Growing up, I was always very proud of my Irish heritage. Every St. Patty’s day my mom would make her version of colcannon (basically mashed potatoes with shredded cabbage, bacon pieces, and grated cheddar) and currant scones. The scones were always my favorite part. As an adult, my celebration of St. Patty’s Day has changed considerably (hello, Guinness and Irish Coffee!), although I still always make scones.
This year was my most uneventful St. Patty’s Day to date. I had class that night and hadn’t been since my knee surgery and didn’t want to miss another class. Not just that, but I haven’t been able to get in the kitchen and cook with my bum knee and didn’t want to ask Joseph to go out of his way to make an Irish meal for me when he has a lot going on himself (plus, he’s already been waiting on me hand and foot ever since the surgery). Continue reading
After a night out at the Publick House eating every morsel of the awesome macaroni and cheese and drinking amazing Belgian beers (Rochefort 10, I will love you forever) and then coming home and eating I’m-not-saying-how-many-slices of cranberry upside-down cake, it just seemed prudent to have a healthier breakfast the next morning.
I had wanted to make pancake waffles because my sister was in town, and my original intention had been to make them from scratch, but I had seen this recipe from the Culinary Couple that uses Bisquick Heart Smart (which is their light version) and it seemed both easy and healthy. I always have it in the pantry because my mom’s waffle recipe uses it and is fantastic. In actuality, I’m not really sure that it’s all that much healthier than making them from scratch. I have no clue, but I tell myself it is. Anyway, I decided it was the way to go.
I’m not always at my best in the morning. These waffles are a great example. I was so caught up in taking the pictures for this post that I forgot to read all the ingredients, thereby leaving out the spices and the oil in the first batch. I then completely overfilled the waffle iron, making a complete mess. For the second batch, I turner off the timer I had set to remind myself to take the waffles out (if I don’t set a reminder, they’ll sit in there for who knows how long) and then a few minutes later remembered that I had turned the timer off but had not taken the waffles out. Around this point I must have actually woken up because the third batch I finally got right! Continue reading
Thanksgiving morning began with individual monkey breads – monkey bread that my mother-in-law made in muffin tins so we each had our own piece of gooey, warm, sticky monkey bread to pull apart and devour. It was the beginning of a magnificent day of feasting.
Thanksgiving dinner included a ridiculously succulent turkey; stuffing; a butternut squash, brussel sprout, chestnut, and bacon medley; and an amazing cranberry sauce that my sister-in-law made that has a surprise of figs, walnuts, and (my favorite), nearly a full bottle of port. We finished things off with an apple crumb pie, pumpkin pie, and ginger ice cream. Continue reading
When we came to West Branch Pond as kids, my sister and the kids of our close family friends often went blueberry picking. It always made me think of Blueberries for Sal, one of my favorite books, and I was always on the lookout for a mama bear and her cubs. We never saw them, but I don’t think I will ever be able to go blueberry picking in Maine without thinking I’ll also see a bear.
This trip was no different than past trips (you know, other than the fact that we were now much older and picking berries with our husbands) and we didn’t see any bears. But we did end up with a bunch of berries to bring back to the kitchen at WBPC. The next morning there was no question about what we were going to pick for breakfast. I only wish we’d gone picking earlier (and frequently!) so we could have had berry pancakes every morning! Alas, these blueberry pancakes were our last breakfast before heading back to Boston to return to the daily grind of real life. It was pretty sweet while it lasted.
Remember that carrot cake I made last week? And how much I enjoyed shoving carrots down the shoot of the food processor? Well, I went overboard on both the purchase of carrots and the shredding of carrots. The carrots I didn’t shred were perfect for the Chicken in Escabeche of Caramelized Onions, Carrots, and Jalapeños. But I needed something to use up the nearly two extra cups of shredded carrots that I ended up with. I saw a recipe somewhere for carrot zucchini muffins and decided that was the perfect way to at least use some of them up. I finally got around to getting some zucchini last night, but then I couldn’t find the recipe. I searched through my cookbooks, but finally gave up and went to my friend, the interwebs. I found a healthy (you know, as healthy as they can be when they have a cup and a half of sugar…) recipe that was reviewed well and I had all the ingredients, so I went with it.
Let me just say that this is not a dessert muffin. I know there are plenty of people that generally don’t eat muffins for dessert, but I think many muffins, especially right out of the oven, make a wonderful dessert. These muffins are fine for breakfast or a snack. But they are NOT a dessert muffin. So when your husband has just made you a delicious dinner and then wants some dessert, don’t tell him to hold off on dessert because you are going to make these muffins because everyone involved will be disappointed. No, it’s probably better that he go for the Ben & Jerry’s fro yo in the freezer.
I still have another 3/4 cup or so of shredded carrots, so let me know if you have any great ideas!
Carrot Zucchini Muffins
Adapted from Nicole’s Winter Carrot Zucchini Bread
1 cup all-purpose flour
1 1/2 cups whole wheat flour
1 teaspoon baking soda
1/4 teaspoon baking powder
1 tablespoon ground cinnamon
1 teaspoon ground nutmeg
1/2 teaspoon ground cloves
1 teaspoon salt
6 egg whites*
1/2 cup unsweetened applesauce
1 1/2 cups brown sugar
1 cup grated unpeeled zucchini
1 cup grated carrot
2 teaspoons vanilla extract
1/2 cup chopped pecans (optional)**
- Preheat oven to 325 degrees F. Grease muffin tin.
- Sift together all-purpose flour, whole wheat flour, baking soda, baking powder, cinnamon, nutmeg, cloves, and salt in a large bowl until well blended.
- Beat egg whites with a mixer until light and frothy. Stir in applesauce, brown sugar, zucchini, carrots, and vanilla until well combined. Mix in the raisins and pecans, if using. Add the flour mixture, stirring just until blended. Pour the batter into the prepared pan.
- Bake until a toothpick inserted in the center of a muffin comes out clean, about 20-25 minutes or so. Pop the muffins out and let cool on a wire rack.
* I didn’t feel like wasting 6 egg yolks and didn’t have time to make ice cream or a custard and I was lazy and didn’t feel like doing the whole beating and folding with the egg whites, so I just used 3 eggs. It mike work with just 2 eggs. And it would certainly be healthier with all egg whites, but oh well.
** I didn’t use em. And I’ll hide it in the footnote that you can also add raisins if you want. If I were ever going to put raisins in a muffin, this is probably the muffin I would do it in.