Wednesday, February 16, 2011

Raspberry Muffins

Each of us has that weekly meal our moms pushed on us growing up. I have several that come to mind, and every time I mention them, I get crazy looks. I have yet to get my husband to try a hamburger patty cooked with a beet slice on top. This of course comes with a side of canned fruit piled on top of a layer of iceberg lettuce. It was a weekly standard at my house that, alas, will not be passed on to the next generation.

Another regular menu consisted of canned peas, tuna salad on - yes - a layer of iceberg lettuce, and blueberry muffins. Again, I get looks at the mention of this meal. And yet, I like this one. So, I have continued in Cox tradition and serve tuna salad and blueberry muffins together. My husband agrees that they do go together nicely. We have updated the meal just a bit, switching from iceberg to romaine for tuna salad lettuce wraps or a healthy serving of spring mix with Asian dressing drizzled on top. We forgo the canned peas and have fresh cut fruit instead. And for muffins, well, it depends. Sometimes we make them old style, Betty Crocker mix galore. But sometimes we make them from scratch. The kids love these so much they actually asked me to make cookies out of the batter without the fruit. As you can see, the key to the whole meal is the muffins. I finally figured out what my mom was doing. I was an experiment just like Pavlov's dog. Because I love tuna salad - and so do my kids. Go figure.

Raspberry (or blueberry or any fruit bits you have on hand) Muffins
**from the kitchen of my sister, Carol Cox Benzi**
  • 1 1/2 cups flour
  • 1/2 teaspoon baking soda
  • 1/2 teaspoon salt
  • 1 1/2 teaspoon ground cinnamon
  • 1 cup sugar
  • 1 12- ounce package frozen, unsweetened raspberries, thawed (I substitute any fruit here, it just needs to be chopped into small pieces, i.e. no whole strawberries)
  • 2 eggs, well beaten (Egg beaters work well here too.)
  • 2/3 cup vegetable oil
  • 1/2 cup chopped pecan, optional

Preheat oven to 400 degrees. In a medium bowl, mix flour, soda, alt, cinnamon, and sugar. Make a well in the center and stir in undrained fruit and eggs. Thoroughly mix in oil oil and pecans. Spoon batter into lightly greased muffin tins. Muffin cups should be full. Batter is heavy and will not overflow. It only puffs up a little bit. Bake 15 - 20 minutes. I bake them until I see them turning golden and crispy around the edges. Cool 5 minutes before removing from pan.

(For a greased and floured 9 x 5 inch loaf pan, bake at 350 degrees for 1 hour.)

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