Sunday, December 26, 2010

Let it Snow, Let it Snow, Let it Snow!

Dear Lord,

Thank you for this true Sabbath! A "forced" day off, when everything is shut down - nowhere to go, nothing to do but enjoy the beauty of the snow. Although it is Sunday, and we were fully prepared to get up and go to church (admittedly partially because we didn't want to contribute to the low attendance on the day after Christmas), we appreciate being able to have a leisurely morning, make a breakfast reserved for days like today (yummy Beignets and fresh fried farm eggs), and spend the day playing in and taking pictures of the snow. Thank you!


Monday, December 13, 2010

Corn Dog Muffins

I have been making these muffins for lunches lately. They are a huge hit! The recipe/concept came from my friend Monica (thanks!). I mentioned making these in an e-mail to my mom and sister and now my sister is making them as well. I hope they are a hit in your home. You can use any corn muffin mix/recipe. The following recipe uses Hodgson Mill Corn Meal Muffin recipe as the base.

Corn Dog Muffins

1 1/2 cups Yellow Corn Meal
1 cup Unbleached All Purpose Flour
1 1/2 tsp. Baking Powder
1/4 tsp. Baking Soda
1/4 cup Sugar
1/2 tsp Salt

Blend together:
1 cup Buttermilk
1 beaten Egg
1/4 cup Vegetable Oil

2 hotdogs, sliced length-wise into half-moons and then length-wise again. The slice across into 1/8" pieces (we use the Oscar Meyer Premium hotdogs, which are nitrate and nitrite free)
1/2 cup shredded cheese (we usually use cheddar)

Preheat oven to 400F. Prepare muffin tins by lining with muffin papers or spraying with no-stick cooking spray.

Pour wet ingredients into dry ingredients and mix just until moistened. Let mixture sit for 5 minutes. Fold hotdog pieces and cheese into batter.

Spoon batter into muffin tins, filling them 3/4 full. Bake for 15 minutes or until tops of muffins are golden brown. Remove from pans and serve immediately or cool on racks. Makes one dozen.


1. Monica makes these into mini-muffins.
2. I usually don't have buttermilk on hand, so I add a teaspoon of vinegar to a cup of milk instead.
3. This is another recipe that I double and freeze to make packing lunches easier. They thaw over the course of the morning and are ready come lunchtime.

Sunday, December 12, 2010

Oatmeal Spice Muffins

As I mentioned before, muffins are a standard breakfast item around here. I have started making double batches of muffins and putting them in the freezer. This will get us through at least 2 weeks before I have to bake more, thus saving time. My go-to muffin recipe is from the Better Homes and Gardens New Cookbook. It has a basic muffin recipe with several variations, but I combine a couple of those for my basic muffin. Here it is:

Oatmeal Spice Muffins

2/3 cups Whole Wheat Flour
2/3 cups All Purpose Flour
3/4 cups Rolled Oats
1/3 cup Sugar
2 tsp Baking Powder
1/4 tsp Salt
1 tsp Ground Cinnamon
1/2 tsp Ground Nutmeg
1/8 tsp Ground Cloves
1/4 - 1/2 cup Chopped Nuts

In a separate bowl, mix:
1 Beaten Egg
3/4 cup Milk
1/4 cup Cooking Oil

Add wet ingredients to dry ingredients and stir just until moistened. Lightly grease muffin cups or use paper baking cups. Fill 2/3 full and bake at 400 for 20 minutes or until golden. Remove from pans. Makes about a dozen.

Banana Muffins: Add 3/4 cup mashed banana to wet ingredients and reduce milk to 1/2 cup. Don't use paper liners.

Pumpkin Muffins: Add 1/2 cup pureed pumpkin to wet ingredients. Don't use paper liners.

Berry Muffins: Fold in 3/4 cup fresh or frozen berries after mixing wet and dry ingredients.

Note: These are old fashioned bread-like muffins, as opposed to the cake-like muffins usually found commercially.

Making Breakfast Easy

I have been working on streamlining breakfast for the past couple of months. Mornings are an early rush for us, so having things ready when we get up is essential for a smooth start to the day. It also makes weekly grocery shopping fairly easy. Favorite quick breakfast foods are smoothies (prepped the night before and blended in the morning), muffins, toast, hard boiled eggs, and oatmeal. Boxed cereal is pretty much an act of true desperation around here. I prep as much ahead of time as I can. Muffins are made in 2-week batches, then frozen. Smoothies, ideally, are measured out in individual cups the night before and then blended in the morning. Hard boiled eggs are cooked in advance and kept in the refrigerator. Here's our basic breakfast schedule:

Monday/Wednesday/Friday: Smoothies and muffins
Tuesday/Thursday/Sunday: Oatmeal/Toast, fruit (ideally) and hot chocolate

The hard boiled eggs are for those who are still hungry after the initial breakfast offering.

On Saturdays we do whatever time allows, but usually it's a bigger, hot breakfast such as pancakes and sausage or eggs, sausage, and potatoes, or (our new addition) kartoffelpuffers (potato pancakes) with applesauce. We're still experimenting with the kartoffelpuffers, but as soon as we get them to a point were I can post the recipe, I will. I say "we", but this is actually my husband's project. I'm just the buyer and taster. Regardless of who is cooking though, this is one of those times when I feel like I'm living in a test kitchen (smile).

Friday, December 3, 2010

New Links

I added two new links to the Food Links list on the left.  The first is jacksonholefoodie.  Annie writes about cooking and gardening in the high altitude environment of Jackson Hole, WY.  Many thanks to Karen for the link!  The second one is Large Family Recipes.  Laura is a mother of six (soon to be seven) and has many wonderful recipes to share.  They are great for feeding many or for power cooking (freezing multiple meals for later use).