Low Fat Low Sugar Bran Muffins

February14

In our efforts to trim down and shape up before a spring vacation in Mexico, D and I have virtually given up bread (except when it is as stellar as the hot/crispy loaf that we had at The Keg last night). I have been on the look out for a low fat, low sugar bran muffin which I think that I have just about perfected. Then recently D inquired about whether I had ever come across a healthy cornmeal muffin. I love a challenge and found another great recipe.

In muffin recipes I completely cut out sugar by using a sugar substitute. Even though I don’t particularly enjoy a white sugar substitute, I am very inclined towards Sugar Twin’s Brown Sugar one. Both recipes call for a scant amount of sweetness anyway.

Low Fat Low Sugar Bran Muffins
Author: 
Prep time: 
Cook time: 
Total time: 
 
Ingredients
  • ¼ c dark brown sugar (or brown sugar substitute)
  • 1½ c bran
  • 1 t cinnamon
  • 1½ c whole wheat flour
  • 1½ t baking powder
  • 1½ t baking soda
  • ½ t salt
  • 2 eggs
  • 1½ c applesauce
  • 5 T non fat vanilla yoghurt
  • 1 t vanilla
  • ½ c raisins if desired
Instructions
  1. Preheat oven to 400 degrees.
  2. Line muffin tins (12).
  3. In a medium bowl mix together the brown sugar, bran and cinnamon.
  4. Add flour, baking powder, baking soda, salt. Mix well.
  5. In a separate bowl, beat the eggs, applesauce, yoghurt and vanilla together.
  6. Add wet ingredients to the dry and mix together.
  7. Add raisins if desired.
  8. Spoon batter into 12 muffin tins.
  9. Bake for 15-20 minutes.

Since I already had my tray of baking ingredients on the counter and the kitchen machine bowls were dirty, I thought that it would be efficient to make a second batch of muffins; this time the cornmeal ones. My recipe template only allows me to add one recipe per blog post, so I will have to do so separately.

Kath’s quote: “Give me liberty or a bran muffin!”- Colin Mochrie

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Love never fails.

 

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Halong Bay

February13

Halong Bay in Vietnam is said to be one of the most beautiful bays on earth and a “New 7 Wonders of the World”.  Perhaps the area was once home to the owners of the Halong Bay Restaurant here in Winnipeg-Tuyen and Hoa Nguyen. Having been a long time fan of Vietnamese cuisine, I must admit that I am pretty hard to impress but impress they did!

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We started with Spicy Beef Noodle Soup which sounds pretty ordinary but was anything but. The beef was succulent and tender and the noodles abundant and “slurp-worthy”. The broth was nothing short of sensational! When the other dishes arrived I ignored them in favour of the soup. Wondering with each spoonful how they made the broth, for it was bursting with savoury flavours. The stock was so satisfying that one could easily imagine that it had medicinal qualities. Perhaps that is why the restaurant was full of medical personnel from the Health Science Centre across the street.

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Noted as a House Specialty, their rice vermicelli combo came along next. I passed over the spring rolls and enjoyed the rest of the lettuce, sprouts, meat and peanuts.

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I was very, very impressed. I hadn’t had such a fine noodle bowl since I visited Jackson Heights in NYC’s borough of Queens, renowned for their ethnic restaurants. The harmony and balance of noodles and lettuce ribbons made perfect sense, a taste I crave on an ongoing basis.

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We also sampled one of the restaurant’s Daily Specials: a Singapore noodle dish chock full of egg, bean sprouts, carrot, green pepper, onion and curried shrimp. The curry seasoning was an exotic combination of spices and had a little heat (from the addition of chilies), without searing taste buds and removing appreciation for the other tastes.

We arrived after the noon rush and had a chance to appreciate the décor and sun streaming in from the wall of windows. Service was more than efficient with dishes arriving almost instantly.

The Halong Bay Restaurant is located at 772 Notre Dame Ave. Make note of the address as we found the signage deceptive. They are open Monday-Saturday from 11:00 am -9:30 pm. Dine In and Take Out menus are available. The dining room is wheelchair accessible but we did not check on the washroom.

Watch for Food Musings every second Wednesday in your copy of The Headliner, The Herald, The Lance, The Metro, The Sou’wester and The Times.

Ha Long Bay Restaurant Menu, Reviews, Photos, Location and Info - Zomato

Kath’s quote: “I lived across the street from Noodle Bar. I could barely stand it, because you’re there all the time; you can’t get away”.- David Chang

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Love never fails.

 

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Cyber Wedding Shower

February7

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Dani and her fella are depicted here enjoying the Canadian Rockies.

One of my Goddaughters lives in Australia. I was disappointed that she was going to miss out on an “Aunties” bridal shower but her Mom (who has to resort to technology to stay in touch with her only daughter) thought that she could figure out a way to make it happen. Once we got the time zone thing solved and was able to recruit her Dad to set up his computer and projector in Winnipeg, we were almost set.

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Here are their bevies of gifts via Skype.

In Winnipeg we also needed to work ahead of ourselves and get financial commitments from those attending, so that her Mom could shop for her on line and then have everything delivered to the almost Mom-in-law (who also lives in Melbourne) so that she could wrap everything.

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Of course we also needed to figure out food and libations for the Winnipeg guests. Not surprisingly, the food was amazing and there was way too much of it.

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It was a Saturday evening (making it Sunday morning in Australia) when we assembled to celebrate a love across the pond.

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Here are the happy couple and said Mom-in-law too.

If you think that the thousands of miles would be a barrier to shower the bridal couple with love, laughs and best wishes, you would be wrong. We played a guessing game of Aussie sayings. Who knew that’s what a “budgie smuggler” was!  We ooh and aww as she opened her gifts. We could visibly see that Dani was moved when Sister #3 (another Auntie) and Boo (her first cousin) made their toasts with loving sentiments to the bride. We too had tears in our eyes as Dani tried to express what the shower and outpouring of love meant to her.

Kath’s quote:

A part of you has grown in me.
And so you see, it’s you and me
Together forever and never apart,
Maybe in distance, but never in heart“.-Anonymous

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Love never fails.

 

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Mercadito Latino

January30

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When Mercadito Latino was on Henderson Hwy I would drive by and wonder about its offerings inside. Unfortunately I never had an excuse to go in. Three years ago the Mercadito relocated to 570 C Sargent Ave. and was able to add more dining space. I am guessing that is when it became a full blown restaurant.

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The structure of the business is very much like the places that we love to visit in Mexico with the wife in the kitchen lovingly recreating her family recipes and her husband up front serving the tables and manning the cash register. We were introduced to Sonia Lemus when she finally had an opportunity to sit down at the end of her evening. She was as good-natured and pleasant as her husband Julian. Together they own and operate the market and restaurant.

In keeping with our other Latin restaurant experiences, the food came out quickly and steaming hot. You could taste that all the concoctions had been freshly made.

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We were delighted by the tortilla soup that we shared. Dotted with pieces of silky avocado, goey cheese, pulled chicken, crispy tortilla strips and sour cream, it warmed us up nicely. I would have loved a lime wedge to squeeze into the broth like we do when travelling.

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When the pupusas arrived at our table, Julian asked us if we were familiar with them. We responded yes based only on the one other opportunity to eat Salvadorian food in Winnipeg at La Fiesta Cafecito. We requested “Revueltas” which means we enjoyed cheese, beans and pork in all three corn flour pockets. I pressed for more detail about the cheese used. Julian replied that it was a blend of a Salvadorian cheese, feta and mozzarella.

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We were full by this time and still had chicken tacos coming to the table. If you think that tacos are always the Old El Paso style, you would be mistaken. Soft corn tortillas are eaten at almost every meal as a way of scooping up the fare. We had to at least have a bite and appreciated the subtle spiciness of the chicken and peppers inside the soft corn taco. My bite resulted in juices bursting out of the wrap and onto my plate (the sign of a very delicious taco).

The restaurant has an all day menu available. They are open Tuesday-Saturdays from 12 noon until 8:30 pm and are wheelchair accessible.

Watch for Food Musings every second Wednesday in your copy of The Headliner, The Herald, The Lance, The Metro, The Sou’wester and The Times.

Mercadito Latino Menu, Reviews, Photos, Location and Info - Zomato

Kath’s quote: “Humour keeps us alive. Humour and food. Don’t forget food. You can go a week without laughing.” ― Joss Whedon

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Slow Cooker Texan Pulled Pork

January27

Once a month D, Sister #3 and I host an evening at our house where the Moms and Dads of babies, toddlers and young kids get to have a break and spend the evening with adults. They often look a bit harried as they arrive at our place with kids in tow. The number of kids range from two to four per family and when we have a full house there are ten adults and fourteen kids. We hustle the small fry into the dining room and we put down a quick supper. I say quick because the kids are always raring to get downstairs for a play with their buddies. In the mean time the adults fix a plate and head to the living room and tuck in at a more leisurely pace.

I try my best to fix a meal which will be pleasing to both children and adults and sometimes one group takes precedent over the other. But tonight I think that I may have a winner: Texan Pulled Pork with broccoli & kale slaw, ciabatta buns and one bite brownies for dessert.

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I posted this picture on Instagram and have had a couple of requests for the recipe so here goes:

Slow Cooker Texan Pulled Pork
Author: 
Recipe type: Entree
Cuisine: Texan
Prep time: 
Cook time: 
Total time: 
 
My husband marinates and slow roasts pulled pork in a convection oven but I wanted the ease of a slow cooker. Great for "lesser" cuts like a shoulder.
Ingredients
  • cut of pork to your size and liking
  • 1 c your favourite BBQ sauce (I used Danny's Own Apple Butter BBQ sauce)
  • ½ c apple cider vinegar
  • ¼ c brown sugar (I used a brown sugar substitute, honey or maple syrup would also work)
  • 1 T prepared mustard (I used a new Winnipeg company's called Smack Dab)
  • 1 T Worcestershire
  • 1 T chili powder
  • 2 cloves garlic crushed
  • 1½ t thyme
Instructions
  1. Place everything together in a large slow cooker.
  2. Cook on high for 5-6 hours.
  3. Test doneness by pulling apart the meat with a fork.
  4. Pull off as much meat as desired and toss in remaining sauce.

Kath’s quote:“Pulled pork jokes never get old”. -Joel Edgerton

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Love never fails.

 

 

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