Melissa's Cuisine: April 2013

Monday, April 29, 2013

Speedy Little Devils

Do you ever have recipes that you look at and think there's no way that recipe is going to turn out?  This recipe was definitely one of those for me!  (Come to think of it, I was a little skeptical of the 45 Minute Dinner Rolls I posted last week...)

About a month ago, I posted on my Facebook page, and asked what you would make if you had an hour of free time to spend in the kitchen.  One of my fans responded with this recipe and said it's a simple but crowd pleasing recipe.  (Thanks Rachael!)

The recipe is called Speedy Little Devils--probably because the recipe comes together in a flash!  As I was making it, I thought that there was no way it was going to to turn out correctly.  The "batter" was so dry, I was afraid I was going to end up with a mess on my hands!  Nevertheless, I pressed on and baked the recipe.

Was I ever in for a surprise!  These little bars turned out amazingly!  I brought a plate in to work to celebrate our intern's last day and I had quite a few requests for the recipe.  I absolutely loved the center of these bars--it reminded me of my Peanut Butter Fluff recipe.  I should note, I didn't have a Devil's Food Cake mix in my house, so I used a brownie mix instead and they still turned out great. 

The moral of the story is:  even if something doesn't look good at first glance, keep going, the results may surprise you!

Speedy Little Devils

Makes 20 bars (1 9x9" pan)

1 box dry brownie mix (or Devil's Food Cake mix)
1 stick of butter
1 cup peanut butter
1 (7 ounce) jar marshmallow fluff

1.  In a small microwave safe bowl, melt the butter.  Allow it to cool before using.

2.  In a medium bowl, combine the brownie mix and melted butter.  The batter will be very crumb-like and dry.

3.  Reserve 1 cup of the brownie mix and press the rest into a greased 9x9" cake pan.

4.  In another medium bowl, combine the peanut butter and marshmallow fluff.  If the mixture is difficult to mix, microwave for about 20 seconds and try again.

5.  Spread the peanut butter fluff over the brownie mix.

6.  Sprinkle the remaining cup of crumbs on top of the peanut butter fluff.  Gently press the crumbs down.

7.  Bake at 350 for 20 minutes.

Cool bars completely before cutting into squares.

Saturday, April 27, 2013

Saturday Sweetness

As I went to publish this post today, I realized that yesterday's recipe never got published! I suppose that is what happens when I am not on the computer all day.  I will have the recipe up on Monday morning and I promise it is worth the wait!

In the meantime, I am guest posting at Frugal Foodie Mama today and I sure hope you will stop by! I think you will love Carrie's blog!

Here are the recipes I did post this week:

Nutella Bites: These bite-sized "brownies" are packed full of Nutella flavor. They are the perfect size for your afternoon chocolate fix!

45 Minute Dinner Rolls: The delicious rolls are ready to be served in less than 45 minutes.  Freshly made yeast rolls are now a weeknight reality!
Well, I'm off to do some baking and then enjoy this beautiful weather!  Have a great weekend!

Wednesday, April 24, 2013

45 Minute Dinner Rolls

Homemade dinner rolls on a weeknight?  Who has time for that?  I'm here to tell you that you do!  Believe it or not, these fantastic rolls are ready to eat just 45 minutes after you begin making them!  Who doesn't love fresh made rolls with dinner?

I actually made these rolls not once, but twice last week.  The first time, I undercooked the rolls and although they tasted good, they were quite dense.  I blame my oven--it doesn't work correctly half the time, and I wanted to eat the rolls with dinner, not after all the other food was gone!  The second time I made the rolls I allowed for extra baking time, and they turned out perfectly!

The secret to these rolls is the large amount of yeast the recipe calls for.  Lots of yeast=shorter rise time.  Most of the 45 minute time frame for these rolls is spent proofing the yeast, letting the dough rise, and baking the rolls.  That means that you can focus on making the other aspects of your meal while the rolls are doing their thing.  Once you make these rolls, you'll want them every night!
45 Minute Dinner Rolls
Makes 12 rolls
1 cup warm water
1/3 cup olive oil
2 Tablespoons yeast
2 Tablespoons sugar
1 egg
3 cups flour
1/2 teaspoon salt
1.  Pour the warm water and olive oil into the bowl of your stand mixer, and sprinkle the yeast and sugar on top.  Allow the mixture to rest for 15 minutes.  The mixture will be very frothy when the time is up.
2.  Using the dough hook attachment, mix the egg, flour, and salt into the yeast mixture.  Begin on low speed and gradually increase the mixer speed once the flour is incorporated.  When the dough has pulled away from the sides of the bowl and forms a ball, you can stop mixing.
3.  Divide the dough into 12 equal balls and place in a greased 9x13" pan.  Allow the dough to rise for 10 minutes (I like to set the pan on top of my oven while it pre-heats so the dough gets some extra help to rise.)
4.  Bake at 400 for 10-15 minutes (depending on your oven), until the tops begin to turn golden brown.
5.  Remove from the oven and brush the tops of the buns with butter, if desired.  Serve warm.
Source: Crazy for Crust and Your Homebased Mom

Monday, April 22, 2013

Nutella Bites

It's that time again!

Today is the Secret Recipe Club reveal date for my group.  This month, I was assigned to Diethood.  At first, I was a little disappointed, thinking I had been assigned to a "diet" blog, and that's certainly not something on my mind right now!  I was pleasantly surprised when I saw Katerina's tag line "Not a diet-food food blog".  Whew!

I just have to say, why have I not seen this blog before?  The recipes Katerina publishes are amazing, and I had so many mouthwatering recipes to choose from. 
I had quite a list of recipes I was hoping to make, but there were two that topped the list.  I wasn't able to make my first choice, due to time constraints (my parent's basement flooded and I helped clean it up). However, I'm really happy that I chose to make these Nutella Bites.

First of all, I love Nutella.  Second, aren't these little bites adorable?  Who can resist?  I know I couldn't, and neither could my friends!  There are about 3 left on my counter, but I'm going to go eat them now...
Nutella Bites

Makes approximately 30 bites


1/2 cup Nutella
2 eggs
1/2 cup sugar
1/4 cup milk
1 teaspoon vanilla
1/2 cup flour
powdered sugar

1.  In a medium bowl, whisk together the Nutella, eggs, sugar, milk and vanilla.

2.  Whisk in the flour until smooth.

3.  Scoop batter into the wells of a greased mini muffin tin, filling 2/3 of the way full. (I used a Tablespoon measuring spoon to scoop the batter and found about 3/4 of a Tablespoon to be the perfect amount.)

4.  Bake at 350 for 13-15 minutes, until a toothpick inserted in the center of a bite comes out clean.

5.  Allow bites to cool before removing from the pan and sprinkling with powdered sugar.

Source: Diethood

Friday, April 19, 2013

Breakfast Scramble

Breakfast for dinner.

It's become a weekly staple in our household. Not only is it pretty simple to make, but it also tastes good, and if you make enough, you have leftovers for the next day! 

The past few weeks have been so busy at our house.  Between Mike's crazy work schedule and going up to the hospital to see my dad, I felt like had been severely lacking in the food department.  When we don't have good dinners, that means Mike doesn't have leftovers to take for lunch and he ends up eating junk.  I decided this past week would be different--so far I've cooked and we've had leftovers every night!

Back to breakfast for dinner.  This scramble is one from my "youth group days".  Every time we'd have a youth trip, one of our breakfasts was guaranteed to be this breakfast scramble.  I remember crawling out of our tent and seeing one of our leaders standing over a huge griddle making breakfast.  The ingredients are pretty simple: potatoes, eggs, sausage and cheese.  You don't even have to add milk unless you want to.  I think it makes the eggs fluffier, so I put a good dose of milk in.

You can eat it as is, or stuff a tortilla with the filling.  Plus, this makes enough for dinner and then some!

Breakfast Scramble

Serves 6-8

3 pounds diced hashbrown potatoes (frozen)
1 pound ground sausage (your choice!)
12 eggs
1/2 cup milk
2 cups shredded cheddar cheese

1.  Drizzle a large skillet with olive oil and heat over medium heat.

2.  When the oil is warm, add the potatoes.  Cook, stirring occasionally, for 10 minutes.

3.  Push the potatoes to the side of the pan and add the sausage.  Cook until the sausage is no longer pink.

4.  In a large bowl, combine the eggs and milk.  Whisk until eggs are beaten.

5.  Pour the egg mixture into the skillet with the potatoes and sausage.  Cook until the eggs are no longer runny.

6.  Sprinkle cheese over the mixture and stir to distribute.

Serve as is, or with tortillas.

Wednesday, April 17, 2013

Triple Layer Peanut Butter Pie

A couple weeks ago, my dad had back surgery.  The surgery was successful, but he ended up being in the hospital for 12 days!  When he finally received the green light to go home, he was more than ready for the comforts of home as well as a good homemade meal!

Since we always go to my parent's house for Sunday dinner, I told my dad that he could choose anything he wanted for me to make for dessert.  Anything that sounded good to him, I would make.  And for some odd reason, even though I've never made one for him before, I had a feeling he would choose a peanut butter pie.  He did! 

Since I've never made a peanut butter pie before, I had to find a recipe.  I couldn't find one that I really liked, so I ended up combining different aspects of 3 or 4 different recipes.  The result was this triple layered masterpiece.  Everyone really enjoyed this pie, and I loved that it wasn't too sweet or too rich to have a large slice. 

Who am I kidding?  Even if it was sweet and rich, I'd have had a large slice!

Triple Layer Peanut Butter Pie

Serves 8-10

35 Nilla wafers, finely crushed
1/4 cup butter, melted
1 (3.9 oz) package Jell-O chocolate pudding
1/2 cup milk
6 ounces cream cheese
1 can sweetened condensed milk
1/2 cup peanut butter
2 cups Cool Whip, thawed and divided
2 Tablespoons peanut butter

1.  Mix the wafer crumbs and butter until well blended. 

2.  Press into the bottom and sides of a 9" pie pan and bake at 375 for 10 minutes.  Cool.

3.  While the pie crust is cooling, beat the chocolate pudding mix and milk with a whisk for 2 minutes.  The pudding will be thick.

4.  Spread the chocolate pudding onto the bottom of the crust.

5.  Mix the cream cheese, sweetened condensed milk, and peanut butter in a medium bowl and beat until blended.

6.  Fold 1 cup of Cool Whip into the peanut butter mixture.

7.  Spread the peanut butter mixture over the chocolate pudding layer.

8.  Spread the remaining cup of Cool Whip over the peanut butter layer.

9.  Microwave the peanut butter in a small bowl for 15 seconds.  Drizzle over the Cool Whip layer.

10.  Refrigerate for a minimum of 3 hours before serving.

Monday, April 15, 2013

Trail Mix

raisins, almonds, Brookside, chocolate, marshmallows, peanuts, Cheerios, pretzels
Through-out high school and college, I practically lived on trail mix.  It was so easy to make--just open the cupboards and throw whatever I found into a big mixing bowl.  Give it a shake and enjoy!  If done right, trail mix can be a pretty healthy and substaintial snack.  I'd often pack a bag of trail mix and an apple and call it lunch at work or school.

I still enjoy making trail mixes, in fact, I'm having this one for lunch today!  (With some other items, of course!)  After my friend had her baby a couple weeks ago, I put together a trail mix for her.  I thought it would be easy to grab a quick handful, especially for those midnight feedings.  I added a bag of my newest addiction--Brookside Dark Chocolate bites, and I heard her tell her husband those were all hers!

I hesitate to even call this a recipe because I rarely make it the same each time.  However, I've listed below the items that are staples in my trail mixes.  What other foods do you put in your trail mix?

Trail Mix

Makes 16 1/2 cup servings

2 cups Cheerios
1 cup pretzels, broken in pieces
1 cup mini marshmallows
1 cup raisins
1 cup Brookside chocolates (my favorite is the Acai with blueberry)
1 cup almonds (I like to use the smokehouse flavor)
1 cup peanuts

Mix all the ingredients in a large mixing bowl.  Cover and store at room temperature.

Saturday, April 13, 2013

Saturday Sweetness

Let's talk weather for a minute.  It has rained all day every day this week.  It's quite miserable and I'm ready for some sunshine.  This dreary weather makes me want to stay inside all day and bake.  In fact, that sounds like a good plan for this morning!

In case you missed it, here's what I shared this week on Melissa's Cuisine:

Blueberry Peach Cobbler--Breakfast? Snack? Dessert?  Whenever you choose to enjoy this cobbler, it's guaranteed to please.  Plus, it's a shortcut recipe, the cobbler is made from Bisquick!
Pizza Sliders--A quick solution for a weeknight meal.  These sliders are made with Pillsbury Grands (another shortcut recipe) and are much better than the restaurant variety!
Loaded Brownies--A pregnant woman's dream! These indulgent brownies are filled with chocolate chips, caramels, and pretzels.
Here are some of my favorite pins from this week: (Sorry I don't have pictures, just a text link to the original post...Pinterest changed how to embed pins and I'm having a hard time figuring it out!)

45 Minute Dinner Rolls--I absolutely love homemade bread and the idea of being able to have fresh baked (homemade) rolls on the table for a weeknight dinner is amazing!

Snickers Cake--This over-the-top cake would be the perfect birthday cake for my dad or for Mike!

Oatmeal Cream Pies--These are a homemade version of a snack I grew up eating.  I can't wait to try this recipe!

I'm off to make a dessert for Sunday lunch tomorrow, then we have two birthday parties to attend today.  It's another busy Saturday!  What are you up to today?

Thursday, April 11, 2013

Loaded Brownies

Yesterday one of my co-workers asked me if there is anything that I've been craving during my pregnancy.  Yes!  I told her I was always wanting Oreos and brownies.  The other day, I came home from work and I wanted brownies so badly!  I thought I had bought a brownie mix at the store not too long ago, and I planned to whip up a batch while supper was cooking.  For some reason, I couldn't find the mix I thought I had, but I did find a mix that I bought from a chocolate party I hosted.

I whipped up the brownies and was surprised when the recipe called for an 8x8" baking dish, yet the nutrition facts said the brownies made 20 servings.  The directions said to cut the brownies into 2-1/2" pieces.  I think someone needs to try their math again!  Anyway, the brownies were pretty good, but they certainly didn't hold a candle to these loaded brownies.  
Lady Behind the Curtain Dessert ChallengeI made these brownies a while ago, I just never got around to posting them.  It turns out that was a good thing, because this month's ingredients for the Lady Behind the Curtain Dessert Challenge are caramel and pretzels!  These brownies contain both, plus they're full of chocolatey goodness. They're everything I've been craving, and then some!
Loaded Brownies

Makes 1 9x13" pan, approximately 18 servings

1 box brownie mix
2/3 cup vegetable oil*
1/4 cup water*
2 eggs *
*or ingredients listed to prepare brownie mix
1/2 cup chocolate chips, divided
24 caramels, unwrapped and cut in half
1/2 cup pretzels, broken in pieces

1.  Mix the brownie mix, oil, water, and eggs together in a medium bowl.

2.  Pour half the batter into a greased 9x13" pan.

3.  Sprinkle half the chocolate chips and the caramels over the brownie batter.

4.  Pour the remaining batter into the pan and top with remaining chocolate chips and broken pretzels.

5.  Bake at 350 for 22-24 minutes, until a toothpick inserted in the center of the brownie comes out mostly clean.

Wednesday, April 10, 2013

Pizza Sliders

Melissa's Cuisine: Pizza Sliders
Given the number of pizza recipes on my blog, it should come as no surprise when I say that Mike and I love pizza.  We could easily eat it 7 days a week, but considering that it is not the healthiest meal choice, we try to limit ourselves to 1 night a week (plus leftovers for the lunch the next day!)

Recently, a chain restaurant came out with their version of pizza sliders.  The commercials made them look really good, so last time we ordered pizza, Mike and I decided to go for the sliders.  We loved how they tasted, but decided we probably wouldn't order them again.  You see, we're cheap.  It cost us $10 for 9 sliders.  Typically when we order from this restaurant, we get their dinner box, with an 8 slice pizza, 5 breadsticks, and 10 cinnamon sticks.  That also costs $10.  Between the two of us, we ate 8 of the 9 sliders.  Yes, I eat as much as my husband.  Don't judge ;)  When we get the dinner box, we have enough food for dinner, plus leftovers for lunch the next day.  So basically, even though we enjoyed the sliders, we're too cheap to buy them again.

One night I figured, why not make our own sliders?  I've made a mini version of pizzas before, and these are basically the same thing.  I didn't plan far enough ahead to make my own pizza dough, so I decided to use Pillsbury Grands.  I used the Flaky Layers Butter style to give the crust an extra something special.  Mike and I both really enjoyed these, and we'll be making our own pizza sliders from now on! 

Melissa's Cuisine: Pizza Sliders

Pizza Sliders

Makes 8

1 tube Pillsbury Grands biscuits
1 cup pizza sauce
1 cup shredded mozzarella cheese
24 slices of pepperoni

1.  Flatten biscuits into rounds about 5" and place on a parchment lined baking sheet.

2.  Spread the pizza sauce over the flattened biscuits.

3.  Top the pizza sauce with shredded mozzarella and pepperoni.

4.  Bake at 350 for 12-15 minutes, until golden brown and the cheese is bubbly.

Monday, April 08, 2013

Blueberry Peach Cobbler

It's incredible how much stuff babies require!  Mike and I started our baby registry on Saturday.  We had fun selecting the items for our registry.  Can I just tell you how much it makes my heart melt to see my husband awww-ing over adorable Easter dresses?  So precious!

I didn't realize how many decisions we would have to make for seemingly simple things.  Like bottles...who knew that you have to choose different shapes and certain flow style based on the age of your baby?  I certainly didn't!  We felt pretty accomplished as we left the store.  Then, I got home and pulled out a registry check-list.  Apparently we missed quite a few items on that list.  Thankfully I was able to add our missed items online, but goodness, I had no idea it could be so complicated!  Don't get me wrong, I'm loving every minute, but at times it sure gets overwhelming for us first time parents!

You might be thinking that this cobbler looks awfully familiar.  Yes, it probably does, because I posted a similar recipe for Blackberry Peach Cobbler in February.  The major difference (other than using blueberries instead of blackberries) is that this recipe is simplified.  I used Bisquick baking mix to cut down on the steps for this recipe.  I think that will be the theme for my life for the next few months years...simple is better!

Blueberry Peach Cobbler

Serves 5-6


2 cups Bisquick baking mix
3 Tablespoons sugar
3 Tablespoons butter, melted
1/3 cup milk
1/2 cup peach jam
1 cup blueberries, frozen or fresh
3 Tablespoons butter, melted
1 Tablespoon sugar

1.  In a mixing bowl, combine the baking mix, sugar, melted butter, and milk to form a dough.

2.  Place the dough on a floured surface and roll out to a rectangle about 8x10".

3.  Spread the peach jam over the dough and sprinkle the blueberries on top of the jam.

4.  Roll the dough up, jelly-roll style, and press the seams to seal it shut.

5.  Cut the dough into 1" slices and place in a greased round cake pan.

6.  Drizzle the melted butter on top of the dough and sprinkle it with the sugar.

7.  Bake at 475 for 10-12 minutes, until the top is lightly browned.

Cool slightly before serving.

Saturday, April 06, 2013

Saturday Dishes

Today I'm doing something new!  Instead of my typical Saturday Sweetness post, I'm guest hosting the Saturday Dishes link up with Savannah from Hammock Tracks, Paula from Call Me PMc, and Linda from The Tumbleweed Contessa.

This week's theme is strawberries.  I was excited when Savannah asked me to guest host this week, because I love strawberries!  I've shared quite a few strawberry recipes with you in the past, so here are some of my favorites:

Strawberry Mango Salsa:
 Strawberry Cream Pie:

 Strawberry Cheesecake Smoothie:
 Strawberry Peach Frozen Yogurt:

Now it's your turn!  Link up your favorite strawberry recipes below!
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Friday, April 05, 2013

Apple Cinnamon Dumplings

I have a problem.  I just can't leave recipes alone!  I hate to follow a recipe exactly, and I prefer to tweak the original or just look at a picture and try to re-create the recipe. 

That was certainly the case with these dumplings.  I've made them countless times since I first posted them here (back in 2008!).  I made a peach version which turned out fantastic.  Then, I tried to make a lower fat version using less butter and sugar. That time didn't turn out so well.  In fact, I believe that was when Mike told me to stop messing with recipes and just make them the way they're supposed to be made. 

Like I said, I like to change up recipes, so that is one area where I have a hard time listening to my husband!  I didn't change these up much, but the change I made was fantastic.  I used larger pieces of apples and added in cinnamon chips, which melted and gave the apples and dumplings great flavor. 

One thing I would suggest is to use a soft apple (like Macintosh) instead of a harder variety (like Gala).  If you only have hard apples, your dumplings will just have a slight crunch to them.  You could certainly microwave the apple for a minute or two to give it a head start on baking before putting it in the biscuit. 
Apple Cinnamon Dumplings

Serves 8

1 can Pillsbury Grands (8 biscuits)
4 small apples, peeled, halved, and cored (use a small knife or spoon to scoop the core out)
1/4 cup cinnamon chips
1/2 cup butter
3/4 cup sugar
1 teaspoon vanilla
1 (12 ounce) can Mountain Dew

1.  Flatten biscuits into an oval shape, about 5x7 inches or as close as possible.

2.  Sprinkle a few cinnamon chips in the center of the biscuit and place the apple, cut side down on top of the chips.

3.  Fold the biscuits around the apples, pinching the edges to seal the dumpling shut.

4.  Place biscuits in a 9x13" pan.

5.  In a small saucepan, melt the butter.  Add the sugar and vanilla and stir until the sugar dissolves.

6.  Pour the sugar mixture over the dumplings, being sure to coat each one thoroughly.

7.  Pour the Mountain Dew around the edges of the pan and down the center.  (If it appears that your pan might overflow with liquid, stop adding the Mountain Dew.  You don't need to use the whole can.)

8.  Sprinkle the tops of the dumplings with cinnamon.

9.  Bake at 350 for 40-45 minutes, until golden brown.

Serve warm.  Store leftovers, covered, in the fridge.

Wednesday, April 03, 2013

Ham and Egg Salad

Do you have leftover Easter eggs?  How about leftover ham?  Then you have half the ingredients you need to make this salad!  You'll probably find the other ingredients in your refrigerator ;)

I made these hard-boiled eggs in the oven.  Have you tried that method yet?  You simply place one egg in each cavity of a muffin tin (I used a mini muffin tin) and place the eggs in a 350 degree oven.  Bake for 30 minutes.  Then place the hot eggs in a bowl of ice water for 10 minutes.  The eggs will be done perfectly and the ice bath makes them peel so easily.  Of course, these still take time to make, but I found it to be so much easier than boiling the eggs!

Since we had some leftover ham, I decided to toss it into the egg salad.  It was a great decision!  Mike and I both really enjoyed this salad and it was quite filling.  It made for excellent lunches for Mike this week too.

Ham and Egg Salad

Serves 6 

6 hard-boiled eggs
1/2 cup diced ham
2 Tablespoons pickle relish
1/2 cup mayonnaise
salt and pepper, to taste

1.  Chop hard-boiled eggs into small pieces.

2.  Mix all ingredients in a small bowl.  If necessary, add more mayonnaise to achieve desired creaminess.

3.  Add salt and pepper to meet your desired taste.

Serve immediately or store in the fridge until you're ready to serve.

Monday, April 01, 2013

Bran Muffins

As I was thinking about what to write today, I was trying to come up with a great way to trick you.  Tell you we're really having twins...or a post about some really disgusting food...or a great story that really leaves you hanging, just to tell you it was totally fake!

I couldn't think of anything worthy of writing, but I did remember some of the tricks we've played in the past.  It was always fun to play tricks on my dad when he got home from work.  Sometimes, we'd have a plate of Oreo cookies waiting for him on the counter.  Except, they weren't really Oreos, because we had replaced the cream filling with toothpaste.

Or what about the time that we told him Mr. Lyon had called for him and needed a return call.  He called the phone number we left for him, only to get a worker at the local zoo!  He thought he had the wrong number, so he hung up before asking if Mr. Lyon was available.

Of course, one of the oldest tricks in the book was when we'd put a black rubber band around the sprayer on the kitchen sink.  I think everyone in my family has been victim to that prank!

These muffins have absolutely nothing to do with April Fool's Day.  Except maybe that they are so delicious that you would never guess they're actually healthier for you.  This is a recipe from Mike's mom.  I made a batch for my friend who recently had a baby.  I thought it would be a good option for her to have something healthy to reach for during the midnight feedings.  As I was mixing up the first batch for her, I realized that I was totally out of eggs.  I used a flax egg (1/4 cup water plus 1 teaspoon ground flax) instead and the muffins turned out great!  When I went to visit my friend the other day, she requested another batch of muffins, so the second time I used real eggs.  The muffins with real eggs rose a little more, but I couldn't tell any difference in the taste.

Bran Muffins

Makes 28 muffins

3 cups bran flake cereal

1/2 cup shortening

1 cup boiling water

2 eggs (or 2 flax eggs: 1/2 cup water and 2 teaspoons ground flax)

2-1/2 cup flour

1-1/2 cups sugar

1/2 teaspoon salt

2-1/2 teaspoons baking soda

2 cups buttermilk
1 cup raisins (optional)

1.  Mix together bran flakes, shortening, and water.

2.  Add sugar and egg and stir until mixed.

3.  Add flour, soda, salt, buttermilk, and raisins and stir until the flour is just incorporated.

4.  Pour into greased muffin tins.

5.  Bake at 350° for 22-25 minutes, until a toothpick inserted in the center of the muffin comes out clean.
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