Classic Favorites Muffins

Sad Shibow and the Quarter-Life Crisis Muffins (Now With Bananas!)

Yup. Eyeore. Were going there, guys.

You guys! Saturday morning I was brushing my teeth and found what I am desperately trying to convince myself was a blond hair sticking out of my scalp. I am brown. I have black hair. It’s black. It’s just black, and it doesn’t turn any other colors because I am not a mood ring. And yet…this.

Anyway, I had a weird weekend. Saturday was Record Store Day, which I like to check out despite the fact that I am, sadly, record player-less. I met up with a fellow vinyl enthusiast who owns an umbrella with a flashlight on the handle and who also has what is easily the most hooked-up entertainment system I have ever seen. I was florescent-green with envy. I have met my nemesis, and he carries a flashlight umbrella. Ella. Ella… oh also, my umbrella gave out pretty quickly in this weekend’s monsoon (I suppose since I cannot go to India, India has decided to come to me), which only brought me further down.

In all seriousness, I can’t really pinpoint why I got the blues, but it looks like it’s hit: the quarter-life crisis.

I am a nerd. Always and ever shall be. I’m used to blueprints, instructions and steps. Cramming + writing + timidly raising my hand once in a while + homeworking + stressin’ like whoa= diploma and honors and stuff (nerd!). It’s gotten me through high school, college, and graduate school, and I’m darn proud. But now…now what? There aren’t any more guarantees. There aren’t any more sure things. There are only muffins.

That was a poor segue. Still, this is a baking blog, so, you know…go with it. I’d promised my cousin Jenny, who is pregnant with her second child (Hi Jen! Yay!), something banana-and-chocolate-chippy. A couple of days post-freakout, I walked into the kitchen, breathed in the scent of hella-ripe bananas, and got cookin’. I’m kind of picky when it comes to recipes, and since I was in sort of a mood, I decided to go with a recipe I’ve trusted for years (also the very first entry in my recipe book), and build upon it. Here’s what I say you need, which means here is what you need:

4 very ripe mashed bananas

3/4 cup of brown sugar

2 eggs

1/4 cup plus 1 tablespoon of unsweetened applesauce

1 tablespoon of softened butter or vegetable oil

1 1/2 cup of all-purpose flour

1/2 teaspoon of salt

1 1/2 teaspoons of baking powder

1/2 teaspoon of baking soda

3/4 cup of mini chocolate chips

Preheat your oven to 400°F. Angrily sift together the flour, salt, baking powder, baking soda and sugar. Once it’s blended, mix in the eggs one at a time, then throw in your applesauce, butter or oil and bananas. Fold in the mini chips, but try not to overmix. You want the mixture to be mushy and lumpy. Sounds attractive, right?

FYI, if youre in more of a bread mood, switch to a 9x5 jelly roll pan

Leave them in for 12-15 minutes. Mine were done in exactly 13 minutes, because I am Eyeore and the number most New York City buildings try to avoid seems to visit me pretty often. Uhh… anyway, take them out when the tops are slightly browned and a toothpick inserted comes out just a bit moist.

I kept a couple of these behind, just to test them/cheer me up. Here’s what the inside looked like before I devoured it.

Om nom nom.

Who am I kidding? Just looking at this picture makes me feel better. I’m going to go listen to some Phoenix and eat another muffin. Deuces, homies.

Strange and Yummy Vegan Desserts

Magic Food! It’s Quick, it’s Healthy, and It’s All From Scratch.

Tuesday was Free Cone day at Ben & Jerry’s. It was also rainy and miserable here in New York City. I love free stuff. I love ice cream. And yet, I declined to attend this glorious occasion (see: rainy and miserable). I was sort of disappointed and seriously have been craving ice cream ever since. I could a. Continue to wallow and refuse to spend money on a scoop of deliciousness, b. Uh, go to Ben & Jerry’s or…

Holy Fake Out Batman! There’s a way to get my Chunky Monkey on for a fraction of the calories, price AND time?! Sorcery!

Ok, it’s not “magic food,” it’s bananas. More specifically, frozen bananas. Which always makes me think of George-Michael Bluth’s Frozen Banana Stand.

Add Arrested Development to your Netflix queue, peeps!

So bananas tend to ripen and over-ripen rather quickly. If you live alone like I do, you end up with browned, bruised fruits that you absolutely must use to make muffins or bread because you live on sugar/waste nothing. Or, you decide to use your brain and your freezer, which is what this utterly brilliant blogger has done. Just in time for summer! This is also probably a great way to get your kids to eat more fruit, too. Tell them they’re eating ice cream. That’s right…LIE.

If you don’t feel like clicking over, all you have to do for two servings is puree three bananas in a blender until they’re smooth and start to resemble frozen yogurt/ice cream. Then, add your toppings. Smithfield recommends topping with heart-healthy walnuts and dark chocolate chips.

I’m but a small woman trying to conserve bananas for, um…my own frozen banana stand? For one serving, I pureed one banana with a touch of soy or regular milk. I’d suggest throwing in some blueberries and adding a bit of cinnamon to the finished product too.

Here’s what I created. The Smithfield version is much prettier, and I’m sure whoever made that bowl didn’t drop her glasses into her bowl in a fit of glee. Even that really didn’t stop me from polishing off this yummy creation and congratulating myself for eating healthy. I’m awesome.

To your health!