Appalachian Appetites

International Inspiration, Local Ingredients

Birthday Present II April 17, 2010

Filed under: Uncategorized — Ann @ Appalachian Appetites @ 7:31 am

The second birthday present I received that pertains to cooking was from my sister, Sarah.  She also has a passion for cooking – and all things Martha Stewart as you will soon see!  She was able to come and see me in Togo and we even cooked together there!

Here she was in my Togo kitchen:

She called one day last week while in Anthropologie and mentioned she was looking for a birthday present for me!  I immediately thought of their home section, full of things for cooking and entertaining.  I realize my plates and placemats (or lack thereof!) are getting a bit routine in the food pictures.  So I asked her to pick out some pretty dinnerware for my blog.  Here’s what she purchased:

Love the pretty teal blue!!

And because my sister loves to cook as much as me, she included some homemade muffins 🙂  Sarah has been obsessed with Martha Stewart for as long as I can remember!  I keep teasing her that one day on her wedding day, we’ll have a tough time recreating the MS standard!  But as she says, “We can always try!”  So as a subscriber to Martha Stewart Living, she picked out a recipe from the latest issue: Banana-Walnut Muffins.  They are gluten-free and according to the magazine, with “fiber-filled rice flour, potassium-rich bananas, and cholesterol-fighting walnuts, these muffins trump breakfast bars!”  I’ve never attempted much gluten-free cooking but these were a definite winner.  They taste like a light, fluffy version of banana bread.  Light in color, texture, and taste!

Sarah emailed me the recipe along with her notes, so here they are.  Let me know if you try them!


Banana-Walnut Muffins
Makes 1 dozen
1 1/4 cups brown-rice flour
1/2 cup toasted walnuts, finely ground [I just chopped them]
1.2 cup potato starch
1/4 cup tapioca flour
1 1/2 teaspoons baking powder
1 teaspoon xanthan gum [this comes in the form of a powder in the flour section and is supposed to hold gluten-free baked goods together– however, b/c it was like $11 I omitted it and I think they still held together okay]
1/2 teaspoon salt
2 large eggs, separated
1/2 cup safflower oil
1/2 cup packed light-brown sugar
1 1/2 cups mashed overripe bananas (3 to 4)
2 teaspoons pure vanilla extract
1.  Preheat oven to 350 degrees.  Line a 12-cup muffin tin with baking cups.  Whisk together brown-rice flour, ground walnuts, potato starch, tapioca flour, baking powder, xanthan gum, and salt.  Whisk together yolks, oil, sugar, bananas, and vanilla.  Fold flour mixture into banana mixture.
2.  Whisk whites until stiff peaks form.  Working in 3 batches, fold whites into batter.  Fill each baking cup with batter.  Bake until light golden brown and a toothpick inserted into the centers comes out clean, 22 to 24 minutes.  Let cool slightly.  Turn out muffins onto a wire rack, and let cool completely.
Make Ahead: Muffins can be stored at room temperature for up to 1 day [obviously we broke this rule =) ]
Per Serving:
270 calories, 2 g saturated fat
11 g unsaturated fat, 35 mg cholesterol
37 g carbohydrate, 111 mg sodium
3 g protein, 2 g fiber

Also, Martha recommends Bob’s Red Mill for the brown-rice flour, potato starch, tapioca flour, and xanthan gum, which I used as well, except for the xanthan gum.


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