Saturday, August 14, 2010

Personal baking with girlie tins.

I got these baking cups a few weeks ago.

I was actually on the look out for a regular muffin tin, and went to three different thrift stores to try and find one, but no luck.

I went to the store and was shocked at the average of $10 price tags. Then at Bed Bath and Beyond, I came across these.

8/7/10 Trader Joe's total $6.46

8/9/10 99¢ Store total $8

I got these blue berries because I wanted to try a new recipe and they were just the right amount.

From VegWeb.

Laura's Cornmeal Blue berry Muffins *(my alterations)

1 cup flour
1 tbl baking powder
1/2 tsp salt
1/2 cup sugar
1 cup cornmeal
*1tbl ginger powder
1/2 cup vegetable oil *I used apple sauce instead
egg sub for 1 egg *I used 2 tbls of apple sauce)
3/4 cup soymilk
3/4 cup blueberries

-Preheat oven to 375 degrees

-Mix all dry ingredients in a large bowl.

-Combine vegetable oil, egg, and soymilk in a separate small bowl. Whisk wet ingredients together and add to the dry. Stir until moistened. Add blue berries and fold batter gently. Do not overmix.

-Line muffin pan with muffin cups or grease cups well for no liners are desired.

-Fill each cup 3/4 full with batter.

-Bake 15 to 20 min. *I baked for 35 min.

-Test muffin with toothpick. When toothpick is pulled out dry, muffins are ready. Remove from oven and allow to cool slightly before serving.

-Makes about 10-12 muffins.

As you can see they didn't rise very much, but the scalloped tins are a bit wide. I do wish that they weren't so 'yellow.' It seems rather fake.

I did just get a generic grocery cornmeal for $1 because I honestly didn't think I would be using it so much. Boy was I wrong.

These were really good. They have a sweetness that comes from the sugar and the cornmeal. The berries were rather tart, but nice. You can eat this as a desert, or slather it with butter for breakfast.

I might try a marinate of the berries in a maple syrup next time to give them a bit more flavor.

I thought this was weird. Both of these are exactly the same, same ingredients, company. Everything, except their names. The one on the right I got at Ralphs for $2.50. The one on the left, the 99¢ store. Go figure.

8/9/10 Ralphs total $24.21

8/13/10 Fresh & Easy total $29.96

Because the cornmeal muffins were such a hit, I decided to use the muffin tins to make some more nanner bread.

I used a different recipe from VegWeb this time.

New Nanner Bread *(my alterations)

3 bananas
1/2 unsweetened applesauce
1/2 maple syrup
1/4 cup brown sugar
1 tbl ground flax seed
1 1/2 flour *(I used 1 cup all purpose, and 1/2 cup whole wheat. If I have it, I like to mix it up with a half cup of graham flour too.)
2 tbl cornmeal
1 tsp baking soda
*1 tbl baking powder
1 tsp salt *(sea salt)
1/2 tbl cinnamon
1/2 tbl ginger powder

-Pre-Heat oven to 350 degrees

-In a large bowl mash nanners with a potato masher or fork. Add applesauce, maple syrup, sugar, and flax seeds. Mix well.
-In separate bowl, combine all dry ingredients.
-Ready your baking tin, whether it is cups or a 9" loaf pan.

-Mix both wet and dry together at the last minute to give the baking powder maximum potency.
-Pour into desired tins and as loaf bake 50 min to an hour. In cups, bake 30-35 min. Check with toothpick.
-Once done, let stand for 5 min then remove from tin and allow to cool on wire rack.

After noticing how moist the bottom of the cornmeal muffins were before they cooled completely, I decided to give a go as dusting the bottom of the oiled cups with some cornmeal to see if that might help.

Naw, did nothing. The moist bottom pretty much goes away once the muffin has cooled, but it did worry me some.

I like this recipe better than the other one I tried.

The nanners are mixed better into the bread, not settling at the bottom, and the baking powder helps to fluff the whole bread out. Its quite yummy.

I had one as a snack with some soy yogurt and a bit of maple syrup mixed in.

Because of those 5 lb bags of nanners I've been getting for $2.50, I now have 2 loaves and 10 nanner muffins in my freezer!
I'm done with bananas, really.


Saturday, August 7, 2010

The poorer I get, the better I eat.

Homemade whole wheat bread with peanut butter, brown sugar and a glass of soy milk.

$200 this month. I'm grateful.
8/2/10 Trader Joes total: $66.22

8/3/10 Food For Less total: $38.40

8/5/10 Trader Joes total: $22.15

This past month I went to a new flea market here in LA. It was being held in the parking lot of Dodger Stadium and for the most part was alright. I didn't buy anything, but I was treated to lunch and I decided to get a Banh Mi sandwich because I had not had one since I lived in San Francisco.

It was really good and put a craving in me.

In SF, there was this place a few blocks from my apartment that always had a long line. Great sandwiches for $2.50 each. They had a tofu one that I always got (no mayo) and I was a happy camper.

I wanted to see if I could recreate that sandwich. When I looked online for recipes, there were so many variations. I came across one on the Food Network site that focused on the slaw portion of the sandwich. Thats the part with the most flavor.

Ingredients *(my addition)
1/2 cup water
1/4 cup sugar
1/4 cup distilled white vinegar
1/2 cup julienned carrot
1/2 cup julienned daikon radish
*1/2 julienned cucumber
*1/2 bunch cilantro
*1/2 tbl fresh pressed garlic
Kosher salt & *pepper to taste

Make the slaw: In a small saucepan, combine the water, sugar, and vinegar and bring to a boil. Transfer the vinegar mixture to a bowl and cool. Add everything else, mix well, and season with salt. Set aside to marinate for 30 minutes or store in the refrigerator up to overnight.


Now this recipe serves the slaw separately than others I've had where its on the sandwich (like at the flea market). I wanted to apply this basic slaw recipe to the sandwich while using a lot of the other stuff in different recipes I found.

To the claw I added a lot of fresh cilantro, which is totally growing on me. I love the smell and it has an awesome flavor.

I decided to marinate the fresh brick of extra firm tofu with chili sauce, salt, pepper and some soy sauce. The smell was fantastic.

Once I was pleased with the marinate, I used non stick spray in my skillet on med-high heat and started to frying. Once everything was cooked I heated the bun then constructed the sammich. It was gewd. Not exactly like the SF sandwich, or the authentic Vietnamese one I had at the flea market, but reminiscent enough to satisfy my cravings.

I'm going to have fun with this recipe, though next time Ill toast the bread, or perhaps make my own French Rolls since a lot have egg in them (not the one I used, though I almost got some that did). Buying bread, who does that anymore?