I feel like a new woman! Relaxed, refreshed, refocused, and re-energized, thanks in part to these amazing muffins. But I'll get to those in a minute.
How was your weekend? Did you celebrate something? Maybe St. Patrick's Day or Pi Day or just the fact that you can celebrate for the sake of it. Surprisingly, I celebrated neither of those things because, welp, I celebrated me.
Matt spent the weekend with friends for their annual man-cation -- it's basically a 24 hour all-guys get together doing all the guy activities one can imagine: watching sports and movies, playing video games, drinking, and consuming a multitude of meats. From what I heard, bacon, pepperoni (pizza), wings, and cheesesteaks were cooked and consumed. Somewhere, Ron Swanson is smiling.
Determined not to let him have all the fun, I planned a weekend full of my favorite activities, and it turned out to be pretty spectacular. I called it my me-cation.
If you've been reading for a while, you know that my idea of fun means a jam-packed schedule and hopping from one endeavor to the next. Gotta make the most out of free time, right? This weekend was no different, and I loved every second of it.
As all of my good weekends do, this one started with a sweaty run. After a disappointing outing the previous weekend, it felt good to get back on track and get another 10-miler under my belt. My reward was a delicious cocoa-spiked smoothie that totally tasted like a milkshake. Two of my favorite things before 9:30? Yes, please!
The rest of the weekend was filled with some of my other favorite things: grocery shopping (yes, I really do enjoy it), cooking, real shopping (hello, new slippers for $9!), a nap, dinner at a new-to-me Italian restaurant with the ladies, and a massage. Oh, and obviously baking. Because baking is my favorite.
Something about these muffins made me particularly happy.
Was it because they're based on one of my favorite recipes of all time -- my mom's banana muffins? Definitely.
Was it because I was baking and photographing them during daylight hours, which make for much prettier pictures? Absolutely.
Was it because the blueberry-swirled and pumpkin-tinged batter was so gosh darn lovely? You betcha.
Was it because they were satisfying, healthy, and still managed to taste like one of the best muffins I've ever had, warm out of the oven or at room temperature? Yep.
Was it because I made enough to share them with people I love who, in turn, were very happy to receive freshly baked muffins? Uh huh.
Was it because I had absolutely no plan in place to make these and just flew by the seat of my pants, baking on a whim and adding whatever I wanted to the batter until I was satisfied, thus making these the ultimate "just because" tasty muffins? Right on.
Because sometimes "just because I want to" is the best reason for doing something. Long live the me-cation.
Two years ago: Smashed potato pizza
Three years ago: Baked eggs in marinara sauce
Banana Blueberry Power Muffins
(adapted from my mom's original recipe)
-makes 12 muffins
2 very ripe bananas, peeled
1/3 cup pumpkin puree
1/3 cup sugar
1 whole egg + 1 egg white
1 1/3 cup all purpose flour, plus more for dusting
2/3 teaspoon baking soda
1/3 teaspoon baking powder
1/3 teaspoon salt
3 Tablespoons milk
Splash vanilla extract
3/4 cup blueberries (fresh or frozen)
1/2 cup chopped walnuts
Preheat oven to 350 degrees. Line standard muffin pan with paper liners and set aside. In a small bowl, toss blueberries with 1/2 teaspoon flour to coat and set aside.
In the large bowl of an electric mixer, beat bananas, pumpkin, and sugar together until broken down and mixed. Add eggs and beat well, until batter is relatively smooth. Add dry ingredients, milk, and vanilla, and mix well until evenly incorporated. Fold in blueberries and walnuts.
Fill muffin cups 2/3 full and bake in oven for 22-25 minutes, or until golden on top and a cake tested inserted into the middle comes out clean. Cool pan on wire rack for 10 minutes, carefully invert muffins out of pan, and cool completely right side up. Enjoy warm or at room temperature.
Muffins can be covered and stored at room temperature for up to 5 days. Muffins can also be placed in resealable bags and frozen for up to 2 months; thaw at room temperature or in microwave for 20 seconds.