Wednesday, December 31, 2008

Restaurant Review: Gypsy at Red

As you might have read yesterday, December 29 is my SIL's birthday, and she wanted to eat at up at one of the ski hill's hot spots, the Gypsy at Red. There have been other incarnations of the Gypsy, but they all pre-dated my arrival back home in July 2006 so I missed them. They are fondly remembered by locals, however, so I was looking forward to sampling the fare.

The dining room is a warm place with wood and stone accents, big windows, and a nice, huge gas fireplace. The staff was excellent.

The menu looked fabulous, especially the tapas. I was on a budget, however, and I spent the time waiting for all the guests to arrive vacillating about what to have for dinner. Should I have a starter or not? Drink or not? Cheapest thing on the menu and splurge or not? Etc. Eventually, when it came time to order, I chose one of the soups on offer, which was mushroom, because I was cold (the guests were blocking the heat from the fireplace!) and the chicken, prosciutto and spinach linguine in a rich 3 cheese cream sauce for $20. This was the cheapest thing on the menu. Then I found out my dad was paying for my dinner! So, I ordered a cranberry & sprite.

The soup came to me luke warm and so I sent it back. When it returned it was so piping hot I burned my tongue, but I am not complaining! It was a really tasty mushroom soup with a nice texture and woodsy flavour.

I was expecting my main course to be small, but was pleasantly surprised to find that it was a really big portion of pasta and it was totally delicious. And rich - just as the description on the menu said it would be. My brother had the cannelloni, which he loved.

My SIL had the steak coated in a trio of peppercorns and topped with a sherry, wild mushroom & herb sauce (left), and my dad had the bacon and rosemary wrapped pork penderloin with a red wine, shallot, balsamic reduction. Both said their meals were amazing. My SIL's relative had the lamb shanks (right) but I didn't get to speak to her about how she felt about them as she was sitting too far away. My brother took the photo for me.

Finally, a friend of the family had the sweet chilli, cilantro & coconut milk poached wild salmon on jasmine rice with fresh vegetables, which looked and smelled wonderful, and, according the the diner, tasted absolutely yummy.

So, it was a fabulous meal in the end.

Except for one thing, which I'm sad to report: I got really sick after eating there. I had the worst upset stomach I've had in a long time - and I have IBS so I get really bad stomach upset often enough. This was bad bad... It lasted for about 24 hours, and when I went over to my brother and SIL's place last night I mentioned this to Shan, and she reported to me that a friend of theirs who'd had the same pasta dish I did had a really upset tummy, too, and that his girlfriend, who'd had the salmon but whom I saw sampling from his plate of pasta also had stomach upset. So, that's three of us who had the chicken linguine and had nasty GI problems afterwards. I was the only one who had the mushroom soup, so the only commonality is the chicken linguine. I'm not sure what to think as this place has an excellent reputation and nothing tasted or smelled off (though that doesn't matter), but man was I in a lot of discomfort after this meal. Will I go back, is the question. I don't know. No one else reported any ill effects from their meal, and I think it was only me and this one other guy who'd ordered the linguine.

Anyways...not a nice thing to report, and I struggled with whether to blog about it at all, but I think it was a worthwhile thing to say in the end. I don't like candy-coating my reviews and I didn't want to be disingenuous about my experience that night. While the food and service was excellent, I'm going to think twice about going back to the Gypsy at Red.

Tuesday, December 30, 2008

Carrot Bundt Cake

Just a short, quick post today. My SIL's birthday was last night and the night before I got a last-minute request to bake a cake for her. She loves carrot cake with cream cheese icing. I got a new bundt pan for Christmas and decided to try it out.

The batter was really thick and the cake turned out a bit crusty on the outside, but was otherwise a hit. The cream cheese glaze was yummy and looked really nice. The bundt pan was great; the cake came out really easily and baked evenly - excellent!

Recipe here. I winged the glaze a bit, using milk instead of milk powder, more vanilla and way less powdered sugar, and skipped the cream of tartar. I drizzled on the glaze after the cake was cooled rather than when it was still warm.

Monday, December 29, 2008

Magazine Monday #22: Oatmeal Flax Bread

The Christmas baking frenzy is over, so it's back to "normal" foodblogging. Here is a recipe from, again, Canadian Living. I make way more bread than what I post here, but I typically make the same one, that being the no-knead bread from this post. But, I didn't want to wait a day for my dough to do its thing so I made this recipe from the November 2003 issue (I highly suspect that the recipe isn't available on the CL web site because it has been included in their new cookbook - totally annoying). I've made this recipe several times and it always turns out great, but when I went to bake this I realized too late that I didn't have enough flax seeds! So I substituted with some flax meal instead. Also, I halved the recipe because I didn't need two loaves, and I omitted the oat bran as I never have any on hand.

Oatmeal Flax Bread

5 1/2 cups whole wheat flour
2 cups white flour
1 1/2 cups oats
1 cup flax seeds
1/3 cup packed brown sugar
4 tsp quick rising or instant yeast
1 tbsp salt
3 1/4 cups warm water
1/3 cup butter, melted
1 cup oat bran

Instructions here.


Friday, December 26, 2008

Christmas Day 2008

What a day! Looking back, it was quite a blur, but, of course, filled with great food from start to stop!

To begin with, the traditional Eggs Benny, made by moi with homemade English muffins, and double-smoked bacon that my dad got from a local butcher. Of course, we consumed this after digging into some goodies left over from the night before, which is the best part of Christmas for me.

Then came the big meal - dinner at my SIL's parents' place with about 20 people in attendance. This is always an enormous spread and always fabulicious, including turkey (this year they cooked two), ham, someone's famous stuffing, and all the other fixings you could imagine.

The turkeys were free range and purchased at a turkey farm in Keremeos, and it was totally succulent. The ham was also wonderful, and I'm hoping to get the bone out of it after it's been stripped of all its meat. In the end, however, we only consumed one of the turkeys, so someone is going to have a lot of leftovers for a long time.

My SIL's mom made mashed potatoes (not my favourite thing at all) and a yam & apple dish that I also didn't partake in (not a fan of yams, either), but my SIL did borrow my Brussels sprouts recipe from Solstice and made it using prosciutto instead. It was a big hit and turned out wonderfully. We also had a huge salad, buns, loads of gravy, and green beans. Everyone was so stuffed!

For dessert, my SIL's aunt brought a homemade plum pudding that she served with what she called "hard sauce". I would describe this as icing, really, and had never heard of the term "hard sauce" before. She even poured brandy over it and lit it up, covering the pudding in blue flame. I couldn't get a picture off before it went out, though! Ah well. I don't care for plum pudding, but there were other options. A couple of us brought tins of our own home baking, and so there were plenty of cookies and squares to munch on instead of plum pudding.

And of course, there was lots to drink, lots of booze, and lots of great fellowship!

I hope eveyone had a similarly wonderful day!

Wednesday, December 24, 2008

Christmas Eve Steak & Kidney Pie, And General Feasting

Can we all say eeeeeeeewwwwwwww!

I was going to regale you with the tale of my making a fancy, Black Forest Yule Log for my dad's birthday tonight, but the cake didn't turn out and I've had to resort to plan B - a pretty plain, rectangular chocolate cake. I'm pretty peeved that my roulade didn't work out, but luckily I had enough ingredients left over to make the second cake.

So, instead of sharing the story that never was with you, I'll now share with you one of my family's Christmas Eve traditions: steak and kidney pie for my dad's Christmas Eve birthday.

My dad's a Brit and really proud of it, and steak & kid is his like favouritest meal ever. When we were kids and all living under the same roof, my mom usually made my dad a steak & kid pie from scratch for his birthday. She went to the local butcher's and got a kidney, and then put it in the dishpan, in the sink, to soak. To this day, one of my clearest memories of Christmas Eve day is walking into the kitchen to get a glass of water or whatever and seeing a kidney soaking in the sink, oozing it's fluids into the water. It was disgusting.

None of us kids ate the pie. It stank and it was gross, and we got hot dogs. But my dad was in heaven.

Since growing up and moving on, I know my dad has made himself some steak & kidney pies, but none that I can recall recently. In 2005, when I was home for Christmas for the first time in 7 years, someone at my work gave me some steak & kidney filling for a pie, and I made some pastry and served it up. Ah, the smell! What memories! Ew! I even wrote a post about it here.

This year, my SIL is going to the great effort to make Dad his steak & kidney pie. She got a kidney from the local butcher. She made a steak filling using:

1 soup bone
1 eye of the round roast
1 porterhouse steak
1 can guiness
carrots, onions, garlic
Worcestershire Sauce
salt & pepper

This part smelled and tasted just great. After this had cooked for a while, Shan set aside some of the steak filling for my brother so he could have a steak pie, then she added the kidney to the mixture. She slung the whole thing in my slow cooker and put it on in the back room, where there is a door between it and the kitchen and a decent draft to help reduce the stench of cooking kidneys.

Because cooking kidneys - and I am not exaggerating - smell like ass.

Apparently, they didn't smell too badly (I didn't hang around to verify this for myself), and they sure looked pretty. Shan made the pastry herself, too, putting the first initial of my dad & brother's name on the top to tell the two pies apart. Here is the final result:

Pretty nice, huh? My dad was very impressed and enjoyed every last morsel!

As for the rest of us, we had to make do with Shan's homemade chicken cordon bleu, twice stuffed potatoes, roasted cauliflower, broccoli & cheese sauce, and salad. The cake, though not up to my usual standards, was edible and everyone enjoyed it except me. Here are some photos of the rest of the feast.

Twice baked potatoes on the left, and broccoli on the right.

Chicken cordon bleu on left, roasted cauliflower with garlic chips on the right.

And that concludes this year's Christmas Eve/Dad's birthday for this year.

I hope eveyone has a wonderful and safe Christmas, however you celebrate!

Chocolate Hazelnut Biscotti

In keeping with this year's movement towards homemade gifts and giving food as gifts, I made these as a gift for my SIL's parents, C&R, who have always been very good to me. They have the hazelnut tree I cleaned off for them in the fall, and I thought it would be a nice touch to put some of their own hazelnuts in these cookies. This recipe is from culinary school and the original is pretty generic, allowing for many variations - one of which is this one. The measurements are mainly in weights, so you'll need a scale.

Chocolate Hazelnut Biscotti

85g butter
185g sugar
2 eggs
2tsp vanilla
300g flour
50g cocoa powder, sifted
1 1/2 tsp baking powder
1 pinch salt
70g chopped toasted hazelnuts
chocolate chips, melted, to drizzle over the top
additional chopped toasted hazelnuts, to sprinkle on the top

Cream butter & sugar. Add eggs, one at a time, then vanilla. Add the dry ingredients.

Knead the dough lightly and pat into a "half moon" shape for even cooking, about 3/4" thick. (I found this the most difficult part of the process. I hadn't actually made biscotti since culinary school, so we're talking nigh on four years hear. I can't remember how we shaped the dough, so I winged it and it eventually worked out in the end. The "half moon" thing is a little deceiving; what that means is rounded sides and a slightly rounded top.)

Bake at 350F for about 20 minutes, or until the top is firm to the touch, dry and cracked-looking. Remove from the oven and cool slightly. Slice with a serrated knife, and then bake again until crisp and dried out - another 20 minutes or so.

Cool completely. Drizzle melted chocolate over the top, then sprinkle on the additional nuts.

These tasted really good: nice and chocolatey but not too sweet. They dried out enough that some pieces broke off as I was slicing them, but they were glued back on with chocolate. I also made these crisp, but not so crisp the recipients might break their teeth on them. They certainly look quite gorgeous and I'm very happy with the results!

I got some cellophane wrap from my local kitchen shop and wrapped the cookies up with a ribbon so they made a nice presentation. I hope C&R love them!

Tuesday, December 23, 2008

It's Here!

After receiving an Amazon gift certificate from an amazing fellow blogger, I ordered myself Baked: New Frontiers in Baking, a book I've been hearing a lot about in the blogosphere. And today, it arrived! Woo-hoo! In looking it over, I cannot wait to start baking! The recipes look tantalizing!

Solstice Feast

I am very pleased to report that Sunday's Solstice feast was a humungous hit with those who attended! As a reminder, here's the menu:

Chicken stuffed with goat cheese & sundried tomatoes and wrapped in prosciutto Caramelized Onion & Brie Bread Pudding
Brussels Sprouts sauteed with pancetta & pine nuts

Green Beans


Tres Leches Cake

This was actually a very easy meal to put together, and the results were stunning! Apart from the bread pudding, here is the complete rundown.

First of all, the chicken. I used boneless, skinless chicken breasts and for the stuffing used1 package of peppercorn goat cheese and to that I added about 6 or so chopped sundried tomatoes. I mixed it all together in a small bowl, then cut a slit in the centre, thickest part of the chicken breasts. Each breast got about 1 tbsp of stuffing. Then, each breast was wrapped in a thin slice of prosciutto and secured with a toothpick. I baked them at 350F for about 40 minutes.

Everyone loved the chicken, which was pretty tasty, I must say. My dad even gave me a wonderful compliment by saying that it tasted like something a fancy restaurant would serve and charge a lot of money for - which was so nice to hear and the highlight of my evening!

I made this recipe up off the cuff and was a little curious about how it would turn out, if the prosciutto would shrink lots or burn, but in the end it turned out fabulously and I'll definitely keep this around.

I also made up the brussels sprouts recipe I used. I love Brussels and I realize they're not everyone's cup of tea. I wanted to do something new and exciting with them because I usually steam them and that's pretty boring. So is a cheese sauce, really. So, I came up with this simple idea.

2lbs Brussels, trimmed and sliced thinly
2 thick (1/2") slices pancetta, diced
1/3 cup pine nuts
2 tbsp olive oil

In a large skillet, fry the pancetta until nice and crisp. Add the pine nuts, and stir until they're just slighly toasted. Add the sprouts and oil and saute until tender and bright green. Voila!

This dish was also a hit, and I even manage to convert one of my diners who previously disliked Brussels sprouts to a new fan. I'd never used pancetta before in any cooking, and I was expecting it to render off way more fat than it actually did. That's what necessitated the addition of some olive oil - the pan was virtually dry when it came time to add the sprouts. The sweetness of the sprouts contrasted well with the saltiness of the pancetta, and the pine nuts added flavour and crunch. Go me! I'm on a roll!

As for the green beans and salad, there's nothing terribly special or important about them, so let's move on to dessert, which was Tres Leches Cake.

I believe I first heard about this South American dessert by doing one of those memes, either this one or this one. I had never had it or even heard of it before, and as I did some research on it, I was really intrigued. The Solstice was a good opportunity to try it out on some discerning eaters. I got the recipe for it from here. Basically, you bake a cake, poke holes in it, then glaze it with a glaze made from three types of milk; the cake soaks up all the glaze, you throw some whipped cream and fruit on top, and there you go.

I made the cake part on Saturday, and it was easy enough, though it did have a lot of eggs in it. I poked holes in it as directed when it came out of the oven. When I put the glaze together, however, I became a little concerned: there was about 5 cups of the stuff and I wasn't sure if I'd followed the recipe correctly because that seemed like an awful lot of liquid for the cake to take on. But, I persisted and followed through. And eventually, the cake soaked up all the liquid in about half an hour or so, so I put it in the fridge overnight.

To serve, I decided to use blueberries I'd bought and frozen at the end of the summer to make a sauce. My brother is a blueberry fiend and he was pretty happy about my choice. Again, I winged the recipe for the sauce, but it's very simple:

3 cups blueberries
zest & juice of 1 lemon
1/3 cup sugar
1/3 cup water
1 tbsp cornstarch mixed with 1 tbsp cold water

Bring the first four ingredients to boil in a medium saucepan, then simmer for about 15 minutes. Add the cornstarch/water mixture and let the sauce bubble until thickened. Set aside to cool slightly or allow it go completely cold, depending on what you're going to do with it. In my case, I wanted it room temperature for the cake, which I also served with whipped cream (I didn't ice the cake with whipped cream because I did anticipate having leftovers and whipped cream doesn't do well left around for a long time).

Everyone totally enjoyed this, but we all agreed that it was very rich. I was back and forth about how I felt about it: I wasn't keen on the texture of the cake, but the flavour was good. The sauce was excellent. The novelty of it was pretty cool and it was a good experiment. I think if I were to do this again, I might find a different recipe that had a lighter cake and less glaze.

So there you have it. It was a spectacular meal and everyone left the table very, very full but very, very happy.

I have two more big meals coming up this week, three if you count Christmas Day breakfast. I'm looking forward to them!

Monday, December 22, 2008

Magazine Monday #21: Caramelized Onion & Brie Bread Pudding

Yesterday was Solstice, and, as I mentioned, I made a big meal - the results of which you'll see on this blog upcoming this week. I wanted to to a side dish/starch that was different from potatoes (I'm not the biggest fan), rice, or noodles, and I've been carting this recipe from Canadian Living's November 2005 issue around for ages (for some reason, it's not in the CL online recipe database...). This was the perfect opportunity to use it!

Caramelized Onion & Brie Bread Pudding

2 tbsp butter
3 onions, thinly sliced (I did so in a food processor)
1 tbsp balsamic vinegar or wine vinegar
1 tbsp liquid honey
1 tsp dried thyme
5 cups cubed day old baguette
1 cup diced Brie cheese
6 eggs
1 cup each 10% cream and milk
1/2 tsp each ground nutmeg, salt & pepper

1. In a large skillet, melt butter over medium heat. Fry onions, stirring often, until deep golden brown, about 25 minutes. Stir in vinegar, honey, and thyme.

2. In a large bowl, toss together bread, cheese, and onion mixture. Spoon into shallow, greased 8-cup gratin dish.

3. In a bowl, whisk together eggs, cream, milk, nutmeg, salt & pepper; pour over bread mixture and press. Let stand until liquid is absorbed, about 20 minutes.

4. Bake at 350F until crisp, browned, and knife inserted in centre comes out clean, about 45 minutes.

This was an enormous hit at dinner! Everyone was totally in love with this dish, and I have to say that it was my favourite part of last night's meal. This recipe is a definite keeper!

Next week is the last week I'll be hosting MM, so if you have a recipe, please let me know and I'll put up a link.

Full Flickr set with Solstice meal pictures can be seen here.

Saturday, December 20, 2008

It's Time!

Cross-posted here.
So, it's December 20, five days till Xmas, three big meals ahead of me in the next five days... It's officially "Party in My Mouth Time!" The name comes from Dr. Phil, who in a few weight-related episodes of his show, has used the phase "party in your mouth" to describe the overeating habits of some of his guests. As in (paraphrasing here) "You're medicating yourself with food! You're sitting down with your Funyuns and Ho-hos and having yourself a party in your mouth!"

I rarely have parties in my mouth of the scale some people do, the closest thing being PMS time when I'd kill a group of school children to get some chocolate or salt into my system. But those are brief interludes on a small scale.

I loved Dr. Phil's term so much I decided to appropriate it for my own purposes several years ago when I was married and doing a bunch of Xmas baking only I would eat because the Wasband had a sugar issue (that didn't prevent him, incidentally, from wolfing down half a litre of ice cream when the mood struck). At this time, I decided to enjoy Xmas eating, despite my usual guilt about overindulging. And so, Party In My Mouth Time was born.

During this time, I eat whatever I want and totally disregard any of my normal diet or eating patterns. As we all know, I do a shitload of Xmas baking, most of which gets given as gifts or taken to various Xmas functions, but, I do keep a bit for myself. Since it is the season for parties, I will partake of treats offered at such events. Shan makes fondants with her family, so I eat those when they're put out. We have a big meal on Xmas Eve for my dad's birthday, and I always enjoy this meal, which involves cake and all kinds of other stuff. Xmas morning, Jem, Shan, Dad and I have a huge breakfast consisting of Eggs Benny (made by yours truly), double smoked bacon, locally made sausages, and some other stuff. I often start Xmas day off with some chocolate because that's what we did as kids, and it's a tradition I like to stick to. This year, I'm cooking dinner on Solstice, and that will be a big meal with no diet food on offer! I am also going to Xmas dinner with Shan & her family and they always have a huge spread. Previously, as I've said before, I've spent Xmas Day on my own, consuming chips and chocolate. I make a special trip to wherever the cheapest chocolates on offer are and spend some time choosing chocolates that I really love. Even though I'm going to be participating in the family dinner this day, I am loathe to give up my precious chips & chocolate day, so this year I'll do that on Boxing Day. Yesterday, I bought myself a Terry's Chocolate Orange and some Khalua-filled chocolates, in additon to some Tostitos with zest of lime and my favourite snack, Munchie Mix.

And usually, by Dec. 27 or so, I'm sick of Party In My Mouth Time, and I get back on the healthy eating bandwagon. But I have no regrets.

Today, it's -16C out and I am baking a cake for tomorrow's dessert. I'm also going to get some of the prep for Solstice dinner done, and to make it all the more fun, I'm going to break out some of my stashed treats. Bring it on!

Another Lunch at The Preserved Seed

I've mentioned this awesome restaurant in Nelson, BC (about an hour from where I live) previously (here and here) but I thought I'd post another couple of pictures since I went there for lunch yesterday with my dad.

The special of the day was beef chili served with corn chips and the PS's wonderful fresh salad. Dad reported that the chili was excellent and perfect for the crappy weather we were expiencing.

I opted for my favourite, the Deli Rose Sandwich: hormone-free roast beef, organic, house-made bun, onions, spicy ketchup, mozzarella cheese, and some kind of mustard that I actually found tolerable (I normally hate mustard and ask for the sandwich without it, but I forgot this time).

For dessert, we both had our absolute fave, the coconut cream pie (mentioned in earlier posts). It was, as usual, to die for!

Another spectacular meal at the PS! Keep up the good work you guys - you're the best!

Friday, December 19, 2008

More Cookies From Work...

Here are a couple more work products for you to drool over. Both recipes half easily if you want to make them in a smaller quantity. Both taste amazing. The Cranberry Orange ones are a variation of the chocolate chip cookie recipe posted here. They don't require patting down at all since they'll spread during baking, but the Dad's Cookies will require a bit of squishing with a fork since the dough is much denser.

Cranberry Orange Cookies

1 lb butter (2 cups)
2 cups sugar
1 cup packed brown sugar
4 cups flour
3 eggs
1/4 cup orange juice
4 tsp orange extract (if you don't have this or don't want to invest, I'd just substitute with an equal amount of either orange zest or more orange juice)
2 tsp baking soda
2 tsp salt
2 cups dried cranberries

Bake at 350F for 10 - 12 minutes.

Dad's Cookies

1 lb butter (2 cups)
4 cups brown sugar
4 eggs
1 bag (200g) coconut
3 cups oatmeal
3 cups flour
1 tsp baking soda
4 tsp baking powder
2 tsp vanilla
2 pinches salt
1 - 2 cups raisins

Bake at 350F for 15 or so minutes. These spread and rise quite a bit so make sure you give them their space on the cookie sheets.


Thursday, December 18, 2008

Pizza Pretzels - Again

In September, I made absolutely wonderful pizza pretzels, and since I had some leftover pizza sauce and mozzarella hanging out in my fridge recently, I decided to use them up by making another batch of pretzels. They were amazing! Recipe here.

After kneading and shaping and allowing the shaped pretzels to rise a bit, I boiled them in a large pot with some baking soda. I let them drain and cool slightly on wire racks before adding the toppings.

A simple slather of pizza sauce and some grated mozzarella cheese are all that's necessary...

Can we say "YUM-O!"? Into the freezer they go so I can pull one out whenever I get a craving for pizza or when I need a snack or quick lunch!

Wednesday, December 17, 2008

English Muffins From Scratch

The family tradition for the last few years has been that I make Eggs Benedict for breakfast on Christmas morning. This year, I thought I'd try to make the English muffin portion of the meal from scratch, and even went so far as to invest in a set of four English muffin rings, since the two recipes I have for them involve the use of rings. Then I found a recipe that seemed even simpler, cutting the rounds with a biscuit cutter. This is the recipe I went with, adapted from Complete Cook by Le Cordon Bleu (the same book from which this bagel recipe came from).

English Muffins

2 tsp dried yeast
3 1/4 cup bread flour
1 1/2 tsp salt
1 tsp sugar
1 tsp unsalted butter, melted and cooled
1 1/2 cups water (approximately)

1. See this post for basic method. I let my dough rise twice: once before cutting (for about an hour, or until doubled) and once the muffins were cut (for about 20 minutes, or until they have risen slightly again, but not doubled). I recommend taking the time to do this as you get a nicer flavour and texture.

2. After the first rise, roll to dough to 1/2 inch thickness and cut using a round biscuit cutter. The original recipe says to use a 2 3/4" cutter, but I found this too small, so for my second batch I used the next size up I had, which was 3 1/8".

Reroll the dough until it's all gone; I got 14 muffins in the end.

3. After shaping and the second rise, preheat oven to 425F and bake the muffins for 8 minutes. Flip them and bake an additional 7 - 8 minutes. Cool on wire racks. You can also cook them on the top of a griddle if you want to. Use a dry, heavy-bottomed skillet on low heat. Flip over when lightly browned and cooked through.

Now, if you're looking at my finished product and thinking those are some seriously whacked-looking English muffins, Madame Coyote, you'd be thinking the exact same thing that I did. These look nothing like English muffins. They look like fancy buns, but certainly not English muffins. I'm not sure what to attribute this to, as they shaped nicely pre-baking, but they went all crazy when baked. They taste pretty good, though, especially with butter and jam, and they had a nice, spongey interior. All is not lost; I'm freezing them and am still going to use them for Eggs Benny on Christmas morning.


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