Sunday Supper For A Cold And Dreary Day

I wonder what she's cooking up this time?

One of my favorite things about colder weather is the opportunity to indulge in 2 of my favorite foods - soup and muffins. So, what better combo to cook on a chilly, dreary day like today?

Following my usual improv style of cooking, I made these 2 recipes up as I went. They pass my criterion, too - healthy, quick, and easy.

Prairie-Mex Bean & Barley Soup

Here are the ingredients:

2 cans of soup beans (any kind of beans will do)
2 cans of low-sodium chicken broth (sometimes I substitute veggie broth when I'm going meatless)
1 quart roasted pepper and tomato soup
1 cup quick-cooking barley
6 oz. dark ale
1 tbls McCormick's Mexican Seasoning
1 tbls powdered garlic
1 tsp dried minced onion
Dump all ingredients except the barley into a soup pot and bring to a gentle boil. Lower the heat to a low simmer and cook for 30 minutes. Add barley and cook an additional 15 minutes. Serve hot with Pumpkin-Chili Corn Muffins and a bottle of dark ale. (Today's beverage of choice is "Left-Handed Brown Ale". It's crafted in Colorado and has a smoky, chocolatey flavor. The perfect choice for this Sunday's supper.)

Pumpkin-Chili Corn Muffins

1 box Jiffy corn bread mix
1 box Jiffy yellow cake mix
1 can pumpkin puree
1/4 cup ground flax seed
1 tbls pumpkin pie mix
1 tbls chili powder
1/4 cup dark ale (or enough to make stiff dough)

Preheat oven to 375. Grease muffin tins.
Dump first 6 ingredients into a mixing bowl and mix together. Add enough ale to make a stiff dough (consistency should be like a soft cookie dough). Spoon into muffin tins. Bake for 18-22 minutes. Makes approximately 36 mini muffins or 12 regular muffins.

So here is what it looks like without the liquid added,

and with the ale added:

After the muffins have cooled to the touch, you are ready to eat.

I am happy to report that both the soup and muffins got rave reviews! Bon Appetit!

Now that my mouth and tummy are happy, it's time to start my next project. Can you guess what it is? Stay tuned...

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