The Countdown is On

by Cate on September 7, 2006

Our official vacation countdown kicked into high gear today, as our departure date is in exactly one month. We are beyond excited, and 30 days from now, we’ll be taking to the seas again, Strawberry Colada in hand, spectacular sunsets and memories ahead. And nope, not telling you where we’re going. Like I did back in February, it will be a “Where in the World is Sweetnicks?” contest and I have some brand new, hard-to-find Donna Hay cookbooks up for grabs for the winners.

I mentioned rum would be appearing tonight. With vacation on the mind, when I came across a recipe for Banana Daiquiri Muffins, I thought it would be perfect to start getting us in the mood. Well, the intentions were good. The muffins? Not so much. In the trash they went. Blech. Very doughy and bland. Tonight’s dud of a recipe reminded me of a conversation on a cooking bulletin board last year. Someone mentioned that they had a recipe that didn’t work out. Another poster responded with, “Can’t you tell by looking at the recipe if it will work or not?” incredulous that people couldn’t. Can you? I’ve been cooking for about 16 years now and I can’t always tell just by looking at a recipe if it’s going to work or not. For example, tonight’s recipe had melted butter, milk, rum, lime juice, bananas and maraschino cherries. With all those moist/wet ingredients, I wouldn’t expect the recipe to turn out the way it did. What do you think? Can you spot a dud before you even start making it?

Tonights’ recipe ended up with a little accidental experimentation. I used two different muffin tins with this batch. Both tins were Farberware. Only differences were that one was for 12 muffins, one was for six, and that one pan was a lighter color metal than the other. They were both put in the oven at the same time, on the same shelf, same temperature, for the same length of time. But look at the difference in the muffins; huge difference. The higher, larger muffins came from the lighter pan. Take notes.

Alright folks, all for tonight. Tune in tomorrow for Rediscovering My Library and the next nod for New (to Me) Blogger on the Block. Until then…

A year ago today… roses and oats.

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{ 8 comments… read them below or add one }

Rachel September 7, 2006 at 3:05 am

I am intrigued by the difference in the pans/fluffiness of the muffin! Very interesting!
Also: I generally can tell when a baking recipe will be off: something about the flour/butter/liquid ratio always tips me off.


christine September 7, 2006 at 5:30 am

Oohh how exciting, a vacation! And a contest to boot. How nice of you to include your readers in the fun. :)


Nicole September 7, 2006 at 5:50 am

I am getting better about being able to tell whether a recipe will work or not but I still sometimes end up with duds. I don’t think I will ever be one of those people who is able to cook completely by intuition!


Anonymous September 7, 2006 at 4:12 pm

The name of the muffins sound great. Any alcohol in them.


Cate September 7, 2006 at 5:01 pm

Rachel: I can tell better in non-baking recipes. The science involved in baking always throws me off. ;)

Christine – At least we can take you guys along in spirit.

Nicole – I can throw together my own recipe, non-baking … but when it comes to looking at something to determine its worthiness, not as much; especially after last night’s batch of muffins. You’d think melted butter, rum and lime juice would have produced an instant winner.

Anonymous – They do sound good, don’t they? 1/4 cup of rum.


Anonymous September 7, 2006 at 10:00 pm

I’ve made Banana Dacquiri muffins — and tea loaves — several times, to rave reviews.

That said, your photo looks nothing like what I make. I wonder what’s different about the recipe you tried?


stacey September 8, 2006 at 2:12 am



Cate September 8, 2006 at 2:14 am

Anonymous – if you got rave reviews, I’m sure we’re using different recipes. ;) Care to share yours?

Stacey – The Husband would LOVE that, but no, not Cuba. Hang in there ’till October, and I’ll start giving clues once we depart. We have four different stops, so you’ll have 4 chances to win cookbooks.


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