Visit, Hobbies and a New Recipe

Posted on 14/08/2011. Filed under: Food, Life in General |

In June I visited my kids, grandson and (some of) my friends.  I had a wonderful time back in the States.  I greatly miss being there, both for the way of life and for my family and friends.  I didn’t get to spend as much time with everyone as I would have liked, but at least I did get to visit for a little while.  When I returned to México I sort of hit the ground running.  There was a lot of things that needed to get done for the café and our business had picked up, so there hasn’t been much in the way of “down time” during the day.  It’s hard to believe that it’s been almost a month since I’ve seen everyone!  Sometimes I feel like my days are on fast forward.

While I was in the States my oldest daughter got me hooked on Pinterest or more specifically, on DIY projects.  Since coming back I have started some projects (such as tin can lanterns) and I’ve found that a lot of people are surprised by how many hobbies I have and how much I can do. For example, I have made necklaces with beads or embroidery floss, quilts, and of course the lanterns.  Plus I cook and bake as well.  I don’t feel like I have extrordinary talent since most of the stuff just requires patience and good instructions to follow.

My most recent thing I am trying to make is a crocheted rag rug.  Now this is a real adventure!  First, the person making the instructional video said she’s never done one before and hers did have some issues.   Second, I have never made a rag rug before.  Third (and final point) is the fact that I’ve never crocheted ANYTHING.  I had to make three attempts before I figured out the correct tension on the “yarn” and how to handle the tight ‘corners’ of the oval.  Now it is finally starting to take shape, though it’s only about the size of a pot holder right now *laughs*

Meanwhile, we’ve been working on our menu, trying to correct the prices and add a few things.  Last weekend I made some rather delicious banana nut muffins.  Now, cooking in general is pretty much the same as at sea-level.  But baking is another story entirely.  The atmospheric pressure has a lot of effect on how baked goods rise.  There’s no real way to know how a particular recipe will turn out until you try it.  This one turned out very nice in flavor and texture – but it didn’t have the nice domed top that I’m accustomed to seeing on muffins/cupcakes.  Next time I make them (probably tomorrow) I will add a little less salt and a little more baking powder – since that is a suggestion I found in my high altitude baking cookbooks.  Hopefully it won’t change the flavor too much.  For those of you who would like to try it, here’s the recipe:

Banana Nut Muffins

2 cups flour

1 tsp. baking powder

1 tsp. baking soda

1 tsp. salt

1 tsp cinnamon

1/2 cup butter, softened

3/4 cup sugar

1/4 cup dark brown sugar (I used grated piloncillo instead, which you might be able to find in Latin American food markets)

1 tsp. vanilla

2 eggs

2 Tbsp milk

1 cup chopped nuts (I used pecans, but walnuts would work nicely.)

3 large bananas, mashed (about 1 1/2 cups)

Preheat oven to 350°F.   Lightly grease muffin tins or line with paper liners.  Mix flour, baking soda, baking powder, salt and cinnamon together.  In medium bowl, cream together butter and sugars until light and fluffy.  Add vanila.  Add eggs, one at a time, stirring till encorporated.  Add milk, banana and nuts.  Gradually stir in flour and stir until well blended.  Pour into muffin tins and bake 25 – 30 minutes.  Allow to cool in pan for 5 minutes, then cool directly on cooling rack.  Serve warm or cold.

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    © Aletris Vazquez and Random Thoughts, Rants and Mental Meanderings, 2012. Unauthorized use and/or duplication of this material without express and written permission from this blog’s author and/or owner is strictly prohibited. Excerpts and links may be used, provided that full and clear credit is given to Aletris Vazquez and Random Thoughts, Rants and Mental Meanderings with appropriate and specific direction to the original content.

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