Wednesday, December 23, 2009

Recipe: Banana-Chocolate-Chunk Muffins

I have made these muffins twice now and they are delicious! Not to mention that with oats, whole wheat flour, and limited oil they are a bit healthier than most muffins :)
Courtesy of Cook Yourself Thin.
What you need:
1 cup all-purpose flour
1 cup whole-wheat flour
1/2 cup rolled oats
2 teaspoon ground cinnamon
2 teaspoon baking powder
1 teaspoon baking soda
1/2 teaspoon salt
1 ripe banana, mashed
1/4 cup chopped walnuts
1/2 cup light brown sugar
2 tablespoons vegetable oil
2 large eggs
1 1/4 cups reduced-fat buttermilk [or substitute 1 1/4 cups milk with 1 tbsp. lemon juice]
1 teaspoon pure vanilla extract
2 tablespoons chocolate chips

What you do:
1. Preheat the oven to 400 degrees. Line a 12-muffin tray with paper liners. Set aside.
2. In a standing mixer [I mix everything by hand in a large bowl], combine the all-purpose flour, whole-wheat flour, rolled oats, ground cinnamon, baking powder, baking soda, salt and mashed banana, and blend on low speed for 2 minutes. Add the walnuts, brown sugar, vegetable oil, eggs and reduced-fat buttermilk, and blend for 2 minutes on medium speed. Add the vanilla extract and mix until well combined.
3. Using an ice cream scoop [I use a half-cup measuring cup], portion the batter evenly into the muffin tin, and top each muffin with 3 to 4 chocolate chips. Bake at 400 degrees for 15 minutes. Once muffins are baked through, remove them from the oven and let cool. Serve.

This makes 12 muffins. I always double the batch! Enjoy :)

Sunday, December 13, 2009

Recipe: Mary's Pumpkin-Fig Soup

What you need:
1 medium/large hokkaido pumpkin, peeled & diced
1 lg onion, diced
2 Tbsp sesame oil
3 Tbsp curry powder
1 Tbsp diced fresh ginger
2 fresh or 3 dried figs
1 can coconut milk
1 scant Tbsp lemon juice
3 c. vegetable broth
salt to taste
blender or blender wand

What you do:
Saute onion & curry powder in oil until transparent. Add pumpkin, fig, ginger, broth, lemon juice. Boil until pumpkin is soft. Puree with blender wand. Salt to taste.

Supper the Third

Hey friends!
Last Thursday was our third dinner! As I said in my last post, in Celia's absence I recruited a guest chef, Mary Dellenbaugh. Mary put together a great vegetarian menu for us, which was:
Sekt as an aperitif
Parmesan, garlic, and artichoke dip with bagel chips and olives

Pumpkin-curry-fig-coconut cream soup

Spinach & corn tart on a bed of greens with a balsamic reduction

& mini lemon-raspberry cremes for dessert

It was all delicious!
Only six people were present (our smallest yet!) and it was a very cozy evening. This time, I remembered to take a few photos!
In the absence of an apron, Mary swaddled herself in a towel to blender-wand the pumpkin into submission:

The guests, before we realized we didn't actually need both tables since two people cancelled/didn't show:

And one with me in it...luckily you can only kind of see my horrible thrift store Christmas vest, hahaha:

I have loooved having the leftovers the past few days! Those who didn't come, you missed out.
Stay tuned for the pumpkin soup recipe--Mary invented it herself!