Monday, June 28, 2010

migas

Emmel says she's tired of reading about frittatas, so I figured I'd do a different egg dish for dinner Sunday night: migas!

Back when I lived in the triangle, there were endless possibilities of breakfast available to me in the form of hot bars. My favorite, still, is the Whole Foods at Ridgewood's hot bar, but coming in a close second is Weaver Street Market's morning hot bar. I love the Weaver Street bar because of their migas-- their produced in large quantities cheesy spicy crunchy delicious migas.

EDW requested breakfast for dinner, and I complied. With migas!

Ree's looked perfect, so I went with them. I halved the recipe and used tortilla chips, because I didn't feel like frying up my own. (Plus it looks like too much trouble to me.) I also didn't have any half-n-half, so I used regular milk.

Every bit of this process made me hungrier and hungrier. I love the smell of peppers and onion as they cook.
By the time I'd added the tomato and chips, EDW was hollering down about how something smelled really good.
Once the eggs went in, I was really feeling excited.
Oh, migas. YUMMMMIgas! These are flavorful and hearty and wonderful. I didn't seed my jalapeno and it wasn't too spicy at all-- I probably would up the jalapeno next time, actually, to give it more of a kick. I would also save some of the chips out to add at the very end, so there'd be mushy corn deliciousness and crispy chippy texture in the mix. What I love about migas is it looks like a hot mess, but it tastes like perfection.
All in all, this was a fantastic meal. I served it with a macerated berry salad (berries soaked in lemon juice and agave nectar-- I'm so fancy). I will make this again (but maybe not blog about it. Are y'all bored of me, my muffins or my eggs?).
I hope you like it. I made it.

Sunday, June 27, 2010

the muffin chronicles, part V

It's Sunday, and that means it's muffin day. I made granola blueberry muffins this afternoon, because blueberries are on sale at Ingles (and I love them) and I still have granola in my snack drawer.

I'm happy to report that I have purchased new (smaller) cupcake/muffin liners. See how nicely they fit?
Sometimes I doubt my commitment to my muffin tins. The recipe clearly states that it yields 12 muffins, but there was no way all my batter was fitting into the 12 cups. I had to make a mini loaf (yet again), which by my approximation would make 16 muffins. Is there a difference in muffin and cupcake tins?

I had to leave out the walnuts in this rec, because I was fresh out. I upped the blueberries to a full cup (because I love them).

This was probably the tastiest batter so far (Edwin doesn't usually get a chance to sample the batter, because I lick the bowl clean too quickly), and I had high hopes for perfect muffins.
They came out with flat tops, and by this point, is anyone really surprised? What am I doing wrong?!?!? Please, give me your tips for good muffins. I want to make beautiful muffins. Help me!
EDW and I had part of the loaf this afternoon. The berries sank to the bottom despite the fact that I tossed them thoroughly with flour. The bread was moist, and mostly delicious, but I was really hoping the granola would shine more. There wasn't any crunch from it, and since I didn't use nuts these are just soft muffins. I like them lots, but I'm not blown away.
Maybe they will be like my last blueberry muffins and taste better the next day?
I hope you like it. I made it.

Saturday, June 26, 2010

lemon angel food cupcakes

I've been craving a lemony dessert lately, and when I saw this recipe for lemon angel food cupcakes, I knew I'd found my Saturday afternoon treat.

I ran into a couple snags with this recipe. I don't have cake flour in my baking drawer, and I didn't feel like buying any for one recipe. I googled solutions, and it turns out you can make cake flour by either using 2 tablespoons less a cup of all purpose flour, or you can sift together 2 tablespoons of corn starch with a little less than a cup of flour, which is what I did (except I did 1 tablespoon cornstarch and 1/2 cup less 1 tablespoon). I hate math. I hate using language that involves math. Here's what I did to make 1/2 cup cake flour: I put 1 tablespoon of corn starch in my 1/2 cup measurer, then I spooned in all purpose flour to fill the measuring cup. I sifted that together.

I also didn't have superfine sugar, but I discovered you can make your own. I pulled out my favorite kitchen accessory (hello food processor) and processed my sugar for 15 seconds to create superfine. It was fun.

Superfine sugar really is somewhere in between regular granulated sugar and powdered sugar. I'm not sure you can see the difference in the phote.I was so excited about my homemade sugar I forgot to check the recipe, and I just dumped all of it in with my newly created cake flour. I was actually supposed to reserve 1/4 cup sugar to use in my egg whites, but it was too late.

I just followed the instructs and didn't add sugar while creating my soft peaks of egg whites.

When it came time to fill my cupcake tin (which you've no doubt become familiar with by now thanks to the muffin chronicles), I remembered that my liners are wonky. See? They are too big for my tin, which means my cupcakes will undoubtedly be oddly shaped.
They came out of the oven very fluffy and risen, and they smelled fantastic. (The batter also tasted fantastic-- I licked the bowl clean while the cupcakes baked).
Then they fell, and you could really see the odd shapes caused by my paper wrappers.
Maria didn't do the lemon glaze, but you know I did. I just mixed lemon juice and powdered sugar until it looked glazey and then drizzled it on the cupcakes, once they'd cooled.

EDW and I each had one after we woke up from our Saturday afternoon resters, and all I can say is yum. They are sticky and sweet and lemony and really tasty. Edwin thinks they don't seem like angel food, mostly because of the lemon flavoring, but we both love them. We ate the ugliest ones first, as is my habit. They tasted perfect.
I hope you like it. I made it.

Wednesday, June 23, 2010

salmon tacos

I've done it again: I made up a recipe!

Last night I made salmon tacos. I used homemade taco seasoning to cover each side of the salmon fillet (for not so fancy and more economical meals, I use frozen vacuum packed salmon fillets that have been thawed). I then heated my cast-iron skillet and quickly cooked the salmon, about 2-3 minutes per side. I removed the fish to a plate and used two forks to make it into chunks.
I put the chunked salmon on corn tortillas, and what made the tacos special was my homemade sauce. Here's that recipe. Combine the following:

1/2 cup greek yogurt
juice of 2 limes
1/3 red onion, diced
1/4 cup cilantro, chopped
1 clove garlic, minced
salt and pepper to taste

The sauce is amazing. We had extra, and I think I'm going to dip vegetables in it for an afternoon snack. It's limey and cilantroey and creamy and fantastic.

I served the tacos with tomato, corn and avocado salad on spinach. Delicious!
I hope you like it. I made it [up].

Monday, June 21, 2010

the muffin chronicles, part IV

Sundays have become my muffin days, and yesterday I made whole wheat oatmeal muffins. I modified them quite a bit, so much so they aren't really even the same muffins you see if you follow the link.

Here's the list of my substitutions:

greek yogurt instead of buttermilk (didn't have it, never do, and I didn't feel like doing the lemon juice/vinegar trick)
unsweetened applesauce instead of oil (I like to feel superior knowing my muffins are good for me)
dried apricots instead of raisins (why have raisins when you can have apricots?)
dried figs instead of dates (figs? who doesn't love figs?!)
flaxseed instead of wheat germ (didn't have it, and they both seem odd and nutritious so I figured the substitution would be fine)
-- and I had enough batter for 12 muffins and a mini loaf (I guess if I had filled the muffin tins more I may have had a better looking product, but I like my muffins on the small side)

Other than that, I followed the method closely.
And what did I get?

Muffins! Delicious whole wheat oatmeal muffins! They even look more like muffins, see?
See the top? I'm really proud of that top. I know it's not a real muffin top, but I am definitely improving.
Edwin and I each had some of the mini loaf for an afternoon snack, and we loved them. They are EDW's new 2nd favorite (branana is still going strong) and I just can't decide on muffin medals. They're not super sweet-- more like a tasty homemade bread with fruit-- but they are very satisfying. They're so good I would share them with a friend.

I hope you like it. I made it.

Sunday, June 20, 2010

make you [non] banana pancakes

Edwin and I went to Cashiers this weekend with our friends Carla and Claude. Claude's parents have a vacation home their, so we loaded up Friday night for a little getaway.

I volunteered to make breakfast Saturday morning, and I decided to make whole wheat pancakes with strawberry compote. The recipe is actually for a strawberry rhubarb compote, but EDW's not crazy about rhubarb and it's not in season anyway. I followed the recipe pretty exactly, except I doubled the strawberries.

It didn't start off well. I was using the griddle we got for our wedding (thanks EB!). Every time I use the griddle, I think to myself, "don't mess up like last time and think you're heating it right but really just putting it on warm" and EVERY time I mess up anyway. I don't know why the dial confuses me, but I always think it's being heated to medium and I'm always wrong.

This is what happens when you put a pancake on a griddle that isn't hot enough.(And thanks, EDW, for being a photojournalist and documenting the process. And sorry, blog friends, for looking so unfancy. It was the morning and I was having a pancake crisis.)
Once I got the griddle heated properly, we were good to go. The pancakes started looking like pancakes and I stopped worrying about having to go out for breakfast at the last minute.
We put the pancakes in the oven to warm while I made the compote.
Oh, compote, I love you. It's amazing how sweet the topping was, considering it didn't have any added sugar (just a tablespoon of honey, lemon juice and lemon zest).

We had some bacon on the side, which looks gross in the photes, but it tasted good and bacony.
I loved this. The pancakes were fantastic and the compote really set them off. I wish our next visitor liked cooked fruit (hi Emmel!) because I would love to make this again soon.

And I did eat the mangled original pancake. It tasted just fine.I hope you like it. I made it.

Thursday, June 17, 2010

Welcome to my life.

Go read EDW's blog post today. It's a charming peek into our everyday lives here in the Murph. A few amendments:

Edwin does not sleep nekkid. He sleeps in boxers and a t-shirt, which is why I told him he needed to put on some clothes. I blushed a little when I was reading his account, because to me, it sounds like he was nekkid.

I also made a frantic stop/talk to the hand pumping movement as I yelled, "We're coming!" I still don't understand why they kept banging when they could see a disgruntled librarian rushing down the stairs and turning on lights. I was on my way.

I overheard the original interrogator say something like, "I saw him in town and said we'd be coming for him, and he told me, 'you'll never find me,' " while Edwin was getting our landlord's number.

Now if we could just get EDW to relate the bat saga for us...

Wednesday, June 16, 2010

granola!

Mostly I don't understand Google Buzz and what it's trying to accomplish, but every once in a while it leads me to greatness. Case in point: this granola. I'm pretty sure it was my friend Anne who posted the link (whoever it was: thanks, preesh) and I followed, and I daydreamed about granola for two days.

Last night, I made it. I used pecan chips, and less of them (1/2 cup), and a whole teaspoon of cinnamon, because I can. I didn't mix in fruit, either, because when I think granola I think grains. If I were to mix in the fruit, it would become trail mix to me. I love trail mix, but I wanted granola. These are the things I think about.

The ginger is a great addition, as it gives the granola just a hint of something special. I have made other granola recipes before, and I have to say, I love this one. The oat-to-other proportions are just right. I know you can fiddle with any granola recipe, but I'm just not great at predicting what will and won't be good, so I like this one.
Go make some. It'll make your kitchen smell nice.
I hope you like it. I made it.

Tuesday, June 15, 2010

modified frittata

For dinner Sunday night, I made another frittata. I used the fillings from this asparagus, spinach and feta frittata and the method from this broccoli and cheese dish from Martha Stewart.

It was easier this go round, since I knew that the foam would look crazy when I poured my egg mixture into the hot pan. I let it cook a smidge too long in the oven, which is why it's browner than my previous frittatas.
And we loved it. It had the rich fluffiness of Martha's frittata and the delicious green filling of Maria's. Some chance flick of the wrist resulted in a sweet smell as it baked (Edwin thought I was making cornbread), but it tasted totally normal. Totally normal and fancy.

This may be my new signature dish.
I hope you like it. I made it.

the muffin chronicles, part III section a

Edwin and I definitely agree-- the oatmeal berry muffins are completely different once they've cooled. We had a nice long discussion about them over dinner last night. They are sweet and special and EDW said they tasted like Otis Spunkmeyer, which is always a good thing. Make these muffins. Just don't eat them right out of the oven.

Monday, June 14, 2010

the muffin chronicles, part III

I made these oatmeal berry muffins on Sunday morning. I really am trying to get good at muffins, and these sounded great to me.

I was careful about folding and I remembered to add the sugar and applesauce the first time, ensuring a sweeter batter. I spooned the batter into my muffin tins (and mini loaf-- why do muffin recipes make 16 when I only have a 12er tin?) and waited.

They smelled amazing. The aroma of brown sugar and fresh blueberries made my kitchen a warm and tasty place to be, which I loved. They looked pretty good, too, except I can't for the life of me create muffin tops. On my muffins. Not on my body. That part is easy.
I let them cool for a bit, and then Edwin and I tasted.

They were good, but not out of this world good. EDW said they tasted "even," by which he meant there just isn't much to them. I sortof agree, but I like anyway. He still like branana muffins best, followed by Martha's health muffins, then these. I like the health muffins best, and then it's probably a tie between oatmeal berry and branana for me.

I just had one for a morning snack at work, and I must say, I think they're better not hot. The flavors settled a bit more and it definitely tasted like a treat. The almond flavor came out a bit more for me this time, and I really loved it.
I hope you like it. I made it.

Sunday, June 13, 2010

I heart Splendid Table

This week's Weeknight Kitchen recipes from The Splendid Table looked amazing, so I knew I had to try them right away: Flash Roasted Salmon and New Potato Salad.

I made the potato salad early in the day Saturday. I chose an Idaho medley for my small boiling potatoes, so I had small red and purple potatoes in my bowl, as well as couple fingerling potatoes. They are beautiful, but not so fun to peel once they've been boiled. After peeling and chopping, I soaked the taters in a cider vinegar, garlic, onion, sugar and salt and pepper mixture for 30 minutes. To that I added mayonnaise (I know, I know: another mayo recipe), stone ground mustard, olive oil and fresh dill. Then it all went in the fridge to chill until dinner.For the salmon, I preheated my oven and got the sauce ready by mixing frozen orange juice concentrate, olive oil, garlic, thyme, salt and pepper. I was supposed to make four shallow parallel cuts in the salmon skin, but I failed. I tried using four different knives and never could get through the skin in a successful way, so I gave up and slathered the sauce on both sides of the fish.
It cooked for just 10 minutes (skin side up! what a revelation!) in the oven, and then I pulled it out to rest and finish cooking for an additional 15 minutes.

I served my fish with the potato salad and a green salad. Oh, yum!
This is so fancy. The salmon is crazy moist and flavorful, and I have to admit: I kindof love the potato salad, mayo and all. It has this really complex flavor, I think because of the soaking in vinegar, and it's really creamy (but not too creamy) and delicious. This whole meal was fast, easy, and amazing.

I hope you like it. I made it.

Thursday, June 10, 2010

frittata, part 3

I made this broccoli cheese frittata* for dinner last night. It's another Martha Stewart recipe-- I know it's been a lot of Martha this week but my cookbook is a lot of wonderful.

This was much more time consuming than I had anticipated. It was also more wonky than I expected. You cook the broccoli, then remove it from the pan and let it cool. You wipe the pan out, then spray it with cooking spray. You beat your eggs like crazy, then add the broccoli to that bowl. Then you add everything to the heated pan and continue.
After beating the egg mixture for 8 minutes until it was "extremely foamy", I added in my broccoli and onion mixture. It looked crazy. Then I added it to my pan and it looked terrible. I was really thinking I'd misread the recipe, so while I let it cook on the stove for 2 minutes without stirring, I reread the recipe. I did everything right (except let the broccoli mixture cool completely before adding it to the eggs), so I figured I'd just keep going. See that foam? Looks busted, right?
As it baked, I had this horrible vision of cheerios for dinner. I scarfed down my salad (which I was going to serve with the frittata) out of nervousness (and starvation-- it was almost 8:30 by the time this thing was finished), while standing watch in front of the oven. I kept thinking about how I would have to take pictures of my ruined food and my pathetic bowl of cereal and confess all today on the blog.

The foam cooked down, and it mostly looked like a frittata after 30 minutes in the oven. When it came out, the foam had left this little brown ring around my pan. I was sure Edwin would have to scrub for an hour to get it off (house rule: you cook, you don't clean).
Imagine my surprise and delight when the first pieces came out easily!
It was fantastic! The broccoli was a little overcooked for my taste, but I like my vegetables to crunch. I would love to try this method with asparagus and feta next time. I loved it. Edwin loved it. There was no painful scrubbing involved.

Parmesan cheese. Check. Goat cheese. Check. Broccoli. Check. Delicious frittata. Check! Check!
I hope you like it. I made it.


*Stewart, Martha. The Martha Stewart Living Cookbook: The New Classics. "Broccoli Cheese Frittata." p. 596

Tuesday, June 8, 2010

taco salad

Another Martha Stewart meal last night: Taco Salad*. It's a little different than your usual taco salad (and I have to admit, I may still prefer the one at Moe's with the delicious fried shell).

Instead of ground beef, use ground turkey. I had to amp up the spices, because what Martha called for just wasn't cutting it. I added more of my homemade taco seasoning to the meat, which made it better. Cut up mango is a genius addition-- thanks, Martha, preesh. There's also corn, black beans, red onion, tomatoes, and homemade baked tortilla chips.

My favorite part of the salad is the dressing. It's a combination of plain yogurt, jalapeƱo, cilantro and lime juice. I used greek yogurt, so my dressing was reeeeeally thick. I liked it.

I served the salads like this, and they were beautiful.
Then I mixed mine completely, which made it less beautiful but more delicious.I hope you like it. I made it.

*Stewart, Martha. The Martha Stewart Living Cookbook: The New Classics. "Taco Salad." p. 187