Saturday, November 9, 2013

A taste of Autumn

This past week I made some muffins for a brunch we had for some ladies at church.  Technically we were doing our Visiting Teaching, if you don't know what that is go look HERE.  I went with an old tried and true one and a new one. Now making a new one for an event is always a gamble. I found some pumpkin muffins with a streusel topping.  I was so happy when they were as yummy as they looked on pinterest.  I made these muffins and they turned out great!

These muffins really are so easy that you can easily make them on a school morning. Then when the kids leave for school you make a nice mug of hot cocoa with a small candy cane in it of course and butter up a muffin.  

Streusel Topping

1/4 cup brown sugar, packed
1/4 cup pecans
2 tbl butter
1/4 cinnamon

Cut the ingredients together with a pastry blender, or a couple forks, or pulse in a blender or use your hands to smoosh it together (don't really do that you will melt the butter).  It should resemble course crumbs when done. 

Pumpkin Muffins 

1 1/4 cup all purpose flour
1/2 cup sugar
1 1/2 tsp baking powder
1/2 tsp salt
1/2 tsp cinnamon
1/2 tsp nutmeg
1/4 tsp cloves
1/2 cup pecan pieces, coarsley chopped
1 egg
1/2 cup milk
1/2 cup pumpkin
1/3 cup oil

Preheat oven to 400 degrees. Line with paper and set aside. 

Whisk together the dry ingredients.  In a separate bowl combine the wet ingredients.  Add them together just until combined. Spoon into muffin pans and top with streusel.

To be completely honest the  directions above are great...but I never do that. I just add all the dry ingredients and give a quick stir. Make a whole in the middle and add the wet then I stir it to combine. I always make my muffins this way and they turn out great. So there is a time saver for ya! Once less bowl to wash is always a good thing!

 Then bake for 15-17 minutes.  

Monday, November 4, 2013

Comfort Food

One of my fall back recipes is homemade mac n cheese.  My mom made it growing up and although I use a microwave and she baked hers it is still that same yummy meal.  The recipe is beyond simple and is always a crowd pleaser.  Do not under any circumstances count the calories or fat content in this one! Do not make it with low fat substitutes.  Instead only make is occasionally and enjoy the treat with your family.  I promise on a rainy day or the first snow of the season this recipe will soothe the soul!  

Mac N Cheese

1 box elbow macaroni
2 cans cream of mushroom soup
5-6 cups shredded medium cheddar cheese (DO NOT USE PRE SHREDDED CHEESE, they add flour of cornstarch to keep the cheese from sticking to each other. That makes for a gross consistency in this dish)

Boil the noodles until tender.  Drain and pour them in a 9x13 pan that has been sprayed with pam. Add the cans of soup and stir it a little bit.  Add about half the freshly grated cheese and stir a little bit more.  Layer the rest of the cheese on top.  Microwave for 5 minutes, stir until all the melted cheese is combined.  Microwave for about 3 more minutes just until it is warm and bubbly.  Serve immediately. 

This dish is great the next day warmed up! 

Sunday, November 3, 2013

Sunday Treats

Today was the first time I have baked since being in our new house.  We all needed a little comfort food.  Our house does not become a home until I start baking.  The kids and hubby tend to gravitate to the kitchen to visit or sneak a taste of whatever I am making. I actually love that! It is one of my favorite things.  The kids will pull up a bar stool and visit with me about their school day or what plans they have all while I am making a batch of cookies or bread or whatever yummy treat strikes our fancy.  

I have been making these banana muffins since before Morgan was born. Chad loved them and then Morgan did too!  They beg for chocolate chips in theirs. Charlie and I prefer walnuts in ours.  It is a simple recipe and can be made easily on a school morning.

Banana Muffins

3 large ripe bananas
3/4 Cup sugar
1 egg, lightly beaten
1/3 Cup butter melted
1 1/2 Cup all purpose flour
1/2 tsp salt
1 tsp baking soda
1 tsp baking powder

Mash the bananas and add the sugar mixing well.  Add the next two ingredients mixing well.  Shift together the dry ingredients and add to wet mixture.  Mix until incorporated.  Try not to over mix at this point. That makes the dough tough.  At this point if you wanted to add a few choc chips of nuts you can.  I line my pans with cupcake wrappers so they are moist and not crusty.  That is how my family likes them.  But if your family likes them crusty then grease your muffin pans and make them like that! Bake at 350 degrees for 20-25 minutes.

Honestly I over cooked these. Totally forgot to push start on the timer!  Although they are darker then I would have liked they are moist and yummy!