Jalapeno Sweet Corn Muffins

I love jalapenos. Growing up in California, they were always around. Even as a kid I loved jalapeno poppers and jalapeno chips. During my second pregnancy, I had such a strong craving that I almost ate an entire jar of pickled jalapenos in one sitting.

I especially love how jalapenos add a little kick to many foods such as burgers, salads, or in this case sweet corn muffins. These muffins cannot be made at a bake sale and left out for hours waiting to be devoured. These muffins need to be eaten fresh out of the oven, sliced open while still steaming, and topped with a nice pat of butter. Or some fresh grated cheddar. Or both. Or eat just as is. Either way you will not be disappointed.

Jalapeno Sweet Corn Muffins



Makes about 18 muffins, Inspired by original recipe by Albers

INGREDIENTS:
1 ½ cups all-purpose flour
2⁄3  cup granulated sugar
½ cup yellow cornmeal
1 tablespoon baking powder
½ teaspoon salt
1 ¼ cups milk
2 large eggs , lightly beaten
1⁄3 cup vegetable oil
3 tablespoons butter, melted
½ cup pickled jalapeno, chopped fine (more or less to taste)

PREPARATION:
1. Preheat oven to 350°F Grease or paper-line 18 to 20 muffin cups, or a pan for cornbread.

2. Combine flour, sugar, corn meal, baking powder, and salt in medium bowl.

3. Combine milk, eggs, vegetable oil, and butter in small bowl; mix well.

4. Add liquid mixture to flour mixture; stir until just blended.

5. Pour into prepared muffin cups filling 2/3 full.

6. Sprinkle chopped jalapeno pieces on top of each muffin. Remember a little goes a long way if you are using really spicy jalapenos!

7. Bake for 18-20 minutes or until wooden pick inserted in center comes out clean. Cool in pans on wire racks for 5 minutes, remove to wire racks to cool slightly. Serve warm and enjoy!

Fluffy Pancakes

I was invited to my friend’s place for dinner the other day. She doesn’t have kids. She had made enchiladas and I was looking forward to having a leisurely meal without having to worry about flying cutlery or airborne cheese. But I soon realized that certain meal time behaviors had been ingrained in me even though my little ones weren’t there.
I was the first one served, and milliseconds after the first enchilada hit my plate I wolfed the whole thing down, still standing, chewing just long enough so it wouldn’t get lodged in my throat as I quickly swallowed each bite. After a few seconds I looked up to see my friends staring at me in horror.  I wanted to explain to them that I am not this ravenous unmannered ingrate that can’t wait for everyone else to be served before I start eating. I was searching for the words to convey the feeling of never knowing when my one year old will start launching his cheerios off the high chair, or when my 3 year old will finish eating peanut butter with his fingers and then run straight for the white couch.  For these reasons I am often standing alert and ready while eating at the dining table waiting for the next food “attack”. But my friends are not yet parents and they would not understand. So instead, I took another helping and ate very very slowly to overcompensate for my previous gorging and hoped they noticed my flawless fork and knife technique.
I’m not saying every meal I have with my kids is crazy. But there have been enough episodes that have kept me on my toes. So if you are having one of those challenging days, I found the perfect pancake recipe that is really easy and quick to make. More importantly, it has the added bonus of stacking each piece on top of each other which gives the dish added height just in case you have to stand up and eat. 
Fluffy Pancakes


INGREDIENTS:
3/4 cup milk
2 tablespoons white vinegar
1 cup all-purpose flour
2 tablespoons white sugar
1 teaspoon baking powder
1/2 teaspoon baking soda
1/2 teaspoon salt
1 egg
2 tablespoons butter, melted
cooking spray
PREPARATION:
1. Combine milk with vinegar in a medium bowl and set aside for 5 minutes to “sour”.

2. Combine flour, sugar, baking powder, baking soda, and salt in a large mixing bowl. Whisk egg and butter into “soured” milk. Pour the flour mixture into the wet ingredients and whisk until lumps are gone.
(The batter will initially be separated and bubbly, just keep stirring. It will also be pretty thick. This is fine, do NOT add more milk or anything to thin it out.)

3. Heat a large skillet over medium heat, and coat with cooking spray. Pour 1/4 cupfuls of batter onto the skillet, and cook until bubbles appear on the surface. Flip with a spatula, and cook until browned on the other side.

Serve with syrup, fresh berries and whip cream, or a fresh fruit puree. 

Easy Broccoli and Spinach Quiche

There is a PQ near my son’s nursery and we often go there for lunch after I pick him up. We have our own little ritual. As we walk in, the negotiations immediately begin.  Rayan wants to eat either a chocolate tart or éclair for lunch. I then attempt to talk him down to something with a bit more nutritional value such as a croissant or blueberry muffin. We then come to a deadlock which is broken by Rayan screaming “Mommmmyyy Peepeeeeee” and then running through the café to the bathroom. Aadam also likes to chime in at this point with a little screech of his own.  

The good thing about the bathroom break is that it serves as a distraction, and I can sneak in my order of a healthier lunch option. Today I ordered the salmon and spinach quiche du jour, and quickly found some seats outside so the eating (flinging) of food could commence.  The quiche was light and fluffly and amazingly more ended up in my kids’ mouths than on the floor. We were soon finished and a small team of waiters was dispatched to clean our table and its surroundings. As waiter no. 1 was removing my plate she said, “Madame tomorrow we are starting our new kids menu.” Waiters nos. 2 and 3 quickly shot her a sharp glance and she knew she had said too much. The last thing they wanted was to give us any more incentive to frequent their restaurant. But luckily for everyone, I have a quiche recipe that is easy to make at home. My kids love it, so I foresee more quiche at home and less at PQ. Although I do love their lemon tart so I cannot stop going there altogether…
Easy Broccoli and Spinach Quiche


INGREDIENTS:
Puff pastry sheet ** OR make own quiche crust. Recipe below.
3 eggs
¾ cup heavy cream
¾ cup whole milk
Salt and pepper to taste
1 teaspoon oregano
1 large red onion
¾ cup grated emmental (or any cheese you prefer)
1 -2 cloves garlic
1 ½  cup cooked broccoli
½ cup cooked frozen spinach, thawed and drained

PREPARATION:
1.  Roll out puff pastry to line round 9” tin up about 1 ½ inches on sides.

2.  Pulse onion in food processor and add on puff pastry.

3. Pulse broccoli, spinach, and garlic in food processor. Add in oregano, generous amount of fresh pepper and salt to taste (about ¼ tsp salt). Mix well.

4. Layer vegetable mixture on top of onion.

5.  Layer ½ cup cheese on top of vegetable mixture.

6.  In separate bowl mix eggs, milk, cream, and some salt and pepper with electric mixer. Add on top of other items in pan.

7. Top with remaining ¼ cup cheese.

8. Bake in oven at 350F (180C) for 50 minutes. Let sit for 10-15 minutes before cutting.


**Just found a recipe here for a homemade quiche crust. See below:


Homemade Quiche Crust


Ingredients:

  • cup flour
  • 1/2 teaspoon salt
  • 1/4 cup olive oil or 1/4 cup canola oil
  • 1/4 cup ice water (I use refrigerated water)

  • Preparation:
  • 1. Mix flour and salt with fork.
  • 2. Beat oil and water with whisk or fork to thicken.
  • 3. Pour into flour and mix with fork.
  • 4. Press into 9″ pie crust.
  • 5. Fill with quiche mixture and bake at 400F until done.