A Foodie Hostess Gift

Invited to a Christmas get-together?  Are the hosts  fellow foodies?  In the past couple of years, we have taken to replacing the traditional bottle of wine for the host, with a bottle of good olive oil!  What a great reaction this gift generates! Delivered in a lovely Christmas wine gift bag, it makes a wonderful alternative.  Flavored oils,  products of Provence and Puglia are a good choice.  Remember that, like wines, you pretty much get what you pay for, so the more it costs, the better it will be.  Calgary’s Italian Super Market, Lina’s and Williams and Sonoma are good sources.

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An Oatmeal Revelation

Quaker OatsI recently discovered something quite remarkable about baking muffins.  Odd, since I have been baking them for 45 years.  No matter, I am a big enough man (figure of speech) to admit that I can still learn new tips.   And this one  is so simple  it seems a trivial change to an ingredient.  But it makes a HUGE difference to the result. Seriously, I’m shocked that a) I didn’t know this before and b) how much it transforms your muffins from really pretty darn good to fantastic!

 

The secret is with the oats.  Before adding the oats to your muffins, add boiling water and let it rest 15 minutes.  The difference is in the texture of the muffin.  Lighter and somehow more flavorful.   For each cup of oatmeal, add 1/2 cup of boiling water.

Give it a whirl!

Really Good Oatmeal Muffins

Preheat oven to 350 F.
Grease or line muffin pan with muffin cups.

In a small bowl, combine:

1 cup rolled oats
1/2 cup boiling water
Grated rind of one orange
1/2 cup orange juice

By hand or with mixer cream together:
1/2 cup butter, softened
1/2 cup packed brown sugar
1/3 cup white sugar
1 tsp vanilla extract

Add:
2 eggs
Mix lightly until combined.

Sift together:
1 cup flour
1 tsp baking powder
1 tsp baking soda
3/4 tsp salt
Add to butter mixture and combine.  Add oat mixture and mix together.
Stir in:
1 cup raisins

Spoon into prepared muffin pans, filling 2/3 full.
Bake at 350 F  until golden brown, about 20 minutes.
Makes 12 muffins.

Enjoy them as much as everyone here at my house did!

~FoodMama

Pork Tenderloin Souvlaki

PC Blue Menu Pork Tenderloin SouvlakiSounds delicious, right? Right! Well, we don’t always have the time or energy to make everything from scratch, so sometimes we cheat on our marinades and buy pre-marinated meat. We found these PC Blue Menu Pork Tenderloin Souvlaki kebabs at Superstore a while ago and as it turns out, they’re really good! When we first started buying them, we made all four kebabs for the two of us but we found that with veggies and a starch, one kebab is really all we need. We love that they’re 60 calories each (for those of you who don’t keep track of calories and stuff, that’s a good thing!) and they’re still FULL of delicious flavours!

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