Wednesday, April 18, 2012


I am still on a high from last night's dinner success.  Don't believe me?  Try it!  Seeing your minis munching on pizza made of cauliflower will do something to a mama.  In fact, I was so excited last night I forgot to share the recipe for rhubarb salad  that we had with our pizza (that was made out of cauliflower, did I mention that?)

This weekend, a friend of mine sent me a text asking if I wanted any rhubarb out of her garden.  FYI, the answer to the question "Heids McGhee, do you want any ______ from my garden?" is always an enthusiastic yes.  When it comes to garden produce, I'm like that socially awkward guy on free sample day at Walmart.  I don't care what it is, I want it.  And I'll hover uncomfortably until I get it.

So, needless to say, I was thrilled when I got a ziploc bag filled of garden rhubarb.  She even chopped it for me!  Somehow I manage to attract amazingly great friends.  I was so excited to tear the bag open and start munching on the rhubarb.  So I did.  And, that's when I realized that most people don't eat raw rhubarb.  That's news to me.  I grew up eating it raw and early on in our years of marriage when I plopped a bowl of raw rhubarb down in front of Mr. McGhee, he ate it without any protesting.  Of course, in hindsight, I realize he also ate my goulash made with manwich during those years without protesting either.

I gave some of the raw rhubarb to my minis and realized....nope, not very many people eat raw rhubarb.  And then I felt really bad because my poor tiny mini turned 5 shades of purple when that sour flavor hit her.  So, I decided to make it up to her that I would make some rhubarb muffins.  When in doubt, make muffins.  Words to live by.

Rhubarb Muffins

  • 2 1/2 cups flour (I used half all-purpose, half whole wheat flour)
  • 1 teaspoon baking soda
  • 1 teaspoon baking powder
  • 1/2 teaspoon salt
  • 1 1/4 cups brown sugar
  • 1/2 cup vegetable oil  (I substituted 1/4 cup applesauce, 1/4 cup coconut oil)
  • 1 egg
  • 1 teaspoon vanilla extract
  • 1 cup buttermilk  (to substitute, I took 1 cup of milk and added ~2 tsp of vinegar and let it sit for a few minutes)
  • 1 1/2 cups diced rhubarb
  • 1/2 cup chopped walnuts
  • 1 tablespoon melted butter
  • 1/3 cup white sugar (I substituted brown sugar)
  • 1 teaspoon ground cinnamon

  1. Preheat the oven to 350 degrees F (175 degrees C). Grease two 12 cup muffin pans or line with paper cups.
  2. In a medium bowl, stir together the flour, baking soda, baking powder and salt. 
  3. In a separate bowl, beat the brown sugar, oil, egg, vanilla and buttermilk with an electric mixer until smooth. 
  4. Pour in the dry ingredients and mix by hand just until blended. 
  5. Stir in the rhubarb and walnuts.  (I left out the walnuts.  I had already traumatized them enough with the raw rhubarb, I didn't dare try and sneak a nut into their muffins).  
  6. Spoon the batter into the prepared cups, filling almost to the top. 
  7. In a small bowl, stir together the melted butter, sugar and cinnamon; sprinkle about 1 teaspoon of this mixture on top of each muffin.
  8. Bake in the preheated oven until the tops of the muffins spring back when lightly pressed, about 25 minutes. Cool in the pans for at least 10 minutes before removing.

I apologize, I forgot to take a picture of them one they were baked.  I could draw you a picture, or you could just take my word for it that they were adorable and delish.

I still had some rhubarb left after the muffins.  I munched on some with lunch, but then I realized I still needed a salad for dinner.  Then I got what I thought was a very original idea to try a rhubarb salad.  I was very disappointed to discover that someone else had already had that brilliant idea, wrote a recipe, took beautiful pictures, and blogged about it.  Playing second fiddle.  Always the bridesmaid.  wah wah wah.  Here's the recipe.

Rhubarb Salad

  • 2 cups 1/2-inch pieces fresh rhubarb (try and find a friend like I have who will chop it for you)
  • 2 tablespoons sugar
  • 2 tablespoons balsamic vinegar
  • 1 tablespoon canola oil
  • 1 tablespoon minced shallot
  • 1/4 teaspoon salt
  • 1/4 teaspoon freshly ground pepper
  • 8 cups mixed baby greens
  • 1/2 cup crumbled goat cheese or feta
  • 1/4 cup chopped walnuts (toasted or untoasted, we were cramped for time so went untoasted)
  1. Preheat oven to 450°F.
  2. Toss rhubarb with sugar in a medium bowl until well coated; let stand, stirring once or twice, for about 10 minutes. Spread in an even layer on a rimmed baking sheet. Roast until just beginning to soften, about 5 minutes. Let cool for about 10 minutes.
  3. Meanwhile, whisk vinegar, oil, shallot, salt and pepper in a large bowl. Add greens; toss to coat with the dressing. Divide the greens among 4 plates. Top with the rhubarb, goat cheese (or feta), and walnuts.  

This salad was delish.  I loved it.  Mr. McGhee loved it.  In fact, we didn't even offer to share with the minis!