Friday, September 28, 2012

Mexican-Style Pickled Carrots

So here's the story: I had about 1.5-2 cups of shredded carrots left after making coleslaw for a BBQ. They were about to go bad. When things are about to go bad, my mind goes in one direction, normally. And that is, "Can it!!" And, so it was...the carrots got pickling liquid and married with jalapenos. A perfect wedding in my book. The end.

Notice my new Weck canning jars and tea towel from Aunt Dana! Cute!
For those interested, the recipe is as follows, from
1/2 lb sliced carrots (I had shredded carrots, so I used those!)
1/2 yellow onions, peeled and sliced (I didn't have any onions, so I skipped them)
1/2 quart warm water
1 3/4 ounces of canned jalapeno peppers, with liquid
1/4 T dried oregano
1 1/2 whole garlic cloves
1/2 cider vinegar
1/16 cup vegetable oil (weird measurement, right? I think I just used a couple of tablespoons)
1/2 bay leaf (I just used a whole one)
1/4 teaspoon salt
*I also added a tablespoon of whole peppercorns, as I read in another online recipe.

Put carrots in a large pot. Add warm water and bring to a boil over high heat.
Boil for 5 minutes and remove from heat.

To the pot, add all remaining ingredients.

Let cool for 2-3 hours. Put in jars and refrigerate. They will keep for one week. Or if you process the jars in boiling water, they will keep for months until you open them!

Makes 8-9 cups. I obviously didn't have 1/2 pound of carrots, so I adjusted the measurements the best I could and ended up with two cups.

I've enjoyed these with quesadillas, but they would be tasty with tacos or accompanying any Mexican favorite! Just like the taco truck, but homemade. Happy cookin'!

Wednesday, September 19, 2012

Quick Whole Wheat Muffins

Sorry for the delay in writing a new post.

I've been a little busy with work, baby showers, and fighting off the heat. And, for some reason, my pregnant body would rather lay on the couch and watch "Diners, Drive-ins, and Dives" these days. Oy.

I have been cooking, though! Occassionally. I think it's been more baking lately, but that counts. My sweet tooth is in full effect. That's why I needed to search for some sweet, but healthy recipes. This is one of them. I searched for whole wheat muffins made with sour cream, because I had sour cream, go figure.

Quick, Easy & Moist Whole Wheat Muffins (from
makes 12 muffins
2 cups white whole wheat flour
1 teaspoon baking soda
1 teaspoon salt
1/2 teaspoon cinnamon
1/4 teaspoon ginger
1 1/4 cup sour cream
1/4 cup honey (I used part honey, part agave nectar)
1 egg
1/4 cup olive oil (I used applesauce instead)
1/2 teaspoon vanilla extract
Heat the oven to 375°F. Prepare a muffin pan with liners, or by lightly greasing each well with olive oil or baking spray.
In a large bowl, lightly whisk together the flour, baking soda, salt, cinnamon and ginger.
Whisk the sour cream, honey, egg, olive oil, and vanilla extract together in a separate small bowl. Make a small well in the center of the dry ingredients and pour in this liquid mixture. Use a spatula or wooden spoon to gently but firmly fold the ingredients together, folding from the bottom up to make sure all the dry ingredients are incorporated. Stop as soon as the mixture comes together; do not overmix. Depending on the fat content of the sour cream the mixture will range in thickness from a gooey muffin batter to the consistency of a very wet cookie dough.
I also added dried cherries and slivered almonds for some extra flavor and texture.
Bake for 15 to 18 minutes or until barely golden on top, and the top springs back a bit when touched with a finger.
The key to keeping these moist is to underbake them ever so slightly. They shouldn't be gooey inside, but don't be afraid to take them out of the oven when they are slightly underdone.

They are indeed moist and tasty and satisfying. Even for this pregnant girl. They may have been even better with a crumb topping, but that would mean more calories. I'll leave that decision up to you. Happy bakin'!