Yummy Recipe for Stress Management: With All the Trauma in the World, Why Not Take Action to Relieve Your Stress by Baking Something Healthy & Delicious – Sharing With Friends?
With All the Economic Drama of Recent Days, You Know We’re All in Need of Some Good [[]] Techniques.
Hopefully you’ve been able to find an opportunity for a big belly laugh every day, since you know laughter’s a proven stress reliever. No need to head to a comedy club, there have been some great opportunities offered by the presidential campaign:
- Tina Fey’s impressions of Sarah Palin on Saturday Night Live have really had the world laughing
- The real Sarah Palin on Saturday Night Live this past weekend was another good chance to laugh, especially Amy’s the end of show rap
- Not to mention the ably delivered standup comedy of both McCain and Obama at the Alfred E. Smith Memorial Dinner
Speaking of dinner, getting together with friends is another good way to help relive your stress.
After all, you don’t want to isolate yourself at intense times like this. Being with others is a good thing. Sharing a meal with your friends is even better.
So Why Not Invite a Few Friends Over to Share a Home-cooked Meal?
You’ve got to eat, right? And you can still be economical, because eating at home always saves money over dining out. But eating with friends is a bit more social. And if you want to keep your expenses down, opt for a potluck, where each invitee brings a part of the meal.
Even better, invite people for a weekend brunch or a home-based pre-game “tailgate,” instead of dinner. Your food costs will be less, and the camaraderie and fun are just as great.
Fall’s a good time to do this, too. People’s schedules are returning to normal, and we start to get into the holiday spirit. Plus, the first Fall nip in the air may just get you in the mood to turn on the oven and bake something delicious. I know it does for me.
Keep in mind, the baking you do doesn’t have to be really fancy. Recently on the Food Network, Art Greene, famous for being Oprah’s chef, commented that Oprah had taught him to never be embarrassed to serve something as humble as a biscuit.
He’s right: A home-baked biscuit, warm from the oven, served with nothing more than butter and honey can be heavenly. And cost effective, too! What’s involved, after all? Warm biscuits can come from a humble refrigerator tube, a bag you keep in the freezer – and if you want to really go “home made,” all you need is boxed biscuit mix and water!
Want To Serve Something a Bit More Impressive than Biscuits? How About Homemade Muffins?
I made muffins for brunch guests the other day, and it was an excellent exercise in stress management. I had fun, I changed my routine, and took action to reduce my stress, all things that are good for everyone but which are even more important if you have a chronic disease, like Type 2 Diabetes.
I also wanted to keep things easy, so these were made with humble biscuit mix as a base. But they’re not plain. I exercised my creative powers…and some fruit and homemade granola.
Lucky for you – and my brunch guests the other day – the result was better than just edible, it was incredible. So spicy, scrumptious and wonderful I knew you’d want the recipe!
Here you go! This makes a dozen delicious, dense and moist muffins.
You could probably put the batter into a single pan, and make a coffeecake of it, too. But of course, this is faster. And you’d on your own for the size of the pan and the length of cooking time… (OK, maybe an 8 x 8 pan would work?)
Anne’s Healthy & Delicious Apple, Cranberry, Ricotta & Granola Muffins
2-1/2 C. Bisquick Baking Mix (Regular or low fat, I used regular)
1 C. granola (Your choice, I used a home baked version, mostly oats, pecans & coconut)
1/2 C. dried cranberries, coarsely chopped (Possibly skip this if your granola has raisins in it?)
1/4 cup sugar(If you’re diabetic, you could substitute Splenda or Stevia, or omit)
1/4 t. nutmeg
1/2 t. cinnamon
1 C lowfat ricotta cheese
1/2 C. water (You could substitute a juice, like orange or cranberry)
1-1/2 C. apple, peeled and chopped or grated (Any apple will do, you’ll need 1 large or 2 small)
1/2 teaspoon vanilla
powdered sugar, just a bit for sprinkling on the finished muffins
melted butter (To grease the hot muffin tins)
TEMP AND TOOLS:
Preheat oven to 400 degrees Fahrenheit and put the muffin tins in the oven while it is heating. (Yes, you want to add the batter to HOT pans.)
Muffins tins – enough to allow you to make 12 large muffins. (Cook’s Note: I actually used popover pans, which are larger than your average muffin pans.)
METHOD FOR THE MUFFINS:
Stir all of the dry ingredients together in a large mixing bowl until thoroughly mixed.
In another large bowl, beat the eggs into the ricotta one at a time. Add in the water, vanilla and apple.
Mix the liquid ingredients into the dry ingredients. Mixture will be stiff, but still stirable. (If you find the batter is too stiff to stir, just add a bit more water.) As with all muffin batter, do not overbeat.
When the oven has reached full temperature and the pans are hot, bring one pan out at a time, and initially brush melted butter into the muffin cups. If there’s a lip on the cups, brush that, too. Then quickly fill each cup 3/4 full of batter, which will be stiff but spoonable.
Repeat until you have used all the batter.
Cook’s Note: I got 12 muffins from this recipe, but your results will vary, depending on the size of your pans. Don’t forget to fill any unfilled muffin cups with a little water to ensure even baking as well as preventing your pan from warping.
Bake 18-22 minutes, until muffins are nicely browned on top.
When done, remove the muffins from the pans immediately, and allow to cool slightly before serving warm. Optionally sift powered sugar atop each muffin, or dip the top of each muffin in powdered sugar.
Serve warm with butter. I also served cherry preserves with mine, but you don’t have to go for that that extra indulgence, they’re plenty good without it!
Cook’s Note: This year, due to my recently diagnosed diabetes, I knew whatever I made also had to be both healthy and delicious. No dietician has looked this recipe over – yet – but if you’re diabetic, it ought to fit your eating plan, even if you’re carefully watching your sugars and carbs…
Serving Note: I served these muffins for brunch alongside some really good, and very crispy peppercorn bacon. Of course, you could add a delicious egg dish to the equation, too. But the muffins themselves have more protein in them than normal muffins, due to the addition of the ricotta cheese, so they’re essentially a healthy meal in a muffin! (Or maybe, two!) YUM!!
Now that’s healthy stress management!