Chocolate chip coffee muffins

Okay, I must confess I am becoming a tad obsessed with baking muffins.  They are so easy and virtually impossible for a baking novice like me to mess up.  This weekend I decided to experiment  a bit using my basic muffin recipe as a base (with a few minor adjustments) and another yummy creation was born.  Who needs a latte when you’ve got these?

What to use

2 cups flour

3 tsps baking powder

1/2 tsp salt

1 egg

1 cup granulated sugar

1 cup milk

1/4 cup oil

2 tbs instant coffee

1 cup semi sweet chocolate chips

1/2 cup cream liqueur ( I used Amarula Cream Liquer but I think Bailey’s will work just as well)

What to do

Preheat oven to 400 degrees.  Stir together flour, baking powder, salt and sugar in  large bowl.  Add coffee to milk and stir until completely dissolved.  Add to that mixture the liqueur and stir well. In a separate bowl, beat egg with a fork and add milk mixture and oil. Stir well.   Pour wet ingredients into a well in the flour mixture and stir until moistened.  Dust chocolate chips lightly with flour and fold into batter.  Pour into lined muffin tin and bake for 25 minutes.

Chocolate chip goodness!

Fresh out of the oven

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Pumpkin and Cranberry Muffins

I love baking on a lazy Sunday afternoon.  It’s a perfect way to relax and I can palm off treat my co-workers to some goodies on Monday morning.  I decided to use whatever I had in my pantry for inspiration.  Turns out I had a can of pumpkin and a bag of dried cranberries.

What to use

1 1/2 cups all-purpose flour

1 tsp baking powder

1 handful of dried cranberries

1 15 oz can of pumpkin

1/3 cup vegetable oil

2 large eggs

1 tsp allspice

1  1/4 cups dark brown sugar

1/2 tsp baking soda

1/2 tsp salt

1/2 tsp grated nutmeg

1 tsp cinnamon

What to do

Preheat oven toe 350 degrees.  Line muffin tin with muffin cups or spray nonstick muffin tin with some cooking spray.

Sift flour and baking powder into a small bowl.  Add a generous handful of dried cranberries.

Whisk together pumpkin, oil, eggs, allspice, sugar, baking soda, and salt in a separate mixture until  smooth.

Add the flour mixture and then fold everything together until combined.

Pour into muffin tin.  Sprinkle each muffin with a little nutmeg and cinnamon. Bake until golden brown for about 25 to 30 minutes.  Stick a toothpick in the center of each muffin and if it comes out clean you know you’re done.

Cool for about 10 minutes before serving.

Shrimp with Spicy Asian Orange Dipping Sauce

I’m pretty bummed. My brand new camera fell and broke so I’m back to relying on my point and shoot. 😦 I’m not exactly thrilled with my food pics these days.  Hopefully, I can get it repaired soon.

Anyhoo, it’s Sunday afternoon and I was lounging around and feeling peckish.  I was rummaging through the fridge to see what I could rustle up and realized I had some frozen shrimp tucked away.  I decided to whip up this quick snack .

What to use

1 dozen shrimp (peeled with tails on)

1 pinch sea salt

1/2 tsp red chili flakes

2 teaspoons of olive oil

1 tsp lime juice

2 garlic cloves (minced)

3 tbs sweet orange marmalade

1 tsp red chili paste

2 tbs soy sauce

1 tsp ketchup

1/2 tsp sesame oil

pinch of coarse ground black pepper

2 tbs butter

chopped parsley for garnish

What to do

Place shrimp in medium sized bowl and add salt, chili flakes, lime juice, olive oil and garlic. Heat large skillet and add butter. Saute shrimp until slightly browned.

In a small serving dish, combine marmalade, chili paste, soy sauce, ketchup, sesame oil and black pepper and stir well.

Plate shrimp and sprinkle with chili flakes and chopped parsley with dip on the side.

Shrimp fritters

The Lenten season is soon upon us which means no meat for 40 days! I’ve been stocking up on shrimp and fish before the prices skyrocket. The challenge will be to find different ways of preparing them so I don’t get bored.  My first experiment was this batch of crispy, tasty, golden shrimp fritters.  They’re great as a snack or appetizer or even as a light meal with a side salad.

What to use

1 lb fresh shrimp

1 lemon

5 garlic cloves

1/2 tsp cayenne pepper

1 tsp sea salt

1 tsp black pepper

1 cup fresh herbs (parsley, chive, culantro (shadon beni), thyme)

2 eggs

1 cup all purpose flour

2 tsp baking powder

1 tbs milk

1 cup canola oil for frying

 

What to do

Clean shrimp, cut off tails and chop into smaller pieces.  Season shrimp with sea salt, black pepper, juice of half of the lemon  and cayenne pepper.  Place shrimp in food processor and mince.  Add the garlic, herbs and eggs and process until the ingredients are well combined.  Place mixture into a large bowl and add flour, baking powder and milk.  Combine until entire mixture forms a paste.

Heat oil in a deep skillet and add tablespoons of mixture .  Be careful not to let drops of mixture touch each other. Fry on each side until golden and remove and drain on parchment paper.

Squeeze other half of lemon juice over all the fritters.  Serve with a dipping sauce of your choice.

I did a quick little dip of ketchup, honey mustard, chili paste and Miracle Whip.

 

And for dessert… a little wine and cheese…the perfect end to long work week….

 

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