Warning: This is a rambling blog entry with no definitive purpose and no clear message....authored by a severely under-slept lady.
So, as I was scrolling through my epic compendium of neglected emails yesterday, I came across an email from my son's school. Apparently it's freakin' Teacher Appreciation Week and all parents are expected to bring in a breakfast treat for the teachers...in like, large quantity so everyone gets a taste. I'm completely and totally all for teacher appreciation...but shit. I had both kids and a busy day and no time to hit up the grocery store. I was brainstorming what I could make, and was so tired of all my typical go-to's. So, I texted my Mom (baker extraordinaire) to see if she could suggest a trusted baking site. She said to look at Taste of Home. Boom, success. I found a recipe that used ingredients I had in the house. Yesssss! So, after the kids went to bed (close to 9pm), I commenced the baking.
Step 1: Put all ingredients on the counter
Step 2: Put Bloodline on Netflix so I could watch something while I baked
Step 3: Pour a glass of wine
I looked at the recipe I chose - Morning Glory Muffins - and decided how I wanted to tweak it. Whole wheat flour instead of white, all-purpose flour. Replace the oil with applesauce. Cut the sugar in half. I typically make these kinds of alterations to make baked goods healthier and extra moist at the same time. Then I tripled that shit so no one could accuse me of not bringing in enough for everyone 🙂
I started assembling the dry ingredients, no prob. I had no cinnamon (how can this be?!). I found some cinnamon-sugar. Great, this will work. Then I decided to start shredding the apples, no prob. But then I realized - ha! - that I only had baby carrots. This was the most pathetic attempt at shredding you've ever seen. I literally shred baby carrots until each was a little nubbin...probably even bigger than they needed to be cause I was terrified of shredding my fingertips. I ended up with 1/2 cup shredded carrots per batch, instead of the 2 cups the recipe called for. Whatever. Another glass of wine, and almost an hour later, I was ready to assemble the wet ingredients and combine everything into a batter. Finally, the first batch is in the oven.
At this point, my housemate came back from her terrible Bumble date. She dished on the date, and made me laugh, which was a lovely interlude to the baking. In her frustration, she mowed down a muffin and paused after realizing she ate the whole thing and said, "Julie, this is delicious." Yes - success! Roomie went to bed, swearing off online dating...again.
While I was setting up the next batch, I looked around...at the tv, at my wine glass, at the sad pile of baby carrot nubbins, at the clock (11pm - eek!), and the massive mess of eggs shells, dirty bowls, and flour sprinkled all over the floor. And I realized how truly happy I was. I absolutely love baking. It relaxes me, even in the face of carrot disasters and crappy time management. You know how some people always have just the right ingredients around to whip a meal together if need be? I'm totally NOT one of those people. My housemate jokingly said the other day that I never have 'real' ingredients in the house. I can whip up a killer snacky plate, but that's about it, without a recipe. I long to be one of those people who look in their pantry and creatively combine like tuna fish, canned peaches, and some trip's souvenir BBQ sauce and generate the most delicious dish. I like cooking, but I don't love cooking. However....I LOVE baking. I have a huge lazy susan cabinet shelf with every baking ingredient you could possibly need (apparently except cinnamon - shame!). On hand I always have 4 different types of flour, chocolate chips, baking soda and baking powder, flaxseed, chia seed, etc. I should have started a baking blog. Haha! But I didn't. Why? Because this site is what I need myself. I wish I had this resource for go-to meal recipes. It's a challenge for me to come up with recipe ideas and to churn out dinner quickly. Plate in 28 is helping me face my insecurities and dump them on other people. Haha, just kidding. But, really, it is allowing me to recognize where I need help, and to try and help myself and others at the same time.
In the meantime, last night reminded me that that doesn't mean I have to stop baking. I realized how much I missed it. So...to my friends who are reading this, get ready for me to put some extra pounds on you. And to our readers...you can find some of my favorite baking recipes here in this blog, when I'm feeling inspired. As for right now, once this episode of My Little Pony is over, I'm making a subpar lunch for my daughter, and then taking a lengthy nap with her. Never again starting muffins at 9pm....well, I can't promise that. Signing off, happy but dead tired.
Late Night Muffins
- Heat oven to 350 degrees.
- In a large bowl, combine all the dry ingredients (flour, sugar, baking soda, cinnamon, and salt).
- In another bowl, combine the wet ingredients (eggs, applesauce, and vanilla).
- Combine the dry and wet ingredients. Add in the carrots and coconut.
- Spray muffin tin with cooking spray. Fill the cups with batter. Bake for 20 minutes.
A couple things to note: You could totally use more than 1/2 cups carrots. I would have if I had full sized carrots on hand. I remade the recipe a month later, using 1 cup shredded carrots, and I think that was perfect. I also scrapped the shredded apple since there was so much applesauce in my recreated recipe. I hate raisins and not a big fan of nuts in baked goods, so I took them out of the recipe. But alongside those two things, you could probably also add dried cranberries, pumpkin seeds, dried cherries, etc.
🍾 Cheers, Julie 🍾