Wednesday, 29 February 2012

The QUEST for the Muffin Man con't.

I have recieved a couple of recipes for delicious mufffins.  If you have any good ones please post them.  I think a good muffin is something we are all looking for.

Today I am going to post the Cranberry Orange muffin that is very nice in the morning with a cup of tea.  I found this one through a friend on Mennonite Girls Can Cook.

  • 1 2/3 cups flour
  • 1/3 cup wheat germ  (I used some bran)
  • 1/3 cup sugar
  • 3 teaspoons baking powder
  • 1 teaspoon salt
  • 1/3 cup chopped pecans
  • 1 egg
  • 1/2 cup orange juice
  • 1/2 cup orange or peach marmalade (or jam)
  • the zest from one orange
  • 1/4 cup vegetable oil
  • 1/4 cup milk
  • 1/2 cup dried cranberries
  • 1/3 cup brown sugar
  • 1/2 teaspoon cinnamon
  1. Grease muffin cups or line with paper liners.
  2. Preheat oven to 400º.
  3. Combine dry ingredients and chopped pecans in a mixing bowl.
  4. Beat egg lightly in a small bowl and add orange juice, marmalade, orange zest, oil, milk and dried cranberries.
  5. Add wet ingredients to dry and mix only until completely moistened.
  6. Spoon batter into prepared muffin cups filling each two thirds full.
  7. Mix topping and sprinkle about 1/2- 1 teaspoon over each muffin.
  8. Bake at 400º for about 15 - 20 minutes. Test with a toothpick to be sure they are baked through.
  9. Remove muffins from pan to a rack.
  10. Serve warm.
  11. Makes 12 medium sized muffins.

Tuesday, 28 February 2012

Do you know where the GOOD Muffin Man lives?

Ahhh Muffins...

One of my favourite carbohydrates.  I really enjoy making these quick breads, smelling their goodness while they bake and then slathering them with buddah and taking a nice lady-like bite right out of it....

I usually make at least one batch of muffins a week.  My husband is in the oil patch and gets up early.  So it is nice for him to break open his lunch box in the morning and enjoy a muffin...a GOOD muffin. That is the crux of the matter.  There are way too many muffin recipes out there that are actually recipes for hard, dry lumps of flour.  So disheartening and YUCKY! 

So I have been on a quest, like the mighty knights my sons pretend to be, to fight off the hard lumpy chunks o' bad muffins to find the the beauteous, moist muffins that we all love!  So far in my quest I have discovered and practised 5 GOOD muffin recipes.  Sounds kinda sad when you think of how many muffin recipes I have tried.  But having 5 good ones is better than none.  I might have given up and just bought those preservatives filled "muffins" at the store that have expiry dates for 2015...

1) Applesauce Spice Muffins
2) Banana Chocochip Muffins
3) Blueberry Bran Muffins
4) Date Chocolate Chip Muffins
5) Orange Cranberry Muffins

So here is our most favourite of wondrously moist muffins. 

Applesauce Spice Muffins - I found this recipe on Mennonite Girls Can Cook blog.

This makes a double batch.  You can easily cut it in half.

Muffin Batter
 -4 eggs
 -2 cups white sugar
 -1 1/2 cups oil
 -1 3/4 cups apple sauce
 -3 cups flour
 -1 tbsp cinnamon
 -1/4 tsp nutmeg
 -1/4 tsp cloves
 -2 tsp baking powder
 -2 tsp baking soda
 -1 tsp salt
Beat together eggs, sugar, oil and applesauce. Add all dry ingredients and beat until well blended.  Line muffin tins with paper liners and fill each cup to almost full. Sprinkle approximately 1 tsp of brown sugar on the top of each muffin. Bake in 375º oven for 15-20 minutes. Remove to a cooling rack. Yields 2 dozen muffins.

Sunday, 19 February 2012

Oh did not flee

Today being Sunday I try to resist the urge to do anything work related...aka housework, cleaning, and major cooking.  I like to make it special by not only going to church to work with my class of 4 and 5 yr olds, but to also NOT do laundry. 

But alas, today I was tempted by french cuisine once again. 

I have indulged a bit too much this past week so I was bound and determined to be a good girl and resist temptation....but I went to the website of greatest temptation...Pioneer Woman....  Since I couldn't eat I could at least read about yummy food...

But temptation won out today.  I saw a recipe I just had to give a try to.  French Onion Soup stuffed mushrooms!  They were pretty good I must say. Onions sauteed in red wine and beef broth....topped with Swiss cheese and parsley.  I swoon!  My husband was unsure of the amount of onion he was going to consume...but he did eat them quite readily.  As did I!  So much for my Vi - Shake for supper plan.  I enjoyed stuffed mushrooms and a glass of Chianti.  One of my favourite of wines. 

I had a friend convince me that the ingredients were all good for me.... I am going to go with that and not look at the amount of cheese that was sprinkled on top of my stuffer mushrooms.

Ah won out today...tomorrow I will be a good girl. I promise....oh look Pioneer Woman does an olive cheese bread.....

oh dear. 

Wednesday, 15 February 2012

Chocolate Day!

To help celebrate Love Day yesterday I determined to eat chocolate with every meal! It was tough to do....ok, not really.  I do LOVE chocolate, but it is not always conducive with my plan to stay trim and slim.  But I do adore it, and on Valentine's day chocolate has NO calories.  They magically disappear!

So my morning began with a small piece of my favorite chocolate bar of all time - Lindt Excellence dark chocolate with sea salt.  So good.  You get a little saltiness in with the richness and decadence of the dark chocolate.  Love it.  I paired this with a chocolate banana Vi-shake thus making it conducive with my diet plan:)

Lunch was paired with a chocolate cookie.  AND FOR SUPPER.......Pots de Creme!!!! Oh ya baby!  My new go to dessert that will make people swoon and think you are totally amazing!  So, if you don't follow Pioneer Woman around like I is a little gem to tuck in you pocket.  You will thank me!


12 ounces of chocolate chips (In non-American world....aka Canada - a bag and a half of chocolate chips)
4 eggs
1 cup of HOT (EMPHASIS ON HOT!!!!) Coffee
1 teaspoon of vanilla
Whipping cream - for garnish.

So here's what you do....

1) In your blender place chocolate chips, followed by the 4 eggs, and teaspoon of vanilla.  Pulse a bit to incorporate.

2) Begin to blend. Open top hole of blender and pour in a slow, steady stream the HOT coffee.  (Magic happens here)

3) Pour into dessert dishes. I used small mason jars (because Pioneer Woman did and I think she is cool)

4) Cool in fridge for about 3 hours....

5) Whip up some whip cream and garnish on top and stick in a spoon....and savour that first bite.  I sure did!

So that was with supper. My evening ended with a wonderful glass of Luigi Bosca Melbac paired with....a piece of my sea salt chocolate bar...

Today's menu: SALAD and veggies........:)

Thursday, 9 February 2012

J - E - L - L -O!

Are we all seeing Bill Cosby in our heads as he has a cup of grape Jello dancing with a bunch of kids?  Definitely a childhood memory!  Jello....The iconic food of the 50's and 60's.  Mixed with marshmallows and fruit you have a "salad".  People even put grated veggies in it!  Crazy.... 

This month of Love I have decided to use Jello as a go to snack for the various parties my children are part of to celebrate red, pink, and purple, things and lots o candy!   My boys have never had a lot of Jello in their lives so far.  I make the occasional bowl and they play with it and eat half of it.  They like it....but the texture is a bit weird to them.  BUT, the month I am reaching for the box that jiggles to help me in my busy time.

The first Jello treat I made was Jello Jigglers.  My mom made cherry jigglers when I was in Kindergarten and I still remember that.  They were heart shaped!  I was so proud to bring them to my class to share.  So to commemorate my sons first real Valentines I made some Cherry jigglers for their play group. (not heart shaped as I wouldn't have enough)  The kids loved them....loved pulling them apart, squishing them and I think some of it made it into their mouths. All in all, it was good.  All of us moms remembered jigglers and exclaimed...gotta make those again!  I think I will too.  Try some cookie cutter shapes.

My second foray into Jellodom is going to be preparing 70 jello cups for our Friends club next week.  I believe some spray whip cream will accompany this treat.  Should be fun.

To finish off my month o' Jello.....I think I may try one of those old fashioned 1950's version with the fruit and marshmallows in it.  Too bad my Dad is in the Ukraine right now....he'd drive up to eat it.  He LOVES JELLO SALADS!

So everyone go buy a box of wiggle and jiggle.  Relive your childhood!!!!

Wednesday, 1 February 2012

It's not Delivery.....

Nope, Frozen pizzas ala Delissio are not on the same level of greatness as  The Boston Royale from BP's, or a Goat Cheese and Chorizo pizza from Panago.... (I miss Panago....)  BUT today I savoured every bit of my frozen "Canadian" and "Buffalo Red Hot Chicken" Delissio pizzas.

Today was a busy day...No time for crock pot prep or my regular make dinner routine. Today was  a BUSY day from beginning to supper.  I am not ashamed to throw in a frozen disc of processed dough every once in a while.  No one should, just pop that baby in and know that sanity is worth it.

Today....I am still sane....I think...:)