Two months after my move to the city, I have settled into the new routines of everyday life. The daily commute, the neighborhood, and the apartment kitchen have a familiarity about them that only time can bring, but the intimacies end there. It feels like I'm on an extended vacation (but I'm not sure where I am on a vacation from). After moving so often between cities and countries during my twenties, I'm finding it harder to grow an attachment to each new location, to put in the effort to make connections and dig down roots.
I call this place home, but I'm not sure I believe it yet.
The most difficult adjustment has been the early morning rise. When the alarm buzzes at 5:40 am, I groggily pull myself out of bed and go through the motions, but my pace is slow and my mind is still back in bed, resting under the sheets. To ease into the day, I do as much as I can the evening before. Breakfast, especially in the form of a reheated muffin, feels like a lifesaver in those pre-dawn hours.
With a cup of coffee in hand, I make it out the door on time, ready to start another day.
Carrot Almond Muffins are spiced with cinnamon and nutmeg to bring out flavors of autumn. The muffins rely on brown sugar and the natural sweetness of the carrot to bring a warmth to the flavor. Chopped almonds, mixed into the batter and sprinkled over the top, provide a hearty texture. Layered with butter or chocolate hazelnut spread, these muffins can improve any morning, no matter how early or late your morning begins.
One Year Ago: Chocolate Hazelnut Spread and Espresso Chocolate Coffee Cake
Two Years Ago: Honeyed Apricot Granola Bars and Chocolate Banana Chip Cookies
Three Years Ago: Caramelized Leek Biscuits, Zucchini Chocolate Chip Muffins, Cinnamon Rolls Cookies, Bourbon Peach Jam, Whole Wheat Chocolate Chip Scones, and Brown Butter Pear Muffins
Four Years Ago: Lemon Blueberry Scones, 3 Milk Coconut Cake, Garden Tomato Tart, and Whole Wheat Irish Soda Bread
Five Years Ago: Strawberry Shortcake, Chocolate Raspberry Oatmeal Muffins, Brown Sugar Coconut Bubble Tea, and Whole Wheat Banana Pancakes
Carrot Almond Muffins
Yields 1 dozen muffins
3/4 cup (150 grams) brown sugar, packed
1/2 cup (120 mL) vegetable oil
1 large egg
1 teaspoon vanilla extract
2 teaspoons ground cinnamon
1/8 teaspoon ground nutmeg
1 teaspoon baking powder
1 teaspoon baking soda
1/2 teaspoon salt
1 cup (120 grams) all-purpose flour
1 cup (113 grams) whole wheat flour
1/2 cup (120 mL) milk
1 1/2 cups (150 grams) peeled, shredded carrots
3/4 cup (110 grams) almonds, coarsely chopped & divided
Preheat oven to 350 degrees F (180 degrees C). Line a muffin tin with baking cups.
In a large mixing bowl, beat together the brown sugar, vegetable oil, egg, and vanilla until uniform. Stir in the spices, baking powder, baking soda, salt, flours, and milk until smooth. Stir in the carrots and 2/3 of the chopped almonds.
Divide batter evenly between the baking cups and sprinkle tops with the remaining 1/3 of the chopped almonds. Bake for 18-22 minutes, or until a toothpick inserted into the center comes out clean.