Wednesday, October 20, 2010

Frugal is as frugal does

To every thing there is a season, and a time to every purpose under the heaven. Ecclesiastes 3:1

Nora rides the elliptical I recently found on craigslist!

Have you ever read The Tightwad Gazette by Amy Dacyczyn?

I bought a copy of the book after a dear friend recommended it years ago. It is pretty radical stuff about saving money and raising a family. But, I liked it. the book she talks about her neighbor or someone throwing away a half eaten apple AND that her attempts to dig it out of the trash to make a single serving of apple crisp horrified the onlookers. Or maybe she didn't do that but she just thought about it, I can't really remember.

For a couple of days now the girls have been begging for apples and eating one or two slices and not touching the rest. So, I being my insane frugal self, have been Ziploc bagging them with a squirt of lemon juice in the hopes of "re"using them. I do the same with the half eaten bananas, only those go right into the freezer for bread. Yep, I am frugal all right; cheap, white-trash, call it what you will...

Today, I noticed a plethora of apple slices in the fridge so I googled a recipe.

YUMMY! You have got to try this one. Easy and healthy. The brown sugar caramelizes a bit in the high temperature and what you end up with is a carmel topped, soft as silk, wheat apple muffin.....mmmmm heaven. She has lots of pretty pictures over on her site. I just have one :)

Smitten Kitchen posted the recipe and I made a few changes for myself...

Whole Wheat Apple Muffins
Adapted from King Arthur Flour

from Smitten...
These dark, crazy moist muffins will keep well for several days, and the brown sugar on top, should you not skimp on it like I did, adds a crunchy touch, perfect for those of you who know that the lid is the best part.

Yield: she said 18, I got 24
1 cup (4 ounces) whole wheat flour
1 cup (4 1/4 ounces) all-purpose flour
1 teaspoon baking powder
1 teaspoon baking soda
1/4 teaspoon salt
1 tablespoon cinnamon
1/2 cup (1 stick, 4 ounces) unsalted butter, at room temperature (I gave up trying to keep unsalted butter around and just used the regular ol' salted kind)

1/2 cup (3 1/2 ounces) granulated sugar
1/2 cup dark brown sugar, packed
1 tsp of flax seed (ground)

1 large egg, lightly beaten
1 cup (8 ounces) buttermilk or yogurt (I used 6 oz of vanilla flavored Yoplait and a bit of water to make up for the lack of liquid)

2 large apples, peeled, cored, and coarsely chopped (my pieces were quite large)
Preheat the oven to 450°F. Grease and flour 24 muffin cups and set aside.

Mix together the flours, baking powder, baking soda, salt, and cinnamon, and set aside. In a separate bowl, cream the butter and add the granulated sugar and 1/4 cup of the brown sugar. Beat until fluffy. Add the egg and mix well; stop once to scrape the sides and bottom of the bowl.Mix in the buttermilk gently. (If you over-mix, the buttermilk will cause the mixture to curdle.) Stir in the dry ingredients and fold in the apple chunks.

Divide the batter evenly among the prepared muffin cups, sprinkling the remaining 1/4cup brown sugar on top. (YUMMY CARAMEL TOPPING) Bake for 10 minutes, turn the heat down to 400°F, and bake for an additional 5 to 10 minutes, or until a toothpick inserted into the center of a muffin comes out clean. Cool the muffins for 5 minutes in the tin, then turn them out onto a wire rack to cool completely.

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