Wednesday, August 13, 2014

I can be Lazy and Productive

      I have a problem.  I've been on break from nursing school for about a week now, and I feel like I've accomplished nothing.  And I'm okay with that.  I've been super lazy; spending my days relaxing with my husband.  Okay, maybe I haven't been completely lazy.  I have been bringing Monkey to Kindergarten.  Joel has me on a new workout schedule that's left me sore every day.  And I've been trying to be creative in the kitchen.  Today I'm making English Muffins.  They're currently rising, so I'll let y'all know how they turn out.  I'm hoping they're good.  I've also been trying to make Monkey's lunches more fun by packing colorful, cute food that make her want to eat healthy.  Today's lunch was no exception.

     Today for lunch I packed her three kabobs, made up of cubed ham, cubed mozzarella cheese, and cherry tomatoes.  To that I added a bit of Veggie Chips, half of a banana, green beans, cucumbers cut into stars, and a bit of Ranch for dipping.   I'm always worried she's not getting enough to eat, even though she typically comes home with a lunchbox that is rarely empty.  

     Well the English muffins are officially finished.  The verdict is in, and they are good!  J has already chowed down on a few.  The batch made 27, though, so they should hold him over for a bit.  (Hopefully.)  I got the recipe from AllRecipes, and there were a few commentors who claimed these weren't "real" English muffins, whatever that means.  But they're good, whatever they are, so I'll share the recipe anyway.

English Muffins
1 cup milk
1/4 cup melted shortening
2 TBS white sugar
6 cups all-purpose flour
1 (.25 oz) package active dry yeast OR 2 1/4 tsp active dry yeast
1 tsp salt
1 cup warm water
Cornmeal for sprinkling

Warm the milk in a small saucepan until it starts to bubble, but don't let it boil.  Remove it from heat. Whisk in sugar until dissolved, and set aside. Let cool to lukewarm.  Meanwhile, in a small bowl, dissolve the yeast in the water.  let stand about 10 minutes, or until creamy.

In a large bowl (or the bowl of your KitchenAid if you have one) combine the milk mixture, yeast mixture, melted shortening, and 3 cups of the flour.  Beat until smooth.  Add salt and remaining 3 cups of flour.  Knead (or if you're using your KitchenAid simply change out the mixing paddle for you dough hook).  Place in a grease bowl, and let rise about 30-45 minutes, or until doubled in size. 

Sprinkle a fine layer of flour over your work surface, and turn out dough.  Roll out until about 1/2" thick.  Line a baking sheet with waxed paper, and sprinkle with cornmeal.  Using a cup or a round cookie cutter, cut out rounds of dough.  

Set them on the wax paper, and sprinkle the tops with cornmeal.  Continue until all the dough is used up.  Allow to rise for 30 minutes.

Grease your griddle, and heat to about 300 degrees.  Cook 5-10 minutes per side, or until light brown per side.  Allow to cool, and place in plastic bags for storage.  To use, slice in half, and toast.  Serve with butter, jam and cream cheese, etc.  There are so many options for these yummy little things!  

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