Sweet & Spicy Corn Muffins

There is just something about the beginning of school that makes me want to go back to childhood favorite foods.  Cornbread is one of the highlights.  
This time for my recipe, I pulled out my cooking Bible – The Joy of Cooking, the 1975 edition.  This edition still has recipe gems such as: bear, armadillo, stuffed boar head, and squirrel.  I love the way Rombauer and Rombauer Becker write out their recipes.  It makes so much more sense to me to include the ingredients in bold in the body of the recipe, rather than creating an entirely new section for the ingredients.  Hmmm, I  may have to adopt this method.  

Mixed up the liquid ingredients. 

I swapped out the sugar for agave syrup.  This isn’t a big deal when the amount of sugar is minimal, otherwise you do lose volume.

The fresh peppers from the garden were the inspiration for the entire recipe tonight.  I sliced these up and did not remove the seeds, as they are not a really hot variety.  
I scooped the batter into 11 oiled muffin tins and added my sliced peppers on top.  
Next, the spicy glaze for the muffin topping.  I microwaved a couple tablespoons of margarine, added a little olive oil for flavor, mixed in 2 teaspoons honey, and 1 teaspoon chili powder.  

After baking the muffins at 425 for 15 minutes, I drizzled this hot & sweet glaze over the tops of the muffins.  
Next up, the main entree.  I had some fresh okra and green beans from the garden, plus some frozen zucchini from a friends’ garden.  This was the starting point, and I added in a few other things, but ultimately decided against the carrots in the end. 
I started with heating a few tablespoons of olive oil in a medium saucepan.  I added the thawed and diced zucchini. 

Next, I added sliced okra.  You can read more about okra in an older post, here.  I let the okra and zucchini saute for about 5 minutes.   

I added the sliced green beans to the pan next.   

Add 1 can diced tomatoes plus 1/2 to 1 can of water, depending on how saucy the mixture already is. 

Add 1/4 cup of dried lentils.  

Cover and let simmer on low while the muffins bake.  

Mix in 1 cup cooked rice.  Serve with Sweet & Spicy Corn Muffins.
Cornmeal Muffins – from The Joy of Cooking

Have all ingredients at about 70 degrees.  
Preheat oven to 425. 
Grease the pan with butter, oil, or bacon drippings. Place in the oven until sizzling hot.  
Sift together:
3/4 cup sifted all-purpose flour
2-1/2 teaspoons doubling acting baking powder
1 to teaspoons sugar (I used agave syrup)
3/4 teaspoon salt
Add: 
1-1/4 cup yellow or white stone-ground cornmeal
Beat in a separate bowl:
1 egg
Beat into it:
2 to 3 tablespoons melted butter or drippings
1 cup milk
Combine all ingredients with a few rapid strokes.  Place the batter in the hot pan.  Bake muffins 20 to 25 minutes.  Serve immediately.  
Sweet & Hot Muffin Glaze 
Microwave 2-3 tablespoons margarine or butter.  
Mix in 1 to 2 tablespoons olive oil.  
Mix in 2 teaspoons honey and 1 teaspoon of chili powder.  
Drizzle over warm, baked corn muffins. 

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