Thursday, October 7, 2010

Living with Mike has really boosted my cooking confidence. When I cook or bake for him, I honestly feel like the best chef in the world. While I do consider myself to be half-way competent in the kitchen, the reality is that Mike has come straight off of 4 years of college living filled with Subway 5$ footlongs and bowls of stale cereal. Last weekend we were heading to a movie right after he got off work, so I made him a quick sandwich for dinner. It was pretty much as simple as it gets- honey wheat bread, stoneground mustard, sharp cheddar, and ham. You would have thought he had died and gone to heaven! Over a sandwich! I wasn't even trying! I have lost count of the number of times Mike has sat across from me at our little dinner table and has proclaimed "This is the best (insert meal here) I have ever had!". So, it may or may not be true, but acording to my husband, I am a pretty damn good cook.

But, instead of sharing one of Mike's favorite meals with you (and there are many), I'm going to share a recipe for something that Mike won't even go near. Bran muffins. I know, I know... am I 80 years old and constipated? Bran muffins get such a bad rap! They have been my favorite since childhood. I loved them so much that on my birthdays my mom would make up a fresh batch for breakfast and I would be served one with a candle in it. Who wants Cinnamon Toast Crunch when you can have a homemade bran muffin?! Give these humble muffins a chance. They are hearty, healthy, and keep you regular!

Bran Muffins

1 cup boiling water
1 cup bran flakes
1/2 cup margarine
3/4 cup brown sugar
1/4 cup white sugar
2 eggs
2 cups buttermilk
2 1/2 cups flour
2 1/2 tsp baking soda
1 tsp baking powder
1/2 tsp vanilla
2 cups All Bran cereal
1 cup raisins (optional)

Preheat oven to 400 degrees. Pour boiling water over bran flakes and let stand. Cream margarine and sugar together. Add eggs one at a time and beat well. Add buttermilk and mix one minute. Gradually add dry ingredients and mix until blended. And vanilla, bran flake mixture, and All Bran, mix gently. Store in covered bowl in the fridge for up to 6 weeks. Bake at 400 degrees for 20 minutes.

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