Saturday, October 16, 2010

another marathon day of cooking

I know tomorrow I'll be working on finalizing my NSF postdoctoral fellowship all day, so I tried to take today for cooking (and fun?).

Scott went golfing this morning, and while he was gone I flitted between cooking and re-reading through the requirements for the NSF app.

The first thing I made was a batch of these sweet potato muffins. Maybe it is the cooler weather that has set in that makes the spicy pumpkin-y deliciousness of these muffins really shine, but I think these are the best muffins I've ever made (don't let their unassuming exterior fool you).

Sweet potato muffins
1.5 c. whole wheat flour
1 tsp. baking soda
1 c. sugar
1 tsp. cinnamon
1/2 tsp. nutmeg, ginger and cloves
1/4 c. oil
2 eggs
1 c. pureed sweet potatoes (add up to 1/4 c. water for smoother consistency)

Whisk ingredients together well. Spoon batter into 1 dozen muffin cups. Bake at 350F for ~20 minutes or until a toothpick comes out clean.

I made more doggie snacks out of the sweet potato peels - baking them at 350F for ~15 minutes, stirring every 5 minutes. We gave some to our friends to try with their picky dog, and he loved them as well!

While the muffins were baking, I started cleaning out the spice cabinets, and came across this box of gelatin.

I used it to make some homemade jello - pink lemonade and pineapple juice jello! It's so tasty - I think this fruit juice jello might be my default instead of the usual artificially flavored sugar packets you buy in the store.

Then, I started dinner. A couple weeks ago we went to the beer and food pairing at Wegmans. Scott got double beer samples, but also really loved the slow-cooked country pork with sauerkraut, so I tried to replicate it, kind of. I sliced and braised the pork, then cooked a sliced onion with the sauerkraut, and decided to add some potatoes.

But I found a little man in one of our potatoes! (Don't worry, I didn't cook him.)

I put it all together and set it in the crock pot for the next few hours until it all fell apart in a mouth-watering mix (well, mouth-watering if you like pork and sauerkraut). 

I still had a bunch of sweet potatoes leftover, so I made a couple sweet potato pies (the pumpkin and squash in the picture are misleading - they're only there for their pretty faces). 

I followed the Libby's pumpkin pie recipe, cutting the sugar by 25% and adding nutmeg, and made my first homemade crust (2c. flour, 1c. shortening, 1tsp salt, 1/2 c. water, refrigerate for 4 hrs). Even warm, it is pretty good pie. Again, you'd never know the difference between the sweet potato and pumpkin.

I had leftover crust (I like a thinner crust), and I remembered seeing this post about homemade poptarts, so I thought I'd give it a try. I just rolled out the leftover dough, and used the recipe for cinnamon-sugar filling.

They were light, crispy, and very tasty! I would definitely make these again!!

And, with that, I'm done with cooking/baking for a day and all prepared with snacks for working tomorrow!


Amanda said...

All these pictures have my mouth watering! And I love the hidden man surprise. That made me laugh!

Maegan Stevens-Liska said...

You're a machine!!!

Looks like you had a great time, and baked some awesome stuff for the week ahead--I'm envious! :)