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Honey Oat Muffins

I once won $30 from Amazon and proceeded to put the money towards a salad spinner.

“Why would you waste your money on a silly gadget like that?” my then roommate asked me.

My parents own a salad spinner and it has always been one of my favorite kitchen conveniences. Who likes a soggy salad? I never could convince my roommate of its importance, but then again, she always tried to convince me that food processors were pointless too. Sorry, but with the amount of hummus I churn out of my kitchen, a blender just won’t cut it.

Lately, my salad spinner has proved to be even more important, as its outer layer has become my primary mixing bowl when baking. If nothing else, college teaches you how to improvise, especially when you’re a cook in an ill-equipped kitchen.

Improvise, I did not when it came to this recipe. For once, I had all of the ingredients for a last minute recipe that sparked my interest. A list of healthy components put together by a guest chef of the White House, I knew this one would be a winner.

Just slightly sweet with a flavor that almost reminds me of corn bread (although there’s no semblance of corn in here), these are the perfect breakfast or snack, served warm with a smear of butter. Enjoy.

Click here for recipe…

Carrot Walnut Chocolate Chip Muffins

I miss baking. In high school, it was practically a nightly activity. I didn’t grow up watching much else other than Sesame Street, so TV never became habit. (We didn’t have cable till I hit 9th grade, and up until then, it wasn’t infrequent that my mom would contemplate storing the TV in the barn). Instead, baking became my evening relaxation.

It’s funny because just like TV, my mom didn’t bring us to expect dessert after dinner. But once I was old enough to navigate the kitchen, chocolate became ritual, even if it was just filling the room with its fumes. I’d regularly send my dad off to work with plates of cookies, muffins, or the occasional iced cupcake. Sometimes I’d surprise my friends at school by whipping out a bag of brownies from my backpack during our lunchtime break. Even if I had gotten sick of sweets (is that even possible?), I never tired of baking. It got to the point where I almost enrolled in culinary school, but by the time I got to making up my mind between pastry and the traditional track, I ended up opting out altogether. (According to this article, maybe I shouldn’t have.)

Whenever I get a free moment, I still often turn to baking. Play dates become bake dates with friends, and late night bike rides often end at the grocery store for a golden bag of Ghirardelli semisweet chips. More often than not, I’ll bake by myself, after dark, relaxing with the leveling off of each cup of flour. It’s my way to unwind. I can mindless follow a simple base of flour and sugar, and then choose from a list of basic add-ins to spruce things up. That’s what happened with this recipe, filled with healthy, whole wheat goodness that made this the perfect late night snack and hearty early morning breakfast.

Click here for recipe…