Tag Archives: Oatmeal

A Blast From the Past: 1950s Muffins

10 Feb

This past Wednesday, I had plenty of blackberries left in the fridge and not enough appetite for blackberry oatmeal or blackberry yogurt breakfasts.  I searched my favorite recipe site Food52.com and found retro black berry muffins.  The author of the recipe cites the “Woman’s Home Companion Cook Book” from 1955.  I was curious to discover if the muffins from the 1950s were any different, so I set the oven to preheat and got to work!

Here’s a look at the fresh blackberries that I chopped

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Next I mixed the wet ingredients with the dry ingredients.  I could already tell at this point that this muffin had the makings of something much denser than my 21st century muffins.

IMG_0829IMG_0827IMG_0832Yup, much, much thicker than usual.  I should add here that the recipe called for a long-lost ingredient – shortening.  Does anyone really keep that on hand anymore?  Can you still find it in stores?  Ah well, I read up on it and found that I could substitute oil for melted shortening, but that I should expect a different (read not ideal) texture.

I kept mixing until everything was just incorporated and then divided it into a muffin pan.  This step was a rather sticky event.

IMG_0833IMG_0835I popped the pan into my preheated oven, and fretted over the small amount of sugar in the recipe.  Only 2 tablespoons!  These muffins dough balls were becoming bland, dense bricks in the oven.  I had to think of something quick.  I threw together a maple soaked oatmeal crumble topping and spread it on the muffins.  Unfortunately half of the baking time had already passed by the time I did this, so the topping did not stick very well to the tops of the muffins.

IMG_0836Once the muffins were back in the oven, I cleaned up my mess and relaxed.  All I could do at that point was wait.

When the timer went off the muffins looked and smelled done, but the topping looked like it would just fall off when I took them out of the pan.  I popped them back in at a high temp for a short time hoping that could help seal the tops a bit more.

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These 1950s blackberry biscuits (definitely cannot call them muffins) were okay.  As expected, they were a bit more dense and dry.  The topping helped, but it did crumble off a bit.  The next morning I served them warm with a bit of syrup and half a banana.  I figured every biscuit is better with gravy, so maybe the blackberry variety is better with syrup.  It was.  Chris had two.

IMG_0843I wouldn’t call my trip to cooking’s past a complete success, but it gave us a quick snack/breakfast for a few mornings.  I also had two just before my run this morning.  They gave me the perfect amount of energy.  I might try to play around with the recipe a bit more, or I might keep my focus on muffins from the here and now.  Either way it was a fun journey and now I know what a 1950s muffin tastes like.

Mason Jars and Bento Boxes

18 Sep

 

Mason Jar Breakfasts

    

Thanks to The Yummy Life Chris and I are now enjoying delicious breakfasts in mason jars.  On the left is a Greek yogurt parfait with flax-seed granola, raspberries, mango, and blackberries.  I usually eat Greek yogurt in the morning, and I’ve tried all sorts of brands and flavors with different fruits, jams, and granola.  A recipe in my new favorite pink cookbook inspired me to buy plain Greek yogurt and add my fruit or granola on my own.  I started out making them in bowls or cups, but moved on to the mason jar after starting the overnight oats as well.  The various parfait were delicious, but I grew tired of eating the same thing every day.  To spice up our breakfast, I looked around online for more recipes particularly ones that involved oats.  That’s when I found the Overnight Refrigerator Oatmeal recipes on The Yummy Life blog.  I recently made the Almond Mango version from the blog (pictured on the right), and it was fantastic.  I take some liberties: I typically use almond milk instead of skim milk (unless Chris requests otherwise), and I haven’t tried it with chia seed yet.  I also prefer more than 1/4 cup of oats, as listed in the recipes, but this is likely due to the missing chia seeds).  I’ve made a few of the flavor suggestions from the site, and now I’m trying a few of my own creations.  Right now I have a Maple Peach Blackberry Twist soaking in my fridge for breakfast tomorrow.  I can’t wait!

Bento Box Lunches

For a long time now, I’ve had this horrible habit of forgetting to eat all day and then making up for it at dinner.  Granted this has a lot to do with the nature of my job.  All day I’m bouncing around from a school to a house to park and so on.  The point is I go where my clients are, and I drive a lot.  During the work day, my car is the only home base that I know.  Unfortunately, this means I don’t get to bring my lunch and stick it in the fridge at the office.  I’ve tried packing lunches with ice packs for my car, but the boring sandwich and chips thing never really stuck.  I recently bought this Lock&Lock bento-style lunch box from Amazon.  It’s awesome because now I can pack a variety of dishes, keep everything separate, and prevent sogginess.  I’m using tuna salad, egg salad, and roasted nut recipes from the Flat Belly Diet Cookbook, along with hummus, dried fruit and veggies.  I make the tuna or egg salad at night twice a week (they last 2-3 days in the fridge), and I chop the veggies the night before.  Chris and I both loved the Dilled Egg Salad – the fresh herbs and spices were perfectly balanced, and the Dark Chocolate Roasted Nut Mix – cocoa, brown sugar, pecans, and hazelnuts.  Chris gets the same lunch as me, but he’s using a Zojirushi lunch jar.  It’s really a neat, modern-looking way to pack lunch, and I love that it doesn’t need an ice pack.

I believe this is one of those “you know you’re an adult when…” moments.  You know you’re an adult when you get super excited about packing lunch in a bento box, making breakfast in a mason jar, and eating healthier!  I’ll update the post with better pictures soon!

 

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