Livin' in the Kitchen

Archive for the ‘Muffins’ Category

Obscene Snow and Obscene Lemon Poppy Seed Muffins

In Muffins on February 5, 2011 at 5:51 am

Two snow days later, today is Friday, an actual school day. Disappointing, I know. The break was aboslutely amazing, though.
Day 1: I partied it up in my house with some youtube playlists with Shania Twain and Pink after growing tired of repeatedly hearing on the radio that I shouldn’t drive in the weather because it was a blizzard. Thanks for the update, guys. While my brothers played videogames, I made sugar cookies for the bakesale that my newspaper class was having thursday. It was all great and dandy until I realized there were no pipping bags in my house. I ended the day with a run on the treadmill where I proceeded to stomp out my frusteration for the lack of piping bags.

Day 2: Turns out there was no school Thursday, either. My mom and I ended up going out to run errands. I hadn’t been out in the snow yet, but man was it piled!

We had to make a few stops before Joans, one of which included a stop at a snowbank.

Why yes, I have been working out. Can you tell my big muscle-y muscles and by the way I moved that snowbank under my feet? I owe it all to the spinach in the smoothie I had the other day.

On the way home we were stuck in some major traffic. I guess it happens when major roads are cut down to one lane, though. Mom’s never too pleased when she’s the one who gets stuck driving in the traffic. So while she was slowly easing forward every two minutes, I read fifty pages in Jodi Picoult’s book, Keeping Faith. Then I remembered my camera, and couldn’t help but showing off my new toy from TJ Max.

When we finally got home I scrambled to finish my creative writing piece for lit. I was sort of crossing my fingers for a snowday today. No such luck.

Today was a really slow day. There was nothing due except the paper that I’d finished and printed last night. So today basically all I had to do was show up for school. None of the teachers seemed too enthused to be there, either.

Tonight all I wanted was a Lemon Poppy Seed muffin. Was it so much to ask for my mom to stop working early so that she could make me Lemon Poppy Seed muffins? I guess so, because I decided against being lazy ended up making them. The batter is literally addictive. It’s so light and fluffy even before you put it in the oven. I’ve been wanting to make something from Christina‘s blog for such a long time and I’m so glad I finally got to tonight! These muffins will definately be saved into my favorites, they’re light but still have a nice denser consistancy, and the topping is like sweet-lemon-y goodness!

Lemon Poppy Seed Muffins
Slightly adapted from Christina’s Lemon Poppy Seed Muffins

3 cups unbleached all-purpose flour
1 tablespoon baking powder
½ teaspoon baking soda
3 tablespoons poppy seeds
½ teaspoon table salt
10 tablespoons unsalted butter, softened
1 cup granulated sugar
1 tablespoon grated lemon zest
2 large eggs
1 1/2 teaspoons fresh lemon juice
1½ cups plain fat-free yogurt
2 1/2 tablespoons fresh lemon juice
1 cup confectioner’s sugar

Preheat oven to 375F
Combine the dry ingredients and poppy seeds all together, excluding confectioner’s sugar.

Cream the sugar and butter together, add the grated lemon, then the eggs one at a time, add 1 1/2 teaspoons lemon juice, and then fat-free yogurt

Mix the dry ingredients into the liquid very slowly, and DO NOT OVERBEAT OR YOU WILL RUIN THE TEXTURE!

Scoop into muffin tins then allow to bake for 25 minutes, cool in pan for 3 minutes

Combine the 2 1/2 tablespoons of fresh lemon juice with the confectioner’s sugar, drizzle over and enjoy!!

Pretty snazzy, eh?

It spins, too!!

Monday Muffins and Veggies

In Muffins, Veggies on January 18, 2011 at 4:14 am

I’m not sure if it was after-finals-shock-syndrome.  Possibly it was the four-day-break from school with absolutely no homework for the first time since school started. Or maybe, I was just a little high on life…

Today, after jogging two miles and shaving 1:10 off my usual mile time on each, I was sure I was on the verge of death. I might have considered writing a will had I not been so fascinated by the feel of every vein pumping blood through my body. I was pooped. That’s right. I said pooped on a food blog. And that’s what I was. Too pooped to stretch, too pooped to walk a little more to get my heart rate back to normal, too pooped to close the windows.

Somewhere between my close trip from the treadmill to my floor, I realized that my room was filling with the blizzard outside. But I didn’t feel the harsh affects of the cold, just the refreshing hug of the wind and sprinkle of the flakes. I don’t know how to explain it, but apparently my mind wasn’t too pooped to think because I realized a lot in those ten minutes:
-I was really happy about my decision to run a 10K, despite my current condition
-Cooking some healthier stuff was a long time coming, even if I still cry when I cut onions.
-I was going to write a book, edit it, and think about publishing
-I’d start trying out my own recipes, completely, and make a cookbook (or a bakebook, whichever floats my boat)
-Life’s too short to dwell on things that aren’t important
-I’m gonna enjoy the snow while it’s here because I’m gonna miss it when it’s gone
-Finally, I’ve been trying to figure out the future, and the best way to achieve it. I’m a freshman. Things will work themselves out. Lists aren’t my thing anyway. I loose them.

It was an awesome day… I also cooked, like, a lot. Today was my, stock-up-on-a-bunch-of-healthy-freezable-lunches Monday. But, I decided to post just two of my favorite things.
Numero Uno is a Veggie dish. I could eat these all day long. Since they’re healthy, I did! Introducing, Honey Roasted Root Vegetables.

Honey-Roasted Root Vegetables

Adapted from Cooking Light

6 peeled big carrots
3 peeled sweet potatoes
3 shallots
1/4 cup honey
2 tablespoons olive oil
1 teaspoon salt

First: Peel all the veggies (pictured above), cut them all into chunks, and put them in a bowl.

Second: Add your honey, olive oil, and salt. Stir, then transfer to your cooking dish.

Third: Pop it in the oven at 450F for 35 minutes. Stir them every 15 to get the best flavor, and try not to spill them all over your oven when you’re trying to return it to the baking shelf… Your mom will make you clean up the oven. Been there. Done that.

Fourth: ENJOY! I swear, you’re going to eat these like you eat potato chips, they’re addicting!

Later in the afternoon, after my jog, was when I made the shift into the baking portion of my day. For a while I struggled with what muffins I should make for my mornings. I wanted something healthy and preferably with peanut butter- for whatever reason, when I jog a lot, that’s all I crave. Finally I put the cookbooks down, and that’s when I hit the second most inspiring part of my day. I was going to make something up. It didn’t matter what. I could be anything I wanted it to be! And that is what it was.

I’m posting this mostly for myself, but feel free to try them! Making them was very trial and error- something you’ll see in the recipe! The end product was actually really moist, and if you like peanut butter, they were delicious! And if you’re allergic to peanut butter, beware!

Extra Peanut Butter-y Morning Muffins

1 1/2 cups whole wheat flour
3/4 oats plus three more handfuls
1 teaspoon cinnamon
3/4 plus 4 tablespoons Motts cinnamon applesauce
2/3 brown sugar
2 teaspoons baking powder
1 2/3 cups of peanut butter
2 tablespoons greek-style yogurt
A splash, more than a teaspoon, of vanilla extract
3 eggs
1/4 cup of milk
3/4 cup white chocolate chips

Preheat 350F
Mix in a heavy-duty mixer: the whole wheat, oats, peanut butter, vanilla extract, applesauce, brown sugar, cinnamon, and 2 teaspoons of baking powder together.
Add eggs, one at a time.
Add milk, beat until incorporated
Add the Greek-style yogurt
Stir white chocolate chips in by hand
Use an ice cream scooper to scoop eat into muffin tins, fill to the top
Bake 17 minutes, don’t overcook!!

Can’t wait til’ breakfast!

Makin’ Muffins

In Muffins on January 2, 2011 at 12:14 am

You’d think being a bake-aholic my New Years resolution would be to eat healthier, stay away from sweets, eat a carrot a day, and join a high school sport. Not even close. Not that there’s anything wrong with that. I just like making promises I know I can try to keep. Afterall,  Banana Strusel muffins were my first breakfast and baked good of the New Year. It’s a little discouraging when you break your promise the first morning. Plus, I had bigger fish to fry anyway. And that fish is called facebook, the source of all things unproductive.

Facebook’s “good qualities”-Facebook is a great resource for people to connect with other people from around the country. It lets you connect with others in ways that you wouldn’t have before. There are hundreds of quizzes where you can answer questions about your friends. And who doesn’t like looking at their facebook friends box to see how many friends they have. Everyone likes a little ego boost.

Why these aren’t actually good qualities– Well here’s the painful truth I’ve discovered. I go on facebook for hours upon hours of pointless scrolling. I want to know what the heck I’m doing on there for hours because I can’t ever seem to remember. It’s all lost in my mind in a sea of blue and white. And let’s face it. The person you’re usually facebooking is a person two houses down from you or a neighborhood over. The quizzes are pointless. And I’m just going to take a stab at this, but if hours of facebook quizzes can’t actually make your eyes fall out, I’m pretty sure if affects your future vision. Carrots can’t revive that kind of damage. And I’m just gonna say it now, I don’t even know  half of the people I’m friends with.

Anyhow, I’d like to say that I haven’t been on facebook at all. That is a lie. We are exactly 16 hours into the new year and already I’ve been on facebook about six. I’d like to say it’s all in the name of the blog though. Here’s why. You see, my best friend Mary Beth and I are pretty much a perfect match. She likes taking pictures, I don’t. I like making food and blogging and that requires pictures. So as we partied it up last night this morning was also quite fun as we made muffins and she photographed them.   


 Well she went home this afternoon. So did the camera. And so did the pictures. Am I to blame for using facebook to retrieve these pictures? Or should I have inconvienced her and the whole process by asking her to create a shutterfly account so that I would not be going on facebook? No. I’m a nice friend. A friend who still feels slightly guilty about suggesting that she do the dishes while I chopped broccoli for the vegtable appetizer pizza last night. Turns out she had an allergic reaction, to doing dishes. No joke. She had to take benadrill and almost passed out before midnight.

So now you see why I broke my New Years resolution, sorting out all of the awesome pictures she took was actually really hard. I sort of wanted to use them all. Like the pictures? Visit her website at No one could help but be impressed.

We woke up to find my little brother’s best friend playing video games downstairs. Chris was still sleeping, we were hungry, and I had the ingredients for a muffin recipe in my favorite cookbook, Sarabeth’s Bakery. Which is why at 8 am this morning the three of us were baking banana strusel muffin in a sleeping house.

Tips These are going to be taken out of the oven and left in their tins for an extra ten minutes. Bake them until a tookpick comes out clean, no longer.
Thoughts These muffins aren’t the kind you’re probably used to. They’re real bakery muffins. Which means they aren’t overly sweet. But the texture is moist, fluffy, and absolutely perfect. These are great breakfast muffins, and really easy to have other people help with!

Here’s a taste of our morning….
Banana Streusel Muffins
Slightly adapted from Sarabeth Levine’s Sarabeth’s Bakery 

6 tablespoons unbleached all purpose flour
2 tablespoons light brown sugar
1/8 teaspoon ground cinnamon
2 1/2 tablespoons unsalted butter, melted
1 teaspoon vanilla extract
1 teaspoon vanilla bean paste



Softened unsalted butter, to brush the pan
3 cups unbleached all-purpose flour
1 tablespoon baking powder
1/2 teaspoon fine sea salt
1 stick unsalted butter, chilled and cut into cubes
1 cup superfine sugar
1/2 teaspoon lemon juice
1/2 teaspoon vanilla bean paste or seeds from 1/2 plumped vanilla bean
2 eggs, room temperature, beaten
1/2 cup whole milk
1 cup sour cream
4 small ripe bananas- peel, cut into 1/4-inch-slices

Preheat oven to 400F. Brush the pan with the softened butter and the top of the pan. -No muffin sleeves needed

In a small bowl, mix together all the streusel ingredients with your hands

Sift flour, baking powder, and salt into another bowl

In a mixer, beat the butter with the paddle attachment for a minute or until smooth, gradually add sugar, scraping the bowl down with a spatula. Continue to mix for about 5 minutes. Add the lemon juice and vanilla. Beat eggs and milk in gradually.

Turn mixer on low, alternate 3 times between adding the flour mixture and the sour cream. Don’t overbeat.

Fold in bananas

Put into muffin tin, these should make 12 muffins. Generously add batter. It gives the muffin tops a nice bakery-look.

Spread all the strusel on top of the muffins.

Bake for 10 minutes, then change the temperature to 375F and bake for about 15 more minutes.

Cool in the pan for 10 minutes. Remove the muffins so they can cool completely on a plate or a rack.