Sunday, November 20, 2011

Relaxing in the Kitchen on a Cold Sunday Afternoon (which is almost as good as relaxing with a glass of wine on a cold fall evening!)

     Anyone recognize the fruit above?  I'll give you a few minutes to ponder....don't look too close, you'll bonk your nose on your computer screen!  While you think, I'll tell you that the kids and I have been on a muffin kick, lately.  I've found that I can make a pretty hearty (and healthy...shhh!  don't tell Owen and Maggie) start to the day with some basic ingredients.  It sure makes our hectic dash out the door a little less crazy each morning.  I also feel better about sending them off to school with the most nutritious breakfast I can give them.  We're down to eating a bowl of cereal just on Sunday mornings!
     I've started playing around with mixing up my flours - when it calls for regular white, I put in at least half of the amount with wheat, then about 1/4 of the mixture is flax seed meal, the remaining 1/4 of mixture is regular (unbleached) white flour.  I've found the texture to be undesirable when going "all wheat."  I also replace all oil with applesauce.  If the recipe calls for 1/4 cup oil, I put in 1/4 cup applesauce.
     Our first batch of muffins were pumpkin.  No pictures as they weren't that pretty to look at - however they did get requested every morning until they disappeared!  I tried a new recipe today while the kids played outside.  Have you guessed the fruit, yet? Anyone have to clean their screen from bonking it?  Here is the batter they jumped into:

      I'll give you a hint:  they're in season right now and if you have a pair of hip-waders and live in Maine, you might get some fresh down in a bog somewhere.....If you guessed cranberries you're correct!  (I do not own hip-waders and have never picked cranberries.  Do note, the author of this blog would not turn down the opportunity to purchase hip-waders in order to go cranberry picking (or is it cranberry bogging?).  Anyhow, here is the basic recipe for this batch of Cornbread and Cranberry Muffins.

Here's my batch.  Combination of cornbread and cranberries is very good!  I can never resist changing a recipe - I didn't follow this one very well.  I changed the flours, added 1/3 cup maple syrup and 1/3 cup honey, instead of 2/3 cup sugar.  I also added about 3/4 cup of rolled oats, since I thought the batter was a bit on the runny side.
     This picture is a bit blurry due to all the activity going on in the pan.  It is a bubblin and simmering away.  I found THE best tomato sauce here.  You wouldn't believe there's only 3 ingredients: 1 can of "good" tomatoes, an onion, and 5 tablespoons of butter.  The butter gives it an unbelievable richness.  The recipe tells you to discard the onion after simmering; but I have a hard time wasting that yummy onion.  I put a little bit of the onion in with our tortellini, and am saving the rest to chop up with another recipe later this week.
     Just for the record, I DID follow this recipe.  Until the very end.  I had some leftover sausage from Saturday morning that was just DYING to jump into the tomato sauce to see what all the bubblin was about.  Hard to resist.  This very simple sauce needed no extra flavors - no oregano, basil, or rosemary.  The only thing I had to do was stir and smoosh up the tomatoes while they were enjoying their little hot tub rendevous with the onion.
     I do wonder how good it would turn out if I used olive oil in place of the butter and maybe a wee bit of garlic with the onion?  I guess I'll have to try this again and let you know!
     Hope you all have a GREAT Thanksgiving week!  Watch for me and the kids on NETV this Tuesday, 10:15 AM while the Platteview Trojans take down Norfolk Catholic for the Class C State Football Championship game at Memorial Stadium! 

1 comment:

grandma spiehs said...

Yum yum yummy!!!
Do you take online orders? :)