Sunday, 29 May 2011

Cinnamon, Raisin, Oatmeal, and Coconut Muffins

What do you bring to a party when you don't really feel like baking?
The answer is muffins.
Yes, you're still using the oven, but they're soo quick you barely notice you're actually making them.
And they taste nice.
And these have oatmeal in them so you can eat the one you broke while taking the tray out of the oven for breakfast the next morning.
So after baking a batch of the Citrusy Blueberry Muffins and attempting to amputate my thumb with my microplane grater (you won't be getting any recipes involving citrus zest for a while...) I made a batch of these little lovelies and I must say I'll probably make another batch at some point during the week (because I liked them very muchly :) ).
That said, I used coconut extract. If you can't get hold of coconut extract (don't go for imitation coconut, very bad idea!) I would probably replace some (if not all) of the milk with coconut milk for the flavour.
Anyhow, let's make some muffins!

Cinnamon, Raisin, Oatmeal, and Coconut Muffins
75g Oatmeal
220g Plain Flour
150g Sugar
2 tsp Baking Powder
1/2 tsp Bicarbonate of Soda
1 tsp Cinnamon
75g Raisins
250ml Milk
2 Egg-Whites
55g Butter (melted and then slightly cooled again)
1/2 tsp Coconut Extract

Preheat your oven to 190˚C and line a muffin pan with 12 cups.
Mix the dry ingredients in a bowl.
Whisk the liquid ingredients together in a small bowl.
Then fold the wet mix into the dry mix until they're just combined (it's ok if there's still small bits of dry mix that don't look properly mixed, you really don't want to overmix the batter or the muffins will become chewy).
Pour the batter into the lined muffin pan and bake for 15-20 minutes.

Enjoy one (or two, or three) with a glass of milk (or G&T...both work rather well ;) )
I hope you have a lovely rest of your weekend!

Thursday, 26 May 2011

Tapioca Pudding

If there is one thing that will make me love a dessert it's some kind of starch cooked in some liquid. Verena keeps making fun of me for loving all kinds of pudding - semolina pudding, rice pudding, chocolate pudding, tapioca pudding, quinoa pudding, Christmas pudding...nah, really don't like that one...
Anyhow, I have recently been obsessed with finding the perfect tapioca pudding recipe and while I haven't cooked my way through 20 batches yet I have honed in on a winner over the last couple of days.
It's sweet but not too sweet, creamy but not excessively so and the vanilla....hmm

Tapioca Pudding
1/3 cup Small Pearl Tapioca
3 cups Milk
1/3 cup Sugar
1/2 tsp Vanilla Extract (or 1/2 Vanilla pod if you have one lying around)
1pinch Salt
2 Egg-Yolks

Soak the tapioca in about 2 cups of cold water (1 hour works just fine, if you pass out while watching Grey's Anatomy because you're jet-lagged and only remember the next morning the end result will be slightly softer but will be just as tasty).
Drain the tapioca and combine it with 2/3 of the milk in a saucepan. Heat over a medium-low heat until it starts bubbling (this might take up to 15 minutes). Heating the mixture this slow allows the tapioca pearls to 'cook' through.
In a small bowl or jug mix the remaining milk, egg-yolks, sugar, vanilla and salt.
Once the tapioca mix is bubbling away, add the egg-mix and stir them well.
Cook until the tapioca is translucent (probably another 10-20 minutes but don't just take it off the heat based on the time, go for when the tapioca is done).
Enjoy your tapioca pudding either hot or cold with lots of fresh fruit.

Sunday, 22 May 2011

Five Leaves

I am trying to ignore the fact that I am already knee-deep in my work again so I thought to entertain you and to keep the denial going for a few more minutes I could share some more photos of our food-adventures in New York with you.
Just around the corner from where we were staying in Greenpoint there is a restaurant called Five Leaves. The main introduction my sister gave me was 'this used to be Heath Ledger's restaurant'.
I must admit since I am trying to forget my past as a teenager when he was my movie-star crush I nearly didn't want to go to the restaurant after all but then everyone started telling us about their burger (with beetroot, grilled pineapple, fried egg, and horseradish mayo) so we went anyway. But since I was trying to be all cool and grown-up ;) I left my camera at home - big mistake - I had one of the best burgers I've had in my life and I don't even have a picture to show you how amazing it looked (because it tasted about as amazing as it looked).
So what else would two Katharinas on a holiday do other than come back a couple of days later to have breakfast there?

if you are worried you might be tired at some point in the coming week, this is the perfect cortado for you

© Katharina Schäfer
 soo not posing...

© Katharina Schäfer

but then the food arrived

© Katharina Schäfer

and had to be drenched in maple syrup

© Katharina Schäfer

© Katharina Schäfer

this requires concentration, you know...

Anyhow, if you want to have some seriously good food (and want to feel incredibly unstylish compared to everyone else in there) then this is the place to go :)
Oh, and no, they didn't pay me to write about them or give me free food.

Friday, 20 May 2011

New York Impressions Part II

I thought I could share some more photos with you before I return home and start cooking again (soo many ideas, soo many new ingredients in my suitcase - we will be making tapioca pudding next week and I can barely wait).

Brunch at Egg

I think we were doing quite well on that front...

Build your own.....

Wednesday, 18 May 2011

New York Impressions Part I

What can I friend Katharina and I are eating our way through the city and it's been awesome so far.
Here are some highlights:

This used to be a red velvet cupcake from Magnolia Bakery.
If I wasn't slightly worried what all this food colouring might do to me I would probably eat them every day. The recipe I posted a while back is based on the one in their cookbook.

Juicy pork buns at M Shanghai

Red velvet donut at Peter Pan Bakery (I had to try one, I still don't like donuts but as far as donuts are concerned this was one of the nicest ones I've ever had).

A rather amazing vegan caramel pecan sandwich cookie from 'sNice.

Breakfast at Nussbaum & Wu's

Anyhow, yes, we are actually doing stuff that doesn't involve food, I just keep forgetting to take photos of the other stuff.
I hope you have a fab rest of your week!

Monday, 16 May 2011

Dinner at Momofuku

I'm finally getting around to posting again. I got a bit sidetracked by eating a lot of mediocre food in Florida while catching up with some very lovely people (ok, and I was a bit too busy looking at posters and sitting at the beach to fully explore the culinary potential of Naples) and I haven't really had a chance to breathe since I got to New York (in a good way though).
Yesterday I finally had a chance to meet up with my sister and we went to Momofuku Noodle Bar.
And yes, in case you have the book as well - it tastes as amazing as you think it will when you're looking at the recipes.
Let me make you hungry with some photos of what we had :)

Lychee and yuzu slushies...

The pork buns....

Cauliflower and some other awesome stuff

Ginger scallion noodles....hmmmm

Momofuku ramen....

After dinner we went to their Milkbar for some dessert (because there's always room for dessert, even when you've just stuffed yourself with some of the most amazing pork buns and noodles) where I discovered the amazingness of cereal milk...and crack pie...and some amazing strawberry lemon cake truffles (didn't take a photo of that).

I walked home a very happy person on a slight sugar high.

Friday, 6 May 2011

Conference Food

I guess there's something good about people knowing you like food when you go to conferences.
Rather than eating my sandwich and strawberries, I got to eat some cake for dessert.
And not just any cake - Arthur who has just started writing over at Ramblings of a foodie, made some amazing Spekkoek.

So rather than eating a handful of nuts (which, before some of you tell me off again, really aren't enough to tide you over from breakfast until dinner...I tried that one year in Chicago and it really didn't work...) or being bored by my sandwich, I feel like I had a proper meal today :)

What do you normally eat when you are at conferences? Do you have any super secret tips that you want to share?

Wednesday, 4 May 2011

Sweet Potato Pancakes

I think I have a new favourite type of pancakes.
And guess what - they are made with sweet potatoes. I mean not that we've been having a theme going on :)
Kelsey and I went to Highland Bakery for brunch this weekend (you know...when in Rome...) and shared some of the French Toast which I already told you all about last year :)

but we also had some sweet potato pancakes and they changed the way I think about brunch...

I mean pancakes are awesome, sweet potatoes are even better, but put the two of them together and you get something 10 times more amazing!
Think the creaminess of sweet potatoes, perfectly fried crispy edges of your pancakes, and then you drown them in brown sugar butter :)
Can you think of anything better?
Because I can't!

Monday, 2 May 2011

Peanut Butter & Coconut Quick Bread

Jenna at Eat, Live, Run made a peanut butter sandwich bread a while back and I was itching to give it a go.
So when I realized that I could hold the mixing bowl between my knees and that I could hold the electric mixer with my right hand I was completely sold (you know, sometimes it's little things like this...)
I might have been smiling like a lunatic while making it but who cares, I got to bake again!
Anyhow, I used mostly coconut milk because I was too lazy to run to the store to get some more milk. The coconut brings out the peanut flavour in a lovely way and it makes the bread taste really creamy, but I'm sure using just milk would have given me a loaf just as nice.

Peanut Butter & Coconut Quick Bread
3/4 cup Peanut Butter (I used chunky)
1/2 cup Sugar
1/2 cup Milk
1 cup Coconut Milk
2 cups Flour
1 tsp Cinnamon
1/2 tsp Nutmeg
1 tsp Salt
1 tbsp Baking Powder

Preheat your oven to 175˚C and grease a loaf tin.
Mix the flour, cinnamon, nutmeg, salt and baking powder in a medium bowl.
In a second bowl, cream together the peanut butter and the sugar.
Add the dry mix and the coconut and normal milks, alternating as you go along.
Pour the batter into the tin and stick it into the oven. Give the bread about an hour, then look at it in adoration (you should be able to get it out of the tin after about 10 minutes).
Let it cool a bit further (now I would like to be able to say that I resisted until it was properly cooled, but no, we had out first slices while they were still warm).
This bread is nice on it's own, or with some butter, or some cream cheese, or some nutella, or some mascarpone, or some jam, or...actually, I haven't tried anything else, but any of these are amazing in their own way :)
I hope you have a good week and I will be back with some photos at some point soon.
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