Saturday, January 28, 2012

After 10 hours of cooking....

Ridiculously buttery and melt-in-your mouth blackberry muffins....

Fresh paneer....

A spiced applesauce cake....

And a whole mess of peppers, onions, and garlic.

My friends are coming to visit today. We're going to play League of Legends, board games, and feast until we're too full to move. In the interests of that last goal, I've made them a feast. The menu includes:
  • Homemade chips and hummus
  • Minced lamb and peas
  • Palak paneer (although my paneer didn't turn out. So I picked up some peynir instead.)
  • Homemade naan
  • Blackberry muffins (if I'm nice enough to share!)
  • Spiced applesauce cake with cinnamon frosting

    Yeah, I know you wish you were my friend. Birds do like cooking.
  • Tuesday, January 17, 2012

    Muffin Round-Up

    Looking back at all the drafts I've written to be published, it occurs to me that I have far too many muffins.

    Well, that's a lie. Far too many muffins that I haven't shared. Even after the insane amount of baking I did for Christmas, I don't think there's such a thing as too many muffins.

    Instead of writing full entries for each of them, I'm just gonna share a few quick pictures and my thoughts on them. Maybe that'll motivate me to finally get the rest of my old entries up so I can start sharing new stuff again. Like the buffalo chicken calzones I made recently. Oh god, why did I wait so long to make those?

    First up: Coconut Jam Muffins, from Los Angeles Times. They're definitely dessert muffins, since they're pretty darn sweet. Surprisingly, even my friends who didn't like coconut liked these. I think it's probably because they have oatmeal too, because oatmeal does magic things to muffins.

    Whole Grain Pumpkin muffins from Other Side of Fifty, which I sadly didn't take a picture of. They didn't look too pretty. I also doubled the batch to use all the pumpkin I had left, and ate these for almost a month and a half. As someone who's always disliked pumpkin pie, I thought that was a pretty big feat.

    Morning Glory Muffins from Joy of Baking. I didn't get a picture of these either, but with a much more reasonable excuse. I made these the morning of Run For Your Lives, which is a zombie-themed 5k. We got up super early to drive to the race, and I decided that really nutricious muffins would be great, and someone suggested carrot. So I went all out and made Morning Glory muffins. There are no pictures of these because they were all completely demolished the night I made them, including the extra ones I left at my house. I'd highly recommend trying them.

    Raspberry Lemon muffins from Coco Bean. Despite my making these more than six months ago, I remember them extremely well. I really liked the flavor, but I didn't do a great job with the zest, so there were long strands of lemon throughout the muffins that weren't really enjoyable to chew on. If it hadn't been for that, I think they would have been perfect.

    Honey Cornbread muffins from A Farmgirl's Dabbles. I made these to pair with jambalaya, so I could watch the Princess and the Frog and have fitting food (never mind that they actually eat jumbo in that movie.), and they were great. Not overly sweet, but sweet enough that I think with a little jam they'd be a perfect dessert. Thinking about them makes me sad I gave the rest away...

    Chocolate Cherry muffins from Stolen Moments. I don't think I even need to say much about these. Just look at the name and ingredient list. Chocolate muffins are great, and then add cherries? They were amazing.

    Apple Cinnamon muffins from Southern, eh? I have a thing for apple and cinnamon. I love them. Next time I make these I'm going to put a bit more cinnamon in them, but otherwise they were great. They're also surprisingly low calorie.

    And now for the Christmas muffins.

    White and Purple Amaretto muffins, modified from I Love Muffins. Instead of having any chocolate I just made extra batter and died some of it purple. I wasn't a big fan of these, but I think the texture difference the chocolate would have provided would probably have alleviated most of my complains about them. I also just didn't find them terribly flavorful, since I didn't add anything to compensate.

    Strawberry Cinnamon Sugar muffins from Eggs on Sunday. I added some food coloring to make the batter pink, and also put pink sugar sparkles on top, just in case it wasn't sweet enough before. They were quite good, although I wish strawberry flavoring would come through more in baking. Maybe if a large number of strawberries were pureed....

    I would actually call these cupcakes, honestly.... and we didn't take a picture of any of them, but they're rainbow muffins! I had a lot of help with these, and they did a bunch better job at making them even than I probably would have.... making the rainbow cake was frustrating enough for me.

    Here's a picture of all the muffins (well... half of the muffins. There were five tins in the end):

    There are four muffins in there I didn't take pictures of individually: blueberry from Obsessed with Baking (which I've made before and are always a huge hit), another version of Cinnamon Sugar muffins, banana muffins from Melbourne Food Files, and my personal favorite, apple butterscotch from Annie's Eats. I could have easily eaten all of the butterscotch ones on my own, and probably would have if there hadn't been people in the kitchen with me.

    Okay, there's one more muffin I didn't share with you guys, because they were special. I also liked the pictures I took of them enough that I think they deserve their own post. So while the world may be almost caught up on my muffin adventures, bear in mind that I just ate the last of the banana muffins, so the time for more is rapidly approaching....