29 March 2011

The Best Coffee in the World

Here's a little note to let you know that the best coffee in the world, Peet's Burundi, is back for a limited time, online only. I'm not just saying it's the best because we lived there and I'm happy when Burundi has great economic opportunities. This really is great-tasting coffee.

Image from Peets.com. I was not compensated in any way for this post. Product was purchased by me for personal consumption.

21 March 2011

banana date muffins with coconut oil

I'm in love with coconut oil. I'd been hearing about its magical properties in the removal of Holi paints and this morning as I was rubbing it on Muffin's head, hungry from the toasted coconut smell, I started wondering how I can cook with it. I was going to make banana bread today anyway... could I replace the butter with coconut oil?

Before answering that question, I had to make sure the coconut oil I used was marked "edible." Coconut oil is used in women's hair here and the hair oil is a different grade than the cooking oil.

I pulled out my trusty Pamela's baking mix and got to work.

4 tablespoons coconut oil
2 eggs
1 3/4 cups Pamela's baking mix
1 teaspoon salt
1/2 cup golden syrup (You can also use granulated sugar or honey, but golden syrup is another new obsession of mine.)
1 teaspoon vanilla
1 cup ripe, mashed banana
1/2 cup chopped dates (You can substitute nuts or another dried fruit if you prefer.)

Mix it all up and spoon into oiled or paper-lined muffin tins. Bake at 350 F / 175 C for about fifteen minutes, until edges start to turn golden and a toothpick comes out clean. My yield was about fifteen muffins, but the muffin papers I've found here a a bit smaller than the usual ones found in the United States.

These were soft and tasty-warm-delicious right out of the oven, and they kept their softness and moisture for a couple days. They are oh-so-yummy, rich with the coconut and banana flavors. I'd love to try dried mango for a full-on tropical muffin.

The answer is yes, I can replace butter with coconut oil, at least in this recipe.

Muffin enjoys her muffin.

(Recipe modified from the banana loaf recipe found on the Pamela's baking mix package.)

14 March 2011


Today my driver pulled over to buy some bananas and he asked if I'd ever eaten jackfruit. I hadn't, and as he excitedly negotiated a price for some bananas and jackfruit, because jackfruit is so great I just had to try it, I wondered if jackfruit was the big, ugly spiny melon that was sitting on the cart covered in flies.

It was. But to my relief the vendor pulled out a plastic bag filled with what looked like large, yellow unpeeled garlic cloves. They smelled good, like pineapple. They looked pretty clean. My driver advised me to eat a little of the flesh, peeling it off the large seed on the inside.

Yum! Imagine a pineapple, only sweeter and with less annoying juice and fewer annoying fibers. I gave a tiny bit to Muffin and her head nearly exploded from yumminess. I only ate one pod, thinking it was best to wash the rest before eating them. I'm trying to save some for Mike to try, but it's just too sweet and delicious. I'm popping them like candy corns. 

Jackfruit has vitamins and stuff, and some of the less-sweet flesh is used as a carbohydrate source. People make jams and chutneys out of it and dry it out for chips. I'm just going to be eating it from now until it goes out of season. I can go buy one every day if I want to! I'm thinking they'd be a great addition to my smoothies.

Find more information at Jackfruit Basics. Image from Jackfruit Basics.

07 March 2011

At the Steak House

Yes, you heard me correctly. Steak in Hyderabad. Tender, juicy, perfectly seasoned grilled tenderloin. Decent, and even passable, steak is difficult to find here. Hindus and Muslims don't eat a lot of beef and the cows aren't raised for eating purposes. The few times we've bought beef to roast or grill ourselves it's been tough and no amount of pounding or marinating has made it tender enough to be enjoyable. And for some reason I always think of buying a steak for Friday night dinner, but you can't buy beef on Fridays (all the Muslim butcher shops are closed).

Since we arrived our driver has been pointing out Chef Inam's Steak House to me every time we pass it and one night Mike and our neighbor stopped there on the way home from work to pick up some take-away. Mike met Chef Inam, tried the steak, and has been insisting we get back there right away. Inam lived in the United States and took culinary classes at Johnson and Whales (Yay Rhode Island!) and has brought his American steak-grilling skills back to India. On Friday night I packed up Muffin, we went to pick up Mike at work, and we went at Chef Inam's for a steak.

This is not a steak house like you'll find in the United States and I can see why so many expats get their steak for take-away. It's a little hole-in-the-wall with a couple tables and plastic chairs. Inam grills on the street in front of the facade. There's a cooler full of sodas and water. It's a dive. But we pulled out our hand sanitizer and ate there anyway.

It was worth it. Mike got a French-style peppercorn-encrusted steak and I had what Inam calls his Boston steak, covered with herbs and English mustard. They were perfectly cooked (rare for Mike, medium rare for me), tender, and deliciously seasoned.

We took Muffin outside to watch the grilling. She was fascinated. We even gave her a few bits of meat to chew on. She loved it until she got a peppercorn. She was getting tired by then, so instead of her spitting-out yucky face, she screamed. Luckily the place was getting full of men talking and laughing loudly so no one else could hear her. We paid the bill and made a quick getaway.

Speaking of the bill, the steaks were about five or six dollars each and the serving was big enough to fill Mike and for me to eat half and bring the rest home.

Don't let Muffin's reaction deter you from Chef Inam's Steak House. She's just a baby. And we're the stupid parents who gave her spicy peppercorns, then stopped to take a picture of it.

Cross-posted from Where in the World Am I?

06 March 2011

almond meal and other gluten-free monthly specials at bob's red mill

Almond meal is great for baking with. It adds a little something special to muffins, quick breads, and pancakes. I also use it in brownies. I'm not saying brownies are health food, but a little almond meal will give you a boost of healthy fats, vitamins, and fiber.

This month at Bob's Red Mill almond meal, rice bran, hemp seeds, chia seeds, raw shelled sunflower seeds, and brown flaxseeds are on sale. They are all part of a fiber-rich, heart-healthy diet and they are all 20% off this month.

Note that not all products on the specials page are gluten-free and not all products are processed in Bob's strictly gluten-free facility. Read product descriptions carefully for making informed decisions.

*I was not compensated in any way for this post. Products are purchased by me for personal consumption.

roland quinoa and other grains on sale at amazon.com

I love quinoa. It's the supergrain that the Aztecs warriors ate. It's packed with protein and for the pregnant ladies it's a good source of folic acid. Roland quinoa, along with polenta and rice, is on sale from Amazon.com. Throughout the month of March, select Roland products are 15% off with the coupon code ROLAN655. You'll save an additional 15% if you sign up for Subscribe & Save.

Note that not every product on this page is gluten-free, so read descriptions carefully.

*I am an Amazon affiliate. If you purchase from these links or from my store, I will receive a small kickback.

udi's gluten-free granola on sale at amazon.com

Granola is not always gluten-free. You have to make sure it's made from oats that haven't been contaminated and make sure the dried fruit hasn't been dusted with wheat flour. Here comes Udi's to the rescue. It's great with milk or yogurt or baked into muffins. Throughout the month of March, Amazon.com Groceries has select Udi's granola on sale for 15% off when you use the code UDISO3II at checkout. You can save an additional 15% with subscribe & save.

Note that not every Udi's product is gluten-free, so read the descriptions carefully.

*I am an Amazon affiliate. If you purchase from these links or from my store, I will receive a small kickback.



Related Posts with Thumbnails