Muffin Week: “Chai-Spiced Pumpkin Oatmeal Muffins with Vanilla Bean Cream Cheese Glaze” (Day 6)

These do seem a little more complicated than I’ve been going for but the certainly do seem worth it. Since I work from home on Fridays and this particular Friday isn’t too crazy I think I can schedule a full lunch break to make these while monitoring my “mobile work space”. Some people think I’m crazy bringing all these screens into the kitchen. During work hours I will have my work laptop (in case of any phone calls or urgent emails), personal laptop (with the recipe), Billy the iPad (named after William Blake and usually streaming some sci-fi series on Netflix), and my phone (because I’m popular… and my boss has my cell phone number in case I’m needed for something).

So during a full episode of Star Trek: Voyager I think these could come into being…

Chai Spiced Pumpkin Oatmeal Muffins with Vanilla Bean Cream Cheese Glaze

“Chai Spiced Pumpkin Oatmeal Muffins with Vanilla Bean Cream Cheese Glaze” from Ambitious Kitchen

 

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Ice Cream Week: The Scoop (“Honey Roasted Fig Ice Cream”)

Honey Roasted Fig Ice Cream

“Honey Roasted Fig Ice Cream” from Deliceux

This is the official announcement that I am finally the owner of my very own ice cream maker. If you remember, last summer I intended to buy one and just… well I didn’t. And I still haven’t. Here’s the scoop (and no I’m not above a few puns every once in a while).

I was down having lunch in the ol’ English department with a beloved professor (who is, funny enough, the only professor in the department that I never actually took a class from) last week and we got to talking about making stuff yourself. Root beer is the one I’m planning to try next. I’m pretty sure I actually have all the equipment and ingredients at home so more on that adventure later. But I mentioned that I had been planning to get an ice cream maker but had just never made it far enough in the process where I actually owned one. And so, in the midst of all this, he jumped on the office computer and on Friday afternoon when I returned from running errands with my dear maman there is was… Under the big box of reading books I had ordered for all the professors teaching for my program next year, there it was…

First thing I did was a quick read through of the instructions and all that care and keeping stuff then into the freezer it went until Saturday when I made up a very simple vanilla bean custard with whole milk, eggs-yolks, a little sugar, and a whole vanilla bean. There was no room in the fridge to chill the custard so into an ice bath it went and as soon as it was cool enough. Wwhhhhhiirrrrrrrrrrrthunkwhirrrrrrrrrthunkwhrrrrrr…. Yeah there was a drip in the freezer or something weird and this line of ice dribbled down the inside of the barrel and made this bad thunking sound so that had to be fixed before continuing. Then it was scraped (carefully, because grabbing a frozen metal barrel with your bare hands is almost never ever a good idea) into a container and put back in the freezer while company filtered into the living room for a viewing of “The Hobbit” which I had bought my mummy for Mother’s Day. She had to work while we were watching the movie but she was at least in the room with us and somewhat interacting.

We had our ice cream (which was still rather soft but like I cared. I mean I had just made ice cream at home in my brand new ice cream maker) with brownies and a few leftover mini apple pies I had made on Friday. And as soon as I had managed to clean out the machinery without there being a frozen residue on it I popped it back in the freezer (which is impressively not too full for me to do that) and on Sunday I made an overly ginger-y “Rose & Candied Ginger” “Gelato” with just milk that had been attemptedly cooked down a little. I’m not actually sure how that process works but I don’t think I did it quite right. The product turned out just fine, though, if not too spicy from me using about a 1/2 cup of ginger to make an extract and then candying the remaining bits and adding them in.

But the weather is getting warmer, not that this has ever been a factor in my ice cream/frozen treat consumption, and so I’m declaring this the first (of many) Ice Cream Week in the Foodie Nation!

We start off with the above ice cream from Delicieux: “Honey Roasted Fig Ice Cream” and will continue with a new recipe that I find to try every day this week.

Forgetting Breakfast: Could Breakfast Be the Cure?

Vanilla Bean & Almond French Toast

“Vanilla Bean & Almond French Toast” from The Naptime Chef

I really want to try using the crock pot for more than soups because sometimes I feel like it needs to pull its weight around the kitchen a little more.  Also, I’ve been forgetting to eat breakfast a lot with needing sleep and trying to remember to bring my bag to work and wearing appropriate shoes for the weather. I feel like having something like this would definitely remind me to eat in the morning and that would make my day so much better.

When I started searching for recipes that I felt would actually make me want to make them I found a few. The accompanying photos however…. Not so much. Until I found this one: “Slow-Cooker Week: Vanilla Bean & Almond French Toast {Powernap} | The Naptime Chef

Last night I got my self together enough to make cornbread from memory. I think I got the temperature wrong, though. This recipe makes a rather dry and crumbly cornbread that is good for serving with chili or stew. I happen to have chili for lunch today. If I can’t get a good breakfast I at least need there to be a proper lunch.

Cornbread: Simple enough to make that I did it practically asleep

Ingredients:

  • 1 cup all purpose flour
  • 1 cup cornmeal
  • 1 Tbsp sugar
  • 1/2 tsp salt
  • 4 tsp baking powder
  • 1/4 cup Crisco or butter
  • 1 egg
  • 1 cup milk

Instructions:

  1. Dump all ingredients into a bowl and mix until the shortening/butter isn’t in massive clumps. 
  2. Bake at 375 F for about 20 minutes.