Category Archives: Muffins

Apple Banana Muffins with Brown Butter Cider Glaze

banana apple cider spice muffins

I’m not proud of what happened last week. Just a few short years ago, I was a poor post-college student with a TV that basically had no purpose. My roommate and I sometimes watched movies, but network television didn’t come in, and we were against (/couldn’t afford) getting cable or a new TV. Now that I’m in my mid twenties and [slightly] less poor, I’ve upgraded to fully-functioning TV with both cable AND Netflix (fancy, I know). After finishing up How I Met Your Mother (six seasons) and Keeping Up With The Kardashians (sorry, I know), I decided to give Revenge a try this past Tuesday. By Friday, I had surged through 13 episodes, by Saturday afternoon I had finished all 22 episodes of season 1. When 6:00 on Saturday night came around, I had my credit card out, ready to subscribe to Hulu so I could watch the first two episodes of the new season. I couldn’t stop.

In my defense, the boy and I had our first “hibernation day” of the season on Saturday. Even though it’s sad to watch the warmth drain away from Minnesota, the colder weather makes way for these perfectly lazy days: a Saturday or a Sunday where you do not leave the house, and instead stay holed up and hibernating. For instance, Saturday we slept until noon, and then I watched episode after episode of Revenge while he worked on the headboard for the bed he’s building us…we had different levels of productivity needs that day.

Although I’m in deep with my Revenge obsession, I realize it may have been a bad idea to start watching Revenge the same week that I finished reading Girl With the Dragon Tattoo. I now look at everything with a suspicious eye, finding conspiracy everywhere. After a few hours of straight TV on Saturday, I decided I needed an activity to keep my hands busy while my mind was taking in all the murder and mayhem. The boy requested I bake “something fall-ish” for our first hibernation day. I grabbed the leftover apple cider from our fridge, a honeycrisp apple, and got baking…with the TV still on in the background, obviously.
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Vegan Weekend: Peanut Butter Banana Muffins

Peanut butter banana muffins whole wheat vegan

This weekend was one of those summer weekends. The kind where you do nothing all day but are tired because of it. The kind where you get sleepy eyes from too much sun, and need an afternoon nap after a midday happy hour. I like those kind of weekends.

This weekend was also an experiment in vegan-ism…or at least sort of. We went to a friend’s cabin with a 50% vegan-friend population, so I wanted to make some things that would be enjoyed by all, including the little 1.5-year-old who entertained us the whole time. My first order of business was to get my sweets covered…I decided to fashion some kind of muffin that was healthy enough to be breakfast, but yummy enough that the non-vegans would also partake.

I figured we needed to come in with a plan for food. Partially because of the group’s varying food preferences, but mostly because I didn’t want anything silly like cooking to interfere with our days of doing nothing. This girl’s got priorities.
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Nutella-Swirled Banana Muffins

Whole wheat banana muffins with nutella swirl

If you’re a TV watcher, you’ve probably noticed that there is a Nutella commercial that comes on all.the.time. It’s possible that I have selective hearing/memory for Nutella, but that’s neither here nor there. Anyway, in the commercial, a mom discusses how difficult it is to get her kids to eat breakfast. Fortunately, (Ta-daa) there’s a solution! Her kiddos happily eat Nutella spread on “multigrain” toast (it’s apparently very important that it’s multigrain), so it basically fixes all her breakfast woes. This makes me laugh every time. Like these sugar-hungry children, I too love Nutella, but allow me to state the obvious, “Dude, you’re feeding your kids chocolate for breakfast, of COURSE they’re eating it!” I mean come on…duh.

This weekend when I saw the commercial, my sarcastic side continued its mockery, yet the much more dominant, Nutella-obsessed side got to thinking that maybe this lady was onto something. Maybe not everything with Nutella needs to be a ridiculous dessert (although there is NOTHING wrong with that). Perhaps a semi-healthy treat can just have a touch of Nutella to make it something special. Channeling Barney Stinson, my mind slowly-yet-proudly stood up and decisively said, “Challenge Accepted.”
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Shameless Coconut Macaroon Muffins

Chocolate coconut muffins

There’s no gray area when it comes to opinions on coconut. It seems you either love it or you hate it. Personally, I love it with all my heart,to the point where I get rather offended when someone disagrees. “You just haven’t had it in the right thing,” I’ll say, “Let’s go get a big, chocolate dipped macaroon and THEN you’ll understand.” Of course, despite my best efforts, it turns out most folks really do know what they like. So, I’ve decided to back down and say that if you don’t like coconut, that’s cool, but you can stop reading right here right now, because this blog post isn’t for you. This blog post is about shameless coconut l.o.v.e.

Coconut haters aren’t new to me. Two of my closest friends hate coconut: my sister and my ex-roomie (note: it was an amicable roomie split not brought on by irreconcilable coconut differences). Fortunately, I do have a partner in coconut-love in my mother. When it comes to food, my mom and I disagree about basically everything, with two firm exceptions: meat-free meals and coconut-laden desserts. When I find a new place that has a coconut sweet, I call her immediately. As soon as I find a new coconut recipe to try, I email it to her. It’s kind of our thing. So, when I stumbled across Smitten Kitchen’s Double Coconut Muffins, my fingers flew to my gmail: copypaste,cutemessagetomom, aaand done. It was decided, I was going to make these muffins for my mom and I to share, and we were going to bond in our special way that coconut haters (like my sister) can never understand.

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