It’s no secret that I’m not a great cook. I have a handful of great recipes up my sleeve that I can whip up in a pinch (this one immediately comes to mind), but when I try something new in the kitchen, it almost always turns into a gigantic mess. Most of the time I just need a completely fool-proof idea. Which brings me to today.
20 minutes ago I decided that I wanted to make muffins. A good healthy muffin is the perfect on-the-go toddler snack, a good quick breakfast, and perfect for my tea-time date with a friend tomorrow. A peruse through my trusty babyfood cookbook made me feel like an inadequate parent for not having steel-cut oats, wheat bran, or applesauce stocked in the pantry. And searching my all-time favourite cooking blog made me feel like the inadequate cook that I am.
So off I went in search of the notebook that I carried around with me everywhere last year. I found it in my throw-everything drawer and between pages of thesis notes, german homework, french homework, grocery lists, pre-baby checklists, appointment notes, baby name lists, and flight itineraries, I found a hastily scribbled note titled: MUFFINS underlined heavily. This is the MOST BASIC muffin recipe likely in existence. If you want to make muffins RIGHT NOW and you have literally 10 minutes to whip them up between putting your toddler to bed and collapsing into bed yourself, and you have only the very basic of kitchen utensils and ingredients, then this is the PERFECT recipe for you. Without any further ado, I give you: MUFFINS
2 cups Flour
3 tsp Baking powder
1/2 tsp Salt
3/4 cup Sugar
1 cup Milk
1/4 cup oil
1 cup of ANYTHING that you have in the house
(chopped fruit, nuts, raisins, cheese, WHATEVER)
Mix the dry ingredients together. Mix the wet ingredients together. Pour wet into dry and mix gently just until combined. Bake at 180 degrees for 15 minutes.
TA DA! MUFFINS!
Today I threw in some chopped apples, cinnamon, nutmeg and a couple of tablespoons of oat bran, but I could have just as easily used up some of the frozen berries I have in the freezer from Costco. Make them healthier by using whole wheat flour, or by throwing in some bran of some kind. Use less sugar if you like. Add some Streusel to kick it up a notch. I promise that these will be tasty and will make you feel like the competent parent and cook that you are 😉
P.S. If you want to have freshly-baked muffins every morning with very little effort (and who doesn’t?), cut a silicone or foil muffin tin into pairs. Fill each muffin cup with muffin batter, carefully put the muffin tin sections into individual freezer bags. and toss them in the freezer! When you want to wake up to fresh muffins, throw one of the sections of muffin batter into the fridge to defrost overnight. In the morning, put the muffin tin section in the toaster oven for 15 minutes (180 degrees) while you take a shower, and PRESTO! MUFFINS!