Honey Cornbread Muffins

We’re having a drop-dead gorgeous day today. The weather is spectacular. It’s the first time in months that I’ve enjoyed my quasi-daily walk outdoors – in fact, Monday’s walk so brutal I considered turning back after less than a block. I spent much of my time outside just revelling in the warm (ish) breeze, really just enjoying every second of it. It’s amazing what weather and sunshine can do for my psyche. Best medicine. If you’ve been cooped up all day, RUN, don’t walk to your nearest exit and get out into that beautiful fresh air.

Now to business. Muffin business. Does that sound risqué? No? Okay, I guess it’s just me then. Maybe it’s because I’ve eaten approximately 4 of them in less than 24 hours (sorry I’m not sorry), so I know that they really are risqué, and sinfully good. I used a heaping teaspoon of coarse sea salt, and it was the best idea I’ve had all week. I used the full amount of sugar and honey. I’ve been spreading them with butter, and dipping them in cheese-strewn minestrone soup. I also ate one for breakfast. I also ate one as a snack. Such is the blessing and the curse of living alone.

I first spotted these on Elise’s blog, and when I felt like baking something quickly last night they were the perfect recipe to make. I haven’t baked since I was home over reading week, and I actually got a little tingle of happiness when I pulled out my brightly coloured bowls and old wooden spoons. I can’t explain my love for baking. It runs in my family.

These muffins are really delicious. The sugar and salt probably help with that a lot, but their texture is really nice as well. I remember growing up our cornbread would always be crumbly (and I like it that way too!) but in the muffin form it holds up pretty well.

The original recipe is here.

PS. I’m not counting this toward my 2012 bread goal, because it doesn’t use yeast.

Favourite Nachos

There’s this tiny little vegetarian restaurant very close to where I live. It has delicious food, great music, and uses old desks as its tables – desks whose drawers are stuffed to the brim with hangman games, poems and quotes. It’s one of my favourite places to go out to eat because it’s both cheap and delicious, without being fast food.

Last week, I was craving their nachos – a mile-high plate of colourful veggies, tortilla chips and other assorted yum-yums. But since I’m on a strict, self-imposed, (slightly flexible) ban on going out for dinner, I decided to try and recreate them at home. To great success! Not only was the process quick & simple, the product was downright delectable.

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Super Bowl Salsa!

Okay, no. It’s really not like I celebrate The Super Bowl (it is a holiday, right?), but I will admit to having a soft spot in my heart for Super Bowl food. All the greasy, cheesy goodness, all the beer, all the good grub. Yum. I won’t be watching this year, but in honour of the SB, I whipped up a surprisingly easy and delicious salsa a la Pioneer Woman.

Salsa can be mucho expensivo, especially if you’re like me and prefer Garden Fresh (which costs a fortune but is the tastiest thing on the planet). A simple alternative is to make it yourself! I was pleasantly surprised at how yummy and quick this was to make.

The recipe I tweaked is here, but I fear I probably did a disservice to the great PW by neglecting the jalapenos. My excuse? It’s freezing outside here, I didn’t want to go to the store!!! (weak). Anyways, feel free to follow her recipe more carefully, but my version turned out very tasty nonetheless.

Ingredients:

  • 1/2 can diced tomatoes
  • 1/2 lime
  • 1/4 of a red onion, diced
  • 1 clove of garlic, minced
  • 1/4 tsp salt
  • 1/4 tsp sugar
  • Big handful cilantro

I basically eyeballed this recipe, since I didn’t have PW’s suggestion of Rotel Tomatoes & Green Chiles either, and I only have a very small food processor. But it still turned out really nicely! Just taste after adding some of the onion & garlic, and season to your liking.

The recipe is incredibly simple. Just chop up what needs to be chopped…

…throw it into a food processor & pulse a few times…

…and serve in a pretty dish! Voila!

The consistency was wonderful: smooth and uniform. Just the way I like it.

Oh wait! Don’t forget the chips, or you’ll be sorry.

Yum yum yum.

Here’s to celebrating the Super Bowl the only way I know how! Not with sports knowledge, or cheers, or being a football fan. But with food. Wonderful, amazing food.

xoxo,

Pie That Made Me Cry

Happy American Thanksgiving!

I’m so lucky, I got to have two Thanksgivings this year: one with my family in October, and one with my friend-family yesterday night!

There was: turkey, tofu, mashed potatoes, sweet potatoes, carrots, green bean casserole, stuffing, cranberries, jello, pumpkin pie (with chocolate swirls and without), brownies, blondies, chocolate pie..

We sat around in food comas for a long time after.

It was awesome!

I didn’t take any photos, since I was too busy stuffing my face and proclaiming my exasperation about not having seen HP7 yet (jeez!). But I do have a few photos of the pecan pie that I made a couple days ago with my besties.. :)

We used Pioneer Woman’s Pie That’ll Make You Cry recipe, and it was..delicious.

It’s basically all sugar. And pecans. And amazing.

You want some?

Okay do this:

Make 1 pie crust. Pioneer Woman suggests a specific recipe, but since we were without internet, we used a basic pastry recipe in one of our basic cookbooks. Use whichever you want. Feel free to dip the extra pieces of pastry into the extra filling and then eat it. Yay salmonella!

It should look something like this..

..But potentially more pretty.

Then mix up the following, it should take approximately two minutes.

1 cup white sugar, 3 tbsp brown sugar, 1/2 tsp salt, 1 cup corn syrup, 3/4 tsp vanilla, 1/2 cup melted butter, 3 eggs.

Pioneer Woman explains in her post the reason for chopping the pecans and putting them in the crust first: so that they rise up, triumphant, and distribute themselves beautifully throughout the filling. I would like to say amen to this. It was perfect!


So you follow her recipe, you hear? Put the 1 cup pecans in the bottom of the pie crust. Then pour the filling overtop. You can (like me) try to recreate Pioneer Woman’s awesome action shot of this process and (like me) fail miserably. Wanna see?

Fail. Gotta get my head out of the way. Sorry guys, I tried!

Then the pecans will rise. It’s beautiful. You should watch it happen, it’s like a magic trick.

Then bake that sucker.

Pioneer Woman says bake it at 350 for 30 minutes covered with tinfoil, then to remove the tinfoil and bake for 20 minutes longer. We tried this method, but since it was still jiggly (and PW says NO JIGGLING) we put it back in, covered with tinfoil and checked periodically until it was finito. Yes!

Look how beautiful it is..

YUM.

Happy Thanksgiving indeed.

I am thankful for: pie, food, friends, family, love.

How about you?

xoxo,