Zahra Moves!

I’ve been MIA for a while now, haven’t I???¬† Not much has happened really, just been getting ready for a move and moving! It’s been tough.

We searched all over the Collin County area for a place that suited our increasingly fancy needs, and we finally went back to our first choice residence and by some miracle, we got it! Been trying to settle in ever since.

I will try to continue at least weekly posts as soon as everything isn’t in a state of utter chaos in the new place anymore. Someone want to come organize for me? Anyone? Hello? Mom???

mug

I will leave you with the picture of my favoritest mug from this adorable little coffee house we stopped in on our way to Corpus Christi for my birthday trip. Round Rock, Texas is the home of Friar Tuck’s Pantry… and these mugs.

After searching far and wide for them online, I found an English supplier who did deliver to the United States. Success! Six of these babies are now sitting in my cabinets.

So here’s to a new chapter of cooking and baking and coffee drinking. Over and out.

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Menu Monday!

Last week I posted about this new thing we’re doing around these parts: Menu Planning. I told y’all how I went about deciding what meal to put where and, of course, the mandatory day off. Mandatory for me that is. I’m lazy sometimes you see.

So, as previously discussed, I will share our menu for the week with you, dear internet reader.

Remember, I only plan dinners since breakfast is rushed and lunch is simple. As I get better at doing this, I plan on adding other aspects of the weekly menu. What these aspects may be, I don’t know, but I know they’ll be awesome.

Alright, enough chit chat, here we go:

Monday: Hashbrown casserole
Basic ingredients: potatoes, sour cream, cheddar cheese, onion, parsley

Tuesday: Taco Night
Basic ingredients: tortillas (flour, baking powder, salt, olive oil), cheese, beans, guacamole, cilantro, sour cream, tomato

Wednesday: Portobello burgers
Basic ingredients: portobello mushrooms, buns, tomato, mayo, lettuce

Thursday: Barbeque tofu over rice
Basic ingredients: tofu, rice, green onions, parsley

Friday: Mushroom enchiladas
Basic ingredients: leftover tortillas from Tuesday night, mushroom, cheese, onion

Saturday: Go out/ Leftovers/ Parent’s house

Sunday: Cheese and walnut stuffed shells
Basic ingredients: Jumbo shells, egg, ricotta cheese, nuts, parsley, nutmeg, pasta sauce for under the shells

Here’s to a week of happy eatin’!

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Cinnamon Toast… Muffins!

These are divine. A cross between cinnamon toast (which I have newly discovered I absolutely love). This is (with some minor adjustments) a half recipe of the one in Pioneer Woman’s “French Pastry Puffs” recipe. I thought the name Cinnamon Toast Muffins was more descriptive. You be the judge.

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I’ve made these a few times now, but after the initial endeavor (documented by these pictures) I’ve only been dipping the top parts in the cinnamon sugar. According to Neil, this makes for a better “This Side Up” muffin.

Let’s get goin.

Cinnamon Toast Muffins

1 1/2 cups flour
1 1/2 teaspoons baking powder
1/2 teaspoon salt
1/4 teaspoon ground nutmeg
1/2 cup sugar
1/3 cup shortening
1 eggs
1/2 cup milk
Coating:
6 tablespoons butter
1/2 cup sugar
2 tablespoons  ground cinnamon

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1. Spray your muffin tin just like this. An explosion in the morning is just what you need to wake you up!

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2. Mix the flour, baking powder, salt and nutmeg together and set aside.

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3. Now, get out this. This is what will make these muffins fabulous.

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4. Cream together the shortening and the sugar. It will look something like this.

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5. Add in the egg and beat it, just beat it…

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6. Get out your 12 mini muffins, muffin pan (clean off the mess first please) and fill ‘em up!

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7. Set in the oven for about 20 minutes, then remove and let them cool just a bit.

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8. Get your dunking stations ready.

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I like to keep the muffins in a little towel just to keep them a bit warmer than they would have been just sitting on a cold counter. These muffins are totally cruelty free.

9. Dunk either the tops or the entire muffin in the melted butter and then roll it around in the cinnamon sugar to coat.

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Eat these immediately! Go.

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Don’t be alarmed if this happens only moments after you’ve set them on the plate. Cinnamon sugar is attractive like that.

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Cool Button Mushroom Sammich

Did you know that summer’s just around the corner?? Incredible, I know.

To celebrate this discovery, we’re gonna make an easy breezy cool sammich with button mushrooms. You could just as easily use baby bellas or cremini mushrooms, I just happened to have button mushrooms on hand.

Warning: This is another one of those vague recipe look-alikes. Don’t be alarmed.

Cool Button Mushroom Sammich

About 1 cup sliced button mushrooms
1 tablespoon extra virgin olive oil
Plenty of salt and pepper
Lemon juice from one lemon

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Put all your mushrooms in a bowl and drizzle on your olive oil.

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Salt and pepper to taste

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Feel free to add anything else you want here too. Lemon juice and a smidge of paprika was my choosing.

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Put that all into a ziploc baggy and forget about it for about 2 hours. You want the lemon juice to really get into ‘em.

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Toast up some bread with some cheese. Being really fancy, we only had our whole wheat sliced bread, but no one’s here to judge.

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Pile on whatever else you want onto your sammich: tomatoes, cucumbers, avocado, sprouts, etc etc. This is purely your choice and don’t let nobody tell you otherwise.

Enjoy!

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Rhubarb Coffee Cake

I have never had rhubarb prior to this recipe.

There.

I said it.

This strange red celery thing had intrigued me for a while, but I’d never worked up the guts enough to give it a try. But boy am I glad I finally did.

(My mom wasn’t sure if it was or wasn’t Revaas… but I have confirmed with Wikipedia that it is.)

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I love the mixture of tart and sweet and, from what I gathered from research, rhubarb is highly tart. This coffee cake was fabulous.The cake is just sweet enough for the rhubarb but it’s the crumbs, ohhh the crumbs, that make it delectable. The crumbs, once baked, are big boulders of deliciousness and awesome. FACT.

Note: Coffee cake is the name given to any cake with crumbles on top and not necessarily coffee flavored. Just to clarify.

Alrighty, here we go:

Rhubarb Coffee Cake

Rhubarb Filling
3-4 stalks rhubarb (is it politically correct to call them “stalks”??)
1/4 cup sugar
2 teaspoons cornstarch
1/2 teaspoon ground ginger

Crumbs
1/3 cup brown sugar
1/3 cup sugar
1 teaspoon cinnamon
1/2 teaspoon ground ginger
1/8 teaspoon salt
1 stick butter, melted
1 3/4 cups flour

Cake
1/3 cup buttermilk (1/3 cup milk with about 1 tsp vinegar- let it sit for about 5-10 mins)
1 large egg
1 large egg yolk
2 teaspoons vanilla extract
1 cup flour
1/2 cup sugar
1/2 teaspoon baking soda
1/2 teaspoon baking powder
1/4 teaspoon salt
6 tablespoons softened butter, cut into pieces.

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1. Preheat oven to 325 degrees. Cut up your rhubarb into 1/2″ pieces.

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2. Sprinkle on the sugar…

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…cornstarch…

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…and ground ginger. Mix it all together to coat all the rhubarb and set it to the side.

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3. Next we’re gonna make the crumbs. Combine the sugars…

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…cinnamon, ginger, and salt, and mix them all together to combine.

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4. Pour in the melted butter.

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5. And mix until the sugar mixture is smooth. It is imperative to mix the sugars with the butter BEFORE adding the flour in to ensure that your crumbs don’t come out all crumbly. Remember, we want big fat BOULDER crumbs, not wimpy dusty ones.

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6. Once your sugar/butter mixture is smooth, then add in the flour and mix until all the flour is wet.

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7. Press the crumb mixture into the bottom of a bowl. This’ll ensure maximum boulder-ness later on.

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8. Add your egg and egg yolk and vanilla to your buttermilk. and mix. Set aside for just a bit.

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9. In your stand mixer fitted with the paddle attachment (oh man, I’m not gonna lie, I absolutely love using my stand mixer and thereby getting to use mixer lingo) drop in your dry cake ingredients (flour, sugar, baking powder, baking soda and salt). Let the mixer start mixing to combine all the ingredients.

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10. Pour in half your egg/buttermilk mixture and beat on a higher speed. Then, add in your butter and beat until combined. Pour the other half of the egg/buttermilk mixture once the butter is dispersed throughout. Take out about 1/2 cup of batter and set aside.

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11. Scrape out the cake batter into the bottom of a 9″ cake pan (an 8″x8″ brownie pan would be fantastic… but alas, I do not own one of those). And yes, the cake batter will be thick. Don’t be alarmed. Layer on the rhubarb right on top of the cake batter.

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12. Dollop on the 1/2 cup of reserve cake batter. It doesn’t have to cover all the rhubarb.

And boy! Did it get dark between the time I put the rhubarb and the time I added the rest of the cake batter!

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13. Now, break the crumbs with a fork to separate from the bowl. Try to keep them big and wonderful so break them on top of the cake with your fingers.

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Look how fantastic that looks. And into the oven it goes for about 45-50 minutes or until a toothpick comes out clean.

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Take it out of the oven and let it cool a bit. Or don’t, I sure didn’t. Enjoy!

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