Wednesday, October 31, 2007

After hearing about National Blog Posting Month (NaBloPoMo) at the kick-off meeting for National Novel Writing Month (NaNoWriMo) this past Sunday, I decided to go for it and participate. That's right (write?), folks. I will be active in not one, but two major (read: insane) writing marathons this November.

Actually, I imagine that the two marathons will inform and inspire one another. I hope that this is not wishful thinking, but I think that the blogging marathon will be something of a yoga session for my brain, keeping it fit while allowing it to stretch in a new way. Also, my NaNoWriMo novel may have some food-related poems tossed into its 50,000 word mix, so my cooking endeavors will (again, hopefully) lend a hand there. And if I'm already messing about in the kitchen and throwing random foodie word muffins into my novel, why not blog about it as well? Why not indeed.

So there you have it. Two massive word marathons are on the menu for my November 2007. Muffin on.

Tuesday, October 30, 2007

I love muffins. But then, you already knew that. All the same, I enjoy a good muffin and am hard-pressed to turn them down. I also enjoy coming up with new and interesting muffin concoctions in the kitchen.

So the other night, as sleep eluded me, my mind naturally wandered to the muffin conundrum at hand. I had two old bananas that were quickly fading from usefulness, even for baking purposes. I needed to make a pre-digestion home for them -- but in what form? In what combination?

And then it hit me. Raisins go well with bananas...and they also taste good with curry powder. Why not try a more spiced muffin? I was very excited and put my idea to the test the next day, adapting a recipe for multigrain muffins from the Moosewood Restaurant Cooks at Home cookbook.

Indian Banana Muffins

2 egg whites, lightly beaten
1/4 cup applesauce
1 cup lowfat soy milk
1/2 cup oats (you can also use quick-cooking oats, but I prefer whole oats)

1 cup all-purpose flour
1 cup whole wheat flour
1/4 tsp salt
1 tsp baking soda
1 tsp baking powder

1 mashed super-ripe banana
1/2 cup raisins
1 tsp Indian curry powder (add more curry powder for a stronger spicy tang)
pinch of cinnamon

Preheat the oven to 400 degrees F.

Stir the dry ingredients together. (Leave the banana, raisins, curry, and cinnamon for later.) In a separate bowl, combine the wet ingredients. Mix well. Combine the two bowls and stir. As the batter smooths, mix in the banana, followed by the raisins, curry powder, and cinnamon. Stir until smooth. Scoop the batter into a greased muffin tin (I used canola oil cooking spray). Bake for 20 minutes, adding approximately 5 minutes if you are using a six-muffin tin. The muffins should be tall and golden, and a fork stabbed into a sacrificial muffin should come out mostly clean (it will probably have a bit of "gook" on it from the banana). Cool and remove muffins. Makes 6-12 muffins, depending on your tin of choice. Devour while warm!

Nutritional content per muffin from the original Moosewood recipe (not my adaptation!): 146 cal., 5.8 g protein, 18 g carb., 171 mg sodium, 18 mg cholesterol.

Monday, October 29, 2007

Welcome to Muffin Love! I decided to start this blog for a few possibly interesting and probably schizophrenic reasons:

  • I enjoy cooking (and I hope you do, too, or are at least open to the possibility. I didn't used to like cooking -- in fact, I detested it and microwaved as much as is possible without turning into a human Hot Pocket).
  • I have a not-so-closeted addiction to looking at all things food online: recipe sites, cooking/foodie blogs, photos on sites such as Flickr, and so forth. In short, I am a food porn junkie.
  • I wanted to legitimize said food porn addiction.
  • I hoped to join the legions of talented and witty food bloggers that I already follow.
  • I wanted to share my successes, failures, and moderately above-average cooking adventures with the world (or at least the food niche of the blogosphere).
  • I like to write, and am sometimes good at it.
  • I enjoy blogging, but often find myself without a topic (check out my general blog, Wannabe Cowgirl for more procrastinatory pleasure).
So here it is -- the vaguely thought-out love child of my inner geek, my writerly tendencies, and, of course, my enjoyment of cooking.

What type of cooking do I find myself playing with the most? You may well ask. At the moment I am addicted to healthy cooking, and especially healthy baking. I have a not - so - healthy lust for all things carbohydrate, and muffins are my all-time favorite form of caloric splurging (closely seconded by pie). Unfortunately for us sad band of muffin compatriots, most store- or bakery-bought muffins are extremely unhealthy, loaded with bad fats, buckets of sugar, and the like. I decided to try to bake (and cook in general) with more healthful options, like substituting honey or apple sauce for sugars, bananas for butter, and so forth. That's the type of culinary questing you will find on this plucky wee site (yes, I just used the word "wee"). It's true -- you too can prevent death by muffins with the aide of my indispensable bloggy wisdom!! Or something.

So enjoy. Welcome to my blog, and please feel free to comment or email with questions, thoughts, stories of your own adventures, or the newest hits in muffin quotations. Muffin on!