Could I serve you a muffin?
Would you like some tea to go with it?
Can you sit down for a minute to visit?
When I retired I thought I would have tons of time and get so much done...not so. I cannot figure out where the time goes! Maybe I should ask, "How in the world did I get everything done and work too?"
Yep, that is a better question.
Part of the answer is that I have allowed myself to get out of high gear...I can shift down a gear. I no longer feel that I must be "on the run". I can take extra time to look through the magazine or bake....which is new, I rarely baked! I never really took the time as it seemed the time had to go toward another project, laundry, cleaning, driving children from point A to point B.
It is different now. I get everything done and I have added extra things to do! I like having time to appreciate doing all of the things that I rushed through while I was "growing up". Being retired is great!
That said, I had time to make muffins!
I had time to leaf through the magazines and cookbooks, explore Food Network, and not feel rushed!
I had a couple of recipes that I was considering and decided on one by Jamie Oliver from Jamie At Home. The muffins were like a carrot cake minus the carrot! They were moist, light and delicious. It doesn't have to be breakfast to eat a muffin. It seemed that every time somebody walked past the platter, a muffin came up missing!
Butternut Squash Muffins with a Frosty Top
adapted from Jamie At Home
Yield: About 12 muffins
For the muffin:
14 ounces butternut squash, skin on, seeds removed and roughly chopped
2 1/4 cups light brown sugar
4 large eggs
2 1/2 cups all-purpose flour, unsifted
2 heaping tsp baking powder
1/4 cup walnuts, chopped
1 tsp ground cinnamon
3/4 cup extra-virgin olive oil
For the Topping
1 clementine or mandarin, zested
1 lemon, zested (I used a meyer lemon.)
1/2 lemon, juiced
1/2 cup sour cream
2 heaping Tbsp powdered sugar, sifted
1 tsp vanilla
Preheat oven to 350°
Line muffin tins with paper cups.
Using a food processor, finely chop the butternut squash. Add the sugar and eggs. Add a pinch of salt, the flour, baking powder, walnuts, cinnamon and olive oil and mix, in the processor, until beaten. It should be just combined. Do not over mix.
Fill the paper cups with the muffin mixture. Bake for 20-25 minutes. Check for doneness with a toothpick or knife. It should come out clean if the muffins are done. If they are done, remove them from the oven. If not add a few more minutes baking time. Recheck. Cool the muffins on a wire rack.
While the muffins are baking, make the topping. The mixture will be a little runny. Place most of the clementine or mandarin zest, all the lemon zest and the lemon juice in a bowl. Add the sour cream, powdered sugar and vanilla. Mix well. Taste and adjust lemon juice or powdered sugar to get the balance of sweet and sour that you prefer. Put the mixture into the refrigerator until the muffins are cooled, then spoon the topping onto the muffins.
I hope you have time to enjoy a cup of tea and share a muffin with a friend!