Carrot muffins

Have I mentioned one or two or a million times how much I love my Simply in Season cookbook? It came through again with this great recipe for carrot muffins. Not only did I get to use the fresh carrots from our garden, but I felt pretty good about eating muffins that use only 1 cup of flour (half of that whole wheat), plus oats and milled flax seed.

I altered the recipe a little to reflect what I like to have in muffins (less cooked fruit, more nuts), so here’s what I ended up with:

Carrot muffins

1/2 cup all-purpose flour
1/2 cup whole wheat flour
1 cup rolled oats
3/4 cup brown sugar
1 tablespoon ground cinnamon
2 teaspoons baking soda
1 teaspoon baking powder
1/2 teaspoon salt
1 1/2 cups shredded carrot
1 cup milled flax seed
1/2 cup chopped pecans
2 eggs
1/2 cup milk
1/4 cup vegetable oil

Preheat oven to 375 degrees. Arrange liners in a muffin tin. Combine first eight ingredients in a big bowl.

Add carrots, flax seed and nuts and mix well. Make a little well in the center.

In a separate bowl, combine slightly beaten eggs, milk and oil. Pour into the well and combine wet and dry ingredients, just until moistened.

I used a 1/4 cup measuring cup to fill the muffin tins about 3/4 full. You should be able to get 18 muffins out of the recipe.

(Ask the dogs for help. Get no response.)

Bake 18-20 minutes. Cool, and enjoy. They bake up into small, dense muffins.

I can’t say these were the most beautiful muffins I ever made, but they were the perfect accompaniment to a cup of morning coffee. Not too sweet, and just a little crunch from the nuts.

Fresh cucumber salsa

I realized the other day that I have never made salsa before. Mike used to make a delish black bean salsa in the summertime, but since he’s been super busy, tomato duty has fallen to me. So, I dug out a recipe I took from the Boulder farmers market back in 2005 and adapted it to what I had in the kitchen.

I had some tomatoes and a green pepper from our garden and a cucumber from the farmers market, plus a few other things.

The recipe made the freshest, most vibrant, colorful salsa I could have imagined. And it tasted really good, especially when you got a little bit of the marinated tomato juice in the bottom in your bite. I had gotten out my spice blend to add to it, but realized it didn’t even need that. I stuck with a sprinkling of salt and pepper for seasoning, just like I would on a sliced tomato.

Fresh cucumber salsa

4 medium tomatoes, diced
1 cucumber, diced
1/2 onion, diced
1 green pepper, diced
3 cloves garlic, minced
Juice of 1/2 a lime
1 tablespoon red wine vinegar
Salt and pepper to taste

Combine all ingredients in a big bowl. That’s it!