Betting on the Horses

Yesterday, my husband and I went to a Derby Party, complete with hats and $1 bets.

Knowing nothing about the horses, I placed my dollar on the horse whose name most appealed to me: Normandy Invasion. (He came in fourth.)

I was asked to bring an appetizer, which caused me a few moments of consternation.  “What qualifies as an appetizer?” I asked my friends via email.  Does it have to be cooked?  Bite sized?  Not require a plate or utensils?

Clueless, I know, but I always volunteer to bring dessert.  I don’t think I’ve ever taken an appetizer anywhere in my life.

I decided that my appetizer would be bite sized, mostly because I have an abundance of toothpicks leftover from one of my daughter’s school projects. Several boxes.  I may never need to buy toothpicks again, or I may start taking appetizers everywhere I go.
Watermelon Mint Feta Appetizer
I made watermelon-mint-feta appetizers.  As we were leaving, my husband said, “Isn’t it an hors d’oeuvres if it has a toothpick in it?”

I have no idea, but either way, everyone loved them.

Here is the recipe:  stack a cube of watermelon, a tiny torn mint leaf, and a cube of feta.  Spear it with a toothpick.

The after-race dessert was Kentucky Butter Cake.  I think you should make it.  It would be good with fruit, or a cup of tea or coffee.  Or all by its buttery self, which is how I ate it.

Did you watch the Kentucky Derby?  Or celebrate May the Fourth Be With You Day?  Will you celebrate Cinco de Mayo today?

Most importantly, do you distinguish between appetizers and hors d’oeuvres?


Pumpkin Walnut Oat Bran Muffins

Pumpkin Walnut Oat Bran MuffinsI thought it would be hard to give up candies and sweets, but it wasn’t as bad as I’d feared.  It has been difficult to give up home baked goods.  Not breads, but cookies and pies and muffins and cakes and sugary temptations.

This morning, I decided I could not be a sugar martyr any longer and made a batch of reasonably healthy muffins.  If you were here, I’d give you one to try, but since you’re not, the best I can do is share my recipe.  I adapted it from the recipe on the box of Quaker Oat Bran, which you can find in the hot cereal section of the grocer’s.

Pumpkin Walnut Oat Bran Muffins

Preheat oven to 475F.

2 cups Oat Bran
1/4 cup brown sugar
2tsp baking powder
1 tsp cinnamon
1/2 tsp ginger
dash of cloves

Mix all those in a bowl.

1 scant cup milk
1/4 cup molasses or honey or blue agave (I always use molasses.)
2 eggs
1/2 cup canned pumpkin

Mix all those together in another bowl, or like me, in a measuring cup. Then pour them into the dry ingredients. It will look grainy and not at all like cake batter, which it is not.

Finally, add 1 cup broken or chopped walnuts.  (I’m lazy, so I just break them with my hands.)

Pour it into a dozen muffin cups. I use silicon cups and fill them almost to the rim, because these do not rise much.

Lower oven temperature to 425F and bake for 15-17 minutes.

These both freeze well and travel well.

According to the calculator at My Fitness Pal, each muffin contains 167 calories, 8 carbs, 6 protein, 3 fiber, and 8 sugar.  I’m not guaranteeing that, and if you use a different calculator that is more accurate – or miraculously decreases the sugar count – please share it and I’ll update the nutrition information.