Sunday, September 18, 2011

Chocolate & Black Bean Muffins

Recipes are merely guidelines - whether mine or someone else's.  Today's victim was this recipe for Long-Run Cake from Runner's World.  I rarely purchase a new ingredient for a recipe unless I decide that I'll be using it on a regular basis.  Instead, I look for substitutes or will just alter the recipe to ingredients I already have.

In this case it was a switch-out for the agave syrup (molasses, honey, milk, sugar) and half whole-wheat and half white flour for the oat flour.  I also don't have 12 mini-loaf pans and so made them as muffins/cup cakes.

It is rich and chocolatey - in spite of my initial hesitation that the molasses might be too overpowering.  Turns out it mellowed a bit after baking.  I might still alter the amount of molasses next time, but here's today's version.  However, before I alter the sweetness I'll adjust all the ingredients to make only 12 muffins.

Bake 20 minutes at 350 degrees.
Makes 15 muffins in greased pan (no liners)

1 c. applesauce
1 15-oz. can black beans

3/4 c. whole wheat flour
3/4 c. white flour
1 c. cocoa
1/4 c. white sugar
2 t. baking powder
1 t. salt

1/4 c. honey
1/4 c. molasses
3/8 c. milk
2 eggs

1/4 c. coffee
1 t. vanilla

Heat oven to 350 and grease pan for 15 muffins.
Puree, then set aside, the applesauce and black beans.
Mix together the dry ingredients.
In another mixing bowl, use an electric mixer to blend the honey, molasses, milk, and eggs until foamy.  Then add the coffee and vanilla.
To this, add the pureed ingredients.
Finally, add the dry ingredients and mix slowly, then increase the speed to medium and mix 30 seconds.
Fill muffin cups to a little more the 3/4 full.
Bake 20 minutes.

Wednesday, August 24, 2011

Chocolate Chip Cookie Pie

We gave Joe a cookbook for his birthday and this is the fourth recipe we've made. We ate 1/8 size pieces and found them quite filling so we'll likely serve smaller pieces if we eat some with ice cream.

Chocolate Chip Cookie Pie
adapted from this cookbook
9" pan, 350 degrees (metal pan), 50 minutes
Serves 8-12

1 9" pie crust, unbaked
1/2 c. (1 stick) butter, softened
3/4 c. packed brown sugar
2 large eggs
2/3 c. flour
1 c. semi-sweet chocolate chips
1/2 c. chopped walnuts (optional)

Heat oven to 350 degrees.
Cream the butter and sugar then add eggs and mix until light and fluffy.
Stir in the flour then stir in the chocolate chips and nuts.
Place pie crust in pan then pour and spread filling.
Bake 50 minutes and cover lightly with foil if pie becomes too brown.
Cool pie for at least 15 minutes before serving.

Tuesday, August 16, 2011

More Vacation Pics

New Castle Beach Lighthouse

Sarah and Daniel not eating sand.

Sandcastle construction

Libby telling us how it should be done.

Kirk of the high seas!

Captain Bob teaching us about lobster.

Captain Katie teaching us about patience.


Isaac examining dinner.

In Maryland, on our way home.

Vacation Pics

Mississippi River in the background

John Deere "Museum"

Niagara Falls

This is directly behind Katie's back yard!

Tree frog.

Portsmouth, NH

Squam Lakes Natural Science Center

Thursday, May 26, 2011

What a difference!

The first decade:

Exterior update in 2008:

The latest version, 2011: The downspout on the right side of the house shows where the original house ended.

Sunday, March 6, 2011

For a good, easy breakfast...

... if you have time enough till it's finished baking.

Bread Pudding

9x9 pan, greased
Loosely cover with foil and bake at 325 degrees, 60-75 minutes

bread, cubed enough to fill pan, not packed (about 1/2 loaf)

Mix in bowl:
4 Eggs
3 c. Milk

1/4 t. Salt
1/2 t. Cinnamon
1/4 t. Nutmeg
1/4 t. Salt
3/4 c. Brown Sugar
1/2 c. Raisins, optional, separated if sticky

Pour liquid over bread then press down to soak all the bread.
Make sure raisins are evenly distributed, more or less.
Bake until toothpick inserted in center comes out dry.

Saturday, February 19, 2011

The Witch Hazel Blooms!

It probably opened yesterday, but I wasn't home to see.

Wednesday, February 9, 2011

Any time's a good time for gumbo

This makes a large batch so reduce the amounts unless you're feeding about a dozen people. It also freezes well if you're so inclined. As always, amend to your tastes. Serve over rice and with cornbread.

Butter 1 lb.

White Flour 1 3/4 c.

Sausage, cubed 12 oz.

Green Peppers, 1/2” pieces 7 oz.

Onions, 1/2” pieces 13 oz.

Green Onions, chopped 4-5 stalks

Celery, 1/2” pieces 1/2 bunch

Garlic, minced 3-4 cloves

Water and/or broth 1 gal.

Tomato Cutlets 1/2 can (6 c.)

Worcestershire Sauce 1/2 c.

Beef Base 1 1/2 oz.

Chicken Base 2.6 oz.

Cumin 2 T.

Oregano 2 T.

Thyme 1 1/2 T.

Cayenne 1 T.

Chicken, shredded or cubed 1/2 lb.

Gumbo File 1/2 T.

Melt butter on medium heat

Using whisk, stir in flour completely.

Stir frequently or the roux will burn.

The solution will be thick and bubbly at first, gradually becoming very thin with tiny bubbles

Keep stirring until roux is a dark caramel color.

Now add the prepared vegetables, garlic, and sausage to the roux.

Stir frequently (every 10-15 sec.) for approximately 5 minutes.

Combine the water and/or broth with the soup bases.

Add the base solution to the pot and stir thoroughly.

Add the cutlets, cumin, oregano, thyme, and cayenne & Worcestershire sauce.

Bring to slow boil and maintain until vegetables are cooked.

Reduce to low heat and stir in the chicken and filé.

Tuesday, February 1, 2011

Monday, January 31, 2011

Penguin Birthday Party

Pingu the Penguin's 9th birthday (according to Isaac). So we had ourselves a little party. Fun was had by all.

Saturday, January 29, 2011

Looking for eagles

When for a short hike below Tuttle Creek dam and only saw about a thousand geese, a pelican, and 2 bluebirds. (Crows & gulls are a given). Didn't know that dogs are allowed so next time we'll bring Lucy. A beautiful day to be out, then came home to bake chocolate crinkle cookies with dough from the TR fundraiser.

Friday, January 28, 2011

Yet still more to do.

One more room to completely finish. Along with installing lights & smoke detectors, carpeting in the bedrooms & a lot of trim work. A bonus with the smoke detectors is that now they will all be hard-wired throughout the house and so if one goes off, they all go off. Plus, there's a CO/smoke detector next to the furnace in the basement.

Did I mention the backyard is now basically one huge mud hole - and I just had it back to "normal" from when we replaced the sewer line 2 years ago! (Guess I have to have something to do to keep me out of trouble.)

An offering for the masses

Kitchen - nearly put back in order. The dryer is on the left in the picture, but the washer is still in the pantry - waiting to be moved until the floor is installed in the mudroom.

Mudroom is ready for many more hooks & shelves.

From our bedroom looking into the original house.

The wonderful new bathroom.

Thursday, January 6, 2011