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Food, general thoughts, food…


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Banana-Apple Muffins

The ubiquitous left over bananas were joined this week by a couple of wizened apples that had most definitely reached middle age, some time ago if I am to be honest.

I didn’t have a suitable recipe on hand that used both so I replaced the blueberries (which I am not terribly fond of if the truth be told) in a Banana/Blueberry recipe with apple. What a good idea! Worked well, tasted good, was no hassle and was all eaten up within 2 days.

That is success! Enjoy!

Banana-Apple Muffins

2/3 cup  milk
1/4 cup  vegetable oil
1/2 cup  mashed ripe banana (about 1 medium)
1 egg
2 cups  all-purpose flour
2/3 cup  sugar
2 1/2 teaspoons  baking powder
1/2 teaspoon  salt
1/4 teaspoon  ground nutmeg
1 cup  chopped apple

Heat oven to 200C.
Grease bottoms only of 12 medium muffin cups, or line with paper baking cups.
Beat milk, oil, banana and egg in large bowl. Stir in remaining ingredients except
apple just until flour is moistened. Fold in apple.
Divide batter evenly among muffin cups (cups will be almost full).
Sprinkle with sugar if desired. (of course it is desired!)
Bake 18 to 20 minutes or until golden brown.
Immediately remove from pan.

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Banana-Blueberry Muffins

In using up the bananas I was going to just stick to banana bread which used 3 bananas but then discovered that I actually had 6 hiding in the drawer. I only have one loaf tin so a plan had to be devised to use up the remaining 3 bananas. So Banana Berry Muffins were born (with the addition of a spoonful of pineapple pieces that I had floating about in the refrigerator.

I used a Banana Blueberry Muffin recipe that I had on file. Along with the addition of the pineapple (just to use it up) I also used mixed berries because that was what I had handy. To be honest I am not a huge fan of blueberries, they lack the tartness of other berries that I find attractive when included in sweet recipes. I used 3 bananas and doubled all of the other ingredients to make 24 muffins.

Banana-Blueberry Muffins
Makes 12 muffins

2/3 cup  milk
1/4 cup  vegetable oil
1/2 cup  mashed ripe banana (about 1 medium)
1 egg
2 cups  all-purpose flour
2/3 cup  sugar
2 1/2 teaspoons  baking powder
1/2 teaspoon  salt
1/4 teaspoon  ground nutmeg
1 cup  fresh or frozen (thawed and well-drained) blueberries

Heat oven to 200C.
Grease 12 medium muffin cups, or line with paper baking cups.
Beat milk, oil, banana and egg in large bowl.
Stir in remaining ingredients except blueberries just until flour is moistened.
Fold in blueberries.
Divide batter evenly among muffin cups (cups will be almost full).
Sprinkle with raw sugar if desired. (makes a lovely crunchy top)
Bake 18 to 20 minutes or until golden brown.
Immediately remove from pan.


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Cupcakes or Muffins?

What is the difference between a muffin and a cupcake? Some muffins are obviously not cupcakes but some pretty much fall into the same category of sweet cakey things and make it hard to tell. I am guessing that cupcakes are usually a lighter mix, whereas, muffins can be quite dense.

In any case, however you call it these muffins are iced with butter icing and that makes them cupcakes as far as I am concerned.

My daughter made these today in her quest to keep me tubby and try every taste combination that pops into her mind. I have an inkling that marshmallows and peanut butter and chocolate may feature in the not so distant future. I look forward to it.

Enjoy!

 

Mint Iced Chocolate Chip Muffins
Makes 1 dozen muffins

1 1/2 cups flour
3/4 cup sugar
1/2 cup cocoa
2 tsps baking powder
1/4 tsp salt
3/4 cup milk
1/2 cup canola oil
2 large eggs
1 tsp vanilla
1/2 cup chocolate chips

Mint icing
125g butter, softened
1 1/2 cups icing sugar mixture
1 tablespoon milk
a few drops of peppermint essence
a few drops green food colouring (if desired)

Preheat the oven to 180C.
In a medium bowl, whisk together the flour, sugar, cocoa, baking powder and salt.
In a large bowl, whisk together the milk, oil, eggs and vanilla.
Add the dry ingredients and chocolate chips and stir just until well blended.
Fill muffin cups and bake for 20-25 minutes, or until domed and springy to the touch.
Set aside to cool.
Using an electric mixer, beat butter in a bowl until pale.
Gradually add icing sugar mixture and milk, beating constantly until combined.
Add desired amount of peppermint essence and green food colouring.
Pipe icing onto cool muffins.


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Oozy, Gooey and Awesome

What is better than a bar of your favourite chocolate? An oozy, gooey, soft centred muffin stuffed with your favourite chocolate!
If your favourite chocolate happens to be Rolo then you are in luck below.
This all came about because I wanted to make these muffins, after arriving at the confectionary isle I found they didn’t sell Rolos but low and behold, they did sell bars of chocolate shaped like dozens of Rolos stuck together. Whatever, they would work and they were on special. You know what that means? Double batch!!!

(Rolos, if you are not familiar with them, are little chocolate cups filled with gooey caramel made by Nestle. Normally sold in a long roll of them stacked end to end, they now sell them as a chocolate bar also. So yummy!)

At first I thought this muffin was a little plain, maybe not quite sweet enough and then I hit the center. The oozy, gooey chocolate in the center gives you a chocolate caramel hit that makes you grateful for the less flamboyant surrounding muffin. It is a terrific combination of pleasant cakey muffin and super sweet, gooey caramel chocolate that just works so well. They are  really good straight out of the oven, just let the center cool down to less than nucleonic heat before you get stuck in, else you could get a nasty shock as you bite into molten caramel. Been there, done that….

Soft Centred Muffins
Makes 12

2 cups s/r flour
1/4 cup cocoa
1/2 cup brown sugar
125g butter, melted
2 eggs
1 cup milk
1 bar of Rolo chocolate broken into individual cups or equivalent packets of Rolo’s

Preheat oven to 200C. Grease muffin trays.
Mix flour, cocoa and sugar. Mix, butter, eggs and milk together and fold into flour.
Spoon half the mixture into trays and place 1 Rolo in each muffin.
Top up with muffin mix.
Bake for 15 mins and serve warm.


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A little sweetness

Because of the following kinds of people, I felt the need to make something sweet. That and the fact that I had leftover pumpkin/sweet potato mash calling me from the refrigerator.

I know I am not alone in noticing this, and I can’t be alone in finding it very disturbing but the immediate escalation of nastiness in internet discussions is shocking to me. Is it the lack of face to face confrontation that makes people fly off the handle in ways they would never do normally or are there just those people out there that have little to no self-control and I have just been fortunate enough never to meet them? Silly things like you-tube videos and meme websites or more serious things like immigration debates on twitter, it doesn’t matter the forum, these people just lose it immediately and start throwing around words that decent people just don’t use in company.

It always seems to go thus:
Person 1: Here is my opinion, it may be ill considered and lack fore thought, but I am entitled to it.
Person 2: You are a stupid, ugly, fat $&*@%
Things degenerate from there, sometimes a thinking individual wades in trying to calm things down, in which case they cop a mouthful of abuse also, and it can go on for an age.

If these people are really so quick to anger and so unable to control their impulses I just hope to heaven that I never come across them by accidentally merging into traffic in a way that offends them. I may end up as a hood ornament or worse yet, a statistic. How do these people live day to day in the real world without getting the stuffing beaten out of them on a regular basis? Or are they able to relegate their lack of control to the computer room and act like a thinking part of normal society when they are in public?

I used to have a story book as a child with a picture of a troll inside, it was an ugly, mean, dirty, misshapen looking creature that was described as having little in the way of redeeming virtues. Not so surprising that this word has now been used to describe the type of person I am talking about here.

After being exposed to things like trolls we all need a little sweetness in our lives. Have a muffin…

Pumpkin Muffins

2 3/4 cups all-purpose flour
1 cup granulated sugar
1 tablespoon baking powder
1 teaspoon baking soda
1 teaspoon ground cinnamon
1/2 teaspoon salt
1 cup mashed pumpkin (I used a combination of pumpkin and sweet potato)
3/4 cup fat-free sour cream (I used Greek yoghurt)
1/3 cup fat-free milk
1/4 cup vegetable oil
1 teaspoon vanilla extract
2 eggs
Cooking spray
1 tablespoon granulated sugar
1 1/2 teaspoons brown sugar

Preheat oven to 190C.
Combine flour and next 5 ingredients (flour through salt) in a medium bowl, stirring with a whisk.
Make a well in centre of mixture. Combine pumpkin and next 6 ingredients (pumpkin through egg); add to flour mixture, stirring just until moist. Spoon the batter into 18 muffin cups coated with cooking spray.
Combine 1 tablespoon granulated sugar and brown sugar; sprinkle over muffins.
Bake at 190C for 25 minutes or until muffins spring back when touched lightly in centre.
Remove muffins from pans immediately; cool on a wire rack.