recipe // spiced yogurt muffins

They sell these muffins at Fraîche Yogurt in Palo Alto, along with Bluebottle Coffee, which I’m just slightly addicted to. The last time I was there getting my caffeine fix, I noticed they had been featured in an article in Food & Wine magazine that included the muffin recipe so I decided to give it a shot. I ended up making 10 muffins and a bread loaf, and while they could have been a bit sweeter, they were pretty tasty and went really well with coffee. Next time I’ll likely add more sugar, but there definitely will be a next time. Continue reading

recipe // vodka-spiked “no cook” tomato sauce

This is an old standby from my favorite cookbook: Joie Warner’s No Cook Pasta Sauces. All the recipes in this cookbook use a method where the fresh ingredients for the “sauce” warm in a serving bowl placed on top of the pot of boiling water while the pasta. is cooking. Just make sure your serving bowl is ceramic or metal so you don’t get any melted plastic in your pasta. This recipe in particular is great for a last minute meal because I usually have all the ingredients on hand, so there’s no need for a trip to the store. Joie Warner describes the dish as being inspired by a Bloody Caesar cocktail, but being more of a Bloody Mary girl myself, I can’t really vouch for this. In this instance, I had fresh basil on hand so I decided to try using that instead of dried basil as the recipe suggests. It turns out that this may have been one of those few cases where dried herbs taste better than fresh herbs, because the dish was lacking in its usual flavor. This could also have been because I didn’t have a lime so there wasn’t any lime zest, which always adds a nice freshness to it. Still good, but when it is made according to the recipe, it’s definitely better. Continue reading

recipe // spicy mango shrimp

This is a recipe from the “Fast & Fresh” section of Sunset, which is the first section I flip to whenever the new issue arrives. The photo looked amazing, as did the claim that it could be made in 30 minutes or less. I had to make a few variations to the recipe due to a lack of ingredients… as overwhelming as the selection is at Safeway, they did not have unsweetened or toasted coconut, so I used the sweetened variety and toasted it myself. I also used jarred instead of fresh mango, mainly because it was already 8pm and I was hungry. Overall, the dish was really good – just the right amount of sweet and spicy, and a good mix of flavors. And it actually only took 30 minutes to make, including peeling the shrimp. Even though it called for unsweetened coconut, it was unanimous that the toasted sweetened coconut was the best part. Although the recipe said it was for 4 servings, as a main course it served 2 with about a half serving left over, so next time I’ll definitely be doubling the recipe. Continue reading