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Friday, August 24, 2012

Delicious Bran Muffins

Somehow I accumulated a few boxes of Raisin Bran.  I guess it was because it kept going on sale....then I got tired of eating it.  Several times I thought about using the cereal to make muffins, but my past experience with bran muffins hasn't been all that positive.  In an effort to make them extra healthy, most of the bran muffins I've been served were made with whole wheat flour - which left them kind of heavy and dry.  I finally decided that since the bran is providing a good dose of fiber, there would be no sin in making them with regular all purpose flour and they might turn out better.  I was right!  These were so moist and delicious that I had to fight off my 10 year-old son so that a batch of  muffins wouldn't be gone in one day.  Now he has started asking for these because he likes them so much.  I put them in a plastic bag in the freezer and we have a fast and easy breakfast on hectic mornings (30 seconds in the microwave thaws and warms them beautifully).  I make the muffins in standard muffin tins, for one dozen muffins.

Raisin Bran Muffins

2 cups Raisin Bran cereal
1 1/3 cups milk
1/2 teaspoon vanilla
1/4 cup canola oil
1 egg
1 1/4 cups flour
1/2 cup brown sugar
3 teaspoons baking powder
1/4 teaspoon salt
1 teaspoon cinnamon

Preheat the oven to 400 degrees.

Grease the BOTTOMS ONLY of 12 standard muffin cups with shortening, or spray with cooking spray.

Crush the Raisin Bran - I do this by putting it in a bowl and mashing it with a potato masher.  You can also put it in a bag and run a rolling pin over it several times.  Mix the crushed cereal with the milk and vanilla.  Let stand for 5 minutes.

Mix in the egg and oil with a fork.  Then stir in the remaining ingredients just until everything is moistened.  Be sure not to overmix so that your muffins will be nice and tender.

Divide the batter among the 12 muffin cups, then bake for 20 minutes.

Let stand in the pan for a couple of minutes, then run a knife around the edge of each muffin and tip out of the pan.  These are delightful served warm!

Monday, August 13, 2012

Cherry Cobbler by lantern light

It's been a busy summer with camping, visiting family, and the arrival of a new baby granddaughter.  It's also been an extra hot summer, and with no air conditioning in our house I haven't felt much like baking.  But on our July camping trip we enjoyed some delicious cherry cobbler prepared by my husband.  We aren't big fans of the overly sweet and chemical laden cobbler made by dumping a cake mix on top of pie filling or fruit in a Dutch oven, so this is the way we prepare it like a "real" cobbler.  Still super easy and delicious.  A spray of whipped cream tops it off wonderfully.

You can make this cobbler with either prepared pie filling or bottled/canned fruit. Just oil the Dutch oven and dump in the amount or fruit or pie filling you want.  (On this trip there were only four of us so we just did one can of cherry pie filling.....but wished we had doubled that!)  Next, prepare a recipe of biscuit dough with 1/2 cup of sugar, or more if you want it sweeter, and a teaspoon or two of cinnamon.  Add extra milk to make the dough a consistency that will drop easily from a spoon.  You can also use a biscuit mix, adding the sugar and cinnamon and extra milk.  Top the fruit with the sweetened biscuit topping.  Then  just cook in a medium Dutch oven until the biscuit topping is cooked through.

Sorry I don't have a more "official" recipe - but isn't improvising a lot of the fun of cooking while camping?