Posts Tagged muffins

Don’t Judge An Oven

All bakers know how difficult it is find a good and reliable oven. It is, however, quite common to find problems with this appliance. The most common problem that I’ve come across is when an oven’s heating temperature is uneven. I’ve used an oven that required me to turn the baking tray every few minutes to prevent the cupcakes on one side from burning. Not fun, I tell ya, especially when you’re trying to multi-task. When baking, temperature is key, so make sure that your oven heats up evenly and that it is properly calibrated. It also helps to get an oven thermometer.

Don't be fooled by this oven's looks. My solution for it's weird temperature gauge - a thermometer!

The first time I saw my boyfriend’s oven (which, to his defense, came with the apartment), I knew right away that my cupcake-baking days were to remain on hold. The fact that it didn’t have a proper temperature gauge was all that I needed to know. Months later, I remembered that I could use an oven thermometer! So, here we are, with my first tray of muffins made in an old and unattractive, but apparently reliable oven.

Perfectly baked carrot and blueberry muffins. Thanks, Sansio!

So the moral of the story is, don’t judge an oven by it’s looks. Test it first with a relatively easy and inexpensive recipe. Examine your baked goods and do a spot check by eating one from both sides of the tray (yay!). If they’ve cooked evenly and correctly, then you’re good to go. And remember, once you’ve found that perfect oven, treat it right and don’t let it go.

Visit this link for the inspiration of this muffin recipe. 🙂

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Rainy Days and Muffins

IMG_5310I was supposed to join today’s Earth Run at Mckinley Hill, but early morning rains prevented me from doing so. I told myself that attending a seemingly poorly organized event alone, in the rain was not worth getting sick over and getting up for on a Sunday. I tried consoling myself with the thought that my registration fee went to a good environmental cause, but there’s something about looking at an unused singlet and race number that makes you feel uneasy. Runner’s regret, perhaps? A part of me was thinking, “What if it turned out to be a good race?” or “What if today was the day I set a new PB?” I knew there was no point on pondering on these thoughts so to distract myself from staring at my untouched singlet, I baked.

The recipe I’m featuring today is from a blog that is easily becoming a favorite. Noble Pig highlights interesting recipes with humorous writing to boot. I’m sure I will end up recreating more than one recipe from this food blog.

I tweaked Noble Pig’s recipe for Crunchy Maple-Banana-Pecan Breakfast Muffins and excluded the chocolate chips and replaced the pecans with walnuts. These muffins were moister than my whole wheat muffins since the recipe called for a mixture of whole wheat and all-purpose flour. The mashed bananas were surely a factor, as well.

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This and a glass of fresh orange juice will be perfect for breakfast tomorrow. Let’s hope the rains let up so that I can run outdoors again.

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Whole Wheat Muffins

Whole Wheat Orange Spice Muffins

Whole Wheat Orange Spice Muffins

In about two weeks, I turn the big three-oh and the best gift I can think of giving myself (and I know this will sound cheesy) is the gift of health. Four birthdays ago I promised myself that I would be in my best shape, that I would attain my ideal weight and be healthy. I remember beginning a program and losing a bit of weight but was never able to sustain it.  Smoking, drinking and being careless about my food intake caused me to gain a substantial amount of weight and I did not look good. I was far from being at my prime.

Three months ago, as an attempt to remove inches from our waists, my co teachers and I decided to start our own version of The Biggest Loser.  I knew the only way to shed the pounds was for me to be more active (and reduce beer intake), so I hopped on the treadmill and I told myself to run. Three months and 2 races later, I’ve managed to drop almost 10 pounds off of my weight. Blame it on the serotonin induced by a 7k run but I have never felt better about myself.

my Healthy Options purchase

my Healthy Options purchase

So along with my new lifestyle are healthier recipes, such as this: Whole Wheat Orange Spice Muffins (c/o Pinch My Salt).  I deiced to make a batch of these when Mister M and I were window-shopping at Healthy Options where I found a pack of whole-wheat flour.

pumpkin spice, lemon and orange zest and ground rolled oats

pumpkin spice, lemon and orange zest and ground rolled oats

There were a couple of ingredients that I didn’t have in my kitchen such as the ground flax seeds and pumpkin pie spice. Thankfully, the online recipe that I found included the steps on how to make pumpkin spice. The flax seeds I substituted with ground rolled oats. I also added some lemon zest to the recipe to give it more of a citrus flavor.

I absolutely loved this recipe! The muffins were very dense, flavorful, and most of all, healthy – a great breakfast especially for those who are on the go. Have one of these every day and you’re sure to get your daily dose of fiber.

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