Wednesday, November 7, 2012

TWD Bagels

Even though I somehow managed to take another whole month off posting, I actually was keeping up with the recipes.  I'm going to try to get my thoughts/pictures from last month posted quickly this week, and then hopefully next week I'll be back on track with TWD and FFWD.  When I read this bagel recipe, I knew these weren't going to be my favorite.  My favorite bagels are dense and incredibly chewy, and so I was disappointed when these were described as more cake-like.  The good news was that it makes the dough much easier to work with.  These didn't take nearly as long as I was expecting to shape, and even I was able to make bagels that were reasonably circular.  The recipe was also forgiving.  I substituted about one-third of the flour with whole wheat flour, and thought they still rose beautifully.  As expected, these weren't the bagels of my dreams.  We certainly enjoyed them, but next time I'm going to look for a recipe that promises chewier bagels.  (Does anybody have a good one?)

Tuesday, November 6, 2012

TWD Buttermilk Crumb Muffins

I've mentioned before that my husband, Paul, loves to garden and I've loved cooking with everything he's managed to grow over the past two summers.  I don't think I've mentioned that Paul actually loves house projects of any kind.  If it weren't for my insistence on a "tools budget", I think he would spend the better part of every weekend at Home Depot.  We live in a house that's one story plus a basement, and Paul loves to tell anyone who will listen about his very-detailed plan to build an entire second-story addition on his own.  It somehow involves building the walls outside in the backyard, but he's yet to explain to me convincingly how in the world he plans to get the walls to the top of our house!  Anyway, luckily for both of us, Paul decided to start on a smaller project this year: building us a patio.  I think Paul has secretly enjoyed much of the time he's spent on the patio, but it has been quite an ordeal.  Our house is high up on a hill and we have no driveway, so the fun really started the day he arrived home with hundreds of bricks to carry up the hill.  The fun continued with digging out a hole for the patio, and then a couple of weeks ago Paul informed me that he had ordered eight (8!) 1.5 ton bags of gravel and sand to be delivered to our house!

By now you're probably wondering what this has to do with muffins.  Well, I told Paul that I most definitely was not waking up at 7am on Saturday morning to help haul gravel up the hill, but when he convinced his (insanely nice) friend to come over and help, I decided that the least I could do was make them muffins.  When I (guiltily?) woke up at 9am and saw them outside hard at work, I decided it was time to get started.  Luckily, these might be the easiest muffins I've ever made.  I love that they used ingredients that I always have on hand, didn't require waiting for butter to come to room temperature, and didn't even require a hand mixer.  I did everything with my hands and a wooden spoon!  I had these ready to go in the oven by the time it was pre-heated, and soon after we were all inside enjoying the muffins.  I had a hard time not thinking about how unhealthy these are (at least with blueberry muffins I can tell myself I'm eating fruit!), but they tasted good and the boys really seemed to like them.  This is definitely a recipe I'd use again if I wanted muffins without a trip to the store!

This post participates in TWD.  For the (easy) recipe go to Alisa's site, and to see what everyone else thought go to the TWD site.