Tuesday, September 25, 2007

Pumpkin Muffins

I've made a lot of cupcakes since beginnning my Vegan journey, but not so many muffins. There may be a resemblance between the two, hey, you use the same pan what do you expect? But there is a difference in texture and weight as well as flavors.

A friend had indicated a craving for a spice or pumpkin bread so I thought it would be a perfect opportunity to try The Best Pumpkin Muffins recipe from Vegan with a Vengeance. As the author points out, calling them the "Best" might seem a bit boastful, but I am here to tell you - it's not a boast. It's a simple fact. These really are the best pumpkin muffins ever.

see? cupcake pan - muffin pan = same pan

The recipe gives a variation - adding cranberries or walnuts. I only had pecans so I used them. I also topped each muffin with a pecan half to make it clear that these were not cupcakes - these are muffins. By the way, pecans work GREAT with these muffins!

They are so flavorful, spicy, pumpkiny and moist that you will want to eat them all at once. Don't do it! Save them for the next morning. Not only will your home smell delightful as long as they are around (the aroma from these muffins filled my kitchen for days and it was gorgeous!) but if you slice a muffin in half, toast it slightly and add some Earth Balance spread you will be so glad you held back the urge to eat them all right out of the oven that you will write to me and thank me for the tip! Or maybe you'll just enjoy your toasty taste of pumpkin muffiny goodness and thank Isa Chandra Moskovitz for her great recipe. That works too.

I used cupcake liners just to keep clean-up easier,
you could just plop the batter into the pan directly if you wanted to,
just a matter of choice here.

The tops are crunchy, the insides are moist. What more could you ask from a delicious muffin?

Boiled Peanuts

I'm an East Coast Northerner. I have eaten peanuts my entire life, roasted, as peanut butter, as peanut sauce in various cuisines, as a perfect addition to chocolate but I have never eaten boiled peanuts. Until now.

I have heard of boiled peanuts, but until trying them for myself I had no idea how unbelieveably addictive they could be. Oh man, oh man these are delish!
They are heavily salted, and the boiling makes them very soft. You simply peel the softened shells open and eat the peas.

According to the bag my friend brought me on his recent visit, these boiled goobers are "country caviar". Not only country caviar, but totally vegan caviar as well!

It's hard to describe the flavor. They don't really taste peanutty, but there is a familiar legume/nut taste and there is almost a boiled potato mouth feel.

I'm told these are available all over the southern states, for us northern folk it's a rarity. If you have any friends in the south, or if you travel below the Mason-Dixon line - look for these tasty treats. But I cannot be responsible if you become addicted!