Friday, September 3, 2010

Don't Judge a Book by the First Recipe

Sometimes the most interesting recipes can come from the most unlikely of books. One day in 2008, I ordered [insert textbook or something, can't remember] from Amazon and shipping was $5. I could get free shipping if I added $5 to my order. So I thought, "hm, I can pay for this $20 item and pay $5 shipping or I can add another item and pay the same w/ no shipping! Let's do it!" So I scoured the website for another 30 minutes searching for a 5-dollar something. I came upon Totally Muffins Cookbook by Helen Siegel & Karen Gillingham. I figured it couldn't hurt. So I bought it.

Two years later...

Here I am, never having tried a single recipe. I looked around my kitchen one summer Friday afternoon. I had everything I needed. I just needed to give it a try. My parents were about an hour west of campus, driving my sister in for freshman orientation. I had to work in an hour and a half. I decided to surprise them with some buttermilk blueberry muffins.

An hour later...

Total disaster. I had no time to wait for them, because my parents arrived sooner than I thought. I took them out and they look half decent (completely blue bread with giant black berries protruding out of them). I grabbed one as their Uhaul pulled up in front of my rental house. It wasn't bad. Wasn't good but wasn't terrible. I realize at that moment that they needed to drop me off at work and the Uhaul had some of my furniture in it!! Oops, fail moment.

As we discussed an execution plan for moving my furniture & getting me to work on time I kept eating. I had finished the muffintop and reached the bottom half. It was compeltely dough, hot sticky dough. I gave up hope at my dinner and threw it in the grass for the wildlife to eat. I thought "that recipe book is terrible!! Never again!!"

[I won't burn your retinas with a terrifying picture of these muffins!]

[By the way my dad had put my entire room together (desk, bed, dresser, nightstand). Yeah my parents are that awesome. I did have to wait a month to receive these things from home. Living on an air mattress & out of suitcases isn't so bad.]

August rolls around and my friends return to campus for classes. One Friday night I decided to give the book another try. I decided to go simple with the pecan cinnamon muffins this time, minus the pecans (didn't have any). I'm not sure if this changed my muffins but I didn't have time to finish them before leaving to hang out with friends. So I threw the wet ingredients (including sugar) in a bowl, mixed it and put it in the fridge. Three hours later, I return and start mixing in the dry ingredients (flour, baking soda). I baked them and by then there were like 10 people in my livingroom, including my roomate. No one would wait for them to cool off. They were pretty good!! I was like "wow, this book ain't so bad".

[They devoured them before I could get a better picture.]

This past Thursday, I gave another recipe a try, banana muffins. No walnuts (didn't have any) and I really just needed to get rid of some bananas. I added 3 bananas like the book said and looked up a crumble top recipe (brown sugar, cinnamon, & flour; crumble cold butter on it too). Everyone asked "what kind is it again?" lol So note to self (and all of you), add more than 3 bananas!!

[I know they look the same as the cinnamon muffins but they're different! I swear!!]

So far so good with this little book. For an introduction in muffin making I've had a lot of fun! It's simple, nothing complicated or tricky. If you stumble upon some tiny muffin-shaped-or-odd-shaped book that costs 5 bucks, it may be worth a shot! And if nothing else, your friends will eat it! Til next time, keep cooking!


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