Wednesday, March 27, 2013

Muffin Love

I ate one before I snapped the picture

I found this recipe on my bag of Shurfine whole wheat flour. The flour was getting close to its use by date, and I didn't want it to go to waste so I tried the recipe out. They were made to serve a purpose, and I didn't expect them to be delicious. However, they have become my go-to breakfast muffins. I've adjusted the recipe to be less sweet and more spicy, but it's close to what's on the bag. 

Whole Wheat Muffins

2 cups     Shurfine whole wheat flour
1/2 tsp    Shurfine salt
4 tsp       Shurfine baking powder
1/2 cup   Shurfine brown sugar
1 cup      Shurfine milk
1/2 tsp    vanilla
  2           eggs
1/3 cup   Shurfine vegetable oil
1/2 cup   Shurfine chopped walnuts
1/2 cup   Shurfine raisins
~1/2 tsp  cinnamon
~1/4 tsp  nutmeg
dash       ground cloves

Preheat oven to 425 degrees F. Grease muffin tins.

In a large bowl combine flour, salt, baking powder, brown sugar and spices. Mix until the brown sugar lumps are nearly gone.
In a small bowl combine milk, eggs, vegetable oil and vanilla. Add to dry ingredients and mix until just combined. Fold in raisins and nuts.

Fill muffin cups halfway with batter. Bake 12-18 minutes; let cool slightly and remove from tin.

Makes 12 regular size muffins or 6 jumbo muffins.
*Baker's note: you don't have to use Shurfine products in this recipe.

Tuesday, March 12, 2013

And the Award Goes to... Chocolate Lava Cake!!!

Chocolate Lava Cake

I first made these cakes for New Year's Eve. I stretched the batter to make five cakes that night since there were five people, which worked out fine since we had eaten a lot before dessert. This picture is from my latest baking on Oscar night. This time I stuck closer to the original recipe although both times I cut down on the amount of sugar.

I wanted to try my hand at this type of dessert for a while, but I never had the occasion since most recipes make a small batch and call for the cakes to be served warm. For such a ubiquitous fancy restaurant dessert, it was remarkably quick and easy.

I'm not a big chocoholic so I don't have a lot of experience with soft-center chocolate mini-cakes, but these were very good. They were rich and decadent and worthy of Oscar night! I found this recipe on The Pioneer Woman site, which links to the original recipe on the Tasty Kitchen site.

Thursday, March 07, 2013


This is my first attempt at taking iPhone pictures at a live concert. These are from the MUSE show in Cleveland on February 28 at the Q. I'm still getting used to a decent camera phone so these aren't the greatest shots. Also, I didn't want to snap pics and miss the actual performance. 

We started in the general admission floor section. We were pretty close to the stage (stage left to be precise) and got closer as the night went on. This a picture of the bass player Chris at stage level, drummer Dom in the background, and the lead singer/guitarist Matt on the screens above.

Washed out picture of rock god, Matthew Bellamy.

I moved to a seat during the second half. I'm glad I did since it gave me a chance to see the stage as a whole. It's hard to see, but there were screens below the stage floor, behind the group and in the drop-down pyramid overhead. It was incredible to say the least! My favorite use of the setup was as a giant roulette wheel to pick a song. It was between "Stockholm Syndrome" and "New Born." I was happy that it landed on Stockholm Syndrome since it's one of my favorite songs from Absolution

If they are scheduled to play an arena near you, you should check it out. Unless you hate good music, spectacular light and sound production, or are generally not awesome.

Saturday, March 02, 2013

Chocolate Heart

Another Valentine's Day birthday cake for my oldest nephew's golden birthday. Double-fudge chocolate cake with dried strawberries inside. Chocolate glaze and fresh strawberries for decoration.

I had to improvise a container to hold the cake since it was too big for any of my normal carriers. I used a cardboard shoe (boot) box. It's a good thing I don't have delicate feet!