Wednesday, April 28, 2010

Rye-Molasses Muffins

Adapted, as always, from the Better Homes & Gardens cookbook’s generic muffin recipe.
The rye flour makes the muffins slightly crispy on top when fresh. They could be served with additional molasses on the side, but are very good with just a little butter. They are pretty good the next day, too.

1 ¼ cups flour
½ cup rye flour
¼ cup sugar
2 t baking powder
¼ t salt
1 beaten egg
¾ cup milk
¼ cup cooking oil
2 T molasses

Preheat oven 400 F. Grease 12 regular size muffin cups. In a medium mixing bowl combine flour, rye flour, sugar, baking powder, and salt. Make a well in the center of the dry mixture.
In another bowl combine the wet ingredients: the beaten egg, milk, cooking oil and molasses. I like to beat the egg using a small whisk or fork in a Pyrex 2-cup measuring cup, then add the milk, oil, and molasses and mix everything right there in the cup. You will have to stir vigorously for a while until all the molasses is dissolved.
Add wet mixture all at one to dry mixture. Stir till just moistened (batter should be lumpy). If you over stir, the muffins will not rise as nicely or develop nice cracks on top.
Divide batter among the 12 muffin cups. Bake in a 400 F oven about 20 minutes. Cool in muffin cups on a wire rack for 5 minutes. Use a butter knife to gently loosen around the edges of each muffin; pop them out of the tin; serve warm. Makes 12.

Saturday, April 24, 2010

Jen's Dilly Potato Salad

Everyone has their own potato salad recipe, right? I’m posting this one because … I need something to post … aaand … some members of my extended family have said they like it.

6 – 10 potatoes
2 – 5 eggs
3 – 8 dill or sweet pickles, plus at least half a jar’s worth of pickle juice
½ an onion, any color, or 3 green onions
1 – 3 ribs celery
½ cup chopped fresh parsley (optional)
about 1 ½ cups mayo, Miracle Whip, or either one mixed with plain yoghurt
1 – 2 t dried dill weed
1 t salt
¼ t black pepper
2 T white vinegar
1 T to ¼ cup yellow or spicy brown mustard, if desired

Scrub the potatoes under running water, picking off any sprouts. Place in a large saucepan. Arrange the eggs on top of the potatoes. Cover the whole thing with water, salt lightly, bring to the boil. Boil, partially covered, 20 to 25 minutes or until the potatoes are soft when poked with a fork. Drain in a colander and allow to cool until the potatoes are still warm, but cool enough to handle. Reserve the eggs.
Meanwhile, chop up the pickles until you have about ½ a cup of chopped pickles (or more – to taste). Place in a large bowl. Chop up the onion, celery, and parsley, and add to the bowl.
When the potatoes are cool enough to handle, peel the skin off each one with a sharp knife, chop to desired size, and place in another large bowl. I like to do one or two at a time. One you have some potato pieces in the bowl, add a little pickle vinegar so the potatoes can marinade while you chop the others. As you add potato pieces to the bowl, periodically add more vinegar and stir the potatoes around a little bit.
Once all the potatoes are peeled and marinating, combine them with the pickles, onion, celery and parsley in whichever bowl is larger.
In a small bowl, thoroughly mix the mayo, dill weed, salt, pepper, vinegar, and mustard if you are using it. Add to the ingredients in the large bowl, adding more mayo if necessary for a creamy result, and mix thoroughly. At this point, you can also add ¼ to ½ cup of sweet pickle relish if desired. I think this is gross, but my father in law loves it.
The very last thing you do should be to peel and chop the boiled eggs and add them to the top of the salad. I do this last so that the yolks will not get all smushed and distributed throughout the salad. You can add them either before you chill the salad, or right before serving, whichever is more convenient.
Makes 12 to 20 servings, depending on how much of each ingredient you used.