Monday, July 25, 2011

Monday Muffins

My mom and grandmother used to tell me stories about what a great baker my great grandmother was... she never used recipes, everything was in her head. My mom says she made the best cinnamon rolls (something I have yet to bake). I once asked my grandmother why she didn't bake like that... she said she wasn't interested in learning when she was young, but wished she would have been. She did bake some great Toll House cookies and  mandel bread, though! My point of all this is... I like to bake. If my great grandmother had been alive when I was growing up, I would have paid attention to her baking and learned her recipes... but, sadly they are lost forever.

When I bake from recipes, I tend to switch the ingredients to ingredients that I prefer... I usually use whole wheat flour or white whole wheat flour instead of all purpose flour. Brown sugar or evaporated cane sugar instead of white granulated sugar... and so on. I also never measure spices... I just add as much or as little as I like.

Muffins that taste like doughnuts... Doughnut Muffins!

There are many of doughnut muffin recipes on the internet. I have tried a few of them. I eventually created one that was more to my liking and maybe to yours.... here it is. (I give you some measurements for spices – but, really you are on your own.).



Doughnut Muffins
Makes 12 regular-size muffins or 6 jumbo-size muffins.

Ingredients:


Muffins--
1 ¾ cup white whole wheat flour
1 ½ teaspoons baking powder
½ teaspoon nutmeg
½ teaspoon of cinnamon
1/3 cup of canola oil
¾ cup of light brown sugar
1 egg
¾ cup of milk (I use non-fat)
½ teaspoon vanilla extract

Topping --
a couple of tablespoons of evaporated cane sugar and cinnamon mixed together.

Directions:

Preheat oven to 350 degrees. Place paper muffin/cupcake cups in muffin/cupcake tin.

Combine dry ingredients in a medium size bowl.

Combine remaining ingredients in a separate large bowl.

Add dry ingredients to the large bowl, slowly mixing in.

Add mixture to muffin tin cups and sprinkle with sugar/cinnamon mixture.

Bake at 350 degrees for approximately 20 minutes, until a toothpick comes out clean. Every oven is a little different.

Cool a little bit & enjoy!

Sunday, July 17, 2011

This is a Book!

I read regularly during my commute to and from work and will use this recurring post to share my reading choices with you. I tend to read an assortment of genres... autobiographies, humor, mysteries, thrillers and young adult (So, I'm not a young adult, big deal!). You won't find me reading much classic literature these days. I prefer lighter reading for my commute.

Beauty Queens by Libba Bray 
Genre: Young Adult

“Beauty Queens” is a satire, a dark comedy. The best comparisons that I can think of are all visual mediums... the movies Heathers, War, Inc., Mean Girls and the TV series, Lost.


The story begins with the contestants of the “Miss Teen Dream” beauty pageant, along with their reality television film crew, flying aboard a plane owned by “The Corporation” and crashing on presumably deserted island. “The Corporation” is the company that runs the pageant. They also make all sorts of horrific beauty products, manufacture boy bands, make happy pills and appear to be up to lots of insanity. Some live, some die... And so begin the trials and tribulations of the survivors on the mysterious island.

I am digging this book, so far. The characters are interesting and well-developed. The story is well-written, stylish and definitely entertaining.

Rating: ♥ ♥ ♥ ♥ ♥(5 out of 5) 
Check out Libba Bray's promo for the book.


Thursday, July 14, 2011

What is going on here?

Well, it's been an exhausting week... and there are some great posts on the way this weekend. In the meantime, for your viewing pleasure... another Scopitone! The singer kind of reminds me of actor, Kevin Corrigan, if he was in a bad wedding band.

Freddy Bee 4 - Can't Take My Eyes Off You

Monday, July 11, 2011

Before MTV there were Scopitones

A Scopitone is a “film jukebox”. They were developed during World War II in France. Their popularity began in Europe in the early 60's and by 1964, approximately 500 machines were installed in the USA.  The Scopitone's popularity waned by the late 60's and the last film was made at the end of 1978.


You can find lots of Scopitone films and websites by doing a Google Search. Ken and I have been watching a lot of them recently. Here are some of our favorites.

Dick and Dee Dee - Where Did All The Good Times Go?


The Exciters - Tell Him


Freddie Bell & Roberta Linn - Tweedle-Dee



George McKelvey - My Teenage Fallout Queen


Sunday, July 10, 2011

Episode #115 of the Movies About Girls show

You may or may not know that I co-host the Movies About Girls internet radio show and podcast....

Episode #115 of The Movies About Girls show is now available for your listening pleasure and it's jam-packed.... Swilson and Johnny Limbs face off in a Rock Fight, Holly gets her technical issues sorted out and we get to hear Dr. Rock! Oh, there's also this week's movie, 1988's dark comedy, "Heathers", starring Winona Ryder and Christian Slater!  




Or listen to the Movies About Girls Radio Network 24/7.



Simply Tea-riffic! ( A lazy Sunday morning post.)

I am a tea drinker, not a coffee drinker. I occasionally have a cup of coffee, but only if I have made it myself with lots of milk. We own a Keurig machine, which is actually pretty cool looking (I will post about that another time – this post is about tea!).

Every morning, whether I am at work or home, I make a cup of black tea. My favorite black tea, these days, is PG Tips. Good stuff! I buy the Pyramid Bags at Whole Foods or Whole Paycheck, as my friend DJ Cherrybomb likes to call it (It's the only place I can find it around here.). I like my tea strong and black and without sugar. I know lots of people like milk and sugar, but not me.


During the day, I usually stay away from caffeine. So, if I decide to have tea, I stick with the herbal variety. My go to herbal teas are Celestial Seasonings' Bengal Spice (a combination of cinnamon, ginger, cardamom and cloves) or Bigelow's Lemon Lift and Mint Medley.

What are some of your favorite teas or are you a coffee drinker? Do you add milk or sugar? Post in the comments!

Saturday, July 9, 2011

Fashion Icon: Twiggy

My grandmother used to keep a stash of coloring books and Colorforms for my sister and I to play with when we would visit. I don't remember much about the coloring books, except that one was Woody Woodpecker and Friends. There was also the game, Hi-Q. Love that game (also kind of stylish)! But, now I am getting off track... I remember the Colorforms very well! Perhaps, that's when my passion for style began. It definitely wasn't the Popeye set that started it (ha, ha!)... It was Twiggy! The Twiggy Dress-Up Kit, to be exact.

The Twiggy Dress-Up Kit was released in 1967, a year before I was born. My grandmother most likely bought it for my older cousins and it stayed around for many years after.


Twiggy Lawson was born September 19, 1949 in North London. She is most widely known for being one of the world's first international supermodels and a 60's fashion icon (she is definitely a fashion icon in my book!).


Twiggy went on to have a successful acting career, which began with a starring role in Ken Russell's, “The Boy Friend”, for which she won two Golden Globe Awards. In 1975, she had a short-lived BBC TV series called “Twiggy”, a variety show, which lasted only 6 episodes. The 70's and 80's found Twiggy in many TV shows and films. She was in several TV movies in the 80's, including “Pygmalion” (1981), “The Little Match Girl” (1987), “Sun Child” (1988) and “The Diamond Trap” (1988). She also can be seen in the 80's films the “Blues Brothers” (1980) and “Club Paradise” (1986). In the 90's, Twiggy had an ITV interview TV show called “Twiggy's People” and another in 2001, called “Take Time with Twiggy”. From 2005 to 2008, Twiggy was a guest judge on “America's Next Top Model”.

Twiggy even has had a successful career as a recording artist. Performing pop, rock, country, disco and show tunes! She's also active in charity work, released several books, has a clothing line featured in the Littlewoods catalogue and has recently launched her own range of bed linens. It appears that she has done it all!



“The Boy Friend” has recently been released on DVD by Warner Bros. Studios and can be purchased in their archive store.