Magic Muffins

This is a great quick recipe, perfect for those times when you’re being careful with your money or don’t feel like shopping, but need to satisfy a craving for something a little sweet. I give recipes like this the name “magic” because they can be made with a wide variety of ingredients (Magical Options) and they come out a little different every time, depending on what you have in the kitchen…. they’re a nice dessert, a great snack, a quick breakfast and a super gift for friends and neighbours… enjoy!

Ingredients

Dry ingredients:

2-3 Cups Muffin mix and a few Magical Options (see below)

Wet ingredients:

1 C water, 1-2 T cooking oil (or melted margaine or butter) and an extra cup of water

Mix your wet and dry ingredients separately, then make a ‘well’ in the middle of the dry. Add the wet mix to the well, stir it through to coat the dry mix; keep adding water a little at a time until the mixture is moistened all the way through, but not too stiff to stir. Set aside.

Preheat oven to 350ºF and grease your muffin tins well. Fill to 3/4 full of muffin batter, bake for 20-28 minutes or until they spring back to the touch and smell just right.

Magical Options (pick a nice combination from below and use your imagination!):

1/2 cup shredded coconut 1/2 C raisins or currants, chopped dates, dried cranberries, papaya, apricots…

1/2 cup sunflower seeds, almonds, walnut or pecans

1 tsp. powdered ginger 1 tsp. cinnamon powder

1 plain chocolate bar, chopped (or 1/2 C chocolate chips, or 2-4 T. cocoa

1 small apple, chopped or 1/2 C blueberries, strawberries

Muffin Mix

1) Store bought mix: you can find cake or muffin mix on sale and add “Magical” stuff from your kitchen

2) Homemade mix: 3 cups flour (or 2 Cups flour and 1 cup oats) 2 tsp. baking powder 1/2 tsp. salt 3/4 C of sugar, or more or less to taste

Suggestions

Fruit Filling: Fill each muffin tin half-way and add 1/2 tsp jam, jelly or soft fruit in the middle. Fill the cups 3/4 full with the muffin batter and bake!

Time Savers:

1) Keep half of the batter in a clean jar in the fridge to make fresh muffins quickly anytime; the batter will keep for 4-7 days.

2) Make a big batch of dry muffin mix and keep it in the freezer – When you’re ready to make muffins, shale out what you need into a big bowl, add your wet ingredients and magical options and bake.

Sweet combinations:

“Fruity” explosion: Add chopped apple and a few raisins and berries to the dry mix; put a spoonful of jam in the middle of 2 layers of batter.

Ambrosia: Add coconut, ginger, cinnamon, almonds and orange essence, diced orange rind or mashed banana.

Gourmet ideas: You can blend a whole orange with the seeds removed into the wet mix, add some chocolate chips or cocoa to the dry and make a nice chocolate orange muffin!) How about lemon, poppy seed and cornmeal?

Savory Combinations: Leave out the sugar and add one or a combination of: Shredded cheese, chopped sundried tomatoes, cooked beans, diced carrot, fried minced onion, celery

Add herbs and spices – chili powder, oregano, rosemary, parsley , olive oil

Rough Times Bacon ‘n’ Egg Muffin: (you’ll never want to stop at a fast food place for breakfast once you’ve tasted these! ) Put a small piece of cooked bacon (vegetarians can use soy bacon), a bit of grated cheese and a spoonful of stirred raw egg in the middle of each muffin, fill the muffin cup with no-sugar batter (you can add a few herbs too!) and add a little grated cheese on top. Bake as usual.

Tip: Don’t have a muffin tin? Well, use a cake pan, a frying pan with a heatproof handle, small tart or other baking dishes – or get to the second hand store and find a nice muffin tin… it’s still probably cheaper than buying those store-bought muffins.

Much Love, Gramma Willi

Good Clean Food for Everyone!

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Adrienne’s Summertime Potatoes

Adrienne Maree Brown is, imho, a legendary young activist. She gathers young, old, straight, queer, academic and street savvy people and gets them rocking to change the world for the better – for EVERYONE! When I saw her really-cheap-delicious-and-easy-to-make potato recipe, I thought, what a great way to start implementing my master plan – introduce people who are making great change on my blog! Check out Adrienne, the Luscious Satyagraha‘s blog at: http://adriennemareebrown.net/blog/

Ingredients:
Potatoes
Manchego Cheese (substitute cheddar, jack, havarti or your favorite)
Salad dressing – or Olive oil (corn, sunflower, canola etc.), Salt and pepper
Slice potatoes hella/very thin and layer them in a “boat” made of aluminum foil with manchego cheese and your favorite salad dressing (Adrienne’s was a homemade nutritional yeast dressing from the the Hollyhock Cookbook, super yummy), or olive oil, salt and pepper. Pinch the edges of the aluminum foil so it forms a tightly enclosed package.
Set the package on the edge of the grill while you cook your meat and/or veggies. After 10-15 minutes, peek inside to see if the liquids are boiling, the potatoes are getting transparent as they cook and the cheese is melting. At the end, put the package(s) in the center of the grill till the bottom blackens, then dump it in a bowl and serve.

Delicious!

Gramma Willi’s suggestions: Why not layer in some chopped sweet peppers, cooked onion and a few herbs (parsley, basil, or dill should be nice)? Meat lovers could add ham. For breakfast, you could break an egg or two on top after the potatoes are soft . Hmmm – using the barbeque for breakfast, why didn’t I think of this before? See how inspired I get when I listen to our youth?

Good Clean food for everyone!