Friday, May 4, 2012

Moist Carrot Muffins, Some Jeep Action, a Ponytail Beauty, & a bit of Sassafras!

 This is the latest experiment at my venue is this really moist carrot muffin. I only omitted the walnuts, though they would make the muffin taste divine! However, I need to expand my no-nut offerings, so I've chosen to make this a no-nut muffin.
My favorite recipes are those that cream the fat with the sugar, which seems to make a more moist muffin in the end. If I had more time to experiment, I'd switch my other recipes to this process also, just to see if it makes a difference in how moist they are.
Mix the oil and sugar (above), then add one egg at a time (below), mixing between each egg.

 The batter thickens with each egg and mixing.
 After tasting the first batch I made, I felt that using only cinnamon made for an average-tasting spiced muffin. And reviews from others who tasted it concluded that it tasted like a zucchini bread. That's not what I was going for, so this time around, I used cinnamon, all spice, cardamom, nutmeg, and mace (some of these spices are repeats in the all spice). In this batch, because I doubled it, I used 1 tsp of each, but in a single batch, just guesstimate equal parts to make 2 1/2 tsp. :o)
 Add flour to egg mixture...
 The more gently you stir, the more moist they will be!
 Added a generous amount of shredded carrots...
 Golden raisins...
 Once, I filled the cups 2/3 full. This time, I filled them more than 3/4 full. They didn't overflow, and it made for a nice dome top, though not as high as my lemon muffin!
 SIDENOTE! I stopped for a snack while baking the muffins at 350 for 25-30 minutes. From the leftover fruit in my refrigerator, I concocted a delicious grape/strawberry/banana/yogurt/oj smootie and enjoyed it alongside my last lemon muffin. Mm-mm!
 After 30 minutes, these tasties were finally cooked through nearly all the way, so I sat them on the stovetop in the tins for five minutes before removing them to cool on a rack. Just look at how many muffins come from a double batch! A single batch produces only 6 jumbo muffins. Doubling the recipe gave me 18! That's TRIPLE! So our family is going to enjoy some of them this week.
3 Cups grated carrots
4 large eggs
2 C flour
2 tsp baking soda
1 tsp salt
2 1/2 tsp spices (see blog re: spices)
1 tsp vanilla
1 1/2 C sugar
1 1/4 C oil
1 1/2 C walnuts
1 C raisins

Preheat oven to 350F. In first bowl, mix flour, baking soda, salt, and spices. In second bowl, mix sugar, vanilla, and oil together, then add the eggs one at a time, mixing for about 30 seconds each. Add flour mixture to this and stir til blended. Fold in shredded carrots, walnuts, and raisins. Divide batter into paper-lined muffin tins. Bake for 25-30 minutes, or until toothpick comes out clean.

In an earlier post, I mentioned that we had found a Jeep for free that 'just' needed a battery. Upon finding that batteries are $75, the jeep sat in our back forty for months on end (all winter, to be precise). A week or so ago, our landlord brought his daughter's jeep over for Tori to use as long as we live here. Now that he built a dune buggy for his 8 year old, she has no interest in her jeep!
Here is our girl, ruling the back forty with her new vehicle! She's a pro!

making a 'bird nest' from grass clippings and 'decorating it for the birds' with dandelions. :o)

And here is that BIT OF SASSAFRAS I promised...

Do you suffer from migraine headaches but don't want to be on nasty medications for the rest of your life? Try what I do! I drink feverfew tea (though it's not tasty), Celestial Seasonings Tension Tamer tea, use feverfew capsules, and try to incorporate a regular intake of almonds in my diet. All but the latter (almonds) help to alleviate the headaches. A cold compress on your neck and warm compress on the back of your knees helps also. And drinking a lot of water sometimes help, if dehydration is the issue.

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