Those Days

It’s just been one of those days.

You know the ones I mean. My mother calls them
“bad biorhythm days,” when everything you do blows up in your face.

I slept through my alarm, preventing me from saying goodbye to our guests and writing an email without frantic clicking and typing. I had to bake a dozen muffins in under an hour before their ride (and purpose of being) drove to Pennsylvania. I have circles under my eyes dark enough to rival football players’ eye black. I burned the carrots I was roasting for dinner into shriveled sticks of char while trying to write a post that is two days overdue. I wanted to go to the gym, but I’m a little scared of what will happen when I try to get on the elliptical. Bad as today may be, I’m going to try very hard to keep the hospital out of it.

Did I mention I have most recently brought my total commitments for the fall up to 6? Yes. I currently am straddling 6 jobs. And still planning on updating this blog daily, for the most part.

The past 2 weeks have been a struggle for me. Between house guests coming in and out, keeping up with writing projects and my internships, and fighting against my extreme introvertedness that causes me to panic when I don’t get any alone time…I’m one more charred carrot away from melting into a sobbing pile on the floor.

The funny thing is, I’m a damn idea machine. I have more ideas for upcoming posts than I have clean socks. W. T. F.

But enough about me. Let’s talk about muffins. Muffins don’t have bad biorhythm days. Muffins don’t burn their dinner at three o’clock in the afternoon. Muffins just sit on a plate, waiting for you to taste their cinnamon-y cake-like goodness.

apple cinn muffins (7)

Yes, I like muffins. Especially when they have fresh September apples in them, and it’s just starting to feel like fall outside.

Do try out this recipe and tell me what you think. I made them for my brother, who my parents are driving toward right now, muffins in tow; I imagine, however, that they would be equally as delicious in a dorm room as on your breakfast table.

At the very least, you can just stare at the picture. They do seem to have a zen-like quality about them – particularly helpful on those days.

good afternoon izzy (1)

And then there are those of us who never have such days. I like to think of them as inspiration.

Over-the-Humpday Challenge: A Little Rebellion Can Be Healthy

I love whole grains. I really do. 9 times out of 10, I will pick the whole grain over the simple carb without blinking an eye. The texture is more complex, the flavor heartier, and they are much more satisfying.

irish brown soda bread (14)

But about that 10th time, I get an inner urge to rebel.

Corn muffins were a fixture of my childhood. I have no idea why I remember them so well, but the euphoric feeling when the Jiffy box came out and the first buttery, sweet crumb hit my tongue is still very much with me. Like the Force. Or not.

buttermilk blueberry-corn muffins (13)

So when that very particular craving hit last week, I knew what had to be done. No vegan spin, no whole grain flour substitution – just run-of-the-mill Jiffy-box-clone corn muffins.

Well, alright, I may be lying just a tad. I can’t do anything simple; something in my chemical make-up does not allow it.

Especially since I happen to have some buttermilk left over from last week’s challenge…and even better, a bag of frozen [organic] blueberries happens to be sitting in the freezer just crying out to be used in a recipe. And it’s just best to keep your frozen fruit happy.

So after quite a bit of recipe research – my favorite kind! – I found a simple recipe for strawberry-spiked corn muffins. Corn meal, flour, sugar, oil, egg, milk. Mix, bake, eat. Now that’s a good recipe.

buttermilk blueberry-corn muffins (1)

The original calls for the use of the aforementioned strawberries, which I subbed with the aforementioned blueberries, and regular milk which I replaced with buttermilk. The whole process took about 40 minutes, give or take.

Buttermilk Blueberry-Corn Muffins

(adapted from this recipe by Eating Out Loud)

makes 12 perfectly golden muffins


1 c. corn meal

1 c. all-purpose flour

1/2 c. sugar (I used vegan cane sugar; granulated is fine)

2 tsp. baking powder

1/2 tsp. [sea] salt

1 egg

1/4 c. oil (I used sunflower)

1 c. buttermilk

1 c. frozen (or fresh!) blueberries

Preheat to 400 F. Grease/oil/butter/non-stickify 12 muffin cups.

Combine the corn meal, flour, sugar, baking powder and salt in a bowl.

buttermilk blueberry-corn muffins (2)

In a separate bowl, beat the egg. I don’t know why; the recipe said so.

buttermilk blueberry-corn muffins (3)

Then add in the oil and buttermilk – if you’re feelin’ frisky, a little vanilla extract never hurts!

buttermilk blueberry-corn muffins (4)

Wet –> dry. Don’t over mix.

Fold in the blueberries, or whatever fruit you’re using. Caution: purple-tinted batter may ensue.

buttermilk blueberry-corn muffins (5)

Divide the batter into the muffin cups and throw ‘em in for about 20 minutes – check them then with the toothpick test. I had to keep mine in for an extra 7 or so minutes.

buttermilk blueberry-corn muffins (7)

Now, Spring Break is in 2 days, and here I was with a dozen fresh muffins. I’m sure they freeze well, but this is the time of thing best enjoyed fresh. One of my roommates ate 2, another ate 1 and brought 3 to her class to share with the other student in it and the professor…and BAM! down to 6. Why I am ever concerned about having too much food while living at college, I have no idea.

buttermilk blueberry-corn muffins (14)

The verdict? I like them. Don’t love them – yet. Probably nothing a little butter can’t fix. They were also a tad on the sweet side, and next time I think I will decrease the sugar to 1/3 cup.

There will be a next time, because this recipe is so easy to play around with! Spices, extracts, fruits, flours, milks…oh, the possibilities.

buttermilk blueberry-corn muffins (15)

And didn’t I promise you a good buttermilk recipe? I always deliver on my promises. The food-related ones, anyway.

buttermilk blueberry-corn muffins (9)

Mmmm. I love a good rebellion.

Spring Forward

I really love spring.

If you ask, I would tell you I’m more of a summer girl – but there is just something about seeing the first green buds on the trees and hearing birds chirping at ungodly hours of the morning that gets me every time.

It helps that I currently live in South Carolina, where spring means 70 degree weather with sunshine in abundance, instead of, um….

This. I’m a Mass[achusetts] girl born and raised, but I sure as hell don’t miss the never-ending winter.

I celebrate pretty much everything with food. Doesn’t everyone? An A on a paper might mean splurging for sushi, an unexpected award leads to ordering dessert.

Of all things, spring is something to be celebrated. The world is waking up, warming up, and a new energy buzzes in the air like the bees pollinating the budding flowers. Not gonna lie though – the buzzing gets a little obnoxious. Seriously, Darwin – why exactly did bugs have to evolve to buzz.


I highly recommend celebrating the coming of spring with these muffins. They’re super healthy – you could probably bake them into bars too if you doubled the recipe – but first and foremost, they are delicious. Between these and the sun, getting up for class in the morning gets a lot easier.

Flax & Oat Muffins (adapted from this recipe at OhSheGlows)

Makes 6 muffins


1/c. oats

1/2 tsp. baking soda

1/4 c. whole wheat flour

1/2 c. flax meal

1/2 – 1 tsp. cinnamon

nutmeg, cardamom as desired

1/4 tsp. sea salt

1 ripened banana

1/4 c. brown sugar

1 egg

1/2 – 1 tsp. vanilla extract (I’ll bet almond extract would be fantastic as well)

This recipe is so simple and quick, I probably don’t even need to give you directions. But I will anyway. Because I took pictures. And who doesn’t like pictures?

Preheat your oven to 350. Grease up 6 muffin cups/tins.

Throw your dry ingredients (oats, flour, ground flax, baking soda, salt & spices) into a bowl and mix ’em around. I also like to add dried cranberries to these – only a couple of tablespoons or so. Play around with it – and of course, let me know if you discover a particularly wonderful combination. 😉 [Chocolate chips are never a bad idea.]

In a separate bowl, mash that banana – the riper, the better. Then mix in the brown sugar, egg, and extracts (if using).

You know the drill – wet –> dry.

Don’t over mix!

Divide the batter as evenly as possible into the cups. I say “as possible” because most recipes leave that out and I feel slightly inferior to these people who are able to flawlessly divide batter into perfectly even portions. If you know what I’m talking about – don’t stress.

And if you are one of those people with such a gift…don’t tell me.

Pop ’em in for about 15-20 minutes. Use the toothpick trick – mine always have to stay in a little longer. But there’s nothing wrong with a slightly gooey muffin, either.



I let them cool and then freeze them in a ziploc bag; you can throw one in the microwave for 15 seconds and it’s good to go. This is one of my favorite things about these – I can sleep an extra 15 minutes knowing that breakfast will only take a few seconds.


Oh yeah – they’re delicious, too.

Make these now. Thank me later. And don’t forget to lick the bowl.

Happy Spring!