Tuesday, October 19, 2010

Chocolate Chip Pumpkin Muffins

I’ve seen quite a few chocolate chip pumpkin muffins recipes lately and have marked a few that I wanted to try.  So initially, I started to make one of them, but then I accidentally messed up on one of the ingredient quantities, as a result of me being lazy and trying to do half the recipe without actually writing in the reduced amounts.

Since I was pretty far into the mixing, rather than start over, I decided to change the recipe I was using to the pumpkin muffin recipe I used last week (because the ingredient I messed up on still worked with this recipe), and then added some chocolate chips to the batter.

These pumpkin muffins came out tasty and I like the look of the chocolate chips decorating the muffin tops. I plan on trying the other pumpkin muffin recipes I bookmarked soon.

I like that these muffins are very pumpkin-y, but I am also looking for a recipe that is more muffin batter and that will rise more.

Chocolate Chip Pumpkin muffins (recipe base from here)

Ingredients

1 1/2 cups flour
3/4 cup sugar
1 tsp baking powder
1 tsp baking soda
1/8 tsp salt
1 tsp pumpkin pie spice
1 (15 oz) can pumpkin puree
2 large eggs
1/2 cup canola oil or vegetable oil
1/3 cup fat free Greek yogurt
1/4 cup fat free milk
1 cup chocolate chips

Directions

1. Preheat oven to 400 degrees. Spray muffin pan with cooking spray. Mix flour, sugar, baking powder, baking soda, pumpkin pie spice and salt in large bowl.

2. In a separate bowl whisk together pumpkin, eggs, oil, yogurt and milk. Combine wet and dry ingredients until just blended. Stir in half a cup of chocolate chips.

4. Spoon batter into muffin tins. Sprinkle remaining chocolate chips on top of each muffin. Bake for approximately 20 minutes or until toothpick comes out clean.

Tuesday, October 19, 2010

Chocolate chip pumpkin bread

Another variation on my favorite pumpkin bread recipe is a chocolate chip studded version.  Because chocolate makes everything better. =)

The little bits of melted chocolate match perfectly with the moist pumpkin bread, making a perfect snack.

I can never decide which version of pumpkin bread I like best. I guess it just depends on what I’m in the mood for.

Chocolate Chip Pumpkin Bread (adapted from this recipe)

Yields: Three 7 x 3 inch loaves

Ingredients

1 (15 ounce) can pumpkin puree
4 eggs
1 cup vegetable oil
2/3 cup water
2 1/2 cups white sugar
3 1/2 cups all-purpose flour
2 tsp baking soda
1 1/2 tsp salt
1 tsp ground cinnamon
1 tsp ground nutmeg
1/2 tsp ground cloves
1/4 tsp ground ginger
2 cups of semisweet chocolate chips

Directions

1. Preheat oven to 350 degrees F.  Line three 7×3 inch loaf pans with parchment paper.

2. In a large bowl, using an electric mixer, mix together pumpkin puree, eggs, oil, water and sugar until well blended.

3. In a separate bowl, whisk together the flour, baking soda, salt, cinnamon, nutmeg, cloves and ginger.

4. Using the hand mixer on low speed, gradually add in the dry ingredients.  Stir in the chocolate chips until chips are evenly distributed. Pour into the prepared pans.

5. Bake for about 50 minutes in the preheated oven. Loaves are done when toothpick inserted in center comes out clean.

Tuesday, October 19, 2010

Hot Pot Palace Buffet


Hot Pot Palace Buffet
1628 Hostetter Rd
San Jose, CA 95131
(408) 392-0566

This past weekend we celebrated my mom’s birthday.  We were initially going to attempt to check out Kome in Daly City, a place that opened about a year ago and we attempted to try around the holidays but weren’t willing to wait two hours.  I did some research and apparently it is still crazy packed on weekends, with an average of an hour and a half wait. We tried to make a reservation, but they only take reservations for a party of 15 or more.

So after some researching, we came across Hot Pot Palace Buffet, which opened a few months ago. There were a couple of things that seemed interesting about this place. First, everyone is given an individual hot pot. There are also eight soup bases to choose from. In addition to all you can eat hot pot, they also serve a selection of hot foods including several dim sum items.

The Hot Pot Palace location used to be another chinese restaurant. So when we entered, the set up looked like a regular chinese restaurant rather than like a buffet place or a hot pot place.

I chose a chinese herbal broth. It was similar to the one served at Little Sheep.

Here’s the mushroom broth and the spicy sichuan broth.

The nice thing about individual hot pots is that you can control what goes in and everyone is responsible for finishing their own portions. There tends to be a lot of nonclaimed items in a group hot pot.

The hot pot items were your typical hot pot items. They had a couple of greens, fish pieces, three kinds of fish balls, fried tofu, fresh tofu, frozen tofu, squid, baby corn, beancurd strips, mussels, seaweed knots, mushrooms, lamb, chicken, beef, intenstines, tripe.

The hot food selection actually looked pretty interesting. There were a variety of dim sum items like tripe, spareribs, various steamed buns, shrimp dumplings, steamed chinese broccoli, pork shu mai, egg tarts, and miniature pineapple buns. Since this was a former chinese restaurant that served dim sum, the dim sum items were actually pretty good and much better than the dim sum items you would normally expect at chinese buffet spots.

They had a couple of “American” items that made me laugh because they came straight out of Costco: bagel bites, corn dogs and dinosaur chicken nuggets. I’ll admit it, I had to have a corn dog. Other hot food items included clams and crayfish. Here’s some plates of food from my group that I took pictures of:


They also had fresh vietnamese spring rolls.

For dessert, they offered some cakes which I didn’t try and shaved ice.

I had a good time here. The buffet items were generally of higher quality than typical chinese buffet spots and I liked the all you can eat hot pot. Inevitably, there was the comparison of this place to Hot Pot City. Hot Pot City does have more hot pot items for dinner and it also has the grilling section which this place does not offer. But I like how it offers other hot food items and I like the individual hot pots.