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    The Art of Muffins

    A few years ago, I whipped up banana muffins instead of banana bread, and I have never looked back.

    Muffins are the EASIEST baked good to make. They taste like dessert, but you can stuff them with nutrients.

    Here are just a few reasons I love muffins:

    • You can usually make a whole batch from start to finish in under 30 minutes.
    • They require minimal ingredients (that you usually already have around the house).
    • You don’t need to use a mixer.
    • There are lots of options to make them healthy without sacrificing flavor.
    • Muffins freeze incredibly well.

    *A note on freezing: I usually make about a double batch (approx. 24) once or twice a month. We eat them fresh for about two days and then toss all the remaining ones in a gallon ziplock bag and freeze for easy breakfasts. When you pull them out frozen, they come to room temperature on their own in about 20-30 minutes, or you can pop them in the microwave for about 20 seconds and they taste like the day you made them. I eat one on the way to work almost every day.

    All muffins follow the same general formula:

    Approximately 2-3 cups of a grain (flour, oats, almond flour, etc. — easy to make gluten free), baking soda, salt, 1 egg, 1/2 cup sugar, butter or oil

    Then you can add something to make them moist (banana, greek yogurt, applesauce, pumpkin, etc.) and anything else you want (berries, nuts, chocolate chips, etc.) You can even make them healthier by adding seeds, flax, extra fruit, or even veggies.

    All these recipes make approximately 12 muffins. I always double them, so I can freeze some.

    For every single recipe, preheat oven to 350 and grease 1-2 muffin pans, depending on how many you are making. You can mix all the ingredients in one bowl and simply stir with a spoon. Muffins actually bake better if they not over-mixed. Fill muffin cups about 2/3 full and bake for 15-20 minutes or until tops spring back when touched. You don’t even need a toothpick.

    BANANA MUFFINS

    Mix together:

    • 1 1/2 cups all-purpose flour
    • 1 teaspoon baking powder
    • 1 teaspoon baking soda
    • 1/2 teaspoon salt
    • 3 bananas, mashed
    • 1/2 cup sugar (brown, white or a mix of both)
    • 1 egg
    • 1/3 cup butter (melted)
    • 1 tsp. vanilla
    • 1/4 tsp. cinnamon (optional)
    • 2 TBSP sour cream or greek yogurt (optional)

    OATMEAL MUFFINS

    Mix together:

    • 1 1/2 cups rolled oats (not quick oats)
    • 1 1/2 cups unbleached all purpose flour (or almond flour, etc. to keep in gluten free)
    • 1/2 teaspoon baking soda
    • 1/2 teaspoon sea salt
    • 1 cup unsalted butter
    • 1/2 cup natural cane or brown sugar
    • 1/2 cup plain or vanilla yogurt (Greek is fine)
    • 2 large eggs, whisked

    Streusel topping: 

    • 1/2 cup brown sugar
    • 4 tablespoons butter (cold or warm)
    • 1/4 tsp cinnamon (optional)
    • 1/4 cup rolled oats (optional)

    *Mix together and sprinkle on top of muffins before baking. This one sometimes yields 16-18 without doubling.

     

    BROWN SUGAR MUFFINS

    Mix together:

    • 1 cup light brown sugar
    • 1/2 cup butter, melted
    • 1 cup milk
    • 1 egg
    • 1 teaspoon vanilla
    • 2 cups all-purpose flour
    • 1 teaspoon baking soda
    • 1/4 teaspoon salt

    *Streusel topping optional (see above).

     

    KODIAK CHOCOLATE MUFFINS

    Mix together:

    • 2 cups Kodiak Dark Chocolate Power Cakes mix
    • 1 cup milk (any milk will work — almond, coconut, whole, skim, etc.)
    • 1 egg
    • 1/2 cup softened butter (can substitute with applesauce)
    • 1/3 cup brown sugar
    • 2 bananas, mashed
    • 1 teaspoon cinnamon
    • 1 teaspoon vanilla
    • 1/2 cup chocolate chips (optional, but recommended)

    It makes me laugh to type out these recipes, because you’ll notice so many ingredients are optional. Muffins really are an art, not a science. I’m pretty sure if you mix flour, baking soda, sugar, butter, and an egg together, you will get a decent muffin, no matter what other ingredients you to choose to add. Simply craft them with extras according to your preferences!

    Here are some other ones to try: Zucchini Muffins, Pumpkin Muffins, Blueberry Muffins, Carrot Applesauce Muffins, and the list goes on and on…

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    Saturday Snippets

    (A Cup of Jo)

    Love cute, old married couples

    Because I love motherhood and writing and writing about motherhood

    I have a thing for jumpsuits

    Inside the home of my favorite artist…

    Always looking for a solid chocolate chip cookies recipe and these were a hit…

    As a writing professor in an age of notoriously poor writing skills, I found this piece fascinating…

    Wise advice on mothering from a teenage girl…

    And her book on the teenage years

    I finally know why I’ve always loved the circus

    On a related note, I am trying to listen to music more often, and Amazon Music Unlimited is $7.99 per month…

    These would be an adorable gift for a an elementary-age girl

    Christianity Today’s most recent book awards

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    A Day in the Life

    I used to be so good about taking “day in the life” photos about every six months or so. And then in the past year and a half, I started my career, had a third child, and we moved THREE times…

    However, I was looking through our camera lately, and realized I did actually snap some photos in our three very short-term homes, I just never posted them.

    So here are some snapshots of daily life in 2016 and 2017. Zianne turned three and then four. She quit sucking her thumb. Talitha turned one and then two. We lived in a condo then a beach house then a tiny two-bedroom with three kids. We had Eisley. She started sucking her thumb. She now crawls around and giggles and eats solid food.

    A lot of changes have happened, but a few themes have stayed the same… cute daughters, laundry, grocery shopping, snacks, sunsets, God’s Word.

    It’s a simple life, but a good one.

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