Tuesday, June 9, 2015

Experiment #79: Tarragon Chicken Salad

I have purchased something like this rough recipe before and my son loves it.  The anise flavor from the tarragon, the slight bite of red onion, and the sweetness from the red grapes.  I love the combination.  

I had a lot of chicken breast leftover from the weekend and decided to try. I have fresh tarragon growing in my garden, which I haven't used.  

Tarragon Chicken Salad
One large roasted chicken breast, cut into large cubes, about 1 1/2 cups
A handful of red grapes, cut in half
A dollop of mayonnaise
1 teaspoon Dijon mustard
2 tablespoons red onion, chopped fine
Salt and pepper to taste

Mix everything together and adjust to taste. 

The Results
I enjoyed this chicken salad on a slice of toasted bread as an open faced sandwich. My son even liked it.  I would definitely make this again. Oops. I forgot that I wanted to add chopped celery. I will have to do that next time. 

Monday, June 1, 2015

Revisiting Experiment #33: Carrot Cake Muffins

I was making these carrot cake muffins for my little one's first birthday and decided that I should tweak it a bit more.  I substituted applesauce for half of the oil to reduce the fat in the recipe.  The idea for this substitution comes from the last time I made this recipe was for my husband's birthday in February and I was surprised that there was so much oil.  That was all I changed this time around.  Oh, I didn't have an orange to grate orange zest on top this time, but I liked it last time if you care to add a bit of freshness at the end.

I should note that if you want to make a cake from this recipe you should double it because it makes a very short cake, like a 1 inch tall 10 inch cake .  That's what I made back in February.  I baked the cake in a springform pan and it was decidedly small.  A delightful double layer carrot cake would definitely require a double batch!

Carrot Cake Muffins adapted from Martha Stewarts Carrot-Cake Mini Cupcake recipe
Makes 11 muffins
3/4 cup whole wheat flour
3/4 cup white flour
1 teaspoon baking powder
1 teaspoon ground cinnamon
1/2 teaspoon baking soda
1/2 teaspoon kosher salt
1/4 cup brown sugar
2 large eggs
1/4 cup sunflower oil
1/4 cup unsweetened applesauce
1/4 cup buttermilk
1/2 teaspoon vanilla extract
1 1/2 cups grated carrot

Preheat oven to 350 F.

In a large bowl, whisk together flours, cinnamon, baking powder, baking soda and salt.

In another bowl, mix together the wet ingredients: sugar, eggs, oil, applesauce, buttermilk, and vanilla until combined.

Add wet ingredients into the flour mixture and mix just until combined.  Stir in the grated carrot just until combined. It's pretty thick batter. Perhaps because it's half whole wheat?

Place muffin liners in muffin pan and add batter to each muffin cup.  I used an ice cream scoop so that they would be uniform.

Bake until a cake tester comes out clean.  It took my oven about 18 to 20 minutes, but always make sure not to overbake your cakes.  Check them around 18 minutes.  Overbaked cakes are dry and not delicious!

I made cream cheese frosting for these cupcakes using organic cream cheese, organic powdered sugar and a splash of vanilla extract. (8 oz. cream cheese, 2 tablespoons powdered sugar and a splash of vanilla).

The cupcakes turned out perfect. Slightly sweet and very moist with the addition of applesauce and less oily! I would definitely make these again.