Saturday, September 27, 2008

a lunch time muffin treat

ok... today's mug o muffin was an apple sauce and maple syrup flavored one. it was basically this:

into a big mug put:

5 Tbs all-purpose flour
1/2 tsp baking powder
1/8 tsp salt
1/4 tsp cinnamon
1/8 tsp nutmeg
1 tiny pinch ground cloves

mix it all up and add:

2 Tbs apple sauce (ours was home made chunky spiced apple sauce)
2 Tbs grade b maple syrup
1 tsp oil or butter

1 Tbs toasted peacans (optional)

mix it all up really well, and if it seems too thick add a little bit of milk to make it more like a cake batter consistency. Microwave it for about 1 and a half to 2 minutes. Turn it out of the mug and eat it up... yummy :)

Friday, September 26, 2008

More cake in a cup

so, since my last cake in a cup post, I have come up with a couple more recipes. We now eat cornbread in a cup for breakfast a lot with a sausage and some grade B maple syrup. Yum!

Northern Corn bread mug-o-muffin

Into a large mug put:

2 Tbs fine ground cornmeal

3 Tbs all-purpose flour

1 Tbs sugar

1/2 tsp baking powder

a pinch of salt

mix it all up and add:

1Tbs very soft butter

3 to 4 Tbs buttermilk

mix it all up and nuke it for about 1 minute and 20 seconds. If you want to eat it now, just eat it right out of the cup, if not, turn it out of the cup to cool so it doesn't steam in the cup as it cools... its better if you don't let it steam, trust me!

Tuesday, September 16, 2008

bento boxing

so, for several reasons we have started making bento box lunches for the whole family. For A because he goes to work every day and needs to bring lunch, for E because she is in school through lunch time now and is SO sick of peanut butter sandwiches (which she loved last year, but apparently is totally done with now), and for me because I never seem to find time when I am at home with a cranky toddler to make a decent lunch unless I put it together in the morning when I am making everyone elses lunches... L doesn't really get much of a bento right now, she is little and doesn't eat a whole container worth of food, but I sometimes make her a tiny one in a very small Ikea container with whatever fruit I am cutting up and some cheese and pasta or rice... but more often for L I just pull out some cheese and slice it as she gets hungry or give her a mini corn muffin or whatever she is after at the time... she doesn't really do meal times anyway!

So, anyway, back to bentos. We have been having fun making bentos... E likes getting to take sauce bottles and dip containers (she has always LOVED dip... think "you can eat this with ketchup? to the tune of "It comes in pints?"... if that doesn't make sense to you, well, go watch LOTR) . She loves anything that can be eaten with a sauce or a dip, so we send her a lot of chicken with a dipping sauce or salad bits and pieces that can be dipped in dressing... that sort of thing makes her very happy for lunch. A and I stick have been having more traditional bentos this week... fried rice with lots of garlic, grated carrots, chicken, and soy sauce (plus more things than i really want to list right now). We fill half to two thirds of our bento boxes with that and the rest with veg and fruit.

The cool thing about doing bentos has been that it has made me pay more attention to how much protein, carbs, and veg goes into each of our lunches. The deal is, a bento is about 1/2 carbs (traditionally rice, though we do rice, cous cous, pasta, bread, whatever seems to go with what we are eating.), then there is the other half (think of the whole box as 6 equil sections... 3/6 or one 1/2 is carb, then the other half is the other 3/6), which is 2/6 (or 1/3 for those who can do math) veg, and 1/6 protein. We usually swap our veg and carb and make it half veg and 1/3 carb, but we're kinda loose about that. Anyway, thinking this way about how much of each thing should go in has really helped me think about what to put in. I just go through the process... pick a carb from what we have on hand, say rice or noodles, a protein, say chicken, and a vegetable, say carrots.... I fill it all up in the appropriate amounts for the box and fill the gaps with things like strawberries or grapes... and it all works out great. If you want to check out my inspiration go to and check out useful things like where to get bento supplies (boxes, dip containers, small utensils, rice ball molds, etc.), or find out how big a bento you need for your age and gender. Its a great site and I highly recommed it to aspiring bento packers.

Oh, and bento is a cheap lunch option.... its a good way to use up leftovers.... hopefully I will put some useful bento box food recipes soon... until then... happy lunch packing :)

Wednesday, September 10, 2008

the easiest way to make instant cake

ok... so, at first I was skeptical when I saw a recipe for cake made in a coffee cup in the microwave, and the original recipe I found (no offense to the person who invented it) tasted like a chocolate rubber band... but, I got to thinking (being a kitchen science geek) that this idea had potential... so, E and I got to work in the kitchen and came up with 3 variations. Here they are :)

Ella's magic chocolate cake in a mug

get a standard coffee mug (about 8 to 12 ounces) and put in:

5 tbs all-purpose flour
2 slightly rounded tbs unsweetened cocoa powder
2 slightly rounded tbs sugar
1/8 tsp baking soda
1/8 tsp salt

mix these ingredients together and add

3 tbs milk
2 tbs oil
1/4 tbs vanilla
1/4 tbs white vinegar

mix it all up and heres the great part... lick the spoon or have your kid lick the spoon... no eggs, no worries

you can add come chocolate chips or nuts now if you want

put it in the microwave for 1 minute, maybe 1 and a half. check it at one though... since there are no eggs it cooks really fast... if the top is bouncy and a fork stuck in it comes out clean, its ready. Its good with a scoop of ice cream dumped right into the mug.

Version 2: Vanilla Cake with chocolate frosting

Get a coffee mug (a standard 8 or 12 ounce one works just fine) and put in:

6 Tbs all-purpose flour
2 rounded Tbs sugar
1/2 tsp baking soda
1/8 tsp salt

mix it all up with a fork and add:

4 Tbs milk
1 Tbs oil
1/2 tsp vanilla

mix it all up really well and make sure there are no flour lumps at the bottom of the cup. Microwave it for 2 minutes and the minute it comes out of the nuke put a handfull of chocolate chips on top. Wait five minutes and your chocolate will have melted so you can spread it around for frosting. Give it a few more minutes before you eat it, or it will be very warm still.

You could forgo the chocolate at the end and after mixing everything together just before you cook it you could add a couple tablespoons of frozen wild blueberries for a blueberry muffin in a cup...

and, just to be different:

Carrot Cake in a mug

Get a large coffee mug and put in:

6 Tbs all-purpose flour
2 Tbs sugar (brown or white depending on your taste, I used brown)
1/4 tsp baking soda
1/8 tsp salt
1/4 tsp cinnamon
1/8 tsp nutmeg

mix your dry ingredients up with a fork and then add:

4 Tbs orange juice (milk or butter milk would work too, though not be as good probably)
2 Tbs oil
1/4 tsp vanilla
3 Tbs finely grated carrot
1 Tbs chopped pecans (optional)
1 Tbs raisins (optional)

mix it all up and make sure its mixed all the way to the bottom (don't want flour lumps!) and put it in the microwave for 2 or 2 and a half minutes. Let it cool a little and eat it. It's really good with cream cheese and honey

Enjoy everybody