24 January 2012

Oh How the Muffins Have Fallen!

Or maybe they never rose properly. I tried out an orange juice muffin recipe from the Hillbilly Housewife, substituting polenta for half the flour and topping them with an oatmeal streusel topping. Hmmmm . . . maybe I just tried to do too much. They came out kinda flat, with the topping caved in at the center. The streusel made them crunchy on top, and the polenta was a bit too gritty for my taste.

Next time, nix the streusel and go with corn meal instead of polenta. The flavor of the orange juice: yum.

20 January 2012

Cutie Pie

For my sister-in-law who doesn't eat sugar . . .

*A bitty butternut squash pie sweetened with stevia*

Crockpot Apple Butter

This really makes the house smell glorious, and it tastes pretty good too. I started my apple butter project at Thanksgiving by buying some apples intended for this purpose. At two months, there was one completely rotten apple and a few that were on their way out. Fast!

Yesterday I peeled and cored what was still good of the apples and sliced them up into my crockpot. The apples filled the crockpot (pictured below) right up to the lid. I added two cinnamon sticks (about 3 inches long each), about 10 whole cloves, and a little water to prevent the apples from burning on the bottom. I cooked them on high for about an hour just to get things going, and then turned it down to low. These babies cooked a full 24 hours, through our slumbering and into the following afternoon. I stirred them as I thought about them.

This afternoon I fished out the cinnamon sticks, ladled the brown, juicy mass into a blender with a cup of sugar, a dash of vanilla, a pinch of salt, and a bit of grated fresh nutmeg and whizzed for a few minutes until smooth. It looked like what you see in the picture.

After eating a full slice of toast slathered with butter and hot apple butter, I had to eat another half. Just to make sure I really liked the flavor. =)

Yep. It's a winner!

17 January 2012

Christmas Feast

I know. I know. It was the same thing last year. Tamales and pozole for Christmas. But this year the pozole was a miracle and it rocked! What happened was we were at least an hour into our 5-hour trip for Christmas when I realized that in the whole igloo full of food, I hadn't put in pozole from the freezer. Luckily, I had just been looking up ideas for pozole toppings the day before and had read a blurb about making pozole, so it was pretty fresh in my mind. I had also happened to bring along some pork tenderloin I thought we might use in tamales. When we stopped for breakfast we made a quick trip to Food Lion for hominy and oregano. I called my mother in law (who was still at home) and asked her to bring chili powder, garlic, and bouillon.

And it turned out great! What makes the soup scrumptious is all the fresh toppings (which I DID remember to pack) that you add to your bowl when you eat it.

Anita's Throw-it-Together Pozole

1 lb. (more or less) pork tenderloin, cubed
1 29-oz. can white hominiy
2 cloves of garlic, smashed
2 chicken (or veg) bouillon cubes
oregano, chili powder, salt and pepper to taste


In your soup pot, fry the cubed pork until browned (add a little water if it sticks). Add the garlic and saute a bit. Toss a bit of oregano and chili powder (one tsp. each?) and saute some more. Add hominy, bouillon, and enough water to cover plus some. Stew until ready to eat (and meat is cooked through)--for me, this was pretty much all day. Add more water as needed for the consistency you like. Correct seasoning and add salt and pepper to taste. It will taste bland, but serve with the following garnishes for the pizzaz: chopped cilantro; fresh lime; avocado wedges; chopped green onion; sliced radishes; and extra oregano. Get creative with other veggies/herbs you like!