After a week of family reunioning, my sister and I had a few days to ourselves before she headed home too.
We had good heart to heart talks, and time to shop and do girl stuff. The last few days were all for her. She works so hard that she forgets to take care of herself. We condensed a world of pampering into two days – a new hair style, a facial, freshly shaped brows, three pairs of shoes, gorgeous nails and a suitcase filled to the brim with new outfits. She flew home feeling beautiful, and looking so good, the airline upgraded her to first class.
Today I can see daylight in the refrigerator. The house is quiet except for the whir of the washing machine churning out clean sheets and towels. I have to get back to my neglected garden, but first…..
a sad bunch of bananas is nagging me. What am I going to do with them?
I honestly can’t remember what I did before I discovered Ina Garten’s first cookbook.
Now I have a shelf full.
I don’t have a favorite; I love them all. And Ina is lovely too. My friend Laura and I met her on a garden tour several years ago. Her professional kitchen had been recently built beside her Hampton’s home. As you can imagine, it was spectacular. The galley for her new cookbook was on the table, awaiting her approval.
I was dying for a peek.
She has never disappointed me.
These muffins are heavenly. I made a few changes to make them a tad more guilt-free.
Banana Crunch Muffins
3 cups all-purpose flour
2 cups sugar
2 teaspoons baking powder
1 teaspoon baking soda
1/2 teaspoon salt
1/2 pound unsalted butter, melted and cooled (I used one stick of Earth Balance butter and one stick of unsalted butter)
2 extra-large eggs
3/4 cup whole milk
2 teaspoons pure vanilla extract
1 cup mashed ripe bananas (2 bananas)
1 cup medium-diced ripe bananas (1 banana)
1 cup small-diced walnuts
1 cup granola ( I used oat bran flakes)
1 cup sweetened shredded coconut ( this gives the muffin great texture)
Dried banana chips, granola, or shredded coconut, optional (I sprinkled mine with wheat germ instead)
Preheat the oven to 350 degrees F.
Line muffin cups with paper liners. Sift the flour, sugar, baking powder, baking soda, and salt into the bowl of an electric mixer fitted with a paddle attachment. Add the melted butter and blend. Combine the eggs, milk, vanilla, and mashed bananas, and add them to the flour-and-butter mixture. Scrape the bowl and blend well. Don’t overmix.
Fold the diced bananas, walnuts, granola, and coconut into the batter. Spoon the batter into the paper liners, filling each 1 to the top. Top each muffin with dried banana chips, granola, or coconut, if desired. Bake for 25 minutes, or until the tops are brown and a toothpick comes out clean. Cool slightly, remove from the pan, and serve.
Me and 24 muffins….. ok, 23. Now I’m released from kitchen duties, to commune with the birds and bees, and the flowers and the trees.