250 Cookbooks: Bake-Off 34th Contest Cookbook

Cookbook #101: Bake-Off 34th Contest Cookbook, The Pillsbury Company, Minneapolis, MN, 1990.

Pillsbury's 34th Contest Bake-Off CookbookThe earliest Bake-Off cookbook I covered in this blog was published in 1959; I discuss these cookbooks more thoroughly in my blog post covering the 1964 Bake-Off Cookbook. By 1990, Pillsbury was producing monthly Bake-Off or Classic Cookbooks, known as “magazine cookbooks”, as I discussed in this post.

This booklet was my mother’s. She only marked one recipe: “Praline Pecan Cheesecake”, “yummy!” and “rich!”. The ingredients of this cheesecake are: a Pillsbury Cake Mix, butter, cream cheese, sugar, eggs, toffee candy bars, brown sugar, pecans, and caramel ice cream topping. If you cut this 9-inch pie into 16 slices, each has 520 calories. I’ll never make this cheesecake, it is too rich and yummy for my style of eating.

The Bake-Off 34th Contest Cookbook offers recipes for salads, breads, brunches, main dishes, cookies, and desserts. Although some are from-scratch, many of the recipes include canned or frozen veggies (I prefer fresh), refrigerated biscuits or crescent rolls, or packaged pie or pizza crusts. Some of the cookie and cake recipes call for brownie or cake mixes. Since I prefer recipes from scratch, I am not going to keep this cookbook, although I saved a couple cookie recipes to try sometime. (Cookies are a weakness of mine!)

For this blog, I will try Tropical Oat Bran Muffins. This is a from-scratch recipe. It calls for whole bran cereal, bananas, macadamia nuts, coconut, and pineapple. These should be great for breakfast!

TropicalOatBranMuffins recipeTropical Oat Bran MuffinsNote that the recipe calls for either “whole bran cereal with oat bran” or “fortified whole bran cereal”. I have a box of Kellogg’s™ All Bran cereal, and it doesn’t have oat bran in it, so I’ll call my version “Tropical Muffins”. I made two-thirds of the recipe (so it would yield 12 muffins), used more banana than called for (I had 2 ripe bananas), and used a little less flour (high-altitude adjustment). I didn’t make the “fruit spread” (a mixture of lite margarine and jam). My version of this recipe is below.

Tropical Muffins
makes 12 muffins

  • 1 1/2 cup plus 1 tablespoon flour
  • 1/2 cup bran cereal
  • 1/2 cup coconut
  • 1 1/2 teaspoons baking powder
  • 1/2 teaspoon salt
  • 1 teaspoon cinnamon
  • 2-3 ounces macadamia nuts, chopped
  • 1/3 cup butter
  • 1/2 cup white sugar
  • scant 1/4 cup brown sugar
  • 2 eggs
  • generous 1/2 cup mashed banana (about 2 ripe bananas)
  • 1 1/2 teaspoons vanilla
  • 2/3 of an 8-ounce can of crushed pineapple

Prepare a 12-cup muffin pan, either by lining with paper cups or lightly greasing.

Stir together the flour, cereal, coconut, baking powder, salt, cinnamon and macadamia nuts. Set aside.

Use a mixer to beat the butter with the white and brown sugars until light and fluffy. Add the eggs and banana and blend well. Stir in the vanilla and crushed pineapple.

Combine the wet and dry ingredients and stir just until the dry ingredients are moistened. Fill the muffin cups 2/3 full.

Bake at 350˚ for 25-30 minutes.

Tropical MuffinsExcellent muffins! I want to make them again already. These have a denser texture than some muffins, since they are chock full of fruits, nuts, and coconut. We both liked them.

Favorites: Applesauce-Carrot Muffins

Applesauce Carrot MuffinsMuffins in the morning! One of my favorite things. These have apples and carrots and raisins and even some whole wheat flour in them. I often use my own homemade cinnamon-infused applesauce in these.

Applesauce-Carrot Muffins
makes 12 muffins

  • 1 cup all-purpose flour
  • 3/4 cup whole wheat flour or whole wheat pastry flour
  • 1 teaspoon baking soda
  • 1/2 teaspoon salt
  • 1 teaspoon cinnamon
  • 1/2 teaspoon nutmeg (freshly grated if possible)
  • 1 egg
  • 1/2 cup sugar
  • 1/4 cup oil
  • 1/2 teaspoon vanilla
  • 1/2 cup milk
  • 1 cup applesauce (canned or homemade)
  • 3/4 cup grated carrots
  • 1/2 cup raisins (I like to use sultans – golden raisins)
  • lemon zest (about 1/2 lemon rind, grated)

Beat together egg and sugar until light, then beat in oil, milk, and vanilla. Stir in applesauce.

Combine flours, baking soda, salt and spices in large bowl. Stir applesauce mixture into flour mixture only until just blended. Quickly fold in carrots and raisins.

Put into 12 muffin-pan cups. Bake at 400˚ for 15 to 18 minutes until lightly browned.

250 Cookbooks: Woman’s Day Encyclopedia of Cookery, Volume 4

Cookbook #72: Woman’s Day Encyclopedia of Cookery, Vol. 4, Cre-Fin. Woman’s Day, Fawcett Publications, NY, 1966.

Encyclopedia of Cookery 4This is the fourth in a series of 12 food encyclopedia volumes. I discussed the first three volumes here: Volume 1, Volume 2, and Volume 3.

The first entry in this volume is “Creole Cookery”. I marked a couple recipes to try, especially “Louisiana Pecan Cake” with 3 1/2 cups pecans and a whole cup of whiskey! Next come crepes, croaker (a fish that makes a grunting noise), croissants, and crumpets. The curry recipes look interesting, as they do not rely solely on American curry powder. Czechoslavakian and Danish cooking follow. Devil’s food cake! James Beard contributed an article on desserts.

Following James Beard’s essay is one entitled “Dinner-Party Desserts from a Jittery Cook”, by Margot Sandler. Jittery!

“Well, jittery or not, I like to give dinner parties, and I have learned to avoid some of the more common pitfalls. I have found, for instance, that there is nothing better for soothing the nerves than the thought of the good dessert waiting calmly in the refrigerator.”

I stop and read the section on “Diet”, an essay titled “The Truth About Diets” by Fredrick J. Stare, MD, Professor and Chairman of the Department of Nutrition, Harvard School of Public Health. An excerpt:

“. . . with the automobile, the outboard engine, electric golf cart, and now the motorized toothbrush, there seems to be a conspiracy against adults securing any physical exercise.”

I hardly think my “motorized” toothbrush robs me of exercise! (The rest of the essay is totally sensible though, encouraging a varied diet, small portions, and lots of exercise. He also mentions “electronic cooking” which is probably a reference to microwave ovens.)

Dinners, Duck Cook Book (looks useful), dumplings, durum wheat, Dutch cookery. The éclairs entry includes a good recipe for a from-scratch vanilla cream filling. Eels! Eek! I doubt I’ll ever make “Matelote of Eels”.

Eggs, eggplant, elderberries, English cookery, an Entertaining Cook Book, escarole, fair (“Country-Fair Dinner”), fermentation, fiasco (an Italian wine bottle), fiddlehead (a fern), figs. “Fines Herbes” ends the entries in this volume.

I decide to make “Date-Nut Muffins” for this blog. I have a handful of dates in my pantry that are getting pretty dry and need to be used, and muffins are always great for breakfast.

Date-Nut Muffins recipeThe recipe doesn’t call for a lot of sugar (1/4 cup) but has a bit of butter (1/4 cup). Is that legal for breakfast? When does a muffin become dessert? I’m not the only one who wonders about this. From Deb Perelman’s Smitten Kitchen blog:

“We all know that muffins teeter precariously on a razor-thin line that divides the food categories of “Acceptable for Breakfast” and “Nope, This Is Dessert” and one must maintain firm boundaries during the breakfast hours lest the day that follows devolve into a full-on bacchanal of Resolution decompensation that ends with one passed out amid scatters of Cheetos, ketchup packets and French fry grease with a side of cronut.”

“Whole grains and oats = breakfast!
White flour = cake.
An egg or two = breakfast!
Lots of eggs = cake.
Natural sweeteners = breakfast!
White sugar = cake.
Unsaturated fats = breakfast!
Butter = cake.”

The recipe for “Date-Nut Muffins” leans towards “dessert”. I would add another criteria to Deb’s list: “fruits and nuts = breakfast”. I’m willing to use whole wheat pastry flour and a bit of honey, teetering these back to “breakfast”. But I want the butter in these!

Below is my version of these muffins. I added some vanilla and honey, and used brown sugar instead of white sugar. I was out of fresh milk, so I used water and dry milk instead. Since my dates were dry and hard, I warmed up the 1 cup of water, added the dates, and let it stand until the water cooled. Next time I’ll add more dates, and that change is reflected in my version below.

Date-Nut Muffins
makes 10

  • 1 cup milk (can substitute 1 cup water and 3 tablespoons dry milk)
  • 1 egg
  • 1/3 cup brown sugar
  • 2 tablespoons honey
  • 1 teaspoon vanilla
  • 2 cups whole wheat pastry flour
  • 1/2 teaspoon salt
  • 1 tablespoon baking powder
  • 1/2 cup chopped walnuts
  • 3/4 cup chopped dates
  • 1/4 cup butter, melted

Beat the milk, egg, brown sugar, honey, and vanilla. Stir together the flour, salt, and baking powder, then add to the milk mixture and stir to combine. Add nuts and dates, then butter, and mix only enough to blend.

Fill 10 muffin cups (paper-lined, or greased, or use a non-stick pan) and bake at 400˚ for 20 minutes, until browned.

Date-Nut MuffinsI had to try one as soon as they were baked! They are excellent. I like the whole wheat flour in them. I consider them healthy enough to be called a breakfast food!

250 Cookbooks: Lyons Elementary Cookbook

Cookbook #66: Lyons Elementary Cookbook. Lyons Elementary PTA, Lyons, Colorado, 1989-90.

Lyons Elementary CookbookLyons. My community. We have lived in unincorporated Lyons since 1981. Both of my kids went through grades 1-12 in Lyons, first at Lyons Elementary and then at Lyons Middle-Senior High School. The Lyons Elementary Cookbook was put together by parents and teachers at the elementary school when my son was a student there. And yes! I contributed recipes.

So far, I’ve covered two other community cookbooks, one from my sister and one from my mother-in-law. I enjoy them as a reflection of how people really cook in their homes as they raise their kids.

Turning the pages of the 1989-90 Lyons Elementary Cookbook takes me back to the sweet days when my kids were young, and all those years in Lyons schools. I recognize so many of the names at the bottom of the recipes! Lyons schools are small, I think there were less than 300 students at the middle-senior school when my kids attended. A lot of the families still live here; our town is like that.

So how did we cook in our homes in the 80s? We were busy, so the recipes in this cookbook do not require a lot of time to cook. Ingredient choices reflect both our hippie influences (whole wheat flour, wheat germ, tofu all that) and our mom’s influences (canned soups, seasoning mixes, bisquick and all that). The result, lots of tasty, comforting main dishes. Lots of yummy cookies and quick breads and desserts. This little Lyons Elementary cookbook is a keeper for a lot of reasons!

I could have opened this cook book at random and chosen any of the recipes for this blog. (Well almost, not “Rattlesnake Stew”: Remove rattle, cut snake into small pieces. Add remaining ingredients, except rabbit . . . “) My choice is: Banana Chocolate Chip Muffins. A healthy-ish treat for me, on May 11, Mother’s Day 2014! And look, right above the muffin recipe is one of my own contributions:

Banana Choclate Chip MuffinsI still make Banana Blueberry Bread regularly (and should enter my latest version into this blog).

The Banana Chocolate Chip Muffins recipe was contributed by Mindy Tallent, who along with her husband Sam now own the Stone Cup in Lyons. Ah, the Stone Cup! A lovely place to meet friends and enjoy wonderful coffee and sweet treats: “made from scratch using only organic and natural ingredients”. Just like the muffin recipe in this cookbook!

When the town flooded last September, the Stone Cup was just above the flood level, and Mindy went in early to open up. Soon stranded townspeople came until there was a crowd, and the Stone Cup opened its doors. Thank you Mindy and Sam, for being there for our community when it needed you the most, and for toughing it out through the long weeks when the town was evacuated and the roads closed. Everyone, if you are ever in Lyons, stop by the Stone Cup!

I plan to make these muffins pretty much as per the recipe. I don’t have oat bran, but I do have oat flour, so I’ll use that. I suggest putting a half-cup of oatmeal in a food processor if you don’t have oat flour or oat bran, or substitute with flour or even wheat bran. I think that “2 teaspoons of safflower oil” is just too little oil. There was a phase when we all tried to eliminate all fat from recipes; today I feel like we need a little fat in our diets. And more oil will give these a better texture. As to the directions to use “safflower” oil, well, opinions on the “best” oil to use changes with time; I say, use whatever you have in your cupboard. Chocolate chips – my current crave is for 60% cacao Ghiradelli’s chocolate chips. And if a few more chips than called for fall into the batter – well, too bad! These are for my Mother’s Day!

Banana Chocolate Chip Muffins
makes 12; downsized from the original recipe that made 18

  • 1 1/3 cup whole wheat flour (I used white whole wheat)
  • 1/3 cup wheat germ
  • 1/2 cup oat bran (see my suggested substitutes, above)
  • 1 teaspoon baking soda
  • 2/3 teaspoon baking powder
  • 1/2 teaspoon salt
  • 1 cup lightly mashed bananas
  • 1 egg
  • 2 tablespoons vegetable oil
  • 1 teaspoon vanilla (my addition!)
  • 1/3 cup honey (4 ounces; and I used local Colorado honey)
  • 2/3 cup plain yogurt
  • 1/3 cup chopped walnuts
  • 1/3 cup chocolate chips (or more!)

Combine the dry ingredients and set aside.

In a separate bowl, use an electric mixer to beat the bananas with the egg, oil, and vanilla until smooth. Add the honey and vanilla.

Mix wet and dry ingredients quickly, then stir in the walnuts and chocolate chips, being careful not to over mix. Spoon into lightly greased muffin tins or use paper baking cups.

Bake at 400˚ for 18-20 minutes. (Test with a toothpick for doneness.)


Yum! These are perfect. I made them the day before and we enjoyed them for breakfast.

Banana Chocolate Chip MuffinsMy only dilemma the next morning was whether or not to microwave them briefly before heating. Un-microwaved, you bite down on big crunchy chunks of chocolate. Microwaved, creamy chocolate oozes out. Hmm. Tried them both ways and still can’t decide which is best.

My Banana Muffins

I made up this recipe because I couldn’t find one that was exactly what I wanted. I wanted banana bread – but as muffins. I wanted cinnamon and nutmeg and nuts in the muffins. I wanted them to taste good and sweet and be a little healthy, but not overly so. I also wanted to use up 2 bananas.

I like big muffins, so I made only 10 muffins in my 12-muffin pan. Make 12, if you like, just shorten the baking time a few minutes.

My Banana Muffins
makes 10 or 12

  • 1 3/4 cup flour (can use part all-purpose and part whole wheat pastry flour)
  • 1/2 cup oatmeal (quick cooking)
  • 1 teaspoon baking powder
  • 1 teaspoon baking soda
  • 1/4 teaspoon salt
  • 1 teaspoon cinnamon
  • 1/2 teaspoon nutmeg (preferably freshly grated)
  • 1/2 cup chopped walnuts
  • 1 cup total volume of a mixture of plain yogurt and milk (it’s your choice as to how much of each you want to use)
  • 1 egg
  • 1/2 cup brown sugar
  • 1/4 cup oil
  • 2 bananas

Preheat oven to 375˚. Get your muffin pan ready. (Line with cupcake papers, or spray with non-stick spray, or do neither, depending on your pan.)

Combine the dry ingredients and the nuts and set aside. (Do not consider the brown sugar a dry ingredient; according to Alton Brown, sugar is a “wet” ingredient.)

Combine the yogurt/milk mixture, egg, brown sugar, oil, and bananas. Mix well with a mixer or an immersion blender, until the bananas are mashed and mixed well with the other wet ingredients

Quickly combine the dry and wet ingredients. Do not over mix! Fill muffin cups (12 for sedate and small muffins, 10 if you like them over the top).

Bake for 18-22 minutes, until golden brown. My Banana MuffinsThese are my over the top muffins.

250 Cookbooks: 1989 Best-Recipes Yearbook

Cookbook #50: 1989 Best-Recipes Yearbook. Better Homes and Gardens, Meredith Corporation, Des Moines, Iowa, 1989.

1989 Best Recipes YearbookAdmissions of a recovering recipe clipper . . .

I bought this cookbook in 1989. Back then I loved to buy women’s magazines and pore over the recipes. But I could not just let the magazines go straight to the recycling bin, I held onto old issues until I first clipped recipes to try. Eventually it got done. Eventually I read each clipped recipe and entered its information into a database. Eventually the cut up magazine went into the recycling bin. The clipped recipe went into a file folder. I still have these file folders and the database. That project is now finished.

Tired of my compulsive recipe-clipping addiction, I vowed never again to buy a women’s magazine. That was in about the early 1990s. I have stayed true to my vow. But, as a leftover, I have this book of Better Homes and Gardens magazine recipes.

I will now recycle this book. In the whole dang book, not a single recipe is marked by me. Although I did have a post-it with a seafood dinner plan on it, tucked on a page with a recipe for shrimp in a tarragon, garlic, sun-dried tomato vinaigrette recipe. I now have a much better version of a shrimp vinaigrette in my repertoire, so I can let this go.

The layout of this book glares at me like the glossy magazines I used to pore over. Promises of great food shown in fancy dining layouts with happy people. But the recipes in this book are mediocre. Today I saved only a couple recipes, one for a sweet-potato-chocolate swirled quick bread, and one for a seasoned ground meat mixture over home-cooked polenta.

And what did I decide to cook from the pages of this soon-to-be-discarded cookbook? “Orange Streusel Muffins”. I’m always up for another muffin recipe. Muffins are part of my daily eating plan! And these are a tiny bit unusual, with a jammy surprise inside.Orange Streusel MuffinsThe above version says to make 12 muffins. As I was filling the muffin cups, I felt that I needed to fill them a little fuller, so I only made 8 muffins. My new 12-muffin tin from King Arthur Flour is great – it does not require any grease or paper liners and does not complain when I leave a few of the muffin cups unfilled. Next time, I’ll add more marmalade, so I incorporated this, too, into my version, below.

Orange Streusel Muffins
makes 8 muffins


  • 1 3/4 cups flour
  • 1/4 cup sugar
  • 2 1/2 teaspoons baking powder
  • 1 egg
  • 3/4 cup milk
  • 1/3 cup oil
  • 1/4 cup (or more) orange marmalade

Streusel topping

  • 2 tablespoons flour
  • 2 tablespoons brown sugar
  • 1 tablespoon softened butter
  • 1 teaspoon cinnamon
  • 2 tablespoons chopped pecans

Stir together the flour, sugar, baking powder, and salt. Set aside.

Beat together the egg, milk, and oil. Combine wet and dry mixtures, stirring just until moistened.

Spoon a generous tablespoon of the batter into 8 muffin cups, then put a generous teaspoon of marmalade on top of each. Next, spoon another generous tablespoon of the batter atop the marmalade in each cup. Finally, sprinkle with Streusel topping.

Bake at 400˚ for 20-22 minutes or until golden. Cool in the pan a few minutes, then remove to a wire rack to cool completely.

Orange Streusel MuffinsYes, these are good. My dining partner loved the built-in jam. I liked warming them briefly in the microwave so the marmalade was warm. We both wanted: More marmalade!

My breakfast, awaiting only eggs and coffee:

Orange Streusel MuffinsThese satisfied my New Year’s resolution: Everyday, I should eat something that makes me say “wow, I just have to have another bite!”

My kitty helping me to set up the shot:

Tori and the muffins

Hey, this is my 50th cookbook! I’m 20% of my way through this project!

Favorites: Sour Cream Peach Muffins

I’ve been making these for years. I probably clipped the recipe from a magazine or newspaper.

Inspiration for adding this recipe today is from my September 2013 Just Peachy post. It’s time for a peach fest!

Sour Cream-Peach Muffins
makes 12 muffins

  • 1 cup chopped peaches
  • 1 cup sour cream (or yogurt)
  • 1 egg
  • 1/4 cup margarine or butter, melted (or use vegetable oil)
  • 1 tablespoon baking powder
  • 1/4 teaspoon baking soda
  • 1/4 teaspoon salt
  • 2 cups flour
  • 1/4 to 1/2 cup sugar (depending on sweetness of peaches)

Mix peaches, sour cream, and egg, stir in margarine. Combine dry ingredients, then stir into the wet ingredients just until blended.

Put into 12 muffin cups and bake at 375˚ for about 35 minutes, or until golden and tops spring back when gently touched in the center.

250 Cookbooks: Light Cooking

Cookbook #36: Light Cooking – Low Fat, Low Calorie, Low Cholesterol. Publications International, Lincolnwood, IL, 1994.

Light CookingWell, dang. This is a big book that takes up a bit of space on my shelf. I picked it up thinking I could get rid of it, but I paged through it and wrote down about ten recipes that I wanted to try. So, I’ll have to keep it. Oh well.

This is a “brand name” cookbook. Right on the cover is Crisco, Dannon, Jell-o, Perdue, Egg Beaters, Borden, Dole, and Hershey’s, all with the ® next to them. I bought it from a check-out display at Safeway for I think $20. The introduction is only two pages, just a short guide to healthy eating. The recipes have no personal notes from an author. I’ve always felt that the main purpose of this cookbook is to advertise their products, since recipe ingredients often include brand names. But in its 515 pages of recipes there are some very good ideas for cutting calories and fat and controlling portion size.

Most of the recipes in this book are plain, simple, and easy to prepare. Each recipe has calorie, fat, cholesterol, and sodium content. Other than the brand name issue, the recipes rarely call for odd ingredients. It’s a very “American” cookbook.

The recipes that I marked now to try include muffins, fruit crisps, beef, pork tenderloin, and chicken recipes. Common menu items that I cook a lot, with just enough twists to make me keep this book. I found a lot of pages marked with slips of paper from the last time I used it, probably over a decade ago. I still like those recipes.

Guess I have re-discovered a useful cookbook!

For this blog, I decided to try Banana Yogurt Muffins. Seems I always have an old banana laying around, and great non-fat Greek yogurt. They call for Special K® cereal, one I used to eat often but it somehow fell off my radar. Time to buy a box and try it again, both in the muffins and as a breakfast cereal.

Banana Yogurt MuffinsI plan to make these pretty much like the recipe. I don’t have vanilla yogurt, so I’ll use plain yogurt and add some vanilla. And cinnamon, I think these need a little spice in them.

Banana Yogurt Muffins

  • 1 1/2 cups flour
  • 3 tablespoons sugar
  • 2 teaspoons baking powder
  • 1/2 teaspoon cinnamon
  • 1/4 teaspoon salt
  • 1 egg white
  • 3/4 cup milk
  • 1 banana (or more: I used 1 1/2 bananas)
  • 1/3 cup plain yogurt (or use flavored and skip the vanilla)
  • 1/2 teaspoon vanilla
  • 3 tablespoons vegetable oil
  • 2 1/2 cups Kellogg’s Special K® cereal, crushed to 2 cups (I used a rolling pin)

Stir together the flour, sugar, baking powder, cinnamon, and salt.

Using a mixer, blend the egg white, banana, yogurt, vanilla, and oil. Mix until there are no longer big chunks of banana in the batter. Add the cereal and let stand about a minute until the cereal softens.

Combine the dry and wet ingredients just until combined. Fill 12 muffin cups, either paper-lined or use a non-stick pan.

Bake at 400˚ for 25 minutes.

Banana Yogurt MuffinsThese turned out pretty good, for a low-calorie muffin. I’d make them again – it’s a good way to use up aging bananas and have a tasty, healthy weekday breakfast treat.

Favorites: Applesauce-Carrot Muffins

Applesauce Carrot MuffinsThis recipe was in my short-list of muffins in my 1990s blog, as were my Lemon Poppy Seed Muffins. I made them last week and I still really like them. Not only do they taste good, but they have carrots, apples, and whole wheat flour to boost the nutrition, and are low-ish in fat.

Applesauce-Carrot Muffins

  • 1 cup flour
  • 3/4 cup whole wheat flour
  • 1 teaspoon baking soda
  • 1/2 teaspoon salt
  • 1 teaspoon cinnamon
  • 1/2 teaspoon nutmeg
  • 1 egg
  • 1/2 cup sugar
  • 1/4 cup oil
  • 1/4 teaspoon vanilla
  • 1/2 cup milk
  • 1 cup applesauce
  • 3/4 cup grated carrots

Beat egg and sugar until fluffy, then beat in oil, milk, and vanilla. Stir in applesauce. Combine flours, baking soda, salt and spices in large bowl. Stir applesauce mixture into flour mixture only until just blended. Quickly fold in carrots.

Put into 12 muffin-pan cups. Bake at 400˚ for 15 to 18 minutes until lightly browned.

Less-calorie alternative:

As written, these have about 150 calories each. You can shave the calories and still have a pretty good muffin by using 5/8 cup skim milk and only 2 tablespoons oil and using either 2 egg whites or egg substitute for the egg and using a scant 1/2 cup sugar.

Favorites: Lemon Poppy Seed Muffins

“Muffins are one of my favorite breakfast foods. You can bake up a batch on the weekend, freeze them, and microwave one for breakfast direct from the freezer.”

The above was written by me for my 1990s blog, and it’s still true! I have over 40 muffin recipes in my personal “Muffins” document!

I published this recipe for Lemon Poppy Seed Muffins in my old 1990s blog. I call this recipe “my own”, since I pooled several recipes and tweaked the ingredients until we all thought them perfect.

I don’t make these muffins a lot any more. They come with a pretty high calorie and fat content (about 225 calories/muffin), and it’s hard to eat just one of these. And today I choose butter over margarine, and usually try to use a vegetable oil instead of butter. Saturated fats and all that. Finally, I like my breads to pack more of a fiber and nutrient wallop, and these muffins offer little of either.

I save these muffins for special occasions, when we have company or when I’m in the mood to through caution to the wind. Or when I commit to extra 10 minutes on the stair climber.

I guarantee, these are great muffins.

Lemon Poppy Seed Muffins

  • 2 cups flour
  • 1 teaspoon baking soda
  • 1 teaspoon baking powder
  • 1/4 teaspoon salt
  • 1/2 cup margarine
  • 3/4 cup sugar
  • 2 eggs
  • 2/3 cup sour cream
  • 1/4 cup lemon juice (preferably fresh)
  • 1 teaspoon vanilla
  • 3 tablespoons poppy seeds
  • 1 teaspoon grated lemon peel

Stir together flour, baking powder, baking soda, and salt. Cream margarine and sugar until fluffy, then add eggs one at a time. Add flour mixture alternately with sour cream, lemon juice, and vanilla; beat until blended. Fold in poppy seeds and lemon peel.

Put into 12 muffin cups and sprinkle tops with sugar if desired. Bake at 375˚ for 18-20 minutes.