I've been up since 6:30...I accidentally out of ingrained habit, turned on my alarm clock as I slid into bed last night. What a dummy! It went off at 6:10 and try as I might, sweet dreams could not lure my brain back. I was wide awake and gave in after 20 minutes of flopping around (and I could tell from the interrupted soft snores that I was disturbing my husband). So, I hopped up and slid through my first cup of coffee with ease, caught up on some blog reading, watched a couple of DVR'd shows I know my husband despises and thought, around 9:30, that I heard activity in the back two rooms. I must have been hallucinating because it is now 10:00 and not a creature is stirring...except me!
I decided I would bake some muffins for breakfast to go with some of our favorite Applewood Smoked bacon we'd picked up at Sam's Club before Thanksgiving. It was a lot of bacon so it's been parked in the freezer...and I took it down this week, knowing Mr. Flip Flop would enjoy some this week-end.
I often have muffin mixes and I can sure make them from scratch, but I wondered if I could use one of my almost expired cake mixes to make muffins? (the more I bake the less mixes I use, but I keep them on hand "in case") A short Google away, I was fixed up with some really basic directions from eHow.com and thought about what I had in the cupboards and freezer to kick it up a notch or 3.
The teen has been learning to shop and keep a food budget for the past year or so (he's doing great) and he'd bought some blueberries for pancakes a couple of weeks ago. He made them and still had half of the berries leftover. I showed him how to spread them on a baking sheet, freeze them, and store them in a small Ziploc for future use. These little tricks are things I hope he takes with him and will help him stretch his food dollars as he moves into adulthood. So, when I was perusing the freezer, I thought I'd grab those out and make some blueberry muffins.
I only ended up with 3/4+ cup of berries so I decided to make half plain blueberry muffins - for the teen - and add some sliced almonds and dried cranberries to the other half of the mixture for me and the Dad. Here's the recipe.
BERRIES AND ALMONDS CAKE MIX MUFFINS
Adapted from eHow.com
1 2-layer boxed cake mix (I used a Betty Crocker Super Moist Golden Vanilla mix)
1/3 cup vegetable oil
1 Tablespoon water
1 teaspoon ground cinnamon
3/4 cup frozen blueberries
Additional ingredients for 6 of the muffins:
1/4 cup dried cranberries
1/4 cup sliced natural raw almonds
Pre-heat oven to 350 degrees Fahrenheit. Makes 12 regular size muffins. Either lightly grease and flour your pan, spray with Baker's Joy or similar product, or line with paper muffin cups.
In bowl of a stand mixer, with paddle attachment, mix the cake mix, oil, water, eggs, and cinnamon.
Batter will be thick - like peanut butter. Scrape bowl well.
Gently stir in blueberries.
I had prepared a muffin pan with 6 liners of one color and 6 liners of another color so there would be no question of which ones did not have nuts ('cause the teen would have not been happy to bite into one of our muffins!)
Using a large cookie scoop, place one scoop of batter into each of the 6 muffin cups.
Add the cranberries and almonds to the rest of the batter and stir gently to incorporate. Work quickly, if the blueberries thaw, they start to break up (I realized that when I squished one).
Using a large cookie scoop, place a generous scoop of batter into the remaining 6 muffin cups.
Bake 30-32 minutes in middle rack position of your oven. Remove from oven and place on rack to cool until you can handle them.
Serve with butter or just by themselves!
They were sweetly delicious - the nuts and berries a perfect complement to the mild cinnamon and vanilla flavors. YUM...I will definitely make these again. What a great way to use up some of my mixes that approach their maturity!
OVEN COOKED BACON
Line your baking sheet (must use the kind with edges) with foil for easier clean up.
Place your bacon on the baking sheet.
Place baking sheet in a cold oven, close door, turn oven on to 400 degrees Fahrenheit.
Leave it alone. Check on it at 15 minutes - may take up to 20 minutes or longer to cook it to your preferred level of crispiness - depends on the thickness of your bacon as well! My bacon was really thick. I flipped it at the 20 minute mark and baked it 10 more minutes total... 30 minutes of cooking required for the thick sliced bacon. My family likes it not crispy. I like it very crispy. So, I took theirs out a little sooner than mine. We do what we must.
When done, remove from oven and transfer bacon to another baking sheet lined with paper toweling.
Allow the greasy bacon pan to sit until bacon grease starts solidifying and then you can just roll it up and throw it away. Easiest bacon clean up ever.
Hope you are having a great week-end wherever you are. I sure hope those dudes get up soon. I may have to eat without them! It's 10 freaking 30 guys. Roll yourselves out. Maybe I'll open the bedroom doors so the aroma of bacon and muffins can waft their way.
BON APPETIT, Y'ALL!!!