There are only two of us at our home now; just me and my husband. The empty nest has some advantages, but I miss all of my fledglings.
One thing that has been an ongoing challenge is learning to cook for just the two of us and not waste food. "Quick breads" are notoriously enthusiastic about becoming stale and ending up in the compost. I've finally found a solution!
I made a batch of "Fresh Cranberry - Nut Muffins" (recipe follows) and have found a way to keep them nice for several days without refrigeration. With refrigeration, although it prevented mold much longer than leaving the quick breads at room temperature, the muffins would become stale and dry anyway.
Here is what I do now:
I have something called a "Food Saver"
I also have a set of two different sizes of these adaptors.
There is one for wide mouth canning jars and one for regular mouth canning jars. All you need then are clean new metal canning lids, such as these. If you are careful in opening the lids, you can use them multiple time when vacuum sealing food in jars.
So, now you're all set. I used a 2 quart wide mouthed mason (canning) jar to do this. We each ate a fresh muffin and then when the others were completely cool (12 in the batch so that makes 10 left over) I carefully placed them in the jar, put on the metal cap, applied the adaptor, used the Food Saver to vacuum out the air and voila!
My muffins are still perfectly good 5 days later just sitting on the kitchen counter. It's a bit of a hassle, resealing the jar every time I take out some muffins, but I am very happy with the results.
I thought I'd pass this on in case you have one of these gizmos or have the same problem I was having.
Here is a picture of the Food Saver set up to vacuum seal the jar:
Here is a closer look at the jar:
By the way, these muffins were better tasting the second day.
Here is the recipe - feel free to tweak it however you wish. :)
Cranberry - Nut Muffins (12)
2 eggs, beaten
1/2 cup avocado oil
1/2 cup honey
1 teaspoon vanilla extract
1 1/2 cups whole wheat pastry flour (that's one and a half cups)
1/2 teaspoon baking powder
1/2 teaspoon baking soda
1 1/2 cups chopped fresh cranberries (that's one and a half cups)
1/2 cup chopped nuts (I used black walnuts, but you can use whatever you wish.)
Preheat oven to 350 F. Butter a 12 - cup muffin tin.
In a small bowl, combine eggs, oil, honey and vanilla.
In a large bowl whisk together the flour, baking powder and baking soda.
Add liquid ingredients and stir just until the flour mixture is moist.
Gently stir in the chopped cranberries and nuts.
Spoon batter into the 12 muffin cups and bake until when you touch the top of one of them, it bounces back. Don't over bake or under bake! I can't tell you exactly how long. Start with 15 minutes.
Where I live, it is easy to find fresh cranberries in the grocery store this time of year.