Monday, September 01, 2014

A Long, Lovely Weekend + Muffin Recipes

It has been a wonderful, long holiday weekend. Larr and I had a lot of time together. We relaxed. He reorganized his office and I did a bit of sewing.

We also went to an Open House for some friends that just moved into a new house with some land attached. I made my favorite dessert from when I was a teen, Pistachio Dream Cake (Cupcakes in this case, actually.)I am sure that it was a partnership between Jello and Dream Whip. Aaron and I had been talking about foods we loved when we were kids. I talked about this recipe, but lamented that the Dream Whip is hard to find, so we don't have the dessert very often. Aaron decided to fix this by purchasing a case of it online from Amazon as long as I promised to make it for his Open House party.
While I was baking, I noticed that one of the squirrels from the yard was enjoying berries on our bush. He reminded me that fall is coming and that the grapes will be starting to blush into a pleasant purple hue.
The house is great and I love the animals that live on the property for a while. (They actually belong to the people who lived in the house before. They are building a new house and the animals will move later in the spring.)
This is Molly. She is only 4 months old. She is in charge of the goats.

Ellie is spending the weekend up in Ned., having a bit of a vacation weekend. Ellie, Kohlton, Mark, Martine, Tinneke (Martine's daughter) and Josh (Tinneke's boyfriend) went fishing, enjoyed a fire with s'mores and they finished up the weekend with a visit to The Taste of Colorado.

Ethan is coming home in a week and we are super excited to see him. I am planning some nice meals that I am sure he will enjoy. I can't wait to see him.

I am finishing up the weekend making a bit of food for the week. I tried out a special Power Muffin recipe for Ellie and Blueberry muffins for Larr.


Pistachio Dream Cake (my favorite dessert from when I was a teen in the 1980's)

1 package white or yellow cake mix
1 package (4 serving size) pistachio instant pudding mix
4 eggs (3 eggs if you are NOT at high altitude)
1 cup club soda or water (I had 7-Up on hand, so I used that.)
1/2 cup oil
1/2 cup chopped nuts (Optional)

1 1/2 cups cold milk
2 envelopes Dream Whip (Most recipes call for 1 package of Dream Whip. That makes a much lighter frosting. I use 2 packages to make a thick frosting that will hold its shape when I pipe the frosting on with a thick, fancy tip, such as a large star tip.)
1 package 4 serving size of instant pistachio pudding mix

Cake: Combine all ingredients in large mixer bowl. Blend, then beat at medium speed for 2 minutes.
Pour into greased and floured 9 x 13 inch pan, or two cake rounds, or 24 cupcake liners.
Bake for 30-35 (or about 18 for cupcakes) minutes at 350 degrees.
Cool and frost.

Frosting: Pour the milk into a deep bowl. Add the Dream Whip and the pistachio pudding mix. Beat slowly to blend. Gradually increase speed until mixture forms peaks. Let the frosting sit for at least 15 minutes to thicken. Spread on cake.


POWER muffins: blueberry+oatmeal+yogurt=POWER
via: Domesticated Academic

no-stick cooking spray (I used parchment cupcake liners that I found at Target.)
2 cups all-purpose flour
1 cup oats–quick or regular oats, plain
2/3 cup sugar
1 teaspoon baking powder
1 teaspoon baking soda
1/2 teaspoon salt
12 ounces honey nonfat greek yogurt or 1 1/2 cups (Chobani)
2 large eggs, lightly beaten
4 tablespoons unsalted butter, melted and slightly cooled
1 teaspoon vanilla extract
1 cup fresh blueberries (Ellie does not like fruit in her muffins, so I left these out, but I am certain that they are lovely in the muffins that have them.)
Heat oven to 350°.

Coat muffin tin with cooking spray or liners.
Combine flour, sugar, oats, baking powder, baking soda and salt in a bowl.
Combine yogurt, eggs, butter, and vanilla in a second bowl.
Fold yogurt mixture into dry mixture; stir to combine completely.
Gently fold in blueberries.
Spoon into muffin tins.
Bake until top is golden and springs back when you gently touch it, 20-25 minutes.

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