Posts Tagged ‘walnut’

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back in the saddle again

August 22, 2010

So I’m back from vacation, took a little time to recover from *that*, and now I’m truly itching to get my paws back into the oven.  We’ve also had an amazing abundance of fresh veggies and fruits from our CSA, so that provides an additional bushel of inspiration, to be sure.  I admit that the first recipe back doesn’t follow the reader request guidelines, but sometimes mrslovey gets to bend the rules and move to the head of the line.  I’m sure you understand.

For the last few summers, when the tomato bounty has been at its peak, mrslovey has made a delicious (if you like that kind of thing) creamless creamy tomato soup.  It has a garden-fresh unadulterated tomato flavor, and it freezes beautifully.  When I asked her to define, she just shrugged and said, “it tastes like summer.”    (9/2/10 edit: recipe for the soup is here)

Needless to say, she needed something to go along with the soup, hopefully something that also freezes well, so that a grab-and-go lunch or dinner later in the year would be simple and not require additional effort.  Knowing that she likes savory crispy/crunchy snacks, I decided to make cookies. Read the rest of this entry ?

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Sometimes, you just gotta believe

January 5, 2010

Have you ever opened the mailbox to find a packet of unsolicited recipe cards peeking out?  Usually they’re a teaser, trying to convince you to subscribe! now! and you’ll get a packet every month for the rest of forever (for a low, low price, of course).  We tend to get these every few months, and like to poke through the recipes before throwing them out.  Recently, one of the cards promised the ‘Best-Ever’ muffins.   The base recipe looked promising, but not quite what I was looking for.  Not being in a blueberry mood, I decided to make them with cranberries.  Not too shabby!

Last night, I decided to make them again, but was bored with the plain berry approach.  What the heck could I do to them to make them more interesting?   Hmmm…walnuts!  Cranberry walnut muffins sounded comforting and delicious.  I estimated the quantity of nuts, whipped up a double batch, sprinkled some coarse sparkling sugar on top, and threw them in the oven.

When they came out, I was devastated.  They were darker than I wanted, probably due to using metal pans with muffin papers, rather than the silicone pan (without papers) that I had used the first time.  The walnuts were overwhelming, making the whole thing taste like tree bark.  I thought they were awful.

We had differing opinions on what to do next.  I wanted to trash them, modify the recipe some more, and not post a peep about it until I had a successful result.  Mrslovey was of the mind that I should still write a post, describe the fail, and then re-post a revised recipe later on, once I had it nailed down.  I just didn’t know what to do.

So I did what anyone would do, I ignored the muffins and started poking around online.  Ran into friend L, and started talking about my muffin frustrations, and how I was torn between wanting to get a post out and wanting to have a ‘perfect’ recipe.  L reminded me that even if you don’t get the results you want, it can still be a learning experience.  I left the conversation feeling better about things, and decided to take the muffins to work to get feedback from a larger sampling of tasters.

Boyhowdy, did I ever get feedback – they loved them!  According to my coworkers, the muffins were moist, the sugar gave a nice crunch, and the cranberry/walnut combo worked to keep them from being overly sweet.  Seems the amount of walnuts was exactly right.  So I guess the lesson learned is this: sometimes, you just need to step away for a moment, have a little faith in your abilities, and taste the muffins again in the morning.

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