Well friends, the time has come for me to hang up my twenty-something-of-leisure hat and plunge myself into the real world. I'm happy to have had this past summer to do some exciting culinary experimentation (and don't worry, my sourdough starter is still surviving in the fridge!), but, probably for the best, I've officially started my day job.
On the bright side, I am hoping to start including some recipes for working girls (and guys), now that I'll be forced to come up with some good ones to keep me sated and happy during the week. Also on the bright side is that I'll now be able to comfortably afford my Whole Foods bill.
[nice and spicy]
I tend to make chocolate chip bran muffins for Jonathan (not everybody loves raisins as much as I do, I guess), but this pumpkin version, chock full of nuts and dried fruit, is my favorite. You could even add diced apple or pear, or substitute apple sauce or banana for the pumpkin, if you wish. Use this recipe as a base and switch it up according to your tastes.
Pumpkin Bran Muffins1/3 c. barley flour (or use more whole wheat)
1 c. wheat bran
1/2 c. multi-grain hot cereal or oats (unprepared; I use Bob's Red Mill)
1/4 c. uncooked millet
1 3/4 c. boiling water
2/3 c. whole wheat pastry flour1 1/2 tsp. baking powder1 tsp. vanilla extract
1/2 tsp. baking soda
1 1/2 tsp. cinnamon
1 tsp. ground ginger
1/4 teaspoon each nutmeg and cloves
1/2 tsp. salt
1 tbs. turbinado sugar
1 tbs. honey
1 tbs. molasses
1/2 c. solid-pack pumpkin
1 egg, separated
1/4 c. buttermilkhandful chopped toasted pecans
handful (or more) raisinsDirections:Half an hour (or up to a few hours) before baking, combine bran, cereal, and millet with boiling water. Cover and set aside to soften. When ready to bake, combine flours, spices, baking powder, baking soda, salt, and sugar in a mixing bowl. In a separate bowl, combine the egg yolk, buttermilk, vanilla, pumpkin, molasses, and honey, and stir to combine. Add the bran mixture and the pumpkin mixture to the dry ingredients, and stir just until combined. In a small bowl, whisk the egg white until frothy, and then add and incorporate into the batter. Add raisins and pecans and stir just until incorporated. Divide batter between 12 muffin cups, and bake at 375 F for 18-20 minutes, or until firm to the touch. To freeze: allow muffins to cool completely, then wrap each muffin individually in plastic wrap or foil. Store in a sealed zip-top bag in the freezer. To defrost: remove muffins from the freezer and allow to sit at room temperature, still wrapped, for a few hours.