Pumpkin Donut Muffins

December 1, 2010

I’ve seen a few recipes for donut muffins, but have never actually made any. I saw this one in Nov Everyday Food and the pumpkin part drew me in, so I decided to make them. This was super easy. Just mix it all up in a bowl, bake in muffin tins and then roll in melted butter and cinnamon/sugar. They were really tasty and smelled great while they were baking. The family gave this a thumbs up all the way. You need to eat them with a fork though, because they’re kind of crumbly.

10 tbsp butter

3 cups flour

2 1/2 tsp baking powder

1/4 tsp baking soda

1 tsp salt

1/4 allspice

1/2 tsp nutmeg

1/3 cup buttermilk

1 1/4 pumpkin puree

3/4 cup brown sugar


for sugar coating:

3/4 c sugar

2 1/2 tsp cinnamon

1/4 c butter

Preheat oven to 350. Butter and flour a muffin tin. Whisk dry ingredients together in one bowl. Whisk buttermilk and pumpkin in another.  In yet another bowl, mix butter and brown sugar with a mixer until light and fluffy. Beat in eggs. Add flour in 3 additions, alternating with the pumpkin mix.

Put 1/3 c batter in each muffin cup and bake until a toothpick comes out clean, 30 min.

Mix sugar and cinnamon. and melt butter. Let muffins cool 10 min then roll in butter then cinnamon sugar.

Now, you know me, I did this all in one bowl. I have no patience for Martha’s methods. I also used a little less nutmeg and allspice and added some cinnamon into the batter itself.

I ended up with more than 12  – I think I had about 18 of these. I would definitely make this again. All the yumminess of a donut with the ease of a muffin.


Orange Balsamic Chicken

November 10, 2010

This recipe is from Nov Everyday Food. I was desperate for something quick on a busy weeknight and chicken is usually what I turn to on those nights. I thought I would give this recipe a try. I altered this to fit my needs, so I’ll share my version of the recipe with you (Martha uses chicken thighs and wedges of oranges with the skin on in hers and cooks hers in the oven after browning it).

4 skinless boneless chicken breasts, trimmed and pounded thin

salt and pepper

1 tbsp olive oil

1/2 chicken broth

2 tbsp balsamic vinegar

3 Clementine tangerines, peeled and broken into 3-4 sections each

1 tbsp butter

Season the chicken breasts with salt and pepper. Brown the chicken breasts in a skillet over medium high heat with the olive oil. Add the chicken broth. Add the vinegar and tangerine pieces. Reduce heat to medium. Cook until chicken is cooked through, about 4 minutes and liquid is reduced (remove chicken and continue reducing if the liquid is not reduced enough when the chicken is done). Add the butter and stir until melted.Pour sauce over chicken.

This was a huge, huge hit with my family. And honestly it’s so incredibly easy that I didn’t tell them I did almost nothing to it. It was moist, velvety, and rich with flavor. Truly a fantastic weeknight dish that will make you look like a star.

Grilled Corn with Sour Cream and Cheese

June 25, 2010

I don’t make corn a lot as a vegetable, because, as I like to point out, it is actually a grain. But there’s something so summery about corn on the cob that I make it a few times each summer (mostly when we’ve got local corn which won’t happen for another 6 weeks or so). I was sucked in by the recipe in July Everyday Food for Grilled Corn with Sour Cream with Cotila Cheese. Cheese? I’m in.

You peel back the husks and remove the silk, then pull them up and wrap a thin piece of foil around the corn to hold them closed. Soak the corn in cold water for 10 minutes. Then Martha says to grill for 8-10 min over direct heat. This all went as planned. My husks got pretty charred so I assumed it actually cooked (silly me). When you serve the corn, Martha says to slather with sour cream and cotija or feta cheese (I used feta).

Sounds easy. Mmm-hmm. Here’s what happened. First of all, you really should husk them before bringing them to the table. It was a mess. Once we got to the corn we realized it was not cooked. At all. Mine was not even hot. Everyone else’s was hot, but none of it was cooked. I went the full ten minutes on high on the grill. So that’s a load of baloney.

Next I put sour cream and cheese on mine. The cheese didn’t stick very well. It tasted ok, but honestly I would rather just have regular corn on the cob with butter and salt. This was too much work with terrible results.

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Tangy Chicken with Orzo

April 6, 2010

I wasn’t excited about this recipe, then I saw Martha and Sarah Carey make it on tv and thought I would give it a try. I did a major cheat though – I used boneless, skinless breasts. But it actually worked out.

You brown the chicken (I did this quickly) then cook onion and garlic. Add tomatoes (I used canned whole tomatoes) and vinegar and cook in the oven. I did my stovetop cooking in a skillet and transferred to a glass baking dish.

The orzo was easy – cook some diced carrot then add the orzo and water and boil.

A few criticisms. First of all, there was not enough sauce. If you’re serving something like this with plain orzo, you’ve got to have enough sauce to cover the orzo. I would add more tomato and a little more vinegar to increase the amount of sauce. And I would add some seasonings to the orzo which was dull and boring. Other than that, the basic idea of this recipe is a nice one and it was relatively quick to whip up.

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Pea Pesto

March 25, 2010

Pea pesto? Seriously? Seriously. This recipe was in March Everyday Food. I’m a sucker for pasta and for pesto and was intrigued by the idea. It sounds weird, but it actually was pretty good. Here’s the deal. Cook one cup frozen peas then whiz them in the Cuisinart with one cup parsley, 1/2 walnuts (I used pine nuts), 2/3 cup Parmesan and 3 cloves of garlic. Add a little water and then slowly add 1/3 cup olive oil. Add salt and pepper. Cook linguine (I used whole wheat spaghetti) and at the very end toss in another cup of peas. Drain it and mix it with the pesto.

I thought this was actually pretty darn good and a good cheap, quick substitute for real pesto. I liked the garlicky-ness of it but needed to add a little cheese on top.  It was something different, which I always appreciate.

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Mexican Hot Chocolate Cookies

March 18, 2010

Another cookie post. This is getting dangerous. My issue of April Everyday Food is here and I am excited! I had to make the Mexican Hot Chocolate cookies immediately. These are chocolate cookies dipped in a sugar/cinnamon mix (I did not add chili powder which was optional). I loved these cookies! They were easy to make and the top baked up all crinkly and crunchy looking. Oh, they were delicious! Very chocolately with just a hint of cinnamon. Crunchy and melt in your mouth good. A real winner.

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Poached Egg Cobb Salad

March 13, 2010

I have never been a fan of poached eggs. My mother used to make them. She used tuna fish cans with the tops and bottoms removed as the molds, but her eggs were always runny. I don’t like runny whites. Even the thought of it makes me shiver! I had poached eggs in NYC one morning as an adult as a kind of Florentine. They were served over English muffins with spinach and ham and a cheese sauce. They were also too runny and wiggly so I was turned off yet again.  Just recently in the Bahamas, our hotel breakfast buffet had poached eggs on English muffins with a thin slice of ham and a tiny bit of cream sauce. These eggs were perfectly cooked – solid whites and runny yolks. It was a revelation!

So when I saw Martha had a section on poached eggs in March Everyday Food I knew I would have to give it a try. This was my first time poaching eggs, and I could see why my mom used tuna cans! The eggs did not stay together very well. I made three and one was perfect and two were not even close, with the whites sort of floating off in the pan.

Putting a poached egg on top of a salad seemed a bit odd, but I was willing to go for  – after all a hard boiled egg is good in a salad. I didn’t have bleu cheese, so I used feta but I did have bleu cheese dressing so I used that. I thought this salad was quite good, but it had a lot of protein – chicken, bacon and egg. I think I would skip the chicken next time since it was almost too much. I did like the egg with the salad and am surprised that I did.

Roasted Fish and Mushrooms

March 12, 2010

File this one under “who would’ve thought?” I have to admit this recipe from March Everyday Food didn’t sound very good to me and I expected it to be not so great. Surprise! I used mahi-mahi for this one and it tasted great with the mushrooms, which are roasted by themselves first. You then set the fish on the mushrooms, like a roasting rack and cook the fish. This is quick easy and yummy. Martha says to serve with a parsley salad – parsely with a viniagrette on it. I thought that was nuts, but I have to say it complemented the fish very nicely. Somehow it was just what this dish needed.

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Pizza Dough Cinnamon Apple Tarts

March 10, 2010

Pizza dough take two. Following yesterday’s post about using pizza dough to make cinnamon rolls, today’s post is about the recipe in March Everyday Food using pizza dough to make apple cinnamon tarts. I used pre-made dough for this. You roll it out, dot with butter, roll again and refrigerate. Then cut into 4 rectangles and arrange apple slices that have been mixed with cinnamon and sugar. Brush the edges of the dough with an egg wash then cinnamon and sugar.

These turned out really thick. Too thick. It needed to be a lot thinner to even approximate a tart. Not to mention the pieces were just huge. We each ate half of a piece and it was a lot. The apples did cook nicely and the top was pretty and crunchy on the edges. The flavor was good, it was just too much dough.  This was not a success in my opinion.

Pizza Dough Cinnamon Rolls

March 9, 2010

I love new uses for old things. In March Everyday Food, Martha is re-purposing pizza dough. I had some dough in the freezer I wanted to use up (no, I didn’t make it myself!). Cinnamon rolls are just decadent, so I was interested to see if you can really make them from pizza dough. First you roll the dough out (hard to do with elastic pizza dough) then dot with butter and fold into thirds and roll back to the original shape. Martha says to refrigerate for an hour then dot again with butter and sprinkle with a brown sugar, pecans, cinnamon and salt mix. Roll it up, slice it and bake.

These turned out quite well, although I couldn’t quite get past the taste and texture of pizza dough. It wasn’t as tender as cinnamon dough normally is. The family, however, enjoyed this one very much. All it’s done for me is make me crave real cinnamon rolls! And a tip – if you make this, I really recommend making some icing to pour over it. I think it would help it immensely.

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