Tuesday, October 19, 2010

Pumpkin Muffins w/ Crystallized Ginger and Toasted Walnuts

From being in the kitchen I'm so used to having my nails short and not being able to wear nail polish that I still don't wear it. It was my brother's wedding last month and my mom and I went to get our nails done and after she spent a good while buffing them and whatever else they do, she asked me, so what color would you like!? Clear please! She looked up at me and said clearr? I said well after you do my nails I'm going home to bake 200 cookies so there's really no point....

I've been missing the kitchen lately and it's little things that bring me back, I'll be pan frying something and the oil will splatter up my arm and I like the burn, I'll be peeling beets and chopping garlic till my hands are stained red and I have that lingering smell of garlic on me and I really don't mind. I'll be leaning over the oven door to stick my hand in to see if the muffins are done and that intense rush of heat comes at me and I just breathe it in. Weeeird right? I know I know, bare with me while I go through this nostalgia. In the meantime make these muffins first thing in the morning for your co-workers like I did and your day (and theirs!) will be so much sweeter!

Pumpkin Muffins w/Crystallized Ginger and Toasted Walnuts
Yields 12

1 1/2 cups flour (I used 1 cup w.w pastry flour, ½ cup white flour)
1/4 teaspoon of salt
1 cup sugar (I used cane sugar)
1 teaspoon baking soda
few swipes fresh nutmeg (on the microplane/grater)
1 teaspoon cinnamon
1/4 teaspoon allspice
1/2 teaspoon ground ginger
1 cup pumpkin purée
1/3 cup melted butter
2 eggs, beaten
1/4 cup water
2 tsp vanilla

3/4 cup chopped toasted walnuts (or pecans)
1/2 cup crystallized ginger
1/4 cup cinnamon & sugar (used cane sugar)

1.Preheat oven to 350 degrees F
2.Mix together toasted walnuts and crystallized ginger, *reserve 1/4 cup to sprinkle on top*
2. Mix together all dry ingredients (includes sugar too)
3. Mix together all wet ingredients
4. Add dry mix into wet mix, don't overmix
5. Fold in walnuts and crystallized ginger
6. Scoop into muffin tin, sprinkle w/walnuts and ginger and cinnamon sugar mix.
7.Bake for 20-25 min or until pick comes out clean.

Monday, October 11, 2010

Brown Butter Seared Scallops with Peach Salsa

Wine night with girlfriends! Of course it can never just be wine at my place so earlier that day I headed over to Granville Island. There I was standing in the Lobster Man store looking at the scallops for a good few minutes.. I’m sure the lady working there was wondering why I looked so dazed but I do this from time to time and every so often someone that works at the store/market comes over and asks if I’m okay and if I need any help! Really though I’m standing there because in my head I'm picturing the flavors, textures and contrast in colors (I love the light green on dark green), what I have in my fridge to go with it and even how I would want to plate it.
I had originally come for the Mussels to do a play on Moules Frites , which seemed like a great idea till I realized how messy that could get, considering I don’t have a proper dinner table in my 500 sq ft pad! So scallops it was. Peaches were in season at the time so I knew just what I would pair it with. To complete the eats for the night I picked up some Cognac Pate and Bison Bresaola from Oyama, a couple Cheeses from Les Amis de Formage, Onion Walnut Bread from my favorite bakery and made Yam Fries w/ a Balsamic Reduction and Truffled Aioli. Seeing as it was just Thanksgiving lets check off what I am so so very grateful for, amazing family, friends, food and wine!

Brown Butter Seared Scallops w/ Peach Salsa

8-10 scallops
3 tbsp butter
fleur de sel
grains of paradise (or black pepper)

Peach Salsa
2 peaches, diced
1/2 jalapeno, fine diced
3 tbsp orange bell pepper, fine diced
2 tbsp red onion, fine diced
cilantro, rough chopped
1/2 tsp apple cider vinegar
*(can add honey if peaches arent as ripe)*
For garnish:
avocado, sliced
cherry tomatoes, halved
pea shoots (tossed w/honey apple cider vinaigrette I had made previously, can use
lemon juice, olive oil, s&p instead)

1. Combine all salsa ingredients, set aside in fridge.
2. Pre-heat pan to med-high, throw in butter.
3. Pat dry the scallops, season w/ s+p.
4. Sear scallops only flipping once. Baste with brown butter. Cook till medium. Let rest. Finish
with fleur de sel.
5. Place dressed pea shoots on plate, then scallops, avocado and tomato garnish, finish with