Hey there, stranger!
How you doin? ;)
Sorry it’s been so long; I had an unexpected allergy attack these last few days, and fighting through a busy week at the office, I’ve barely had enough energy to come home and cook for myself – let alone anything new for the blog.
Ahh, springtime in Tennessee…gotta love it.
Yesterday I went to the new house and fell asleep in the living room while Ziv painted window trim. He loves it when I come over after work to “help.” Heh.
Speaking of the living room, I’d say it’s coming along nicely, wouldn’t you agree?
that. couch. is. so. comfortable.
Havertys. Yes please. I don’t think I even need a bed. Yeah, screw the bed. I’ll be just fine sleeping on the couch, thankyouverymuch.
Anyway, back to the matter at hand.
I have this problem.
I can’t bake to save my life.
I mean, I kind of can. I have, but the result has never been great. Definitely nothing to write home about.
I don’t know what is wrong with me, but by the sheer looks of things, you would think I failed chemistry miserably. I obviously don’t understand how to make cupcakes, muffins or breads.
Ok, I haven’t tried the breads yet, but I was going to.
After the muffins.
The poor, pathetic, banana-nut muffins.
Errrrrrr…… They went in so nicely.
They started rising so perfectly. I was super excited when the house started smelling like fresh baked muffins…
SUPER excited. Let me reiterate – SUPER EXCITED.
And then, I took them out of the oven, only to find a pudding-like substance at the bottom of the wrapper. This is not good people. not. good.
So, back in they went…for another 3 minutes (wishful thinking, I know.)
And another 10…
Nope…much to my dismay, I realized, this just isn’t going to happen.
I even had a pretty little set-up going on. I took test shots – perfect!
The lighting was great, the colors were fantastic, the simplicity was divine. All I needed was for the recipe to turn out!
Close, but no dice.
The muffin tops? They were edible. I think Ziv ate every last one.
Seattle’s Favorite sells gourmet muffin tops… Maybe I should give them a call. If I never improve my baking skills, I could quite possibly end up rich selling half-baked pastries.
Now that you’re giving me the I don’t trust her anymore side-eye, let’s move on. I am a little disheartened and gun-shy anyway, so we will leave the topic of baking alone for a while. Let me get settled in the new house, and we’ll take another crack at it.
I’ll try to hold the drool back while I finish this post. It’s past suppertime on a Friday night, and I haven’t eaten yet…things could get weird around here…
Today, I share with you my twist on the the classic falafel.
I absolutely LOVE falafels, and as many of you know, I am a HUGE fan of the chickpea.
However, once upon a time there was a girl…who so badly craved a falafel salad…but alas, she didn’t have enough canned garbanzo beans in the cupboard, and none soaking, ready to be made. It was a sad, sad day for the girl. Until she remembered eating a black bean falafel at a local restaurant in town… How hard can that be to replicate, she thought?
Well folks, as luck would have it, not hard at all. The simplest of ingredients yielded me the perfect black bean falafel – to which I added my homemade taco seasoning to spice things up a bit. It was delicious. I think I actually groaned when I took the first bite.
Yeah, they were that good.
Regarding the taco seasoning, it’s super simple; all you need is a blender and less than 10 spices (that, chances are, you already have in your cupboard) to make it. So, do not fret, my friends.
I read the label on a package of taco seasoning mix the other day… I mean, “maltodextrin, silicon dioxide, ethoxyquin?” What? Are we trying to fuel a rocket ship with this stuff? Uhh, no. I think I’ll make my own, thanks.
This mixture made about 3 tablespoons. Store it in an airtight jar or container until ready to use :)
- 1.5 cups cooked black beans (or 1 15-ounce can)
- 1/2 - 1 Tbsp. taco seasoning mix, or to taste
- 4 Tbsp. Bread crumbs
- 2 Tbsp. water
- 1 Tbsp. safflower seed oil.
- Make sure black beans are dry. If not, spread them out in a thin layer on a piece of paper towel. Take another piece of paper-towel and roll (gently) in an upwards motion against the beans until they are dry to the touch.
- Place beans in a medium-sized mixing bowl.
- Mash together, leaving 15-25% texture.
- Once beans are mashed, add in taco seasoning mix and bread crumbs.
- In stages, add water (as necessary) to achieve desired consistency.
- Shape into small balls, then pat into patties (recipe will yield approximately 4-5 "falafel" sized patties.)
- Warm safflower seed oil in a saucepan over medium heat.
- Fry flafel patties for about 60 seconds on each side, or until desired temperature is achieved.
- Serve over a spinach salad, or in pita's for a more "traditional" falafel.
- I added a huge glob of hummus on each patty, you know, for good measure ;)
- 1 tablespoon chili powder
- 1/2 teaspoon garlic powder
- 1/4 teaspoon onion powder
- 1/4 teaspoon crushed red pepper flakes
- 1/2 teaspoon dried oregano
- 1/2 teaspoon paprika
- 1 1/2 teaspoons ground cumin
- 1 teaspoon sea salt
- 1 teaspoon black pepper
- Mix together all ingredients in a high-speed blender. Store in an airtight container until ready to use.
Happy weekend everyone! I will apologize in advance for the sporadic posts during the month of May; we are finishing up last-minute renovations and are still in the process of moving.
In case you’re morbidly curious, here is a sneak peak at the kitchen reno :)
Anyway, yours truly is off to Wordcamp Nashville tomorrow. I am super excited, and hopefully, will come back with a bunch of new tips & tricks regarding using WP.
Now, would someone come clean my kitchen? Pretty please?
I will give you a falafel ;)