Posts tagged ‘baking’
I am not much a carrot person. This might seem funny for a vegetarian, but it’s true. Boiled carrots, roasted carrots, carrots in stirfries – I’ll eat them, but only because I know they’re good for me. I love most vegetables, so I’m not sure what it is about carrots that doesn’t work for me.
Raw carrots pulled fresh from the garden are a completely different matter. Those I love. Those I could eat all day. The rest of the time, though, I grate carrots and bake them into muffins and cakes. Carrot cake, carrot loaf, carrot muffins – carrot-filled baked goods are among my favourite treats.
Carrot oatmeal muffins
Makes 12 muffins
1-1/2 cups flour
1 cup rolled oats
1/2 cup brown sugar
1 tablespoon baking powder
2 teaspoons each cinnamon, nutmeg and ginger
1/4 teaspoon salt
1 cup water
1/4 cup vegetable oil
1-1/2 cups grated carrot
1/2 cup raisins
1/2 cup coconut
1/2 cup chopped walnuts
1/4 cup candied ginger, chopped
1/4 cup flaxseed meal
Combine dry ingredients. Whisk together water, egg, vegetable oil and grated carrot and add to flour mixture. Gently fold in raisins, coconut, walnuts, ginger and flaxseed meal. Spoon into greased muffin tins and bake for 20 minutes in a 375F oven.
Do not think that you can just throw a pile of freshly picked plums into a plate pressed with pastry along with a sprinkle of sugar and cinnamon and imagine that a perfect pie will emerge on the other side. It will look beautiful, yes, and it will smell divine. But it will be SOUR! Your dinner guests – in laws, no less – will take a bite and then look at you with an expression that your husband helpfully calls “bitter beer face.” Your dreams of domestic bliss will be shot down once again.
Instead, use a recipe that calls for lots and lots of sugar. Or pour honey on top of each slice of the failed pie, along with a big scoop of vanilla ice cream, to help drown out the taste.
Luckily I have about 10 pounds of these beautiful golden plums sliced up and packed away in my freezer thanks to the fruit-laden tree just outside the front door of my parents’ new place on Vancouver Island. I will try the pie again. You are all invited.
Crostata is the Italian name for a free-form pie. You roll out the crust, place it on a pan, pile on fruit and then fold up the edges. Much less work than fitting pastry into a pan and crimping the edges. I’ve been wanting to make one for ages and I’m proud to say I finally did.
I’m a latecomer when it comes to pie appreciation. When I was growing up I didn’t like it at all, and it’s only in the past few years that I’ve developed a taste for it. Pie for me is like olives in that I’ve always liked the idea of it much more than the actual taste. I know that’s a strange comparison, olives and pie, but it is the same phenomenon. Peanut butter and jam sandwiches are another thing I didn’t like as a kid, but as an adult I’ve discovered an affection for them. Olives and I are slowly becoming good friends – the idea has finally planted itself in my taste buds after a long campaign of telling myself to learn to like them – and I think the tides are turning with the cause of pie as well. (more…)
Does occasional frivolity translate into simple happiness? Money was washed down the drain this weekend for the sake of these porcelain measuring cups, found at Anthropologie (where else?). An unnecessary luxury yes, but look at them. How could I resist? They really did tug at my heartstrings, so why not?
Now that I own them, I’m happy that I traded my hard-earned cash for such pretty objects. They are stationed in a place of honour in the centre of our kitchen table for all to admire while I decide where they should live. For now, I’ll gaze lovingly at them and feel oh-so-special measuring out portions of flour and sugar for baking. I very much doubt they will be stashed inside the cupboard like their dull plastic predecessors. It is a slippery slope, of course, these precious objects. They do make my plastic mixing bowls look a bit dowdy in comparison…
In honour of Valentine’s Day, here is the recipe for my husband’s favourite breakfast scones – raspberry with bittersweet chocolate. Gluten-free, of course, and best paired with a steamy hot chocolate. What a good wife I am for making these for breakfast today.
1-1/2 cups flour*
1/4 cup sugar
2 teaspoons baking powder
1 teaspoon cinnamon
1/4 cup flaxseed meal or ground flaxseed
1/2 cup chocolate chips (I used bittersweet)
1 cup fresh or frozen raspberries
1 cup plain yogurt
1 teaspoon vanilla
Mix together flour (and xanthan gum for gluten-free), sugar, baking powder, cinnamon and flaxseed. Stir in raspberries and chocolate chips, and then add yogurt and vanilla. Stir together only until the dry ingredients are well-mixed with the yogurt. Spoon onto a greased baking sheet and bake at 375F for 20 minutes or until scones are lightly browned.
*I use Bob’s Red Mill gluten-free flour mix. For gluten-free, also add 1 teaspoon of xanthan gum.