Archive | April 2014

The Truth About Muffins

Muffins are one of those foods that people eat because they are sweet without being a pastry or dessert and often have a healthy component, so they can’t be that bad for you. Sorry to break it to you, but muffins are really just cake without the frosting. Actually – fun fact here – commercially produced muffins are often worse for you than cupcakes – yes even “bran” and “corn” muffins. As a result, I only eat muffins if I baked them myself (or if my mom did – hers are excellent). So – this week, I made “muffins” – otherwise known as vanilla cupcakes with raspberries and rhubarb.

3/4 cup whole wheat pastry flour
3/4 cup white flour
2 teaspoons baking powder
a pinch of salt
3/4 cup sugar
1 egg
5 tablespoons of butter – melted
1/2 cup milk
1 teaspoon vanilla extract
1/2 cup raspberries
1 stalk rhubarb, chopped

Muffins are super straightforward to put together: you throw all the ingredients except the fruit into a large bowl and mix with an electric mixer until smooth. You can, of course, use all white flour, but I’ve been trying to add more whole wheat flour when I can so I tend to mix the two. Once the batter is smooth, fold in the raspberries and rhubarb. Plop into a muffin tin lined with muffin cups and bake for 25ish minutes at 350. Yep, mix, fold, plop, and bake. That’s it.

These muffins were yummy – particularly the first day. You couldn’t really taste the rhubarb in it though, so add more if you want your muffins to be more rhubarb-y. You can taste the whole wheat flour, but it doesn’t overpower anything. Otherwise, it just tastes like what it is, vanilla cake with some fruit tossed in. A slight warning – these lose awesomeness over time. I froze them, but they still declined as time went on. So eat them as close to when they were baked as possible. Since this post is about truth (sorta), here is a minor confession: I love Kelly Clarkson. Particularly Angry Kelly. So in honor of that, this week’s song is “Never Again” Final truth of the post: I completely forgot to take any pictures and didn’t realize it until just now so, I’m sorry for this picture-less post.

Mac and blue cheese (and kale)

This is another one of those “I impulsively buy things at the grocery store and then have to find uses for them” weeks. This week’s ingredient: blue cheese. Originally I was going to stick it in a crepe with some sort of green vegetable, because everything tastes good in a crepe (incidentally, the first time I liked blue cheese was eating it in a crepe in France). However, its been a difficult weekend, so I switched to one of my ultimate comfort foods: mac and cheese.

Cook the macaroni before you start on the sauce. Make however much you like, but I’ve found that 3/4 cup dry macaroni is perfect for 2 servings.

I adapted the sauce from this recipe.
1/4 onion, chopped
2-3 cloves garlic, chopped
3 large kale leaves, torn into bite-sized pieces
1 tablespoon butter
2 ounces blue cheese, crumbled
3/4 cup milk
1 1/2 tbsp flour

Melt the butter in a large frying pan, and saute the veggies in there. Once the kale is cooked, add the blue cheese, milk, a little black pepper, and flour. Turn the heat up so that the milk begins to simmer, and stir frequently until the sauce has thickened. The sauce won’t become particularly thick, but it will be thicker than milk. Once the sauce is done, toss with the macaroni until all the pasta is thoroughly coated, and serve. If you want, you can also add parmesan cheese on top of the dish when you serve it.

macaroni and blue cheese

Such a good dish. Exactly what my frustrated soul needed. My only issue with it was that it tasted a little on the salty side. Which is strange because I didn’t add any salt. Well, to the water for the pasta but that hardly counts. I think it was the addition of the parmesan on top of the blue cheese that caused that problem. I didn’t have any wine or beer with this, but it would probably pair well with a solid red wine. Also, if there is any meal designed to give you stinky breath (onions, garlic, and blue cheese) it’s this one. However, comfort food is usually a solo dinner, so you should be totally fine. Song of the week: not actually a song, but rather Mozart’s Requiem. Its my ultimate in “dark music for when I’m sad/depressed/unhappy.”