Often times when I write about certain foods that need something to “go along with it” my mind goes to my quick breads file. I most often suggest some type of bread or muffins. Muffins are easy. Nothing makes a snack or meal more complete or more satisfying than the addition of a homemade, hot-from-the-oven muffin. Easy enough for an evening snack (rather than chips), and hearty enough for a “in a hurry” breakfast. I didn’t say “on the run” as my first thought about that is driving while you take a bite or two. Thou shall not do that! Just get up 5 minutes earlier and pop a muffin in the micro for 12 seconds, that you’ve prepared the day before, or have bought at a bakery. Muffins take only minutes to make and they freeze well. And the wonderful aroma as they bake is almost as good as they very best part of muffin making...the eating. Let’s make muffins. We had these muffins at our son’s home and I was surprised at one of the ingredients. I’m guessing you would like them.
KIM’S MIRACLE MUFFINS 1-1/2 c. flour 1 c. sugar 1 t. each, baking soda and salt 1 egg, slightly beaten 1/2 c. Miracle Whip salad dressing, regular or light 3 medium bananas, mashed In a medium bowl, combine first four ingredients; set aside. In another bowl, combine rest of ingredients. Add Miracle Whip mixture to flour mixture, until just moistened. Fill paper-lined muffin cups 2/3 full. Bake at 375 degrees 25-27 minutes or if muffins spring back when pressed lightly. Cool in pan 10 minutes before transferring to rack to cool. Makes 12-15 muffins. Note: You can add 1/2 c. chopped nuts, chopped maraschino cherries, drained well, mini chocolate chips, craisins or a combination to make 1/2 c.
+++++ This type of muffin is great to serve with, soup, stew or most any kind of casserole dish. here again is an unexpected ingredient.
HAM AND CHEESE MUFFINS 2 c. self-rising flour* 1/2 t. baking soda 1 c. milk 1/2 c. mayonnaise 1/2 c. finely chopped ham 1/2 c. shredded cheddar cheese In a large bowl, combine flour and baking soda. Combine rest of ingredients; stir into dry ingredients, just till moistened. Fill paper-lined muffin cups 2/3 full. On middle rack of oven, bake at 425 degrees for 16-18 minutes or until muffins tests done. Cool 10 minutes in pan before transferring to a rack to cool. Makes about one dozen. *Note: As a substitute for each cup of self-rising flour put 1-1/2 t. baking powder and 1/2 t. salt in a measuring cup and add enough regular flour to equal one cup.
+++++ This is a simple recipe using basic ingredients that you can make into a variety of muffins. BASIC ANYTIME MUFFINS 2 c. flour 1/4 c. sugar 1 T. baking powder 3/4 t. salt 2 eggs 1 c. milk 1/2 c. canola oil or vegetable oil 1-1/2 t. vanilla In a medium bowl, combine first four ingredients; set aside. In a large bowl, beat together next four ingredients for one minute on medium speed. Stir in flour mixture just until moistened...don’t over mix. Spoon batter into muffin cups. On middle rack of oven, bake at 400 degrees for 18-20 minutes or till muffins spring back when pressed lightly. Cool 10 minutes in pan before transferring to rack to cool.
+++++ Make-ahead tips: 1: Mix dry ingredients the night before; set aside. 2: Mix rest of ingredients; cover and refrigerate. 3: In the morning, turn on the oven to 400 degrees; combine dry and liquid ingredients. (At this point, add one of the following to the basic recipe). 4: Spoon batter into muffin cups and bake.
+++++ To make Blueberry Streusel: Stir 1 cup fresh blueberries, or frozen blueberries partially thawed, into batter. Before baking, top muffins with streusel: Combine 1/4 c. each, flour, and brown sugar, 1/2 t. cinnamon and 2 T. cold, sliced butter. Mix till crumbly. Lemon Poppy Seed: Substitute 1 t. lemon extract for vanilla and add 2 T. poppy seeds. (If you don’t have lemon extract, combine 1 t. lemon juice and 1 T. lemon zest to batter.) Apple Pie: Mix 1 t. cinnamon, 1/2 t. nutmeg and 3/4 c. peeled, finely chopped apple. Pineapple - Coconut: Stir into batter, 1/2 c. flaked coconut and 1/4 c. chopped, canned pineapple. Sprinkle each muffin with 1 t. coconut before baking. Oatmeal Raisins: Stir 1 c. raisins into batter and sprinkle muffin tops with quick oats. Banana Chocolate Chip: Stir 1 mashed banana and 1/2 c. chocolate chips into batter. Use same temperature and time for all muffins... 400 degrees for 18-20 minutes.
Thought for the Day: Muffins are a tasty treat to bring to someone who lives alone, a couple who are no longer able to do much cooking, a friend who has just come home from the hospital or a neighbor who you know could use a break from whatever is going on. Just call and say, “Put the coffee pot on, I’m bringing muffins over.” And your mission is accomplished. Enjoy your day.