Testing recipes part 1

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While all of us on Team Charm have our own favorite recipes, we need to make sure that they’ll work in the cafe setting.  Last week, we had our first cooking party, to test recipes and techniques.  Amanda volunteered her kitchen, which is the most spacious and photogenic one available, and she and I and Jen and Kris got together to make some good food.  All photos by Amanda.

Baked falafel

Kris: I like your hat!

Kris prepping some baked falafel.

Fact: Amanda had never had falafel in her life until a few weeks ago–on a trip to Korea!  Jen, Kris, and I have had much longer falafel eating careers.  We liked this recipe, but next time Kris plans to use a longer baking time, and to add a little more spice to the falafel mix.

He served these with pita bread, spinach, cucumbers, and homemade tahini dressing.

Muffins: variations on a theme

"My muffin top is all that..." There. Now it's in your head, too.

One of the muffin variations we tried. This one contained cranberries, and walnuts and were topped with candied ginger and/or white chocolate.

This muffin recipe is one of my personal favorites, the “Muffins of a Thousand Faces” from a wonderful book called Crust and Crumb.  A generous amount of vanilla extract and a carefully formulated creaming method set these apart from your everyday muffins, and the results are delicious.

This recipe is meant to be varied.  We tried frozen wild blueberries in half a batch, as well as the cranberry-walnut-ginger-and-sometimes-white-chocolate pictured above.  Jen mixed this batch, and her results were consistent with the times I’ve tried it in the past.

Next post: lavender chocolate cookies, and cream scones.

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