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.
The gas light comes on in the car. Your six-month dental checkup comes due. You realize you didn’t pay your credit card bill. Somebody gets the promotion you deserved. Your favorite pair of shoes loses a heel in the middle of the workday. And the bananas lie forgotten on the counter, turning from green to yellow to spotty to brown.
But that last one has a definite upside because all you do is bake it into banana bread. Moist, delicious, banana bread filled and glazed with brown sugar. Just for those days when things aren’t going quite your way!
Confession: when it comes to bread dough, I’m a total hack.
It has nothing to do with a fear of yeast, which has never really bothered me. It’s pretty easy to use, unless the yeast is dead. And that doesn’t happen very often. No, it’s more about the ultimate convenience and endless wonder of a bread machine. Why work on the dough myself when there’s a lovely machine sitting on my counter that can do all the heavy lifting for me?
Now, now, bread enthusiasts. Back off. I’m sure that my machine can’t do the wonderful things you can do, but it sure can make some cinnamon rolls lickety-split. I made these (and they’re dairy-free, too!) the night of our big snowstorm, and they made a perfect breakfast to wake up to.
Some desserts are clearly, obviously good. Nobody needs to advertise them. We’re talking brownies, chocolate chip cookies, cheesecake. Everyone loves cheesecake.
Then, there are the desserts that look unassuming and unexceptional, but they blow the popular choices out of the water. These mini-bundts are in that category. You know, the how-is-this-so-good-I-can’t-stop-eating-it category.
And they’re pretty healthy, too! These pumpkin cakes might be a baking miracle. They have no butter (I’m not counting the icing here) and they’re gluten-free. Let’s do a happy dance!