Tuesday, January 12, 2010

A Bit about Baking

Before I get to the baking, I just calculated it out and I have 37 rows (including binding off) until my blanket is finished. That does not seem like a lot, but I currently have 404 stitches around and it has to go to 548 (I started with 4). I also am only on my 3rd skein of yarn (out of an estimated 10ish). I still think I am more than half way, It goes much faster now, sort of. I am trying not to lose motivation, but my mind is starting to wander to other projects, knitting and non (a hat, a cat valentine's present, quilling, to name a few). But I am determined to finish. It is by no means perfect, but it is the largest and most difficult thing I have made and it looks pretty darn good. My knitting has improved greatly because of it.

So last night I induldged my first love in the kitchen, baking. I made Jalapeño Corn Muffins from a recipe on the Martha Stewart website. I made a double recipe, but I only had two jalapeños (which is what the single recipe called for), I also used reduced fat butter milk instead of regular buttermilk and low fat sour cream (I always do). The recipe says to bake at 375 for 25 minutes, but mine took about 20 minutes (maybe even a little less).

A bit about the muffins, they use buttermilk. Usually, when a recipe calls for buttermilk, I use the powdered variety (it lasts longer), but I decided to spring for some real buttermilk this time because it was the main liquid in the recipe and there was a small container at the store. The muffins are super moist and creamy (the liquids being buttermilk, sour cream, and melted butter, so that is not surprising) but they aren't greasy. They are sweeter than you think they are going to be, but with a spicy kick at the end (not too spicy though). I brought most of them into work and they went fast. Overall they were very tasty.

So, this was a recipe I had never used before. The first time I bake something, I like to follow the recipe as closely as possible (sometimes I choose to do lower fat substitutions if I think it will not effect the baking, like this recipe, which had 3 different sources of fat (butter milk, sour cream, and butter), since reduced fat butter milk and sour cream have a similar consistency to their higher fat siblings, they are fine to substitute. If a recipe calls for whole milk, it's probably not a good idea to use skim the first time). Then, I first decide whether it is worth making again (which it was) and what could I do to make it better, starting with small, flavoring changes then working my way up to consistency (and other things that would effect the true heart of the recipe) if needed.

This recipe is very good, next time I make it I will use at least the full amount of jalapeños, but probably more (3 peppers for a single recipe) and I will either slightly decrease the amount of sugar or increase the amount of salt or both. I will have to look/taste how it effects the recipe. So, you will just have to stay tuned for batch 2 and see how it turns out.

Tonight and tomorrow are both dinner out (a birthday celebration and a genuine date). Then we will have to see what the rest of the week brings. Oh and in case you were wondering, I did not start my early seeds last weekend, it was to hectic, but I will be starting them soon (hopefully).

Happy Eating!


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