We are half way through our move! Woohoo! 

Tomorrow we will have helpers to finish off the loading and transporting.  We are so excited and so grateful for the extra hands!  After trying to decide what to make for breakfast/treats for our helpers, I decided on easy muffins (I’ll confess…I used a mix).  The first batch was great!  The second batch…not so much.  They totally caved in like donuts.  The hole in the center can’t really be ignored so my super sweet hubby and his brother decided that I ought to sell this fail as an intentional creation…they call it the “Doffin”.  So there you have it, I will be serving a batch of muffins and a batch of doffins.  I hear confidence is what’s going to sell the doffin,  so we’ll see how that goes.  🙂  I’m looking forward to having a put-together kitchen again, to create real food instead of resorting to packaged items.  Until then though, I am just being grateful for all the modern conveniences in life that help to make these busy moments a little easier. 

If your baking creation totally tanks, just rename it and sell it with confidence!

Baking while Moving

As I open cabinet after cabinet, I’m met with emptiness. The minimalist in me shouts for joy, but the rest of me, the part that is trying to live, cook, and eat in this kitchen screams in anguish (at least a little). I have one pot, one Pyrex microwave bowl, one cookie sheet, and a few dishes (plates, cups, forks, spoons, cereal bowls, etc.). I am running out of meals that can be prepared with this limited selection of tools. As I recall (after over a dozen moves) this is about the time that frozen or delivery pizza enters the scene.

Anyways, it was decided the other day that some of my hubby’s friends will be helping us move our furniture this weekend. I’m so grateful and excited about this help, but am now racking my brain to figure out what sort of breakfast treat to make for this moving crew. My husband asks for coffee cake or banana bread…sounds yummy, fairly easy, oh wait, no cake pan, no bread pan. I suggest biscuits, but we decide they can be too dry without butter or jam. I’m starting to run out of ideas and am even contemplating buying something instead (I’ll admit that pride is the motivating factor in this decision, I don’t want my lasting impression to be the wife that buys treats instead of baking them, although I also cringe at the thought of spending more money for store bought treats laced with extra preservatives). After mulling it over, we spent the morning experimenting with biscuit variations. We had tried this once before by adding sugar and chocolate chips to biscuit batter, but found these additions to make the batter very heavy and too dense. Our new approach-topping the biscuits. We tried four varieties.

Experiment 1:
Brown sugar/butter topping
Review-The brown sugar was sweet and the topping was even slightly crispy, but not enough of a solution. Still too bland to eat without a spread.

Experiment 2:
Syrup drizzled on top
Review-Sticky! The baked syrup was sweet, but this just wasn’t a winner.

Experiment 3:
Cinnamon Sugar Topping
Review-This was actually a pretty good option. The cinnamon gave it more flavor and the sugar hinted towards something sweet. We’re getting closer!

Experiment 4:
Glazed biscuits
Review-This was also pretty good, but much of the glaze dripped off and made a sticky mess on the pans. Close, but not quite.

The decision:
Our plan is to add the glaze halfway through the baking and then sprinkle with cinnamon. Yum! We are looking forward to trying them! It’s fun experimenting some, but I’d also welcome any advice on making biscuits a sweeter treat…or really any advice on cooking/baking in the midst of a move.

Easy, Healthy Cookies

Two of my very favorite words when getting ready to cook or bake are definitely “easy” and “healthy”!  Despite the fact that I studied Community Health in college, I’m going to even say that “easy” is even a higher priority to me on most days than “healthy”.  Consequently, when I ran across this recipe on Pinterest, I had to try them.  I’ve tweaked the recipe here and there to provide some variety to these treats and I’ve loved them all.  My hubby has the largest sweet tooth ever and he even likes these cookies.

Here’s the basic batter recipe:
1 Banana (the riper the banana, the sweeter the cookie)
1/2 Cup Oats

Yields: 9 small cookies

I mix the batter in a cereal bowl with a fork (not only are the cookies easy to make, but the clean-up is a cinch). These cookies are also great with extra add-ins and flavors. The recipe is super easy to double or whip up a few different varieties (last night we made four different types). I would recommend eating them within a couple days, as they don’t seem to keep as good much longer than that. Also, I don’t recommend storing them with other cookies. We made that mistake once and crunchy cookies stored with the banana cookies just turned soggy and gained a hint of banana flavor. All in all, these are a tasty treat that’s super easy to throw together, very forgiving for the cook who hates to measure, and to top it all off, they are healthy! Yay!

Some of our favorite ways to shake the recipe up:

Peanut Butter Chocolate Cookies-To the batter, I add about 2 Tbs. of peanut butter and about a handful of chocolate chips.
Almond Joys-To the batter, I add about 1 handful of coconut flakes, a small handful of chopped almonds, and a small handful of chocolate chips
Trail Mix Cookies- To the batter, I add a handful of coconut flakes, a handful of craisins (or raisins), and sometimes a handful of chocolate chips.

*Note: I have tiny hands, so don’t overdo the mix-ins or the cookies tend to fall apart.