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Tuesday, May 28, 2013

Cream Cheese Stuffed Carrot Muffins

Hi again!

So, this isn't my recipe. My mom pointed me in the direction of the link below, and I made the muffins and they were fantastic- no tweaking required. As you can see below, I took a lazy shortcut and put my cream cheese filling on top of the cupcakes instead of inside- still delish! Bottom line, these are fabulous, and you should totally give them a try- they've already been tested in two countries! (My mom lives in MX and has made these a few times- including for a neighborhood gathering of Mexicans and Gringos alike in order to meet the new mayor and cut the ribbon on the opening (or really the finishing!) of the new street they put in where my mom lives- the muffins seemed to be a hit!)

Here's the link to the original recipe/idea: King Arthur Flour Inside-Out Carrot Cake Muffins

notes for what I did:
-I put my cream cheese filling on top- this worked fine but if I do it this way again I will probably beat an egg into the cream cheese mixture so that it sinks into the cupcake better.
-I used at least 1.5 times as much carrots as the recipe called for.
-I was able to make more than 13 muffins- just adjust your cooking time for different amounts or sizes of muffins
-I did not read carefully enough and I did not grease my muffin cups- don't make the same mistake as me- yummy but hard to get the paper off!
-I added in about a cup of chopped walnuts at the end.
-I did not sprinkle the tops with coarse sugar, though I am sure that would be great- or even regular sugar would work, to give a little crust of sweetness

Mix together the wet ingredients, then add in all the dry ones and whisk well.
Once all is uniform, add in your grated carrot(s).
Then I added in some walnuts- not called for in the recipe but I love walnuts so there you go!
Here's the whipped up cream-cheese mixture (that I would add an egg to in some situations- makes it more cheesecakey then cream cheese icing-y)
Here are my muffins before the oven, not all are topped yet.
My muffins out of the oven- mine were more sort of self-icing carrot muffins, but making it into a filling would be equally great- that's what I'll do next time!

Savor it!

love, rue

Monday, May 20, 2013

Grits Casserole

Hey there everyone-

This recipe comes with a backstory. Though not a native, I grew up mostly in the Bible-Belt-South, where grits are quite an easy commodity to come by. While I didn't eat too much southern food, being raised by transplanted northerners, I've been eating grits for as long as I can remember. I usually just whip up a serving and add enough cheddar cheese to make it orange- I like 'em cheesy! I didn't realize exactly the extent to which grits were a regional food until I moved clear across the country to the Pacific Northwest, where grits are not an easy thing to find.

I'd been hankering for some grits casserole, a strong southern standby, but couldn't find grits anywhere. I was even considering ordering some online!! But through a huge stroke of luck, the BF's mom sent me over a bag of grits she found (Thank You!!!), and I was in business. I kept it simple this time, just some straight up cheesy grits casserole, though you can take it a lot of different ways- add in some veggies or some fried up bacon or sausage- YUM!

The arsenal: I always use these ingredients as a base- though personally I can do without the Worcestershire- make them how you like it!
Boil your grits until thickened...
Then stir in your combined milk and eggs, and butter. Then stir in the cheese!
Pour grits into a greased 2qt baking dish, and bake 35-40 minutes, then let stand 10 minutes.

Grits Casserole
(note: feel free to add-in whatever you like- some sauteed veggies, some fried up sausage or bacon- go wild!)
-4 cups water
-1 cup grits
-1/2 teaspoon (and more to taste) salt
-1/2 cup milk
-3 tablespoons butter
-2 eggs, lightly beaten
-2+ cups cheddar cheese (I like mine reaaalllllyyy cheesy)
-just a sprinkle of cayenne and paprika
(optional: add in some crisped bacon or sausage- mix in before pouring into the baking dish)
Bring water to a boil. Stir in grits, boil 5-7 (or more) minutes, until thickened.
Stir in the milk, butter, and eggs (it's a good idea to mix these together beforehand- helps prevent the eggs scrambling!).
Stir in your cheese- as much as you dare. Season.
Pour into a greased 2 quart baking dish.
Bake at 350 F for 35-40 minutes, let stand 10 minutes before serving.

The finished grits casserole- nice and cheesy and slightly browned- enjoy!

Savor it!
love, rue

Monday, May 13, 2013

Roasted Chickpeas

Hello again!

Ok, I have to admit that this recipe has been sitting in the files for a long time, and I only just got around to actually trying it out- about time! This is a super simple and healthy snack that you can season however you like- my kind of thing! On to the pics and recipe:

Drain and rinse your chickpeas, then pat dry with a towel.
Then in a small pot, add your oil and spices together.
And stir together over medium heat until you form a paste like this. Toss in your chickpeas to evenly coat.
Then dump your chickpeas onto a foil lined baking sheet, and turn every 10 minutes during baking.
Here are the finished chickpeas just out of the oven- seasoned and crispy.

Roasted Chickpeas
-1 (15 oz.) can chickpeas, drained, rinsed, and patted dry
-1 tablespoon olive oil
-2-3 teaspoons of spices of your choosing- this can go a lot of different directions!
Heat olive oil and spices in a small pot, stirring until a past forms. Toss in the chickpeas and toss to coat evenly.
Pour chickpeas out onto a foil-lined baking sheet.
Bake at 400 F for 30-40 minutes, stirring every 10 minutes, until browned.

All done! These are a perfect snack or appetizer, and feel free to take them any direction you choose!

Savor it!
love, rue

Monday, May 6, 2013

Chewy Coconut Macaroons

Hey everyone!

I know I've posted about macaroons in the past (always the coconut kind, not the French kind), but these have a different recipe and you can whip them up in a matter of minutes, so what's not to love? These are chewy and sweet and delicious. Let's get to it!

Here's your short and sweet arsenal- 5 ingredients with the optional vanilla!
Add all the dry ingredients (everything except the sweetened condensed milk and vanilla) together and mix well.

Pour over the sweetened condensed milk, and vanilla if using, and stir together well.
You'll end up with a thick coconut heavy mixture that's pretty easy to shape into balls and bake.
Here are some of the macaroons fresh out of the oven- just starting to brown on top!

Chewy Coconut Macaroons
(note: I did not do this, but if you're feeling chocolate, melt some chocolate chips in the microwave and dip the tops or bottoms of the macaroons for an extra decadent treat)
-2/3 cup flour
-5 1/3 (average package size) flaked or shredded coconut (sweetened)
-1/4 teaspoon salt
-1 (14 oz.) can sweetened condensed milk
-1-2 teaspoons vanilla (optional)
Mix together dry ingredients, then mix in the sweetened condensed milk and vanilla if using. It may be easiest to use your hands at this point- the mixture gets pretty thick.
Drop by rounded tablespoons onto cookie sheets lined with parchment paper or foil (I recommend parchment if you have the option).
Bake at 350 F for 12-15 minutes, until starting to brown on the tops.

The finished macaroons! Chewy and sweet with the barest of crunches on the top- these are great!

Savor it!
love, rue