Monday, January 10, 2011

Banana Sourdough Muffins

While my last recipe post had a ton of pictures, but lacked a recipe, this is exactly the opposite.  I've made these muffins 2 or 3 times now, and somehow I have managed to avoid taking a picture!  When I made them, I was searching for a recipe where I could use my sourdough starter in a quick bread, just like when I made the sourdough scones.  These muffins are delicious, and have a really great texture.  Just make them!

Recipe: Banana Sourdough Muffins (from The Fresh Loaf)
1/3 cup butter, softened
1 cup sugar
1 egg
2 cups flour
1 tsp baking powder
1/2 tsp baking soda
1 tsp salt (I always add less)
1 cup mashed banana
1 cup sourdough starter (mine is kept at a 1:1 ratio by weight, and this can be used before or after feeding)
3/4 cup chopped walnuts (I didn't use)
1 tsp vanilla or 1 tsp orange zest (I used vanilla)

Preheat oven to 350 F.  Cream together the butter and sugar until light and fluffy.  Add egg and mix until blended.  Stir in bananas and sourdough starter.  Whisk together the flour, salt, baking powder and baking soda.  Add the flour mixture to the wet ingredients, stir just until combined.  Pour either into a greased 9x5 loaf pan, or into muffin cups, either greased or with paper liners.  Bake the loaf for ~1 hr or the muffins for 20-30 minutes.  They are done when a toothpick comes out still moist.  The first time I made these, I overbaked them slightly because they still looked underdone.  They continue cooking in the pan after you take it out, trust me!


Just some weird things I've been thinking about lately.
For example - why in the world would anyone advertise aged cheese as "old cheddar?"  I have actually seen one brand in the grocery store call it "really old cheddar."  No kidding.  I'm going to have to take a picture of it if I ever see it again.
Also, I am a major hypocrite when it comes to choosing recipes from blogs.  I'm a major photo snob.  I will often veto recipes when they don't have stellar pictures.  Umm, has anybody noticed my pictures?  Let's just say it's usually a combination of bad lighting, poor focus, and a big mess in the background.  If I came across my own blog, I probably wouldn't make any of my recipes.
I also veto any recipe that has a component I'm not a fan of, even if it's something I could probably easily change.  Like bacon - for some reason that's been a huge craze lately, and since I don't eat meat, I definitely won't be sexing up my food with bacon.  I'm sure it would be pretty simple to just remove that crumbled slice of bacon from the recipe, but I just skip it.  And with recipes including apples - let's just start off by saying that I love apples.  I love them raw, mashed in sauce, apple cider, in pies, etc.  But when it comes to oatmeal or bread, I refuse to eat apple chunks.  I think it's a texture thing.  So of course, it would also be simple to just change the recipe so it includes shredded apples instead of diced, but I prefer to use recipes where that change has already been made.
So I admit it - I am a judgy*, hypocritical blogger.  Who finds old cheese humorous.  And I have all kinds of other quirks that I'm just mentioning right now, food related and otherwise.

* I don't know if I had ever heard this word (at least not in this form) before hearing it about 10 times per episode of The Vampire Diaries.  Are you judging me for watching the show?  Then that makes you judgy too :)

Pita Bread

One hot night this past summer, I had the random idea to make pita bread.  I had a recipe, and the ingredients, so I figured why not?  They turned out pretty well, but I think only the first one puffed up the way it was supposed to.  The rest puffed in parts, so I couldn't cut them open and stuff them, but they were still delicious to dip into hummus.  Okay so only problem now - I CAN'T FIND THE RECIPE I USED!  And it was so long ago, that I can't remember what it looked like or what ingredients were in it, so I can't match it up to recipes I have saved.  So all I can leave with you are the pictures, unfortunately.  Sorry this is such a tease post!

Pumpkin Oatmeal

It is definitely going to be difficult to catch up!  I was behind already, back in October.  I guess it's good timing though, because the start of the semester probably means I won't be able to cook as frequently, so it's a good thing I have a big stockpile of things to post about.

Since I just made this for breakfast this morning, I figure it's a good place to start.  I went through countless cans of pumpkin this fall (btw, so happy it made an appearance on shelves this year!) making this oatmeal.  It's really the simplest oatmeal in the world to make, and this is a great base recipe (minus the pumpkin) to add whatever you have on hand - bananas, raisins, nuts, etc.

This isn't really a true "recipe" - all you do is take 1 part quick oats to 2 parts water or milk.  I like using almond milk, it gives it a nice creamy texture.  1/2 cup oats will give a really big bowl of oatmeal.  Mix the oats and water/milk together with a pinch of salt.  Microwave 2-4 minutes at 45-60 second intervals.  KEEP AN EYE ON IT!  Oatmeal has the tendency to bubble over very quickly.  Once it has cooked, add in 2-3 tbsp of canned pumpkin, sugar to taste, and a few shakes of cinnamon and nutmeg.  I can't really take credit for inventing an actual recipe, since the main portion came off the canister of oatmeal.  But you should definitely try this - it is yummy, and has a ton of protein and fiber.

Friday, January 7, 2011


So let's forget about the fact that I haven't posted A THING in almost 3 months.
It's a new year, a new start, so I can be forgiven, right?
Since it's the new year, that means I can make some resolutions.  And no, not resolutions to actually stick to a diet and get back to the weight I was a year ago.  Because then when I fall off that diet, it would just be a failed resolution and that's so disappointing.
But I am going to make some cooking resolutions.  Things I want to bake/cook in the next year.  I don't have to do all of them, but I would love to try!
What are your resolutions?

(In no particular order)
* Souffle (savory and sweet)
* Pate a choux pastry
* Profiteroles with above pastry
* Croissants
* Pound cake
* Cake with fondant
* Stuffed mushrooms/peppers/tomatoes
* Cheese fondue
* Shortbread
* Latkes
* Burger buns
* Soft pretzels
* Salsa
* Macarons
* Macaroons (no I did not list the same thing twice)
* An interesting unconventional ice cream flavor
* Yogurt cake
* Profiteroles
* Candy (some kind of old fashioned caramel)
* Pot de creme (made one the other day so crossed off the list!)
* Artichokes
* Tiramisu (or other type of trifle)
* Baked pancake
* Babka
* Baklava
* Brioche
* Creme Brulee (I have the torch, just need some propane for it!)
* Jelly Roll
* Panettone (also just made this!)
* Old fashioned popcorn (the kind that doesn't come from a bag in the microwave)
* Whoopie pies
* Cauliflower (I know - it's crazy I've never cooked with it!)
* Panna Cotta (I had some for dessert on New Years and it was AMAZING)
* More artisan bread
* Parmesan cheese crisps
* Polenta croutons
* Ice cream sandwiches
* Sesame noodles
* Tortellini
* Calzones
* French onion soup
* Split pea soup
* Lattice top pie
* Eggnog
* Custard Pie
* Dinner rolls
* Flavored pasta (I have tried once and it was extremely unsuccessful)
* Poached pears
* Baked and stuffed apples
* Caramel sauce
* Pecan pie (without the use of corn syrup)
* Shortbread cookies
* Veggie burgers
* Poptarts
* Bundt cake
* Naan
* Pad Thai
* Gougeres
* Crabcakes
* Coconut cake
* Angel food cake
* Savory cheesecake

And after all of that food talk, I would like to run in a few 5ks this year.  But I think that can wait until the weather warms up...

Oh and can I just say that I had this post open for several days, so I could keep on adding things I want to try!  I eventually decided that I could probably keep adding things forever, so I should probably just post already!