Vegetable Fried Rice

I could write a novel about the many times my kids have refused to eat what I have cooked. At first I thought their resistance was because the food I was making wasn’t appetizing. (Broccolini and quinoa salad, anyone?). But after careful observation, I have deduced the only reason they won’t eat my food is because they know I am the one making it and they just want to drive me crazy!

This realization became evident during dinner, which was chicken curry and fresh chapattis. Although my kids normally like this meal, this time they did not touch it. Luckily I had also made some vegetable fried rice (or “wice” as my young one calls it). Unfortunately, the wice was denied as well. I was starting to panic as hungry boys become crazy rowdy destructive boys in about 2 seconds, and I had no desire to clean or make anything else. At that moment my phone rang. It was my dear friend calling to say she had made lentil soup and was sending it over for dinner. I knew my kids hate soup but I was desperate.

As the soup arrived I quietly put it in their bowls and waited for their screams of protest. I kept waiting but all I could hear was the sound of soup being slurped down so fast I was afraid they weren’t breathing.
 
Then my older son finally spoke: “Mommy….?” he asked.

Hmmph. Finally a complaint, I thought. But he then said, “Mommy can I have this as my snack at school tomorrow?”

I think to myself:  Ok, let me get this straight. You don’t even like soup and now you want it at school too?? I am fuming.

Then he speaks again:  “Mommy can I have some more? This is soooo good!”

I am still in shock as I am refilling their bowls and giving them some more crusty bread to dip inside. Just then I hear my son singing an impromptu song: “Soup, soup, soup, soup…I love soup!”

My ego was bruised and I was pondering where I went wrong in my cooking. But instead of being upset I was happy they had eaten a nutritious meal and actually liked something. My thoughts were interrupted by my two year old who was trying to tell me something. He kept puckering his mouth in an ‘’o’’ position and I thought he was trying to give me a kiss. I was so touched at his sweetness. But then out came the sounds: “sh…shou…shouu…….shouuup!”

I promise I will post the recipe for my friend’s lentil soup soon, as it was delicious and clearly the dinner champion of the evening. But for now you must settle for the runner up, my vegetable fried rice.  It is all my fragile ego can handle.

Vegetable Fried Rice



INGREDIENTS:
Medium pot of cooked rice.  Day old, leftover rice is best.
1 large onion, chopped
1 tablespoon garlic,  finely chopped
1 bunch chopped scallions (both white and green parts)
1 large tomato, chopped and deseeded
Salt, pepper, and chili flakes to taste
1 tablespoon soy sauce
2-3 large eggs
1 small bunch chopped coriander,
Lime and cucumber slices for garnish

Note: Can also add any meat of your choice, tofu, or additional veggies such as broccoli or peas

PREPARATION:
1. Heat the oil on high. Add the onion. Stir well and when it’s softened lower heat slightly and add the garlic and sauté for a minute.
2. Add the rice and stir well. Add the tomatoes and mix. (If you are adding any other blanched or steamed veggies add them now)
3. Push the rice to the side of the pan and add a bit more oil. Crack the eggs into the oil and cook. Mix with rice.
4. Add the soy sauce and salt and pepper. Season to taste. Remove from heat.
5. Add most of the scallions and a little cilantro into the rice and mix.  Garnish with the rest of the scallions and coriander, lime, and cucumber slices.

Note: If you are adding meat, cube it and cook it first. Then add into rice at step 4. 
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Chocolate Cupcakes and Chocolate Buttercream Frosting

Having two toddlers in the house is never easy, so when they both started school I was ecstatic that I would finally get a little time off in my day. But I soon realized that their being in school meant I would be assigned a lot of work as well. Every week they have some theme or other that the parents have to scramble around trying to find things for. For example, for Community Helper Day we had to find a fireman costume for my son…which he insisted be complete with hat and hose. Their class also just had Farmer Day to help illustrate their unit learning about living on a farm. (Sadly I found out last minute about Farmer Day and all we had lying around the house were some bandanas so my poor child ended up looking more like a gangster than a farmer).


But the theme days are nothing compared to what we must do for holidays. For Valentine’s Day we had to make handmade valentines for the whole class, make sure the kids wore something pink or red to school, and make some food for their class party. I decided to make cupcakes as I could easily double the recipe and greedily put aside some for myself. Actually I found myself making cupcakes for almost every holiday and class party. Cupcakes are great as they are the perfect size for little hands and versatile so you can decorate them to fit any occasion. Valentine’s Day? Just plop some heart stickers on top. Easter? Just add a chocolate bunny and some jelly bean ”eggs.”  St. Patrick’s Day? Make some green icing! I generally choose the easiest decoration since I am more of a spontaneous (ahem last minute) person, but now with Pinterest and other cooking and baking sites the possibilities are endless! 


Unfortunately  because there is such a plethora of information online and beyond, one can go crazy trying to find the perfect cupcake and buttercream recipe. For me, I prefer a moist cake and a rich but not too sweet buttercream. I always bake with my kids so I needed something easy to make and honestly something that doesn’t take too long to prepare as I prefer to spend my time eating rather than cooking :). 

After extensive googling I found a recipe that met all my needs. It is very easy to make, and uses ingredients that I always have at home, so if I get a last minute cupcake request as I often do, there is no need to go to the store.  One really interesting thing about this recipe is that it uses no eggs or butter and still turns out amazing moist cupcakes! Apparently the recipe is decades old and was from the Great Depression when eggs and butter were too expensive to buy. But today it makes a great option for vegans. I’m sure they must be tortured souls with no butter or eggs in their pastries…I know I would be. 


I have also included a buttercream recipe to frost the cupcakes. I love it because it uses almond extract which keeps the frosting from becoming too sickly sweet. If you don’t like almond extract, use vanilla instead. If you don’t want frosting, the cupcakes taste great on their own or sprinkled with a little powdered sugar too. 

So next time you have a party or somewhere you need to bring cupcakes, instead of going into panic mode or buying ones from the store, make these. It will be a fun activity to share with your kids and even more fun to eat together.  

Chocolate Cupcakes and 
Chocolate Buttercream Frosting


Cupcakes recipe by : Simply Recipes
 CUPCAKE INGREDIENTS:
1 1/2 cups all purpose flour
1/4 cup unsweetened cocoa powder
1 cup granulated sugar
1 teaspoon baking soda
1/2 teaspoon salt
1 cup brewed coffee (or 1 cup of warm water mixed with 1 1/2 teaspoons of espresso powder or instant coffee granules)
 *NOTE: If you don’t want to use regular coffee, either use decaf or leave it out completely and use plain water instead. But coffee really makes it taste better!
1 Tablespoon white vinegar
2 teaspoons vanilla extract
6 Tablespoon (1/4 cup plus 2 Tablespoon) olive oil
METHOD:
1. Preheat oven to 350°F with a rack in the middle position. Prepare a muffin tin with cupcake liners.
2 .In a large bowl, vigorously whisk or sift together the flour, cocoa powder, sugar, baking soda, and salt until there are no visible clumps (cocoa tends to clump up).
3. In a separate bowl, mix together the coffee (or water plus coffee granules), vinegar, vanilla extract, and olive oil.
4. Pour the wet ingredients into the dry ingredients and stir only until they just come together. The mixture should be thin and rather lumpy.
5. Ladle the batter into the cupcake liners, filling them about two-thirds of the way full. Place in oven and bake for 18 to 20 minutes, until a toothpick inserted in the center comes out clean.
6. Remove from oven and let cool in the pan for 5 minutes, then remove from pan and let cool on a rack. Once cool, you can eat plain, sprinkle with powdered sugar, or drizzle or coat with frosting.

Makes 12-14 standard sized cupcakes.
NOTE: If you want to make this a cake instead of cupcakes, double the recipe and use two 8-inch round cake pans and cook for 35-40 minutes.
Chocolate Buttercream Frosting 
Frosting recipe by: Savory Sweet Life
FROSTING INGREDIENTS:
1 cup unsalted butter (2 sticks or ½ pound), softened (but not melted!)
3½ cups confectioners (powdered) sugar
½ cup cocoa powder
½ teaspoon table salt
2 teaspoons vanilla extract or 1 teaspoon almond extract
4 tablespoons milk or heavy cream
METHOD:
1.Cream butter for a few minutes in a mixer with the paddle attachment on medium speed. Turn off the mixer.
2. Sift 3 cups powdered sugar and cocoa into the mixing bowl. Turn your mixer on the lowest speed (so the dry ingredients do not blow everywhere) until the sugar and cocoa are absorbed by the butter.
3.Increase mixer speed to medium and add vanilla or almond extract, salt, and milk/cream and beat for 3 minutes. If your frosting needs a more stiff consistency, add a little more sugar. If your frosting needs to be thinned out, add additional milk 1 tablespoon at a time.
Makes 3 cups.

Almond Tea Cake

I just celebrated my birthday in January. It was a month long affair, with dear friends and family showering me with gifts, well wishes, and of course tons of cake .  I really felt happy and blessed to have so many amazing people in my life and I would like to give something back. I have a cake recipe that is so simple to make, so tasty and very forgiving so it’s almost impossible to mess up.

This almond tea cake is delicious and beautiful and perfect for any occasion. I have used it for afternoon tea, baby showers, dinner parties,  and since it takes almost no time to prepare, have even made it on the spot for unexpected guests.

Enjoy! 

Almond Tea Cake

INGREDIENTS:

1 ½ cup Sugar
¾ cup Butter
1 ½ cup Flour
2 Eggs
Pinch of Salt
1 teaspoon Almond Extract
Slivered or Sliced Almonds for garnish

PREPARATION:

1. Melt butter and blend into sugar
2. Mix in eggs, one at a time.
3. Add flour, salt, almond extract and mix well.
4. Line 10” iron skillet with foil (Or just use a round cake tin)
5. Pour batter into pan and top with almonds for garnish
6. Bake at 350F for 25-30 minutes, or check center with toothpick for doneness.

Bhindi Bhaji – Indian Spiced Okra

Happy New Year! 

Another year, another set of resolutions. This year I made very few as I was keen to follow them all year round and thought having only a few easy ones would be the key to my new year resolution success. Sadly, it is not even the end of January and almost all of them have been broken.  

There are three I have and break every year :
  • Eat a healthy diet. (less/no sugar)
  • Drink more water (8 glasses a day)
  • Exercise more (4-5x per week)
I sincerely thought this was my year to achieve them, but it is my birthday this week and since I intend to celebrate it wholeheartedly (gluttonously and tipsy) these 3 will be out the window by the weekend.

But there is some hope. I do have a few resolutions left and definitely one that I intend to keep:  Blog more.  So here we go with my first post of the year, with hopefully many more to come.  

Happy 2013 everyone!
Bhindi Bhaji – Indian Spiced Okra


INGREDIENTS:
1 pound okra trimmed and cut into ½ inch pieces 

NOTE: It is important you get the small short tender okra, not the long hard one. The hard one never tastes as good. I usually find good okra in the organic markets or organic section of the grocery store. If you cannot  find it, perhaps try the Indian grocers.

1 cup chopped onion  (I like to use Indian onions as they are spicier but can use any you prefer)
2-3 teaspoon cooking oil
1 teaspoon turmeric
½ teaspoon red chili powder
½  teaspoon salt or to taste
1-2 chopped medium tomatoes

PREPARATION:
1. Saute onion in oil until soft and translucent  on medium high heat(do not brown).
2. Add turmeric, chili and salt.
3. Add tomato and sauté for few minutes until becomes a paste
4. Add chopped bhindi and cook uncovered until soft.  My hubby prefers it quite soft so cook at least 10-15 minutes stirring every couple minutes.

Serve with any Indian bread such as tandoori roti  or paratha. Serves 2.

Zaatar Marinated Lamb with Crushed Lemon Potatoes at Treat:The BurJuman World Food Fest 2012

I still remember one of my first breakfasts in Dubai. It was an early summer morning,  but still boiling hot outside. Desperately wanting to get into air conditioning, I quickly ducked into a café and ordered my cappuccino and croissant. The staff told me they only had zaatar croissants left. Hmmm… Zaatar I thought. I was intrigued by the name and excited to try something new. I asked what zaatar was, and the the staff just giggled. After realizing I was serious, they finally said, “Arabic spices madam. You try.” I did and it was delicious. I soon found out zaatar is a blend of dried herbs such as thyme and oregano, sesame, sumac and salt. It can be used to flavor vegetables, breads, and meats.

After living in Dubai for almost 7 years and seeing zaatar on nearly every menu in the region, I understand why the café staff thought I was crazy for not knowing what it was. Although I have eaten it countless times, I never imagined I would be cooking with zaatar in the middle of a crowded mall! But there I was in Burjuman, on stage at the Teka Chef’s Theatre. 



I was lucky to be a part of a blogger masterclass, one of the many events put on by Treat, the Burjuman World Food Fest 2012.  Our masterclass was led by Executive Chef Ron Pietruszka of the Ritz Carlton DIFC, and I was among a group of bloggers cooking Zaatar Marinated Lamb with Crushed Lemon Potatoes. 

Chef Ron Pietruszka in action

Initially I was a bit nervous standing in my little Teka cooking station,  but the dish was surprisingly simple, made even easier by the pre-measured ingredients, my own personal kitchen assistant, and Chef Ron’s step-by-step instructions. The final dish was both beautiful and delicious. (Recipe is below).

My final dish. Not as pretty as Chef Ron’s, but delicious nonetheless!
Chef Ron’s beautiful Lamb
Treat – The BurJuman World Food Fest 2012, running from September 11-22 2012 has something for everyone. The events are all free of cost and run by leading food industry experts and chefs from Dubai’s top hotels. Some highlights are: a series of masterclasses, cooking demos, dining etiquette workshops, audience competitions, cupcake decorating for the kids, exciting gift giveaways, and much more. Treat culminates with the BurJuman Junior Chef 2012 Competition and a fantastic gift hamper giveaway worth 25,000 AED. 

For more information on events and timings, 
please visit the BurJuman website and facebook page.  



Zaatar Marinated Lamb with Crushed Lemon Potatoes


INGREDIENTS for Lamb:
6 pcs Lamb Rack
Salt to taste
Pepper to taste
4 cloves garlic, minced
¼ cup Olive Oil
½ cup Tahini Sauce
½ cup Panko Bread Crumbs
2-3 tablespoons Zaatar (if you can’t find zaatar, check Middle Eastern supermarkets)
 Pomegranate Seeds for garnish

PREPARATION for Lamb:
1. Marinate Lamb in olive oil, garlic, salt and pepper for at least 1 hour.
2. Sear lamb  in hot pan; use tongs to sear all sides.
3. Brush tahini on all sides of lamb.
4. Combine panko and zaatar. Roll lamb in panko mixture.
5. Bake lamb in a 190C (375F) oven until desired doneness.

INGREDIENTS for Crushed Potatoes:
2 large cooked potatoes, skins on, crushed (can substitute any potatoes of your choice)
4-5 cloves garlic, minced
Juice of 1 lemon
Zest of ½ lemon
1-2 Tablespoon Butter

PREPARATION of Crushed Potatoes:
1. Melt butter in pan. Add garlic and cook until soft and aromatic.
2. Add cooked potato, lemon juice and zest.
3. Mash with fork to desired consistency.
To plate dish, first add a serving of potatoes. Add lamb rack on top. Garnish with few pomegranate seeds if desired.

**Thank you to the organizers of TREAT for the recipe, which I modified a bit based on my experience in the masterclass and also for some of the images on this post. 

Vegetable Pakoras with Coriander and Mint Chutney

I remember the day my foodie 3 year old became a food enemy.  Before that day, I smugly grinned while other mothers talked about resorting to feeding their kids plain boiled pasta for days.  I scoffed at Annabel Karmel’s cookbooks that talked about the need for special recipes to feed fussy toddlers. As my kids ate their edamame and chicken satay, I thought I missed out on the picky food phase and even had the nerve to think it was because my superior cooking skills.

But then it happened. I had made a huge meal of vegetable pakoras, chicken curry, and masoor daal. These were things my son had previously eaten and liked. But instead of eating my food, he chose to have raisins and string cheese for dinner. I thought maybe he wasn’t feeling well. The next day I made some chicken nuggets and french fries (both baked but still very yummy) and he didn’t even try them!! Eating habits like that can drive any cook to insanity.

I then thought about how I always ate everything I was given when I was a child. But then slowly, little details began popping up in my mind suggesting otherwise. One example was during a vacation in India with my family. We were on an extensive tour of Jaipur, Agra and Rajasthan and between sightseeing, had dined at many amazing restaurants which offered numerous varieties of delicious food. But no matter what the dish was, for some reason all I wanted to eat were pakoras and Pepsi. Day after day, I turned away many beautiful dishes to the wrath of all servers and family members and was branded an ungrateful wretch.

So much good food to experience but all I could eat were pakoras and Pepsi for 2 weeks! My parents must have been as annoyed with me as I am now when my kids don’t eat what they are supposed to. It’s interesting how life comes full circle.

Vegetable Pakoras with Coriander and Mint Chutney



Ingredients:
3 cups Chickpea Flour (Besan)* Usually found in the Indian section of grocery store
1-2 cups water
1 ½ teaspoon salt
1 ½ teaspoon red chili powder
1 large potato, peeled and sliced into matchsticks
1 bunch green onions, chopped
5 red Indian onions, peeled and cut in long slices
1 bunch coriander (cilantro), chopped
1 bunch spinach, chopped
Vegetable Oil for frying

Preparation:
1. Add first 4 ingredients to create pakora batter. Add additional water as necessary. Mix well in large bowl so batter becomes thick enough to coat the back of a spoon. If you are not sure with the consistency, thicker is better than runny. Let sit for 30 minutes.
2. Add all vegetables to batter until well mixed. (The vegetables should be LIGHTLY coated. The vegetables are the stars, not the batter. It may look like the batter is not enough, but as long as there is enough batter to coat all the veggies you will be fine. This light coating ensures crisp pakoras and not heavy soggy oily ones. )
3. Heat oil until hot. Fry pakoras by sprinkling by hand into hot oil. Do not drop a big blob of batter into the pan but instead sprinkle and spread evenly as a thin layer in the oil. Fry until golden brown.
4. Drain on paper towel. Serve warm with coriander and mint chutney.   

Lemon Muffin Recipe

I have learned that real life communication is often like that game “telephone” we used to play as kids. When you play “telephone”, one person says a phrase in the ear of the person next to him, and then that person whispers the same phrase to the next person until the very last person says the phrase out loud. It’s funny since the phrase said out loud has little resemblance to the original.

Every day I notice we all speak to each other yet the receiving end often gets a different meaning entirely, just like in the game. Just this morning, my son spent hours in class singing “Skip to my Lou” yet when he sang it back to me, said “Lou, Lou, skip to the moo”. Another example is listening to my friend from the UK who supposedly speaks perfect English, but with her accent and slang,  I have no idea what she is saying most of the time. So it was no surprise when I called to order 1kg of onions from the grocery store today, and they gave me 1 kg of lemons instead.

But rather than return them, I remembered the saying “When life gives you lemons, make lemonade.” So in the spirit of miscommunication, I changed the phrase from lemonade to lemon muffins, and luckily made a delicious misinterpretation.
Lemon Muffins

Original recipe from Cat Can Cook:

INGREDIENTS:
6 Tablespoons Butter
1 Cup White Sugar
2 Eggs
1 1/2 Cups White Flour
1/2 Cup Milk
Grated zest of 1 1/2 Lemons
1/4 teaspoon Salt
1 1/2 teaspoon Baking Powder

INGREDIENTS FOR TOPPING:
Juice of 1 1/2 Lemons
1/3 Cup White Sugar

PREPARATION:
1. Preheat oven to 400 farenheit. Grease muffin tins, set aside.
2. In a bowl, cream together butter, sugar and eggs. Add in flour, milk, lemon zest, salt and baking powder, mix well.
3. Spoon batter into the greased muffin tins, filling them 3/4 full.
4. Bake in preheated oven for 15-20 minutes.
5. Prepare topping. While muffins baking, combine the lemon juice from lemons and sugar in a bowl. Set aside. When muffins are baked, prick the tops with a fork, and drizzle topping over each muffin.
(**Do not skip this step, this glaze adds a yummy lemony punch to these muffins and makes them from good to amazing!)

Makes 12 muffins in standard muffin tin. 

Masoor for my Monsieur – Masoor Daal Recipe

A miracle happened today that brought me out of my blogging hiatus. My eternally picky husband who only likes his mother’s cooking complimented my masoor daal! His exact words: “Wow, this tastes just like back home, maybe even better.” I just stared at him in disbelief for a few seconds. After the initial shock wore off, I ran to the computer to instantly document this moment so it would be immortalized forever. My husband has always been my biggest food critic, particularly for desi food, so this was a huge personal achievement.

Indian food had always been a culinary obstacle for me. I guess I never learned how to make it since my mom was an amazing cook and it was always perfect and readily available.  Also I somehow wasn’t interested to learn about turmeric and cardamom with the same zest I wanted to learn about oregano and rosemary which seemed so much more exotic. So I ended up learning to make many international cuisines, but not my own Indian one. But then I met my biggest food critic who only enjoyed eating the one cuisine I couldn’t make!  He was not impressed with my existing culinary arsenal, and I resolved to one day win him over.

After many foodie battles and take-out dinners, I somehow ended up marrying my food adversary. Strangely enough, some well meaning Auntie gave me an Indian cookbook for a wedding present, and it was from that book that I tried making Indian food for the first time. I just followed the recipes blindly and they kept coming out flat. And my personal food critic was always there to point out the flaws.

Looking back, I now realize my weakness was my inability to understand the common Indian spices and how each spice enhanced or affected the taste of the dish. If I wanted to fix the flavor of my dish, whether I needed to add coriander powder, or cut down on the cumin were a mystery to me.  I also realized my ignorance was partly due to my lack of any previous guidance making any desi dishes. In many Indian kitchens (including my home), there is a round metal container, with smaller round containers inside for each individual spice. Whenever a meal is to be made, the matriarch of the family will take out this container and to the untrained eye, just haphazardly throw all the necessary spices into the dish, and before you know it, the dish is done and seasoned beautifully. No matter how many times you observe this phenomenon, you will never learn to cook Indian food this way! Trust me I have tried.

But then I practiced. After a lot of trial and error, I’ve learned quite a bit, and on my way to becoming the lady with my own round metal spice container. But the best measure of my success with Indian food is that my food critic finally gave a glowing review.

Masoor Daal



INGREDIENTS for Daal:
1 cup Masoor Daal , soaked in water for a couple hours.
*If you do not soak daal first, cooking time will be significantly longer, unless you use a pressure cooker to cook daal. My method is for stovetop only.
1 teaspoon turmeric
½ teaspoon red chili powder
½ teaspoon salt
1 tablespoon garlic, grated
1 teaspoon tamarind (imlee) paste – Can be found in most supermarkets or Indian grocers. I used Priya brand

INGREDIENTS For Tadka to add in daal:
1-2 tablespoon vegetable oil
1 onion, chopped
1 teaspoon cumin seeds
1 teaspoon ginger, grated
1-2 green chilis
1 cup cilantro, chopped

PREPARATION:
1. Add soaked daal and turmeric, chili, salt, and garlic in a pot with 5 cups water and bring to boil.
2. After boils, partly cover and lower heat and cook until soft.  Add additional water as necessary.
3. When done, mash or blend to desired consistency, (My hubby likes it quite blended) and add tamarind paste until fully incorporated. Set pot aside.
4. Heat oil in separate pan. Add onion and lightly brown. Add cumin seeds, ginger, green chilis and coriander.
5. Fry all together and add to hot daal. Mix.

Serves 2 generously. Serve with basmati rice.

Devilled Eggs

I don’t like eggs. Not runny, not scrambled, not fried, not sunny side up. Yet today was the second time in my life that I found myself faced with a multitude of hard boiled eggs. Last time, I had no idea what to do with them, but this time I was prepared.

My first egg dilemma was when we visited my husband’s village one winter in Punjab. We went to someone’s house for tea. I was pregnant and starving and sitting awkwardly in my salwar kameez. Our host started to pass out some food on a huge platter. When she came to serve me I was shocked to find about 50 perfectly arranged hard boiled eggs. I didn’t want to offend the host, but I definitely didn’t want to eat a plain boiled egg either. So, I just sat there petrified staring blankly. Luckily the chai came and the host moved on to the next person and I was saved from my bad egg etiquette.

Today is the day after Easter. I opened the refrigerator and found all the decorated boiled eggs waiting to be eaten.  I again stared blankly at them but this time no chai appeared to magically whisk them away. These eggs were here to stay unless I did something to them. I quickly scanned the ingredients I had and made some devilled eggs.  They were hella good. 😉

Devilled Eggs



INGREDIENTS:

6 hard boiled eggs, peeled
3-4 tablespoons mayonnaise
1 teaspoon Dijon mustard (or any you prefer)
Splash of worcestershire sauce
Sriracha hot sauce (or any you prefer)
Smoked paprika for garnish
Chives or green onion, chopped finely for garnish

PREPARATION:

1. Cut boiled and peeled eggs in half. Put all egg yolks in a bowl and mash with a fork.

2. Add the mayonnaise, mustard, worcestershire, sriracha and mix well. Adjust quantities to taste. Season with salt and pepper if desired.

3.  Put all egg yolk mixture in a piping bag and pipe back into the egg white halves. If you don’t have a piping bag, you can just cut a corner off of a Ziploc plastic bag, or just spoon the mixture back into the egg white halves.

4. Garnish with smoked paprika and chives.

The variations of devilled eggs are endless. I just used what I had in my refrigerator, but you can use anything. Be creative! Would love to hear about it!

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!