Monday, April 27, 2020

BRAN FLAX MUFFINS

The first time I made these muffins was quite a long time ago! I discovered the recipe from Bob's Red Mill (on the back of a package of ground flaxseed meal). I was homeschooling all 3 of our boys at the time. Besides teaching them, I spent a lot of my time cooking and baking and writing here on my blog.

Fast forward, quite a few years, and our youngest is in the final 5 weeks of his high school career! Even though we haven't homeschooled for four years, he is once again doing "school at home" during the COVID19 pandemic. On the plus side, I have been baking more, and am doing some more posting on my neglected blog!



I made these yummy muffins yesterday and realized that I had never included this in my recipe collection on 2 Make Ends Meet before! So here you go!

BRAN FLAX MUFFINS (adapted from Bob's Red Mill recipe)

    1-1/2 cups Unbleached Flour
    3/4 cup Flaxseed Meal
    3/4 cup Oat Bran (or old fashioned oats chopped fine in food processor/coffee grinder)
    1 cup Brown Sugar
    2 tsp Baking Soda
    1 tsp Baking Powder
    1/2 tsp Salt
    2 tsp Ground Cinnamon
    1-1/2 cups Carrots finely shredded
    2 Apples peeled & shredded (can substitute 1 cup of applesauce)
    1/2 cup Raisins (optional) -- I did not include
    1 cup Chopped Nuts (optional) -- I did not include
    3/4 cup Milk
    2 Eggs beaten
    1 tsp Vanilla Extract

Instructions:

1. Mix together flour, Bob's Red Mill Flaxseed Meal, oat bran, brown sugar, baking soda, baking powder, salt and cinnamon in a large bowl.
2. Stir in carrots, apples, raisins (if desired) and nuts. Combine milk, beaten eggs and vanilla. Pour liquid ingredients into dry ingredients. Stir until ingredients are moistened. DO NOT OVER MIX.
3. Fill muffin cups 3/4 full. Bake at 350 degrees F for 15-20 minutes.
Yields 12 muffins or 24 mini muffins.



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Saturday, April 11, 2020

Banana Blueberry Mini Loaves with a new twist!

During this time of "Stay at Home" orders, I've been baking more, and have been discovering some old favorites!  
I clipped this recipe off of a bag of Pillsbury flour years ago!!  

I made it back then but I thought I would tweak it a bit seeing as I am trying to cut back on sugar, and I also love using coconut oil in my cooking and baking.  
I am posting the original recipe first, and scroll down how I have changed it up a bit...with great results, I must say!
  
Banana Blueberry Mini Loaves (original recipe)
1 c. sugar
1/2 c. oil
1 c. (2 med.) mashed ripe bananas
1/2 c. plain yogurt
1 tsp. vanilla
2 eggs
2 c. Pillsbury Best all-purpose or unbleached flour
1 tsp. baking soda
1/2 tsp. salt
1 c. fresh or frozen blueberries, unthawed
Heat oven to 350 degrees. Grease and flour bottoms only of three 6 x 3 1/2 inch loaf pans. In large bowl, beat together sugar and oil. Add bananas, yogurt, vanilla and eggs; blend well. Lightly spoon flour into measuring cup; level off. Add flour, baking soda and salt; stir just until dry ingredients are moistened. Gently stir in blueberries. Pour into greased and floured pans.Bake at 350 degree oven for 40-50 minutes or until toothpick inserted in center comes out clean. Cool 5 minutes; remove from pans. Cool completely. Wrap tightly and store in refrigerator. 3 (12 slice) loaves.
Tip: Recipe can be baked in 9 x 5 inch loaf pan. Grease and flour bottom only of pan. Bake at 350 degrees for 60-70 minutes or until toothpick inserted in center comes out clean.


This is how I made it:

Banana Blueberry Mini Loaves and Muffins
2/3 c. sugar
1/2 c. coconut oil
1 c. (2 med.) mashed ripe bananas
1/2 c. plain greek yogurt
1 tsp. vanilla
2 eggs
2 c. unbleached flour
1 tsp. baking soda
1/2 tsp. salt
1 c. fresh or frozen blueberries, unthawed
Heat oven to 350 degrees. Grease the bottoms only of two 6 x 3 1/2 inch loaf pans and one 12 ct. mini muffin pan. In large bowl, beat together sugar and coconut oil. Add bananas, yogurt, vanilla and eggs; blend well. Lightly spoon flour into measuring cup; level off. Add flour, baking soda and salt; stir just until dry ingredients are moistened. Gently stir in blueberries. Pour into greased and floured pans.Bake at 350 degree oven for 40-50 minutes or until toothpick inserted in center comes out clean for the mini loaves.
Bake 20 - 25 minutes for the mini muffins.
Cool 5 minutes; remove from pans. Cool completely.
PRINT





Enjoy with butter (optional, but delicious)!!







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Wednesday, April 1, 2020

Oatmeal Chocolate Chip cookie experiment with our #StayAtHome orders!

I don't know about you, but with these #StayAtHome orders, I feel like I want to eat more! 

Boredom?

Emotional Eating? 

Could be...

Needless to say, I have been cooking and baking more, which actually can be a good thing!!  I have been cleaning out the freezer, and cupboards...using up what we have on hand!

And with this extra baking, I was in the mood to make this recipe for Great Harvest-like Chocolate Chip cookies!
The only problem was that I was limited to the ingredients that I have at home.  I was determined to give it a try and they were still yummy!

This is how I ended up making them:

Oatmeal Chocolate Chip Cookies
 
1 cup bread flour (it's what I had, lol!)
1/2 teaspoon baking powder
1/4 teaspoon baking soda
1/8 teaspoon salt
3/4 cup brown sugar, packed (I should have used 1 cup, but I was trying to cut down on sugar!)
1/2 cup butter, softened
1 cup rolled oats
1 egg
1 tablespoon molasses
1/2 tablespoon milk
1/3 (12 ounce) pkg dark chocolate chunks
1/2 bar Hershey's chocolate (broken into small pieces)...being creative, lol!

1. Preheat oven to 350 degrees F.

2. Combine flour, baking powder, baking soda, and salt; set aside.

3. Beat together brown sugar and butter until well combined. Add oats, eggs, molasses, and milk; beat well.

4. Add dry ingredients to beaten mixture; beat until blended.

5. Stir in chocolate chips/chunks.

6. Using a spoon, scoop dough and drop about 3 inches apart onto ungreased cookie sheets.

7. Bake at 350 degrees F for 12 to 13 minutes, until just starting to brown around the outside.
8. Cool one minute on cookie sheets. Remove and cool on racks. 



They turned out, and are still chewy today...which I really like when a cookie doesn't get hard after a day or two.

Have you had to get creative in the kitchen with our #StayAtHome orders? 



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Tuesday, March 31, 2020

Take time to...COLOR! Celebrating National Crayon Day like my younger self!

These past few weeks have sure been strange and unsettling for all of us!

I know that I have certainly had my full range of emotions playing out!  I have learned to pray more specifically and have spent more time in the Bible (this was a good devotional), which always brings comfort!

My husband and I have enjoyed having more time with our boys, as two of them are "trapped at home".  I will choose to look at this time of "stay home orders" as a time to slow down, and concentrate on the things that really matter the most to me.

If you are looking for something to do in these quiet, slow days, you may enjoy printing some coloring pages, like I have done a couple of times now!

I always enjoyed coloring when I was a little girl.  I was a tiny bit disappointed that my boys didn't enjoy it like I thought they would, lol!  They obviously didn't find the need to sit still and quiet long enough to color!



Photo by Free-Photos--242387


So, on this "National Crayon Day 2020" I am going to spend a little time tonight "coloring" because I enjoy it, and I have LOTS of time on my hands right now!

Here are some links (all you have to do is search "free printable coloring sheets") that I found have some quality choices:

Crayola.com

Over 100 museums offer free printable coloring sheets!

https://printablefreecoloring.com/

https://www.freeprintablecoloringpages.net/ 

I know there are many, many more out there!  Let me know if you have some favorite sites to share!

Thank you and Happy Coloring!

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Monday, March 23, 2020

Cash Back apps and websites...ways to stretch your budget!

This post contains affiliate links that help support this site at no additional cost to you.  Read the full disclosure policy here.

CASH BACK...what a wonderful thing!

There are several different ways that I earn cash back while shopping in the store, or while shopping online.  If you haven't discovered this way to stretch your dollar a little farther, I am going to let you in on a little secret!

Companies want your business...okay, maybe that's not a secret, but many of them offer some incentives for shopping at their stores, or buying their products.  It may take a few extra minutes of your time, but I feel that it is well worth it!

Here's my current balance on Checkout 51...will cash out VERY soon!


Like I mentioned, there are 3 main ways that I earn cash back:

**The first way is with CASH BACK APPS, that I use in the store such as Checkout 51, Ibotta, and Saving Star...those are my "go-to" apps.
If you are an iPhone or Android user, the apps will work on your phone.
Before you shop, select the current offers, that you are interested in.  Some apps will let you select the offers after you shop, as long as you are within their specified time frame.  That is what I love about cash back apps, as I don't always remember to clip coupons before I go shopping, but I still have the chance to save money!  Once you have uploaded your receipt, you will earn money in your account, which you may request after you reach a certain balance ($20).
Some apps will let you register your store loyalty cards (I do this with my Target account), and automatically give you credit for purchases made, as long as you add them to your account before you shop.

**Secondly, I use apps that let you earn points that you redeem for gift cards. The first app is called Fetch Rewards.  This app lets you scan your grocery receipts, and gives you points for every shopping trip (minimum of 25 points/trip).  Certain brands that you might by, give you more points, and bonus points.  These points will add up and you may redeem them for gift cards.  I usually redeem them for Target or Walmart gift cards, but there are many choices to choose from.  If you download the Fetch Rewards app, and use my referral code (BJ0TA), you will receive 2000 bonus points (worth $2.00) when you submit your first receipt!
Shopkicker is another app that will give you points for just visiting certain stores at times.  Earn more by scanning certain items, and even more if you buy the specific items that they are promoting.  If you use my Shopkicker referral code (076775), you will receive 250 points when you complete your first walk-in or scan (within 7 days of joining)

**The third way I earn cash back is for online shopping.  My favorite way to earn cash back online is through Rakuten (formally Ebates).  I just make it a habit to log into my Rakuten account before I do any online shopping, as most of the stores I shop at will offer cash back if I start my shopping through the Rakuten site. 

**Rakuten now offers some in-store cash back offers, as well.  Look for those, and link your credit card to the site, and you will earn cash back!!
Other sites are Top Cashback, and Savings Star also has this feature, which I haven't used yet.  Basically, I compare the current cash back percentages at each site, and choose whichever has the highest percentage at the time!  Rakuten has a daily double offer...which is a fantastic time to shop!



I would love to hear if you are taking advantage of cash back when you shop.
If you are not, please feel free to click on my referral links that I have included above...that is another great way to earn cash when you refer others to the apps/sites!
Thanks so much!!!

Editor's Note:  This post was originally published in March 2016, but has been updated in March 2020. More options are available to earn cash back since I originally wrote this post, so I have updated it to include more ways for you to earn.)

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