Muffin Mania #1 Honey Muffins

I have an unexpected day off because of the horrible weather we are having in the Midwest. I should be using the time to clean animal cages and clean my apartment but, honestly, all I want to do is be in the kitchen and cook and bake, heavy on the baking.

So I am making muffins, many, many, muffins. You can do that when you are only making 4 to 6 muffins at a time.

I like this recipe because it isn’t overly sweet.

Honey Muffins

Adapted From 99 Amish Bread, Rolls and Muffin Recipes

1 cup flour

1/4 cup sugar

1 1/2 tsp baking powder

1/4 tsp salt

3 TBS lightly beaten egg

1/2 cup milk

2 TBS canola oil

2 TBS honey

Preheat the oven to 400 degrees. In a medium bowl, combine the flour, sugar, baking powder and salt. In a small bowl, combine the egg, milk, oil, and honey. Stir the wet mixture until just moistened. Don’t over mix. Fill the cups 2/3’s full. Bake 15-18 minutes. Cook the muffins in the pan then remove from the pan to a wire rack to cool completely.

Crockpot Stuffed Green Peppers (Whole 30)

Recipes for the crockpot are coming along slowly but they are coming. The crockpot just isn’t my preferred method of cooking so I just don’t think of using it. When I do, it takes a lot of experimentation to find what works and what doesn’t. Right now, my biggest problem is that to work well my 2 quart crockpot needs to be at least 1/2 but no more than 2/3 full. I need 4 to 6 cups of food for it to work well. My recipes aren’t usually for that much food.

The timing of the food is also an issue. I use my crockpot overnight. I need recipes that take a minimum of 5 hours to cook through but not overcook. I am still trying to find those recipes.

One crockpot recipe I have tried and liked was the stuffed green pepper recipe from The Family Freezer. I chose stuffed green peppers because I had leftover pasta sauce and ground beef that needed to be used before I went home for Christmas. This recipe is a good example of the timing issues I am having with crockpot recipes. The recipe said to cook from frozen for 6 to 8 hours on low. My peppers were cooked until the pepper was tender and the meat cooked through in 3 hours on low in my crockpot. So the first time you make any crockpot recipe check it at halfway through the cooking time.

Stuffed Green Peppers

Adapted From The Family Freezer

1 1/2 tsp olive oil

1/2 lb ground beef

1/2 large onion, diced

1 garlic clove, minced

2 small bell peppers, any color, tops cut off and guts cleaned out

2 cups pasta sauce, 2 tablespoons reserved. I used Simply Ragu, you can make your own sauce.

In a small bowl, combine the ground beef, onion, garlic and the reserved 2 tablespoons of pasta. Divide the meat mixture in to 2 equal parts and stuff each half into a bell pepper. Add oil to the bottom of the crockpot. Place the stuffed peppers on the bottom of the crockpot and pour the remaining sauce over the peppers. Cook on low 6 to 8 hours.

Instant Pot Crustless Seafood Quiche (Whole 30)

Have you ever felt like the world is playing a giant practical joke on you? Within an hour of getting to work today I had a baby throw up on me, a customer drop a gallon of milk on one foot and another unrelated customer drop a bottle of sparkling cider on the other.

The mom of that baby was so upset and embarrassed. She really thought I was going to be mad at baby. What bag of dicks gets mad at a baby??? Not this bag of dicks, for sure.

By the time the cider hit the floor, I was laughing so hard I could barely breathe. Sometimes you just gotta laugh at the absurdity of the situation.

I substituted 1/2 tsp basil, 1/4 tsp thyme, 1/4 tsp oregano for the herbes de Provence

Crustless Crab Quiche

Instant Pot Fast and Easy Whole 30 adaptions by me

4 large eggs

1 cup coconut milk

1 TBS nutritional yeast

1 cup chopped scallions

1 tsp black pepper

1 tsp smoked paprika

1 tsp herbes de Provence, see sub above

1/2 tsp salt

8 oz seafood, like shrimp and/Or crab meat

Grease a 7 inch spring form pan well. To help prevent the pan from leaking, sit on a piece of aluminum foil that’s bigger than the pan and crimp it around the bottom.

In a large bowl, whisk the eggs and milk. Add the nutritional yeast, scallions, pepper, paprika, herbs de Provence, seafood mixture and mix well.

Pour the egg mixture into the prepared pan and cover with another piece of foil. Place the trivet in the liner and add 2 cups water. Place the pan on the trivet. Lock the lid and cook for 25 minutes. Natural release for 10 minutes then quick release any remaining pressure.

Remove the pan from the liner and run a knife around the edge of the quiche. Remove the outside of the pan.

At this point, it is ready to eat. I think that it benefits the dish to give it 5 minutes under a preheated broiler.

My Favorite Things of 2018 — Part 2

As a food blogger, I rarely make the same recipe twice. If a recipe makes into my make again pile you know it is something special. Here are a few of my personal favorite recipes of 2018.

1. BlackBerry Chocolate Muffins — Byrony Cooks. This muffin recipe is my absolute favorite thing I made in 2018. Muffins are my favorite things to bake, the stranger the flavor combinations the better. To me, the combination of BlackBerry and chocolate seemed very strange. When I tried it I discovered it was awesome. It quickly became one of my all time favorite muffins recipes of all time.

2. Instant Pot Macaroni and Cheese — Dessert For Two This recipe is always going to have a special place in my heart. Not only does it make a great mac and cheese, my culinary idol and creative inspiration, Christina Lane, let me recipe test it for her. She even made a change to the recipe that I suggested.

3. Shrimp Coconut Curry — Indian Instant Pot Cookbook. Dr. Urvashi Pitre is best known for her pressure cooker butter chicken recipe but my favorite recipe from all those I have tried from her blogs and her cookbooks is her pressure cooker Coconut Shrimp Curry. It is amazing to me that something as delicate as seafood doesn’t come out of the pressure cooker all tough and over cooked but it doesn’t.

Your Favorite Recipes of 2018

January is a great time to look back at your blog and see what your readers have liked over the past year. The thing that surprised me most is none of my most popular posts of 2018 where things I posted in 2018. All of them came from the early years of A Solitary Feast.

1. Small Batch Peanutbutter Blossoms —

2. What To Do With Leftover Egg Yolks #2– Flan

3. Mrs. Dash Garlic and Herb Copycat

As much fun as it was to look back on 2018, I am excited to see what recipes and adventures 2019 will bring. Thank you, dear readers, for spending time with in 2018 and in the future.

Cast Iron Caramel Rolls

I decided not to do a January Whole 30 when my stove died its glorious death. I mean why make it harder than it has to be when you can’t cook 90 % of what you want because you can’t use your stove. I did, however, decide to clean up my diet so my next Whole 30 wouldn’t be quite so hard on me. That means limiting caffeine and added sugar.

I have been doing pretty well with that until yesterday. I took my beautiful cockatiel, Riley, to the vet for the second surgery on her wing. I was so nervous about the surgery but so happy Riley wasn’t going to have to deal with this horrible thing on her wing anymore. Unfortunately, I got the call no one wants to get from their vet, Riley had made it through the surgery but had a cardiac arrest while she was coming out of the anesthetic. They couldn’t revive her.

My heart hurts so much right now all I want to do is fall into a vat of comfort food. So I am making a small batch of caramel rolls in the 6 inch cast iron skillet I bought a few weeks ago.

Tiny Caramel Rolls

Dough recipe adapted from Mollie Katzen’s Still Life With Menu Cookbook Filling recipe adapted from About.com

Dough:
¼ cup lukewarm water
½ tsp yeast
1/8 tsp salt
1 ½ tsp canola oil
½ cup plus 2 tablespoons all purpose flour

Filling:

1 TBS plus 1 ½ teaspoons brown sugar

1 TBS butter

¾ tsp butter

2¼ tsp brown sugar

½ tsp cinnamon

Preheat oven to 375 degrees. In a small bowl, combine water and yeast; stir to dissolve. Let sit for 5 minutes. Add salt, oil and flour. Stir until a soft dough forms. Turn out onto a lightly floured surface and knead for 5 minutes. Set aside while making filling ingredients. Spread the 1 TBS plus 1 ½ teaspoons brown sugar, in the bottom of a 6 inch cast iron or cake pan, dot the 1 tablespoon butter over the top of the brown sugar. Spread dough into a rectangle on a very lightly floured surface. In a small bowl, combine ¾ teaspoon butter, 2 ¼ teaspoons brown sugar and cinnamon. Sprinkle evenly over the dough. Starting with the shorter side roll up the dough and pinch edges to seal. Cut into 6 – 9 even slices and place cut side down on the brown sugar mixture in the pan. Cover with a damp towel and let rise 30 minutes. Bake for 20-25 minutes or until the rolls are golden brown. Cool the rolls in the pan for 1 minute then carefully invert on a serving platter. 2 servings