My husband made an observation about me the other day, and I thought it was rather funny (and yet strangely true). He’d been at work all day at his new job, which happens to be on the other side of town. When he got home, he found me finishing up a bunch of projects: namely, laundry, mopping the floors, and baking a batch of whole wheat apple muffins. He took one look at me (and our sparkly house) and said: “Whenever I leave you at home alone for an extended period of time, I know one of two things are going to happen. One: you’re going to cook. Two: You’re going to clean. Honestly, you’ll probably do both.”
Its funny because he’s right. If left to my own devices, I will do one (or both) of those things. So, now I’m left to wonder: when did I get so predictable? Or, rather, when did I get so darn domestic?
You see, Nich and I share a car and I’m still getting used to being “stuck” at home when he’s at work on the other side of the city. Thankfully, with the way our work schedules overlap, I’m not stuck at home too much (and if I really wanted to go out and about, I can just walk or bus. I’m not actually stuck). And, really, I’m starting to realize that I like this new arrangement. I like having a few hours at home by myself as it gives me a chance to clean, get organized, catch up on emails, etc. More importantly: it gives me a chance to work on cooking projects!
As I mentioned in my last post, I tend to be a bit of a busy bee. So, in a weird way, this new arrangement is somewhat of a blessing. I actually really enjoy cooking and cleaning and now I have ample time to do both. Nich, bless him, places absolutely no expectations on me. Because of this, I feel a certain freedom with getting things done around the house. I’m domestic because I want to be, not because its expected of me. I cook and clean because I find it relaxing and rewarding.
So, then, getting back to the whole wheat apple muffins. I made a batch of these on a Saturday when Nich was at work. I had the day to myself, a few extra apples lying around, and I was itching for something to bake. I discovered this recipe from Smitten Kitchen and thus my Saturday plans were decided. I baked to my hearts content and the muffins turned out splendidly!
Whole Wheat Apple Muffins
Adapted from Smitten Kitchen
(Makes about 1 and a half dozen)
1 cup whole wheat flour
1 cup all-purpose flour
1 teaspoon baking powder
1 teaspoon baking soda
1/4 teaspoon salt
1 tablespoon cinnamon
1/2 teaspoon nutmeg
1/2 cup unsalted butter (at room temperature)
1/2 cup granulated sugar
1/2 cup dark brown or muscovado sugar
1 large egg
1 cup plain nonfat yogurt
2 large apples, peeled, cored, and coarsely chopped
Preheat the oven to 450°F. Prepare the muffin tins: Grease or line 18 muffin cups and set aside.
Mix together the flours, baking powder, baking soda, salt, nutmeg and cinnamon in a large bowl. In a separate bowl, mix together butter, white sugar and 1/4 cup of the brown/muscovado sugar. Beat until fluffy. Add the egg and mix well; stop once to scrape the sides and bottom of the bowl. Gently mix in the yogurt. (Note: I found the mix to be a little thick and dry at this point. I added a couple tablespoons of water to thin the batter) Stir in the dry ingredients and then fold in the apple chunks.
Divide the batter evenly among the prepared muffin cups, sprinkling the remaining 1/4 cup brown sugar on top. Bake for 10 minutes, turn the heat down to 400°F, and bake for an additional 5 to 10 minutes, or until a toothpick comes out clean.
Note: These make for great on-the-go breakfasts! I froze the muffins and would grab a couple every day for breakfast at work. 30 seconds in the microwave (and with a little bit of butter) and they were as good as fresh!