Friday, September 18, 2009


It's 6 am. I got home late last night from a cross country meet. I have to run a concession stand tonight. I have a garage sale tomorrow. AND I have a niece and nephew who spent the night last night. So what do I do??? I sit down and try to catch up on some of my blog reading. I haven't even opened Reader since August, so I have something like 500 posts I haven't read yet. Lucky for me, Bakerella is at the top in the alphabetical hierarchy and has this incredible recipe just waiting for me to try. So, let's do that instead. I haven't been late to work in quite some time...

Whisk all the dry ingredients together. Sorry about the lighting. It's still dark out :(
In a separate bowl, we need some buttermilk. Right. I don't have any. I'm kinda betting that you don't either. I'm not even sure if our grocery store HAS buttermilk. It might, we are a small, rural area with an extremely awesome grocer. I, however, have never even looked for it. Anyway, you can make your own by adding 1 tablespoon of lemon juice (or vinegar) to a cup, then fill the cup up the rest of the way with regular milk. TADA...buttermilk.
Two tablespoons of pure maple syrup. Right. I don't have that either. I have pretend maple syrup.

Also, I think I have mentioned this before, but for the English-measurement-challenged individual, two tablespoons is equal to 1/8 of a cup. THAT is what those cups are for.
So I set my camera down on my very messy counter and happened to glance at the screen. This is what I saw. I really like this accidental picture, so I thought I would share. Do I seem a little ADD this morning? I feel like it.
Add the buttermilk to the melted butter and syrup along with one egg.
Do you know what buttermilk is? It is bad milk. Do you know what happens to good milk when you add lemon juice? It goes bad. If you prefer not to think of this, don't let your milk sit too long in the lemon juice before you add it to your batter.
But it is good, bad milk. So whisk all this together.
By now, there is probably a large drop of syrup that has collected in the bottom of your 1/8 cup. Add this in to the batter because we don't want any of that yummy syrupy goodness to go to waste.
Drop spoonfuls of the batter into a greased muffin pan. I made mini muffins. I was going to make regular sized, and I am glad I didn't. The mini ones were perfect for dipping in syrup.
You can add chocolate chips if you like. I'm also thinking blueberries...but you may see this coming, I didn't have any.
Bake at 350 for about 10 minutes. My kids were (oh, alright, I was) really impatient about these, but try not to peek.
Let them sit for a few minutes to rest up.
Dip in syrup if you so desire.
These were a huge hit. Delicious. And much less messy than pancakes. The Girl wants to make "a few hundred" for her lemonade stand tomorrow. Sigh...Bakerella has a really long name for these and asked everyone to come up with a shorter one. Somewhere in her post, she called them Puffins. I love that, so that is what I am sticking with. They just sound adorable and delicious. I think from here on, I am going to have to double the recipe. These were devoured in minutes.

Click here for Printable Recipe

1 cup flour
1 teaspoon baking powder
1/2 teaspoon baking soda
1/4 teaspoon salt
2 tablespoons sugar
2/3 cup buttermilk
1 egg
2 tablespoons pure maple syrup
2 tablespoons melted butter
1/2 cup milk chocolate chips

Preheat oven to 350 degrees. Combine flour, baking powder, baking soda, salt and sugar in a medium bowl. Sift together with a wire whisk. In another bowl, stir buttermilk, egg, maple syrup and melted butter until just combined. Add wet ingredients to dry ingredients and stir with a spoon until combined. Stir in chocolate chips. Reserve a few chips to sprinkle on the tops. Bake for 8-9 minutes.Makes 24 mini pancake muffins. Let cool slightly and remove from the pan. You may need to use a toothpick around the edges to separate the pancake muffins from the pan.
Serve immediately with warmed butter if you like or even just with maple syrup.

Monday, September 7, 2009

Grassy Chicken

The adult in me REALLY wanted to like this. Then the kids came to the table and just stared. The Boy actually said "dares drass on mine chicken" hence the name of the dish.

I had never had eggplant before. It looks like it would be so good with its dark purple color. We never had it growing up, and now I think I know why.

Eggplant apparently gets bitter if cooked, so it is a good idea to soak it in salted water for about half an hour before you cook it.
So I did. I have to admit, I was a bit leery as soon as I cut it in half. Lots of seeds.
But I forged ahead and added my "sticks" of eggplant to the salty water.
Then came The Boy. He was very concerned at this point.
While the eggplant is soaking, brown your chicken in a tablespoon or so of olive oil. Not cooked through, just a bit on each side.
When eggplant is soaked in salty water, the water turns brown. It is supposed to do this. Do not panic.
Saute your eggplant strips in the oils left in the pan after you remove the chicken.
Add the chicken and eggplant to a baking pan.
Add in some thickly sliced tomatoes.
Drizzle with olive oil.
And sprinkle with dill. I didn't have fresh, so I used dried. The Boy was right. It looks like I dropped this behind the lawn mower.
Once you get past the "grass", this just looks like it should be incredible. But we didn't like it. I didn't hate it, but everyone else did. I did not like the eggplant. The taste was okay, but I am pretty big on texture, and it was just really squishy. Not my thing.

Too bad, but, I must cross eggplant off my grocery list from now on. I did try. We didn't like this, but there may be some out there that do. Let me know, because I feel really bad about this!

Grassy Chicken
1 lb Chicken Breast Strips
1/2 of an Eggplant
2 t Salt
2 C Water
2 T Olive Oil
1 Tomato, sliced
1 T Chopped Dill
Soak eggplant in salt water for 30 minutes. Lightly brown chicken in frying pan. Transfer chicken to baking dish. Saute eggplant in same pan and add to baking dish. Add tomatoes and sprinkle with dill. Bake at 350 for 30 minutes.