Monday, September 30, 2013

Beau Matin: Chocolate Chip Cookie Muffins

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Every Sunday at summer camp, campers and counselors dragged themselves at their leisure to the lodge for a casual breakfast. The kitchen served 20 kinds of cereals, a fruit bar, greasy bacon, three different sausages, and so many muffins.

For one morning a week, I relaxed with my fellow counselors while dining on the best muffins I ever tasted. These day of rest delicacies born from the mysterious back kitchen were chocolate chip muffins.

A la my instagram

Returning home, I searched, experimented, and found the closest replacement in my chocolate chip cookie muffins.

I'm always taken back to that tight sense of camaraderie between us counselors: Christians, pagans, Jews, Americans, Brits, liberals, conservatives, feminists, etc. Differences hardly meant anything when we all dealt with teenage, rich little campers who bragged about how many Apple products and Tiffany&co. jewelry they had.

Sweet, sweet taste of camaraderie.

Or, simply dessert for breakfast. So many of my campers ate only yogurt and fruit for breakfast that someone had to go for the chocolate. I volunteered as tribute.

{recipe}

3 1/2 cups flour
4 tsp baking powder
1/2 tsp baking soda
1/2 tsp salt
1 cup granulated sugar
10 tbs unsalted butter
1 cup milk room temp.
1 cup sour cream
2 large eggs
1 egg yolk
1 tsp vanilla
1 bag chocolate chips

Makes roughly 15 large muffins~

Oven to 350 degrees Fahrenheit.
Large bowl: combine flour, baking powder, baking soda, and salt.
Medium bowl: combine butter, milk, sour cream, eggs, egg yolk, vanilla, and sugar. Note: add the sugar last so that it won't clump together. Stir while adding it.
Fold the wet ingredients into the dry ingredients. When it is halfway combined, add the chocolate chips. Don't over mix! Count on a few little lumps.

Okay, we want the classic bakery look, so put your batter into the muffin tin with mounds high than the rim. Anywhere between 1/2 to 3/4 an inch will look good! Because the tops will come up over the top, I prefer to make batches of 6 at a time in a single tin so they aren't crowded (see photo). Love that rounded look!

Baked 28-30 min for 6 muffins, or closer to 35 if you do all twelve. The muffins are done when the edges turn golden brown -- like a cookie does!

Let them cool for 10-15 minutes. Who am I kidding? Pluck one out for yourself after waiting 5! The morning is short!

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Saturday, September 21, 2013

Six Thousand Steps

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The times I feel most alive and creative are on my feet.

The right drink
Summer mornings meant a miniature sheltie or a shar pei scratching at my door for a walk before the summer heat set in. For the first time in all of my remembered summers, no one came.

Going from the constant action of summer camp to lethargy at home sapped me. I felt myself growing sad and didn't want that, so I took to heart the human need to walk at least six thousand steps everyday.

An old wellness professor told me six thousand steps a day means less anxiety and depression, that the brain simply works better.


I go where I walked my dogs. Far down the side of the street then onto a hidden sidewalk leading into a large neighborhood of beautiful houses, thick trees, and sloping sidewalks. The sprinklers come on around 8 am, a little fact known from my dog walking days. I enjoyed it more than they did.

Hot days mean feeling the heat rolling down my back in wave after wave. Cooler days are brisk walks with music in my ears.
Mon favorit
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Are you the Elizabeth Bennet of walking or do you get creativity going another way?