Sunday, February 28, 2010

Carrot Spice Muffins

I started to feel like an impostor cook so yesterday I grabbed a cookbook & threw together these muffins for my kiddies. If you want an indication that your kids haven't had a home made baked snack in awhile observe how long they are willing to stand in front of the oven & count down the seconds till it's finished baking. Mine, stood there for 7 minutes counting it down......grim!

So, this recipe come from my reliable source Dorie Greenspan, I've even tagged all the recipes of hers that I've covered so far on this blog. They are generally WINNERS! So take heed. And here's the recipe for the muffins(changes I made in blue):

2 c flour
1/2 c sugar
1/3 c light brown sugar (I only had brown sugar so I used a little less than 2/3 cup of sugar total)
1 tbsp baking powder
1 1/2 tsp cinnamon
1/2 tsp ground ginger
1/4 tsp baking soda
1/4 tsp salt
2/3 c flavorless oil, such as canola, safflower or corn
2 large eggs
3/4 whole milk
1 tsp pure vanilla extract
1 c shredded carrots
1/2 c shredded sweetened coconut (I didn't have these so I upped my carrots to 1 1/2 c)
1/3 c moist, plump currents or raisins
1/3 c pecans or walnuts, toasted, cooled & chopped

Center rack in the oven & preheat the oven to 375f (180c) grease 12 molds in a regular size muffin pan, or 6 jumbo muffin tins.

In a large bowl whisk together dry ingredients. In a large glass measuring cup of bowl whisk oil, eggs, milk & vanilla extract together until well combined. Pour the liquid ingredients over the dry ingredients & with a whisk or rubber spatula, gently but quickly stir to blend. Don't worry about being thorough -- a few lumps are better than overmixing the batter. Stir in the carrots, coconuts, currants & nuts. Divide the batter evenly among the muffin cups.

Bake for about 20 min, or until a think knife inserted into the center of the muffins comes out clean. Transfer the pan to a rack and cool for 5 minutes before carefully removing each muffin from it's mold.
Note: These muffins are great warm but taste even better when they're given a little time to cool. Like many sweet spices the flavor intensifies with time. Best eaten the day they are made but if you keep them overnight, give them a toss into the oven for a few min, or split in the toaster.

Wednesday, February 24, 2010

And Goliath Said.......

"Who Will fight Meeeeeeeee?!"

When I say that I am assaulted by this one on a regular basis, I am not kidding. His sister slept with a stuffed dog last night, he had a plastic power drill & hammer.
God save us all --- Everyone!

Wednesday, February 17, 2010

Of foodies & such!!

Howdy ho! This weather has not been conducive to productivity, unless you count the work it takes to hunt down a fluffy blankie & make a warm drink to curl up on the couch & drink while watching old movies, so I've been putting off putting up something.

I've actually accumulated 5 new cookbooks in the last 2 month period & haven't even had time to go through them all.....just so many hours in the day & it's much to easy to just fly by the seat of your pants down the slippery slope of "daily bubble n' squeak" meals. I'd have to say about 99% of my cooking is just off the top of my head. Which seems a lot less like the magical improv & more & more like the bits of splintered broomstick that attack Mikey Mouse after he hacked them to death with the axe.

Well, here are some pics anyway of the little nibbles that did inspire me. Hope they make your rumbly in your tumbly this fine freezing day. got me, I'm a sellout. Had me a little snackie at the good old "bucks". I've always been a sucker for cinnamon rolls.
My offspring just about turned into collective "Popeyes" after eating this sauted spinach, an ungodly amount. I dare you, put this before a spinach hating whiner & see if they don't change their mind. The secret I will share: crumbled bacon, bacon drippings mixed with melted butter to saute it in. Salt & pepper. And if you don't live with a shroom hater like I do (cough-cough) then throw in a few of those too. Turn off the heat BEFORE it's fully wilted.

This was the one recipe I DID follow. I wanted to make a Chocolate mousse for a handsome French friend of ours who broke his poor arm. I found this recipe on the blog of the master of dessert, David Lebovitz. And he took to following none other than Julia Child's recipe for French Chocolate mousse, lemmie just say.......Oh-mai-Kyaaaaaaaaa! I loved it. Wish I used even darker chocolate though. This also turned out to be my excuse of a Valentines snackie for my DH. (I'm not much for Valentines Hooplah)
Oh, Brother! Double WOW!! My DH came home with these on Valentines day. He tried to pass it off as something he got for me. (heh, that lasted for about 5 seconds) A coworker of his gave them to him. When I saw the box & the perfect little squares I had a sneaking little suspicion that I was gonna be in taste bud Nirvana.
Kyaaaaaaa! There was one person that I wanted to share this with & that would be you, Elaina!

These little matcha dust covered matcha truffles turned out to be melty, bitter & sweet chunks of cacao butter induced love! In the middle of each of these squares were some little crunchy bits of popped mugi, and a plump azuki bean. I even lost my mind & cut up one into little bits & sprinkled it onto some Lady Borden Vanilla Ice Cream dancing on my tippie toes in my imaginary twinkly slippers. DOUBLE WIN!!!

Well, that's it fellas. I'm sorry if this blog has been a little dry & pathetic of late. Hope you'll forgive me. I'm on the threshhold of sending Mr. Travster to school & on the doorstep of my 4 year old Lefty Carmichael's insatiable desire to be educated at every possible opportunity. (How do you turn away a little girl crying over not being able to complete writing the alphabet cuz' she needs your "heeeeeeelp" when you're making dinner? Or begging you to give her a sponge & cleaning supplied so she can clean the toilet)

Not to mention my 2 year old is acting up again something awful. His great desire to be a somewhat deranged "tool weilding" meanie is really too much to bear at times. Do you remember that Richard Scary Dictionary with the little kitten named "Babykins" who walks around with a wrench or hammer all day long terrorizing his family.........this is the face of he!! can just tell from looking at him that he's a total bluffing evil door. So till I get things under a bit more control........Hope I'll be seeing you around these parts!

Wednesday, February 10, 2010

Sing with me now......"All is Vaaaaaniiiiityyyyyy"

Spring is around the corner.

Shed the drab & get on with the color.

-- In case you're wondering....I never went through that phase as a teenager where I slathered on make up of many colors so I'm comin' into my own now!!

Anyone into the nitty gritty. It's light green on the inner eye, light blue on the outer, liquid black liner along the lash line covered by a dark mossy green shadow. Light blue on the bottom. White on the upper brow.

Tuesday, February 09, 2010

Chicken Katsu

Now now, don't go stoning me....I'm not going to tell you how to make chicken katsu. But I have to say that the gigantic-ness of my success in making it last night was really just too good to not at least post a picture of.

I know it's a simple meal, I know it's deep fried, I know that people slather, tonkatsu sauce, mayo & what have you all over it but frankly I just didn't have the energy to be healthy. OK?

So what am I saying about chicken katsu? Well probably nothing you don't know but I'll say it anyway:

- Soak your chicken in a mixture of sake, shoyu & mirin for at least 2 hours ( I soaked mine for 8)

- Go through the pain of coating with FLOUR before egg & breadcrumbs. And if you want to practice fully letting your "control-freakish-ness" go, let your 2 & 4 year olds "help" you do this.

- SET your coated chicken for an hour or more in the fridge to let the crumbs adhere to the egg wash (ewww......I hate saying that, dreadful pictures arise) But this you MUST do! It'll keep the crust stuck beautifully to the chicken through the whole frying, handling, & cutting process.

And lastly of course........


Thank you my friends!!