Tag Archives: muffins

This Week’s Muffin: Spinach (?!?)

It’s been a long time since I posted a muffin recipe, mainly because it has been sooooo hot here in NoVA. Who wants to heat an oven?

Also, I’ve been trying to cut back on that kind of food. I won’t go so far as to call muffins “junk” food, but I’m trying to make better choices, such as quality proteins, and cramming as many fruits and veggies into my day as I can.

But finally, the weather has turned, and fall is here. These spinach muffins call for 6 ounces of baby spinach–that’s more than half of one of those big rectangular containers–and they use whole wheat flour. SOLD!

But dang, that batter is green:

I mean… wow.


I haven’t tasted the finished product yet, but the batter is tasty–the banana takes center stage, while the spinach flavor recedes into a generic earthiness that’s quite nice. I have no idea whether my kids will eat them. Part of me hopes they don’t.

from the Six O’Clock Scramble menu-planning site–We’ve been happy subscribers for a long time, and they’ve just started adding weekly breakfast suggestions, like this one!


  • 2 cups whole wheat flour (GF is fine)
  • 1/2 cup sugar
  • 2 tsp. baking powder
  • 1 1/2 tsp. cinnamon
  • 1/2 tsp. baking soda
  • 1/2 tsp. salt
  • 1/4 cup butter, melted
  • 3/4 cup milk (use any kind you have)
  • 6 oz. baby spinach
  • 1 banana
  • 2 tsp. vanilla extract


  1. Preheat oven to 350 and grease or line two muffin tins.
  2. In a large bowl, whisk together the flour, sugar, baking powder, baking soda, cinnamon, and salt. Set aside.
  3. Melt the butter. In a food processor or blender (I used an immersion blender), mix the milk, spinach, and butter until it is completely pureed. Add the banana and vanilla and blend until just mixed.
  4. Pour pureed mixture into the dry ingredients and stir with a spatula until completely combined. Fill muffin cups about 2/3 full and baking 18-20 minutes.

This Week’s Muffin: “Resistance is Fruitful” Muffins

Muffin Maven is back in action! We had some house guests this weekend for the Women’s March on Washington, and I decided to make these to grab and go. Then Robert ended up making pancakes, which will always win out over muffins. But these are quickly disappearing too.

The march was a profound and positive experience. The logistics were a bit crazy, mainly because the turnout way exceeded expectations. Which I love.

16142656_10154894738233164_2517045947865602022_nI had many friends who wanted to march in DC and couldn’t–though many of them marched elsewhere–so at their request I wrote their names on my stole. More than 100 by the time it was said and done.

Why did I march, along with some 3 million women, men and children, in more than 600 events spanning all seven continents? Well, contrary to what people on Twitter might say, it wasn’t sour grapes over the fact that my preferred candidate lost. I’ve experienced that plenty of times–many of us have–and we didn’t take to the streets over it.

Yes, I have profound disagreements with the incoming administration’s stand on any number of things, and I plan to resist attempts to roll back our progress on health care, climate change, civil and reproductive rights, and any number of other issues.

But it’s much deeper than that. Mr. Trump could match me issue-for-issue and I would still think he is catastrophically unfit to be president. His narcissistic personality, dearth of curiosity, disdain for science and basic facts, and lack of humility make him dangerous, I believe. As I often say when people try to reduce this to partisan squabbling, “This Ain’t Mitt Romney.”

Plus he’s mean.

If you see it similarly, I don’t need to say any more. If you don’t, no recounting of his many statements will change your mind.

Please enjoy the muffins though; they’re good, and have no partisan ingredients whatsoever!

These muffins are easy as can be–the only tricky part is putting a dollop of jam in the half-filled muffin cups, then covering it with the rest of the batter. So, not really tricky at all. I used leftover strawberry refrigerator jam we made and froze over the summer.

(from the Williams-Sonoma Muffin cookbook, where they are called Jam-Filled Muffins)


2 cups all-purpose flour
3/4 cup sugar
1 tablespoon baking powder
1/2 teaspoon baking soda
1/2 teaspoon salt
6 tablespoons unsalted butter, melted
2 eggs
1 teaspoon vanilla extract
1/4 teaspoon almond extract
1 1/4 cups sour cream
1/3 – 1/2 cup jelly or jam


  1. Preheat oven to 375 degrees and prepare 12 muffin cups with spray or paper cups.
  2. In a bowl, stir together flour, sugar, baking powder, baking soda and salt.
  3. In another bowl, whisk melted butter, eggs, vanilla and almond extracts, and sour cream until smooth.
  4. Add egg mixture to dry ingredients and stir until just moistened. Batter will be slightly lumpy. Do not overmix.
  5. Spoon a small helping of batter into each muffin cup–enough to coat the bottom. Then add a heaping teaspoon of jam/jelly to the center of each muffin. Cover with remaining batter.
  6. Bake until golden and springy to the touch, about 20-25 minutes. Let cool on a rack for 5 minutes, then unmold and cool further.


Muffin of the Week: Turkey Day Detox

How was your Thanksgiving? We had a lovely one–one of the best I can remember.

These muffins are great for the day after Thanksgiving because… well, you know.


Adapted from King Arthur Flour’s Morning Glory Muffins.


Disclaimer: there are no cranberries in this recipe. But Caroline staged and took this picture yesterday and I thought it was so pretty.

Disclaimer: there are no cranberries in this recipe. But Caroline staged and took this picture yesterday, and I thought it was so pretty.

1/2 cup raisins
2 cups Whole Wheat Flour
1 cup brown sugar
2 teaspoons baking soda
2 teaspoons ground cinnamon
1/2 teaspoon ground ginger
1/2 teaspoon salt
2 cups peeled and grated carrots (I had slightly less–threw in what I had)
1 large tart apple, peeled, cored, and grated
1/2 cup shredded coconut, sweetened or unsweetened (I omitted, because gross)
1/2 cup chopped walnuts
1/3 cup sunflower seeds or wheat germ, optional (I used wheat germ)
3 large eggs
2/3 cup vegetable oil — You can substitute canned pumpkin for oil at a 1:1 ratio, so I threw in that annoying leftover bit we always have when we make our pie.
2 teaspoons vanilla extract
1/4 cup orange juice


  1. Preheat the oven to 375°F. Lightly grease a 12-cup muffin tin, or line it with papers and spray the insides of the papers.
  2. In a small bowl, cover the raisins with hot water, and set them aside to soak while you assemble the rest of the recipe.
  3. In a large bowl, whisk together the flour, sugar, baking soda, spices, and salt.
  4. Stir in the carrots, apple, coconut, nuts, and sunflower seeds or wheat germ.
  5. In a separate bowl, beat together the eggs, oil, vanilla, and orange juice.
  6. Add to the flour mixture, and stir until evenly moistened.
  7. Drain the raisins and stir them in.
  8. Pour into prepared pan and bake for 25 to 28 minutes, until they’re nicely domed and a cake tester inserted in the center of one of the inner muffins comes out clean.
  9. Remove from the oven, let cool for 5 minutes in their pan on a rack, then turn out of pans to finish cooling. Wrap any leftovers airtight, and store at room temperature for several days; freeze for longer storage.

This Week’s Muffin: Mini Mediterranean Muffins

It’s all book-writing and marathon-training here at the Blue Room. (Note to self–don’t have those things coincide in the future, mmm-kay?) Once those are both behind me I’ll be back to my regularly scheduled public rumination.

img_1098In the meantime, the weather is cooling off which means I’m making muffins again! This week’s recipe is one I love. It comes from Matt Kadey’s book Rocket Fuel: Power-Packed Food for Sports and Adventure. I’ve made several recipes from this book and liked or loved each one.

Kadey’s book is divided into Before, During, and After, with each section’s recipes formulated for that phase of exercise. Before features light, healthy, carb-fortified foods; During has stuff that’s easily portable (including your own gels!); After focuses on the right protein/carb ratio to replenish muscles and energy.

These Mini Mediterranean muffins came from the During section, but they’re excellent to snack on anytime. I used them on my last 20 miler, and it was so nice to have something savory to offset the gels and chews I rely on heavily.

1 3/4 cups all purpose flour
1/4 cup finely ground cornmeal (I used regular cornmeal and it seemed finely ground enough)
3 tablespoons sugar
1 1/2 teaspoons baking powder
1 teaspoon dried thyme
1/2 teaspoon salt

2 large eggs
3/4 cup plus 2 tablespoons low-fat milk
1/3 cup olive oil
zest of 1 lemon (optional)
2 ounces finely chopped feta cheese (about 1/2 cup)
1/2 cup drained and finely chopped roasted red peppers
1/3 cup pitted, finely chopped Kalamata olives


  1. Preheat oven to 350 and prepare 24 mini muffin cups with paper liners or cooking spray.
  2. In a large bowl, mix together dry ingredients (flour through salt).
  3. In a separate bowl, whisk eggs, milk, oil, and lemon zest.
  4. Add wet ingredients to dry and mix until just blended.
  5. Fold in cheese, peppers and olives.
  6. Divide into muffin cups and bake for 15 minutes or until toothpick comes out mostly clean. Cool on rack.
  7. Keep chilled for up to 5 days and transport in small ziploc bags. (I have frozen a bunch for The Big Day.)

Speaking of which! I’m still raising money for Teens Run DC. Read more about it and sponsor me here.

The Peace of Baked Things… A Poem, Plus Bonus Muffin Recipe


What do you do when you’re discouraged about the state of the world?

I bake muffins. And jot poems.

With apologies to Wendell Berry’s poem The Peace of Wild Things:

The Peace of Baked Things

When despair for the world grows in me
and I can’t sleep at the least sound
in fear of what my life and my children’s lives may be,
I creep down to the kitchen, socks on cold wood.
A clatter of bowls, hiss of spray on pans,
and a pillow of flour.
Leavening a perfect mound, whiter than white.
Follow directions and all will be well.

Now the liquid: thick buttermilk;
melted butter, a risen sun grinning wickedly from its bowl;
and an egg–the cracked one, from when my son fumbled the carton.
I whisk, wincing at the memory of his frustrated tears.

Then a pause over the two bowls.
Master over this one thing, I can suspend time indefinitely,
stop the culinary combustion for as long as I wish.

But such sovereignty is foolish.
The mess is meant to be mixed,
folded, scooped, baked,
and warmed–
for the teen who wakes herself before dawn,
the long-haired girl with the cat-ear headband,
the boy who broke the eggs.


Brown Sugar Butter Pecan Muffins (or loaf)

adapted from Real Easy Recipes

2-1/4 cups sifted all-purpose flour
2 teaspoons baking powder
1/2 teaspoon baking soda
1/2 teaspoon salt
1/2 teaspoon cinnamon
1/4 teaspoon nutmeg
1 cup light brown sugar, packed
1 egg, beaten
1 cup buttermilk
2 tablespoons melted butter
1 cup chopped pecans


  1. Sift together the flour, baking powder, soda, salt, and spices; blend in brown sugar.
    Combine egg, buttermilk, and butter; add to flour mixture, stirring to blend well. Stir in chopped nuts.
  2. Scoop batter into 12 greased muffin tins (or a greased and floured 9-by-5-inch loaf pan). Bake at 350 degrees for 15-20 minutes (45 to 50 minutes for loaf) or until a toothpick inserted in center comes out clean.


Psst… my 2015-2016 workbook/playbook is still available for a couple more days.
Find out more.
Get the workbook now.

Photo Credit: “baking” by Ballookey Klugeypop, Flickr, creative commons license.