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.
Ahhhh…TGIF. Almost. Before I breeze through the last day of the week, it’s time to make some serious bread.
Challah, that is.
Challah is too awesome to fly so much under the radar. It’s traditionally an egg bread made with white flour and sugar, kind of like brioche. It makes amazing French toast. There are also water versions, calling for no egg, as well as challahs filled with anything from raisins to chocolate chips.
And lately, whole wheat challah has begun to pop up in bakeries with more frequency, though it’s often put down by challah traditionalists, and who can blame them? Challah is an indulgence, a bread so good that spreading butter or jam on a slice can actually take away from the yeasty, fresh-out-of-the-oven perfection of the bread itself.
I was pretty hestitant to give the whole wheat thing a try. Why fix what ain’t broke? But in a world where whole grains are healthier and white bread is just an occasional indulgence, I wanted to have my challah and eat it too.
So are the cheesecakes. In a really good way! Because in addition to being li’l bites of heaven, they’re not too heavy on the sugar. And they’re also completely full of Hannah Max chocolate chip cookie chips, i.e., my favorite flavor.
I’ve never met anyone who doesn’t love a chocolate chip cookie. When you put them into crispy cookie chips, they’re that much more addictive. Add cheesecake and I’m not really surprised that people’s eyes lit up at work when they saw me bring these in.
As usual, I wasn’t sure what to call this exactly. But I went through a few different names before settling on this one.
Last year, I tried to make loaded caramel apples. I de-waxed the apples, coated them in caramel, and covered the caramel in honey roasted peanuts and mini M & Ms. And they looked great.
But an hour later, the weight of the toppings and pulled the caramel right off the apple. So I got really angry and gave up. Until now. Because if you don’t like the rules, then change them. If a caramel apple loaded with toppings is delicious, then just do the same thing, but deconstruct it. Easy peasy! No more #caramelapplefail in your life.