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Entries in muffin (16)

Sunday
Feb022014

Banana Cacao Nib Buckwheat Muffins

Banana Cacao Nib Buckwheat Muffins

I feel restless. My legs want to run when I need to stand still. My mind wanders when I need it to stay here, in this moment. My heart begins to stray when I give it a minute of rest. These disparate emotions become exhausting, pulling me one direction and then the next, placing me at odds with myself.

I think of summer and sunlight and grass between my toes when I look at snow drifts taller than myself outside my bedroom window. I wonder why I live in a place where the winter air physically hurts my face. I dream of running away to Europe, drinking wine and eating cheese, when I permit myself a moment to watch an old episode of No Reservations. I try to imagine what it would be like to actually have free time while I'm at school on a Friday night at 5:30 pm grading papers.

Restless, restless, restless.

Banana Cacao Nib Buckwheat Muffins Banana Cacao Nib Buckwheat Muffins Banana Cacao Nib Buckwheat Muffins

To be truthful, I didn't expect much from these muffins. They were more of a last minute idea, a product of restlessness, than a thoughtful intention. A few forgotten bananas on the counter met some buckwheat flour hidden away in the back of the cupboard. I threw in a handful of cacao nibs as an afterthought, a snack food I recently bought and found too bitter to eat on its own.

When the comforting scent of baking muffins filled the air, I began to think that I may have judged these muffins too soon. In the end, they taste a little like banana bread, but can also hold their own as something unique. While the cacao nibs were too bitter by themselves, in the muffins they lose their bitter tones, transforming into something else entirely. A little like chocolate, perhaps, but with the addictive texture of walnuts.

I ate a dozen over the course of a week (and I would have eaten more if there hadn't been another muffin lover in the house). I may not have believed these muffins would be much in the beginning, but they became something memorable in the end.

Banana Cacao Nib Buckwheat Muffins

Banana Cacao Nib Buckwheat Muffins are a comfort food for breakfast or dessert. The flavors of banana, cacao, and the nuttiness of buckwheat come together in these muffins. The color may appear dark, as if they are made from cocoa powder, but the shade of brown comes solely from the buckwheat flour and a touch of espresso powder. I enjoyed these with a mug of hot chocolate, to feed the soul while giving it warmth.

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Monday
Dec022013

Pumpkin Streusel Muffins

Pumpkin Streusel Muffins Pumpkin Streusel Muffins Pumpkin Streusel Muffins

The first of the three holidays is over now. The turkey is carved, the stuffing is eaten, and my stomach is pleasantly stretched. Though the weekend was only a short break from everyday life, the time spent with family was reenergizing. Putting off the to-do list, if only for a few days, makes me feel as though all of my responsibilities have been lifted. For once my thoughts revolved around something other than lesson plans, grading, and my next caffeine fix.

For this, I am thankful.

Pumpkin Streusel Muffins Pumpkin Streusel Muffins

Though many of you have moved on to December’s peppermint and gingerbread flavors, I haven’t finished with pumpkin yet. Perhaps it’s because my favorite loaf of pumpkin espresso bread never made it to the kitchen table or the beloved pumpkin spiced latte never warmed my chilled fingers. I feel as if I didn’t do autumn enough justice, so now I’m rushing to right those delicious wrongs.

I hope that the cinnamon and nutmeg spices in these muffins are enough to transverse the winter flavor barrier. Join me. Let’s not forget about fall just yet.

Pumpkin Streusel Muffins

Pumpkin Streusel Muffins are sweet, spiced, and have just the right crunch. The pumpkin muffins are topped with a cinnamon streusel topping and drizzled with a maple glaze. The muffins are best eaten the day they are made, but they can be stored for a day or two in a container with the lid cracked; this leaves the streusel crunchy and the muffins moist. These muffins make any morning, weekend or weekday, into a special occasion.

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Thursday
Jun132013

Double Chocolate Muffins

Double Chocolate Muffins

Summer is here. The sun is out, shining brightly, heating the earth and the air with a pleasant warmth. The grass is a vivid green, the flowers are in bloom, and the perfumed scent of lilacs floats up in the air and down the paved sidewalks. Children are running and playing, making makeshift soccer goals out of park benches, and young women are sunbathing, soaking up the sun's rays. By all accounts, the weather is lovely—the view outside my window could be an illustration from a children's book.

But for now that's all it is: a view.

Double Chocolate Muffins Double Chocolate Muffins

I have been indoors quite a bit lately, tethered to an electrical outlet, typing away at the computer while writing essays and finishing assignments as I wrap up my degree. As a parade of t-shirts and shorts pass my second-story window, I wear pants and wrap myself in sweatshirts, struggling to keep warm in the air-conditioned building. I feel like I am at the end of two separate extremes, my wishes and duties tugged in opposite directions.

Soon, I tell myself, soon you can take a break and go outside.

Double Chocolate Muffins

I made these muffins last weekend, when the weather was miserable and as cold as my air-conditioned building. It was one of those mornings made for socks and warm breakfasts. Growing up, I was a fan of double chocolate anything but, after eating too many platters of double chocolate chocolate chip pancakes at the local breakfast diner at few years ago, my excitement for the combination has waned. Even so, I felt enough time had passed to give the combination of chocolate and chocolate another chance.

As a self-proclaimed chocolate addict, I could never stray away for too long.

Double Chocolate Muffins

Double Chocolate Muffins are defined by a measuring cup full of cocoa powder and a handful of chocolate chips. The muffins have brown sugar for depth of flavor and ground flaxseeds for health. Before baking, the muffin tops are sprinkled with granulated sugar and miniature chocolate chips for a tasty appearance and extra sweetness. The muffins stay surprisingly moist for a couple days and make for a bright breakfast or afternoon snack.

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