Sunday, June 10, 2012

New Fruit Muffins, Another Zoya Manicure, A Room Upgrade, and My Family Outdoors!

After a long six month wait, I finally tried this recipe. It seems like a spring/summer flavor, which is why I didn't try it when I found the recipe last fall. I call it Mandarin Coconut Muffins, and it's one of my favorite, because of the use of whole grain flour and wheat germ.

Mixing the sour cream, eggs, and mandarin oranges is the first step. This always helps bring refrigerated items to room temperature. At the same time, you can toast your wheat germ in the oven. Don't burn it like I have every time I make these. LOL.

Combine your dry ingredients next, including that toasted wheat germ.
Have a sweet four year old help you if you have too many irons in the fire. :o)

Pour and mix wet into dry until JUST moistened.

Remember, I like to add the nuts in before the wet and dry are completely blended. It makes for a moister muffin.

Do you recall that I mentioned too many irons in the fire? Today, I decided to bake 3 kinds of muffins. So while the Mandarin Coconut are in the oven, let's look briefly at the Lemon Muffin that my daughter loves so much.

The Mandarin Coconut will come out a bit more brown than most, because of the whole wheat flour and wheat germ that we use. It also requires a bit less cook time, especially if you want to avoid dry muffins.

Here are the lemon muffins before we iced them. Just a note, these are a poundcake muffin, not a spongy muffin. I basically converted a lemon poundcake recipe into a muffin, because I love the density of the poundcake so much. (Mandarin recipe at the end of this post. Lemon Muffin recipe in previous posts)

My nails finally started growing... I must have finally found the right combination of herbs and supplements for this pregnancy. As long as I keep them covered in color, they do fine. Once the color starts to chip away, my nails seem to go brittle and break off.

Zoya Penny and Zoya Jem: alternate patterns on each hand.

I'm not  sure why I only took baked photos of the Pear Muffin. Perhaps I've shared this recipe before? It's one of my favorites. I say that a lot. LOL. This year, I switched to canned fruit (pear, peach, mandarin) in my fruit muffins because of shelf life and the heat of summer. But using fresh pear is so tasty! I recommend it! (Pear Muffin recipe at bottom of post)

We've lived here in this 600 square foot house for over a year now. When we discovered I was pregnant last fall, we thought certainly we would have to move. Where would we fit a crib, much less any other baby paraphenalia? But over the months, we have looked at other rentals in the area, and we've decided we don't want to trade our huge outdoor grassy area for a larger house. Nor do we want to leave the township we are in. So... I've been sprucing things up around here without adding too much. I turned our bed around to make space for the old dresser that our daughter used. It also allows for the bassinet when necessary.

Then, I added some inexpensive light-blocking curtains and cafe rods with a bit of ribbon for tiebacks. Actually, I bought them to keep the 5 am sun out. It works very well, but at the same time, having curtains in the room really gave the finishing touches to our room and made it feel like a new place!

Yesterday, we took a much needed 'day off' and stayed home all day. At the end of our rest, Rick and Tori took advantage of our grass. "Come on Papa. Don't you want to Shabbat with me on the grass?"

I thrill to know that my oldest child will grow up with memories like this photo portrays: spacious, grassy outdoors behind a cozy house where she ran and played outside with her dad and chased Robins and caught lightning bugs almost daily.

In our town, there is a house on a very busy corner where you can always find a yard sale. Usually, it's furniture and other odd items that they have found at other sales and are reselling at a marked up price. This yard sale is almost daily. I stopped by yesterday to peek at a wall cabinet, but in my perusing, I found these handmade purses for $12 (got mine for $10). The woman that lives there sews them herself. It was such a great find, because I've been shopping for sling purses that fit my quirky needs in a purse for four months now. Most purses are either too floppy, don't have enough pockets for easy access to my essentials (keys, sunglasses, cell phone), or are just plain not my style or color. I wanted something spring colored, not my typical black, brown, or red. This was the perfect match with it's 3 inner pockets and caribiner hook at the top for my keys. And I didn't mind trying a new color and style. Of course, Rick wanted to know where she got the strap, because he'd love that for a belt. LOL. Too bad! It's MINE. LOL.

Mandarin Coconut Muffins

3/4 C all purpose flour
3/4 C whole wheat flour
2/3 C wheat germ (toasted or not)
1/2 C sugar
1/2 C coconut
1 1/2 tsp baking soda
1/2 tsp salt
1 C sour cream
2 eggs
1 can (11 ounces) mandarin oranges, drained
1/2 C chopped nuts (I used pecans or walnuts)

In small bowl, blend sour cream, eggs, and oranges. In large bowl, combine flours, wheat germ, sugar, coconut, baking soda and salt. Stir wet mixture into dry ingredients until almost moistened, then add nuts. Stir only til just moistened. Spoon into muffin tins (lined) 3/4 full. Bake at 400F for 17-20 minutes. Cool immediately on wire rack.

Pear Muffin

2 C flour
1/2 tsp salt
1 T baking powder
1 tsp nutmeg (for added flavor, add a bit of cardamom and mace)
1/2 C brown sugar
2 eggs
1 C apple juice
1/3 C vegetable oil
1 large pear or 1 can (11-14 oz) drained pears
1/2 C walnut pieces
1/2 C sugar crystals

Slightly beat eggs and combine with juice and oil. Stir flour, powder, salt, and spice(s). Stir in brown sugar. Make a well in center and add wet mixture, together w/ chopped pear. Stir til just moistened. Fill muffin cups 2/3 full. Sprinkle with walnuts and sugar crystals. Bake @400F 15-20 minutes. Cool in pan 5 minutes before placing on a wire rack. 

1 comment:

  1. Aw, Jenn, thank you so much for such a refreshing and heartstrings-tugging post! I am so loving your writing, and the muffins (If I wasn't doing 31 hours a week!!) I might have to try making them myself.makes my mouth water to read the recipes! I love this blog! THANK YOU again! And a big lolol when I read Tori's comment about "Don't oyu want to shabbat with me?" LOLOL