Monday, March 02, 2009

What we are doing on this Snowy Day: Sprout Online and Muffins

I love Snowdays. I love watching the snow billow and blow outside, provided that I have enough good things to eat and enough things to do.

One of my stand by activities is Sprout-Online, a site designed for pre-schoolers by PBS Kids. It's the online supplement to the HD and Cable channel, Sprout. There are short videos, educational activities, coloring pages, games and easy-to-do, simple to follow activities for parent and child that make for memorable and painless times for you and your loved, little ones.

I also love to bake something on Snow Days. The smell of something warm and sweet baking makes me a very happy woman and is a sweet way for the kids to wake up. Today's recipe was a variation on Nigella Lawson's Pear Ginger Muffins, except I added a capful of vanilla, and subbed finely chopped apples for the pear, whole milk yogurt for the sour cream, and cinnamon for the ginger. They turned out fantastic.

Below is my modification on Nigella's Original Recipe, taken from one of my use-again and again cookbooks, Nigella Express, available in our amazon e-store.

1 3/4c flour
1 cup granulated sugar
2 teaspoons baking powder
1 teaspoon cinnamon

2/3 cup plain whole milk yogurt or 1 small container of babyfood peaches (Gerber Organics stage 2) plus 1 tbsp milk
1/2 cup vegetable oil
1 tablespoon molasses
2 eggs
1 capful good vanilla
1 fist-sized apple peeled and finely chopped

1) Preheat oven to 400F and line a 12 cup muffin pan with paper muffin liners.
2) Measure all dry ingredients into a small bowl. Stir together.
3) In a large bowl, mix together all remaining ingredients until a smooth color and egg is all blended.
4) Dump dry ingredients into wet ones and fold together, just until mixed.
5) Divide evenly among the muffin cups. Sprinkle with sugar, if the sparkly look is desired. Bake for about 20 minutes until golden brown on the edges and done.

Note: The strained peaches and milk are a great way to lower the fat content and help to produce a really pretty golden color and up the flavor without adding too much sugar. I generally use one container of the Gerber Organics stage 2 Twin-pack or Earth's Best.