Thursday, August 26, 2010

Apple Raisin Muffins (Mini)

Mini muffins are perfect for kids and adults alike. These muffins are tasty and make a yummy snack. This recipe makes close to 5 dozen mini muffins, so put some in the freezer for later!

-Paula Deen (with some changes)

1 cup water
2 cups sugar
2 cups grated apples (2 large granny smith)
1 cup raisins
1 cup (2 sticks) butter
2 tsp. ground cinnamon
1 tsp. nutmeg
1/2 tsp. ground cloves
3/4 cup chopped pecans
2 tsp. baking soda
3 1/2 cups flour

Combine the water, sugar, apples, raisins, butter, cinnamon, nutmeg, and cloves in a saucepan; bring to boil. Remove the pan from the heat and cool completely.

Preheat oven to 350 degrees (325 if using dark pan).

In a large bowl, stir the nuts and baking soda into the flour. Add the cooled mixture to the bowl, and stir until blended. Fill greased miniature muffin tins with batter to the top. Bake for 15 minutes.

Tuesday, August 17, 2010

Carrot Cake

Brandon loves carrot cake, but until now I have not been very successful in finding a recipe that produced a moist cake that had the right balance of carrots, pineapple, nuts and raisins. I finally decided to take several recipes, compare them, and then make up my own based on our tastes and preferences. I think we finally found a winner!

4 extra large eggs
1 cup oil
1 cup brown sugar
1 cup white sugar
1/2 cup crushed pineapple (drained, but not squeezed dry)
2 tsp. vanilla
2 cups flour
2 tsp. cinnamon
1 tsp. baking soda
1 1/2 tsp. baking powder
1/2 tsp. salt
2 3/4 cups finely grated carrots
3/4 cup chopped pecans
1/3 cup raisins (if desired)

Simple Syrup:
1/4 cup sugar
1/4 cup water

1 (8 oz) package cream cheese, room temperature
6 Tbsp. butter, room temperature
2 cups powdered sugar
1 tsp. vanilla
1 Tbsp. heavy or whipping cream

Preheat oven to 350. Grease two 9" round pans and line bottoms with parchment paper.

If using raisins; place in a bowl and cover with boiling water. Let them soak for 15 minutes until plump. Drain excess water and reserve on paper towel. Toss with 1 tsp. flour before adding to cake.

In a large bowl, beat together eggs, oil and sugars. Stir in pineapple and vanilla. Sift flour, cinnamon, baking soda, baking powder and salt and gently add to sugar mixture, stiring just until flour is incorporated. Stir in carrots, nuts, and raisins (if using).

Pour into prepared pans and bake for 25-30 minutes, until a toothpick inserted into the center of the cakes comes clean. Let cakes cool in pans for about 10 minutes, then turn out on a wire rack and cool completely. Brush tops of cake with simple syrup and frost as desired.

To make simple syrup: Bring sugar and water to boil, stirring until sugar is dissolved. Cool completely.

To make frosting: Beat the cream cheese and butter together in a medium-sized bowl with the mixer on high speed. Add the powdered sugar, then the vanilla, beating until smooth. With the mixer running, gradually add the cream and beat until the frosting looks whipped and creamy. Add a little more cream if necessary until it's easy to spread.

Tuesday, August 10, 2010

Tropical Muffins

How can you go wrong with sour cream? This muffin is moist and delicious!

-Country Magazine

1/4 cup butter, softened
1/2 cup sugar
1 egg
1 cup (8 oz) sour cream
1 1/2 tsp. imitation rum flavoring (1 tsp. was plenty)
1 1/2 cups flour
1 tsp. baking powder
1/2 tsp. baking soda
1/2 tsp. salt
1 can (8 oz) crushed pineapple, drained
1/2 cup flaked coconut
1/3 cup chopped pecans

In a large bowl, cream butter and sugar until light and fluffy. Beat in the egg, sour cream and extract. Combine the flour, baking powder, baking soda and salt; stir into the creamed mixture just until moistened. Fold in the pineapple, coconut and pecans.

Fill greased or paper-lined muffin cups two-thirds full. Bake at 375 for 20-25 minutes or until a toothpick comes out clean. Cool for 5 minutes before removing from pan to a wire rack.

Makes 12 muffins.

Monday, August 9, 2010

Junebug Frocktail

Here's a yummy drink perfect for summer! The recipe called for serving the drink over ice, but I just threw the ice in with the other ingredients in the blender. Yum!

-Better Homes & Gardens

3 cups ginger ale (2 12oz cans)
1/4 cup grenadine
1/4 cup orange juice
3 scoops orange sherbet
8 cubes ice

Blend until ice is completely crushed.

Serves 4.

Wednesday, August 4, 2010

Super Sidewalk Paint

My kids love this paint! We use disposable plastic cups and inexpensive sponge paint brushes for our painting. Be careful - the food coloring will stain clothing.

-The Ultimate Book of Kid Concoctions

1/4 cup cornstarch
1/4 cup cold water
6-8 drops food coloring

Mix cornstarch and cold water together in a small plastic bowl. Add food coloring and stir. Repeat to make different colors. Super Sidewalk Paint can easily be washed away from the sidewalk with water.

Beef & Barley Stew

In an effort to be more prepared in an emergency, we've been trying new recipes to expand the list of meals that we could make with our food storage. I added some potatoes and used fresh vegetables in this soup because I had some that needed to be used, and I think this soup would be delicious any time.

-Preparedness handout?

1 (12 oz) can beef chunks (don't drain!)
7 cups water
3/4 cup dried carrots (4 fresh)
3 Tbsp. dried minced onion
3 Tbsp. dried celery (2 ribs)
2 Tbsp dried red or green pepper (1/2 large)
2 potatoes, cubed or dried equivalent
2 Tbsp. beef bouillon
2 Tbsp. dried minced parsley
1/2 tsp. basil
1/8 tsp. pepper
1 bay leaf
3/4 cup pearled barley

Combine all ingredients except barley in large pot and bring to boil. (If using fresh potatoes and bell peppers, reserve those until the last 20-25 minutes of cooking).

Add barley and simmer, covered, for 45-55 minutes until barley is tender. Remove bay leaf before serving. Serves 4-6.