Sunday, July 09, 2006

Still trudging along

Banana-Bran Muffins
The Essential Eating Well Cookbook Copyright 2004

2 large eggs
2/3 cup packed light brown sugar
1 cup mashed ripe banana (2 medium)
1 cup buttermilk
1 cup unprocessed wheat bran
¼ cup canola oil
1 teaspoon vanilla extract
1 cup whole-wheat flour
3/4 cup all-purpose flour
1 ½ teaspoons baking powder
½ teaspoon baking soda
½ teaspoon ground cinnamon I omitted this
¼ teaspoon salt
½ cup chocolate chips (optional) I used these
½ cup chopped walnuts (optional) I didn't use these

1. Preheat oven to 400 degrees F. Coat 12 muffin cups with cooking spray.
2. Whisk eggs and brown sugar in a medium bowl until smooth. Whisk in bananas, buttermilk, wheat bran, oil and vanilla.
3. Whisk whole-wheat flour, all-purpose flour, baking powder, baking soda, cinnamon and salt in a large bowl. Make a well in the dry ingredients; add the wet ingredients and stir with a rubber spatula until just combined. Stir in chocolate chips, if using. Scoop the batter into the prepared muffin cups (they’ll be quite full). Sprinkle with walnuts, if using.
4. Bake the muffins until the tops are golden brown and spring back when touched lightly, 15 to 25 minutes. Let cool in the pan for 5 minutes. Loosen edges and turn muffins out onto a wire rack to cool slightly before serving.

Makes 1 dozen muffins. Per serving: 196 calories, 6 g fat, 36 mg chol, 32 g carbs, 5 g protein, 4 g fiber, 182 mg sodium.

I really wanted to make another batch of Big Chocolate Chip Cookies, but I knew I should make something healthier. These definitely aren't as decadently good as the chocolate chip cookies but for a healthy muffin, they're not bad. Bran can be drying so I'm not sure if these will stay moist until we're done eating them but so far, so good.

I realized this weekend that I've not been feeling uninspired, the fact is that I'm overwhelmed. In a perfect world I could sit down and choose whatever recipes appeal to me but I have too many constraints right now. Time is always the big one. I don't have the time for any complicated recipes right now and by complicated, I mean anything that requires more than a few minutes of prep work. Money and resources complicate things too of course - the pantry, fridge and freezer are packed right now and I feel I should be making use of what I have on hand before too much of it ends of in the trash (I waste so much!). Health is another constraint - I can't make too many rich dishes or treats. Heat - I can't make anything that takes a lot of baking time due to the heat outside (and inside) this time of the year. Hormones - they reek havoc on my energy level and my appetite. ADD - there is no method to my madness. I really need to get more organized. I did pick up a package of Spongebob Squarepants weekly calendars to help plan my menus.

Also, I've made a lot of good recipes in the past ten months and I could easily fill up my menu with repeats but then what would I blog about? There's nothing I hate worse that not seeing new posts on a blog.

As if I wasn't overwhelmed enough, I bought five new cookbooks this weekend. I hit Ollie's Bargain Outlet for the first time in a while and there was definitely a big turn around in cookbooks since my last few visits. You just can't beat the prices. I also bought a book for my son (with magnets) and an Elmo toy cell phone for him and my total was only $31. I probably would have done a lot more damage except I made the mistake of bringing my son along. It's hard to imagine, but a 2 1/2 year old doesn't want to sit patiently in the cart while I pick out cookbooks.

So this week will probably be more of a muddle-through-it kind of week but next week will be better. My new cookbooks have a lot of great recipes.

Question of the Week: Where is your favorite place to buy new cookbooks?


Heather said...

Spongebob Square pants eh? I am sure old spongebob will help!

I am bad and don't purchase many cookbooks. I am guilty of using magazines, websites and blogs for my recipe inspirations. Cheaper for me too.

Anonymous said...

Sadly,I haven't bought a new cookbook in awhile.I have gotten a few good buys from ebay,though.

Anonymous said...

I get the vast majority of my cookbooks from Half Price Books. I also get tons of them as gifts.

Anonymous said...

I don't buy cookbooks except at garage sales, library sales, or community cookbooks. But I'm an avid collector of recipes from TV, websites,and publications, so there is certainly no shortage.


Randi said...

I buy a lot of cookbooks on amazon. I also buy a lot of used ones there too.

Randi said...

I buy a lot of cookbooks on amazon. I also buy a lot of used ones there too.

ThursdayNext said...

You will never believe this, but the MYSTERY section of the bookstore. :)

I urge you to check out the mystery books by Diane Mott Davidson. The protagonist and detective is a caterer in Colorado. :) She helps solve murders...and then she gives you recipes after most of the chapters! I just started reading them this past week! Highly addictive, like any kind of food with banana in it!

Annie said...

I don't buy many cookbooks either. I get most of my recipes from cooking magazines, the food network and websites and blogs.
I make up a lot of stuff myself when I'm inspired by something I read or saw on television.

Anonymous said...

there muffins look good. I was wondring how much all purpose flour should be needed? I think you miss to include the amount, because you have it in the recipe procedure Ü

The Cookbook Junkie said...


Oh well, this gives me a chance to say that these muffins stayed surprisingly moist all week.