2016 CuK Gift Guide

9 Dec

It’s time for another list of things I love that people you know might love, too. Wouldn’t be a CuK Christmas post, though, if I didn’t remind you that consumerism is a bunch of hype and really the gift we all desire and deserve is the generosity, empathy, and hilarity of our fellow human.

But, you know, on to the material ish:

For anybody who bakes:

Run Fast Eat SlowI already wrote about how much I love this book, and it is worth another mention. Give it to everyone you know to make sure your next Superhero muffin is never far off.

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Dorie’s Cookies: The NYT calls this one of the year’s best baking cookbooks, and it’s dedicated entirely to cookies, so…liiiikkke…why haven’t you ordered it yet?

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MilkBar Class: From the people who brought the world Crack Pie and Cereal Milk ice cream, these “bake the book” participation classes sound like absolute heaven. The perfect gift for anyone who wants to learn how to wow the pants off people with their baking prowess. Classes are $95 and held in NY and DC.

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For people who actually have a personal aesthetic, and are totally into the copper/gold trend right now:

Copper Measuring Cups: I can’t vouch for the practicality of these guys, but they sure are pretty.

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Elegant Mugs: I love that these match without matching–pretty much nailing the style I think I’m pulling off every day with my thrown-together outfits. 

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A sophisticated oil/vinegar container: I’ve put one of these fancy little ditties on pretty much every CuK Gift Guide that I’ve put out, which is kind of hilarious because I just pour olive oil right out of my 1 gallon vat. But who wouldn’t love to serve their (obviously Greek) olive oil from one of these beautiful cruets?

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For your most Clarissa Darling-like friend:

I love these taco/hot sauce and unicorn/rainbow stud sets. Ladder for Sam and Fergbreath repellant sold separately.

For all your friends who live in an apartment too small for a dining table (except me, because my husband is obsessed with TV trays):

Couch Arm Table: Isn’t this just about the most brilliant thing you’ve ever seen?

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For anyone down for inclusion and equal rights for people of all genders:

Feminist Apparel has a wonderful collection of hilarious, patriarchy-slaying Tshirts, some of which are safer for work than this one.

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For the person who’s been wearing scrubs to work for the last 5 years and will soon have to dress like a real human:

Tieks— the super comfy, apparently-durable shoe you should buy for someone when the budget is no object. I know a few people who swear the $175 price tag is worth it because these guys can be worn all day, every day for both work and play…but I can’t say so myself, as I’ve been wearing the same (smelly) shoes to work for 4.5 of the last 5 years.

For Runners:

I could write ten runners-only gift guides, but I’ll try to pare it down to just a few:

Elite Marathoner Tank: Don’t we all want to channel our inner Kara?

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The softest cold-weather headband: Warm ears, unsweaty forehead, can’t lose.

SquadGoals Pin: If you missed the way Amy Cragg supported Shalane Flanagan through the darkest miles of the 2016 US Marathon Olympic Trials, you missed one of 2016’s best moments in athletics and awesome women. Make sure your best running friend knows you’re down for the both the easy work and the tough times with this cute, budget-friendly pin.

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For someone who really doesn’t need any more stuff and would rather send some money to people doing awesome work:

Blue Chip Animal Refuge: A favorite of my beloved grandmother.

International Rescue Committee: Doing some of the most important work in Syria right now.

Planned ParenthoodBecause God only knows what the next four years have in store for us (see also: friggin’ Ohio).

Black Lives Matter: If I have to say more, you probably haven’t been reading the blog long (welcome! read this, then come back and chat).

Mincemeat Cookies–An Awesome Misnomer

8 Dec

You are reading the words of a free woman– another quarter of NP school is in my rear view and now it’s just an easy ride into the season of 10 million Christmas cookies in preparation for the GANZA. I’ve been whipping up cookie dough like it’s my job this week, including some old favorites (these highbrow gingerbread cookies and Greece’s most valuable contribution to civilization) as well as some Kefi cookie collective newbies, like today’s not-totally-appropriately named mincemeat cookie.

A friend I run with told me about these Polish cookies that “taste like Christmas in each bite” and that traditionally contained meat but are now just a wonderful collection of fat and fruit. Um, yes please. Back in ye olde days beef lard (or chunks!) apparently seemed like something we needed in cookies–for the record, if I ever go back to eating meat again, I’m starting with beef cookies. From what I can tell, when people today say “mincemeat,” they mean “jarred jam-like substance comprised of dried fruits, spices, and liquor.” Most recipes I found called for the store-bought kind, but since you literally just throw stuff in a sauce pan and let it simmer, I figured I would make my own.

I found a vegetarian version and doctored it up (original here), then added it to a recipe for the cookie itself (original here). They aren’t the prettiest cookies–y’all already know I’m here for palate-pleasing, not presentation–but MrKef was ALL about them, and my test tray disappeared faster than I could take a halfway decent picture (#parforthecourse).

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I managed to get one bite in before he could eat them all, and was pleasantly surprised to find that I had, in fact, bitten into Christmas. They’re slightly crunchy on the outside and ever-so-slightly cakey on the inside–the perfect drop cookie, if you ask me. Add to the equation that they are super-easy to make and you get a big endorsement from me on this one.

Mincemeat Cookies

Ingredients

–For the Mincemeat

  • 4 TBS butter
  • 1 c apple juice
  • 1 c raisin
  • 1/2 c dried currant (which from what I could tell were just raisins, but who am I to mince words with mincemeat ingredients? Har har)
  • 5 oz  dried berries/cherries mix (I found a Safeway brand, sub with just dried cherries)
  • 1/2 c Craisins (I used the 50% less sugar ones, you do you)
  • Zest and juice of one lemon
  • Zest of 1 lime
  • Juice of 1 lime + 1/8 c MORE lime juice
  • 1/4c Godiva liquor
  • 1/2 tsp ground cinnamon
  • 1/2 tsp freshly ground nutmeg
  • 1/4 tsp ground ginger
  • 1/4 tsp ground cloves
  • 1/4 tsp salt
  • 2-4 TBS rum (optional)

For the Cookie

  • 1/2 c softened unsalted butter
  • 1/2 c softened vegetable shortening
  • 1 c sugar
  • 1/2 c packed dark brown sugar
  • 3 eggs
  • 1 tsp vanilla extract
  • 1.5 c prepared mincemeat
  • 3.25 c all-purpose flour
  • 1/2 tsp salt
  • 1 tsp baking soda
  • 1 tsp cinnamon

Assembly

  1. To make the mincemeat, put all ingredients in a medium saucepan. Bring to boil, stirring frequently. Reduce to simmer and cook down for about 30 minutes, stirring frequently, until most of the liquid has evaporated. Remove from heat and stir in 2-4 TBS rum (optional–but I surely did it.) Allow to cool completely, before baking cookie dough–even better if you can let it sit overnight.
  2. To make the cookies– Preheat oven to 375. Using an electric mixer (with dough hook attachment if you have it), cream together the butter, shortening, and both sugars. Add eggs and vanilla, beat for about 3 minutes. Add the mincemeat by hand, mixing with rubber spatula until mincemeat is distributed pretty evenly throughout the batter.
  3. In a separate bowl, sift together flour, salt, and spices. Add one third of the flour to the batter, mix by hand until just combine. Repeat twice more until all the flour is gone.
  4. Drop about 2 TBS of batter onto a parchment- or silicon-lined cookie sheet, keeping 2-3 inches between cookies so they can spread out and become wonderful. Bake for 10-11 minutes, until just golden brown. Cool for at least 20 minutes before serving, even better if served the next day.

Prague- the Most Magical Place on Earth

21 Nov

For those of you seeking alternate countries of residence, please add the Czech Republic to your list. MrKef and I visited for a few days in late August, and every time we told someone about our upcoming trip, they responded, “Oh it’s so magical! You will love it!” At the risk of being trite, it was magical and we did really, really love it. So much so that I have 10,000 photos, so buckle up for a long post.

We got in pretty early and found our amazing AirBnB easily. We were thrilled to find it above a wonderful cafe and across the street from a concert hall, which meant that every morning there was classical music drifting up our one-way cobblestone street. Magic!

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As if the location wasn’t enough, the cafe was serving my favorite Ottolenghi recipe— eggplant with a tangy yogurt sauce plus pomegranates and balsamic vinaigrette.

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We moseyed allllll the way uphill to a monastery and stunning view:

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MrKef was loving it!

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We decided just to keep strolling and get the lay of the land. Of course, we found the Hop on Hop Off Bus:img_6401

and realized we were only a few blocks away from Prague Castle:img_6403which, in addition to its stylish guards, also boasts a beautiful view and… a Starbucks?

img_6405Because he is the world’s friendliest man, MrKef was making friends left and right:

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Prague is split by the Vltava River, and the city is crisscrossed by bridges. One of the many photo-op attractions of the city is the Charles Bridge, which has been open since 1402! We walked across and, even with all the other tourists and hawkers, it was spectacular.

The bridge opens right up into the Old Town, and we made no bones about sampling Prague’s famous gingerbread as we explored.

One of the most wonderful things about Prague is the river life– all along the river are these little beer garden-type establishments where you just post up with friends and enjoy the beautiful scenery. Some of them have live music, and a few have food– but mostly the idea is just to soak up the sun and enjoy the fact that you are alive. Bonus points if you’re with this guy:

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About 80,000 steps later, we were ready for dinner. We picked Vkolkovne, Pilsner Urquell’s restaurant. We were fans!

The next morning, I did what I do best: drink coffee, eat vegetables, and wait for MrKef to be ready.

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Eventually, we made it back up the monastery to check out the exhibits there. But don’t think it was all beautifully hand-pressed books, historic paintings, and beautiful architecture — our trusty Lonely Planet guide also alerted us to the existence of a calcified whale penis on display (not pictured here because you really couldn’t tell what it was)!

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I was ready for lunch and MrKef was ready for a beverage, but luckily we were in Prague so both could be taken to go! I found delicious zucchini noodles at this raw vegan cafe down the street from the monastery, and MrKef found JimBeam in a can. We were both in our own personal heaven.

Fueled by our favorite vices, we walked back over the bridge and toured the Jewish Quarter, which is by far one of the best in Europe (that I’ve been to, anyway). Apparently Hitler planned to turn the Jewish Quarter of Prague into the “Museum of the Extinct Race,” and so he carefully preserved the synagogues there and brought in many important Jewish artifacts from all over Europe. Luckily that’s now how things turned out and, in an ironic twist of “eff you, fascist mother effer,” it is now one of the most thriving centers of Jewish life in Europe, with 7 synagogues from various periods, a stunning cemetery, and lots of fascinating historical exhibits.

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From there, we went over to the main square to go to the top of the Old Town Hall Tower and see the famous Astronomical Clock.

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As you can see, the views were pretty stunning. Need some more Prague magic? There was this guy with the world’s biggest bubble maker down in the square, and you could hear kids’ gleeful laughter all the way at the top of the tower:

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Post-tower, we decided on a boat tour.

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Another 80,000 step day in. We tried to have dinner at this vegetarian-friendly place by our apartment but it was sadly closed (foiled again!), so we ended up in this total hole in the wall where pretty much the only vegetarian thing on the menu was Cider, so I drank dinner that night!

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Not sold on Prague yet? Hold on to your hats. They have this INSANE street treat called trdelnik. It’s grilled puff pastry filled with frozen yogurt and topped with nutella. Um, WOW.

As shown in the bottom right, MrKef was thrilled; I was petrified. We had a few more drinks on the square and called it a night–we were pooped!

We’ll save the second half of the trip for another day–too much magic for one post!

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A Cranberry Lime Pie to Unite Your Thanksgiving Table

16 Nov

America is more polarized than ever. We’re embroiled in an age-old Us vs Them battle that is steeped in tradition and intractable in scope.  This November, it’s more and more obvious that there are two kinds of people: Thanksgiving Purists and Thanksgiving Innovators.

I come from a family of Purists. We’ve eaten the same menu every year for as long as I can remember, with some slight changes here and there for family circumstance–the absence of marshmallow cranberries (…yes, cranberries) after my beloved grandmother died, the one-time-only addition of Tofurkey the first year I was a vegetarian (never again), and the re-imagination of MamaKef’s amazing corn casserole to suit a gluten-free, sugar-free crowd (best. sidedish.ever), to name a few.

Despite my traditional roots, I’ve always been drawn to the new-take-on-an-old-trick recipes. Luckily for HomeBrewKef, Purist in Chief, the danger of my taking over Thanksgiving and replacing all the onions with shallots has passed, as I go to MrKef’s family for Thanksgiving these days. But that doesn’t stop me from buying the November Bon Appetit the SECOND it hits newsstands and drooling over all the re-imagined favorites in absurdly-titled articles like “Have a Thai Thanksgiving This Year.”

In the spirit of compromise and reconciliation, today’s recipe is a wonderful blend of the familiar and the new. To please the old guard, we’ve got hallmarks of fall favorites in the gingersnap crust and luscious cranberry curd, while the idea of adding some citrus to an otherwise apple- and cinnamon-laden dessert table is catnip to those of us desperate for change. In short: this looks like Thanksgiving and tastes like Key Lime Pie, and that’s a ticket everyone should be able to get behind.

For once, my creation was extremely attractive and I was super excited to share a beautiful picture of my pie here… but your girl ChefKef lives in a small apartment with limited storage space and has only one pie dish, which just so happens to be the exact same beautiful shade of cranberry as this pie. Not ideal. Luckily, Bon Appetit staged an entire photo shoot just so I could share a picture of the pie–so thanks to them for this verbatim recipe and picture. Rest assured I used the SAME gold snake in my photo shoot, too.

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I made mine gluten and sugar free just to really antagonize the Purists out there– you do whatever will keep you sane and your close-minded Uncle Al happy this year.

Cranberry-Lime Pie

Ingredients

–For the crust

  • About 16 gingersnap cookies (For gf/sf: I made these with Cup4Cup and coconut sugar)
  • 1 c pecans
  • 4 TBS unsalted butter, melted
  • 3 TBS light brown sugar (I used coconut sugar)

–For the filling

  • 12 ounces fresh (or frozen, thawed) cranberries, plus 4 ounces (about 1¼ cups) for serving (bolded because I missed this and had to make a second trip)
  • 2.5 c granulated sugar, divided (I used coconut sugar)
  • 3 large eggs
  • 2 large egg yolks
  • 1 tsp lemon zest, finely grated
  • 2 tsp lime zest, finely grated and divided
  • ½ c fresh lime juice (I used the stuff that comes in the weird plastic lime and it was fine)
  • Pinch of kosher salt
  • 1.5 sticks unsalted butter, room temperature, cut into pieces
  • Whipped cream (for serving)

Assembly

  1. Preheat oven to 350°. Pulse cookies in a food processor until very finely ground (you should have about 1 cup). Add pecans; pulse until finely ground. Add butter and brown sugar; pulse to combine. Transfer to a deep 9″ pie dish. Using a measuring cup, press firmly onto bottom and up sides of dish. Bake until firm and slightly darkened in color, 10–15 minutes. If crust slides down sides, gently press back up. Let cool.
  2. Bring 12 oz. cranberries, 1 cup granulated sugar, and ¼ cup water to a boil in a large saucepan over medium-high. Reduce heat; simmer until cranberries burst and most of the liquid evaporates, 12–15 minutes. Let cool. Purée in a blender/food processor until very smooth.

    3. Cook purée, eggs, egg yolks, lemon zest, lime juice, salt, ½ cup sugar, and 1 tsp. lime zest in a heatproof bowl set over a saucepan of simmering water (bowl should not touch water), stirring with a rubber spatula and scraping down sides of bowl often, until curd thickens and coats spatula, 8–10 minutes. (Ed. Note: this is no small arm workout, so get ready to sweat.) Let cool until just warm.

    4. Using an electric mixer on medium-high, beat curd, adding butter a piece at a time and incorporating after each addition, until curd looks lighter in color and texture, about 5 minutes. Scrape into crust and chill until firm, about 2 hours.

    For the beautiful garnish: Bring ½ cup granulated sugar and ½ cup water to a simmer in a small saucepan over medium heat, stirring to dissolve sugar. Add remaining 4 oz. cranberries and cook until barely starting to soften, about 1 minute. Using a slotted spoon, transfer cranberries to a wire rack set inside a rimmed baking sheet. Chill until no longer sticky, 20–30 minutes.

    Toss remaining ½ cup granulated sugar and 1 tsp. lime zest in a small bowl. Toss cranberries in lime sugar. Top pie with cranberries; serve with whipped cream.

Mr Kef’s Crowning Achievement: Sourmilk Donuts

2 Nov

Better than the muffin man– I’m married to the donut man!

It’s no secret that MrKef is happier as the breadwinner than the breadmaker in this family. He doesn’t venture into the strange room with the oven and dishwasher often, but when he does, it usually makes for a good story. For some of his previous shenanigans, check out the hilarious crime scene I woke up to last time he cooked, and his Jamdown-wowing  goat stew.

Over the weekend MrKef realized he had let this fancy milk he buys at Jrink go one day too long in the fridge. It’s entirely too expensive to go to waste, so he did some googling and found that one can make all kinds of bready bakedgood with milk that’s gone bad. Who knew?

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These are the definition of easy- if you can stir ’em, you can make ’em. In case you don’t believe me, we made these after I had a full day of clinical, after I went on my first run in three weeks (#praiseHim), and before we went to Aar-zanaKef’s pumpkin carving party (and yes- if you were wondering- that is the first joint-couple Kef name to grace these pages).

We got the original idea from this recipe–what is reflected below are the few tweaks we made to thicken up the batter and speed the whole thing up by making them munchkins instead of full fledged donuts.

Sour Milk Donuts

Ingredients

  • 4 .5-5.5 c flour
  • 1.5 tsp baking soda
  • 1.5 tsp cream of tartar
  • 1 tsp salt
  • 1/4 tsp nutmeg
  • 1.25 sugar
  • 3 TBS shortening
  • 1 c sour milk (use insanely fancy milk your husband didn’t drink , or put 1 TBS  vinegar or lemon juice in a 1 cup measuring cup. Add milk to fill. Let sit for 5 minutes and milk will sour.)
  • 3 eggs, beaten
  • Oil- enough for deep drying
  • 0.5-1 c sugar
  • 2-4 TBS cinnamon, to taste

Assembly

  1. Mix together 4.5 flour, baking soda, cream of tartar, salt and nutmeg in a large bowl. In a separate, smaller bowl combine sugar, lard, milk and eggs. Add wet ingredients to dry ones, and mix well. Batter should be thick enough that it can be rolled into balls–if it’s not, add the remaining flour as needed, a quarter cup at a time. You’re in the ballpark when it the dough is a bit sticky but doesn’t make an absolute mess of your hands.
  2. Roll the dough into munchkin-sized balls. They will get expand in oil, so be judicious.
  3. Heat oil in a saucepan on medium heat–the oil should be at least 3-4 inches deep, so choose your pot accordingly. When oil is hot, add doughnuts and cook for 2-3 minutes, flipping over halfway. Cool on brown paper or paper towels.
  4. Mix sugar and cinnamon to taste and roll each donut in the mixture before serving. Serve warm or room temp.

A Few Days in Greece

28 Oct

Someone in the world thought it would be a good idea to make it dark at 4:30 pm just so it could be light at 6:59 am… friggin’ kill me. For my daily dose Vitamin D these days, I’m reliving MrKef’s inaugural trip to the Hellenic Republic–if you need some sun-drenched, punch-drunk-love pictures, here’s how Greece totally won over a skeptical MrKef and why we’ll never vacation pretty much anywhere else.

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While planning our trip, MrKef thought Greece would be all beach all the time. I tried to explain the ideal vacation day (historic something in the morning, late lunch, beach/nap, shower/nap, late dinner, drinks, repeat) but he just couldn’t quite wrap his mind around it. So, we decided to split our time between Athens and Prague. Sadly, flights didn’t quite work out so we only had a few days in Athens, but “thems the breaks,” as HomeBrewKef would say.

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After some hilarious airport hijinks, we made it to the lovely home of my darling Aunt Fifi. Point for Greece: She and MrKef were fast friends over non-alcoholic beer:

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We ate some homemade gemiste, took a divine nap, and woke up to this beautiful view of the port of Rafina:

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Afterward, we headed down to Marathonos to stroll along the promenade. Point for Greece: “I can’t believe how whole families just come down here and hang out in the square! It’s amazing–the kids can play and the parents can have a drink! I love this!”

The next day, we drove out to Sunnios. MrKef was juuuust about sold on Greece when he saw just how beautiful a drive along the coast it is, but I knew it was going to take one big push to get him over the edge. I made a miscalculation and tried to woo him to the Greek side with a Cappuccino Freddo, but I married the one lawyer in America who’s not into coffee, so that didn’t do much for him. Me, on the other hand? HEAVEN.

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We arrived at the Temple of Poseidon, which is absolutely stunning. I could tell MrKef was close to re-negging on his previous anti-all-Greece-trip sentiment. Imagine my surprise when he nailed it RIGHT on the head– “Greeks are so brilliant. There’s a beach and a restaurant right next to this tourist attraction. You can do it all in one place in one day.” It feels good to be right.

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We headed back home to a house full of Greeks eager to meet Edgar. Some tiropita and pantomiming later, and it was nap time again.

As if a mid-day nap isn’t treat enough, we were greeted by coffee, tea, and a view when we woke up. Also, my aunt is a wonderful human who fills my little heart with so much joy, even when we only share about three-quarters of a language.

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We took a trip down to the Port to take a walk and watch the ferries come in, and Greece won an unexpected point: MrKef loved the feral cats and the funny places we found them. This one really tickled his funnybone:

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The next morning, we packed up the car and headed into Athens– I won about 100,000 lifepoints for driving in Athens and not killing myself or someone else, if I do say so myself. We had a free stay at the Hilton Athens, and we made quick use of the central location. MrKef was on a MISSION to see the Acropolis, so we headed there first with a quick stop off at Parliament to see the changing of the guards.

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We toured the beautiful new Museum of the Acropolis, and then set off on a long walk up to the Museum of Archeology. On the way, I passed a Gregory’s an of course had to eat a spanakopita the size of my head. God bless that Gregory.

We took a long tour of the museum, which is not fancy but is really well done, and even found the perfect funeral arrangement for HomeBrewKef– an Egyptian king was buried with this model brewery so he could keep enjoying cold ones in the afterlife:

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Because my family is so wonderful, my cousin met us with his wife and daughter for a coffee in the exquisitely-renovated courtyard of the museum. Then we moseyed on back to the hotel, where we found this so thoughtful gluten-free gift waiting for us from the Hilton! Marriott, you are dead to us.

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At this point, it was like 11:30pm and even Greeks were surprised when we were trying to start dinner. Luckily, the good people of Lonely Planet had our backs and recommended a very cute, reasonably-priced Taverna in otherwise way-too-trendy-for-my-budget Colonaki. MrKef, punch drunk on the awesomenees of Greeks for the last 10 centuries, DEMANDED a saganaki, and Oikeio truly delivered.

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GAME, SET, MATCH: GREECE!!!!!!!

We wandered up the street to a fun bar filled with people our age (read: not young)., and I enjoyed a lovely beverage that came with a spoonful of berry puree because… why not? And then, it was seriously bed time. We were pooped!

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The next morning, we started at the Panhellenic Stadium. Then we strolled back up to the Central Market near Omonia Square, where we stocked up on spices and MrKef pondered how to smuggle raw meat into the Czech Republic.

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Then, a catastrophe happened: I had been desperately looking forward to a trip to the Museum of Greek Gastronomy. We got there only to find… it has closed almost two years ago. I cannot remember a vacation day when I was sadder. Truly, a Greek tragedy!

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But then I saw this hilarious little transliteration error, and I remembered why Greece is the best🙂 If I start going by KookKefi, RN from now on, you’ll know why:

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We wandered back through the Plaka and Monasteraki, where MrKef tried on pretty much every pair of shoes known to man. We ended our 15,000-step day at the stunning Agora:

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We met my cousin for dinner and ice cream, and it was suddenly time to go. MrKef signed in blood that he would come to Greece for at least a week next time, and I am *this* close to his realization that Greece is the only place we ever need to vacation anytime again. #OurGreeknessIsYourWeakness

 

Stay tuned for a recap of our 5 glorious days in Prague.

 

 

The Best Way to Eat Vegetables–Muffins!

20 Oct

A few posts ago, I wrote about how much I loved the cookbook Run Fast Eat Slow. Today, I’m sharing my favorite recipe from the book–Elyse and Shalane, the authors, are kind enough to share it on their web site, so you should surely return their karmic favor and buy the book!

These muffins are PERFECT. Perfect texture, perfect sweetness, perfect moisture, and perfectly filling. PLUS, they are chock full of carrots and zucchini. If I had kids who were picky eaters, I would feed them these and call it two of their 5 servings of fruits/veggies. But, I don’t… so instead I’m gonna bring a batch over to my #1 Cookie Monster over in Arlington this weekend, TheSunshineofMyWholeDamnLifeKef , who will not mind at all that there are vegetables mixed in with her “cake” (PILFKef, DO–if you are reading this, and have a less-healthy request, call me.).

Plus, they look beautiful EVERY time. These are so good. Elite marathoner and recipe co-author Shalane Flanagan suggests eating them before a long run… sometimes blogger and currently-injured-runner Chef Kefi, RN suggests eating them before anything.

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Superhero Muffins

Ingredients

  • 2 cups almond meal
  • 1 cup old-fashioned rolled oats (use gluten-free if sensitive)
  • 1/2 cup chopped walnuts (I have been using slivered almonds- you do you)
  • 1/2 cup currants or raisins, optional
  • 2 teaspoons ground cinnamon
  • 1/2 teaspoon ground nutmeg
  • 1 teaspoon baking soda
  • 1/2 teaspoon fine sea salt
  • 3 eggs, beaten
  • 1 cup grated zucchini (about 1 zucchini)
  • 1 cup grated carrot (about 2 carrots–or buy the bag of pre-shredded ones)
  • 6 tablespoons unsalted butter, melted
  • 1/2 cup Grade B maple syrup
  • 1 teaspoon vanilla
  • paper muffin cups

Assembly

  1. Preheat the oven to 350°F. Line a 12-cup standard muffin tin with paper muffin cups. Put the grated zucchini in a strainer and push out excess water (ed note: the original recipe doesn’t call for this, but I have always done it. No need to make yourself crazy, but get out what moisture you can).
  2. In a large bowl, combine the almond meal, oats, walnuts, currants or raisins, if using, cinnamon, nutmeg, baking soda, and salt.
  3. In a separate bowl, mix together the eggs, zucchini, carrot, butter, maple syrup, and vanilla.
  4. Add the wet ingredients to the dry ingredients, mixing until just combined.
  5. Spoon the batter into the muffin cups filling each to the brim. Bake until the muffins are nicely browned on top and a toothpick inserted in the center of a muffin comes out clean, about 25 to 35 minutes.  

 

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