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Archive for October, 2009

I’ve made variations of this muffin recipe many times, each batch turning out better than the last. What I haven’t done before is use pumpkin puree as the base. So, in the spirit of autumn, I attempted a seasonal, healthy pumpkin muffin. The dry ingredients consisted of brown rice flour, chickpea flour, oat bran, baking powder, toasted coconut, cinnamon, and a pinch of salt. The wet stuff included vanilla rice milk, a can of pumpkin puree, brown rice syrup, and some vanilla extract. Since I don’t use added sugar, I threw in some dark chocolate chips for good measure. Into the muffin tins the batter goes:

pumpkin gooI wanted big fat huge high-rise muffins, so I filled the tins up dangerously full. I just figured on a few extra minutes of baking time.

pumpkin muffin goo25 30 45 minutes later at 350 degrees, they were finally done and looking tasty.

Muffin pileWELL THEY WEREN’T. ┬áThese were horrible. What you can’t see in the above picture is the completely raw bottom half of the muffins. The top developed a nice little crust to it (though borderline overdone) while the bottom developed into an unpleasant pumpkin flan. There was just no getting these things cooked all the way through. I’m not sure if it was the obscene amount of pumpkin puree I used, or the brown rice flour or what, but I do know these muffins were NOT good eats. Normally I have plenty of obstacles to overcome when baking since I don’t use eggs, milk, butter, or any dairy product for that matter, but this was just ridiculous. It’s pretty ironic that every time I make delicious muffins I think to myself “Oh shoot, I should post this recipe, it’s delicious” and the one time I actually remember to whip out the camera is the one time I have an epic muffin failure.

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For the most part I dread fall like most people dread Tetanus shots. It’s cold, it’s rainy, my nose starts running, my throat gets sore, and going for a run has turned into an avoided chore as opposed to a relaxing excuse to get outside. And don’t get me started on the staticy hair. But enough of my seasonal bellyaching. Fall does have its┬áplus sides, the most significant of which being: soup season! And I guess that whole leaf-changing thing is cool too.

Here are two soup recipes without which I’d never make it through the cold, dreary, bone-chilling months ahead. They keep me warm and happy, and almost make me forget my disdain for cold weather… almost.

Peanuty Sweet Potato Soup
The above smooth and creamy, peanut-buttery soup is made from pureed sweet potatoes, carrots, onions and red pepper, topped with a drizzle of maple syrup, sesame seeds and roasted sunflower seeds. I adapted my version from this Ellie Krieger recipe, my goal being to come as close as possible to the super popular West African Peanut Soup featured at Balasia. And let me tell you, I came pretty freaking close. So at the risk of accidentally sharing any of the Balasia chef’s secrets, I’ll just leave you with the above linked recipe, and let you go crazy with your own adaptations. I will say the crunchy seed toppings were a no-brainer for me, since there’s something about scallions that I just can’t get behind.

Curried Split PeaThis Curried Split Pea soup is spicy, flavorful and extremely hearty. Now when I hear the words “spilt pea soup” I don’t exactly pair them with adjectives like “delicious,” “exciting,” or “bursting with flavor.” However, I can assure you the following split pea soup recipe is indeed delicious, exciting, and positively bursting with flavor. I made this for a boyfriend for our anniversary (we decided to cook for each other instead of buying each other stuff). So I took a risky shot in the dark and attempted to make a pear and cheese ravioli from scratch, reminiscent of something we ate in Italy over the summer. The dessert was a no brainer – crazy ice cream. I scoured the internet for some recipes and decided on corn ice cream, and Parmigiano Regianno ice cream with a balsamic strawberry glaze. Those were a hit. The ravioli was quite good though my method could have used a little work; it was my first time rolling pasta so I had no clue what I was doing. But the split pea soup was the highlight of the evening! Who would have known. Now as with most recipes, here I tripled (sometimes quadrupled) the amount of spices called for. I just wasn’t going to get the kind of flavor I was looking for using 1/4 teaspoon of cardamon powder, so I threw in several teaspoons (ok that’s a lot more than quadrupled… svettupled perhaps?). Red pepper flakes and a good amount of salt (at the end of the cooking process, mind you) gave this soup an extra kick. The grated carrot garnish added a wonderful little burst of freshness. The cilantro was nonexistent since there’s nothing that grosses me out more than raw cilantro. I followed this Isa Chandra recipe almost exactly, aside from adding more spices than called for, and some extra heat with red pepper flakes.

Now, please excuse me as I go burrow under the covers and wait for spring.

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love eggplant (yes, yes we do!
crazy sushi pictures
1
goat stew
1
gambella in pictures
1
what is ethiopian food
1
why does a banana included in an ethiopi
1
reasons to love eggplant (there are so many)
1
lasagna sandwich
eggplant funny feeling in my mouth
ethiopian food good nasty
hawkshaw hawkins
ethiopia bleh
sushi pile
fourfoodies wordpress
bland gross vegetarian food
eggplant volcano recipes
cream cheese sushi is gross
ethiopian food is so gross
christmas lighting on ceiling
plastic flower hair pins

People really enter some funny stuff into search engines. If you have a Google toolbar on your browser somewhere, just start typing in some generalized, open-ended statements and you’ll see what I mean. Ok, here’s an example:

Why is...

Fun right? Ok, one more:

Sarah Palin is...

Anyway, one of the most entertaining activities surrounding this blog in my opinion is reading the terms that people search for, ending them up here. It’s usually stuff like “Sette Luna menu” or “Petra downtown Bethlehem” but often enough I end up with some pretty unreserved, precisely worded searches. Sometimes, these searches require further comment, in which case my thoughts are in italics.

love eggplant
we sure do!

eggplant funny feeling in my mouth

eggplant volcano recipes
I’m really not sure what this person was hoping to find ?

reasons to love eggplant
there are so many <3

crazy sushi pictures
I literally get this one multiple times each week, people are seriously interested in crazy sushi pictures.

sushi pile

cream cheese sushi is gross
TELL ME ABOUT IT

lasagna sandwich
that sounds starchy and weird, and to the best of my knowledge I’ve never mentioned one, but ok.

ethiopian food good nasty
it’s good!

why does a banana included in an ethiopi
:)

ethiopia bleh

ethiopian food is so gross
I don’t know who you people are, but you need to repent and step into the light. Ethiopian food is God’s gift to the palate.

hawkshaw hawkins

bland gross vegetarian food
well that’s certainly the last thing you’ll find here!!!!!!!

plastic flower hair pins
I mentioned a plastic flower hair pin once, parenthetically, months ago.

I promise there are food-related posts coming very soon. One (big surprise) Ethiopian restaurant, some Manhattan things and some Lehigh Valley things. Thanks for reading, and enjoy those crazy sushi pictures.

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