Tuesday, January 01, 2008

Happy New Year 2008!

Okay, ante up those resolutions, guys and goils.

My resolutions are the same as they are every morning of my life--be sweeter, more generous, more productive, smarter, eat healthier--with one additional resolution: finish Starletta's Kitchen by the time I go to New York in April.

What about yours?

Along the lines of eating healthier, on tomorrow's show my guest will be Melissa Clark, a food writer, who has a fun diet book called The Skinny. We'll talk about food writing, writing essays, writing process, and what writers can do to stop or decrease zee writers'--ahem--spread.

Speaking of writer's spread, here's a recipe for muffins that's in the oven as we speak--as I speak, anyhoo. Not sure how great it is for decreasing writers' spread, but the muffins are among our faves.

I wrote a piece for the old Westways magazine some years back (the column was called Food Souvenir) and included this recipe. (It's adapted from a recipe from the Willows Palm Springs Historic Inn, which I wrote about for the Los Angeles Times Weekend Escape.) We love it. Enjoy, and Happy New Year!

Crazy for Cardomom Muffins

(Makes 15 regular muffins or 30 mini-muffins, or mix them up, as I do.)

2 cups whole wheat pastry flour (or a cup of w/w and cup of unbleached white, or all white, depending on your inclination)

1/2 cup, plus 2/3 cup sugar

3/4 cup chopped toasted walnuts

2 large cage free organic eggs (or equivalent egg replacer)

1/2 cup nonfat yogurt (or if you like rich muffins, use sour cream. I used to use sour cream, when I didn't gain weight just by looking at fatty delicious foods....)

1/2 stick of butter, melted

1 1/2 cup peeled and grated tart apples

1 tsp. ground allspice

3/4 tsp. powdered cardamom

2 tsp. baking powder

1/2 tsp. baking soda

1/4 tsp. salt

Preheat the oven to 375 degrees. Mix the flour, baking powder, baking soda, salt, 2/3 cup sugar, 3/4 tsp. allspice and 1/2 tsp. cardamom. Set the mixture aside. Lightly toast the walnuts in a frying pan.

Whisk eggs, sour cream, melted butter. Mix in the apples. Add the dry mixture to the wet. Add 1/2 cup of the walnuts. The remaining sugar, walnuts, allspice and cardomom will make the topping.

Fill muffin pans with paper liners or spray with oil. Fill muffin tins and top with the remaining spice and sugar mixture. Bake for 20 minutes or so, until brown (bake for less if you make the mini muffins).


Anonymous said...

If you get any sweeter we'll all die of diabetes. One more thing. I shant be trying your recipe or anything else made with non-fat anything but especially yogurt. Lastly, it really bugs me when recipe writers write "1/2 stick butter". Is space so dear that they can't say 1/2 stick OF butter like normal writeers? Other than that, I have nothing more to say. Nothing!

Anonymous said...

You must be Jordan. Who else uses "shant"? Unless it's Joyce....? Two J's. You should meet each other, actually.

Okay, 1/2 stick OF butter. I shall return to my post and revise.


p.s. I wish I were sweet enough to cause diabetes! That's the nicest thing anyone has said of me all day.

Anonymous said...

You see - there you go being sweet again. Why must you be so agreeable and accomodating. Be certain to tell the cook book writing dame who is going to be on your show to use the work "OF" in her recipes. It may help to set her apart and start a whole new style of cooking.

Anonymous said...

PS it wasn't intended to be nice. This is the first day of the new year and I'm already up to here with nice!

Anonymous said...

You mean "the word of" ... right? (See...I'm not so nice....)

Judy Kay said...

I resolve not to be tricked into singing along to the Viva Viagra commercials on TV any longer. Elvis would not be pleased.

Also the usual drink water, take vitamins, eat vegetables. I get better every year.

Anonymous said...

I think I'm going cookoo. I think I'll take a nap and watch HARVEY again.

Diane Vogel Ferri said...

Your blog was recommended to me and I can see why - mine is similar. I'm working on my second novel and am a published poet. I wrote about new beginnings today too - not too original but timely. check me out! dianeferri.blogspot.com

Anonymous said...

CAVEAT: To watch and re-watch HARVEY within a span of 72 hours is to invite disappointment. It is best to watch HARVEY and then wait a minimum of 40 years before re-watching it.
Other movies, books, essays etc. may be read and re-read at shorter or longer intervals depending on one's personal quirks. I shant be submitting anything more today. I really shant.

Anonymous said...

I've just awakened from my nap of 3 days ago and noticed that you've chosen to chide me publicly for a perfectly harmless typo in a desperate attempt to prove that you're not always nice. Where is the rain we've been promised?