Trilogy of Random Recipes

I bake a lot of muffins. On our days off, the five year old and I bake yummy afternoon teas for the other kids to inhale when they get home from school. And muffins is what we always fall back on when there is no inspiration and even less moolah. Here is why:

1. They are really easy to make.
2. They are quick to mix; no appliances are needed and bake so fast- they only take twenty or so minutes to bake.
3. We ALWAYS have the basic ingredients just sitting in the pantry begging to be used, and then you can just chuck in whatever else you want to fancy your muffins up.
4. They don’t contain nearly as much sugar or butter as cookies or cake.

I pretty much have my 4 regular muffin variations: banana-choc chip; cinnamon; cinnamon streusel; and jam centers. Bit boring, but it pleases the masses.
My heart jumped when I saw a recipe for ‘Brown Sugar Muffins’ yesterday. Hot Diggity! What more could one desire with a mug of chai!
So today, one day from payday, with nary a dollar to my name- it was a perfect time to try this baby out.
I only did 2 things different; no 3! I doubled the recipe, I omitted the nuts AND I added a dash of cinnamon. Cinnamon and brown sugar are friends….

Brown Sugar Muffins (fromTaste and Tell)

Makes 16 muffins
1/2 cup butter, melted
1 cup brown sugar
1 egg1 cup milk
1 teaspoon vanilla
2 cups flour
1 teaspoon baking soda
1/4 teaspoon salt
1/4 cup nuts, chopped coarsely
Preheat oven to 375F. Grease or line 16 muffin cups.Combine all ingredients until mixed. Fill prepared muffin cups and bake for 20 minutes or until done.
I loved these muffins. In fact for the sake of research I ‘had’ to eat a chunk rather than my usual crumb….. scrump-diddly-licious! It looked like a wholemeal muffin, which I guess must give it some extra ‘health status’ cred. This may be why the middle two said it was only ‘ok……’ and they would have’ liked something sweeter’. On the other hand the oldest ate 5 without drawing breath and then declared them to the best thing’ I have ever made (though THIS statement by THIS child this has to come with THIS disclaimer: He says that about pretty much everything I plate up for him, bless his heart.

The Five year old loved his muffin too which is actually saying something.
Only real change I would do? I would have sprinkled raw sugar on top before baking them if I’d had any; I like that rustic look.

Next recipe! The Five Year old has found a YouTube video of a young girl baking Anzac Biscuits. I get in a heap of trouble from the father-in-law because I am forever calling them Anzac Cookies, which is apparantly highly un-Australian. 🙂

Anzac Biscuits are extremely Australian. The Anzacs were the Australian and New Zealand Army Corps, and these were the biscuits that worried mothers and wives traditionally sent their men during World War 1. So a lot of sentimental value and history to these. Anyways, the Five Year Old watches this Anzac biscuit making video a lot and he has been longing to make these cookies. So on Saturday, it happened.

After pre-reading an Anzac Biscuit recipe, I was horrified to discover that I have actually never ever made Anzacs. Never. Not once. That is pretty nearly like never having sung Waltzing Mathilda for us Aussies!
I have made oatmeal cookies a plenty, but Anzacs are different.

They have no eggs for one thing! Who knew? And they are such a fun recipe to make with kids because a totally cool scientific process takes place in the middle. Check the recipe out here! Or watch the video, making it as you go, like the 5 year old made me do……took ages with all the pausing to carry out her instructions! But so yummy!

Anzac Biscuits (from Taste.com)

Ingredients :
1 cup (150g) plain flour
1 cup (90g) rolled oats
1 cup (85g) desiccated coconut
3/4 cup (155g) brown sugar
125g butter
2 tbs golden syrup
1 tsp bicarbonate of soda

Method
Preheat the oven to 160°C.

Line two baking trays with non-stick baking paper.
Sift the flour into a large bowl.
Stir in the oats, coconut and brown sugar.
Put the butter, golden syrup and 2 tbs water in a small saucepan. Stir over a medium heat until melted. Stir in the bicarbonate of soda.
Pour the butter mixture into the flour mixture and stir until combined.
Roll level tablespoons of mixture into balls.
Place on the trays, about 5cm apart.
Press with a fork to flatten slightly.

Bake for 10 minutes or until golden brown.
Set aside on the trays for 5 minutes, then transfer to a wire rack so it cools completely.

Last for today, I want to share my favourite chicken fajita recipe. I make it every time visitors come over for Tex-Mexican (alongside a regular burrito buffet and home-made guacomole and salsa, and arroz con frijole negroes…..) Of course when I serve Tex-Mexican and it is just us, we only have tortillas with mince, cheese and salad. What? The preamble to my blog informs you that I am a lazy cook!
This dish has a lovely sweet, yet sour and salty tang. So very moreish. This Sunday, Tracey and I were rostered on Night Church Dinner together so we decided to do a Mexican theme. I made my chicken fajita recipe BUT I won’t ever make it the night before again.
It needs to be made fjust a little before you eat it and served up fresh. Reheated chiken has a nasty taste to it I discovered. *shudder*

Chicken for Fajitas (from Jessie Gather)

marinade:

juice from 3-4 limes
8 T olive oil6 cloves garlic,minced
2 T worcestershire sauce
1 T brown sugar
jalapeno (optional. i don’t use it), minced
huge handful cilantro, rinsed and minced
1 T saltpepper

2 pounds chicken breasts or tenderloins, pounded to uniform thickness if you care to
1 large onion (vidalia or red is good), sliced thinly into rings
2 red peppers,
2 yellow peppers, sliced

in bowl, mix up the marinade. take out half, and divide the half you reserve into two large bowls. put the chicken in the other half of the marinade and let sit for 20 min or so. When you cook the chicken, throw this used marinade out. Drizzle a few extra tablespoons of olive oil over the onions and peppers.

Turn on your grill. let it get good and hot. spray a cookie sheet with oil, place the veggies on it and grill them until they are limp and carmelizing.

(This last time I actually panfried my onions, they were fine! You might have to do this in 2 batches, since if you crowd them in, they cook much slower. When the veggies are done, put them in one of the bowls with the reserved marinade. stir it around. Let it soak in.

Cook the chicken, 3-4 minutes per side. When done, slice into strips and put them into the other bowl with the reserved marinade. Stir it around. Serve in your favourite Tex-Mexican way!

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