Pear Nut Muffins for Dinner

I know.

Muffins are definitely not OK to eat for dinner under normal circumstances.

 

But what if you grill up a nice big plate of chicken and vegetables and fire up a pot of brown rice and have it all set out on the table…

…and what if you turn around for 4.3 minutes.

And in those 4.3 minutes your two-year old climbs up to the counter and pours a lukewarm cup of pumpkin spiced coffee all over your hot-off-the grill-dinner…

and what if your brown rice is now floating in a puddle of pumpkin spice coffee.

Is it Ok to eat Pear Nut Muffins for dinner then?

 

What if I add a Kale Smoothie?

 

Pear Nut Muffins

Adapted from Williams Sonoma Cookbook

Definitely use freshly grated nutmeg here; it makes a world of difference. If using butter, the muffins will be a bit drier, but still a great texture. Also try using Asian pears, which are in season right now.

1 cup all-purpose flour

1 cup whole wheat flour

½ cup of sugar

2 tsp cinnamon

1 tsp nutmeg (freshly grated)

2 tsp baking powder

½ tsp baking soda

½ tsp salt

2 eggs

½ cup canola oil or melted butter (also try to sub in applesauce for half of the oil/butter)

¾ cup plain yogurt

2 tsp vanilla extract

4 ripe, but firm pears, peeled, cored and chopped

1 cup walnuts, coarsely chopped

Top with this:

3 Tablespoons sugar

2 Tablespoons finely chopped walnuts

¼ tsp ground cinnamon

 

Preheat oven to 350.

Stir together the dry ingredients in a large bowl. In a medium bowl, whisk the eggs, butter, vanilla and yogurt. Add the wet ingredients to the dry and gently stir. Fold in the pears and walnuts.

Scoop the batter in the muffin tins and sprinkle some cinnamon-sugar-nut mix on each muffin.

Bake for 20-25 minutes.

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Barely Fried Tomato Towers

On a weekly visit to a local farm stand down the road, there were plates of fried tomatoes being passed around to visitors and guests.

If there was such a thing as kindness making food taste better, than it happened with those tomatoes. The farmers said that giving away the first tomatoes of the season is said to bring good luck.

In an effort to continue the tomato kindness, I offered my first batch of sungold tomatoes to a neighbor. I imagined this occasion to be accompanied by a detailed discussion about the different varieties of heirloom tomatoes and their distinct flavor profiles and painterly hues among the likes of ponderosa pink, Cherokee purple, green zebra and of course, sungolds.

Ya know just some typical tomato talk.

I proudly presented my homegrown sunbursts, only to be cut short with…

“I don’t like that kind”

“You don’t like sunburst tomatoes? “ I asked. But they are sun.burst. A burst of sun! How is it even possible to dislike something with a name like sunburst?

While my toddler was in the grass doing a combination of worm hunting and tomato squishing, she noticed the stunned look on my face, as if I had just witnessed a great tragedy, and she said in a very zen fashion,

“We all like different things, Mom. It’s Ok”.

And she is absolutely right.

Having said that, I think you will absolutely love these barely fried tomatoes. I added a thin slice of fresh mozzarella to a batch, and it was transformed into a heavenly version of a grilled cheese, minus the bread.

Fried Tomato Towers with Mozzarella

A few really great tomatoes, sliced on the thick side

About ¾ cup of bread crumbs

¼ cup Parmesan cheese

Fresh parsley or basil

A pat or two of butter

Mozzarella slices (optional)

Mix the breadcrumbs with Parmesan cheese and herbs. Melt the butter in a cast iron skillet. Drizzle a little olive oil on the tomato slices and dredge in a bowl of the breadcrumb mixture. Gently place them in the pan and saute for  1-2 minutes on medium heat, or when the breadcrumbs start to get crispy and browned.  Flip them over and top with optional mozzarella.

Layer the slices on top of each other and top with a few shaves of Parmesan and a soft sprinkle of salt and pepper.