Tuesday, April 17, 2007

Sushi and muffins and one lonely soy burger

Chris went out of town yesterday afternoon, overnight to Montreal, for a work event. He got put up in a swanky hotel (cruelly, one I've always wanted to stay at, the Hotel le Germain), ate delicious food and even had time to stop in and pick me up some handmade chocolates at Patisserie le Gascogne.

Naturally, this sort of thing demands retribution (well, the chocolates helped, but still). I invited my friend blau out for sushi. She jumped at the chance to scarf a bunch of raw fish, so we headed to Sushi 88, a teeny place on Somerset that I've only been to once before, with Chris and my sister. It was a cold, windy, rainy Monday night, and the restaurant was not exactly teeming with customers, but we had a lovely meal anyway - we're good sushi-mates, as both of us enjoy salmon, tuna, snapper, yellowtail and the ubiquitous California roll. We got some sashimi, some nigiri, I had a salad and blau had miso soup. My glass of red wine was fairly insipid, as tends to be the case with small Asian places (should have known better) but it went down fine. Blau stuck to Asahi, smart beer-loving girl that she is.

Everything was fresh, tasty and beautifully presented. We ate in a leisurely fashion, catching up, as we'd not gotten together since the holiday season. After the fish was all gone (sadness!) we moseyed over to Bridgehead in Wellington Village for lattes and more chatter. It was a very chill, mellow evening, and by the time I got home, I was tired enough that I slept pretty well despite the absence of warm husband.

Tonight after work I stopped in at College Square to pick up some contact solution and dental floss (wheeee! I am so exciting) and while I was there I decided I would be lazy and just make myself a soy "chick'n" burger for supper tonight, since Chris wasn't due home until nine. So I grabbed a whole wheat roll from the bulk bins, and treated myself to a couple of Medjool dates as well. They're like candy. I also picked up a small jar of unsweetened applesauce, since I had a muffin recipe stuck in my head and figured I'd throw them together after supper.

Dinner was awesome in a convenience-food kind of way. I remember when chicken burgers were first invented, my mom would buy them once in a while as a treat, and we'd eat them on hamburger buns with Miracle Whip. This was like having that meal, but updated with a soy patty, whole wheat bread and ultra-lowfat MW. I made a huge salad of romaine, red pepper and cucumber to go with it, and my favourite homemade vinaigrette of mustard, balsamic, olive oil, maple syrup, salt and pepper. I ate at the table with my laptop for company, and it was so relaxing. I finished off the bottle of Cotes-du-Rhone we started on Sunday night, and all was happy.

Of course, then I had to wait for my tipsy to wear off before making the muffins I had in mind. They're from Looneyspoons, but I messed with them a little bit (what else is new?) and I like them my way better. Also? They are HUUUGE. For 200 calories, you cannot beat these. Enormous. Plenty of healthy stuff in them but sweet enough that they still feel like a nice treat, too. I think they're pretty, as well:

Sinnamon Apple Muffins (not a typo) adapted from Looneyspoons

1.5 cups rolled oats
1.5 cups boiling water
1 cup whole wheat flour
1/2 cup all-purpose flour
3/4 cup (unpacked) brown sugar
1.5 tsp baking powder
1 tsp baking soda
1/2 tsp salt
1 tsp cinnamon
1/2 cup unsweetened applesauce
3 tbsp butter, melted
1 egg
1tsp vanilla
2 apples, peeled and grated coarsely

Spray a 12-cup muffin tin with oil and set aside. Preheat oven to 325F.

In a medium bowl, combine oats and boiling water. Allow to stand for 20 minutes.

In a large bowl, combine flours, sugar, baking powder, soda, cinnamon and salt. Stir well to combine.

Add the butter, egg, applesauce and vanilla to the cooled oats and stir well to combine. Add to flour mixture and mix until dry ingredients are just dampened. Stir in grated apple and mix until combined. Spoon into muffin cups (should fill generously) and bake for 25-30 minutes or until a toothpick inserted in the centre of a muffin comes out clean.

We ate a couple warm with cream cheese once Chris got home, and they were awesome. Butter would work too, or a couple thin slices of sharp cheddar cheese. I plan on bringing in some to work tomorrow for coworker treats.


David said...

Ok, we have to have a chat about tagging. I'd say, put your recipes in separate posts, and tag by BAKING or COOKING, and then tags of just what it is - it's criminal, criminal I tell you, not to tag this post MUFFIN!

I want to hear about cream-cheese muffins.

Did I ever tell you that the garlic tarragon chicken was really tasty?

Alison said...

Fair enough. I am new to this tagging concept. I will do better. /hangs head in shame/

I'm so glad the chicken was good! It's my new favourite way to roast a bird.