October 18, 2011

Chai Tea Cupcakes

There are so many recipes I want to post, and so little time. However, I thought I could squeak this one up here, since I found time to bake a batch of these before going to work today. It was also a good excuse to use my new mini muffin tin, they are so adorable! Plus, you can have more than just one :-) These little cupcakes are delicious on their own without frosting, or you can be decadent and frost with chai cream cheese frosting. They remind me of my favorite drink from Peet's Coffee - chai latte with two pumps of chocolate!

What's in them
1 C flour (can use half unbleached, half whole wheat)
1/4 C cocoa powder (unsweetened)
1/4 C instant chai tea powder (Trader Joe's has it)
1 tsp baking powder
1/4 tsp salt
1/2 C melted butter (1 stick)
3/4 C sugar
2 eggs
1/3 C milk
1/2 tsp vanilla

How it's made
Pre-heat oven to 350 degrees. Line mini muffin pan with paper liners.
In a small mixing bowl, whisk together first 5 ingredients (all dry ingredients). Set aside.
In a large mixing bowl, cream together sugar and butter, at least a minute, until white and fluffy. Add eggs then milk and vanilla.
Slowly add dry ingredients to wet and mix until just combined.
Spoon batter into muffin tin, about a tablespoon each - don't be afraid to fill until just the top. Bake 12-15 minutes until a toothpick inserted comes out clean or with just a couple crumbs. Cool on rack. Frost if desired.

Optional frosting:
Cream together 3/4 C soft cream cheese, 1/4 C chai powder, 1/4C powder sugar. Use cocoa powder for garnish if desired.

October 8, 2011

Still the Best Oatmeal

Teaching fifth grade is exhausting. And time consuming. I don't have much time left over to cook, let alone post blogs. Besides all that, my best friend and (RFL's co-creator) got married (!), so as you can imagine, we've been a little preoccupied.

I still make oatmeal every day, though, and I still think this is the best way to do it. SO, now that the weather is getting cooler, I wanted to re-post and update this recipe with the hope that you will give it a try sooner or later. I swear by it.

Thanks for your patience. I hope to be back in the kitchen soon!

I don't know about you, but I love oatmeal. I eat it nearly every day. It's so warm and comforting and delicious. It's the perfect winter-morning breakfast.

Before this, I'd always made my oatmeal the same way. The standard way. Old fashioned rolled oats, stirred into boiling water, cook, add toppings. It's good that way, and why mess with a good thing?

Well, one day last fall I came across a food blog that suggested something that sounded insane--adding a raw EGG to the cooked oatmeal. WHAT?! It sounds crazy. I imagined scrambled egg mixed into my oatmeal and got a little freaked out.

But, wait a minute! She assured her readers that this was not so. When you quickly stir the egg into your oatmeal, it disappears. It's not eggy. In fact, the egg makes your oatmeal into the creamiest, richest oatmeal ever. It becomes divinely custardy and, with the added protein, even more sustaining for a day of playing in the snow...or going to work.

I know you are probably skeptical. It took me three or four months from the time I read about this oatmeal to the day I finally decided to try it. Hopefully it won't take you that long.

But, even if it takes you until next fall---try this one day. I bet you'll never go back.

Creamiest Oatmeal Ever
  • 1/2 cup water
  • 1/2 cup unsweetened vanilla almond milk
  • 1/2 cup old fashioned rolled oats
  • 1 egg
  • Vanilla extract
  • Cinnamon
  • Toppings: brown sugar, nuts, blueberries, banana, etc
  1. Bring water/milk (add sugar/spices to taste--optional) to a gentle boil. Stir in oats. Return to a boil, then reduce heat medium-low. Cook for about 5 minutes, or until most of the liquid is absorbed, stirring occasionally. Add a splash of vanilla extract and a dash of cinnamon; stir.
  2. Remove oatmeal from heat. In a small bowl, scramble an egg. Stir a spoonful of oatmeal into the egg (to temper it).  Add egg mixture to oatmeal and rapidly stir for about a minute. The egg will mix in completely and turn your oatmeal fluffier and creamier. Return oatmeal to heat for a minute or so.
  3. Stir again and pour into a bowl. Top with brown sugar, sliced banana, blueberries, etc. Enjoy immediately.
Serves 1

    Add vanilla and cinnamon, then add one mashed banana--the kind that have turned extra ripe/brown that you keep in the freezer for banana bread. (Defrost it first in the microwave.) After everything is mixed in and hot again, take the oatmeal off the heat and add the egg. Serve with brown sugar and pecans. Mark said it was the best oatmeal he's ever had!