Wednesday, 27 January 2010

I've perfected my cinnamon chocolate chip muffin recipe!

Remember these (for those of you in the States) - Betty Crocker muffin mix pouches?

When I was younger and lazier (and not vegan), I used to buy one of the chocolate chip and one of the cinnamon (they made 6 muffins each) and combine them for cinnamon chocolate chip muffins. I have always loved cinnamon muffins, but ever since going vegan and opening my life up to all the amazing creations of vegan baking, I very rarely make a straight-up cinnamon muffin. In fact, I don't think I've ever seen a cinnamon muffin recipe in any of my plethora of vegan cookbooks, or even on a blog. Surely I'm not the only person who made cake-sized muffins (all the mix into a 9" round pan) and tried to consume the lot (with margarine, and starting from the middle because I didn't like the crusty outsides), only sharing when I was so full I thought I might be sick (or if there was nothing left but crust). OK, maybe I am. However, I'm sure other people liked those Betty Crocker muffins as much as I did. Here is my closest approximation to those delightfully chemical-filled muffins.

Cinnamon Chocolate Chip Muffins

1 1/2 c flour (a-p/plain, a combo of plain and wholemeal pastry, or a good GF mix)*
3/4 c sugar
2 tsp baking soda
1/2 tsp salt
2 tsp cinnamon
1/2 c non-dairy milk
1/2 c oil (or do half oil/half applesauce if you want lower fat)
1/4 c plain or vanilla soy yogurt (or any other substitute for 1 egg)
1/2-3/4 c chocolate chips**

Preheat oven to 375F/190C. Line a muffin tin with paper liners.

Sift dry ingredients together and stir to make sure they're all mixed. Make a well in the centre and add liquid ingredients. Stir to combine. Fold in chocolate chips. Fill muffin liners about 1/2-2/3 full. Bake 18-20 minutes or until a toothpick through the centre comes out clean.

*I've had a lot of success subbing Dove's Farm Gluten and Wheat-Free Flour Mix for plain flour in other recipes. If you have access to this, just use it rather than trying to make your own (it's relatively cheap). If not, hopefully you can come up with a good mix; this one has rice, potato, tapioca, maize, and buckwheat flours (in that order) if you want to try it.
**The bags of chocolate chips we get in the UK are 1/2 c, so it's just easy for me to dump in one bag. If you like more chocolate chips, go for it.

In other news, I'm keeping up alright with some of my resolutions, but not so much with others. I might do an end-of-month review on Sunday.

Friday, 1 January 2010

Oh hai.

Yeah, I totally abandoned this project when MoFo was over. I suck. In my defense, I started working full time, so I was getting home needing to clean and cook after having been at work for 8 hours. It was a bit tiring. I'm off for the holidays now, and the job is still only temporary, but I'll try to be better with this in 2010. I also haven't kept up with the few blogs I had been following, so I've got about a thousand posts to read. I should've started this at the beginning of my holiday.


Here are my food-related resolutions:
1) Keep up with this blog.
2) Use my cookbooks more often - I might need to give myself another cookbook challenge. I just bought 5 new ones (one of which is by the person I'm testing for [see below]). What I need to do is flip through all of my cookbooks and make a list of the recipes I want to try. Then, DO IT!
3) Update my food porn - I probably have 100+ pictures on my camera right now. I just couldn't be bothered uploading everything. I only hope that I can remember what everything is.
4) Make use of more of my kitchen gadgets - I have loads, but some of them I hardly use. I also keep getting more. But at least I've already made a start, of sorts. I made cheese toasties for lunch with the sammich plates on my combo waffle iron. And I've got hoppin' John going in my new slow cooker (Xmas present from Sam).
5) Be a better tester - I'm testing for a cookbook that should be coming out around March (yeah, quick turn-around). So far, I've only tested one thing (well, 2 if you count the accompanying dip). I need to keep up with the posts so I don't let Alicia down.
6) Eat better food - This will hopefully come with #2, but I need to keep on using fresh ingredients, eating more veg (and maybe more fruit, now that I have something to make smoothies with), eating less processed stuff and fatty stuff, and making more from scratch. This will also help with #4, since I'll be getting more use out of my bread maker and my new bread knife.

Other resolutions:
1) Kinda food related, but not exactly: Keep up with the cleaning - Wash the dishes within a day of using them, keep the bathroom clean so I can take a bath every once in a while, and hoover at least once a week (instead of only when people are coming over if I can be bothered).
2) Get a permanent full-time job - I kinda have to wait until I get my leave to remain sorted (yeah, I still don't know about that), but once I get that back, I'm gonna keep applying for jobs until I get one.
3) Keep up with exercising - I paid a ton for my gym membership so I could get free yoga and pilates, so I should actually go to those classes. I also want to start doing aquaerobics and/or swimming.

Oh, and to answer Mo's question from my last blog post: A crumpet is basically a single piece of bread-type thing. They're cooked on a griddle rather than baked, and they have more baking soda (or is it powder?) so they have holes in the top. English muffins generally don't have the holes, and they're baked, and they're usually split apart (unlike crumpets). Does that help?