Well, my world, anyway. There are certain days (or weeks) when facing the day is just hard. Maybe I have to work a 12-hour day before heading home to my kids, or maybe a student of mine has been going through something rough and I’m absorbing the pain. It’s not always cake!
On days like that, I need an easy breakfast to throw together. This muffin base is simple, butter-free (and therefore a health food, of course), and easily customized. I chose lime zest (a.k.a. summer in a whiff) and white chocolate chips, but you can use any old mix-ins. It’s all about making your mornings as happy as possible!
I know it’s pretty common for people to whine about winter, so I try not to do it a lot. But being honest here, this time of year is an endless struggle for me. You see, I have an autoimmune disorder that restricts the blood vessels all over my body. In warm weather, my blood flows freely and I feel energetic, vibrant and positive.
But when winter hits, I range from a partial lack of feeling in my arms and legs (and even other parts of me on bad days) to a continuous ache in those areas. It’s totally manageable, but there is a tangible difference between the person I am in warm weather and the person I am right now. I’m just waiting for the seasons to shift so that things can get better.
And I don’t even mean to complain (though it reads that way, I know), because I’m really lucky. At least my problem is seasonable and it’s workable. A lot of people suffer with chronic pain and exhaustion and there’s not anything they can do to make it better.
While I like to think of the Sylvia Plath quotation that there’s not a whole lot that a good book and a good bath doesn’t fix, we all know what happened to her. So I think it’s really important to focus on self-pampering when possible. That could be wrapping yourself up in a cozy heated blanket at work with a mug of tea, or taking a bubble bath at night, or taking a 20-minute power nap, or having muffins for breakfast. Or why not do it all?
Well, time often gets in the way, but that’s why I love these muffins. They take no time at all to make (the video will show you!) since it’s a simple matter of mixing dry ingredients with wet ones, and then you’re done. Check it out!
This time of year, I start baking with citrus more, especially lime. Lime to me is summer. When I zest a lime and the aroma reaches my nose, I feel sunny days and sand and margaritas. These muffins reached me at the heart of my winter blah feelings and really helped alleviate some of the grayness everywhere.
And white chocolate with lime is the best. If you haven’t gone for that tangy-sweet combo, try it now!
It’s totally okay to hate on a season for whatever reason, but just be sure to self-pamper. After all, there’s no guarantee than anyone else will do it for you. Make some muffins, grab some tea and have a moment!
I fulfill many roles in life: wife, mother, teacher, everlasting learner.
This site is dedicated to one role that expresses my creativity in ways that I find consistently challenging and rewarding: baker.
Inventing new ways to enhance food, especially if that food involves chocolate or peanut butter (or both!), is a passion of mine. I look forward to sharing my ideas with you.
There are very few non-chocolate desserts that I’ll go for. I’ve been working on establishing my love for anything with a crumb topping, so we’re clear on that! And I do have a special fondness for cheesecake, as do most breathing human beings. But along with these exceptions to my rule, I love anything with marzipan or almonds. My German grandparents pretty much made sure of that by passing down their love of almond through my mother and straight to me.
I’m a total sucker for chewy almond cookies, the kind you get at good, old-school bakeries. Sometimes they’re plain, sometimes dipped in chocolate. They come in all different shapes. I don’t really care what they look like, as long as they’re soft. Once they age and get harder, I lose interest. When I was a kid, our local fishmonger used to sell them (no idea why), and his name was Mr. Moon. So, I’ve always called almond cookies Moon Cookies.
I’m really trying here, folks. You know, to come to terms with the end of summer. It ain’t so easy.
As a warm-weather enthusiast, I greet cooler temperatures with about as much joy as a toddler greets a shot-wielding nurse. Over the past two weeks, my fellow awesome food bloggers have pulled out the pumpkin, heralding an early start to autumn. It’s still August, people! Rage against the dying of the light!
I’m going to hold out against pumpkin for a bit longer. I mean, I love pumpkin. But I want to use it when I really need it, i.e., when the long sleeves start coming out of my closet.
A few months back, I was Netflix bingeing episodes of Cake Boss when Buddy and his crew had yet another challenge. A woman came to the bakery from somewhere far away just to pick up her pre-ordered crumb cake, and (gasp!) it wasn’t there. In an exciting and conflict-ridden turn of events, Buddy’s sister sold it by accident.
So Buddy, ever the obliging baker, set about making another crumb cake as fast as he could, promising to be done within the hour. And I watched. Fascinated. Enthralled. I’d kind of forgotten, until that episode, how much I love crumb cake.