My officemate Linda has a new blog, Geeky Cakes. Check it out!

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Other people’s recipes: “Katharine Hepburn’s” brownies by Lori Longbotham

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Some years ago, cookbook writer Lori Longbotham published a series of thin cookbooks title Luscious X Desserts for various values of X. Among these was Luscious Chocolate Desserts (Chronicle Books, 2004), and that book had a recipe intriguingly titled “Katharine … Continue reading

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Other people’s recipes: Deborah Krasner’s Red Wine-Braised Short Rib Sauce

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I suppose it was a bit of a mistake to promise four recipes with full write-ups in a week, even given the long weekend. I made this beef short-rib recipe from Deborah Krasner’s Good Meat (Stewart, Tabori & Chang; p. … Continue reading

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Other people’s recipes: Joanne Chang’s “New Old-Fashioned” Coffee Cake

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Continuing my rundown of this past long weekend’s cooking projects, on Monday — Patriots’ Day — I made Joanne Chang’s “New Old-Fashioned” coffee cake from Flour (Chronicle Books, 2010; p. 62). Unlike the last coffee cake I made, which was … Continue reading

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Other people’s recipes: Yotam Ottolenghi’s Green Onion Soup

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As promised a few days ago, on Sunday (which was, by the way, a beautiful spring day, on which I got both an hour’s walk and a twelve-mile bike ride) I made a vegetarian soup from Yotam Ottolenghi’s Plenty More … Continue reading

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Other people’s recipes: King Arthur Flour’s Sour-Cream Muffins (with blueberries)

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One of the very first real baking recipes in King Arthur Flour’s Whole Grain Baking — once you get past the waffles and the granola — is called “Sour Cream Muffins” (p. 33). It’s a generic recipe for a muffin … Continue reading

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Coming up this weekend

It’s a long holiday weekend here in Massachusetts, and I have a fairly ambitious schedule planned. First, if the weather is decent, I’ll be spending as much time on my bike as I can tolerate. Beyond that, I’m planning on doing a vegetarian soup by Yotam Ottolenghi (from Plenty More), grass-fed beef short ribs from Deborah Krasner’s Good Meat, a Joanne Chang coffee cake (from Flour), and whole-grain blueberry muffins from King Arthur Flour’s Whole Grain Baking. I might not get to all four, especially if the weather’s nice, and no promises about how many of them will make full blog posts, either.

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Recipe quick takes: Deborah Krasner’s All-Beef Meat Loaf

I wasn’t so pleased with the first couple of recipes I tried from Deborah Krasner’s Good Meat: The Complete Guide to Sourcing and Cooking Sustainable Meat, although some of the issues were probably my fault. I’m pleased to report that there were no such issues with her “Glazed All-Beef Meat Loaf” (p. 61). The recipe was easy to follow, completely specified, and resulted in a tasty, finely textured meatloaf. I forgot that M.F. Dulock closed early on Saturdays, so I ended up getting my grass-fed ground beef from my local Whole Foods, which gets it from Rain Crow Ranch in Missouri. (I would rather have gotten a more local product, but this is still pretty good and the markup isn’t very much compared to the regular grain-fed beef. And speaking of that, why can’t Whole Foods get with the program and just stop selling grain-fed beef? They managed to stop selling unsustainably harvested fish without taking much of a hit, and on the list of bad animal-product-production practices, grain-fed beef is one of the absolute worst.)

Mise en place
As usual, we start with the mise en place. As meatloaf recipes go, this is a simple one that really lets the flavor of the beef shine through; in addition to the meat, there are just a few aromatic vegetables (onion, garlic, and carrot) and a few herbs (parsley, thyme, and marjoram), plus rolled oats and an egg as a binder. The glaze is equally simple, with mustard, honey, soy sauce, and ketchup.

Finely chopped vegetables
A really smart idea in this recipe which I don’t see very often is to chop up all of the plant ingredients to a uniform size in the food processor. This contributes to a finer texture in the final meatloaf without requiring the assistance of an army of prep cooks to mince the vegetation by hand. (An alternative method might be to use a box grater.)

Shaped meatloaf, before glaze application
The vegetables, meat, and binder are all mixed together and then packed into a greased 9×5 loaf pan, which serves only as a mold, not a cooking vessel. After turning the loaf out onto a sheet pan, as shown above, the glaze is poured on top (I used a knife to spread it evenly) and the loaf is baked at 425°F (220°C) for half an hour to set the crust. The loaf continues baking at 325°F (160°C) until fully done (checking with an instant-read thermometer), and then comes out of the oven to cool for ten minutes or so.

Meatloaf dinner with spinach and peanut-butter muffin
The recipe says to slice into ¾-inch thick slices; I’m not much good at dividing things into twelfths, so I made eight 1¼-inch thick slices instead, making two slices rather than three or four the standard serving size. The stated yield is “4 to 6″, so I don’t feel like I’m deviating too much, and for my meal planning, 6 meals would be two weeks (with half of the food in the freezer, so probably not consecutive weeks).

Four slices of meatloaf
But then after eating the first meal, I decided that it might be nicer to have thinner slices, so I cut each of the big slices in half.

Nutrition

As I mentioned, this is based on getting four servings out of a 9×5 loaf. Your mileage may vary. Note that a lot of fat runs out of this loaf while it’s cooking (I used 85% ground beef as the reference), so the actual calorie, fat, and cholesterol values are smaller than stated here.

Nutrition Facts
Serving size: 2 slices
Servings per recipe: 4
Amount per serving
Calories 570 Calories from fat 387
% Daily Value
Total Fat 43g 66%
 Saturated Fat 16g 78%
Trans Fat 0g
Cholesterol 196mg 65%
Sodium 493mg 21%
Potassium 91mg 3%
Total Carbohydrate 13g 4%
 Dietary fiber 2g 9%
 Sugars 3g
Proteins 46g 91%
Vitamin A 57%
Vitamin C 6%
Calcium 4%
Iron 37%
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Recipe quick take: King Arthur Flour’s Whole-Wheat Peanut-Butter Chocolate-Chip Muffins

That’s a really long title for a short post. Fortunately, the actual title of the recipe is simply “Peanut Butter Muffins” — it appears on page 38 of Whole Grain Baking (Countryman Press, 2006) — and the chocolate chips are entirely optional. There’s also an optional “glaze” (which I would call a frosting, since it contains fat in addition to the sugar). I made this recipe last weekend, and it went pretty well.

Mise en place
As always, we start with the mise en place. In addition to the actual muffin ingredients — starting with whole-wheat pastry flour and peanut butter — you also see here the confectioner’s sugar that goes into the frosting. Sweetening the muffins themselves is just half a cup (3¾ oz) of brown sugar. The batter is actually not made by the “muffin method”: it’s more like a butter cake, starting by creaming butter and sugar, then adding the peanut butter, vanilla, and eggs, and finally alternating dry ingredients (flour, salt, and leavening) with liquid (buttermilk). For the optional chocolate chips, I used Guittard semisweet baking chips (it takes only half a bag, so I’ll have to find something else to do with the rest).

Muffin batter ready to portion
The batter comes together quite nicely and was easy to portion, using a #16 (2-ounce) disher to scoop into the wells of a prepared 12-muffin tin. I had about half a muffin’s worth of batter left over, which I just ate out of the bowl (urp).

Finished muffins
The cooled muffins were frosted with a combination of more peanut butter, confectioner’s sugar, and sweet cream. I had one muffin for dessert that night (see the next post!) and brought the rest in to share at work, where they were snarfed up pretty quickly. (Unlike most of my office baking give-aways, I didn’t witness anyone cutting a muffin in half!) Pretty much everyone liked them; I personally thought they were OK but probably not worth making again.

Nutrition

Even with the optional frosting and chocolate chips, these muffins still come in at a reasonable 350 kcal each. Without the frosting, the cookbook claims they’re 249 kcal, but I haven’t verified this (and I don’t know whether it includes chocolate chips or not).

Nutrition Facts
Serving size: 1 frosted muffin
Servings per recipe: 12
Amount per serving
Calories 350 Calories from fat 189
% Daily Value
Total Fat 21g 33%
 Saturated Fat 7g 36%
 Monounsaturated Fat 6g
 Monounsaturated Fat 3g
Trans Fat 0g
Cholesterol 46mg 15%
Sodium 348mg 14%
Potassium 42mg 1%
Total Carbohydrate 37g 12%
 Dietary fiber 5g 19%
 Sugars 19g
Proteins 10g 19%
Vitamin A 8%
Vitamin C 0%
Calcium 7%
Iron 14%
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Administrivia: No more Amazon links

Amazon decided that, because I was honest with you, my readers, and told you that I might actually get some money if you ordered stuff through my links to them, they didn’t want to have me as an “Associate” and deleted my account. I’ll be removing the Amazon links from various pages on this site as time allows, although I won’t be modifying previously published posts from the blog proper. Since making these links was more than a bit of a pain, I won’t miss them, but my apologies if you were actually using them.

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