inconsequential.Think of it like being afraid of clowns, (harmless but freakishly unnerving) I can’t do anything about it – but it’s there. I will make the occasional waffle, though. We do like a nice crisp Belgian Style Waffle. As I’ve taken over the culinary duties in the house…. and being in charge of dietary allotments, I switched Jane over to gluten-free waffles. With bread, batter, pasta and the like being forefront on most American diets, I just feel that meals and our continued well-being would be better served if we can eliminate gluten completely from at least one meal period… But, that left me with a big o’ box of Krusteaz (c) pancake (slash) waffle mix in the house…. and I’m not making pancakes for anyone. So this is where the problem is – I don’t throw perfectly good pantry products away. It’s wasteful and inconsiderate. I considered having people up …

The Gift

It arrived today. I don’t really know what I was expecting. But, it wasn’t this… I recently reconnected (after a 25 year lapse) with an old friend. And for the past month or so, we’ve been trying to get together to catch up. But with varying schedules, 750 miles, and a lifetime dividing us, getting together just hasn’t been all that easy. I don’t want to hear it. I’ve already told you that I live my life in episode. If you aren’t in front of me, I get side-tracked… time slips away… and you become a ghost in the machine. There’s nothing sinister about it, I just lose sight of you. This past Sunday, after another failed attempt, Andy asked for my address, “I want to send you a gift. It’s something you can’t get in Atlanta.” Well, it wasn’t an illegal alien… we already have plenty of those here… and it wasn’t an iguana… or an armadillo (yeah, my mind goes off in odd directions..I don’t know why I thought it might be either …

Waste Not ~ Want Not

After working up the marmalade from last week, I had a ton (well, okay…it was a couple of cups) of expressed orange pulp left over. It’s a curse, but I’ve never been one to throw scraps away. My mom always trained us to use as much of a vegetable as possible, then save the scraps for stock. It wasn’t a terribly new thing to do, as chef’s have been saving cast-offs for stocks and seasonings for eons. So I would dutifully keep a Tupperware or baggie in the freezer and add the potato peelings, carrot shavings, onion skins (wilted radish and limp cucumber) to the bag for use in some future stock. At my first real hotel job, I worked with a chef that kept a large 30 gallon trash can in the freezer. I’d do my inventories… and look at the can.  “Don’t worry about what’s in the can” the chef would say. “But… what is it?” “It’s the Magic Meat Barrel” he would say casually… and leave it at that. The hotel had …

Good Intentions

The Road to Hell is paved with Oranges…. I always mean well. Doing my shopping, I make the usual rounds through the produce section… Cabbage… check! Romaine.. Check! Fruit …. “Yeah –  I really need to start eating more fruit… I can eat a bag of oranges in a week…” Oranges… Check, check, checky,…. Check! In itself, I probably could eat a bag of sweet, juicy, peel-able oranges.. but they never look quite as good sitting in the fruit bowl as they did under the produce enhancing lights in the market….. so I don’t eat them… well, not right away… well…  not at all. Then the next week rolls around, and I’m back at the produce counter grabbing another bag of oranges. Because (you know) I let the other ones dry up and turn to wrinkle town. So now there’s TWO bags of oranges not getting eaten in the fruit bowl, and if I don’t do something quick, shortly they’re going to have some less wrinkly relatives joining them come the next Monday. I ended …

All That Lemony Goodness – 五 (that’s 5)

(If you’re keeping count) I have a sweet-ish tooth. And, when I’m stressed – I want something sweet. Not the eat a bag of Ghirardelli Chocolates in one sitting kind of thing, but something to take the edge off. Being on the job hunt this past entire year… I’ve been stressed…. a lot. In order to keep costs down, and to attempt to try and make my cravings a little less just empty calories, I’ve started baking muffins every week. I’ll bake a dozen on Monday and they will usually see us through the week for snacks, dessert, a late breakfast…. and those cravings. Since I had a few lemons left over from last week’s Shaker Lemon Pie (no, I didn’t eat the whole thing….. I sent it home with my brother) I decided to try my hand at a lemon ~ poppy seed muffin. Lemon ~ Poppy Seed Muffin Makes 12 Ingredients 1/2 Cup Butter Substitute 2 Tablespoons Vegetable Shortening (I use the additional shortening mainly because the butter substitutes are mostly water) 1 …

Apple Butter Muffins

Clara, my great grandmother (like all other women of the day) made much of her own jams and jellies from whatever fresh berries there were in her garden. Summer would arrive with the peaches, and there would be fresh peach preserves and pickled peaches. And, of course.. in the fall, there’d be apples and apple jelly. From the scraps of the fruit and the dregs from the jelly-making, Clara would make apple butter. From the best I can understand, Clara’s apple butter wasn’t like any other – and certainly wasn’t like anything you could buy. Mom remembers Clara working it up and forming it into butter molds. And as it set, it would become a light tan, sweet, fragrant solid that you could slice with a knife. Sadly, that recipe is lost. My mother was either too young, or too busy eating it to ask exactly how it was made. I’ve tried over the years to recreate that mold-able spread… and I’ve come close… I can get the color right.. and I can almost duplicate …

Banana Nut Muffins

My mom always used Clara’s recipe whenever she made banana bread. It was the perfect density, the right amount of heft and just an all around good banana bread. Somewhere down the road, Jane came across the idea to add a tablespoon of scotch to the mix. It’s amazing what just that little amount of scotch can do to elevate that full banana flavor to really wonderful heights. Now that I’ve gotten hold of the recipe, I’ve made an additional adjustment by grinding the nuts to a coarse meal. For a muffin, I prefer that all the textures are homogeneous to give you a better bite across the muffin without obstacles in the way. And considering the density issues common with gluten free breads, I felt the muffin would be a good candidate, so I’ve also played around with a gluten free version. Now you don’t have any excuse for not making some. Clara’s Banana Bread & Banana Nut Muffins Makes 1 Loaf -or- 18 Muffins Ingredients 1/2 Cup Butter or Margarine (if you are …

A Nod To Jenn & Sweet Potato Muffins

I read a lot of food related blogs for a variety of reasons. Some make me laugh (Cake Wrecks always succeeds in giving me the giggles), some I just admire for the photography (Kitchen Konfidence always makes me feel inadequate in that department), and there are those that, well, I just love being the remote voyeur on. Case in point – Jenn at Pint-Sized Pioneering. I have followed her through her attempts at gardening, raising chickens, and sat slack-jawed at the volumes of home canned goods she has put up this year. And, not to forget, she has some really great recipes to boot! Her latest post is of a delicious pumpkin bread that just made me want to jump up and make a couple dozen loaves. But –  I didn’t have any pumpkin…  or chocolate….  or enough yogurt… What I did have was a honking huge supply of sweet potatoes… and some pistachios…  umm, yeah… So, Jenn… forgive me, I monkeyed around with your recipe and made something that I think is just as …