Thursday, July 22, 2010

Banana Chocolate Surprise Muffiins and Corn & Basil Cakes

These Gluten Free Banana Chocolate Surprise Muffins were a last minute decision, based on the fact that I had all the ingredients right here in the house. I've been experimenting with different types of flours lately, and this recipe was an adaptation of the recipe on the back of the Bob's Red Mill, Gluten Free AP Flour bag. The recipe was easy to throw together, even with 2 whiny kids in the background, but, unfortunately, it did not receive rave reviews. Kevin said they tasted "very healthy," and this was actually the first time ever, that Maya handed it back to me and said, "I don't like this, I need milk." Oh well. I thought they were okay, especially with the little chunk of dark chocolate I hid in the center. The fact is, you have to get used to the taste of different types of flours. I won't make these again, because I don't want to be the only one eating them, but I will try again with the GF flour - the bananas will have to take a hike. Chocolate is always foolproof in our house, so I guess I should stick to what I know.

These muffins looked very pretty, and smelled really good.

I think these had too much xantham gum. The dough was a bit too elastic for my taste, but I suppose that's where experimentation comes into play.

I rarely cook with fresh basil - well, I rarely cook with fresh herbs at all, actually. I always end up with leftovers that go in the trash, because I don't know exactly how to use them. What can I say? I'm a beginner... Anyway, I've had my eye on this recipe for Corn & Basil Cakes, courtesy of Eating Well Magazine, for quite a while, so I was really excited to try it. In fact, I trekked out in the pouring rain and hurricane-like winds, to Stop and Shop, to pick up basil. It was worth it. This recipe is really easy, it looks beautiful, and it tastes delicious. As previously mentioned, we have a lot of leftovers in the house, so my mission last night, was to create something that could be used as a side dish, so we could also eat leftovers (we have approximately 12 cups of beef barley soup in the fridge). These corn cakes are very easy and quick to whip up on the stove top. They have a very interesting flavor - a mix between a real pancake, and a fresh, herbal, savory taste. They also look colorful and summery, though it took me a couple of batches to get the hang of the timing. They would go really well with grilled chicken or steak, or even roasted or steamed vegetables.
The batter to these cakes is a snap to put together.

I have a lot of leftover basil, so the wheels are turning for tonight... What should I make?

I was shocked (again) that this gloppy batter made such perfectly moist cakes.

The first batch was alittle "light," but I perfected my next couple of batches!


Corn patty thingies
- I've never been more apprehensive about trying something that looks like something I would not like. But, I ended up loving this meal. The basil was so fresh and it tasted like a professionally cooked meal prepared by a seasoned chef. They were light and healthy tasting but the corn really brought out a nice flavor to them. I gobbled them down very fast. I could only slightly taste the egg, so it was really nice. I would like to try this again at breakfast. I tried reheating one of these and they also tasted great, and even Maya loved them. I was so proud of her for trying. 4 bowls!

Gluten-free Muffins -
OK, now understand that these were made for Marji only, and I was not the intended target audience of the muffin. That being said, they tasted much like the name sounds - like something trying to pose as a dessert that has something very important missing from it. I'm a tough cookie to please when it comes to dessert and when you try to make it healthy, it's nearly impossible to make it past 2 bowls. This is no exception. It tasted like you're eating air with some weird flavor in it. The chocolate really tasted good, but the stuff around it wasn't that great. I love my wife and I love her cooking. I'm not the biggest fan of healthy desserts - made by anyone. So it's really nothing personal to Marji. If I want a healthy dessert, then I'll eat fruit. 1 bowl.

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