Sunday, March 27, 2011

Do you know the muffin (wo)man?

The muffin man, the muffin man,
Do you know the muffin man,
Who lives on Drury Lane?

#32 Blueberry Muffins

That rhyme/song was one of my favorites as a young kid.  So I loved this when it came out.

These muffins were just as easy to make as yesterday's.  Basically, it's the same recipe as the Wimbledon Muffins with 1 less egg and and (of course) blueberries instead of strawberries.

I actually did tweak the recipe, which isn't really by the (made up by me and completely arbitrary) rules of my experiment.  I decided after seeing how greasy the previous muffins were to use a little less butter and since the recipe called for 2 1/4 sticks of butter I just left off the 1/4.  Also, after I had started mixing things I realized I was short one egg so I replaced it with a spoonful of unsweetened applesauce, a trick I learned from my forays into vegan baking.

Here are my lovelies:

Those bottom ones are sprinkled with powdered sugar.

These tasted quite a bit better than the Wimbledons, probably because of the smaller amount of butter.  It could also be because I like blueberries a little better than strawberries.

...and they all lived Happily Ever After...

P.S. That guy up there is a muffin man.

Saturday, March 26, 2011

Easy, eh(A)?

#31 Beer Bread

Easy-peasy recipe on a beautiful rainy day, folks.  Whole-wheat flour, white bread flour, salt yeast butter and beer.  Mix and wait. Make a ball, slice to make pretty and wait. Bake and cool.

Easy, A? (Get it? 'Cause it's easy and Canadians like beer a lot and they also say 'eh'. Ok, it was a stretch, but I just saw this movie and I loved it.)

The recipe called for 1 1/4 cups good beer.  Since I am not a big beer drinker I just kind of went to the grocery store and stared at the beers for a while.  I decided that I wanted something kind of seasonal.  I went with Blue Moon Spring Blonde Wheat Ale since it said it had orange and lemon flavors and I really like citrus.  Plus it was on sale.  Turns out it tastes pretty good too.  I finished off the bottle while the bread was working.

"Let the record show that I, Olive Penderghast, being of sound mind and below average breast-size, swear to tell the truth, the whole truth, and nothing but the truth... starting now. "

 This bread is fantastic!  So good I may eat the entire loaf all by myself.  While I enjoy the bread you can enjoy this video clip from Easy A.

"Notoriety for whatever reason, never seems to benefit the noted, only the 'notees'. "

All quotes are from Easy A.

Take it easy!

Friday, March 25, 2011

Tennis, Anyone?

The Big 3-0!

#30 Wimbledon Muffins

"With what sport is Wimbledon most commonly associated?"

If you don't know the answer to this question please watch the following informational video.

I could have found a clip from the 2004 film Wimbledon, which starred Kirsten Dunst and Paul Bettany, but I didn't really like it very much the first time I watched it.

These muffins have strawberries in them which is not a thing I'm particularly used to, but I do like strawberries and their season has started.

Here are my lovelies:

There is powdered sugar on those four as the recipe calls for.  The recipe was for 16 muffins but since I only had one pan that held 12 I made a little loaf with the rest of the batter.

There was so much butter in these muffins that I will probably feel a little ill later.  These muffins don't really taste like any I've had before but they are still delicious.  They may taste different because the British style is different than the American style.  I cannot remember having muffins in England and I have never made muffins from scratch before so I'm guessing it's the large quantity of butter that made the difference.

One more video for today:

Good Night and have a pleasant tomorrow!

Tuesday, March 8, 2011

It's Mardi Gras, ya'll!

I made King Cake!

I was introduced to King Cake when I worked at summer camp a few years ago.  We celebrated Mardi Gras every summer since so many people at camp are from Louisiana (like me!).  I didn't grow up in Louisiana and my family is not from there so I had never even heard of this wonderful dessert until college.

Here's the recipe I used as the basis for my King Cake:  Yum!

I altered it a little because of the things I had on hand.

I used a little less sour cream because I had an almost full 8oz. container.  I used about 2 1/4 cups bread flour because I had the flour on hand and the dough looked like the recipe described with that small amount.  Lastly, I used soy milk for the icing because I don't buy cow's milk.

Here's a picture of my colored sugars.

Coloring these made me remember how much I love food coloring.  My grandma used to let me make designs in her pound cake batter and I'd try to think of ways to get different colors and designs.

Even though this is "cake" and not bread per se, I think it qualifies for the blog of the basis that the dough had to be kneaded and cake does not need kneading.

Final product of this fun recipe...

Ta Da!

It tasted fantastic too!  Look at that swirl!

Here's a song that I've been loving lately.  And I think it kind of has a New Orleans vibe (even though the artist is Scottish).

I'm gonna go have some more King Cake...Laissez les bon temps rouler!

Tuesday, March 1, 2011

A Walnut and Golden "Raisin in the Sun" Bread

"Oh God, please, look down and give me strength!"

Warning:  I have never seen "A Raisin in the Sun".  Though, I have seen California Raisins.

I used to have these toys.   Awesome, I know.

#29 Walnut and Golden Raisin Bread

This bread seemed extremely easy.  Mix everything but the walnuts and raisins, wait 2 hours, mix in the walnuts and raisins, wait an hour then bake.  The problem came in the mixing of the walnuts and raisins.  I can not seem to get things to mix into doughs (unless the dough is super-wet).  So I ended up kind of smushing the pieces that wouldn't  mix into the outsides of the dough ball and then just stacking the remainder on the top.


"There is something wrong when all the dreams of a household depend on a man dying."

The next issue came when the instructions said bake for 30 minutes for until golden.  I baked for twenty and it was was starting to smell burnt and was pretty golden so I took it out.  It was only a little uncooked in the middle but otherwise it was fine.

The recipe said to serve with cheese or toasted with butter.  Since it was a little under-done I chose to toast it and add a little margarine on half and strawberry jam on the other half.  This bread was delicious. I am going to eat more after dinner.

All quotes are from "A Raisin in the Sun".
Enjoy your evening.