Monthly Archives: June 2013

Every time I go grocery shopping and see expensive granola, I die a little inside. I mean, no matter what fancy extras you add to it, it’s still just oats! Luckily, homemade granola is insanely easy to make, and this recipe in particular is fast becoming one of my favorites.

I’ll never buy overpriced granola from the store again!

Breakfast

A bunch of good things separately become a great thing when combined

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The first time I had fresh papaya was in Thailand. I was 8 years old and my mom got to attend a conference in Bangkok so she brought me along for the ride. Our first morning there, I was starving – thanks to a combination of jetlag and skipping dinner the night before – and raced down to the hotel restaurant, hoping to see a buffet lineup with waffles and eggs and bacon. What I got were plates of fruit – pineapple, papaya, and honeydew – and toast and jam. I was disappointed, to say the least, and was fully expecting to walk away hungry, but something about that fresh fruit turned out to be exactly what I needed. I’m sure we ate other amazing things during our stay, but the only thing I can remember is the fruit.

Ever since that trip, I’ve always associated papaya with Thailand – exotic and refreshing. It makes me feel a little fancier, even if it’s just going inside a muffin.

Fresh papaya

This might be my official summer fruit

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For the longest time, I thought zucchini was kind of gross. It gets so mushy when it’s cooked and it just feels…I don’t know…slimy. As I’ve gotten older, I’ve come to appreciate the flavor more, but it’s still not a vegetable I’ll go out of my way to consume. BUT. I might have to reconsider my feelings towards zucchini now that I’ve had these muffins.

They’re tender and fluffy and chocolately without being overwhelming and the best part is that you can’t even tell there’s zucchini in it! If that’s not magic, I don’t know what is.

Chocolate zucchini muffins

These count as veggies, so you can eat as many as you want

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Blondies feel very retro to me. In my mind, they’re in the same category as pineapple upside down cakes or ambrosia salads. I think it’s the name. It makes me think of the ’50s, and men in suits and suspenders talking to their lady friends – “Hey Blondie, go make me a sandwich!”

You know, the good ol’ days.

Peanut butter caramel swirl blondies

How to be a perfect housewife: make sandwiches for lunch and blondies for dessert

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My parents have a garden back home, filled with tomatoes, cucumbers, green beans, and most importantly, strawberries. They’re small, but what they lack in size, they make up for in flavor – so sweet and fresh and completely different from those monster strawberries you see in grocery stores. Every summer, my father wages war against the neighborhood rabbits over our strawberries, setting up fences and mesh covers, and every year, those furry thieves manage to sneak through anyways. No matter how hard we try, we always find a handful of berries that have been munched on.

The bunnies know where it’s at, that’s for sure. And as good as strawberries are fresh from the garden, they might be even better in these muffins. With chunks of strawberries studded throughout and a slice of roasted strawberry on top, these muffins showcase the fruit in the best possible way.

Fight off an army of rabbits if you have to, or maybe just go to the farmers market or grocery store,  but make sure you save some strawberries this season to make these muffins.

Fresh strawberry muffins

The roasted strawberries on top are the best part

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Happy Donut Day! It’s rainy and gross here in New York, and I’m pretty sure sprinkles are a requirement for days like these, so it’s a good thing we all have a free pass to eat as many donuts as humanly possible today.

Funny story: I had circled this date on my baking calendar a couple months ago and was really excited to bring donuts into the office. But then I picked today for my Summer Friday, completely forgetting about the importance of June 7th, so I was pretty bummed out that I would miss this particular baking day. By sheer coincidence, I decided Wednesday night to bring in some treats on Thursday since it’s been a pretty stressful week at work for the teams and, forgetting completely about Donut Day again, ended up making donuts and brought them into the office. As the old saying goes, where there’s a donut, there’s a way.

This story sounded way more impressive in my head. As most things do.

Funfetti donuts

Those aren’t sprinkles, they’re little pieces of DESTINY

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Bring on the heat wave, summer’s finally here! To be honest though, I could really do with a few more months of spring seeing as how we went from freezing cold to unbearable heat with only about 2 weeks of real spring weather in between. Is Mars inhabitable yet? Where are our space colonies with perfectly controlled temperatures??

But back to the point – these muffins. Your kitchen will be sweltering but it’s totally worth it. So turn on your A/C (or crack open a window), try not to melt, and enjoy one (or an entire plateful) or these.

Lime-glazed mango muffins

Lime-glazed mango muffins

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