Wednesday, March 28, 2012

They built a swing set. I made muffins.

As mentioned previously, Sean and his father spent a few days over spring break constructing a swing set in our back yard. So what used to look like this... looks like this!

These are the guys who built it...

...and these are the guys who watched.

And here are a few pics reminding us why we wanted a swing set:

While Sean and his dad put the finishing touches on the set on Saturday morning, I threw together a quick batch of muffins. A few comments about this:

  • Muffins are one of those things that remind me how quickly and easily one can bake something homemade. They typically require only about fifteen minutes of hands-on time. I feel that way about scones, also. 

  • Muffins are also one of those things that I love because you generally have what you need to make them. I had no intention of making breakfast on Saturday morning - we were planning on stopping somewhere on our way out of town. But as the last few swing set details were still underway, I decided very last minute to make them. And boy were they yummy.

  • The recipe comes from an ancient paperback Betty Crocker cookbook. It doesn't even have an ISBN. I use the term "paperback" very loosely, as that implies that the book is bound when, in fact, the book has fallen into four sections and is held together by a rubber band. I believe, however, that everyone needs one cookbook on hand for the essentials.  This is the one I turn to if I need to make a basic white sauce, or pancakes from scratch. 

  • I got to wear my new apron for the first time. It was an early birthday gift from my in-laws. Not at all relevant to the muffins, but isn't it cute?

And now, onto the recipe. Included below is the basic sweet muffin recipe included in the quick breads chapter of Betty Crocker's Cookbook. There are several variations that follow. I made Apple Muffins and used chopped pecans in the topping.

Breakfast Muffins
Yield 12 muffins


1 egg
1/2 cup milk
1/4 cup oil
1 1/2 cups flour (I used half white and half wheat)
1/2 cup sugar
2 tsp. baking powder
1/2 tsp. salt

Heat oven to 400 degrees. Grease bottoms of 12 medium muffin cups.

Beat egg. Stir in milk and oil. Mix in remaining ingredients just until flour is moistened. Batter will be lumpy.

Fill muffin cups two-thirds full. Bake 20 to 25 minutes or until golden brown. Immediately remove from pan.

  • Apple Muffins - Stir in 1 cup grated apple and 1/2 tsp. cinnamon. Sprinkle with Nut-Crunch Topping: Mix 1/3 cup brown sugar, 1/3 cup chopped nuts, and 1/2 tsp. cinnamon. Bake 25 to 30 minutes.
  • Blueberry Muffins - Fold 1 cup fresh blueberries or 3/4 cup well-drained frozen blueberries (thawed) into batter.
  • Cranberry Orange Muffins - Fold 1 tbsp. grated orange peel and 1 cup cranberries, cut in half, into the batter.
  • Surprise Muffins - Fill muffin cups only half full. Drop 1 tsp. jelly in center of each and add batter to fill cups to two-thirds full.

1 comment:

  1. That apron is completely relevant to the muffins, and completely adorable!! What a bunch of awesome guys to build that swing set. I bet the boys are in heaven. Hugs to you all! See you tonight.