Weekly Photo Challenge: I’d Rather Be Baking

Especially when my apartment’s boiler is not working properly and I wake to freezing, just above zero temps, in my area of Michigan.  My first thought was to turn on my electric oven because it helps to warm the apartment and why not throw in some muffins to bake as well (two birds).

I used the same recipe I posted on a recent post of mine for Sour Cream Coffee Cake.  Click for the recipe.  I baked them at 350° for only 17 minutes in my vintage ecko baking tin.  I did not top these but instead whipped up a spread for them from 4 oz cream cheese and 2 TBs sweet cream butter softened in the microwave but not melted, then stirred in 2 Tb French Vanilla coffee creamer to give it a rich, buttery slightly sweet flavor.  Delicious, but they would have tasted great plain too.  I just happen to be a fan of cream cheese and had some on hand from a sale last week at the local market.

 

I’m still pampering myself and having treats to make up for all the time last year during fall and the entire Holiday Season that I spent ill.  First year I lost weight instead of gaining it for once, to think of it on the positive side.

Daily Prompt: It’s a Fact

I like to bake to calm myself down.

Yesterday’s blog post was very cathartic for me and I was so happy to finally release some of my true feelings into the universe.  Just because someone’s truth is not pleasant does not mean that they should bury it inside feeling shame for things they could not control and did not want.  It’s one thing to harp on things another to finally state the facts.

So last night I wanted to use up the rest of my sour cream before it goes bad and found this great recipe that I divided in half and changed ever so slightly to lower the sugar and sodium content.  It was from my vintage Betty Crocker’s Cookbook that I received as a gift at my wedding shower in 1972.  

The recipe was for Sour Cream Coffee Cake.

This book has been well used through these many years and it shows.  Below is the recipe I prepared because I only wanted one loaf and the recipe above is for two loaves.  I also did not add any additional salt, used low sodium/sodium free baking powder and cake flour instead of all purpose.  If you are using all purpose flour, you only need 1 1/2 cups flour.

To me, less is always more when it comes to ingredients and seasoning.  You have to be careful in baking to have the right fats and leavenings with your binding ingredients but you can play around with recipes to get desired flavor or results.  No recipe is carved in stone so to speak.  Much like the recipe below is not exactly half of the above recipe but it came out great.

When the cake was finished baking in the loaf pan, I microwaved 2 Tbs butter with 1/4 C brown sugar for a few minutes, checking every 30 seconds or so to thicken, then stirred in about 1/2 cup pecan halves to coat.  When the cake was finished I spread it evenly across the top while it was hot and everything set when it cooled.

 

Weekly Photo Challenge: Sweets 4 the Sweet

Sweets are my downfall in life, my drug of choice.  Mostly chocolate, but I do gravitate towards anything that is sweet.  I am very particular that my sweets not be overly sweet.  How some can scoop teaspoon after teaspoon of sugar into their coffee or tea is beyond me.  Go with one Tablespoon of those flavored creamers or scant 1 tsp of sugar if used instead.

I should mention I have been a “borderline Diabetic” for many years and really have to watch my diet, exercise and my weight to keep it from going full force on me so messing with sweets can be as dangerous as a druggie with actual drugs.  I have been so bad for so many years now, that I got another wake up again a few weeks ago that will scare me into being good again for a while anyway.

Mostly I just do dark chocolate right now but on Valentines Day I was alone and feeling like I needed a treat with no chocolate in the house and bad weather outside.  I made some bite size brownies with my mini muffin tins and used those disposable Wilton bags to decorate them with homemade pink buttercream frosting.

Can use 1/2 C all purpose flour if cake flour n/a. Add pinch of salt if using unsalted butter & not watching sodium intake.

Still take out my kids artwork for holidays!

Pumpkin Bread with Walnuts and Chocolate Chips

I LOVE Autumn for so many reasons but the main one is that it cools down enough to begin baking again!  I’ve been trying to find creative ways to use apples, pumpkin and hard squash without all those excess carbs.  I have managed to cut them way down, eating more fresh fruits and vegetables which has helped me to lose a few pounds even after I stopped dieting on purpose.

Once you alter your diet to a more healthy one, you shouldn’t miss the junk food and I can say when you allow your palate to get used to clean, fresh, good organic sustenance you won’t enjoy garbage anymore.  We were never meant to eat the kinds of man made chemicals that most of the large corporations add to their mock foods to give them a longer shelf life.  I think their foods are going to last longer than us!

Enjoy the following recipe I have doctored from other recipes to have less fat, sugar, sodium and even cholesterol since I reduced the eggs from 3 to only 2 for most of my breads.

 Chocolate Chip & Walnut Pumpkin Bread

3/4 C brown sugar

1/2 C sugar

2 C fresh pumpkin puree (or 15 oz canned pumpkin puree)

3/4 C oil

1/4 C plain nonfat yogurt

1/2 C pumpkin spice flavor creamer

2or3 eggs

 

2 1/2 C Flour (your choice)

2 tsp baking powder

1/2 tsp salt

2 tsp cinnamon

1/2 tsp nutmeg

dash cloves

dash cardamom

1 C chocolate chips

1 C chopped walnuts

Pretty simple if you are familiar with baking.  Combine all the dry ingredients & set aside to add to the wet once they are all combined.  Then fold in the chocolate chips and walnuts, place in a greased Bundt pan or divide for a couple of loaves if you prefer.  Bake at 350° for 45-55 min.  Try not to over bake.

You can also use this batter for muffins

I also love this recipe for Pumpkin soup. I hope to get more creative this year.

Weekly Photo Challenge: So Many Textures!

I am a very textural person!  I love Jacquard and tapestries with deep textures.  I study stone, brick, wood and metals when I’m out and about with my camera.  Everything in our world, man made or natural has it’s own distinct textures to enjoy.

 

Weekly Photo Challenge: Surprise!

Surprise!  Anything can be on here today!

Today is National Grilled Cheese Day! I prefer Swiss & Muenster instead of the American Processed slices I used to have as a kid.

Goes great with a mocha Frappe.

 

Surprise to me! Both the mug and plate have since been broken and I don’t have a clue what the heck I was eating. Any guesses?

Sorry the mug is blurry.  Says “If I ever have the urge to marry again I’ll just find someone I hate and buy them a house!”  Funny at the time.

I seldom ever indulge in alcohol. Never liked it in any form “grape juice that burns!”

However dark chocolate and ice cream have always been my weakness!

Alas, I can no longer indulge in these goodies until I lose another 15 lbs.  I have always been very good in the past when I give myself a goal but since this always has to be repeated, I don’t like eating healthy all the time.  It’s not good for you to yo-yo as I do because it means that I eat excess fats and calories that my body does not need and then I go into starvation mode to lose again.  Very bad all the way around.  I do spend a lot of time in front of the computer but I do work out daily.  Sadly the older you become the slower your metabolism gets.  So for now I just keep bad stuff out of the house.

Daily Prompt: Relax and Bake On!

Chocolate Chip Cream Cheese Muffins

8 oz cream cheese                   1/4 C milk or cream

2 Tb butter                      1/4 C vanilla creamer

1/4 C sour cream           1 tsp vanilla

1 egg                               1/2 C sugar

2 C flour                          3 tsp baking powder

1/2 C mini chocolate chips

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