Friday, September 19, 2014

Tasty Delights--Chocolate Muffins + review (The Homesick Texan)

There are few things finer than a delicious, homemade meal shared with family and friends. Take it from Lisa Fain, a seventh-generation Texan who loves to cook and serve up the best dishes her home state has to offer—even though she now lives half a country away.

The Homesick Texan’s Family Table showcases more than 100 of Lisa’s best and most-loved recipes, ranging from down-home standards (think cheesy nachos, comforting chicken and dumplings, and fiery wings) to contemporary riffs on the classics (who knew adding Mexican spices to a German chocolate cake would taste so good?).

All of Lisa’s recipes are made with fresh, seasonal ingredients, yet still packed with real Texas flavor that will make your grandmother smile. Whether you’re looking for a party-friendly snack like Pigs in JalapeƱo Blankets, a Mustard Coleslaw to bring as a side to your next potluck, a weeknight- and family-friendly meal like Steak Fingers with Cream Gravy, or a mouthwatering dessert like Ruby Red Grapefruit and Pecan Sheet Cake, The Homesick Texan’s Family Table has you covered. After all, with some mighty fine food and mighty fine people to enjoy it, any meal can be cause for celebration.

Type: Cookbook
Difficulty of Recipe: Easy to Mid
Rating: 4.5 stars

Amazon | Goodreads

So. I pretty much loved The Homesick Texan. It's a beautiful cookbook and even though I can't really cook most of the recipes--unless there are guests visiting--since I'm a vegetarian I loved it none-the-less. It had an amazing feel to it that made me think of home and loved ones and, yes, had me tearing up just a wee bit as I read Fain's intro and little notes throughout the book. She really captured family and friends so well and the wonderful way food can be used to create memories. The recipes were lovely, hearty and easy. The photos abundant and comfortable. Very much a cookbookish win and worth every penny of the price.
 Family comfort is what came to mind with the recipes and ingredients. There are 125 recipes from desserts and breakfast to sides and main courses. They were laid out nicely and easy to read, there was a family story of sorts to start each out which I loved. The ingredients were simple and easy to find. Other than fresh ingredients many of the items needed are staples in a lot of kitchens and I was able to pick out a recipe and make it without rushing to the store which I love. My only complaint was the use of kosher salt in recipes since I don't keep that on hand and measurements for regular salt are different. Not an issue in the cooking side of things but on the baking side that made it more difficult.

I LOVED them. They're not trying to be fancy but have the home-ish feel to them. Nearly every other page has some sort of photograph and they're lovely with a nice welcoming feel to them. They gave me that oh I could SO do that thought. lol There are nice landscapes from around Texas as well which was nice. The collage is pictures I took of the cookbook so not as sharp as they really are but best I could do :)
Fain had an incredible voice. I loved reading her little family stories and her intro. She really sparked a longing in me. That desire to run home to see my family or call up my friends to do something. She very much captured that feeling of comfort and love you get from being with the people you care most about.
Great Grandma Blache's Chocolate Muffins (made em--yum!)
Oatmeal Bread
Guacamole Salad
Chipotle Cheddar Scalloped Potatoes
Creamy Macaroni and Cheese
Squash Blossom Soup w/ Zucchini Corn Salsa
Butterscotch Brownies
Caballero Cookies

So! I got this cookbook and within like 30 minutes...I was baking!
I made Great-Grandma Blanche's Chocolate Muffins and they were pretty dang good.

I'm not the best baker. My fluffy stuff doesn't always get...fluffy.
And I think that was a little the case here. Or maybe they're just supposed to be dense.
Either way. I loved em. And will make them again.

I loved that everything in these was stuff I'd have on hand normally.
 Lots of mixing. Then baking.

And...muffins! Or brownie muffins which is what I've been calling them. lol
Mine were dense but likely that's all because of me. But I liked them.
They'd be great for breakfast. Or just a treat.
They've got cinnamon in them and that combined with the chocolate reminded me of Christmas.
They just smell divine and were great with a glass of almond milk.

(if you have a Sweet Tomatoes near you these are SO much like their chocolate squares)

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