In addition to having a secret connection to Mount Holyoke (commercial Valentines were invented by an alumna), today also memorializes one of my favorite 30 Rock episodes – Anna Howard Shaw Day! I’m also grateful to have been able to spend part of the day with T, even if the day ends with a late night at work. At least there are plenty of baked goods around the office!
Speaking of baking, February has been a particularly good food month for me. I’ve put myself on a recipe “diet,” and have temporarily stopped following the blogs/Tweets/emails of all the sources of recipes in my life. It’s been hard, but I have so many cookbooks and printed and recommended recipes I haven’t tried, I needed a break! I had a few excuses to try new recipes, or revisit some old classics. The old classics include whole-wheat banana bread, with 1/4 cup nuts and 1/4 cup chocolate chips instead of 1/2 cup nuts, and a recently-discovered favorite, morning glory muffins:
As you can see, I had batter (but not liners) left over from my dozen muffins, and made a half pan of mini-muffins to finish off the batter. I added unsweetened shredded coconut (hard to find!) and substituted about 1/3 of the white flour with whole wheat. I’m pretty pleased with the results, but they’re all gone now! I have a quiet weekend coming up, and am planning a batch of brown sugar pecan muffins, which are sweet and rich but still quite satisfying.
I also tried some new recipes, or at least new to me. I went to a great Superbowl/Deep fry themed party on the 5th, and had reason to try making my own jalapeno poppers as well as a belated birthday cake for a good friend.
The jalapeno poppers were quite a diversion from my usual repertoire, but the recipe (from A Cozy Kitchen) came across my eyes at just the right moment. I’m not normally a spicy food person, but they seemed perfect for the party. I’m disappointed that I didn’t take pictures of the stuffed and breaded jalapenos, or after frying. I ran out of panko and replaced it with regular breadcrumbs halfway through the breading process, and I liked the effect of the regular breadcrumbs better. The coating was more even and survived transport better, and the post-fry browning was deeper, too. I was smart enough to use gloves when cutting and seeding the jalapenos, but still ended up with some oil in my eye. Poor me.
This cake, a sour cream and chocolate Bundt cake, was recommended to me a while back by the friend whose birthday was being celebrated. It turned out great, and was enjoyed with some extra creamy Reddi-Whip. I forgot to get a picture of the turned-out cake, but I’m sure you can imagine. So far these have all been successes, and I’m looking forward to more experimentation, especially with pizza dough!