Recent Posts

Mexican Corn and Bean Salad

Mexican Corn and Bean Salad

I adore Mexican food, but sometimes it can be a bit stogy, heavy refried beans and rich Spanish rice are not always refreshing during the summer. This salad is lighter than those traditional side dishes but just as substantial and filling. Charred corn, creamy black […]

Carrot Cake Pancakes

Carrot Cake Pancakes

Back in my days as a deck hand I didn’t pay much attention to the food the cooks were preparing. I was focused on my own tasks, when it came to meal time I was hungry and shoveled it in quickly just like everyone else […]

Coffee Cake Muffins

Coffee Cake Muffins

Some of my favorite recipes that I’ve collected on my travels have come from the people I’ve worked with and not from the destinations. My shore time was spent exploring castles, dormant volcanoes, street markets and beautiful coast lines. I ate plenty of food along the way, when I wasn’t able to pick up the recipes I just noted ideas for new things to research and try creating on my own. The recipes I did collect sometimes came from fellow crew members, mostly my cook’s mates or students who were eager for me to recreate a taste of home.

This muffin recipe comes from my first cook’s mate, Phoebe. She made them one afternoon with a student who didn’t go ashore because of an injury, she was hopped up on pain medication and acting a bit loopy. Andrea was put in charge of making the streusel topping, she dove right in to the flour mixture with her hands and started rubbing the butter in. Phoebe panicked for a moment when she recalled that Andrea has Celiac disease and maybe being around this much gluten could be bad for her. She asked if she was okay, Andrea put some thought into the question … maybe a little too much thought and the long pause made the situation seem worse. But everything was okay, she could make the muffins, just not eat them.

My favorite part of these muffins is the double topping, some of the streusel topping is put in the center of muffin and then more on top before going in the oven. The muffin cake itself is sweet, enriched with sour cream and scented with vanilla a really nice balance to the brown sugar and cinnamon topping.

 

Coffee Cake Muffins

Ingredients

Streusel

  • ½ c flour
  • ½ c brown sugar
  • ½ teaspoon cinnamon
  • ¼ tsp. nutmeg
  • ½ teaspoon salt
  • ¼ c cold unsalted butter, cubed

Muffin Batter

  • ½ c unsalted butter, soft
  • 3/4 c sugar
  • 1 ½ tsp. vanilla
  • 2 eggs
  • 1 c sour cream
  • 1 ½ c flour
  • 2 tsp. baking powder
  • ½ tsp. baking soda
  • ½ tsp. salt

Directions

Streusel

  1. Mix the dry ingredients together, cut in the cold butter with a pastry blender, your fingers or a food processor until you have small pea sized lumps of butter.
  2. Set the streusel aside until the muffin batter has come together.

Muffin Batter

  1. Preheat the oven to 350F.
  2. Cream the butter and sugar together, add the vanilla, eggs and sour cream, mix well.
  3. Mix in the dry ingredients until just combined.
  4. Line muffin cups with papers and fill each cup a little less than half way, sprinkle with 1 tablespoon of streusel, add another scoop of batter and top with the remaining streusel, about 1 heaping teaspoon.
  5. Bake at 350F for 25-30 minutes or until a toothpick inserted in the center comes out clean.
How I Menu Plan

How I Menu Plan

Zodiac’s season is about to get underway and its time to start menu planning. For me it takes a good deal of time, it’s not just about thinking of different meals to serve and making a grocery list, it’s a balancing act of proteins, starches […]

Roast Pork with Peanut Chimichurri

Roast Pork with Peanut Chimichurri

I’ve tried for awhile to come up with some kind of cute story or something real to say about this pork dish other than “Eat this now!”, but really that’s all I want to say. Eat this! Make this dish! Put it in your mouth! […]

Paneer Stir Fry

Paneer Stir Fry

During the summer I cook elaborate meals, well thought out themes with multiple dishes and lots of dessert. Then the ship docks for the season and I return to a life that I view as more normal, living on land and waiting out the days till Zodiac set’s her sails again. This winter in particular I decided to change the way I eat, focusing on more vegetables and less of everything else. It’s been a struggle to find ideas that entice me the same way my menus do during the summer, sometimes it just takes a little more thinking outside the box.

This stir fry came around because I made a big block of paneer, an unaged Indian cheese, but I wanted to use it in a smart way, small amounts here and there. To make those high calorie ingredients stretch they must be incorporated with vegetables; so I came up with this, an Indian inspired stir fry. Lots of vegetables, a little curry powder and some fried paneer served with cauliflower rice and raita, a cilantro cucumber yoghurt sauce. This recipe is flexible, use some leeks, broccoli or throw in some jalapenos slices if you like the heat, exchange the coriander seeds for cumin or brown mustard seeds, make it your own.

 

Paneer Stir Fry

Ingredients

  • 1 tbsp. coconut oil or oil with a high smoke point
  • 8 -10 oz paneer, cubed
  • 1 tsp. crushed coriander seeds
  • ½ tsp. salt
  • 1 large onion, sliced
  • 2 garlic cloves
  • 1 -2 tsp. grated fresh ginger
  • 1 carrot, sliced on the bias
  • 1 green bell pepper, cut in this strips
  • 3 small zucchinis,
  • ½ tsp. salt
  • 2 tsp. curry powder
  • ¼ tsp. cayenne
  • 1 large tomato, cut into
  • 1 tbsp. lemon juice or apple cider vinegar

Serve with

  • cauliflower rice
  • raita, Indian yoghurt sauce

Directions

  1. Heat a large pan on medium high heat, add 1 tablespoon of coconut oil until hot, add the paneer cubes along with the crushed coriander seeds and salt.
  2. Toss the paneer cubes around until they are dark golden brown, this will take about 7 minutes, remove from the pan leaving any remaining oil behind.
  3. To the same hot pan add the onion slices and cook until wilted, add in the garlic, ginger and carrots. Toss everything together and cook until the carrots are about halfway done.
  4. Add in the bell peppers, zucchini, salt, curry powder and cayenne, cook until everything is tender. If things start to stick add a tablespoon of water.
  5. Finish the dish by adding in the tomatoes, lemon juice and the fried paneer.
  6. Serve with califlwer rice and raita.
Chicken Marbella

Chicken Marbella

I’ve been eating this dish since I was a kid, my mom would make it in California and when I lived in Singapore our housekeeper would make it. When I started cooking on boats and looking for recipes to make I looked back to my […]

Roasted Kale And Egg On Toast

Roasted Kale And Egg On Toast

My food mood changes during the winter, all I want to do is eat things that are bad for me, high in calorie and not as many vegetables as I pack into my summer meals. As the cold sets in I become less active and […]

Roasted Ranch Potato Salad

Roasted Ranch Potato Salad

My favorite ways to prepare potatoes is in salad form and the second best is roasted, this is the best of both worlds. Crispy roasted potatoes are sauced with fresh ranch style dressing, green onions, parsley and dill to make for a pleasing textural combination and tangy side dish perfect for any summer BBQ.

 

Roasted Ranch Potato Salad

Ingredients

  • 5 lb small potatoes
  • 1/4 c oil
  • 1 tbsp. salt

Dressing

  • 1/2 c sour cream
  • 1/4 c mayo
  • 1/4 c apple cider vinegar
  • 2 tbsp. ranch powder
  • 10 green onions, chopped
  • 1 bunch of parsley, chopped
  • 1/4 c fresh dill frowns
  • 1 ½ tsp. pepper

Directions

  1. Preheat the oven to 400F.
  2. Cut the potatoes into bite sized pieces, if they are small enough potatoes you can cut them just in half.
  3. Toss the potatoes with the oil and salt in a large roasting pan, roast for 40 minutes until the potatoes are tender and crispy.

Dressing

  1. Mix together the ingredients for the dressing and set aside until the potatoes are cooked.
  2. Mix together the roasted potatoes and the dressing while the potatoes are still warm, serve immediately.
Pork Banh Mi with Homemade Pickles

Pork Banh Mi with Homemade Pickles

I like to make food from everywhere, I pick up ideas on my travels but most of the time I make things that I haven’t eaten before. Researching and planning food is half the fun of my job, I get to be creative and look […]