Today's stand-back-and-throw meal: muffins.
I concede, not a meal in the strictest sense of the word. Unless your little ones have been ill; rejecting the nourishing soups, casseroles and sandwiches presented to them. And you have been resorting to pink marshmallows.
Before anyone judges me, I challenge you to show me the man in the street who ate 8 marshmallows for dinner as a child. Impossible, right? (What do you mean teeth? What teeth? Oh yes I see ... good point.)
So here's a phrase you don't hear often: muffins, the healthy dinner alternative.
Banana muffins seemed the obvious choice, after discovering that some kind of seismic event had taken place in the fruit bowl. Why do bananas do this? They just don't make skins like they used to.
This is a great recipe. Forgiving where you don't measure properly or sift the dry ingredients. Or want to bung in some kind of flavour at the end. Quite fault-tolerant - unlike the banana skins. The muffins also freeze very well.
This is what you'll need:
- 2 1/4 cups self-raising flour
Make it wholemeal if you want to keep up the pretence of being healthy
- 1 rounded teaspoon baking powder
Optional, if you want a bit of extra ooomph ... a good idea if you're using wholemeal flour
- 1/2 cup sugar
Use brown for a richer tasting muffin
- 100g butter
Melted and cooled a little
- 2 teaspoons vanilla
Also optional, depending on any other flavourings you're adding
- 2 eggs
I use 2 heaped teaspoons Orgran No Egg, combined with 2 tablespoons water
- 2/3 cup milk
Combine it with 1 tablespoon lemon juice, if you are using baking powder - it benefits from an acidic activator
Preheat the oven to 200 oC.
Throw the flour, sugar and baking powder in a bowl. Poke it a bit with a spoon to combine. Hurl in the butter, vanilla, egg (replacer) and milk.
Don't worry about all that twaddle about making wells and stuff. An unnecessary amount of work, I tell you. Now, double check that you put the butter in ... trust me, the muffins will be like rocks if you forget it.
Mix it until you can't see the flour as a separate entity. The mixture should look sloppy. Dollop it into muffin tins or silicone moulds (about 2/3 full) until you run out of mixture.
This probably makes about 12, unless you add something else. I mashed up two bananas with a really big glug of maple syrup and added it after combining the dry and wet ingredients. Try a cup of chocolate chips or fruit. Or put half a pink marshmallow in between 2 layers of batter.
Bake for about 20 minutes, until golden brown.
Cool on a rack and serve for dinner.