French Frdays with Dorie

Thursday, November 6, 2008

Layers and layers of muffins and muffins

Last night I made a southwestern layered salad I from Southern Living, April 2001.
It has a lime vinaigrette dressing. This can be a bit tart, so you might feel the need to add a bit more sugar than the recipe recommends. I like the tartness, so I leave it as is. I forgot to put the tomatoes into it last night, so I cut them up and put them on top and then just chopped some for each serving.

And, of course, since I knew I would not be eating it all immediately, I did not add the crushed tortilla chips. Few food items are more disgusting than limp soggy chips.

To make this a more complete meal (for me) I added some sauteed ground turkey, to which I had added taco spices. I actually don't care much for raw onions and next time I do this I will also saute the onions with the meat. This time I just cut back on them drastically.

It is a very pretty salad and quite tasty as well, with black beans, corn and tomatoes in addition to the romaine lettuce. The recipe is available on-line at the Southern Living website.

Then because I am such a great gal - and because I had a cup of pumpkin left from the Tuesday's with Dorie Pumpkin Muffins, I made pumpkin mufins for work this morning. I did not use Dorie's recipe. I used one from Carol Cutler's Quick Breads. I have had this cookbook for years. The recipes are grouped by the time they take: under 30 minutes, 30 minutes to an hour, etc. This is so helpful when you are in a time crunch but still want to do some baking.

Her pumpkin muffins have no eggs and no milk, that just seems so odd! All the leavening comes from baking soda. There is additional flavoring in a small amount of rum. I did not take photos of these because I anticpated they would look like the ones we made a short time back.

And, externally they did resemble Dorie's muffins. Internally they are a much moister and heavier muffin. Though they only have one tablespoon of rum in the entire batch, I found the smell overwhelming as you bit into the muffin. They have typical pumpkin pie spicing and I do quite like that flavoring. However, the rum really made these muffins unpleasant for me. These are certainly easy to make and they are fast - but I prefer a lighter muffin.

When I decided to make muffins this morning, I knew I was going to look for recipes in two places. One, my Carol Cutler book and two, the small recipe booklets I inherited from mother. These are those booklets that you can buy at the checkout lines in the grocery store. Frequently they are from Pillsbury bake-offs but the one I found my next recipe in was for Crisco vegetable oil.

I absolutely love items made with molasses. When I was a little girl my mother would make me gingersnaps. Somehow we lost the recipe and for years I would make gingersnap cookies and always be dissatisfied with the cookies. Finally I realized the problem, what I wanted was found under molasses chews or some other such category. I can now have gingersnaps my way, whenever I want. But, this morning I wanted to make muffins.

I found a recipe in the booklet that I thought would satisfy my craving for molasses and that was quick and easy. I mixed them up and popped them in the oven. When I pulled them from the oven they were dark, steamy and fragrant. I think I could have actually baked them a minute or two less because, in fact, they were a touch dry - although perhaps with butter or Devonshire cream, that wouldn't have been noticeable. I think I expected them to taste more like gingerbread than they did, but they were quite tasty regardless.

At work the pumpkin muffins were the first ones to be selected. It is hard to decide what drove that decision - the molasses muffins were normal sized - the pumpkin muffins were jumbos - was it greed? The molasses muffins were plain on top - the pumpkin muffins had sunflower seeds - were they the pretty girls? Could it simply be that other people like pumpkin more than I do? The world may never know!

1 comment:

Libby said...

This salad is a great idea- i am always looking for cool ways to make salads that aren't so boring!