Bzzzz December 8th, 2009

What’s the difference between a cupcake and a muffin?

Honestly, I don’t know. But I do know that I can eat a muffin for breakfast without anyone (aka my husband) giving me that “Oh-no-you-shouldn’t!” hairy eyeball. You get a free pass for breakfast with a muffin. You don’t get a free pass for breakfast with a cupcake.

But even if this WERE a cupcake—and I’m not saying it is—winter is here and I need some meat on my bones in case my car crashes into a snowy ravine in the country and I end up wasting away for days on end waiting for someone to notice I went to Wal-Mart.

Wait. I don’t need to rationalize. These are muffins, not cupcakes!

Ginger Coconut Muffins

These are a wonderful, moist and a bit spicy muffins that will make your heart sing. A bit of ginger, some cinnamon and a handful of coconut make it a not-your-usual-morning-cupcake-muffin. So drag out those muffin tins and bake away.

Ginger Coconut Morning Muffins

1 1/3 cups unbleached white flour 1 teaspoon ground ginger 1 1/2 teaspoon ground cinnamon 1/2 teaspoon ground cloves 1/4 teaspoon salt 6 tablespoons unsalted butter, softened 1/3 cup sugar 3 eggs 1/3 cup unsulferated molasses 1 teaspoon baking soda 1/2 cup boiling water 1 cup sweetened, flaked coconut

Preheat oven to 350 degrees. Line 12 muffin tins with tulip liners or other muffin cups of butter and flour 15 muffin cups.

In a small bowl, mix together flour, ginger, cinnamon, cloves and salt.

In a mixer, beat together butter and sugar until smooth. Add eggs one at a time and beat until smooth. Add molasses and beat until smooth.

Boil the water and add the baking soda. Gradually add this to the butter mixture. Slowly add the flour mixture and beat until blended. Stir in coconut.

Pour batter into prepared muffin cups. Bake 20 to 25 minutes or until a knife inserted into one of the muffins comes out clean.


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Posted In: Food and Recipes


Bzzzz November 30th, 2009

People garden for vegetables, herbs and fruits. Why not condiments?

This past spring I was surprised to find a horseradish plant at my local garden center. They only had one, but I grabbed it.

horseradish 2

Horseradish is a perennial in zones 2 through 9. In fact, it’s so hearty than the underground roots can become invasive.

Since my horseradish was only planted in the spring, I was frugal in digging up just a few roots this fall. ¬†They didn’t smell of much until I processed them.

Processing horseradish in large quantities should be done outside to avoid burning of the eyes and nasal passages. It involves peeling and then grating the roots by hand or in a food processor, adding a vinegar and water mixture to preserve the horseradish. Fresh horseradish processed this way will keep for about six weeks in the refrigerator.

Since I only had a bit of horseradish, I threw caution to the wind and processed it indoors rather than hauling my Cuisinart to the back porch. I survived unscathed.

The fresh horseradish is amazingly brisk and pungent, with a much cleaner aroma than the horseradish I buy in the stores. So far I have made a sauce for crab cakes and horseradish deviled eggs—because God knows I have plenty of eggs.

The flavor is so fabulous, I’ll never be without horseradish in my garden again. I suppose that’s especially true if it turns out to be invasive.

Posted In: Food and Recipes, Gardening

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