Monday, December 9, 2019

Tiny Tip - Making muffins last longer...

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.

Wednesday, November 6, 2019

Monster radishes!


Two years ago my daughter came and helped me make a hugelkultur in the vegetable garden. You can read about that here:  


This morning I went out to check on some radishes that I had planted in the hugelkultur in March and neglected to pull up.  Here is what I found!


Surprisingly, they are good flavored and not stringy.  In fact, they are very good!  So, I cut them up and have started a ferment.  :)


Then I cleaned and blanched the greens and ended up with 4 nice little packages for the freezer.



Friday, October 4, 2019

The Sweet Potatoes did MUCH better than I expected!

My husband and I dug up the sweet potatoes this afternoon.  With the overall dismal results from this year's garden, I was very surprised at what a good harvest we got - and very grateful! Here they all are in our wheelbarrow.


Look at this one!


I can't help but wonder just how that happened!

When you harvest sweet potatoes, you need to let them "cure" for at least a month.  If you eat them right away, they are rather bland.

After we did all this and got them into the house, I cooked one of the two that I had left from last year and made a sweet potato pie!  We'll have that for lunch tomorrow.  I make my crust with whole wheat pastry flour, NON -hydrogenated lard, salt and milk.  The pie filling is sweetened with just 1/2 cup of honey.  It makes a very nice, wholesome pie.

Sweet potatoes don't like being cold.  I just store them in baskets in my kitchen, and they last for a long long time.  

Forgive me, I had written "hydrogenated lard" yesterday.  I've corrected that now!  Yikes!!!


Thursday, September 26, 2019

A very nice surprise!

As I've mentioned, this gardening year has been a disaster because of the extremely wet spring.  I was thrilled, though, this morning when I went out there and found that the kale is recovering from disastrous insect damage.  I'm very grateful!  Now we'll have kale all winter to enjoy.


Wednesday, September 25, 2019

And here's one of the pier at Juno Beach.


I took a short vacation...

I was able to visit our son and his family in Florida the last few days.  He and I went out to Juno Beach two mornings ago to watch the sunrise.  Here is a picture I took out there.


Thursday, August 29, 2019

Couldn't help myself...

I also made a new dress for the 1 year old granddaughter's birthday.  :) I had the fabric and supplies on hand.  This fabric is cotton/polyester and very smooth and soft at the same time being a little crisp.  Perfect.  I bought it, a few years ago, from www.gehmanscountryfabrics.com


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