Monday, January 22, 2007

A muffin and several other things

Orange Bran Muffins
Living The G.I. Diet Copyright 2004

1 whole navel orange
¾ cup skim milk
½ cup fresh orange juice
¼ cup nonhydrogenated soft margarine I used Smart Balance
1 egg
1 teaspoon vanilla extract
2 cups whole-wheat flour
½ cup wheat bran
¼ cup sugar substitute I used Splenda
1 teaspoon baking powder
1 teaspoon baking soda
1 teaspoon ground cinnamon
pinch of salt

1. Cut the orange into 8 wedges. Place in a food processor and pulse until finely chopped or almost puréed. Add the milk, orange juice, margarine, egg and vanilla and pulse until combined.
2. Preheat the oven to 400 degrees F.
3. In a large bowl, combine the flour, bran, sugar substitute, baking powder, baking soda, cinnamon and salt. Pour the orange mixture over the flour mixture and stir until just combined. Divide the batter among 12 greased or paper lined muffin cups. Bake until golden and firm to the touch, about 20 minutes.

Makes 12 muffins.

Word on the street is that we'll be paying sky-high prices for oranges soon since California has experienced some devastating freezing weather. Since this recipe uses the entire orange, there's no waste and when you're paying $3 per orange, you'll feel good about that.

These muffins are only mildly sweet. Somehow they tasted slightly sweeter the second day, yet still not overly sweet. I happen to like just the hint of sweetness. I don't like feeling as if I'm eating a cupcake for breakfast. If you like your muffins sweeter, you can play around with these, maybe add some raisins or other dried fruit or even chocolate chips. I thought they were good as they were and so healthy too.

I made the BEST CAKE I EVER MADE last week and I didn't even get a picture. It wasn't a cookbook recipe anyway. It was this chocolate fudge cake recipe from, a great site for baking tips and recipes. I made it in a disposable 1/2 sheet cake pan and I made 1 1/2 times the recipe which filled it perfectly. For the chocolate I used Ghiardelli's bittersweet baking chips. I didn't use the frosting recipe, I used a rich buttercream frosting (all butter, no shortening) to frost the top and then decorated with a chocolate frosting. It was for my boss's last day and out of the 8 people I actually saw eat the cake, 6 people ate two pieces (and they were nice-sized pieces). It was definitely the most perfect chocolate cake that I've ever made.

I did a lot of cooking this weekend, compared to the amount I've been doing on the weekends. I made my husband's favorite this weekend - Hot Italian Subs. I used the Italian Bread I had in the freezer. I smear the bread with a tiny bit of mayo and then Hoagie Spread (which is basically chopped up cherry peppers). I then add Provolone, Capicola, Pepperoni, and Genoa Salami. I wrap them in foil and heat them in the oven. I used to use the GF grill but sometimes they're too thick so I switched to the oven. Someday I'll own a proper pannini grill.

They were so good, I made another double batch of Italian bread for the freezer yesterday, this time making the recipe into smaller rolls. We have to avoid bakery items with my son's peanut allergy so it feels good having these on hand for the next time I want to make the Hot Italian Subs. The subs are very spicy so my son didn't eat them but he may ask for a bite someday.

I also made Out-of-This-World Waffles, using 1 cup AP flour, 1 cup whole wheat flour and 1/2 cup wheat bran. I figure I will slowly make this recipe healthier.

And last but not least, I finally tried the organic, uncured, nitrite-free hot dogs I bought quite some time ago. They were expensive yet I still feared they would taste funny so I kept putting off eating them but they were pretty good. Unfortunately I noticed that the frozen organic food section of the store I bought these in had dwindled and seemed to be fading out, however they still had these hot dogs so I may have to pick up a few more packages before they disappear. Actually, I could order them from the Applegate Farms website for not much more and I'm sure they would be fresher. We don't eat hot dogs that often but if you have kids who live on hot dogs I would definitely switch to an uncured variety since studies have linked the consumption of cured meat to cancer. I'm not sure if there's any concrete evidence but if my child was eating hot dogs several times a week, I'd rather be safe than sorry.

Blast From The Past: Spicy Orange Beef from July 2006. I may have mentioned this recipe recently so forgive me if I'm repeating myself but I put it on the menu again this week and I'm really looking forward to it.

Question of the Day: Was this post too long? I usually don't wander around so much but I just had a lot to say today.


DancesInGarden said...

How could it be too long? We hang on your every word LOL.

Anonymous said...

You can still blog about the cake, SHF is this week, but the host requesting entries by Today.

Anonymous said...

ok, ignore that last comment, I left you the note responding to your note ( I hate responding on my own blog) before I read your entire post about not getting a picture.

ThursdayNext said...

There is NO such thing as a post too long when its subject is food and cooking! :) I am quite concerned about the prices of citrus...I feel badly for all of those California citrus farm owners. I heard them speak on NPR this week.

Heather said...

Nothing is too long for me to get my daily CJ fix.

Anonymous said...

No way - I love your "wandering".


Anonymous said...

Those muffins look really good. Funny, as I was glancing through your post before I actually read it, I thought "Man,she did a lot of cooking." Then you actually said that! nope, not too long.

Anonymous said...

Definitely not too long! I loved the wandering - it's how my mind works LOL. Re: the rising prices of your oranges, we have just had a year of wildly expensive bananas after a cyclone hit the Queensland coast and wiped out the banana growers. We were paying up to $14/kg. And nothing can substitute for banana with little kids! Thank goodness they are somewhere near normal again.I got them on sale for $2.98/kg this week, we were so excited.

Anonymous said...

I think this post was great! You had lots of great things to talk about :)