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Good morning GUSmuffins!  Today is Little Christmas so put all those menorahs away!  The Wise Guys have shown up with great gifts and the first reference to religious/ethnic diversity about which I was aware occurred supposedly in a manger without a Viking stove.  I don't have one either (manger, gifts or Viking stove) so I will have to compensate with some breakfast gifts -- even if you eat them for brunch, lunch, dinner or a piggy snack.

GUS (Gave Up Smoking) is a community support diary for Kossacks in the midst of quitting smoking. Any supportive comments, suggestions or positive distractions are appreciated. If you are quitting or thinking of quitting, please -- join us!  We kindly ask that politics be left out.  

    You can also click the GUS tag to view all diary posts, or access the GUS Library at dKosopedia for a great list of stop-smoking links. Check it out! GUS library.

    A message to ALL quitters. You don't have to avoid GUS if you have a failed quit.  We won't give you a bad time and we consider the failed quits as "practice" for the real quit.

    Quit Keeper widget which is an outstanding aid for those beginning the difficult path to quitting.  It lets you know how long you haven't smoked, how many cigs you haven't smoked, how much money you've saved.

   Quit Smoking Counter    h/tGDbot.  For those of you who have had a problem with Quit Keeper or want a different counter!

 
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Fruit and Veggie quick breads taste amazing with a spread of marscapone cheese.  Cream cheese or butter on warm bread is also marvelous.

Banana Bread

This is a Betty Crocker recipe which I made last week -- if you want a high loaf -- fill one bread pyrex dish.  I followed the recipe and divided between two.  They didn't rise that high, but, damned the bread was delicious, especially toasted.

 1 1/4 cups sugar
1/2 cup butter or margarine, softened
2 eggs
1 1/2 cups mashed very ripe bananas (3 to 4 medium)
1/2 cup buttermilk (I used the dry buttermilk according to quantity recs on box)
1 teaspoon vanilla
2 1/2 cups Gold Medal® all-purpose flour
1 teaspoon baking soda
1 teaspoon salt
1 cup chopped nuts, if desired

    Move oven rack to low position so that tops of pans will be in center of oven. Heat oven to 350°F. Grease bottoms only of 2 loaf pans, 8 1/2x4 1/2x2 1/2 inches, or 1 loaf pan, 9x5x3 inches.

    Mix sugar and butter in large bowl. Stir in eggs until well blended. Add bananas, buttermilk and vanilla. Beat until smooth. Stir in flour, baking soda and salt just until moistened. Stir in nuts. Pour into pans.

    Bake 8-inch loaves about 1 hour, 9-inch loaf about 1 1/4 hours, or until toothpick inserted in center comes out clean. Cool 10 minutes. Loosen sides of loaves from pans; remove from pans and place top side up on wire rack. Cool completely, about 2 hours, before slicing. Wrap tightly and store at room temperature up to 4 days, or refrigerate up to 10 days.

Makes 2 loaves (12 slices each)

Zucchini Bread

Ingredients:

3 cups all-purpose flour
1 teaspoon salt
1 teaspoon baking soda
1 teaspoon baking powder
3 teaspoons ground cinnamon
3 eggs

1 cup vegetable oil
2 1/4 cups white sugar
3 teaspoons vanilla extract
2 cups grated zucchini
1 cup chopped walnuts

Directions:

1.     Grease and flour two 8 x 4 inch pans. Preheat oven to 325 degrees F (165 degrees C).
2.     Sift flour, salt, baking powder, soda, and cinnamon together in a bowl.
3.     Beat eggs, oil, vanilla, and sugar together in a large bowl. Add sifted ingredients to the creamed mixture, and beat well. Stir in zucchini and nuts until well combined. Pour batter into prepared pans.
4.     Bake for 40 to 60 minutes, or until tester inserted in the center comes out clean. Cool in pan on rack for 20 minutes. Remove bread from pan, and completely cool.


Apple Bread

Ingredients

        3 cups flour
        1 1/2 teaspoons cinnamon
        1 teaspoon baking soda
        1 teaspoon salt
        1/4 teaspoon baking powder
        3 eggs
        2 cups sugar
        1 cup oil
        1 tablespoon vanilla
        2 cups diced apples ( , without skins)
        1/2 cup chopped walnuts
        1 teaspoon flour

Directions

    Mix flour, cinnamon, soda, salt and baking powder together.
    Beat eggs and add sugar and oil.
    Add vanilla and dry ingredients.
    Stir in apples.
    Mix walnuts in a tsp of flour and add to batter.
    Pour into 2 greased loaf pans.
    Bake at 350 degrees for 1 hour.

As Cook's Illustrates indicates, batter for pancakes and batter for waffles should not be the same.  The former is cooked on a griddle and the latter is pressed in closed kitchen porn appliance.  I made these waffles last week.  OMG!!!!!  Perfectly crisp if you follow the direction to put in the oven for 10 minutes or so.  Then, divide the remaining waffles between waxed paper and cover with aluminum foil. Refrigerate.  Toast -- perfect!!!!  I'm guessing you can also freeze.

Not using butter in the mix and using seltzer instead of whipped egg whites make these waffles absolutely perfect.

Buttermilk Waffles (Cook's Illustrated)

2 cups unbleached flour
1 tblsp sugar
1 tsp. Salt
½ cup dry buttermilk
½ tsp baking soda
½ cup sour cream
2 large eggs
¼ tsp vanilla extract
¼ cup vegetable oil
1 ¼ cups unflavored seltzer

1. Adjust oven rack in middle position and heat oven to 250 degrees.  Et wire rack in rimmed baking sheet and place baking sheet in oven.
2. Whisk flour, sugar, salt, buttermilk powder and baking soda in large bowl to combine.  Whisk sour cream, eggs, vanilla and oil in medium bowl to combine.  Gently stir seltzer into wet ingredients.
3. Make a well in center of dry ingredients and pour in wet ingredients.  Using a rubber spatula, gently stir until just combined.  Batter should remain slightly lumpy with streaks of flour.
4. Heat waffle iron and bake waffles according to manufacturer's instruction.  Use about 1/3 cup for 7 inch round iron.  Transfer waffles to rack in warm oven and hold for up to 10 minutes before serving.

I have made the following pancakes in the most primitive of environments (the lake cottage).  I cooked them on a 100 plus year old griddle on an outside propane burner.  I added drained frozen and defrosted Maine blueberries.  Utterly amazing.  This is a Martha Stewart recipe and I am not even a fan of her recipes.  This one is brilliant.
Buttermilk Pancakes (and you can add Maine blueberries)

Ingredients

    2 cups all-purpose flour
    2 teaspoons baking powder
    1 teaspoon baking soda
    1/2 teaspoon salt
    3 tablespoons sugar
    2 large eggs, lightly beaten
    3 cups buttermilk
    4 tablespoons unsalted butter, melted, plus 1/2 teaspoon for griddle

Directions

    Heat griddle to 375 degrees. Whisk together flour, baking powder, baking soda, salt, and sugar in a medium bowl. Add eggs, buttermilk, and 4 tablespoons butter; whisk to combine. Batter should have small to medium lumps.

    Heat oven to 175 degrees. Test griddle by sprinkling a few drops of water on it. If water bounces and spatters off griddle, it is hot enough. Using a pastry brush, brush remaining 1/2 teaspoon of butter or reserved bacon fat onto griddle. Wipe off excess.

    Using a 4-ounce ladle, about 1/2 cup, pour pancake batter, in pools 2 inches away from one other. When pancakes have bubbles on top and are slightly dry around edges, about 2 1/2 minutes, flip over. Cook until golden on bottom, about 1 minute.

    Repeat with remaining batter, keeping finished pancakes on a heatproof plate in oven. Serve warm

I'm looking for English Muffin rings which are the sandwich size.  Seemingly impossible.  Once I find them, I will provide an English Muffin recipe.  

Bake your muffins, quick breads and waffles.  You'll save a bunch of money and everything will taste amazing.


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