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.
When I was a young and inexperienced baker trying to make up recipes, I didn’t have much success. I mean, I was 15. The process of creaming butter with sugar was a completely terrifying prospect. And whipping egg whites until stiff peaks form? I still remember doing it by hand one day. It worked, but I was traumatized.
Now, many years and one Kitchen Aid mixer later, I am much wiser. But I still remember fondly the recipes that were not epic fails when I was just starting out. And one in particular that I kept making time and time again were these cookie cupcakes. Because they worked. And because they were actually delicious.
These are peanut buttery without being too sweet or over-the-top intense. They remind me of classic peanut butter cookies: same flavor, same happy nostalgic feel, same need for the glass of milk. But there’s more in each serving, more to bite into. The middle is nice and soft while the edges are chewy. And best of all, they have that Reese’s cup in the middle.
I’ve got to post something kind of healthy. It’s been candy bars and cola all week long. Consider this recipe equally delicious, but a little less crazy than black cherry cola cake and Baby Ruth brookies.
Of course, it’s a peanut butter recipe. I have a rule when it comes to gluten-free baking: chocolate or peanut butter (or both) has to make an appearance. I don’t know about you, but I still haven’t mastered the GF yellow cake. It’s on my baking bucket list, but as yet, no progress. I’ll keep working on it.
Chocolate and peanut butter are both strong flavors, and they work well with my favorite of all gluten-free flours: oat flour. It has to be certified GF, by the way. Just remember that. I wouldn’t put oat flour in more delicately-flavored desserts, but in peanut butter cookies? Fo sho. For an added bonus, these puppies just happen to be vegan. Eat that, all y’all!
You see, most soda breads are made with raisins (good) and caraway seeds (bad). I do not like caraway seeds. Something about their flavor, not to mention their hard little texture, really throws me off. I’ve never been a fan, and I’ve tried them plenty.
Seedless rye breads are delicious, though. As are seedless soda breads. Especially when you remove all the usual fillings and put chocolate chips there instead. Sacrilege, you say? Too bad. I’m going to enjoy St. Patrick’s my way!