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I’m Lovin’: Lemon Blueberry Muffins August 21, 2009

Posted by A. Robinson in From the Kitchen, Lovin'.
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My mom recently bought a Cooking Light cookbook that she bought on sale at a resale shop.  Since I’ve been looking for ways to eat healthier, I borrowed it on the condition that I would test recipes and let her know whether the book was any good.

This book comes straight from Lowfat Cooking Heaven

This book comes straight from Lowfat Cooking Heaven

Anyway, I’ve made a few recipes from the book so far, though I’ve only taken pictures of one: Lemon Blueberry Muffins.  When I looked at the recipe, the muffins sounded delicious despite it calling for buttermilk.  I especially liked that each muffin was under 200 calories (180, to be exact), so I thought I’d try them.  Here’s how they turned out.

Don't they look delicious?

Don't they look delicious?

After tasting the batter, I began to have reservations about the whole thing.  The batter was positively unappetizing (again, because I don’t like buttermilk), so I popped them in the oven totally prepared to scrap the final product.  Boy, was I wrong.  Once I iced them with delicious lemony icing, they were FABULOUS.  John loved them, too.  We even took some to Tulsa with us and got rave reviews.

I had no idea that cooking light could be so good.

That’ll Show Me for Thinking I Made Progress April 5, 2009

Posted by A. Robinson in From the Kitchen, Life.
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So, I sort of filled my apartment with smoke the other day.

I mean, nothing actually CAUGHT FIRE or anything, which is more than I can say for the neighbors (or my toaster).  However, in my endeavours to make a delicious apple tart, there were some…issues.

Let’s begin at the beginning, shall we?  I recently received a KitchenAid stand mixer, which is amazing and wonderful and everything it’s cracked up to be.  Anyway, this mixer came complete with a recipe book.  I let John look through it, and he immediately picked a completely intimidating dessert–an apple tart.  This tart involved lots of apples, some sort of streusel topping, and a pie crust.  Scary!

Anyway, one lazy afternoon I decided what the heck?  How bad could this possibly go? I’ll just whip me up an apple tart! Within five minutes I had already sliced open my finger trying to core an apple. Right then I should have known this would end badly. In the prep process, things were unsteady:

1. I cut my finger, and
2. Subsequently bled on an apple
3. I forgot to soften the butter for the strusel and had to put the whole concoction in the microwave so I could mix it
4. I broke my apple slicer, only to spend 15 minutes realizing it wasn’t broken at all but could easily be fixed by John in .5 seconds
5. I cut too many apples, so I had to eat the rest myownself

After much ado, the tart finally went in the oven. I set the timer and prepared my tastebuds for a magical carpet ride of apple-y goodness. About five minutes into the cooking process I peeked in the oven and noticed something that looked wet on the cookie sheet. I figured it was just something I splashed on there, so I continued on my merry little way.

Ten minutes later something smelled funny. I sniffed the air, thinking that it was our neighbors again setting something on fire. I glance at the stove and notice that there is SMOKE. SMOKE coming out of a BURNER. I rush over to the kitchen (5 giant steps!) and pull open the oven door. Plumes of smoke as thick as concrete come pouring out of the oven and into our small one-bedroom apartment.

In a panic I pull out the tart and stick it on the stovetop and then slam the oven door shut. John has already noticed and has opened up the windows. I prop open the door as he begins to fan our smoke detectors and actually have to place a small oscillating fan in the doorway to help clear the air.

This is what I would call a baking FAIL. But hey, at least the thing didn’t burst into flames. Right?

From the Kitchen: John’s Tortilla Soup March 19, 2009

Posted by A. Robinson in From the Kitchen.
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John and I LOVE this.  It’s super authentic–or at least, tastes just like the tortilla soup I ate as a kid.  If you want to make it spicier, you can add some chopped ancho peppers during the simmering process.

***To make this recipe vegetarian/vegan friendly, omit the chicken and use vegetable broth instead***

2 tbsp. olive oil

1/2 sweet onion, diced

1 1/2 tsp. salt

1 1/2 tsp. ground cumin

1 small tomato, diced

1/2 tsp. ground coriander

1 1/2 tbsp. tomato paste

4-6 garlic cloves, finely chopped

6 cups chicken/vegetable broth

1-2 chicken breasts

1 bunch cilantro

1 lime, juiced


1.  Boil chicken, set aside to cool.  Once cool enough to handle, dice into bite-sized pieces.

2.  In pot, heat olive oil at medium-high heat.  Add onions, garlic, salt, salt, cumin, coriander for 5 minutes.

3.  Add tomato paste, stir for one minute.  Add chicken.

4.  Next, add chicken stock and diced tomato.  Simmer for 20 minutes.

5.  Add cilantro.  John and I pluck the leaves, but you can just chop it and it would be fine.  Add at least 3/4 of the bunch; John and I use the whole thing.

6.  Add lime juice.  Simmer for another minute or two.

7.  Cool and serve.  I like to eat mine with crumbled tortilla chips and mozzarella cheese.