Wednesday, October 16, 2013

Pumpkin muffins

Mr A was growing tired of waffles every day so it became time to make muffins!  It's officially Fall.  There are pumpkins everywhere so why not pumpkin muffins?  I pretty much used Libby's Pumpkin Muffins recipe and they turned out fantastic.  I will make them again.

I did make a few tweaks.  I used half AP flour and half whole wheat flour.  I halved the amount of sugar and added a little vanilla extract.  I left out the salt by mistake.  I used buttermilk instead of water/juice.  And I added dried cranberries.  In retrospect, chocolate chips would have been tasty too.

Aren't the muffin cups pretty?  My MIL bought them at some point.  Mr A described them like flowers when you peel them off the muffin.

Pumpkin Muffins

slightly adapted from Libby's
  • 1.5 c all-purpose flour
  • 1.5 c whole wheat flour
  • 1 T pumpkin spice
  • 2 t baking soda
  • 1.5 c granulated sugar
  • 1 can (15 ounces) LIBBY'S® 100% Pure Pumpkin
  • 4 large eggs
  • 1/2 cup vegetable oil
  • 1/2 cup buttermilk
  • 1/2 cup dried cranberries

PREHEAT oven to 350° F. Paper-line or grease 30 muffin cups.

COMBINE flour, pumpkin pie spice, and baking soda in large bowl. Combine sugar, pumpkin, eggs, vanilla extract, oil and buttermilk in large mixer bowl; beat until just blended. Add flour mixture to pumpkin mixture; stir just until moistened. Spoon batter into prepared muffin cups, filling 3/4 full.

BAKE for 25 to 30 minutes or until wooden pick inserted in centers comes out clean. Cool in pans on wire racks for 10 minutes; remove to wire racks to cool completely. Store muffins in covered container or resealable plastic bags.

PREPARE as above; filling 3/4 full. Bake for 15 to 17 minutes.

PREPARE as above; filling 3/4 full. Bake for 33 to 36 minutes.

Note: *LIBBY’S 100% Pure Pumpkin is considered a Super Food as it is low in calories and fat and is a naturally rich source of fiber and Vitamin A (an antioxidant). 

Sunday, October 6, 2013

Palak Paneer

I first had Indian food in grad school.  I vaguely remember having a fish dish and a couple other things too, but most of all, I remember really liking it and wondering why I hadn't experienced Indian food prior to that.

Ahh... Indian food.  Yum.  So full of spices and flavors.  It can be spicy, but oftentimes, restaurants will accommodate and make dishes mild, which is really more of a medium.  Then there's hot and Indian hot.  Lol.

Palak Paneer.  Google says palak is "spinach".  Sometimes you'll see it called saag paneer.  Saag refers to leafy greens.  Paneer is an Indian cheese.  It looks fairly simple to make.  Curdle whole milk with lemon juice, strain it in cheesecloth, and press into a block.  Sounds very feasible, maybe next time.

Ok, so palak paneer.  I love this stuff, but I have to say This didn't turn out as yummy as when I buy it.  Then again, I tend to think food always tastes better when someone cooks for you and there are no dishes to wash. Maybe I just need to add more salt, but this was easy enough and still yummy.

Thaw a 16oz package of frozen chopped spinach in the microwave on high for about 6 minutes.

Blend /purée in blender.  I used my food processor, but maybe the blender would get a finer texture?  Mine was still a little chunky, which was fine for me.  And I guess if you were really looking for simple, you could just use as is without puréeing.

In a saucepan or pot, heat some vegetable oil.  Toss in cubes of paneer.  Brown on both sides, then remove from pot onto some paper towels to soak up the extra oil.

Add a little more oil to the pot.  Add chopped onions and brown.  When onions are getting slightly brown, add minced garlic, minced ginger, and garam masala.  Garam masala is just a mix spices - cloves, coriander, turmeric, cumin, coriander, and cinnamon.  If things are looking a little dry, add a little water so the spices don't burn.

Add spinach purée to pot.  Add some salt, bring to boil.

If mixture is thick, you can add some cream, yogurt, or milk for some more sauciness.

When sauce is to desired consistency, add paneer.

Stir gently until combined.  Serve with rice or naan.

Palak Paneer

16oz frozen chopped spinach
8 oz paneer cheese, cubed (firm tofu makes a good substitute)
3 T vegetable oil
1/2 onion, diced
1/2 t garam masala
1/8 t garlic, minced
1/8 t ginger, minced
Salt, to taste
3-4 T cream, milk, or yogurt (optional)

Defrost spinach in microwave, about 6 minutes on high.
Purée spinach in blender to desired consistency.
Heat 2 tablespoons of oil.  Brown paneer cheese, then remove from pot and drain on paper towels.
Heat another tablespoon of oil and brown chopped onions.  When browned, add minced garlic & ginger, and garam masala.  Add a few tablespoons of water if mixture looks dry.  Stir mixture for 30 seconds.
Add spinach purée to pot. Add salt to taste. Bring to a boil.  For more sauce and creaminess, add cream, yogurt, or milk.
Return paneer to pot.  Gently stir to combine,
Serve with rice or naan.

Thursday, October 3, 2013

Spiced Carrot waffles

Yum.  Dare I say better than pumpkin waffles?

Crunchy, just a bit of sweet, and the perfect illusion of being a little healthy. 

Breakfast (lunch or dinner) is served.

Spiced Carrot Waffles

1-¼ cup All-purpose Flour
½ cups Whole Wheat Flour
1 Tablespoon Baking Powder
1 teaspoon Cinnamon
¼ teaspoons Nutmeg, Freshly Ground If Possible
½ teaspoons Salt
2 whole Eggs, Divided
1-¾ cup Mill
1 cup Packed Shredded Carrot
½ cups Vegetable Or Canola Oil
  1. Sift together dry ingredients. Separate egg yolks from the whites. Combine yolks, milk, carrots and oil; stir into the dry ingredients. Beat whites in a separate bowl until soft peaks form. Fold whites into the batter, leaving a few fluffs.
  2. Bake on a hot waffle iron.

Cauliflower Mac n cheese

What do you get when you combine creamy cauliflower sauce with plain ole macaroni?

If you think this is a trick question, it's not.  The result is simply delicious.  This is straight out of Pinch of Yum's Creamy Cauliflower Sauce e-cookbook dedicated to creamy cauliflower sauce.  Can I just say, she's my hero?

Ingredients: cauliflower sauce, cheese, noodles, salt & pepper to taste.

Get POY's e-cookbook.  Yum.