Wednesday, February 24, 2010

april's amazing bran muffins

i made the most delicious and easy bran muffins, thanks to my new friend, april. she is the authoress of abby sweets, a blog full of food and fun. april, like myself, is trying hard to eat healthy. it is not easy when you are a food junkie. she shared with me the most delicious bran muffin, yes bran muffin recipe with me. i know, it hard to believe that the word "delicious" and "bran" can be used in the same sentence, but it is true. now, i did make some mistakes due to rushing through the recipe, some good, some not so good. first, i didn't realize i was completely out of all purpose flour, so i subbed self-rising. i think that is why my muffins sunk in the middle, no matter, it was just a place for my brummel and brown to melt. also, i used the full 3 cups of bran flakes, but halved everything else. oops, but no, it worked out great. i will always make them that way. plus, i added some vanilla and cinnamon for extra ump! i am thinking you could take this bran muffin recipe places with additions such as blueberries, flax seed, dark chocolate chips, and so on.... also, i am thinking that you could easily sub the sugar for agave or my new favorite, sun crystals. yummy. i hope you give april's muffin a go and don't forget to pop over at her site to let her now how much you like'em! enjoy.

april's amazing bran muffins adapted from the apple cake tea room- knoxville, tn.

1 cup boiling water

3 cup cheap bran cereal..bran flakes(i used walmart house brand)

1 sticks butter or margarine(i used margarine)

3/4 cup sugar

1 beaten egg

1 cup buttermilk or 1 cup milk soured with 1 tbsp. of vinegar i did this, but next will use low fat buttermilk)

1 tsp. good vanilla

1/2-1 tsp. cinnamon

1 1/4 cup all-purpose flour

1 1/4 tsp baking soda

1/2 tsp salt

pour boiling water over cereal and let stand. cream together butter and sugar until combined. add the egg and vanilla. sift together flour, baking soda, cinnamon and salt. add buttermilk to butter mixture, alternating with sifted dry ingredients. add the softened bran mix. bake at 350 degrees for 20-25 minutes, depending on your oven, it make take more or even less time, or until done, in a greased muffin tin(i forgot to grease and they came out okay with a little help)

Monday, February 22, 2010

finally, something new...vegetarian lasagna rolls

did i mention that my cholesterol ldl's(the stuff that likes to stick to the walls of you arteries) were wonky, too? according to the doc, given family history, they should be less than 70, mine were 140!! my overall cholesterol number and hdl number was fine though. crazy, huh? so, that means less red meat and limited dairy, dang it.

i love cookbooks and have many, one being diabetic. naturally, it was buried in the back of my pantry, but i dug it out and started to flip through it. i found a few interesting recipes including the vegetarian lasagna rolls. they looked healthy and nutritious, loaded with spinach, mushrooms, and part-skim cheeses. "good for you" generally equals bland, boring and no fun(like exercise). vegetarian lasagna rolls was dinner last night and it was good. the entire family ate. the rolls were satisfying and filling. all seemed fat and happy. admittedly, i thought what made the recipe work was using my homemade pasta sauce rather than jarred. i could eat that stuff with a spoon. anyway, here is my version of last night's supper. enjoy.

beth's vegetarian lasagna rolls

8 lasagna noodles, boiled for ten minutes
8 oz fresh mushrooms, sliced
1 150z container of part-skim ricotta( cottage cheese would work, too)
1 10oz thawed, drained frozen chopped spinach
2 cups shredded part-skim mozzarella
2 eggs
1 tbsp. dried basil
1/2 tsp. fresh ground pepper
1 28 oz jar of your favorite pasta sauce or make your own
1/4 cup parmesan cheese

preheat oven to 375 degrees fahrenheit.

in a dry saucepan cook over med heat the mushrooms till edges are brown, about 10 minutes.

in a big bowl mix mushrooms, ricotta, spinach, eggs, one cup mozzarella, basil and pepper. mix to combine. now spread about a 1/2 cup of the mixture down the middle of each noodle lengthwise. roll up to form lasagna rolls. place in a casserole, edge side up. tops with pasta sauce, remaining one cup mozzarella and the parmesan. bake 25-30 minutes.

btw, here is a link to my sauce.

p.s. i think next time i will add some chopped fresh parsley to the cheese mixture.

Friday, February 19, 2010

i have a confession

i am a diabetic. i have been for years. i tell folks that i have denyabetes. well, truth is i can not deny it any longer. it is ugly and things are going to have to change including this blog. i still plan on baking and cooking, but attempting to switch up my recipes to healthier ones, not only for me, but for the family, too. i am trying to get motivated, but truly am devastated. it is my own fault. i know better and knew better. my family history of diabetes and heart disease is overwhelming, so i can no longer turn a blind eye. i have to get real, real serious that is, about doing the right things for me and my family, especially my children. i have struggled with my weight for life, failure after failure, up and down, but i can not fail here. failure will result in limb loss, kidney failure or even death. wake up beth!

i am now in the process of scouring for diabetic and heart healthy recipes to share. i am just so depressed that something that i enjoyed so much, reading cookbooks, is torture. the recipes just make my gag reflex kick in. i want sweet, salty and fatty foods. you know the "good" bad stuff. those days are over, now it is time to trick, i mean retrain, my brain and taste buds! it is time to break old habits and start new healthy ones! it is time to embrace a new beginning! it is time to...

oh crap, who am i fooling. this sucks.

Wednesday, February 17, 2010

i am still here

for the moment anyway. i have not been making or baking anything lately that was worthy of a post in my humble opinion. don't leave me, okay? luv ya!

here is a little pic from all the snow we have had. it's the redneck saucer cross, hold on while daddy pulls you with the lawnmower!

Thursday, February 11, 2010

there's a snake in my boot!

my woody sock cupcake, not quite done. the ribbon is actually a bandana which comes a to a point in the back. now, to infinity and beyond!

Tuesday, February 9, 2010

valentine's cupcakes, sorta

sockcake #1

sockcake #2

whadda ya think about these? do you think people would pay money for one? they come with their own cute little box and topper. i would love to make sock cakes for all occasions, boy or girl. if not, i am having fun playing. once again, be honest, brutally honest!!

p.s.-any ideas as to what to call them! how about sock-it-to-me cupcakes? lol!

Saturday, February 6, 2010

babysocks cupcakes

i am not crafty, at all, but i am trying to make some cupcake decorations for an upcoming baby shower. this is my first attempt. whaddaya think? be honest, brutally honest.

me? i am just not feeling them, yet.

Wednesday, February 3, 2010

blackberry bars

recipe #2 using the betty crocker cake mix that i won! this is a recipe that i originally found on recipezarr, but changed it up quite a bit. i just call them, plain ol'blackberry bars, but you can call them strawberry, raspberry, blueberry, even grape, whatever flavor bars you would like. they are very versatile, super simple, super crumbly, but super delicious. in hindsight i would have let them go another five minutes or so in the oven to brown a tad more. also, let them cool completely before cutting or you will end up with blackberry crumble, although equally delicious, just more messy. top with a scoop of your favorite ice cream and no one is none the wiser. enjoy.

beth's blackberry bars

preheat oven to 375 degrees fahrenheit, grease a 9x13 pan

in a large bowl mix the following:
1 box of yellow cake mix
2.5 cups of quick cooking oats( i used old fashioned pulsed in the food processor a few times)
1/3 cup brown sugar
1/2 tsp. cinnamon
1/3 cup canola oil or melted butter
1 egg
1 tsp. vanilla
the dough will be crumbly. i found mixing with my hands the easiest, squeezing the mixture as i go to help moisten it all. now, pat firmly half the cake/oat mixture onto the bottom of your pan.

next, you will need one 18 oz (about two cups) jar of preserves, your choice, warmed in microwave briefly(25 seconds or so) to aid in spreading. spoon the warmed preserves evenly on top. finally, top the preserves with the remaining cake/oat mixture once again pressing firmly.

bake for 25 minutes(i am including the extra five minutes i should have done mine). cool completely and cut into squares.

Monday, February 1, 2010

cake mix chocolate chip cookies

i was lucky enough to win a betty crocker gift pack the other week from real mom kitchen, a fantastic blog with fantastic recipes and ideas. the gift pack included cake mix, icing, a decorator's kit, pot holder, spoon, cake server and an icing spatula. it is really awesome, but i was not in the mood to make a cake, so i searched the betty crocker web site and found this recipe for cake mix chocolate chip cookies. they are a mix and drop style, in other words, quick and easy!

i whipped them up for the family and well, they are not bad. definitely not your typical chocolate chip cookie, more cake-y with a strong vanilla flavor. everyone seems to be enjoying them based on the consumption rate. i think this recipe would be a great kid's project or a throw together cookie, but it won't ever replace the tried and true made from scratch chocolate chip cookie. enjoy.

p.s. i received two boxes of cake mix, so another cake mix recipe that is not cake, is on the way!