We have a home – four walls around us and a roof over our heads – a brick fireplace and rooms filled with musty old house smell. Moving, like so many big, exciting things in life, is hard work. Backs hurt at the end of the day a empty living room floor looks like a great place to collapse. Weâ€™re mostly moved in now, at least as much as we can be without things like dressers and bookshelves in which to put things away.
Persimmons from a friend were the star of Thanksgiving weekend.
Thanksgiving was the perfect break from schlepping stuff and swabbing floors. Lee and I spent the holiday with my aunt, mom, brother, and brotherâ€™s girlfriend at my auntâ€™s house in Carmel Valley. It was beeeeeautiful, needless to say, and the food was the kind of food you look forward to eating leftover meal after meal. We ate. We talked – caught up on old times and made plans for the future. We ran, hiked, swam, played with dogs, played cribbage, and watched wildlife.
There was a lot of this.
The table was lovely and the food didnâ€™t even make it in front of the camera. There was turkey, lentil loaf for the vegetarians, roasted root vegetables, endive + persimmon + pomegranate seed salad, mashed potatoes, tabasco + asparagus quinoa, pumpkin cheesecake bars, and apple-pumpkin delight.
In short, Iâ€™ve been busy and blogging time has been just out of reach. This week, though, Iâ€™ll be back. I canâ€™t miss out on writing about my favorite food season!
Finally, redemption. I knew I wouldnâ€™t be happy until Iâ€™d replaced my unsatisfactory muffins with something to be proud of. This morningâ€™s baking produced definite winners: moist carrot muffins speckled with quinoa!
Iâ€™m always trying to make extra grains for dinner so Iâ€™ll have leftovers for various uses. Last nightâ€™s dinner included quinoa, one of my favorite quick-cooking foods with Mesoamerican roots. It happened to be red quinoa, which looks all the more exotic and gives these muffins great visual texture.
As for the carrots, something about hanging out with my mom makes me crave carrot cake. Both of us consider it our favorite cake. I couldnâ€™t let the carrots in the fridge go un-shredded knowing they could make us both very happy as a dessert!
And so, Carrot Quinoa Muffins were born! Actually, I found a recipe on the Whole Foods website and added quinoa. It was a great recipe to start with so the only other thing I changed was to cut down the flour a little because I was adding so much . That 1/4 cup of flour probably could have stayed but these muffins came out so well the way I made them that I donâ€™t think Iâ€™ll be making any more changes!
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Carrot Quinoa Muffins
Adapted from Carrot Apple Muffins from Whole Foods Market
1 cup whole wheat flour
1/4 cup brown sugar
1 teaspoon cinnamon
1/2 teaspoon baking powder
1/2 teaspoon baking soda
1/4 teaspoon salt
1 cup cooked quinoa
1 cup grated carrot
1/2 cup unsweetened applesauce
2 large eggs, lightly beaten
1/4 cup milk
1/4 cup vegetable oil
1 teaspoon vanilla extract
Preheat oven to 350 degrees F.
Mix flour, baking powder, baking soda, salt, and cinnamon.
In a separate, larger bowl, beat together eggs, milk, applesauce, sugar, carrot, oil, and vanilla until fully combined.
Gently stir wet ingredients into dry ingredients.
Spoon batter into 12 lined or lightly oiled muffin cups.
I experimented with sprinkling a little of vanilla sugar I got the other day on top of the muffins before baking them. It turned out to be powdered vanilla sugar and probably should have gone on after baking but it made these smell fabulous in the oven!
Bake at 350 for 20 minutes or until a toothpick inserted in the center of a muffin comes out clean.
Cool in the tin for a few minutes, then remove and cool on a wire rack. I plan to store these in the fridge since theyâ€™re so moist.