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Monday, August 29, 2011

“Classic Quickbreads and Muffins, Pt. XXV: Pineapple-Almond Muffins—tasty beyond Description”

The Grateful Dead are the king of the San Francisco bands as far as longevity, continuity, and commitment.  People love this band as do we and this, their first album, released in 1965 is a worthy debut album. This features the original line-up of Jerry Garcia, Bob Weir, Billy Kreutzmann, Phil Lesh, and Ron “Pigpen” McKernan.  Please take the handy link to Amazon.com, the world’s largest online retailer and buy it now! You won’t be disappointed!  Thank you, the Elemental News of the Day.


Here's the countdown to December 21, 2012: from today, we have 480 days to go until the End of Days, the End of Time, Armageddon, and the End of the Mayan Calendar!  Everybody, beware!


                                                   STINKBUG 2011


Chef James “JT” Tobiason

END Commentary 08-30-2011

Copyright © 2011 by MHB Productions

Word Count: 1,946.



Elemental News of the Day Commentary-Opinion-Sports-Foodservice for Tuesday, August 30, 2011 by Chef James “JT” Tobiason


 Classic Quickbreads and Muffins, Pt. XXV: Pineapple-Almond Muffins—tasty beyond Description

Bakersfield, CA, 08-30-2011 T:  I had a call from a friend yesterday who made my Peach-Pecan muffins and she was raving about how good they were.  I was overjoyed to hear that as we seldom get feedback here at the END due to everyone never saying anything.  It’s always nice to hear how happy people are when they’re given a chance to learn something that will make their homes smell like bakeries.  Did you know that many times, realtors will bake cookies in the oven of a home they’re about to show in order to give it that homey feeling and smell?  That is standard operating procedure as employed by successful realtors so imagine baking some delicious muffins before your next house-showing and see who wanders in, has muffins and coffee, and buys the place!

The muffins we are making today might just clench that house sale for you.  They’re pineapple-almond muffins, a superb treat that will cause mouths to water and eyes to run, they’re so good. Always pay attention to your recipes as all of the ones we do here at the Elemental News of the Day are broken down from formulas that serve 150-200 people so sometimes, the liquids might be really reduce so you may need to add to them.  I guess the idea I am trying to get across is don’t be afraid to ad lib if something doesn’t seem quite right, okay?  No one is ever perfect and that means on occasion, we might have a wrong measurement which you need to figure out how to adjust.  Look at other muffin recipes in order to give yourself ideas and then act on them, never be afraid to do something that looks “right.” Many times, old time chefs would give you incorrect recipes in order to protect theirs from being purloined as V. Vicky Mazarotti and Murph MacDougal were talking about over the past week or two.


Yield: about 1.5 dozen medium-sized muffins / Mis-en-place: about 60-75 minutes:

All-purpose flour

Baking powder

Baking soda

Kosher salt

Large eggs

Granulated sugar

Vegetable oil

Vanilla extract

Pineapple flavoring

Sour cream

Fl. Ounces
Canned crushed pineapple with juice

Toasted, chopped almonds

Pineapple chunks


1.      Mis-en-place: have everything ready to work with. Spray 18 muffin cups with PAM or some such other food release spray, line with paper liners, and spray the liners, too; set aside. Preheat standard oven to 400°F or convection oven to 350°F.

2.      Double-sift the first FOUR ingredients together and set aside.  Add the 1.5 cups of chopped almonds, stir, and leave.

3.      Cream the egg and sugar on an electric mixer equipped with a paddle attachment.  Cream until light and then beat in the oil, vanilla, and pineapple extract.  Stir in the sour cream and the crushed pineapple and blend well. 

4.      Fold the DRY ingredients into the WET using the least amount of strokes necessary in order to blend the two together.  We do this so that the finished product isn’t chewy.  Overdeveloping the gluten in quickbreads and muffins spoils the completed product so always take care to NOT overmix.

5.      Refrigerate the batter for 10 minutes and then, scoop it into the prepared muffin cups up to their rims.  Be sure to use equal amounts and if the batter is slightly higher than the cups, that’s okay, we like “high-tops.” Shake the pan gently to settle and then place a pineapple chunk atop each muffin, press slightly, and place on the middle oven rack to bake.

6.      Bake for 10 minutes and then drop heat by 25°F.  Continue baking for another 20-25 minutes or until a paring knife inserted into each of the center muffins withdraws clean. Remove from oven at that point and place on a wire rack to cool.

7.      After a couple of minutes, gently rap the pan to loosen the muffins and then tilt them at an angle and complete cooling. To garnish them, mix a little bit of pineapple syrup with powdered sugar until you have a stiff glaze and then using a spoon, dribble it across the upright muffins in a swirling pattern and allow finishing cooling.

8.      You can wrap each of them individually with plastic wrap and then place inside a Freezer Zip-Lock baggie and freeze until you need to use them.  Heat in a microwave oven until warm and then serve them. Be sure to keep them frozen rather than in the fridge as the fridge tends to dry breads out whereas the freezer keeps them in “suspended animation” for up to three months.

This is an awesome muffin that your friends, family, and guests will admire and enjoy.  Keep this one on-hand and figure out different variations that you can do it with it like substituting apricots or even plums. Enjoy!

As I said yesterday, I have had a great time today and as always enjoy my opportunities to write for the Elemental News of the Day. We urge our readership to write to us and leave comments and if there are any of you, who would care to write an article for us, please get in touch via Magnolia Hilltop Brewers, P.O. Box 20669, Bakersfield, CA 93390-0669.  We obviously don’t pay anything but you will be given a full byline and that’s worth its weight in gold.  We want as many people who want to write to be able to do so and we believe that by presenting a forum for our fellow chefs, we are doing something for our beloved industry.  We love diversity and hope to add new and different authors to our pantheon of chefs, food and beverage directors, and culinary professionals.  Come on and join us, it’ll be fun!

Please remember to avoid doing business with AARC Technology in Bakersfield, CA.  These people don’t care about the small customer anymore but instead put all of their attentions onto their corporate customers. It’s sad to not remember why one has the success they do or from where it came.

Well, Day #2 is over and done and that leaves five to go.  What a wonderful thing that is, so much freedom to do whatever one needs to do.  Visalia is nice at this time of the year and we are looking forward to an end to the summer in another 30-45 days or so.  Why not spend some money and purchase an album by the Grateful Dead and/or buy a cookbook from Amazon.com.  We are allied with them and are pleased to market their merchandise! See you tomorrow! Bye!    

Thank you!


James “JT” Tobiason

Professional Baker, American Baker’s Association, Certified Working Chef, ACF, CWC

This is me back in the 1980's when I was an Executive Sous Chef at a hotel Monterey, California. I originally came from Salinas, CA, spent time in Fresno and Bakersfield, and currently am working at a fine-dining restaurant in Visalia, CA. I began cooking in 1967 when I apprenticed under a top chef working in the Napa Valley.


END Commentary for Tuesday, August 29, 2011 by Chef James “JT” Tobiason

Please note that everyone who writes for the Elemental News of the Day is their own person entitled to their own opinions, attitudes, and insanity so does not necessarily speak for all of us.  Thanks, Stinkbug.


This original essay was authored by the one-and-only Chef James “JT” Tobiason

Recipes created by Chef James “JT” Tobiason on June 15, 1988 in Monterey, CA.



“Stinky” of the Elemental News of the Day for the best of the news, politics, sports, foodservice, hotel and restaurant business, the end times, the end of days, the apocalypse, armageddon, and whatever else happens to pop up!


          LE STINKBUG

This is #1323, an 8” x 10" original oil painting by Beverly Carrick entitled, “Bird’s Boquet." It's among her more beautiful works and is available for sale. You can see much more of her work at her Website, located at http://www.beverlycarrick.com or at Brian Carrick's Facebook page. At her Website, you will see not only more original oil paintings but also lithographs, giclees, prints, miniatures, photographs, and even her award-winning instructional video entitled, "Painting the Southwest with Beverly Carrick." Beverly has been painting for more than 60 years and is known around the world. Her work hangs in private and public galleries and is followed by a great many fans that circle the globe. We urge you to go to her Website NOW and view her work. It's possible that you will find something you like and will want to buy it for yourself, a friend, a loved one, or a neighbor! You will not be disappointed so please: do yourself a favor and go there IMMEDIATELY! Thank you, the Elemental News of the Day!

Web Pictures II


Magnolia Hilltop Brewers and What's Cookin' Productions Trademark of Quality and Symbol of Integrity. Copyright 08-26-2011, all rights reserved. No unauthorized reproductions of any of this material are permissible unless granted by written permission. Thank you, the Elemental News of the Day.

Chief Editor: Stinkbug.

Assistant Editor: Moses Scharbug III

Proofreader: Amos Mosby Caruthers.

Beer: Smokehouse.




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