Posts tagged ‘baking’

August 16, 2011

Whole-Wheat Vegan Carrot Cake Loaf (That Actually Tastes Good!)

What’s up Tuesday?  You’re looking lovely today, especially compared to Monday.  Sorry Monday, you’re just not my type.

As I mentioned in yesterday’s weekend recap, I baked a bit on Saturday.  No, I wasn’t ill, I actually just felt like baking.  Crazy, right?  I didn’t want to make cookies, brownies, or anything too addicting.  I was going for hearty & healthy with a side of sinful.  That’s exactly what I found when I discovered Angela’s whole-wheat vegan carrot cake loaf.  Try saying that five times fast.

loaf

I did not follow the recipe completely (do I ever?), but it still came out wonderfully.  It’s idiot-proof.

This was my first food-processor shredding experience, and the excellent results made me giddy.  I just wanted to shred shred shred.

carrots

Maybe I got a little carried away on the shredding.

While stirring the wet ingredients, I was just a wee bit short of the maple syrup requirement.  So, I subbed a plop of molasses.  I’m not sure if the molasses made a difference, but in my head, the loaf got a hint of gingerbread taste.  In short, I totally recommend the plop.

The best thing about vegan baking?  Licking the dough without fear of salmonella from any eggs.  Woohoo!

While licking my spatula, I noticed the advertisement on my Pandora station.  A Victoria’s Secret model was standing there judging me in my own kitchen.  Frankly, I think she was jealous.

I tried to let the loaf cool on my makeshift rack, but you really need a wire rack for this.  The loaf was fragile yet heavy, so I was scared it would fall through the wires.

My last recommendation?  Butter.

Do you bake on a whim or special occasions only?  Link up if you’ve got a favorite baking recipe.

July 23, 2011

NuNaturals Review

Thank goodness for the weekend!  I’m so happy it’s Saturday.  Kevin and I have stated this is going to be a no-work Saturday.  Woohoo!  We’ll be boating, dining with friends, and partying it up tonight to celebrate a buddy’s birthday.  I’m pretty happy to not be wielding a paintbrush, fighting with my Swiffer, or trying not to burn things in the kitchen.  Yup – today will be a good day.  To top it off, I’m still in my pajamas.  That never happens, but I could really take a liking to it!

I was going to run today, but I’m not out sweating my butt off for three reasons.

  1. This is a no-work day, remember
  2. My back is sore from housework, spin class, and more housework
  3. My legs are actually pretty sore from spin too
I hadn’t taken a spin class since my California trip with FitSugar, and the other last time was at least a year ago.  I forgot how much I love love love it!  I was up at level 17 for quite a while, and I was totally drenched in sweat by the end of class.
bike

That's a lotta minute and a lotta miles!

Then I went home to paint, walk to TJs, bake, and cook dinner.  Whew.  No wonder my legs are tired.
**********
So let me tell you about this baking experience.  I used NuNatura’s MoreFiber Baking Blend instead of sugar to make Martha Stewart’s Vanilla Cupcakes.  I wanted to use a tried-and-true recipe for quality control.  I also chose to use 100% organic butter (instead of a subsitute) and all-purpose white flour (instead of wheat) to make sure all other constants were held equal.  (Science Nerd Alert)
mix

mix

These did not smell sweet and scrumptious while baking.  Then they came out of the oven… uh oh…
cupfails

Cupfails

As you can see, they have cracks on top.  After letting them cool, I tried one.  Bleh.  They’re not spongy and sweet.  They’re dense and bland.  They taste and feel like a mix between shortbread cookies and white cake.  I won’t bother frosting them.
I was going to give these to our friend whose birthday we’ll be celebrating tonight, but I think the garbage can will get them instead.
**********
I tried two other NuNaturals recipes – both were made up by me.  I first put the Pure Liquid Vanilla in my oats with cherries.  It was good, but I am not sure I put quite enough in to taste it.
Next, I put the Pure Liquid Cocoa Extract in a recipe I recreated.  I first tried the drink when I was in Greece.
throwback

Throwback pics are OK, right?

Mom and I kept ordering “Nescafe” on our trip.  It is essentially milk, sugar, instant coffee, ice, and more sugar.  Yum!  Today, I used milk, instant coffee, and the Cocoa Extract, hoping for a very sweet and also lightly mocha flavor.
nescafe
Nope.  Not so good.  Not very sweet.  I used about 10 more drops than the “recommended” amount, and it just wasn’t doing it for me.
Another fail.  I know others like stevia, but I can’t say I’ll ever be adding it to my food again.  At least I’m honest!
Have a good Saturday!  I’m off to go brew some real coffee…
July 14, 2011

Jalapeno Corn Muffins

I got up this morning and completed another 3 miles with my running buddy.  I’m glad I did it, but we were both huffing and puffing.  It was hot, windy, and humid.  How does this happen before the sun even rises???  Anyway, at least I did it, and I’m done!  Moving on…

Last week, I know I said that there was a jalapeno corn muffin recipe coming soon.  It didn’t come very soon, but it came.  It came just the same.  (Sorry, I totally ripped off Dr. Seuss right there.  Thanks Mr. Grinch!)

I made these for a 4th of July cookout we attended, but since I didn’t create the recipe, I wasn’t in a huge hurry to post it .  (Nothing is more American than corn these days.)  The muffins aren’t even healthy, and for once, I did not try to “healthify” them.  At least they were a hit at the cookout!

The recipe comes from Food Network’s website, so I’m not going to re-post it here.  I will just go through it with you to let you in on my baking secrets.  Okay, there’s no lie.  I have no baking secrets.  I just want to share the yum-ness.

 The Essence of Emeril’s Jalapeno Corn Muffins  (recipe yields 14, but I got 12 out of them)

First, you’ve gotta gather your goods.  Martha Stewart says it’s best to gather and pre-measure your ingredients before cooking.  I agree, but I don’t always do it.  Shame shame.

stuff

Gathering the Goods

Then, I defrosted my frozen corn.  Sorry Emeril, I like it frozen.  So easy, and so yellow.  I also fried up my onions in 1 TBS butter.  Again, sorry Emeril, 2 TBS just sounded excessive.  I also throw in a diced, fresh jalapeno after the onion cooked a bit.

mmm

Onions + Butter = Hot Love in a Pan

Now mix your dry stuff.  I added a little extra cheese, which was barely noticeable.  I also couldn’t taste the cayenne pepper, but maybe I have a cheap brand or something.  Then mix your wet stuff separately.  I used this sustainable honey came from my uncle’s property.  I guess it’s organic too, but who really puts chemicals on bees?  Steroid bees?  Antibiotic super-bees?  Odd.

mix

Honey Bear Always Sees the Glass Half Full

You put your dry stuff in; don’t take your dry stuff out.  You put your wet stuff in, and then you mix it all about…

Bear

Honey Bear Approves of this Mixture

As you can see from the pic, I used both pickled and fresh jalapenos.  The recipe calls for red jalapenos, but I’ve never heard of such things… and I might have been too lazy to look for them.

 I spooned the goo into muffin tins and baked.  Mine took a while to bake, but my oven’s older than dirt.  I like to sarcastically call it, Old Reliable.

Here’s the finished product.  Yum!  Be sure to let them cool, and yes, it’s okay to use a roasting pan if you don’t own a cooling rack.  I’ve never been the kind of girl to sport a big rack.

Segregation

Take a Chill Pill, Muffins

Notice that half are darker than the others.  I used whole wheat flour and all-purpose flour for the first batch, but I just used all-purpose flour for the second batch.  Kev and I actually preferred the muffins with whole wheat, which is very surprising since he’s a white pasta/bread/muffin kind of guy.

pack

So Friggin Cute! (And Festive)

These were not terribly spicy, but they were good.  They had just enough kick to appeal to a crowd but not send anyone reaching for a beer glass of water.  I have to admit that I did not figure the nutrition stats on these.  I bet we don’t really want to know…

What do you think of spicy foods?  Jalapenos – yay or nay?

May 19, 2011

Muffin Madness

Today’s update is another three-part post.  Yet again, I’ll be brief.  First, I’ll mention news from this morning.  Next, I’ll jump to last night’s muffins.  Finally, I’ll wrap up with a wee bit of link love.

I ran 2.8 miles today with my running buddy.  I kept it slow so as not to injure myself before Saturday.  I also did my abdominal workout before hitting the shower.  Today I decided to wear my LND that we discussed the other day, and due to the majority vote, I went for nude pumps.

Thanks for the Style Advice!

On to the kitchen catastrophe experience…  I don’t bake for a reason.  The main reason? I eat dough.  Actually, I eat lots of dough.  I managed to keep that to a minimum this time, but I still made a mess of my kitchen and poorly followed directions.  Here is the recipe, which I adapted from Eating Bird Food.

Choco-Nana Muffins (I doubled the recipe)

  • 3/4 cup whole wheat flour
  • 3/4 cup oat bran
  • 1/2 tsp baking soda
  • 1 tsp pumpkin pie spice
  • 1/2 tsp sea salt
  • 1/3 cup sucanat
  • 2 very ripe bananas, mashed
  • 1/4 cup almond milk
  • 1 egg, and 1 egg white, beaten
  • 1 tsp vanilla extract
  • 1/3 cup dark chocolate chips

Directions

  1. Preheat oven to 425° Make sure all ingredients are cool.
  2. Line muffin tin with liners or coat well with cooking spray
  3. Combine all dry ingredients in a bowl and mix well
  4. Combine all wet ingredients in a bowl and mix well.
  5. Pour wet ingredients into the bowl with the dry ingredients and mix until just combined. Be careful not to over mix.
  6. Fill each muffin cup 3/4 of the way full and bake for 15 minutes.
  7. Remove from oven and let cool.

Chocolate n' Nanner

I mixed the dry ingredients, but I added too much baking soda.  Whoops!  Also, I had to try the chocolate chips before putting them in the muffins.  I say “try,” but I’ve never actually had a bad chocolate chip – especially a bad chocolate chip on the end of a banana.  Speaking of bananas, don’t send your hubby to the store the day before baking for brown bananas.  You’ll end up with bright yellow ones.  I put them in a brown paper bag overnight to help them ripen, but that did nothing.  I just had to throw them in the food processor.  I should have taken a picture of their bright yellowness (Yup, I said “yellowness”).

I then mixed the ingredients with my Dr. Weil mixer.  I am convinced everything I bake is healthy because Dr. Weil’s name is on my mixer.  The original directions say not to “over mix,” but I’m not sure how much is over mixing.  I probably over-mixed the crap out of these things.

Integration

Fill your muffin cups and bake.  At least they smelled good!

Mmm... raw goodness

They look cute too.  They even did that little crack thing on the top.  Woohoo!

Cuties!

Is that a roasting pan?  Yes.  This is what non-bakers who do not own cooling pans use.  Sue me.

What? You haven't had roast muffins?

The verdict?  A little dry, and a little bland.  (I love my muffins super spongey.)  Overall, edible.  Score one for Tiff!

Okay, maybe a little...

As stated, I’m ending with a little link love.  It’s about women liking beer.  Healthy women too!  Hungry Meets Healthy mentions an RJ Rockers beer.  I haven’t tried this one, but I love their brown ale.  I have to wonder though because this blogger lives in South Cackilacky, but she paid $7 for a pint of RJ Rockers, which is a SC brew.  Don’t pay that; it’s too much.  Moving on… this is a post by Eating Bird Food.  She mentions loving some lavender ale.  I’ve never tried lavender, but it’s now on my list!

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