Blueberry Peach Muffins

I love peach crumble: buttery, cinnamon-sugary, fruity bites. Add blueberries to that, put the batter in a muffin tin and sprinkle with a little more cinnamon-sugar and these babies are born. I added a simple streusel topping (combine 1/4 cup of brown sugar with 1 tablespoon of soft butter and 1/2 teaspoon of cinnamon), which is added on top of the muffin batter right before baking.

Blueberry Peach Muffins


3/4 cup milk

1/4 cup lemon juice, freshly squeezed

2 cups all-purpose flour

3/4 cup sugar

1 tbs baking powder

1/2 tsp cinnamon

1/2 tsp salt

1 egg, lightly beaten

1/4 cup vegetable oil

1/2 cup blueberries, fresh or frozen (thawed)

1/2 cup peaches, fresh or frozen (thawed) and chopped

Preheat oven to 400 degrees.

Mix milk and lemon in a small bowl. 

In a large bowl, mix flour, sugar, baking powder, cinnamon, and sugar.

Add egg and oil to milk mixture. Mix well. Gently fold this mixture into the flour mixture. Fold in fruit.

Bake in greased or lined tin for 22-24 minutes.

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Cinnamon Donut Muffins

I’m in charge of bringing breakfast into my Creative Writing class tomorrow. Typically students bring in Dunkin’ Donut munchkins. I’m taking it up a notch by making my own version. And these are better.

Dipped in butter and rolled in cinnamon and sugar, these are to die for. The inside is dense, moist, and full of cinnamon and nutmeg. If you want your house to smell good, make these. If you want your stomach to be pleased, make these. If you want others to scream in delight, make these.

Cinnamon Donut Muffins

Makes 12 regular-sized muffins


1 3/4 C All-Purpose Flour

1 1/2 tsp baking powder

1/2 tsp salt

1/2 tsp nutmeg

1/2 tsp cinnamon

1/3 C oil

3/4 C sugar

1 egg

3/4 C milk

Coating:

1/2 C butter, melted

1/3 C sugar

1 tbs cinnamon

Preheat oven to 350 degrees. Grease a muffin tin.

Combine flour, baking powder, salt, nutmeg and cinnamon.

In a separate bowl, combine oil, sugar, egg and milk. Add the dry ingredient and stir until just combined and still clumpy.

Bake 15-20 minutes. While baking, melt the butter in the microwave in a small bowl (the shallower the better). In another bowl, combine the sugar and cinnamon. 

While the muffins are still hot, dip in butter then roll in cinnamon-sugar mixture. Allow to cool.

Poolville Country Store, NY

As mentioned many times before, going to school in upstate New York leaves much to be desired in terms of culinary experiences. On the one hand, I save a considerable amount of money. On the other hand, it’s easy to see how students can subsist on Ramen noodles.

However, I got a chance to visit the Poolville Country Store, a bed and breakfast that serves way more than just breakfast. As a birthday treat, my parents came to visit and took me to this quaint spot for lunch. They specialize in locally-sourced foods, and most of the menu items were vegetarian or pescetarian, both plusses in my book. (Although, it does make one wonder how you get fresh “local” seafood when you are hundreds of miles from the ocean.)

We were first served a few squares of blueberry crumb cake. Buttery, rich goodness.

Unsure of whether or not it was lunch time or breakfast time, I settled on savory tastes despite my two cups of coffee and this blueberry treat. We ordered polenta fries, smothered in gorgonzola cheese on a bed of mixed greens. Salty but so fabulous, this dish makes me want to experiment more with polenta. The shrimp and vegetable rolls were also fabulous, with a smattering of wasabi aioli that was flavorful. My only complaint was that the menu spelled “shrimp” incorrectly.My caesar salad was standard, though the (single) anchovy on top was appreciated. It’s unfortunate there weren’t more anchovies to really bring out the flavor. I had a large bowlful of lobster bisque which was delicious, though salty. Lastly, a taste of this crab cake made our meal complete. Moist, tasty rounds of crab served with lemon aioli were fantastic. All in all, a pleasant, filling, delicious experience…particularly for upstate New York.

 

Lost Packages (and a Peanut Butter Granola Recipe)

When I was abroad in Australia, I was surprised to learn that most Aussie students did not know their mail man. They were startled that I knew my mailman on a first-name basis (shout out to Bob!), and that I would always say hello when I passed him delivering mail. I appreciate the hard work that goes into shipping packages and letters, but when packages get lost in the mail, I find myself furious at the USPS. Of course, as it is typically with humans, when something goes wrong, we like to point fingers.

This Valentine’s Day, I sent a gift to my boyfriend who goes to school far away from me. It was supposed to take 2 to 3 days, and it was sent 10 days ago. He has yet to receive it.

I made my boyfriend this granola for Christmas, and apparently I should have included a note that he should eat it within a week or two. Six weeks after Christmas, he stuck his hand in the jar and managed to eat a handful of ants. I cannot explain in words how embarrassed I was; how my homemade, crafty, little gift ultimately failed.

I figured, I’ll be ironic and send him another batch of granola for Valentine’s Day. This time around, I made a card stating that if he doesn’t enjoy the granola fast enough, the ants would. I should have known that my granola projects are cursed, because he never received the granola. By now I’m sure there are ants gnawing away at it in the back storage room of some mail facility. Or perhaps a mailman brought it home and is munching on it. If this is the case, I hope it is Bob, my mailman, that is eating the granola.

And so, as promised, here is the recipe for the ill-fated granola. It was delicious (which is just another blow, since my boyfriend would never taste it). Peanut butter, dried fruit, dark chocolate chips, what better combination?

Peanut Butter Granola

2 cups Rolled Oats

1/2 cup sunflower seed kernels (if salted, omit salt in recipe)

1 tsp ground cinnamon

1/2 cup chopped peanuts

1/2 cup creamy peanut butter

1/4 cup vegetable oil

1/4 cup lightly packed brown sugar

1/4 cup honey

2 tsp vanilla

1 tsp salt

1 cup dried fruit (I used a tropical mix)

1/2 cup dark chocolate chips

Preheat oven to 325 degrees.

Combine oats, seeds, nuts and cinnamon in a bowl. In a separate bowl, combine the peanut butter, oil, sugar, honey, vanilla and salt Pour over granola mixture and stir until fully coated.

Spread gently in a 9 x 13″ pan. Bake 20-30 minutes, until toasted. Stir gently every 10 minutes. Remove from pan and allow to cool completely in pan. Add fruit and chocolate.

And here’s what he sent me, which is infinitely cuter than ant-infested granola:

Back to School, Blueberry Lemon Bread

I have moved back to the land of college life, and at least this time around I have black beans, peanut butter and bagged lettuce. Upstate New York is diametrically opposite Sydney, Australia.

Before I headed back to school, I savored my last moments in a clean, uncrowded, fully-supplied kitchen. My cat decided to help out:

The other, much wiser cat just slept.

I sent my boyfriend a loaf of Lemon Blueberry Bread. You can find the recipe here. I didn’t get to taste this one, since the recipe only yielded one loaf (and it would be strange to send a loaf with a slice cut off, right?). But I particularly liked how this “bread” had a lemon glaze poured on top. Heavenly. I used frozen blueberries, since the current supply of fresh blueberries in New England come from Chile.

 

Oatmeal-Appreciation Timeline

When I was little, I enjoyed the taste of raw instant oatmeal, without water. I also enjoyed cooked instant oatmeal, so long as it didn’t have any additional flavors or sugar. For some reason, I liked the slightly salty, considerably bland taste of plain old oatmeal.

I still eat oatmeal today, and I consider it to be a favorite breakfast of mine. I still like it plain, made with water instead of milk, though I have enjoyed the addition of brown sugar or cinnamon.

And now comes the next progression in my Oatmeal-Appreciation Timeline: Steel cut oatmeal. To some, this is the holy grail of oatmeal because it is more wholesome and less processed than regular oatmeal. Some find it too nutty or chewy. I find it somewhere right in between, both satisfying and textured. The only downside? Steel cut oatmeal can take a long time to properly cook. Usually preparations involve soaking the oats overnight.

But then, thanks to my aunt’s recommendation, the lengthy preparation problem was solved. Trader Joe’s sells frozen servings of brown sugar and maple syrup steel cut oatmeal. The only cooking you need to do is pop it in the microwave for a few minutes. It’s surprisingly delicious, not too sweet and not too nutty. The oats are nutritious, and even more so than regular oatmeal, they fill you up. That’s my kind of steel cut oats.

Thankful

Thanksgiving is my favorite holiday, more than the beloved Christmas. Any holiday that is a celebration of family, friends, and gratefulness in a non-religious setting is my kind of day. There is something pleasant about celebrating what is present, past, and future with a dinner. Not gifts, shiny lights, and carols. Although Thanksgiving involves less than holidays such as Christmas, the simplicity of Thanksgiving makes the holiday personally more meaningful.

I baked (first use of the oven in over five months!) Apple Cinnamon Muffins the other day, which were delicious and made the house smell of autumn. The muffin batter was thicker than I expected, almost like a wet dough, although the final product was nothing like a cookie. It was a moist, sweet, addicting muffin. I added a cinnamon streusel on top of some of the muffins, which added a bit of crunch. If you prefer your muffins less sweet, make the recipe using 1 1/2 cups of sugar, as opposed to 2.

Recipe from The Girl Who Ate Everything

Makes about 18 muffins

2 cups sugar

2 eggs

1 cup oil

1 Tablespoon vanilla

3 cups flour

1 teaspoon salt

1 teaspoon baking soda

1 teaspoon cinnamon

3 cups peeled, cored, diced apples (around 3 apples)

Streusel:

1/2 cup brown sugar

1 tablespoon butter, softened

1/2 teaspoon cinnamon
Preheat oven to 350 degrees and line muffin pan with paper liners.

Cream together sugar, eggs, oil, and vanilla. Sift flour, baking soda, salt, and ground cinnamon. Add dry ingredients to creamed mixture and mix until combined. Add the diced apples.

Fill paper liners almost to the top, about 3/4 of the way full.

Mix streusel ingredients with a fork until crumbly. Sprinkle on muffins.

Bake at 350 degrees for 20-24 minutes.