So...I was asked today to cater a cocktail party for 30 on Saturday. Normally, a party for 30 is no big deal, BUT I will be making all the food at my house then transporting it to a hotel where I will have no access to stoves, ovens, or refrigerators. All by myself.
So now I am racking my brains trying to think of what to make and still stay under budget. And I would like the added bonus of impressing everyone. It’s how I roll.
So far my tentative menu looks like this:
Hummus and Crudite
Cheese and Crackers
Mini Quiche (with proscuitto crust)
Ginger Scallion Meatballs
I don’t know if they want dessert too, but if They do my plans are Salted Caramel Brownies and Lemongrass Bars.
Basically, in the last 3 hours, my week has grown exponentially busier*. Thankfully, the one meal I will not be worrying about this week is breakfast. Because I made a batch of the only bran muffin you will ever need. (I know I say that a lot. But try the hummus and tell me its not fabulous.)
I don’t know when it was decided that bran muffins should taste like cardboard, but I am taking a stand against it. Why can’t a bran muffin be light like a blueberry muffin? Since when did a good for you muffin have to taste like crap? (Trust me...there's a good amount of fiber going on. Keeps you regular...if you know what I mean. And nothing says "I love you" giving the gift of regularity. Not incentive? How about 125 calories FTW?)
The very best part? The batter keeps for several weeks AT LEAST 3 WEEKS in the fridge. That’s right, you can have a fresh baked muffin every morning.
*As I am trust fundless, nor have I married rich or won the lottery, I don't really have the means to support my current lifestyle.
Ready Bake Bran Muffins (printable)
Adapted from The Best of Sunset (1987)
You can use any dried fruit you like. I used equal parts cranberries, raisins, dates, and prunes. I would imagine you could add a cup of nuts or double the fruit without any problems. Oh and I doubled the recipe because I almost always do. The recipe below is the single batch.
Don't have 20 minutes in the morning to make a muffin? Throw some batter in your waffle iron. Done in 5.
3 cups whole bran cereal
1 cup boiling water
2 large eggs, lightly beaten
2 cups buttermilk
2 tablespoons molasses
1/2 cup grapeseed oil (or any neutral oil)
1 cup raisins, dried cranberries, chopped pitted dates, or chopped pitted prunes
2 1/2 teaspoons baking soda
1/2 teaspoon salt
1/2 cup sugar
1/4 cup flax meal
2 1/2 cups white whole wheat flour
In a large bowl, mix the bran cereal and boiling water, stirring to moisten evenly. Let cool. Add the eggs, buttermilk, oil, and molasses. Blend well. In a separate bowl, stir together the raisins, baking soda, salt, sugar, and flour. Combine the dry ingredients with the wet ingredients and stir until just combined.
Bake muffins as soon as batter is mixed, or refrigerate in a tightly covered container.
To bake, preheat oven to 425°F. Spoon batter into a greased muffin cup* filling 2/3-3/4 way full. Bake for 15-20 minutes, or until the tops spring back when lightly touched. Serve hot. With all the calories you’ve save, maybe splurge on a pat of butter or some cream cheese.
*If I’m only making 1 muffin, I do this in a small coffee cup or pyrex dish in the toaster oven.