(adapted from Food.com)
Makes 6 muffins
- 1 cup white whole wheat flour
- 1/4 cup sugar
- 1 tsp baking powder
- 1/4 tsp salt
- 1/2 tsp ground cinnamon
- 1/2 cup milk
- 1/2 stick (1/4 cup) unsalted butter, melted and cooled slightly
- 1 egg
- 1/2 tsp vanilla extract
- 1/4 cup cinnamon chips
- 1 Tbs butter (cold)
- 2 Tbs white whole wheat flour, divided
- 2 Tbs brown sugar
- 1/4 tsp ground cinnamon
Preheat the oven to 400F.
Next, make the streusel topping. Mix 1.5 Tbs flour, 2 Tbs brown sugar, and 1/4 tsp cinnamon in a small bowl. Use a pastry blender to mix in the butter, leaving small lumps. Stir in remaining 1/2 Tbs flour to keep mix crumbly. Put it in the refrigerator until you’re ready to use it.
In a large bowl, mix flour, sugar, baking powder, salt, and cinnamon. Stir in the chips. In a a small bowl or 2-cup measuring cup, mix milk, eggs, butter, and vanilla. Add wet ingredients to dry ingredients and stir. Let rest 10 minutes to let the flour hydrate. Spoon batter into greased and floured muffin tins and bake 18 or so minutes until done. Remove tin to a wire rack, cool 5 minutes, and then remove muffins.
For the past few years, we’ve been making homemade vanilla extract for ourselves and for Christmas presents. We started with a basic recipe from Cook’s Illustrated, and scaled it up, because 3/4 cup of extract just isn’t enough. With a little experimentation, we also increased the amount of vanilla to reach our current ratio.
To make vanilla extract, you’re going to need to buy vanilla beans in bulk. Grocery store beans won’t cut it,for two critical reasons. First, they’re outrageously expensive–one or two beans in a jar. The first problem leads to the second: they’re so expensive that nobody buys them, so they sit on the shelf for a long time and as a result are dessicated and terribly stale.
We’ve had good luck buying from Arizona Vanilla Company (no affiliation, just happy customers). Since we’re making extract, we buy the grade B beans which aren’t as pretty, but work just fine. A half pound goes for a little over $20 the last time we bought some. It’s more than we need for extract, but they keep well in a glass jar in the freezer (even after a year, they’re fresher than what you get in the grocery store!). You can see from the photo how much oilier they are than those dried out things in the store.
To make a little under 750 mL of extract:
- 40 vanilla beans, split lengthwise
- 750 mL bottle of vodka
Pour out a little bit of vodka, then put in 40 beans. Top with the vodka you poured out, and then set aside in a dark, cool spot for at least 6 weeks. From time to time, turn the bottle over to mix. After a few weeks, the vodka will start to darken. Six weeks is the minimum to soak it, but longer is even better. We keep a fifth of vanilla extract steeping pretty much all the time, and use it to top off a smaller bottle we keep in the spice cabinet.
No, not pork chops & applesauce, pork chops and apple sauce.
- 4 thick cut pork loin chops (bone in or boneless, as you prefer)
- coarse sea salt or kosher salt
- 1 Tbs coconut oil (or butter, lard, or olive oil–it’s not critical)
- 1 bottle cider (I used Woodchuck Granny Smith, but substitute as you see fit)
Sprinkle chops with coarse salt, and let rest for a few minutes. Heat a large skillet over medium-high heat, add oil, and add chops. Cook until they start to brown, then turn and add cider. Cover, and braise for about 10 minutes or until done. Remove chops to a platter and tent with foil to keep warm. Raise heat to high, and reduce until syrupy. Add juices from chops and reduce again until thickened. Serve chops with sauce and sides of your choice.
We’ve been making a variation on Gai Paht Bai Graprao from Nancy McDermott’s Real Thai
cookbook for awhile, but tonight it came out even better than usual thanks to the addition of coconut butter: I don’t think we’ll ever go back; it was that good.
- 1.5 lbs chicken, cut into small, bite-sized pieces
- 2 Tbs coconut oil
- 1 large clove garlic, minced
- 1 Tbs garlic-chili sauce
- 2 Tbs fish sauce
- 1 Tbs water
- 1 Tbs soy sauce
- 1 Tbs brown rice syrup (you can substitute brown sugar, but if you have rice syrup on hand, it provides a subtle sweetness that blends nicely with the jasmine rice)
- 2 Tbs coconut butter
- 2 cups sweet peppers, seeded and thinly sliced into rings
- 1 cup basil leave, coarsely torn
- Jasmine or long-grain rice to serve
Prep veggies, then chicken (to minimize opportunity for cross-contamination). Put rice on to cook.
Heat wok or large skillet over medium-high heat, and when hot add coconut oil. Add garlic and chili suace. Stir-fry for a few seconds to heat the garlic and chili and infuce the oil, then add chicken. Stir fry the chicken until it changes color and is nearly done.
Add fish sauce, water, and soy, and cook for a minute or so. Add rice syrup (or sugar) and stir fry for another minute. Add peppers and stir fry until they soften slightly, then add coconut butter and basil and cook until the basil wilts and the coconut butt incorporates into the sauce.
Remove from heat and serve over rice. Serves 4 (or 2 with leftovers for lunch.