the fridge

We have been eating out of the fridge and freezer lately because I don’t want any leftovers.  Why? We are going on vacation. This means we have been eating strange combos of things. Like a sandwich with rice. Not a rice sandwich – but rice as a starchy side. Meals with lots of small portions of leftover veggies. Most meals fairly unbalanced. Oh well.  We have also been employing the grill a lot more. Less cleanup!  It’s all for the greater cause, right?

I’ll tell you all about the trip after we return – and maybe, just maybe I’ll have some new and exciting recipes to share from our travels. I hope so!

Until then, make a double recipe of something and freeze it. Make a bundt cake and freeze it (including most frostings) and enjoy your family.

~janna

Do you know the muffin man?

When I was young, my Mom read my sister and I a fabulous book called The Muffin Muncher. It was awesome.  I think that’s when my love affair with muffins began.  I’m not too picky – just let them be homemade.  Those ginormous ones from Costco are fun, though – especially the lemon poppy seed.

For several years, I have done a muffin bake-a thon right before school starts.  I have even had muffin exchanges at my house where everyone arrives with 6 dozen muffins and goes home with 6 dozen ASSORTED muffins. That was fun, too.

All this time, though, I have been on the search for a master muffin recipe. One that would make a ton of muffins and would be a basic recipe that I could add too.  I think I found it.

For the dry mix:

8 cups flour (I used whole wheat)
3 cups sugar
3 tsp. salt
3 tsp. cinnamon
2 tsp. nutmeg
4 Tbsp. baking powder

This is enough to make four batches.

Ingredients for the muffins:
1 c milk (I used powdered)
1 egg
1/2 c applesauce, unsweetened (I used coconut oil)
2 3/4 c of the dry muffin mix

Directions

In a huge bowl, mix together all the dry muffin mix ingredients. I use a whisk to mix it all together until well blended. Because I used powdered milk, I added the powder in with the rest of the dry ingredients, then just added water with the wet ingredients.

To make the muffins, combine 2 3/4 c of the muffin mix with the wet ingredients. Spray muffin tin. Full tins half to 2/3 full. Bake in a preheated 400 degree oven. 16 minutes for regular sized muffins. 12 minutes for mini muffins.

The muffin mix recipe makes enough for about 4 batches of muffins.

The muffin recipe makes 12 (muffins cups mostly full) to 14 (about 2/3 full) muffins.

When I baked them yesterday, I just threw all the dry ingredients in the Bosch, mixed them, then added the wet things. I had another large bowl on the counter and just scooped about 2.5 cups of the muffin mix in there. I added various ingredients to that bowl so I could try several things.  Here’s what I tried yesterday while on the phone with my sister (trying to give you props for the ideas, Bo!)

Batch 1 –Strawberry Fields Forever. Added a large clamshell of fresh strawberries that I blended first (third son doesn’t like strawberries for some reason) I added approx 2 teaspoons of this great almond extract I got at Christmas (made by Lorann) (I got 2 doz smallish muffins – would have been 1 doz regular size)

Batch 2 – Im Plum Tuckered Out. I added about 1.5 cups of dried plums that I blended first so they wouldn’t be so huge. I also added approx 1 teaspoon vanilla and 1-2 teaspoons of lemon extract (again, the Lorann brand) (Made 1 dozen) And yes, I realize these are really prunes but please don’t tell my children, okay?)

Batch 3 – Yellow Brick Road. Added 2 Tablespoons of poppy seeds and about 2 teaspoons of lemon extract. Should have used more lemon. Made mini muffins for this one. This was my least favorite – probably because I just don’t like whole wheat lemon poppy seed – next time, I’ll use whole wheat pastry flour instead. (Made 2 dozen mini-muffins)

Batch 4- Tropical Dreams. My personal favorite and fav of the boys as well – I added 5 frozen bananas (that went through the blender first also) then 1 teaspoon each of vanilla, rum extract, coconut extract and almond extract.  Oh.  My.  Goodness.  These were amazing. (Made 1 doz)

The recipe I found (which I amended before I ever tried it) had suggestions for other add-ins. I say, “Be inventive! Use what you have !”

But let me know what you try. 🙂

Next time, I am going to make up the dry ingredients and store in a plastic bag in the freezer like I do with my bulk pancake and waffle mixes. Then, I’ll be able to just pull out the 2 3/4 cups of that and whip up a batch. I’ll probably still do the big batch cooking thing as well because it just makes breakfast easier at my house. I like easy. Especially in the mornings.

~Janna

Other add-ins

add 1/2 cup pumpkin, cut the applesauce (oil) to 1/4 cup, 1/4 cup chocolate chips

add 3/4 cup applesauce for more apple taste instead of 1/2 cup

1/3 cup craisins and 1/3 cup white chocolate chips

1 mashed banana, 1/3-1/2 cup nuts or chocolate chips

1/3 c grated carrot and 1/3 cup raisins

any kind of nuts–1/3 to 1/2 cup
chopped up fruit–1/3 to 1/2 cup (grated apple is good), blueberries-toss in a little flour first and they won’t float to the top, any pie fillings