July 17, 2011

Muffins, My Favorite Kitchen Gadget, Seasame Street and Photography Lessons all on a Sunday morn

One of only things that drives me to bake is expiring produce.

YJDKIY had some bananas approaching seniority, so I decided to whip up some muffins. Who doesn't love a carby fruit & nutterbutter filled mid-morning snack?

One of the things I really hate about baking, is all the small little dishes required. It's like the baking recipes set out to nickel & dime you into a carby coma. So...I always find little ways around these inconveniences.

Like adding oil. Don't get me wrong, the recipe (below) called for it, but listed it as the last item to add to the wet ingredient mix. Reverso that, adding oil first, and you can use the same measuring cup for the egg, PB, and sugar and it will slide right out, allowing you to use only one measuring cup. By using only the 1 c. one, you can visually estimate 1/2, 1/4, 2/3, whatever is necessary. As long as you know your fractions and pie wedges. 

I also don't measure anything requiring spoons. 1/4 t salt = a small pinch, 2T cinnamon = coating the top of the mix with a decent pour. And yet another trick. This one might seem really odd...but I never bring out the electric mixer. A potato masher works perfect for almost anything, including bananas and PB.

You might be thinking, ok that's fine for mashing, but to mix in the flour, she's going to have to switch tools.

Nope! It's a perfect paddle-stirrer. And it's contour scraped the edge of the bowl cleaner than any spatula. Try it.

Voiahaha! Von, too, vree! Only vree dirty dishes (plus the muffin pan)!  That is my attempt at counting like the Seasame Street Count. After a little time in the easy bake oven, out popped the most delicious smelling muffins ever.

Only they didn't look like it. They looked washed out blueish grocery store fare or something. Thanks to the "food" scene setting on my DSLR. Normally food photos around here happen at night. But with lots of natural morning light, there was no need for that enhancement.

So I switched to "A" mode, opened up the aperture as wide as I could, set the white balance to sunlight and the ISO to 400.

POOF! Just like that, they were as golden delicious on "film" as IRL. No photoshopping required.

I couldn't stop with the photos because they were smelling and looking so good I could just eat them up.

So I did. I don't know if it was the Hoffner Organic Farm's Whole Wheat Flour, or the lack of measuring, or just my lucky day, but these were so light and fluffy and at the same time moist and gooey. Perfection.

PB&B Muffins
3 ripe bananas
1/4 c vegetable oil 
2 eggs (or equivalent substitute)
1/3 c packed brown sugar
~2T soy milk (optional)
~1t vanilla
~2T cinnamon

1 1/2 c whole wheat flour
~1t baking soda
tiny pinch of coarse salt

Preheat oven to 400, spray 12-muffin pan with non-stick cooking spray. Mix together first 6 ingredients until well-blended in a large bowl. Add remaining 3 ingredients to a sifter and gradually mix into wet ingredients. Spoon into muffin pan and baked ~20 minutes.

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