February 13, 2016

banana strawberry muffins

Wanna come over for a cup of coffee and a muffin?
I promise I won't talk about food. Unless you want to talk about food...and if your eyes start to glaze over when I get a little ridiculous, I'll even try to notice so that I don't just keep jabbering on.
And if I do you have my permission to make fun of me. It's not a problem. You won't be the only one.


We could talk about non-food things. I may tell you a gross patient story though...then you won't want to eat. So maybe I'm not actually fit for company.

What do normal people talk about? I forget.
I want to talk about food though because I love to talk about food.

I love to make food.

I love to feed people.

I love to eat food.
I had perfectly ripe [when they've just passed the freckled brown stage into the half-brown stage] bananas sitting around and I wanted to use them. I was debating between cookies or cake or muffins and I remembered that I also had strawberries in my freezer that I picked last summer. Bananas and strawberries are a match made in heaven. So, banana muffins with a strawberry cream cheese filling needed to be made.

Let's make muffins!

I've been baking more at night because I'm up all night [I sit here writing this at 4:28am] and pictures at night are the worst. OK, maybe not the worst, but I don't approve of the night light because I'm a picture snob pain in the butt.

Banana Strawberry Muffins
I started this recipe with the strawberry filling. I wanted to mix up the strawberry cream cheese and then freeze it before I plopped it in the middle of my muffin to bake. You don't have to use strawberries you picked and froze, you can grab some from the freezer section at the grocery. I cooked them down so the sweet syrup that came off of them thickened up a little before I blended it in to the cream cheese.

Strawberry Filling
3/4 cup [no sugar added] strawberries reduced to 1/2 cup, cooled
8 oz block cream cheese
2 cups powdered sugar
1 tsp vanilla

Blend together and place in the freezer until it firms up, 4 hours - overnight. You can't screw this part up! If you are totally opposed to the reducing your strawberries, I guess you could grab a high quality jam, but you'll want to reduce the powdered sugar otherwise things will be VERY sweet.

Banana Muffins
1/2 cup vegetable oil
1/4 cup [or 4 Tbsp] softened butter
2 cups sugar
3 bananas, smashed
1/4 cup unsweetened yogurt [I like Greek]
3 eggs
1 tsp vanilla
2 1/2 cups flour
1 tsp salt
1 1/2 tsp baking powder
1 tsp baking soda

Combine the oil, butter, sugar, bananas, and yogurt. Next, add the eggs and vanilla and get things all kinds of mixed up. In another bowl combine the dry ingredients and incorporate them into the wet mixture until it's just mixed.

I used my 1 1/2 Tbsp cookie scoop again [it's my favorite size, really] to fill my muffin liners. A slightly under filled scoop on the bottom, then about 1 Tbsp of the frozen strawberry cream cheese, and then just enough batter to cover the top. You should be about 1/4 " from the top of the muffin liner. Because next you're going to cram as much streusel topping on those muffins.

[Side note: if you do a full scoop on the bottom and then fill the liner all the way your muffins will be overflowing. Still edible. Still tasty. But overflowing and misshapen.]

6 Tbsp butter softened
1 cup flour
1/2 cup sugar
1 tsp molassas
pinch of salt

Combine and spoon on top of unbaked muffins. Smash it down a little so it sticks. Sure, these muffins would be fine without it, but IT'S SO CRUNCHY AND TASTY AND GOOD. You want it.

Bake at 350 for 25-30 minutes. Let cool then eat those babies. I keep them in the refrigerator because the cream cheese filling stays soft and goey and I feel better about it being cold. They taste best warm or at room temperature though.

February 5, 2016

for the love of...spectacles

In middle school I decided having glasses would be cool. Of course my eyes were fine, but I wanted them anyway. Having no actual money of my own, my mom said no.

When my eyes actually went bad about a year later it took quite a bit of convincing that I was actually seeing a blurry chalkboard as opposed to being a manipulative 12 year old. My first pair of wire rimmed tortoise shell frames were acquired in 7th grade.

I was done with them by fall of 8th grade. Playing volleyball with glasses was annoying and I was over using a glasses strap to keep them on my face. I rocked that strap for sports prior to contacts. Have no doubt, I was totally cool.
I pretty much wore contacts through college and then I boarded the glasses train around 2008.

In 2012 I'd been reading blogs and found my first pair of online glasses [for free] and since then I've been hooked on cheap frames. Granted, I have a super-low prescription and I don't spend more than $15 a pair AND returns are annoying so I'm stuck if I get something I don't actually want, but it's been OK for me.

Plus, I didn't have insurance for a while there, so cheap glasses it was!
I really like these ones and I wear them quite a bit even though they're out of the heavy rotation right now. I can't remember where I got them, I'm pretty sure I just googled around until I found some I liked after I was inspired by this pin on pinterest a couple of years ago. 

I think these were my first colorful frames. LOVE. 

The first frames I ordered. I don't wear them any more because the clear parts don't look so clear anymore. I'd totally get another pair though if they made them, but unfortunately they don't. I went as far as emailing the company and they replied, but nothing. Sad day. This brand does have some gold glitter frames though. *heart eye emoji* I attempted to replace them, but the glasses I got just didn't live up to these standards. )-:
[These were the attempted replacements.]

Zenni frames that I never wear. I have a big head and I feel like they're just a touch too small...so, I got another pair. [hint: see below]

These aren't available anymore, but they're totally Sally Jessy Raphael sized frames. They're the famous frames that the Grandpa doesn't love

I loved the green ones so much, I got them in purple too. 

These were my last pair of glasses from the optometrist when I went in 2010. Don't be like me. Get your eyes checked. 

Not my favorite pair, plus they're scratched horribly. 


These are my three favorite pairs right now.