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Portlandia Muffins

February 6, 2011

There’s quite a stir going on about a new television show based (in parody) off Portland.  I have received a plethora of messages from friends around the country directing me to the show.  It should be no surprise then that instead of finishing my property reading at a reasonable hour, I am now still awake after midnight thinking about Vanna White’s successful suit against Samsung for “infringing on her likeness.”  By this, I mean that Samsung’s commercial depicting a robot in front of a Wheel of Fortune game offended Ms. White’s sensibilities.  The robot was merely wearing a wig, dress, and some jewelry, but given its placement in the ad, it evoked Ms. White’s image in the public’s eye.  This image, she argued, was her property.  Sad to say, the 9th Circuit of Appeals actually upheld a judgment against Samsung.  This case has a worthy analogy with Portlandia.  That is, I imagine no good Portlander would sue the show’s writers for evoking our likeness.  We understand a good gag for the sake of entertainment, and we know a good sketch when we see one.

Orange Chocolate-Chip Muffins

1 cup milk

1/2 cup freshly squeezed orange juice

1/2 cup sour cream

2 eggs

2 sticks unsalted butter

3 1/2 cups flour

1 cup sugar

1 1/2 tbsp. baking powder

1/2 tsp. salt

zest of one orange

1/2 cup chocolate chips

 

1) Preheat oven to 350 degrees.  Put cupcake liners in two muffin tins.

2)  In a medium mixing bowl, combine the milk, orange juice, sour cream, eggs, and butter.  Whisk ingredients together until thoroughly combined.

3) In a large bowl, combine the flour, sugar, baking powder, and salt.  Mix the ingredients together until thoroughly combined.  Add the wet ingredients to the dry ingredients, until just incorporated.

4) Fold in the orange zest and the chocolate chips.

5) Fill the muffin cups 1/2-3/4 of the way to the rim.  Bake for 20 minutes. Remove the muffins from the hot tins as soon as it is safe to do so.

 

Tuna Noodle Casserole

January 28, 2011

There’s something about comfort food that’s just so… comfortable.  We all have favorites.  My  mom’s comfort food is brown rice.  I have a friend who eats hot-cocoa mix dry from the pouch, and another who practically lives on muffins (I’ll give you one guess who :P).  Now, I’ve got my fair share of comfort foods – as you might have guessed anything pumpkin or pumpkin are both way up there on the list.

For a savory comfort food however, there are few foods that beat my family’s tuna noodle casserole.  Seriously.  This stuff just about ran through my veins my first year of medical school.  Try it and enjoy :)

1 box pasta – cooked according to directions

1 bag peas – cooked according to directions

8-10 slices white american cheese

4 oz shredded cheddar cheese

1 Tbsp butter

a splash of milk

2 regular sized cans or 1 family sized can tuna in water

salt and pepper to taste

To make everything come out perfectly:

1)  Put water on for pasta

2) Cook peas according to directions in large, microwave safe bowl (big enough for the final product).

3) When water is boiling, start pasta and cook according to directions.

4) When peas are done, strain into colander and set aside.

5)  In same bowl, place cheeses, butter and milk.  Microwave  in 30 second intervals, stirring in between until cheese sauce is smooth and creamy.

6) Add peas and tuna(drained).

7) Drain pasta in same colander as peas.

8) Mix all ingredients together and season to taste.

**Note – for the dorm room version:

1) Prepare easy-mac according to microwave directions, adding a handful of peas before microwaving, and stir in tuna when done. :)

Pumpkin French Toast

January 10, 2011

My cousin Thomas and I have something in common (more than our last name and dads with terrible senses of humor…)  We love breakfast – pancakes, eggs, sausage, bacon, waffles… it’s all oh so delicious.  Over Christmas break, Thomas was home from college, and managed to open my eyes to yet another facet of that wonderful, and oh so important first meal of the day – french toast!

In my past experiences, french toast had always been a soggy, chewy thing, only redeemable if stuffed with something delicious.  Thomas, however has made me see the light… light and airy, fluffy and delicious… I think it may be my new favorite breakfast food.

Now, you all know me… I can’t help but try to improve on other peoples’ recipes, or make things my own variation on a theme (exhibit A: eggs in bread bowls).  Now, in the last entry I shared with you a good recipe for pumpkin bread, but it yields two whole loafs…. which is a lot of pumpkin bread.

Pumpkin bread…. french toast…. pumpkin bread… french toast…. LIGHT BULB!

Enjoy :)

2 eggs

a few tablespoons (or a healthy splash) milk/half and half (I’ve never measured, but according to Thomas, this should be enough to lighten the color of the mixture from that of scrambled eggs, but by no means should the mixture be white

a splash of vanilla to taste

1)  Mix egg, milk, and vanilla in a shallow bowl

2)  Heat skillet with a Tbsp. of butter over medium heat until the butter starts to sizzle.

3)  Quickly douse both sides of a slice of pumpkin bread in the egg mixture without dilly dallying ( If you let it soak too long, you’ll have to cook it longer and it will be icky.  That’s right.  Icky.)

4)  Cook doused pumpkin bread 2-4 minutes on each side just until browned.

5)  Enjoy as is – no syrup needed (although some powdered sugar would probably make it pretty for guests)

Pumpkin Fritters

December 31, 2010

It’s the holidays, and as you guys may have realized, I’ve been a little MIA… sorry :(  With all the wrapping and shipping and traveling involved, Just Call Me Betty has fallen down my priority list (in fact LMM has definitely being pulling all the weight around here…) But never fear!  I have returned!  And with such a delicious recipe for all of you too :)

I got the pleasant surprise of LMM coming to spend New Years with me, and am totally on a pumpkin kick :)  Today, I present to you these fabulous pumpkin fritters, I made them to go with a red curry chicken dish I made, but if you like pumpkin… they’d be good with just about anything.

Soon to come:  pumpkin bread, pumpkin french toast, orange slices and more.

Pumpkin Fritters

one 15 oz. can of pumpkin

1/2 c. flour

1 egg

1 Tbsp sugar

1 tsp baking powder

1/2 tsp salt

a few Tbsp of olive oil to cook in

1) In a large bowl, combine all ingredients, mixing thoroughly.

2) Heat oil or butter in skillet and drop spoonfuls of batter in the pan.  Proceed to cook like pancakes,

3) Drain on a paper towel covered plate.

Emergency Chocolate Cookies

December 10, 2010

Yesterday morning I got an e-mail in my inbox, and there was no turning back.  “Chocolate Emergency Cookies”  Come on, who could say no to that?  With Little Ms. Muffin coming down this weekend to study for her finals, I thought it might be a good idea to have on hand.  Just in case of study emergencies… you know…

<3 Betty

Chocolate Emergency Cookies

6 oz semi sweet chocolate chips

6 oz bittersweet chocolate (can use dark chocolate), broke into large pieces
1 stick unsalted butter, softened and divided
1 1/2 cup flour
1/3 cup unsweetened cocoa
1 1/2 tsp baking powder
1/2 tsp salt
3/4 cup brown sugar
3/4 cup granulated sugar
3 large eggs
1 1/2 tsp vanilla

1. Melt chocolates and 1/2 stick butter (in microwave). Cool briefly.
2. Sift flour, cocoa, baking powder and salt. Set aside.
3. Beat 1/2 stick butter, brown sugar and granulated sugar until the consistancy of wet sand.
4. Add the eggs and vanilla and mix.
5. Mix in chocolate mixture, beating only until combined.
6. Stir in flour mixture, only until combined.
7. Chill for 1 hour.
8. Dip out with an ice cream scoop (I use a 4 teaspoon cookie dipper) onto a greased cookie sheet.
9. Bake 1 sheet at a time for 9 to 11 minutes in a 350 degree oven. Do not over bake.
10. Cool 2 minutes on pan before moving to cooling racks.

Sometimes Cinnamon Rolls

December 5, 2010

More and more lately, our society seems to have developed a duality in thinking when it comes to moderation in food.  Cookie Monster is now the “veggie monster”, and cookies are a “sometimes food,” but watch out if you try to tell someone not to supersize their meal.  Good luck finding someone neither over eating, nor on a diet.  Our pants sizes are getting bigger, and our life expectancy shorter.  Food is both a stressor and something we use to feed stress.

In a world so crazy about food, I’m often torn as a food blogger.  Do I post the boring, but healthy meals, or the decedant desserts that will make my readers drool?  As someone who struggles with making good food choices myself, how can I in good concsience post temptation for all to share?  Sure I try to strike a balance… finding things like butternut squash soup, and veggie ragout to try to pull people towards the healthier end of the spectrum, but still, this is something I struggle with.

A while ago, an answer to my quandry came from the most unexpected of sources.  None other, than the Queen of Butter – Ms. Paula Deen.  I was flipping through the channels one day, when I came across an interview with her.  The interviewer, eager to make news, asked her exactly the questions I ask myself so often.  Don’t you think, that in promoting recipes so fattening and indulgent in nature that you have contributed to America’s obesity problem?  Hooked, I immediately stopped flipping channels and perked up.  What did the butter goddess have to say for herself?  I was astonished by her insight.  She basically told the reporter – look, if I ate my food every day, I’d be as big as a kitchen table.  There’s nothing wrong with  rich, buttery food, but it’s important to eat is sparingly, amongst a healthy diet.

Well color me surprised – I never thought I’d say it, but perhaps Paula Dean and the “veggie monster” are right, with two sticks of butter, and a cup of sugar – Paula Dean’s cinnamon rolls are most certainly a sometimes food.  Delicious, but a sometimes food.

<3 Betty

Sometimes Cinnamon Rolls

Dough:

  • 1/4-ounce package yeast
  • 1/2 cup warm water
  • 1/2 cup scalded milk
  • 1/4 cup sugar
  • 1/3 cup butter or shortening
  • 1 teaspoon salt
  • 1 egg
  • 3 1/2 to 4 cups all-purpose flour

Filling:

  • 1/2 cup melted butter, plus more for pan
  • 3/4 cup sugar, plus more for pan
  • 2 tablespoons ground cinnamon
  • 3/4 cup raisins, walnuts, or pecans, optional

In a small bowl, dissolve yeast in warm water and set aside. In a large bowl mix milk, sugar, melted butter, salt and egg. Add 2 cups of flour and mix until smooth. Add yeast mixture. Mix in remaining flour until dough is easy to handle. Knead dough on lightly floured surface for 5 to 10 minutes. Place in well-greased bowl, cover and let rise until doubled in size, usually 1 to 1 1/2 hours.

When doubled in size, punch down dough. Roll out on a floured surface into a 15 by 9-inch rectangle. Spread melted butter all over dough. Mix sugar and cinnamon and sprinkle over buttered dough. Sprinkle with walnuts, pecans, or raisins if desired. Beginning at the 15-inch side, role up dough and pinch edge together to seal. Cut into 12 to 15 slices.

Coat the bottom of a muffin tin with butter and sprinkle with sugar. Place each cinnamon roll slice in it’s own muffin spot and let rise until dough is doubled, about 45 minutes. Bake for about 30 minutes at 350 F or until nicely browned.

Happy Thanksgiving :)

November 25, 2010

Hey everyone!  Little Ms Muffin and I just wanted to let you all know how thankful we are for all of you who read our blog!

Now step away from the computer, go eat real food instead of drooling over ours, and spend time with those you love :)

<3 Betty

Magic Bars

November 22, 2010

This is one of my all-time favorite recipes.  Probably one of the first recipes I became fond of back in high school – It’s one of those ones I go back to over and over again.  This is partly because it’s delicious (how could you go wrong with coconut, chocolate, and nuts?) and partially because of how easy it is.  I’m sure you’ve had these before – you can find it on the side of any Eagle Brand sweetened condensed milk can, but they’re so good, I figured it was worth the share :)

<3 Betty

Magic Bars

1 stick butter

1 package graham cracker crumbs

1 (14 ounce) can Sweetened Condensed Milk

2 cups chocolate chips

1 1/3 cups flaked coconut

Optional Ingedients:

1 cup chopped nuts

1 cup peantubutter chips

1 cup butterscotch chips

heck you could even put some crasins in….. :D

 

1) Preheat oven to 350F , place stick of butter in 13X9 baking pan, and allow to melt in oven, while it’s pre-heating.

2)  Meanwhile, crush the package of grahm crackers into crumbs.  When butter is melted, dump gram crack crumbs into baking pan, and mix well with fork, patting it down to create the base of the crust.

3)  Pour can of sweetened condensed milk over the pan, covering it evenly.

4)  Sprinkle with coconut and other delicious things and pat down with fork.

5)  Bake for 20-25 until golden brown, cool completely, cut into bars and enjoy :)

Eggs in a bread bowl

November 18, 2010

I’m not a big fan of sweet breakfasts.  I mean, don’t get me wrong, there are lots of delicious things that, let’s face it, should be categorized as dessert, that getaway as breakfast food.  I’m not against them per se, but to get me going in the morning, I much prefer something hearty.

That being said, most mornings, I barely have time for a shower, let alone to cook up eggs and toast.  That is why I absolutely love these things, easy for every day breakfast (just whip them together and bake the night before, or throw them in the oven before you hop in the shower) or as a simple, yet impressive treat for brunch.  You can find the original, or “the classic” as I like to call it, created here, on the fabulous Noble Pig.

A quick grab and go breakfast, these babies are irresistible.  Making variations on a theme?  I’m so there.

 

The Classic: What’s not to love… a spalsh of half and half, salt, pepper, and shredded parm :)

The Hothead: This one was a bit of a flop – jack daniel’s hot sauce and tillamok cheddar don’t quite make the cut – as delicious as all of these are individually, they were a bit of a flop when put together.

The Ranch: I was a little apprehensive about this one going in – I’m not the world’s biggest ranch dressing fan, but in the end, it came through with flying colors :) Tangy ranch, with the creamy richness of egg… mmmm…. definitely a do-again.

The Italiano: Maybe it’s just the Italian in my blood, but this one was my absolute favorite.  A dollop of left over vodka sauce from dinner the other night, and topped with a generous sprinkling of parm… it was the perfect marriage of eggs in bread bowls and hilary’s heavenly eggs.  I loveloveloveloveloveeeee these!  Make them.  Make them now.

Shanghaied Muffins

November 16, 2010

This weekend I had the opportunity to tour a small bit of the Portland underground—a labyrinth of tunnels running under the city.  These tunnels were used as secret hideouts for opium dens, torture chambers for sex slaves, and avenues of human trafficking.  Drunkards were frequently stolen from saloons and shuttled underground, often drugged, and brought to sea where they’d be forced to work for years as ship crew.  Sometimes men were dropped right through the floor of saloons above, by the pull of a bar-attendant’s lever.  These sorry shanghaied individuals were unlikely to escape; there were a number of ways for traffickers to hold them captive, including stealing their shoes and sprinkling a thick layer of broken glass along the exit route. There are numerous ghost tales that go along with these tunnels, but I did not encounter any creepies.  Most importantly, this activity made my contracts practice test far more palatable. Offer, acceptance, and the statute of frauds are a lot easier to handle after such an outing.  I “raise” these muffins in honor of Portland’s shanghaied.

–Little Ms. Muffin

Chocolate Chocolate Chip

1 3/4 cups flour
1/2 cup cocoa powder
2 tsp baking powder
1/4 tsp salt
1 1/2 cups granulated sugar
2 eggs
3/4 cup whole milk yogurt
1/2 cup softened butter
2 tsp vanilla
1 cup semisweet chocolate chips

1)    Preheat the oven to 375 degrees and thoroughly grease a muffin tin (and I mean, really grease it, or the muffins will get stuck).

2)    In a large bowl, combine the flour, cocoa powder, baking powder, and salt and whisk together.

3)    In a medium bowl, combine the sugar, eggs, butter, yogurt, and vanilla.  Pour these ingredients into the large bowl and mix until just combined.

4)    Fold in the chocolate chips being careful not to over-mix the batter.

5)    Distribute the batter into the muffin cups and bake for 20 minutes.  Let them cool before removing.