April 14, 2011

April Update and Cheddar Herb Mini Muffins

I'm guilty as charged.  I promised in March I would blog more frequently, but that never happened for several reasons. I had flown out to LA for about a week with a vision in my head. I would create something new in my SoCal kitchen as I watched the palm trees sway right outside my window, but that never happened.  I ended up catching a virus on the plane ride to LA. I started to feel run down and had the chills the whole time I was down there. By the time I flew back to TO (El Toro) a week later, the virus showed its ugly head and after a visit to the doctor's office, I learned that I had viral bronchitis.  I needed to recover fast because I was traveling with my family shortly thereafter on a trip with the Sacred Caravan. I was pretty much over the virus when we travelled to Saudi Arabia and was lucky not to get sick on the trip. However, it seemed like it was destiny for me to get sick on the flight back home, which led me to be out of commission for a bit.  So now that I've fully recovered from EVERYTHING, I'm back to blogging with the hope that April will be a better month.

This recipe that I'm going to share with you today came out of one of the December 2010 issues of the Toronto Star. This recipe originates from Good Food For All, a fundraising cookbook for The Stop Community Food Centre in Toronto.  I've made this recipe twice so far. The first time I followed the recipe step by step. The muffins turned out okay, but I felt that they needed some salt (the original recipe calls for 1 tbsp of sugar and no salt).  The second time I made them, I added 1 tsp of salt and got rid of the sugar entirely, and swapped the 1 cup of white flour and 1 cup whole wheat flour for 2 cups of nutri-blend flour and was satisfied with the results. Also, instead of making the muffins in the regular sized muffin tray, I used a mini muffin tin to help with portion control.

Cheddar Herb Mini Muffins

2 cups of Robin Hood's Nutri-Blend Flour (It is a combination of unbleached flour and ground wheat bran. If you're in the US, you can use white wholewheat flour or stick with the 1 cup of all purpose flour and 1 cup of whole wheat flour)
1 tsp salt
1 1/4 tsp baking powder
1/2 tsp baking soda
1/2 tsp dried oregano (dried sage, basil, or thyme can replace the oregano)
1/2 cup chopped fresh Italian parsley leaves
1/2 cup grated cheddar cheese
1 1/4 cup buttermilk, shaken
1/4 cup olive oil
1 large egg

Preheat the oven to 400 degrees.
In a large bowl, combine the nutri-blend flour, salt, baking powder, baking soda, oregano, parsley and cheese. Stir well.
In another bowl, crack the egg and whisk in the buttermilk and oil. Stream into the bowl with the flour mixture, mixing gently as you pour. Stir just until moistened. Scoop the batter in using a 1 1/8" ice cream scoop or a table spoon into a greased mini muffin pan.
Bake in the oven for 7-8 minutes or until a toothpick inserted into the centre of a muffin comes out clean.  Remove the muffin tray from the oven and cool for 5 minutes. Then transfer the muffins to a cooling rack to cool completely.
Beware, once these little muffins come out of the oven, you won't be able to resist them!

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