Planning For A Long Cold Winter–Let’s Start With These Muffins

Our garden was pretty much a big wash out this summer. I’m thankful that our harvest, or lack thereof, doesn’t mean we will have to go without this winter.  It just means we will be buying more canned goods and frozen veggies from the grocery store which never taste as good as those you preserve or freeze yourself.

Because of this, I have started stocking up on many of the canned goods I anticipate we will need to get us through a long cold winter.  Fortunately, I did get around to freezing some delicious sweet corn that our good neighbors gave us, and I have made several containers of homemade applesauce that went directly into the freezer too.   Today, I decided to add to my freezer stockpile by making a batch of these ever so tasty breakfast muffins (Banana Oat Mini Chocolate Chip) that should help make any morning just a little warmer and brighter – no matter the temperature. 

If you’ve got some brown bananas sitting around that you just aren’t sure what to do with, you MUST make a batch of these muffins!   These muffins are a bit heartier than my mom’s banana bread recipe. They also have mini chocolate chips in them which helps capture your taste buds attention.  I’m also thinking that a quarter of a cup of chopped walnuts would really send these muffins over the moon but I didn’t add any to this batch.  Maybe next time!

Banana Oat Mini Chocolate Chip Muffins

1/2 c. granulated sugar

1/2 c. brown sugar

2 eggs

1 stick of margarine (or butter), sliced

3 ripe bananas, mashed

1 tsp. baking soda

2 tsp. baking powder

1 tsp. salt

1 tsp. vanilla extract

1 c. sour milk

1 c. old-fashioned oats

2 c. all purpose flour

3/4 c. mini semi-sweet chocolate chips

Place baking papers in muffin tins.  Preheat oven to 350 degrees.

Put mashed bananas in a large bowl and cover with both brown and granulated sugar; let sit for a few minutes.  Add sliced butter and eggs; mix thoroughly.  Add baking soda, baking powder, salt, and vanilla.  Mix in flour and oats until combined.  Fold in mini chocolate chips. 

Fill baking papers about 2/3 full.  Bake for 16-18 minutes, or until toothpick comes clean when inserted into the center.  Allow to cool before removing from the tins.

There is nothing sweeter smelling than ripe bananas covered in brown sugar.  Is there?

How do you prepare for long cold winters?  Does it involve preserving or freezing?

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Double Chocolate Zucchini Muffins

This spring I’ve been thinking about all the projects that will keep me busy throughout the (hopefully) warm summer months.  Of course my list is forever growing, but one thing I’m particularly excited about is planting our garden.  Last year we enjoyed fresh vegetables in and out of season.  I froze lot’s of veggies and made a gazillion jars of homemade dill pickles.

I figure somewhere around mid March we ran out of our frozen French cut green beans.  Can I tell you how much I miss them?  My favorite way to cook them is in a little garlic and olive oil with a touch of parmesan cheese  – oh yum!

One thing I haven’t run out of yet is the grated zucchini I froze.  I usually freeze enough to make zucchini bread all winter long.  Since I already have posted my recipe for Quick Zucchini Oatmeal Bread  here before, and today I was in the mood for chocolate, I decided to get a little crafty in the kitchen and come up with a for Double Chocolate Zucchini Muffins.  And as luck would have it, I succeeded and these turned out great!

What I like about these muffins is… the zucchini is barely visible.  If you’re trying to pass off some veggies to your picky eaters I can assure you that this is one way to do it.  Also, these muffins are moist, not greasy, and have just the right amount of chocolate to satisfy my taste.  As with most baked goods that I make, I also share, and the recipients of these muffins have given them great reviews.

And now for the recipe…

Double Chocolate Zucchini Muffins

2 eggs, beaten

1/2 c. granulated sugar

1/4 c. brown sugar

2/3 c. canola oil

2 c.  grated zucchini

3/4 tsp. baking soda

3/4 tsp. baking powder

1/2 tsp. salt

1/4 c. cocoa powder

1 tsp. vanilla extract

1 1/2 c. all-purpose flour

1/4 c. dark mini chocolate chips, plus some for sprinkling on top

Preheat oven to 325.  Line muffin tins with cupcake papers (makes 1.5 dozen muffins).

In a large bowl, add eggs, sugars, oil, and grated zucchini; beat with an electric mixer until completely blended.  Add in baking soda, baking powder, salt, cocoa powder, and vanilla extract and mix thoroughly.  Beat in flour, and lastly, fold in mini chocolate chips.

Pour into prepared muffin tins – filling each cup about 2/3 full.  Bake for about 18 – 20 minutes, or until a toothpick comes out clean when inserted into the center. Immediately sprinkle some mini chips on the muffins once they are removed from the oven, and cool completely before removing the muffins from the tins.

Do you plant a garden?  If so, what is your favorite veggie to grow? And do you have a favorite?

One Bowl Corn Muffins for My Dream Restaurant

Order up!  I’ve often thought that I’d like to own a restaurant.  I envision it being a small place known for serving some of the best food north of the Mason Dixon Line.  I’d offer daily specials that could be read off an overtly large antique blackboard and I‘d serve the meals on vintage mismatched dinnerware that I’d scour local thrift stores to find.

The focus would be on good food made from scratch, using local farm fresh ingredients whenever possible.  And while I would offer plenty of healthier choices, there would be lot’s of comfort food to choose from too. 

Daily specials would consist of homemade soups, hand-pulled BBQ pork sandwiches, slow roasted beef and ham, country fried chicken, homemade mashed potatoes and gravy, macaroni and cheese, and my grandma’s famous coleslaw.  And what is a good meal without delicious homemade dinner rolls and corn muffins?   And let’s not forget the dessert cooler filled with slices of homemade cakes and pies – yum.

Okay, I’m back, no longer daydreaming… 

Since I really don’t see myself going into the restaurant business anytime soon, if ever, I decided to do the next best thing and make homemade The Joy of Caking’s One Bowl Corn Muffins to share with you.

These muffins are moist, sweet, and won’t crumble apart in your hands. And just so we’re clear, these are the muffins I would serve if I ever do open a restaurant. 

The Joy of Caking’s One Bowl Corn Muffins

1/2 c. sugar

1 egg

1/4 c. Chobani Plain (low fat) Yogurt

1/2 tsp. baking soda

1 1/2 tsp. baking powder

1/2 tsp. salt

3 TBSP. olive oil

1/2 c. ground cornmeal

1 c. all-purpose flour

3/4 c. skim milk

Spray a 12 cup muffin pan with non-stick cooking spray.  Preheat oven to 325 degrees.

In a large bowl, add sugar, egg, yogurt, baking soda, baking powder, salt, and oil; mix thoroughly by hand.  Add in remaining ingredients of cornmeal, flour, and milk.  Mix until all ingredients are completely blended.  Fill muffin cups a little over half full and bake for 12-14 minutes, or until toothpick comes clean when inserted into the center.

Cool before removing them from the pan.

The Chobani Yogurt and skim milk helps make these muffins a bit healthier too.  You don’t’ have to feel so guilty when you eat one, or two…

Have you ever dreamed of opening a business?  What would it be?

Grab & Go Bran Muffins

If I were going to invite (you) some of my closest friends over for a cup of coffee to catch up on things, which I really need to do, I’d make these yummy muffins to share.  This is by far is my most favorite muffin recipe – ever.  I can’t really explain why, but I’ll try.  These muffins are moist, a little sweeter than most, and their flavor is unique.  In other words, not so branny.

This recipe originated from one that my mom had.  Her recipe makes a whopping 50 muffins.  I certainly don’t have room for that many muffins in my freezer – do you?  So,  instead of making enough muffins to feed an army, I did a little adjusting and cut the recipe down considerably.  Now I can make a dozen at a time without having muffins up the wazoo.

These are some of the easiest muffins to make.  I just throw the ingredients in a large bowl and mix them up by hand.  This recipe makes a dozen muffins.

Grease muffin pan with non-stick cooking spray and preheat oven to 350 degrees.

Grab & Go Bran Muffins

1/2 c. sugar

1/4 c. butter, melted

1 egg, beaten

1/2 tsp. salt

1 1/2 tsp. baking soda

1 1/4 c. all-purpose flour

1 c. sour milk

1 c. bran flakes (If you like raisins, use substitute raisin bran flakes)

Mix all ingredients together and pour into prepared muffin pan.  Bake for approximately 13 minutes.  Check with a toothpick to make sure center is done.  Remove from oven; let cool before removing them from the pan.

What is your favorite muffin?

Frosted Carrot Muffins

Rather than save stacks of magazines from years gone by,  I make it a habit to rip out the pages from my magazines that I am super impressed with.  And that’s where this recipe came from.  The original recipe for these muffins was featured in one of my favorite magazines; Country Living (January 2009).

Carrot Muffins

I significantly modified the original recipe, and while there is a little more tweaking to yet to be done, I think I am onto something here.  Frosted Carrot Muffin anyone?

Frosted Carrot Muffins

Preheat oven to 375 degrees.  Line 16 standard-size muffin pan cups with baking wrappers and set aside.

1/3 c. olive oil

1/4 c. granulated sugar

1/3 c. brown sugar

2 large eggs

3 tbsp. milk

1 c. grated carrot

1/4 tsp. salt

1 tsp. baking soda

1 tsp. baking powder

1 tsp. cinnamon

1 tsp. vanilla extract

2 c. all-purpose flour

In a large bowl, cream together oil, sugars, milk, and eggs.  Mix  in salt, baking soda, baking powder, cinnamon, vanilla, and flour.  Fold in grated carrot.  Divide batter equally between baking cups.  Bake for about 20 minutes, or until toothpick comes out clean when inserted into the center.  Immediately remove muffins from the pan and cool completely.  Frost with your favorite frosting recipe. 

As far as the tweaking goes, I’m going to work on making this muffin slightly moister.  I’ll be sure to update you once I accomplish that.

Do you rip pages from your favorite magazines to refer to later?  Or, do you have stacks of magazines to refer back to?

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Blogging Fame and Glazed Strawberry Crumb Muffins

Do you ever wonder what life would to be like if you were suddenly catapulted into the category of one of the world’s top bloggers? 

What if it was your blog that landed you a  spot in a popular magazine?  Or brought you good fortunes like your own television show, the opportunity to contract with a well known book publisher, or promote brand name products? 

Would you graciously accept the fame and publicity, or would you run  from it as fast as your little feet would carry you? 

What do you think makes certain bloggers or their blogs popular? Is it the blog or bloggers personality?  Does hard work have a lot to do with it?  Is it as simple as pure luck?  How about the quantity or quality of posts?  

What do you think?

Now, hold onto your socks because I’m about to knock them off with this recipe for Glazed Strawberry Crumb Muffins I’ve come up with.

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Glazed Strawberry Crumb Muffins

1/4 c. vegetable oil

1/4 c. butter, melted

1 c. sour milk

1/2 c. granulated sugar

2 eggs, room temperature

1/2 tsp. salt

2 tsp. baking powder

1/2 tsp. baking soda

2 tsp. vanilla extract

Pinch of cinnamon

Dash of nutmeg

2 c. all-purpose flour

1 cup chopped strawberries

Crumb Topping

2 tbsp. butter, softened

1/4 c. brown sugar

3/4 c. quick cook oatmeal

Using a fork, mix all ingredients together in a small bowl; set aside.

Glaze Topping

1/2 c. confectioners sugar

One to two drops of milk

Mix until sugar is dissolved; set aside.

Preheat oven to 350 degrees.  Line 18 muffin cups with paper liners.

In a large bowl, add oil, butter, sugar, and eggs; mix thoroughly by hand.  Add salt, baking powder, baking soda, vanilla, cinnamon, and nutmeg; stir until completely blended.  Add sour milk and flour by alternating; mix until all ingredients are combined.  Fold in berries.

Fill muffin cups about 3/4 full.  Bake for 13-15 minutes until golden brown, or toothpick comes out clean when inserted into the center.  Leave oven on, and immediately sprinkle crumb topping over muffin tops.  Return to oven for 2 minutes.  

Remove coated muffins from oven and cool completely.  Once cool, drizzle glaze topping over crumb topping. 

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Double Berry Oat Muffins

I like having muffins on hand for breakfast.  Typically, I’ll make a batch and we will eat some fresh.  The rest go into the freezer for days that we’ve tired of the usual breakfast fare. 

Muffins freeze well, thaw fairly quickly, and are easy to grab on the go.  Hearty muffins like bran or oatmeal top my list of favorites.  When I realized it was time to restock our freezer I started thinking about my options.

Last year, I froze a bunch of blackberries, blueberries, and raspberries to use throughout the winter months.  I guard them pretty closely because I don’t relish the thought of paying outrageous prices for berries that never seem to taste nearly as good as those you get locally when they are in season.

A peek in the freezer confirmed my suspicions, my stock of raspberries was nearly gone, but there were still a lot of blueberries stock piled in there.  This is what led me to come up with today’s recipe.

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Double Berry Oat Muffins

Preheat oven to 400 degrees.  (This recipe made 15 muffins)  Heavily spray muffin tins with non-stick cooking spray and set aside.

1/3 c. butter, softened

1 egg, room temperature

3/4 c. light brown sugar

1 c. heavy cream

1 c. oatmeal, quick cook

1 c. all-purpose flour

1 tsp. baking powder

1/2 tsp. baking soda

1/2 tsp. salt

1/2 tsp. cinnamon

3/4 c. red raspberries

11/2 c. blueberries

Double Berry Oat Muffin Topping

1/4 c. oatmeal, quick cook

1/4 c. light brown sugar

1/2 tsp. cinnamon

In a large bowl, add butter, egg, brown sugar; mix thoroughly.  Pour in heavy cream, oatmeal, flour, baking powder, baking soda, salt, and cinnamon; mix well.  Fold in berries.

In a separate bowl, mix oat topping ingredients.

Fill each muffin tin about 2/3 full and sprinkle with prepared topping.  Bake for about 18-20 minutes.

Remove pans from the oven.  Take a sharp knife and run it around the edge of each muffin.  Allow the muffins to cool completely before removing from pans. 

These muffin are sweet, yet they have a hint of tart flavor that comes from using the raspberries.  I like how the berries compliment each other.   *Note – these muffins are not your best choice for a grab and go option because although they are very tasty, they are also very tender and crumble easily.

Even breakfast skippers will be tempted by these muffins.

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