December 3, 2013
Pumpkin Banana Muffins
Long time, no see huh?
I'll bet you thought I've gotten lost and I guess in a way I have.
I needed a little blog break, so I took one. 2013 really has been a horrible year for my family as a whole, and topped with my on and off again depression, it just got the better of me for a while. Depression kind of moves in, takes up camp, drives its stakes down deep and dares you to remove them. The human psyche is such a fragile place.
Last week however I actually got back in the kitchen in a big way and I thought I'd share these muffins with you. I can't promise I'm back on a regular basis, but I'm feeling better, and I'm feeling creative, so we'll see where we end up from here.
For now, if you're a pumpkin lover, grab a cuppa and make some of these muffins...you won't be sorry you did!
What You'll Need for the Muffins:
2 cups of unbleached, all purpose flour
1 cup of brown sugar (preferably natural)
1 teaspoon of sea salt
1 tablespoon of baking powder
1 tablespoon of cinnamon (preferably Saigon)
1/3 cup of oil (preferably safflower)
1/3 cup of maple syrup
1 cup of buttermilk
2 large eggs
1 - 15 ounce container of mashed pumpkin
3 very ripe bananas, mashed
Crumble topping (see below)
Preheat oven to 375 F.
Prepare muffins pans with cupcake liners and set aside.
In a large bowl stir together flour, brown sugar, sea salt, baking powder and cinnamon until completely incorporated.
Add oil, maple syrup, buttermilk, eggs, pumpkin and bananas to the dry ingredients and stir until completely mixed.
Add batter to prepared muffin pans, filling each cup 2/3 of the way full.
Top each cup with a layer of crumble topping.
Place muffin pan on top of a baking sheet to prevent spill overs. Bake for 25-30 minutes until tops are golden and muffins stick clean.
Let cool and store in an airtight container for up to a week.
Makes 32-36 muffins.
Notes on the Muffins: You can add in nutmeg and/or allspice if you like. 1/4 of a teaspoon would be fine. You can also add 1 cup of raisins to the batter if you like them.
What You'll Need for the Crumble Topping:
1 cup of raw pumpkin seeds
1 cup of brown sugar (preferably natural)
1/2 cup of unbleached, all purpose flour
1 stick of butter, softened and cut into chunks
In a large bowl stir together pumpkin seeds, brown sugar and flour until completely mixed.
Add butter chunks and work in to the dry mixture with your hands until mixture is crumbly.
Use mixture in recipe above.
Notes on the Crumble Topping: You can use nuts instead of pumpkin seeds, or a mixture of the two. This is also a good topping for sweet potatoes.
July 11, 2013
It's Time for Some Summer Pie!
I love all the fresh fruits and veggies this time of year. Alexis and I have been eating a lot of fresh fruit and salads the past few weeks. Around this time, when the tomatoes and zucchini are beginning to become abundant, I always start thinking about Summer Pie!
Unfortunately I'm the only one in my family who will eat this, and it doesn't freeze well, so I usually only make it once a year, but I look forward to this all year long. I feel this year's Summer Pie coming on really soon. I need to head to the farmer's market or orchard soon. I can't wait!
Are there any foods that you look forward to?
Want to make a Summer Pie of your own? Check out the recipe here.
June 25, 2013
Happy 10th Birthday Alexis!
Yesterday you turned 10.
How is that possible?
I normally write a little letter to you on each of your birthdays and post it on my blog. One day you'll read them all, and I hope you'll understand how much I love you, how much I have always loved you, how much I will always love you, and what you truly mean to me. Yesterday however, we were out having birthday fun and I didn't get to write my little missive. Today I'm diving right in!
You got money from various people for your birthday as people tend to do and you couldn't wait to go buy things. But first you wanted to make sure that you helped others before you spent anything on yourself. When I asked you what you wanted to donate to you replied, "Children and wildlife!" You have such a big heart. I love that about you.
It has been a long year. 2013 hasn't been good to us as a family, and quite frankly I'm ready for 2014 to roll on in. We started out on January the 2nd with your aunt's breast cancer diagnosis, we moved, school got all shuffled around, Pop had a heart attack, and that's just a mere summary. But through it all you've kept good spirits. You look for the good, even when bad things happen around you. I hope that you can continue to do this as you grow older. It's a very good skill to have.
Before you were born I would hear people say you didn't understand love until you had a child. I used to think that was complete bollocks. I knew children I loved dearly. I loved your father. I loved family. But they were right...the minute I looked at you I was hit by a wave of emotion I had never expected. I loved you instantly, and I thought I had loved you before you were born, but I had no clue what love actually was. You were love.
You want to grow up so fast. I always tell you, "Slow down. Trust me, you'll grow up all too soon and you'll wonder where your childhood went." I wonder where mine went. At 39 I can't figure out where the time has gone. At 29, when you were born, I thought you'd be small for a long time. 10 years is a long time in some ways I suppose, but it has gone by so quickly! My beautiful baby girl has grown in to my beautiful young tween. Slowing down time is like trying to hold water in your fist...you can try, but it just runs out. And no matter how much I might want to keep you as my little girl, time has other ideas. Enjoy life. Make the time matter. Make the time count.
Keep your amazing spirit. Keep your love of all things and people around you. Keep being cool. Because you really are cool kid. Really, really cool. And I'm so glad out of all the moms in the world, you picked me.
June 13, 2013
Overnight Cinnamon Rolls And An Update On My Father
First off let me say thank you for all the prayers, good thoughts, emails, etc. that you sent to me for my father. We really appreciate all of you. It meant a lot.
Let me give you a little update....
Daddy ended up having to have a defibrillator inserted in to his chest. The unsettling thing about everything that happened was they could never tell us exactly what happened and why. One thing they were adamant about though was, if it happened once, it would happen again, and we needed a safeguard in place to deal with what may come. Daddy's slowly regaining strength now that's he home and allowed to get up and move around. I stayed in Tennessee for the week he was in the hospital and the week after to help out mom and then headed back to Maryland. Alexis and I will be going back to Tennessee in late July/early August to check in. Again, thank you for all the thoughts and emails. Again, they really meant a lot to me.
And now let's discuss some cinnamon rolls!
One day when I was at Mom's house I was watching the Food Network. I'll admit it...I highjacked the TV because I was tired of hearing the tripe on Faux News and needed a break. One of the shows in my little marathon Food Network block was was Alton Brown's.
I love Alton Brown. Most of the time anyway. There have been shows where he's told you things to do to make the best whatever that I totally disagreed with, but that's a rare occasion, and as always it's always good to remember it's OK to disagree. For the most part he amuses me. His humor and quirky wit are fun to watch. On this day he was making cinnamon rolls. I mean who doesn't like cinnamon rolls? I'm sure there are those out there who don't, but I'd say they're hard to find, and really do we want to do all that searching?
No. Not me!
These cinnamon rolls were amazing to look at. It was one of those times when you wish you had smellavision so you could smell them baking. There's something so settling and satisfying about smelling cinnamon (or even just dough for that matter) when it's baking. They were big, fluffy, absolutely awesome just to look at! I found the recipe online and left it open in a window on my iPad browser. I had to make these and yesterday I started the dough.
The dough is made the day before, rises and then you roll the dough out, fill it with the goodness of brown sugar and cinnamon, roll, cut, and put in a baking dish, cover it, and let it rise in the fridge overnight.
The next morning you let them rise for 30 minutes in an oven with a dish of boiling water underneath them for 30 minutes, remove and preheat oven to 350 F. Put them back in the preheated oven and bake for 25-30 minutes, ice and eat.
Seriously, what's not to like about that?
And when they come out of the oven, they're browned and gooey and perfect!
Even the icing loves these rolls! Don't believe me? Take a look at this heart Alexis found on hers:
How cool is that?
Try these cinnamon rolls. You'll love them!
You can find the recipe here.