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pumpkin-spice bran muffins

In recipe on November 23, 2014 at 11:13 pm

real talk: i’m not the only one who tries to consume as much pumpkin-spice product as possible this time of year, even occasionally venturing into the terrifying world of pumpkin spice hersey’s kisses….

as you know, i’m also a devout muffin lover. in fact, this blog should be called incredible crunchy muffin (ew?! incredible moist delicious muffins? doesn’t quite ring…) because i think i have more muffin recipes than anything else.

so what a great a opportunity to develop a new combination. this one is in honor of a friend who – like me – is obsessed with garam masala, especially combined with pumpkin. in my opinion, it’s the best pumpkin spice out there.

these muffins are healthy and delicious, combining good ingredients with lots of whole grain for tasty fiber.

pumpkin-spice bran muffins

1 cup wheat bran, toasted
1 cup whole wheat flour
2 teaspoons baking powder
1/2 teaspoon salt
1 teaspoon garam masala
1/4 teaspoon cloves
1/4 teaspoon cinnamon
1/4 teaspoon nutmeg
1/4 cup brown sugar
1 cup milk
1 egg
2 tablespoons vegetable oil
1/3 cup plain yogurt
3/4 cup pumpkin
pumpkin seeds, sunflower seeds, oatmeal, nuts, etc for topping (optional)

toast your wheat bran in a cast iron skillet or dry frying pan over medium until it smells toasty.

pumpkinspicemuffinstoastbran

when coolish, mix white flour, baking powder, salt and spice. use a whisk to make sure everything is well-combined.

pumpkinspicemuffinsdries

in a separate bowl, whisk together the brown sugar, milk, egg, oil and yogurt. when completely combined, use a spoon to mix in the pumpkin.

pumpkinspicemuffinswets

 

pumpkinspicemuffinswetswithpumpkin

pour the pumpkin mixture into the bran mixture and combine gently. (remember, over-stirring leads to a tough muffin!)

pumpkinspicemuffinswetsanddries

using a 1/4-cup measure, spoon into baking cups. i lined mine with papers, but the papers stuck a little to muffins at first. i’d recommend just spraying the tin and skipping the papers.

pumpkinspicemuffinsbatter

since i thought they needed some additional texture, i sprinkled some sunflower seeds on top. this was all i had – pumpkin seeds would have been much better. if you don’t have either, some oat-fashioned oats would work or nuts, if you don’t live in a nut-free house!

pumpkinspicemuffinsreadyforoven

bake at 400 degrees for about 18 minutes, rotating once in the middle if you’d like. (ATK swears i must do this. also, my oven heats unevenly.) check with a cake tester to make sure the inside is done.

pumpkinspicemuffinsbaked

my house smells like fall!

pumpkinspicemuffinscloseup

apple tart

In dessert on November 11, 2014 at 12:34 am

i’ve made this apple tart – it’s alice waters’ recipe on smitten kitchen – twice now and it’s gorgeous and delicious and quite simple.

appletart

i followed the recipe closely for the most part. the crust i made in the food processor. just buzz up the flour, butter, sugar and salt. transfer to a bowl and flake in the water with a fork, just until it comes together. don’t over-work it. you can make ahead and keep in the fridge for a day or two.

for apples, i used three, but my tart pan is smaller than a regular one. fan the slices out starting from the outside and working your way in. it doesn’t have to be perfect – that flower in the middle covers a lot of ills.

the apple simple syrup you brush on at the end is also a great product to keep in the fridge. a spoonful of that in some bourbon is most agreeable…

this is a great go-to with a little wow-factor, which i will certainly be making again. try with salted caramel ice cream or bourbon whipped cream.

fall pasta with roasted squash

In dinner on November 1, 2014 at 10:12 pm

this is a delicious and super easy one-pot* pasta dinner that tastes decadent and luxurious but is actually on the healthy side. can you beat it?

squashpasta

that’s pasta with roasted squash, baby kale wilted in and blue cheese crumbles that melt into everything and make a yummy sauce.

*it’s one-pot if you roasted the squash previously. peel, seed and cube your butternut squash into 3/4-inch pieces. toss with olive oil, salt, pepper and garlic powder and roast on a rimmed baking sheet at 400 degrees until tender. you can toss in some pieces of shallot, too, for a little extra flavor. not to sound like real simple or anything, but roasting up a bunch of fall veggies over the weekend can really help speed up weeknight meals and work lunches. toss in salad, pasta, a wrap, etc.

melt a little butter and olive oil in a pot and sautee the squash cubes a little, especially if they were roasted previously.

toss in pre-cooked pasta (save some pasta water!), the kale (i used a whole package of oliva’s organics) and a couple ounces of blue cheese. on medium heat, keep stirring and add a little pasta water until the cheese is melty and has come together with the water to make sauce.

i salted the pasta water, but be careful of salting the final product depending on how salty your cheese is. i picked an especially salty one, so i added a lot of black pepper but no salt.

squashpastaserved

serve with a side of cat.

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