Was it Worth it: Is Julia’s banana bread really the best?

Julia's Best Banana Bread

  • The Background: My love for cooking magazines is well-known so it’s no surprise that this recipe is straight from Bon Appetit (March 2013). What might actually surprise you is that my fellow-blogger Liz from Food For Fun/deLizious food communications beat me to making it! Her post/recipe review, found here, is what inspired me to make this banana bread immediately instead of letting the recipe get buried in my pile of things to make “someday.”

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Was it Worth it: Can candied orange peel brighten up granola?

Granola with Almonds, Dried Cherries and Candied Orange Peels

  • The Background: It seems silly to do a long post about granola — lots of people make it and it’s so versatile that any recipe you have can be tweaked one way or another depending on your personal taste. And yet, this recipe in particular called out for me to do a post about it. Why? Because of this ingredient: candied orange peel.

I not only love homemade candied citrus peels, but I happen to have some leftover from Christmas and had never thought to use them in granola. It seemed like such a stroke of genius, though I was worried the candied part might make the granola too sweet. Thus, the recipe needed testing!

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Was it Worth it: Are mini corn muffins bite-sized bliss?

Buttermilk Corn Muffins

Mini Buttermilk Corn Muffins

  • The Source: Bon Appetit July 2010
  • The Menu: Mini Buttermilk Corn Muffins (to accompany a lovely beef stew)
  • Ingredient Swap: I detest dill so I used minced green onions in its place. I also used frozen corn instead of fresh.
  • The Background: These muffins happened about a week ago, mainly because I happened to have a ton of buttermilk in my fridge. This recipe hardly made a dent in it, but at least it helped a little. It was also a recipe that has been kicking around in my binder for a few years so it seemed like a good time to *finally* make them! Continue reading

Was it Worth it? Citrus Muffins with Poppyseed Streusel

Lemon Poppyseed Muffin

  • The Source: Cooking Light November 2005
  • The Menu: Sour Cream Muffins with Poppyseed Streusel *only adaptation was a lemon instead of an orange for the zest.
  • The Background: I wanted to bake something tasty to bring in to my co-workers. I was debating between a few coffee cake recipes but then I saw this one in my binder and thought it sounded delicious. It was also from Cooking Light so at least it would keep to my “trying to eat healthy” pledge. This pledge is constantly being broken by copious amounts of foie gras, pork belly and beer. I was also very intrigued by the idea of a poppyseed streusel instead of just having the seeds in the muffin.
  • How It Looked Pre-Baked:


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Was it Worth it? Pinto Bean and (not) Turkey Chili

  • The Source: Food & Wine February 2012
  • The Menu: Turkey-and-Pinto Bean Chili *only adaptation was using lean ground beef instead of turkey. This is actually the opposite of my MO. I am constantly substituting turkey for other ground meats, but strangely this time I had fresh ground beef on hand.
  • The Background: It was 75 degrees outside — which seems crazy considering it’s October in Portland. But regardless, there were enough leaves on the ground and candy corn in the stores to make it seem like Chili Season!
  • How It Looked Naked: 

Pretty as a Picture

  • How It Looked Dressed:

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Let Them Eat Cake …for breakfast

Was It Worth It? Trying out magazine recipes so you don’t have to!

  • The Source: Bon Appetit September 2012
  • The Cook: Just me…with the “help” of one fluffy kitty
  • The Menu:  Old-fashioned blueberry coffee cake 
  • The Background: I’ve been on a bit of a baking kick lately. Since we’d had a break from scorching hot weather, it seemed like a great time to turn on the old oven. High off my success with blueberry baked oatmeal, I decided to try out another blueberry recipe and this one sounded too good to pass up.
  • The Beginning:

This should also be called: where I messed it all up.

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