Pear Pecan Muffins

Filed Under (Muffins) by Lisa on 27-11-2008

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In our deep freeze we have an abundance of pears. This is because we have two fairly large sized pear trees in the yard. The past fall was a particularly good year for our trees so, we ended up with a huge amount of pears. We have about 30 frozen zip lock bags full in the freezer.

Tonight I decided to experiment with making some pear muffins. This is the recipe I came up with (I think it’s fairly low fat and sugar). The muffins are moist (but not super moist), and have a lovely texture. The pecans make them extra flavorful. Enjoy

Pear Pecan Muffins

Makes 12 medium sized (large) muffins

1 ½ cups whole wheat flour

1 cup all purpose flour

½ cup brown sugar (not packed)

2 tsp baking powder

A few shakes of salt

1 tsp cinnamon

½ tsp ginger

¼ tsp nutmeg

1 cup skim milk (with 2 tsp white vinegar)

2 large eggs

2 tbsp olive oil

About 1 ½ cups chopped pealed and cored pears

2 tsp vanilla extract

¼-½ cup pecan pieces

Preheat oven to 350 degrees F.

In a large bowl place the flours, baking powder, salt, cinnamon, ginger, nutmeg. Mix well. Add the pecan pieces and stir. In a blender, add the brown sugar, pears, skim milk (that is mixed with the vinegar) eggs, olive oil, and vanilla extract. Blend until smooth.

Now add the blender mixture to the dry mixture in the bowl. Mix until smooth. Spoon into prepared muffin tins. Bake for 30-40 minutes (until golden and a toothpick comes out clean).

A Colorful Evening

Filed Under (Personal) by Lisa on 25-11-2008

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This evening I went out and took a few photos of some festive lights. I used my Canon Power Shot A720 IS on AV mode with the Flash turned down a little.

Peanut Butter and Banana Muffins

Filed Under (Muffins) by Lisa on 24-11-2008

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Today I made my one of my ultimate favorite varieties of muffin: Peanut Butter and Banana Muffins. This is one of my favorite recipes because it combines three of my favorite ingredients: banana, chocolate, and peanut butter, into a lovely muffin. The original recipe comes from Company’s Coming: Mostly Muffins, by Jean Pare (Page 21). Here is the recipe (with my modifications).

 Peanut Butter and Banana Muffins

1 cup all purpose white flour

1 cup whole wheat flour

1/3 cup Lightly packed brown sugar

1 tbsp baking powder

½ tsp salt

1 large egg

3 medium ripe-overripe bananas (pealed)

2/3 cup peanut butter (I used smooth)

2/3 cup skim milk

2 tsp vanilla extract

2 tbsp Olive oil

½ cup semi-sweet chocolate chips

Preheat oven to 350 degrees F.

Combine the flours, baking powder, and salt in a large bowl. Add the chocolate chips and stir well. Add all the remaining ingredients into a blender and blend until smooth. Add the blender mixture to the bowl and stir until completely combined. Spoon batter into prep reared muffin tins. Bake for 15-20 minutes, until lightly golden, and a toothpick comes out clean. Enjoy.

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Festival of Trees 2008

Filed Under (Personal) by Lisa on 23-11-2008

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This year I decorated a tree for the Vancouver Island University (VIU) Festival of Trees. The festival raises money for the local university (VIU) which I attended. Here are some images from decorating day. Enjoy.

Below: My tree (far left: A Paws Christmas), with it’s neighbors, Candyland, and A Clown’s Christmas

Other trees from the festival, and some of their unique decorations (Below).

A Paws Christmas Tree

Filed Under (Personal) by Lisa on 23-11-2008

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To get in the spirit of Christmas this year, I decided to decorate a Christmas tree for the local Festival of Trees. This is an event that raises money for the local university (which I attended for a few years). I named my tree “A Paws Christmas”. It had a predominately cat and dog theme to it. I bought a lot of the decorations, as well as buying things to make some of the decorations myself. The tree is a 6 foot tall slim tree. All of the lights are those new age energy saving LED lights.

Here are some images of my tree and it’s decorations.

A collector Hallmark ornament (above)

The tree topper (below)

Hazelnut Cookies

Filed Under (Cookies) by Lisa on 23-11-2008

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Here is a recipe I tried from fellow blogger friend Fahriye. The cookies turned out yummy. Crunchy, yet soft, and not too sweet. The recipes makes about 40 cookies. Enjoy.

I did modify the recipe slightly. I searched all over the small city where I live and was unable to find rose water. Instead I made a very concentrated rose hip tea and used about ¼-½ cup of this instead of the 2 tbsp rose water.

I also used 4 tbsp raisins instead of two, and 4 tbsp hazelnuts (flaked) instead of two.

I used strawberry and raspberry yogurt because we didn’t have any plain yogurt.

Finally I added baking powder 3 tsp, because we don’t have self rising flour (only all purpose).

Here is Fahriye’s Blog. http://www.fahriyeskitchen.blogspot.com/

Hazelnut Cookies

1 cup natural yogurt

1 cup sugar

2 eggs ( keep one yolk for the top of the cookies )

Half a cup vegetable oil

2 tbsp chopped hazelnuts

2 tbsp raisins

2 tsp cinnamon

2tbsp rose water

4 cups self raising flour

 

First mix the sugar and oil well together, add the beaten eggs. Mix well. Add the hazelnuts, raisins, cinnamon to the flour and mix with all the ingredients into a smooth dough with the rose water. Shape into rounds, brush it with egg yolk and decorate with whole hazelnuts. Cook in pre-heated oven on 175C for 10-15 minutes. Serve warm.

Carrot Cream Muffins

Filed Under (Breakfast, Muffins) by Lisa on 18-11-2008

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Tonight I’m working another night shift. Since I am working nights, I got my usual craving/desire to bake some muffins. I found a recipe in: Company’s Coming Mostly Muffins by Jean Pare, that looked interesting. It is a carrot muffin recipe (on page 43). However the original recipe has no spices, or flavorings in it other then vanilla. Consequently, I changed things up a bit. This is what I came up with. Enjoy.

Carrot Cream Muffins

4 oz cream cheese

¼ cup sour cream

4 tsp granulated sugar

¼ cup finely chopped walnuts

1 ¾ cup all purpose flour

½ cup whole wheat flour

½ cup lightly packed/loose brown sugar

2 tsp baking soda

½ tsp salt

1 tsp cinnamon

¼ tsp nutmeg

2 large eggs

2-3 carrots pealed and cut into small pieces

Sour milk (1 cup skim milk mixed with 1 tsp white vinegar)

3-4 tbsp orange juice

3 tbsp olive oil

1 tsp vanilla extract.

Preheat oven to 350 degrees F.

Combine first 4 ingredients in a small bowl. Mix well.

In a large bowl combine the: flours, baking soda, salt, cinnamon, and nutmeg. Mix well.

In a blender, add the brown sugar, vanilla, sour milk, carrot, orange juice, olive oil and eggs. Blend until smooth.

Add the blender mixture into the dry mixture and stir well.

Spoon into muffin tins.

Add the cream cheese mixture on top (make a well first so that it bakes into the top of the muffin)

Bake until a tooth pick comes out clean when pricked (about 30 minutes).

Enjoy.

Pumpkin Chocolate Chip Muffins

Filed Under (Breakfast, Muffins) by Lisa on 14-11-2008

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I was in the mood for baking tonight so, I decided to make some muffins. Here is my Mom’s original pumpkin muffin recipe with my own twists. They turned out super yummy.

Pumpkin Muffins

Dry Mixture

 

1 ½ cup all purpose white flour

½ cup whole wheat flour

½ tbsp baking powder

¼ tsp baking soda

½ tsp salt

½ tbsp cinnamon

1/8 tsp nutmeg

½ cup semi-sweet chocolate chips

¼-½ cup sliced blanched almonds

Moist Mixture

 

2 large eggs

1/3 cup vegetable oil

1 cup lightly packed brown sugar

½ cup (or more if needed) sour milk (skim milk plus 1 tsp white vinegar)

1 tsp vanilla extract

1-2 cups frozen or canned pumpkin

Preheat oven to 350 degrees F and prepare muffin tins (if needed). Combine dry ingredients in a bowl. Combine all moist ingredients in a blender, and blend until smooth. Add moist mixture to dry mix and mix until completely combined. Spoon into muffin tins. Bake for about 30 minutes or until a tooth pick comes out clean when poked.

Enjoy.

Below are a couple images of the muffins.

Chocolate Chip Blueberry Muffins

Filed Under (Breakfast, Muffins) by Lisa on 08-11-2008

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Last night I worked a night shift. It seems quite often when I work nights I always feel like baking in the evening before work. So that is what I did last evening. I made some muffins. The original recipe is in Company’s Coming Mostly Muffins by Jean Pare (page 15). However my recipe bears little resemblance.

Chocolate Chip Blueberry Muffins

Makes 12 Large medium sized muffins

1 cup whole wheat flour

1 ½ cups all purpose white flour

½ cup granulated sugar

1 tbsp baking powder

½ tsp salt

2 eggs

¼ cup margarine melted

1 ½ cups skim milk

About 1 cup frozen or fresh blueberries

½ semi-sweet chocolate chips

Preheat oven to 350 degrees C.

In a large bowl combine the flour, sugar, baking powder and salt. Mix well. Add blueberries and chocolate ship and mix well. Combine the egg, milk, and margarine in a smaller bowl. Mix well. Add liquid mixture to dry mixture. Mix until a muffin batter forms. Place in prepared muffin tins. Bake until muffins are slightly golden on top and a tooth pick comes out clean. Enjoy.

Happy Halloween

Filed Under (Cooking, Personal) by Lisa on 01-11-2008

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This year for Halloween, I am not dressing up. I am working the graveyard shift tonight, so I will just be wearing my Halloween nursing scrubs.

I did carve a pumpkin though! It’s very basic, since I am very uncoordinated with carving knifes. Here it is.

With the seeds I roasted them in the oven. First I washed them with cold water. Then I placed them on two cookie sheets spread as evenly as possible. Finally I sprinkled lots of salt on them. I then baked them in my preheated oven at 300 degrees C for 7 minutes. Then I flipped them with a spatula and baked them for another 6 minutes. They are slightly crispy and crunchy, and oh so yummy. Here are a couple photos.

 

For the trick or treaters, we will be giving out these. First we will be removing some of the coffee crisps though since it is a house hold favourite.

Have a happy and safe Halloween.J

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