Sunday, August 14, 2011

Peach-Pecan Muffins

Summer bounty equals far too many peaches at times (though there really is no such thing). Some of these peaches were getting a bit... squishy, and since I can't use more than one in a smoothie each day, I decided to make muffins. It's also that on-and-off drizzle outside that northeastern Ohio excels at during the last summer, so I relished the opportunity to turn on the oven.

Peach-Pecan Muffins

2 cups flour
1 cup sugar
1 tablespoon Trader Joe's Spicy Chai Mix (I threw this in on a whim, because I like spiced peaches, but if you don't have it, consider a teaspoon of cinnamon, a hearty pinch of nutmeg, a half teaspoon of ground ginger and some cracked black pepper instead.)
1 1/2 teaspoon baking powder
1/2 teaspoon baking soda
1 teaspoon salt
3/4 cup milk (or soymilk, or apple juice, or peach nectar...)
1 egg
3 tablespoons vegetable oil
1 cup chopped fresh peaches
1/2 cup chopped pecans

Mix together dry ingredients, beat together wet ingredients with a fork. Make a well in the center of the dry ingredients, add the wet and stir until just combined. Fold in peaches and pecans, then spoon into muffin tins lined with cupcake liners until 3/4 full. Bake at 400 for around 20 minutes, or until a toothpick inserted in the center comes out clean.

Eat while warm with butter.

Tuesday, July 12, 2011

The Adjective Sandwich

I began making adjective sandwiches at the Decafe, Oberlin’s made-to-order sandwich-salad-smoothie bar/grocery store. The Oberlin Alumni Magazine did a little write-up of my creative endeavors, which was read by a glorious alum named Gwendolen Gross. After some consulting and totally excellent emails, her book The Orphan Sister hit the bookstores featuring some adjective sandwiches between its covers.

I received her book in the mail on Wednesday, July 6th, and it was chock full of thanks and wonderful things (haven’t read the book yet, as I’m saving it for a very long plane ride next week, but Ben Jones found a section full of sandwiches and read it to me), and I realized how much I missed making sandwiches.

Enter The Adjective Sandwich, a website dedicated to the creation of new sandwiches, fueled by volunteered adjectives. I haven’t stopped thinking up combinations, and while my previous eaters are now all around the world, now I can share my creations with everyone, rather than one sandwich at a time. Enjoy.

I want an adjective sandwich! How does this work?

Email with the following bits of information:

- your adjective,
- likes/dislikes/things you can't eat,
- vegetarian, vegan, or omnivorous,
- your tolerance for spicy things.

Please add your name so I can thank you, too!

Thursday, April 28, 2011

Zucchini Soufflé Casserole

If there is any ingredient I love to embrace the versatility of, it has to be eggs. I love everything about them. A few years ago, I experimented with seperating the eggs that went into a frittata, ending up with a thin rich omlette on the bottom of the dish and a fluffy pesto meringue on top. It took your average clean-out-the-fridge fast meal and instantly made it classy.

Tonight, on this verge of springtime in northeastern Ohio, I want eggs, and I want vegetables, and I want them now. Enter the zucchini soufflé attempt.

3 medium zucchini
5 cloves garlic, crushed or finely minced
2 tablespoons olive oil
1 tablespoon butter
3 tablespoons lemon juice
4 eggs
1/4 cup milk
1/3 cup flour
1/2 cup cottage cheese
1 tablespoon dried basil
Salt and pepper to taste

Grate zucchini and combine with garlic, butter, olive oil, several dashes of salt and a few pinches/grinds of black pepper in a medium saute pan and cook for about 5 minutes. Add lemon juice and cook until zucchini is no longer white, about 5 minutes more. Remove from heat and drain off liquid.

Separate the eggs into two large bowls. Beat the whites with a whisk until stiff, then whisk in dried basil, salt, and pepper. Beat the yolks with milk, salt, and pepper, then add the flour and whisk for a few more beats. Add zucchini and cottage cheese and whisk until just combined.

Add 1/3 of the beaten egg whites to the zucchini mixture and stir a few beats. Add another 1/3 of the egg whites and gently fold into the zucchini mixture. Repeat with remaining egg white mixture.

Pour into a greased 9x13" glass baking dish and bake for 40 minutes at 375 degrees, or until the top is browned and a knife inserted into the center comes out clean.

Serve with a salad that most definitely contains cucumbers (mine was artichoke hearts, onion, and English cucumber).