Ok, ok, it’s a day later, but here it is. On Sunday my husband grilled chicken for dinner, leaving the oven free to try these Cinnamon Apple Cider Muffins for our carb. They looked so good, even if it is spring and not autumn, and yet–I don’t know. It’s hard to say they weren’t good, because they were fine and it’s totally my fault that they got too done, but I didn’t love them the way I wanted to. I even used half white and half wheat flour to avoid the heaviness you get if you don’t have soft white wheat. They still seemed heavy to me–did I overmix as well?–but my biggest problem was the lack of apple flavor. Sure, you got chunks of apple, and those were nice. But the applesauce and the apple cider didn’t add much flavor, as far as I could tell. (To be fully truthful, I used Trader Joe’s Pear Cinnamon Cider, since that’s what I had readily available, but let’s be honest–how much of a difference could that possibly make? It’s part apple to begin with–everything that’s pear is–and pears have no integrity as fruit. I once made a caramel pear pie and everyone assumed it was mostly made of apples. No, the pears weren’t super ripe, because I was younger and kind of clueless then, but still.)
And here’s the thing–should that really be surprising? Aren’t you supposed to be able to substitute applesauce for oil and not taste a difference? They weren’t bad muffins, and I suspect the execution was a big part of the problem, but don’t expect the moon in terms of appleiness. (I think that should be a word, by the way. Although I’m open to suggestions for different spellings.)
Tonight we had the kind of main course where you look at a recipe, use it as a starting point, and make it up as you go along. I made a recipe of Betty Crocker’s alfredo sauce (as in, followed the recipe in my cookbook), throwing some onion and garlic in to cook in the melted butter, and then added an 8 oz can of tomato sauce and some basil and oregano. (Maybe 1/4 t oregano and a scant 1/2 t basil.) I tossed it all with a pound or so of penne and a couple of leftover grilled chicken breasts from Sunday, and my kids loved it. Even my middle, who has a slight tendency to eat all the pasta and then ask for more pasta to go with her chicken…
Actually, my friend’s kids had some the last time I made it, and they loved it too. Go for it. But here’s a tip for free…check your propane levels before you start grilling the chicken, because it just does NOT taste the same when you have to heat up the oven and finish it in there, and the kids don’t necessarily wait patiently.
Not that we know this from personal experience or anything.
Like I said, the kiddos love it. Enjoy!