Tag Archives: blogs

Good Morning, Muffin Mania!

All this muffin talking the past few days has got me curious about the latest and greatest in food-blogger muffin recipes. If I’m going to go through a crisis of muffin preference, I might as well travel the road to an answer that is paved in possibilities. Maybe I’ll start with these recipes:

- I don’t know if English muffins count in this discussion, but how can I deny this tasty-looking offering from This Wisconsin Life? A little time-intensive, maybe, what with yeast being involved and all, but the sound of a homemade English muffin toasted with a poached egg… I mean, just LOOK at those… Maybe this muffin road is the way to go.

Zucchini-Carrot Muffins from We Be Running

- Ah, the zucchini muffin. Poor neglected thing. Usually smaller than other muffins (and mostly devoid of the famed “muffin top”) and not as showy, it gets passed up for its flashier, sweeter brethren in the bakery case. I love making and eating zucchini bread, but have never made zucchini muffins. I think I’ll start with these recipes, the sturdy and slightly intimidating Green and Mean Zucchini Muffins from Baking’n’Books and the dainty, ugly-cute Zucchini and Carrot Muffins from We Be Running. On behalf of the zucchini muffins, I say sincere thanks to these blogs. To the zucchini muffins, I say, “Suffer in silence no more, my slightly sweet, slightly veggie friends!”

- If I could swing it, I’d put coffee in ALL of my food. Whitney in Chicago has taken an ordinary banana nut muffin and made it all the better with a tablespoon of fine-ground espresso. So you get the protein, the potassium, and the full POWER OF CAFFEINE! And do you know what she drank to wash down these powerhouses? A big ol’ mug of Intelligentsia coffee. Damn, straight, Whitney. You are my kind of person.

- I completely forgot how awesome Isa Chandra Moskowitz is at muffin recipes. Thankfully, E.T.F.C has reminded me of the fantastic Cherry Almond muffins from Vegan with a Vengeance. So what if she had a little problem removing the muffins from the tin? Her almond-placement on top of the muffins is nothing short of perfection. (By the by, love E.T.F.C’s elegant minimalist presentation. There’s something so appealing about a vegan-focused blog that doesn’t overly cutefy. Nothing against the sweethearts and kitsch-queens of the vegan blogging scene, but it’s refreshing to have something simple and quick and appealing to look at.)

- Lemon poppy seed muffins. Been there done that. But The Working Wok has baked up a special twist: Lemon Poppy Seed Yogurt Muffins. Desiree even includes a helpful reminder: “Be sure not to let these muffins make you fail your drug test.” Honestly, Desiree, drug test shmug test, I’m going to eat as many of these as I please. Consequences be dammed, I’m in a Muffin Renaissance!

Good Morning, Citrus!

It is time that I added more citrus to my recipe book. Sure, I have the odd lemon-infused muffin here, orange juice makes a few appearances there, but I haven’t really dedicated myself to assembling recipes that best use the fruits that this season has to offer.

Why not, you might ask? There’s many, many reasons to. The mighty orange offers nutrients that have been said to prevent everything from high blood pressure to arthritis to cancer. Grapefruits, also rich in Vitamin C, can reduce cholesterol and slow atherosclerosis. Lemons are a top-notch antioxidant and can, among other helpful uses, sooth stomach aches and indigestion. Limes are rich with dietary fiber and Vitamin K.

Blood Oranges with Star Anise Syrup from Sifting and Sowing

Whoa. Those are something freaking nutrient powerhouses. And did I mention that they’re all delicious? No, cause I didn’t have to, right? You all know that already. So what am I wasting your time for? Here are some recipes that won’t waste your time and will get you a good citrus fix:

- Oh, Sifting and Sowing… I could stare at your picture for Blood Oranges with Star Anise Syrup all day. So bright, so cheery, so unbelievably delicious looking. With a little yogurt on the side, this could actually make me look forward to the morning. (As long as that morning starts at 10 am…)

- Cupcakes Ate My Soul is cooking up a Christmas-y cake of Cloves, Oranges and Cinnamon. So, I just found this blog, and I don’t want to get ahead of myself, but… I love this blogger. Her recipes are little nuggets of genius in an adorable scattershot package. I’m making this cake before the next big snowfall, and hopefully, I will have a nice big mug of mulled wine to go with it.

Agave-Lime Grilled Tofu from Krule in the Kitchen

- It’s equally important to get your protein this time of year, but don’t worry, Krule in the Kitchen has you covered with this excellent recipe for Agave-Lime Grilled Tofu. This is the recipe I will have in mind next time I’m at Lotus Foods in the Strip, weighing down my bag with pound after pound of tofu. I just need to remember the limes…

Lemon Curd from TasteFood

- Lemony recipes? TasteFood had a hundred lemons on their hands, so they practically did all the work for me! I love Lemon Curd, although I have yet to have anything close to resembling a vegan version, so I’ll probably be keeping this all to myself. Accompanying this recipe is a handy rundown of various lemon-featured recipes culled from other food bloggers.

Ruby Grapefruit Marmalade from Subatomicbetty

- It comes off a little old-fashioned, but I love marmalade. I’m used to getting my marma-fix in orange form, but I love this recipe for Ruby Grapefruit Marmalade from Subatomicbetty. This is also a really nice recipe for preserves-lovers who don’t want to make a whole ton of the stuff (she doesn’t give the exact quantity the recipe provides, but it doesn’t looking overwhelming). It also has lemons! A perfect citrus spread for people who really need to jazz up their morning toast.

Brrr…. Must…. Make…. SOUP!!!

From the Post-Gazette.com

I love the snow, but commuting in this weather is a bitch. Commuting via public transportation sucks enough in the winter: Walking in the cold, waiting in the cold, sitting on the bus or trolley still feeling cold, then getting off into the cold once more. But add a layer of snow on the ground and things get exponentially worse. Slogging through the snow, trying not to slip and fall, feeling colder, waiting longer, and once you’re on, dreading that eventual plunge back into the winter weather even more.

Curried Lentil Soup from Vegetarian Mama

Commuting back and forth in this kind of weather, it’s no wonder that what I most want to eat is soup. Bowls and bowls and bowls of soup. Warm, hearty, creamy, tantalizing soups. I want to make a giant tank of soup and submerge entirely within it. If I had my way, my crockpot would be going 24/7, always filled with some delicious soup or another. I would eat miso soup as part of my breakfast, some kind of creamy bisque for lunch, and end the day with a giant helping of vegetable soup. You’d look in my fridge and all you would see is Tupperware containers filled with the week’s soups. Then you’d open the freezer and find enough frozen soup for a month. Then you’d probably try to get me some kind of psychiatric help.

 Anyway, because I’m suffering a mild (okay, maybe not so mild) soup fixation, I’ve pulled a couple of tempting recipes for perusal. And if you happen to be strolling down the street with a boiling pot of soup, I happily take soup submissions.
 
- I don’t know what looks better from this post on Marci Gilbert’s Blog: The Vegetable Tortellini Soup or homemade Parmesan Rosemary Crackers to go along with it. Why has it not occurred to me to make homemade crackers? The prep and cooking process seem simple enough, yet I always opt for store-bought. More importantly, why don’t more restaurants offer homemade crackers? It seems like a special feature that would offer that oh-so-important something extra to a dining experience. Anyway, you’ve got me thinking about something beyond soup, Marci, and that’s an achievement in of itself.
 
- Ah, lentils. Delicious, nutritious, cheap, and a favorite of poor Neil on The Young Ones . Neil would probably love the Curried Lentil Soup over at Vegetarian Mama, provided it didn’t end up on the floor. I used to have a problem with lentil soup, because I disliked how the texture made the dish very lumpy and oatmeal-y, but I later learned it all depends on how much stock is used. This recipe seems rather dry, but I don’t think a cup of vegetable stock would ruin the taste. It looks too good to pass up a trial run.
 
- Naomi, I don’t know what it is about your soup, but it’s so… cute. Lovely Little Life serves up a Parsnip Soup with Coconut and Ginger that is both dainty and appetizing. Never had parsnip soup before? Definitely give this recipe a try, as it seems to be a bit more flavorful than the average recipe. Plus, if you use vegan margarine instead of butter, it’s vegan.
 
- Roasted squash, sweet potatoes, shallots, and garlic… Being Suzy Homemaker offers winter refuge in the form of a bowl of creamy soup. The worn out winter commuter couldn’t ask for an easier soup – just roast the veggies, throw in with the other ingredients, blend a bit, and serve hot. Yet another reason to buy an immersion blender.
 
- Okay, so maybe this recipe for Vegan Pho from Kitchen M isn’t something you’re just going to throw together from stuff you already have in your kitchen. Maybe you have no interest in pho that didn’t come from a Vietnamese restaurant. Maybe the thought of toiling for an hour plus over just a soup is enough for you to reach for the nearest take-out menu. But the beautiful photographs alone are worth looking at, and who knows, you might someday have a desire to try something different and a little challenging.

Good Morning, Casserole!

Formerly sneered at as the mediocre output of 50’s housewives, casseroles have come back in style. Any devoted potlucker will tell you that casseroles work great for group dinners, as they are portable, sizable, and play well with other foods.

And yummy, did I mention yummy? For a little taste of the retro and a big taste of delicious, check out these five casserole recipes picked fresh from blogging kitchens. (Where’s my floral apron…)

- A little on the stew side, a little on the casserole side, Rachael over at Cupcakes and Carrot Sticks shares with us a Hungarian Casserole perfect for those of us suffering through freeze and snow. This veggie casserole seems to be made up of things that most people have on hand in their stocked fridge and kitchen cupboards, but in case you don’t have caraway seeds, definitely get some before making the recipe. Their presence is missed when they’re left out.

- Okay, I used to be a green bean hater when I was a kid, but don’t tell Cuisine by Eileen, cause I think she might bury me up to the neck in green beans. I’ve reformed, Eileen! And I would have even earlier if I had been privy to all the delicious green bean recipes that you have in your cooking arsenal, especially the grilled eggplant and green bean salad and the barbecue green beans.

- Is there any casserole more retro seeming than a Tuna Veggie Casserole? I didn’t think so. Tammy @ Palm Trees and Manatees offers up a good version. A little canned and frozen food heavy, but I don’t think she’ll mind if you guys substitute the fresh stuff.

- Still one of my recent favorite casseroles to come by, Midnight Maniac Rebecca shakes up the ol’ chicken casserole with her “Chicken” Lattice Casserole. It’s every bit as old timey and adorable as Rebecca is, and the photographs alone are worth checking out.

- Holy Christmas, Hungry Face! That is one stellar looking Breakfast Casserole. But cutting down the brown sugar by half? I don’t know if I can abide by that, even if it would help me get rid of my big fat dupa.

Stew! Stew! Stew! Part Two! Two! Two!

 
Andalusian Stew with Polenta from 30 Bucks a Week

I woke up and there was freaking snow on the ground. Seriously! On the ground, on the cars, on the rooftops. Snow! A fairly thin dusting, but still! That means only one thing: Time for more stew!

- The great 30 Bucks a Week blog linked to this New York Times recipe for Andalusian Cabbage Stew w/Polenta. The picture alone makes the article/recipe worth investigating, but it also further proves my theory that I don’t cook/eat cabbage nearly enough. Plus, this recipe gives me a good excuse to continue my experiments with polenta. Win/win!

- Kerry at Click and Cook has piqued both my stew and spice interest with her Indian Meatball Stew with Curried Cucumber Yogurt. A vibrantly colorful stew, I love how this mixes hot and cool flavors. Hmm, I wonder if it would work with lentil-balls…

- There are many dishes that I can’t really imagine as vegetarian or vegan, and Brunswick Stew is one of them. If you’re a meat-eater and are feeling like a ton of protein, check out a version of the recipe on Tales From Twisty Lane. Make sure to add the okra!

- Rock your roots! Dreamin’ It Vegan celebrates the last day of Vegan MoFo with the root vegetable extravaganza, Frosty Stew, a recipe borrowed from From Animal Crackers to Wild West Beans, a vegetarian cookbook focusing on recipes for the whole family, babies and children included. Ooh, and vegan peanut butter cookies too! These look especially delicious.

- Finally, thanks to Forever, Matryoshka because she reminded me of the terrific chopotle stew from Isa Chandra Moskowitz’s Vegan with a Vegeance. The Matryoshka blog version is Buccaroo Stew, and it’s definitely worth a hoot and a holler.

Good Morning, Scotch “Egg”!

In conjunction with my post yesterday and in honor of Vegan MoFo, I did a little online research to find a vegan-friendly version of the infamous Scotch Egg.

First, a definition from Wikipedia: “A Scotch egg consists of a shelled hard-boiled egg, wrapped in a sausage meat mixture, coated in breadcrumbs, and deep-fried. Scotch eggs are commonly eaten cold, typically with salad and pickles.”

So… not exactly veg-friendly. Now, the Piper’s Pub Scotch Eggs are most certainly based off the original recipe. But if your interest was piqued by the description, but want something a little less carnivore, here are some alternatives:

- Animals Not Ingredients has a decent recipe for a completely vegan version of a Scotch Egg. She uses a mushroom instead of an egg, but I’d recommend trying one of the commenters’ suggestions and use tofu instead.

From elliemay.com

- Elliemay’s Blog has a vegetarian recipe that looks pretty darn fantastic. The panko crumbs are an absolute necessity.

- Just Bento has a recipe (and a bit of history) for a Japanese Scotch Egg. Definitely not veggie-friendly, but worth it just for the visual breakdown on how to make the eggs. Plus, Bento boxes! Always cute!

5 Halloween Recipes That Seem Delicious Despite Their Holiday Affiliation

I’m not crazy about spending a ton of kitchen time whipping up a recipe that is overtly holiday themed. While each season brings its particular focus into the items I make, I tend to shy away from recipes that are clearly meant for themed parties.

Part of this is due to the fact that many of these recipes are decorating-heavy: a sugar cookie shaped and colored to look like a pumpkin is still a sugar cookie. A cupcake designed to look like a ghost is just a cupcake with a shit ton of frosting on it. And so on. Although I love sweets, I prefer my baked goods simple. Elaborate confections of icing, sprinkles, and carefully placed accessory morsels usually add little to the taste or experience of the baked good, aside from the mess that they inevitably cause.

From babble.com

And… yes, I’m admittedly terrible at decorating baked goods, at least to the extent that they look like little black cats or witches on broomsticks. I can frost a cupcake, sprinkle powdered sugar daintily on a bundt cake, and uniformly sprinkle thumbprint cookies, but when it comes to matching a baked good with a well-crafted, well-staged picture (see accompanying photograph for an example) I suck.

But, with the sheer abundance of Halloween recipes, there were bound to be at least a few that were good enough to try despite their garish decoration. Here are five recipes that I’ve spotted that seem like they might be worth the trial for the decorating-challenged such as myself: Continue reading