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Tuesday, March 8, 2011

Other People's Stuff and Other Stuff

There are so many recipes out there on so many blogs that I don't have the time to make all the delicious foods that I want to, so it's always funny to think what is that makes me cook the ones that I do.
Hannah Kaminsky at Bittersweet is a seriously talented baker and an amazingly kind person. She also takes beautiful photos of her baked goods, which probably plays a big part in why I enjoy her blog so much and why, when I saw her latest post, I HAD to make her "Cheddar" Herb Muffins RIGHT AWAY. It also helps that muffins are easy to make, nicely portioned out, and that I had some...adaptable ingredients on hand.
Hannah generously posts recipe after recipe, so go to her blog for the basic recipe. Things I changed were to use 1/4 c. Whole Wheat flour, 1/2 c. WW Pastry flour, and about a TBS cornmeal for some crunch. I also omitted the fake cheese completely, as I don't really buy it - but I did sub in 1/4 cup nutritional yeast. I used finely chopped onions instead of scallions and parsley instead of dill. I also didn't have any walnuts on hand, so I just left those out. Oh, and for half the batch, I mixed in some chopped mushrooms that were about to go.

Okay, so basically, these were kind of different from Hannah's original recipe but without her template, I never would have made them. So, thanks, Hannah. They were delicious. The spices are right on - if you look really, really closely at the photo, you can see some specks of paprika!
Anyway, another recipe that stuck out at me recently is Ali's grapefruit-kale juice. I've been trying to incorporate more greens into my diet and lighter breakfasts, so I thought this sounded really good!

I may have overdone it with the kale here, or maybe I'm just not ready for bitter grapefruit straight up like this, but I had to add a little honey and powdered ginger to be able to drink it. It didn't help either that my blender is chugging along in age these days so that the drink (if you can tell) was...pretty chewy. Hmm.
Anyway, that's why I had the muffin as well. But I'm going to keep trying!
Later in the day I realized I'd been slacking in the recipe-testing department and quickly got down a shopping list and hied me to a Trader Joe's. I got ingredients for two different Urban Vegan test recipes, but only made one (more on that in a second): The Prismatic Wild Rice Salad. This is fitting following all the colorful food of yesterday because it is gorgeous! My camera lighting kind of blows but the dish includes wild rice (obvs), edamame, corn, dried cranberries!, red onion and some other stuff tossed in a tangy dressing. It was really great and had a chew (and flavor, sort of) that reminded of the wheatberry salad they sometimes have at the Whole Foods salad bar. But way better.

  I served it alongside a colorful salad for optimal nutrients.
 The other thing I wanted to mention was that I didn't make the other tester dish (Lemony-Olive Tagine) because it has to marinate overnight and, well, I won't be eating tomorrow and I didn't want to be tempted with the meal! Tomorrow is Ash Wednesday, one of the two days on which Catholics are required to fast. I don't know if any of the rest of you are doing this (or are religious at all) but we're allowed one meal, and if we need it, one or two smaller bits of food during the day, though they can't add up to another single meal. My plan for tomorrow is a green smoothie in the morning and maybe some miso soup with spinach later in the day.
After that, my Lenten penances are to give up alcohol except for one day a week (a traveling Sunday, if you will) and to not eat after 8:30. I have a bad habit of snacking post-dinner and it's time to change. Wish me luck, hey? Now to enjoy one of my last Sierra Nevada Pale Ales for a while...


  1. Those cheddar herb muffins caught my eye, too, but I was thinking of using Daiya to make garlic cheddar biscuits. I'm impressed you tried it so quickly, but I can't blame you!

    I'm not Catholic and I didn't realize the Ash Wednesday fast. But I do like the traveling Sunday idea!

  2. Hmmm....I must check out Hannah's cheddar-herb biscuit recipe! I love everything I've ever made of hers.

    BTW: On King Cake colors, purple, green, and gold are the traditional colors of Mardi Gras. But I wasn't sure why I googled and found this. "Purple represents justice, green represents faith and gold represents power."

  3. Yum! I love Alis healthy food! I love kale smoothies too, never tried um with grapefruit yet.

  4. The biscuits sound good.

    I can understand why you wouldn't want to make the lemony-olive tagine at this point: that does sound deliciously tempting. I was raised Catholic, so very familiar with Lent, but haven't observed it in years. I like your travelling Sunday idea.

  5. I've never been to Hannah's place, but I'm going as soon as I leave here. Those biscuits you made look awesome!
    Ali always has great recipes. I have a ton of hers that I've been wanting to try. Your blender blends like mine does....nice and chunky. :o)
    Good luck on your fasting tomorrow! You can do it!!! :o)

  6. Jessica, garlic cheddar biscuits sound quite similar: very good! I just wanted the cute little bits of herbs in the muffins.

    Bianca, thanks for looking that up! I guess I probably could have done that too...haha

    Carissa, what do you usually make your kale smoothies with?

    Rose, I can't wait to try it!

    Michelle, Hannah has some GREAT stuff that never fails me. I make her goods a lot for special occasions (Christmas, Easter, etc.)
    Thanks for the willpower wishes :)


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