I was recently asked by my uncle in-law how I came up with my recipes. For some reason it caught me off guard. How strange because I’m a food writer, recipe developer and food photographer so the answer to that question should be second nature. Right? How fast would you be able to answer that same question if asked to you? Obviously I know how I develop and bring my recipes to life. The answer to that question is, it depends.
Let me clarify. Somedays my recipes are developed around cravings. Other days they depend on what I find while going through my kitchen cupboards and/or refrigerator. One of my favorite things to do is gather and eat a small amount of ingredients, of my dreamed up recipes, as a way of taste testing before I move forward with the recipe. Then there are those trips to the green grocers were I dream up pairings in my head. Daydreaming while doing house work has also yield many of my recipes. Of course I am also influenced by other people’s food. The biggest influence comes from memories of foods I’ve eaten. Childhood memories being the number one. Sometimes if I eat something sensational at a restaurant I recreate it and add my own flair. The food blogging community has introduced me to many new ingredients. I love learning, experimenting and tasting new ingredients. So of course those introductions and experimentations have resulted in new recipes.
When it comes to food no one is reinventing the wheel, maybe an expert will say otherwise. There are some that claim things as unique in the form of pairings or flavors. Lest not forget the “new” hip techniques that come and go. But I say things are unique to an extent, they were all developed through some sort of influence. Wether people want to admit it or not.
Let’s take the whole bacon must go in, on, or with everything craze. As much as famous TV, or internet personalities, try to make it sound like they were the one to credit for the invention, chances are they are not. Honestly who the heck knows where that current craze came from. My strong suspicion would be that people started noticing it after taking a bite of their bacon burgers and taking a sip of a chocolate or vanilla milkshake. The coming together of the smoky salty bacon being smoothed over by the sweet creamy milkshake. Yes I am a fan of bacon and salty-sweet flavors together, but I believe bacon should stay next to my eggs or on my sandwiches. I find the whole bacon fascination strange and frankly feel that is has gone too far. To each his own. I digress. (My email will surely be flooded with hate mail for saying that.)
When I am developing new recipes I like to think they are absolute unique recipes. But even at times when I am absolutely sure no one has ever thought about this unique pairing reality can hit me in the face. After I’ve developed, cooked, photograph and written my blog post about the recipe sometimes I’ll Google the ingredient combinations to see what I get. Often times others have also thought up those same flavor combinations. (But I have yet to see any sane person thinking of combining mushrooms, pears and spinach, thankfully. They are much smarter than I.) And you know what?, that is just fine. It doesn’t make my recipes any less valuable or delicious. Instead next time I try to see how I can make it more unique. Sometimes I succeed and others I do not. The most important thing to me is to stay true to myself. And never, ever will I steal someone’s recipe and claim it as my own. That includes switching out one ingredient and calling it my own. I have morals and values that I adhere to. If it is someone else’s recipe I am posting I make it clear that it is not my recipe, and not just write a small link to the site the recipe was adapted from.
So with a very long explanation you and my uncle in-law now know how I develop my recipes. That is whether you wanted to know or not. I have already taken up much of your time so I’ll only give you some notes on this recipe. It was developed from a craving for corn muffins, previously I had seen a recipe where someone added rosemary to their corn muffins, it sounded good. As I was reaching for the rosemary I saw my dried Goji Berries and thought why not, they went into the bowl. Then I saw a lemon on my counter, thought lemon zest would give an extra somethin’ somethin’, it went in. I baked and waited, then I tasted and they were yumma! The recipe was typed, the photos shot, then I Googled the ingredients. Turns out others are onto the pairing of corn muffins with Goji Berries and rosemary with lemon is a common pairing. Nothing new invented with those flavors. But I didn’t find any recipes combining rosemary,lemon and Goji Berries together. Could it be a new food pairing? Maybe, maybe not. Want to know more about Goji Berries? Read the Wiki article.
Rosemary Corn Muffins with Goji Berries
Makes 8 small muffins baked in these moulds
1 cup or 120 g A.P. flour
1 cup or 140 g corn meal
1 tsp granulated sugar
1/2 tsp salt
1.5 tsp. baking powder
2 tsp dried rosemary
2 Tbsp finely chopped Goji Berries
1 medium egg, lightly beaten
1 cup milk, ( I used whole or full fat milk)
zest from 1 small lemon
Preheat oven to 190c or 375f and prepare baking mould.
1. In a large bowl combine all dry ingredients with the Goji Berries until well combined. Set aside. In a separate large bowl lightly beat the egg with the milk and lemon zest. Fold the dry ingredients into the wet ingredients just until combined, do not over mix.
2. Fill the baking moulds ( In my case a silicone Cannelles moulds) three-quarters full. Bake in center of oven for 25 minutes or until golden and baked through. Allow to cool a couple of minutes before removing from the silicone moulds. Then set on cooling rack to cool until ready to serve. Serve with honey and butter as a snack or an accompaniment to dinner.
*Tasted great, the combination of rosemary and lemon is excellent while the Goji Berries give it a slightly fruity and sweet taste. The cornmeal gives the muffins a rustic texture and complimented well.
My friends from Gojee.com invited me, along with many others, to a potluck they were hosting. Sounded like fun but being that I live on the other side of the world I couldn’t attend. Instead this is my virtual Gojee Potluck participation. Had I been able to attend I would have baked a hundred of these yummy muffins. Yes, I am aware that it is cheesy I choose Goji Berries for the Gojee potluck. Whateva! Thanks Gojee crew for the invite. Feliz Lunes everyone!
**Starting on Thursday, January 26, check out other potluck dishes fellow gojee contributors shared. Go to gojee.com and enter “gojeepotluck” into I Crave.**