Tuesday, November 9, 2010

Apple Crumble Muffins

I love to bake, anything from bread to cake to pie. Even if my pantry is empty, there's still always a good supply of flour, sugar, baking powder, salt and other baking essentials. Here's a recipe I found online for apple muffins with a cinnamon crumble on top. (You can see one's already missing a bite on the right side.) I made these in my boyfriend's apartment and between us and his roommates, they were gone by the end of the day. The only problem I had with these muffins was that they were really crumbly and barely stayed together. The cinnamon crumble on top was delicious though. I think next time I'd try this recipe in bread form and hope it would hold together a little better.

Apple Crumble Muffins - Adapted from College Candy
Makes: 24 muffins  Prep: 10 minutes  Total: 40 minutes

1/2 cup butter 
1 1/4 cups white sugar
1 teaspoon vanilla extract
1/2 teaspoon salt
2 eggs
1 3/4 cups all-purpose flour
2 teaspoons baking powder
1/2 teaspoon ground cinnamon
1/2 cup milk
2 cups peeled, cored and sliced apples
    Beat butter, sugar and vanilla until smooth. Add eggs.
    Mix in flour, baking powder and cinnamon, then pour in milk. Fold in apples and pour mixture into muffin tins.
    Sprinkle cinnamon crumble on top and bake at 375 for 30 minutes.

    Cinnamon Crumble 

    1/2 cup white sugar
    1/2 teaspoon ground cinnamon
    3 tablespoons all-purpose flour
    2 tablespoons butter, cubed
      Combine ingredients in a bowl and mix, cutting the butter with two butter knives to the size of small peas and coating with dry mixture.

      Tuesday, November 2, 2010

      Recipes Online

      In the age of a generation raised online, information can be accessed instantly by the click of a button. Today hundreds of thousands of recipes are available on the internet, providing never-ending opportunities to expand your food tastes and discover new recipes. Some of these websites and blogs cater to experienced chefs, while others are targeted at people with limited cooking ability. Though I have a plethora of recipes I've inherited from family members, I often find meals on these food sites when I'm looking for a quick fix. Here are a few useful websites I wanted to share as well as recipes I've found on each.
      This site is great for finding tons of variations on a simple recipe.

      These are stuffed peppers I made last week. The baked green peppers are stuffed with ground beef, rice, onion, cheddar cheese and topped with condensed tomato soup before baking for 30 minutes. I was skeptical about the soup at first, but it did a great job of keeping the beef and rice from drying out in the oven. These reheat well too, so don't hesitate to make extra.
      Click Here to try it!
      By entering ingredients that are in your pantry into the Supercook search engine, this website pulls up hundreds of recipes you can make using the food you already have. (Note: This is a database that will lead you to other food sites to view the actual recipes, so go to the for the original website.)

      Here's an easy cheeseburger pie I whipped up for dinner last night. I needed a way to get rid of the pound of ground beef in my freezer using what I had. All this recipe requires is ground beef, Bisquick, an onion, 2 eggs, milk, salt and cheddar cheese. Bakes for 25 minutes and leaves plenty of leftovers for lunch on the go.
      Click Here to try it!
      If you're an adventurous eater, then you'll love TasteSpotting. This is a site I discovered today and am really excited to try. Recipes ranging from Korean Pumpkin Porridge to Banana Avocado Pancakes are sprinkled across the site's homepage, with pictures that'll instantly make your mouth water. It premieres a culturally diverse representation of regional cuisines, and you know it's authentic because some of the recipes are still written in their native language! (I found a French onion soup recipe that's written in Polish. Pretty cool, right?)

      These pork chop sandwiches are called cemitas, originating from Puebla, Mexico. Cemitas are slider-sized sandwiches, this particular one layered with pork, avocado, sweet cherry peppers and mozzarella all on a homemade roll that takes 8 hours to rise. Whoa. This might be my next culinary feat to tackle.
      Click Here to try it!

      Monday, November 1, 2010

      Pasta Sauce Alternative

      Being a college student, I'm naturally broke. Thus, my pantry is usually stocked with $1 boxes of pasta and not much else. This is great except for the fact that I never invest in pasta sauce to go along with it. So here's a trick I always use. Instead of buying sauce, grill up vegetables in a pan with some olive oil and use them to top your pasta.

      This is also a great way to get rid of produce before it goes bad. I love cherry tomatoes but can never finish a whole package, so the other day I chopped them up along with some leftover sage, grilled them for about 10 minutes, and seasoned with salt and pepper. In the time it took me to boil water and cook my pasta I had a big healthy meal prepared, and I didn't even have to go to the store!
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