Hi Kristine! I have officially started my quest for the perfect muffin recipe. Before I go into my thoughts on muffins please watch this video so you can giggle every time I write 'muffin'
I am now going to refer to every muffin as my muffin in this post. So I recently realized that I want to eat a muffin for breakfast everyday. I don't get up early enough to eat breakfast at home and my new office doesn't have a kitchen or a toaster. I also frequently wake up M-F with a hangover (not something I'm proud of but it does happen just as often as not, and its not a habit I'm about break- realistically) and muffins are the perfect cure, plus they go oh so well with coffee. So I was buying these delicious yogurt muffins but they are huge and even though they are made with yogurt- I doubt they are healthy. Hence my quest for the perfect muffin recipe that I can make on Sunday and eat throughout the week. I want a good base recipe that I can change up every week with new flavors so I don't get bored. I also want something hearty enough to keep me full most of the morning, low carb, low fat and low sugar. A lot of demands for 1 little muffin. To make my muffin low in carbs I am going to experiment with almond flour/ meal and also Flax flour/meal. I've heard soy flour is also good but I am allergic to soy so I'll avoid that. I will also be using sugar free, low calorie sweeteners. My favorite is splenda but I would like to try stevia or truvia, which are natural sugar substitutes. I started today with flax meal as my flour replacement, I used this recipe as a guide: http://lowcarbdiets.about.com/od/breads/r/chelsiemuffins.htm Except I wanted to make my own flavor, not silly cranberry! I thought chocolate would be a delicious treat, but so would berries! And all muffins need nuts! So I ended up leaving out the cranberries, cinnamon, nutmeg and orange and adding: -A generous handful of walnuts -A very generous handful of ghiradelli baking pieces 60% dark chocolate heaven -4 Tbsp of cocoa powder -About 6 oz of frozen berry medly (blueberries, strawberries, blackberries and raspberries) mostly thawed. I cut the larger berries into pieces so they would fit into my muffin. I also used 1/2 cup splenda dissolved in 1/2 cup water My muffin came out good, but not perfect (My Italian roommate gave it a thumbs up). Very moist and super chocolatey but it didn't rise at all. They came out of the oven in the same shape as I put them in, kind of lumpy and not rounded on top. (see the attached pictures) Apparently this is a thing with flax meal, you need to add more yeast. But the recipe didn't call for yeast so how much should I add? You are the more experienced baker, do you have any thoughts? Maybe I have to use some real flour to use yeast? So overall the flavor was good, but masked with chocolate. I would like to use less eggs and oil, and I want my muffin to rise a little and have that crunchy muffin top. I think next week I will try to make lemon poppy muffins with almond meal and eventually I will create a combination recipe with both flax and almond meal. So overall I would not recommend these but it was a good stepping stone on my quest! Get Full! Jess
First posts are so exciting! Hello internet, we are Jess and Kristine, your friendly kitchen enthusiasts and adventurers. We love to swap recipes and cook together so we started this blog to share the recipes that we have tried, tweaked, or even invented. Let the great experiment begin!!
Let's kick off this blog with the last meal that we cooked together. It was a falafel feast with fresh hummus, pita, veggies, and a delicious cucumber sauce. Nothing warms the soul quite like a batch of little falafel balls sizzling on the stove!
We actually filmed this whole cooking adventure and hope to add the edited video soon, but this was the menu:
We used this Falafel and cucumber sauce recipe from Allrecipes.com, they came out perfect! We added a little fresh mint to the balls for an interesting flavor. Instead of cooking the falafels in little balls (like you would usually find at restaurants) we flattened the balls slightly so they would cook better in a pan. Be sure to only add a few falafel patties to the pan at one time because they have the tendency to steam instead of fry if there are too many in there. Finally, three words: beware of splatter!
The homemade pita bread was a recipe was from Tammysrecipes.com and it was surprisingly simple to make (once the yeast decided to cooperate) and we even substituted whole wheat flour to make delicious and healthy pita pockets. The dough was really fun to put together and kneading dough is a great morning workout! We ended up making two batches of dough because the first one didn't want to rise. Turns out using expired yeast is never the best plan. If you put your yeast in a cup of warm water with a little sugar for a few minutes you will know whether or not the yeast is still active. You should see the water double in size due to little bubbles - and if not, throw that one away and use another yeast packet! When you are done creating your dough you let it rise not once - but twice! This is the key to creating the air pocket inside your pitas. First you let the dough rise as one ball, then you split it into individual balls for the pitas. Let these rise as balls then punch them down and roll them out to let them rise a second time as flat pitas. We had the tendency to let them overcook in the oven due to their super short cook time. Watch these like a hawk! It only takes about 4 minutes for each pita to cook.
We chose to make a beet hummus instead of regular hummus because we had been talking about making something with beets for a long time. This recipe is from simplyrecipes.com. We think it came out a little too lemony but it was definitely delicious and tangy. This was also relatively easy to make, with the exception of peeling the beets. You peel them after cooking them because the skin comes off easier, but I can't help but think it would have been easier to use a peeler before baking. We may try that next time, unless there is a reason to cook them skin on.
Overall this feast was a Tasty success but if we do it again we will try a different hummus. The beets where a little overpowering. Thanks for checking us out and tune in next week (or later this one) for new reviews, recipes and ideas!!