Monday, July 25

Good Eating Monday: Double Chocolate Muffins!

Today's Good Eating recipe is another favorite from my little Country Crock cookbook: Double Chocolate Muffins!
Dark & rich with cocoa & chocolate chips--what could be better!
This recipe can be easily adjusted, if you want to use a sugar substitute or replace the oil with a banana or applesauce or use a combo of flour & rolled oats in your flour measurement.
This recipe is for a muffin pan with 2 1/2 inch cups to make 12 muffins: if you use muffin pan with small cups you end up with 18 or so.
(Photo is a general one from Pinterest for illustrative purposes.)

Double Chocolate Muffins

2 cups all-purpose, unbleached flour
1 cup Hershey's cocoa
1 cup sugar
1 Tablespoon baking powder
1/2 teaspoon salt
1 large egg
1 cup Milk (not less then 2%)
1/2 cup melted butter or margarine
1 teaspoon vanilla
1 1/2 cups semi-sweet chocolate mini-chips
Options: 1/2 teaspoon cinnamon or use 1/2 cup sugar & 1/2 cup coffee for mocha flavor or add nuts if desired or replace choc chips with peanut butter chips if you like.

In a large bowl whisk egg, milk, melted butter, vanilla & sugar. In a sifter combine flour, cocoa, salt & baking powder. Sift into wet ingredients gradually, stirring as you go until just mixed. Fold in chocolate chips. Spoon batter evenly into the 12 cups of an oil-sprayed muffin tin, filling each about 1/3 full. Bake in a pre-heated oven 20 minutes or until a toothpick inserted in middle comes out clean. Remove from oven. Run a knife around each muffin (unless you used paper cupcake cup) and flip each muffin up on it's side and allow the muffins to cool in pan. (This prevents the bottoms from getting soggy.)  If you used paper cups, still tip on side with a knife and move to a cooling rack when touchable.
When fully cooled, serve fresh or store in a ziplock bag in refrigerator and warm in microwave as needed.
Eat up, me hearties, yo-ho!

Friday, July 22

Friday Finds: See the World from Your Sofa!

Just decorate your walls with fanciful travel art and give yourself a passport to the world!
To that end, here's a selection of unique
Zazzle Art Prints to inspire your imagination!

Randy's Donuts:
Remember that scene in Iron Man 2 with Iron Man in eating donuts here? 

Love New York City or love the Ninja Turtles!

A beautiful sunset silhouette of Hagia Sophia. Originally a Byzantine Church, the Ottoman Turks converted it into a Mosque in the 1400's. Presently, it's a museum. 

To what journey might this road lead?

What about Thailand!

That's it for today! Hope you enjoyed your travels!
See you for Good Eating Monday!

Thursday, July 21

Mama Kat Thursday: My Favorite Childhood Game

I my growing-up era was the 60's and early 70's. I had two younger sisters and one of the many things we enjoyed doing was playing board games. We had a closet full of games to choose from, but one of my personal favorites was my "Barbie Queen of the Prom," game!

It was a little like Barbie Monopoly. The game was for 4 players, who moved around the board earning money to buy a prom dress, earn a school club pin, get a sweet-heart ring and choose a boyfriend. Whoever got to the final "Prom" space with all 4 items won the game.
The thing was, how fancy a dress you got or which boyfriend you got was first come, first serve. The first player, of course, could pick the best dress and best boyfriend (which was Ken). The last player usually got stuck with freckly-faced ol' Poindexter for a date and who wanted that?

It's funny I was just thinking about this very game today, how much fun I got out of it. I remember was generally particular about the care & keeping of any game that was mine.
Looking back, I realize, as a kid, my thought process about games, or really anything I considered a personal belonging, was that I wanted to take good care of it so I could have it around to enjoy for a long, long time, because I didn't know whether I'd ever have another.
 On the outside, this naturally translated into fairly protective and controlling behavior about when or if a game that was mine got played.

And this is what I was thinking about today--what motive, what thought lay behind these "bossy," appearing childhood actions about games?
 It was because I wanted to hold onto things I loved for as long as I could.
That proved to be a fateful feeling that would follow me long into adulthood--until I eventually grew to understand and accept that sometimes one simply can't keep things. Life is like an like an ocean, always in motion, always reshaping the sand it rolls over.
So, what was your favorite childhood game?

That's it for today! Thanks for visiting!
Stop back to see what I "Find" for tomorrow!

Wednesday, July 20

Garden Pic Wednesday: My Favorite Daylily!

It's so hot outside! Yesterday I waited until dusk to mow the back yard. That means spraying myself up for mosquitoes, because dusk is when they're out looking for a snack!

Today's Garden Pic is my Favorite Crimson Daylily!
I have two clumps now, since I divided it some years ago. It's a very pretty specimen and the white lines & lime-yellow middle really set it off!

Stop back tomorrow to see what I do for Thursday this week!

Monday, July 18

Good Eating Monday: Cereal Bran Muffins

Today's Good Eating Monday recipe is my favorite muffin recipe from Shredd's Spread Country Crock margarine. Years ago, they offered a free recipe book (back before the age of personal computers, when everything was still just printed), which I ordered and got. It's a small booklet full of muffin recipes for both sweet & savory types. Some are good recipes; some not so great.
But of the ones that are really good, this Cereal Bran Muffin recipe is one of them!
It's also very flexible and substitutions or additions can be made easily. You can augment the flour measurement with wheat flour or oatmeal. You can add raisins or nuts or chocolate chips.
 You can also switch out the margarine for applesauce or real butter and use whatever sweetening medium you prefer. 
Just keep in mind the moisture to dry ingredients ratio--because you can easily end up with a mushy muffins if the quantity of moist ingredients out-balances the dry!
For this recipe, choose any healthy, whole grain or bran type cereal, such as Bran Flakes with or without raisins, Total, Wheat Chex, original Grapenuts, All Bran, Raisin Nut Bran---basically anything that's not a pre-sweetened kid cereal.

A general bran muffin picture from Pinterest
Cereal Bran Muffins:
1 1/2 cups of bran or whole grain cereal of your choice
1 cup milk 
1/2 cup margarine or butter, melted (or natural applesauce)
1 large egg, beaten
1/2 cup firmly packed brown sugar
1/2 teaspoon salt
1 1/4 cups all-purpose flour
1 Tablespoon baking powder
1/4 to 1/2 teaspoon Ground Cinnamon
Optional: raisins, nuts or chocolate chips

In a medium bowl: combine cereal & milk and let stand 5 minutes.
Stir in egg & melted margarine. In a sifter: combine flour, baking powder, salt & cinnamon. Sift dry ingredients into wet ingredients, stirring quickly until just mixed. If you're adding extra raisins, nuts or chocolate chips, fold those in now.  Spoon batter into 12 greased a pan with large 2 1/d2 inch muffin cups. (Rule of thumb is generally to fill cups 2/3 full, whatever size you're using.)
 Bake in oven preheated to 400  degrees for 20 minutes or until golden brown. If using a dark colored pan, be sure to reduce heat to 375.
Makes 12 large muffins. (If your muffin pan has smaller size cups, you'll end up with more muffins.)
That's it. Eat up, me hearties, yo-ho!