Growing up, my favorite cake has always been the perfectly Autumnal carrot cake. Maybe having an October birthday just destined me to love all things with nutmeg, allspice, and cinnamon. This year, though, I thought I would try a lighter take on the fall spice cake. These cupcakes taste deceptively decadent, but come in at just under 200 calories each. The yogurt glaze is a light take on cream cheese frosting – it adds the tartness but doesn’t overwhelm the delicate apple flavor.
As much as I love scones, I’ve tasted plenty of bad ones as well. The one characteristic that all the bad ones had in common was dryness. The ingredient that all of my favorite ones have had in common is yogurt.
I realize you’re probably tired of me talking about yogurt, but bear with me here. Yogurt keeps the scones moist, and gives a rich flavor without the need for large amounts of butter. It’s also convenient for us, given that it’s not uncommon for us to have plenty of yogurt in the house, but no milk.
And in case any of you have been making your own, I got the best results of all time this past week using Costco’s Kirkland 1% milk and Stonyfield plain yogurt (not Greek style) as a starter. It was thick, creamy, even a little glossy in texture.
But back to scones. Here’s a recipe that charmed us this late Saturday morning, a comfort food for a grey rainy day.
Also known as the recipe that motivated me to come back to blogging.
So it started out over at Epicurious, when I was looking for a recipe that would make use of a small container of jalepeno cilantro goat cheese I picked up at the Austin Farmers Market. Except that I impatiently ate all that goat cheese before getting around to this, and had to pick up more at the HEB. In typical fashion, we spiced it up, cut out a little of the cheese and meat, and went a little heavier on the veggies. This really is a quick one-dish meal, good for a pre-run carb loading (or so Kim tells me), and has a nice comfort food feel to it.
We love curry dishes. They meet my husband’s need for heat, and have that lovely savory-spicy-sweet combo that I am so fond of myself. This dish has an especially well-balanced flavor — sweet coconut milk mellows acidic tomatoes, the potatoes softening the curry’s edge. It could easily be made vegetarian – we used a mix of chicken and potatoes but you could substitute an extra potato for the chicken without changing the texture dramatically. This recipe served the two of us, with a tiny bit of leftovers for an afternoon snack the next day 🙂
I was a slow convert to the mojito. The margarita was an early favorite – and why stray from what you know you love? But the mojito is a nice alternative – a bit lighter, not as tart – and you just can’t have a margarita with ropa vieja.
We don’t like our drinks too sweet around here. We like them well-balanced, smooth, and potent. Here’s our twist on the classic mojito.
Brown Sugar Mango Mojitos
Take 4-5 leaves of fresh mint and drop in the bottom of a small juice glass or highball. Add a pinch of brown sugar and squeeze in the juice of a quarter of a fresh lime. Take a blunt object (end of a rolling pin, wooden spoon, pestel) and muddle these three ingredients. Pour in 1.5-2 ounces of mango rum (Tropic Isle Palms was a great inexpensive and smooth choice with a natural fruit flavor). Add a splash of club soda, a few ice cubes, and drop in another lime wedge. Drink on the patio, with friends.
I read recently that in hard times people find themselves craving more comfort food. I’m not sure how the rest of the nation is handling the recession, but I’m definitely finding myself drawn to all things warm and homey. Enjoy this southwestern twist on an old classic. It serves 4 hungry adults.
Autumnal foods are my favorite – but there is something so satisfying about a good burger and fries when the weather starts to heat up. This recipe is the best of both worlds. It’s so tasty, in fact, that we rushed right in and forgot to take the picture until halfway through the meal 🙂 So please imagine, if you will, the perfectly browned turkey burger, with melted yellow cheese dripping down the edges, crisp green apple slice on top, resting near a flaky roll, with mounds of bright orange sweet potato fries framing it. Imagine that, when you see this: