Fancy Breakfast Friday: Snowboard Muffins

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Last week Jack had a surprise 4-day weekend, so one day he helped me make some muffins and the next day we all took off for a getaway weekend to Crested Butte.  You know that old wisdom that if kids help you cook then they will be more invested in eating the food, etc etc?  Not so with healthy-ish muffins.  Jack ate some, but then said they were too healthy for him.  I thought they were very good, but I may even cut back on the sugar next time.  With Jack’s help, they were pretty easy to make, and they made 24, which I loved.

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We had some for FBF with an egg and some bacon, and then I packed the rest up for CB and I was able to make delicious meals in the hotel room.  They boys had oatmeal with apples, bacon, a muffin and some orange juice.  Sometimes with an egg as well.  We just had a microwave and a one burner stove to work with but I did everything in the microwave. (And the muffins and bacon were pre-made.)

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Normal people may go out to breakfast when on a getaway weekend, but it’s hard to stay up till 10 pm drinking tequila, and then get up at 7:00 and help your teen get ready and out they door so he can try to get on the first chairlift.  I need my beauty sleep.  And I don’t recommend facing teen angst on an empty stomach.

I got this recipe from my friend Laura as part of my Christmas present.  Here is a link to the recipe!  I’m glad I found that because I can’t find the printout and I want to make it again.  Plus I’m in the middle of making next weeks FBF and I am running out of time. (Spoiler alert, it’s a million pancakes for the 3rd grade Valentine’s Party.)

The things I changed from the linked recipe are: I used craisins instead of raisins.  Used 1/4 cup of oil instead of apple sauce.  I just used 4 normal sized carrots instead of measuring the carrots.  The apples and the carrots just got sent into the food processor on “shred”.

I took my fancy camera to Crested Butte but there was too much precipitation for art photography.  And unlike last time, the view from our window was not great.  This is from my iPhone.

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And here’s the random photo of the week:

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Did you ever imagine someone could take such tiny bites from a sandwich?  From what I could tell, aside from those “bites”, Jack had just milk and two pistachios for lunch the other day.

One of my favorite things about making muffins is saying, “I haven’t had my muffin yet, MATT”    Try it, it’s fun.

Fancy Breakfast Friday:Clementine Cake

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Do you ever have that situation where everyone in your family loves clementines until that one day that they don’t?  I buy bag after bag and I can’t stay ahead of the demand, and then one day someone gets a bad one in their lunch and then suddenly people are choosing apples or bananas instead and you are stuck with 5 lonely clementines in your fruit bowl.  You can pack them in a lunch but you know you are going to see them 7 or 24 hours later, depending on when the lunch bag gets cleaned out.

No? Just me?  Well I had my sweet revenge and turned those sorry clementines into a delicious cake last week.  The recipe is here on Smitten Kitchen, and yes it does involve boiling the clementines for 2 hours, but that is not hard.  It also calls for ground almonds… and I have to admit,  I used homemade almond flour that has been in my freezer since my friend Ann Marie was making almond milk last summer and giving me her extra almond-flour-by-product.  I’m not sure how long home made almond flour is supposed to last but as far as I’m concerned, if it was in the freezer, it’s fine.  I also used some of this flour in this raspberry cake.

I had planned to share some clementine cake with Ann Marie, but… we just ate it all instead.  (Sorry!)

The cake was good!  I had to make Luke an egg/cheese bagel to go with it, but that’s a story for another day.

I made this cake the night before, because it’s obviously a time consuming process.  But it was very fresh and moist tasting in the morning, and for the next several days.  Very good with some strong coffee.  This cake is gluten-free if you are into that sort of thing.

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I didn’t do a very good job of putting my photo shoot props back in place, which led to this picture happening:

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That puppy will use the oddest things for a pillow.

 

 

 

DIY: Candy Hearts

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Have you ever thought, “What is the craziest thing I could make from scratch, instead of easily buying it for less than $5”?  If the answer is yes, then I have a couple things to share with you.  The first is DIY candy hearts, and the second is homemade hostess cupcakes.  I have a draft blog post written for the hostess cupcakes from so long ago, the cultural references are no longer valid.  Everyone go re-watch a couple years of Mad Men and I will share the hostess cupcake post.

In the meantime, get to work on these candy hearts because Valentine’s day is right around the corner, and this is a multi-day thing.

There are quite a few recipes out there, but here is what I did – this is mostly adapted from this Food Network recipe.

1 1/4 -ounce packet unflavored gelatin powder
1 tablespoon light corn syrup
1/2 cup boiling water
1/8 teaspoon salt
1/2 teaspoon vanilla extract
2 1 -pound boxes confectioners’ sugar (about 8 cups), plus more for kneading
Assorted food coloring
Assorted extracts (such as peppermint, strawberry or almond) – I used just peppermint because that’s what I have in my house.*
Cooking spray
Food decorating pens – I bought these.
Parchment Paper

*I may branch out if I make these again.  Our grocery store remodel was a couple years ago, and I just now ran across the extract-secret-hiding-place.

Steps:

Throughout this process, you want to keep the dough covered and work quickly enough that it doesn’t dry out.  On the other hand, they won’t be totally dry for a couple days, so don’t stress too much.

Add the the gelatin, corn syrup, salt and the half cup of boiling water and whisk together. Do this in the bowl of your electric mixer, with the whisk attachment, or in that same bowl with a regular whisk.

Once the gelatin is dissolved, switch to the paddle attachment.  Turn the mixer on low – medium and add the vanilla and then slowly add the confectioner’s sugar.  You can add a cup at a time, adding more as the prior cup gets incorporated.

Take the dough out of the mixer  when it is smooth and tacky.  If you plan to do 4 colors, separate it into 4 sections. I did white, purple, green, and pink.  Roll the white into a disk and cover with plastic wrap.  Keep all sections of dough that you aren’t working on under plastic wrap.  Add the food coloring to the other sections, as well as the extra flavor.  All I did was add a little peppermint with the green food coloring. You can mix the color in the mixer, or by hand as you knead the dough.  I did it by hand because my mixer doesn’t handle very small amounts of dough very well.  I added a couple drops of color, and rolled the dough between two pieces of plastic wrap, kind of folding it over itself a couple times.

As you get the color mixed in, start to roll the dough out to a thickness of about 1/4 inch.  Roll it between two pieces of parchment paper. You may need to add extra powdered sugar so the dough doesn’t stick to the paper.  Cut the dough with cookie cutters and leave to dry on a cookie sheet covered with parchment paper sprayed with cooking spray.

Repeat for each color.

Leave the hearts to dry.  I read that it takes 24 hours, but ours took a little longer.

Write your messages when the hearts are dry.

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Don’t think they will look like the hearts in the box or the hearts on pinterest.  Don’t be discouraged.

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Fancy Breakfast Friday: Activist Muffins

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I have been taking solace in baking lately.  If I get elbow deep in some dough, I won’t try to read the latest news on my phone.  After I took the boys to see Screenagers last night,  I deleted Facebook and Twitter off of my phone and made a plan to cut way back.  We definitely have a “do as I say, not as I do” situation going on.  Screenagers was a very interesting documentary about screen time, the brain, teenagers, rules, self control, and learning. It was good.

So how did these muffins turn out?  Ok.  I should have soaked the oats in milk longer.  I kind of threw these together and they were actually pretty good, but nothing to write a blog post about.

If you must know... Follow the oatmeal version.

The cake was amazing.

I also made this fancy appetizer for a party, which was in the latest Sunset Magazine.  I recommend making this.

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Fancy Breakfast Friday: Sweet Corn Cakes

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Did I forget to take a picture of the corn cakes? Yes I did.  Plan b was to take a picture of Luke eating the one leftover on a lift ride but I did not share this plan with him and he ate it before we even got out of the car.

This recipe is based heavily on Feed Zone Portables: A cookbook For On The Go Athletes.

It’s like a regular pancake recipe if you use an alternate flour, soy milk instead of regular milk, coconut oil instead of butter and so on.  I happen to have coconut oil as a homeopathic treatment method.  I’ll leave it at that.  (It’s for treating lice.)  And I have rice flour because my Christmas shortbread recipe calls for it.  I have a ton of Masa Harina from when I tried to make my own tortillas.

These corn cakes were so delicious.  I want to take the recipe and make it into a muffin recipe and save myself the time at the stove flipping pancakes, but I’m not there yet.  If I made them again for breakfast, I might cut back on the sugar and serve them with syrup.  But as a snack for school or cycling, they were so yummy.  I doubled the recipe and we had enough for breakfast with a side of bacon, then the boys each took one or two for a snack at school and we had one left for a snowboarding snack.  The recipe below is the non-doubled version and it says it serves 4.

Sweet Corn Cakes

1 cup masa harina
1/4 cup raw sugar (I just used regular sugar)
2 tablespoons rice flour (recipe calls for brown rice flour, I used white rice flour)
1/4 teaspoon baking powder
1/2 teaspoon cinnamon
dash of kosher salt
1 egg
2 tablespoons melted butter or coconut oil
1 cup milk (recipe calls for soy, I used whole cows milk)

Mix dry ingredients
Put milk in a measuring glass, and beat egg into it.  Add melted butter or coconut oil.  Mix the wet ingredients into the dry and allow the batter to rest while you heat up a griddle.
Cook these as pancakes, but plan a little lower temp and a little longer cook time.

Enjoy!

Fancy Breakfast Friday: Pumpkin Waffles

dsc08787I was rummaging in my cupboards last week and I found a can of pumpkin.  I recalled that every time I made a pumpkin dish last fall, Luke mentioned that pumpkin and chocolate is a good combo.  Poor Luke – I never made anything with pumpkin and chocolate.  But it’s a new year so…

I based this recipe on a carrot waffle recipe from The Skratch Feed Zone Portables cook book.  The carrot waffle recipes sounds like a great and health snack, but it calls for carrot juice which is not something I can make at home and don’t see myself purchasing.  So this is less healthy and possibly more delicious, but we’ll never know.

I got another opportunity to use my awesome waffle maker from Aunt Suzy, and the waffles that it makes are pretty big.  This recipe made 8 or so.  Jack and I were happy with 1 each.  Dave would have had 2, but I needed to save one for photographs.  They were pretty good, but I am still getting used to my waffle maker, and these can easily be undercooked because of pumpkin.    I gave Luke the first one I made because it was the softest and he just started life with rubber bands on his braces and was feeling some pain.

Pumpkin Waffles

1 cup flour
1 tablespoon sugar
1/4 teaspoon baking powder
pinch of salt
1/2 cup milk
2 eggs
2 Tablespoons melted butter
1/2 cup pumpkin
1/2 teaspoon vanilla
chocolate chips

Mix the dry ingredients in a bowl.  Add milk, eggs, vanilla and butter to measuring cup and whisk.  Add the wet ingredients to the dry ingredients.  Cook waffles.

I doubled the recipe I think.  I messed around with adding chips to the waffle as I put it in the waffle maker, but ended up deciding it was easier to put the chips on top after it came out.

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Delicious.  I have quite the stack from the library right now, so I need to do another book post.

Fancy Breakfast Friday: Diet

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I’m sure no one wants to hear about the 3-day “cleanse” I did, so this is going to be a short post.  I will say that part of the cleanse included oatmeal, which I already love and I have continued eating it so I will share that recipe.

Make this the night before and refrigerate it.  On the cleanse I think I was supposed to eat it cold, which I did the first day.  But come on.  It’s January, I want a hot breakfast.

1 cup almond milk *
1/3 cup oats
1 T chia seeds
1 teaspoon cinnamon
1/4 cup blueberries

Mix in a bowl before bed, cover, refridgerate
In the morning, microwave for 30-60 seconds.

*I have been using almond milk because I bought it for my “cleanse” but I will switch to regular milk now that I have run out.   I have been experimenting with chia, and this recipe has the best results so far.  It’s very filling and I have been able to live on this until lunch time.  I have also substituted the blueberries for cut up apple.  (I cut the apple in the morning.)  This recipe has more milk and fewer oats than what I normally make, but I like it better.

I am going to be honest and say I never sweeten my oatmeal, so if you like your oatmeal sweet, this may not be for you.  However, the enormous amount of cinnamon did make it taste sweet to me.  I did the full teaspoon during the cleanse, but have cut it in half since then.

Don’t worry, real FBF will be back next week.  I have something delicious cooking right now.