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Lori Caso is cleaning out the freezer & fridge

Fri, May 1st 2020 11:30 am

By Lori Caso

Host of “Lori & Friends”

During our quarantine, many of you may be experiencing this: cleaning out your freezer or using up something in your refrigerator before it spoils. In the last week, my challenges included using up my milk before the next delivery from Hoover’s Dairy, some sketchy carrots and a loaf of freezer-burned bread.

Toss them, you say? Not when you can make bran muffins, carrot cake cookies and bread pudding!

The great “Bran Muffin Debate” exists between me and my mother, with me favoring molasses. I’ve included both recipes, because both involve souring milk (It goes without saying: If your milk is already sour, it is unsafe to drink or bake with!!! OK; enough with the public service announcements.)

Note: You sour milk by adding 1 tbl of white vinegar to 1 cup milk.

My Mother – Maryann’s Bran Muffins

  • 3 cups All-Bran cereal
  • 3 cups sour milk (let the cereal soak in the milk for at least 5 minutes)
  • 1 stick margarine
  • ½ cup sugar (cream margarine and butter together)
  • 3 eggs
  • 2 cups flour
  • 2 tsp baking powder
  • 2 tsp baking soda
  • Pinch salt
  • 400-degree oven 20-25 minutes

Bran Muffins with Molasses

  • 2 ½ cups Raisin Bran
  • 1 ½ cups sour milk (let cereal soak in the milk for at least 5 minutes)
  • ½ cup brown sugar
  • ¼ cup molasses
  • 2 eggs
  • 2 ½ tbl melted Crisco
  • 1 ½ cups self-rising flour (or use all-purpose, but add 1 ½ tsp of baking soda)
  • 350 degrees for 20-25 minutes

Full disclosure – neither of these muffins are very sweet.

Carrot Cake Cookies

  • 1 cup butter (sweet cream salted)
  • 1 cup white sugar
  • 1/2 cup brown sugar
  • 2 eggs
  • 1 teaspoon vanilla
  • 3 cups all-purpose flour
  • 2 1/4 teaspoons cinnamon
  • 1 teaspoon baking powder
  • 1 teaspoon baking soda
  • 1/2 teaspoon salt
  • 2 cups grated carrots
  • 375-degree oven for 15 minutes

I frosted half of the batch with a cream cheese frosting and left half plain. My kids insisted that in the future all the cookies must be frosted.

Bread Pudding

I took that freezer-burned loaf and lightly toasted it in the oven.

First, I sprayed a baking pan with cooking spray. Then I layered the bread in slices (feel free to cube the bread if you’d rather; I just found leaving it in slices helped with cutting and serving.)

I whipped up some eggs (like, eight medium eggs), added whatever heavy cream I had left (about two cups), then added almost another two cups of milk with a teaspoon of vanilla. The key here is to make sure that your bread is saturated (think more egg/milk mixture than french toast).

I poured the mixture over the first layer. Then I added chocolate chips. Then another layer of bread this time with some caramel syrup, topped with the rest of the egg/milk mixture. I sprinkled some sugar on the top and baked at 350 degrees for about 30-35 minutes. Used up some Cool Whip to top it off – although ice cream would be even better!

The only way this recipe could go wrong is if you don’t add enough milk/cream and it’s too dry. Remember, the purpose is to use up ingredients so they don’t go to waste, so feel free to add raisins instead of chocolate chips or some canned fruit. …

We’ve been airing some repeats of “Lori & Friends,” since I haven’t been able to tape any new shows. Can’t wait until I start promoting all the wonderful events that will happen this summer and fall.

Keep healthy, my friends!

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