Hot out of the oven, baby. Photographed with Nikon D300, 60mm micro lens.
So. I mentioned last week Alex started kindergarten. She's been enjoying her fool head off -- she loves her teacher, she loves her classmates, she loves the school.
It's me who's had the harder time adjusting.
It's not the concept of kindergarten, per se, that has me overwrought; after all, Alex has been attending school of some form or another for the past 3 years. It's just that this is the first time that I've actually had to prepare her lunch to take to school. Oh, and a snack. Because God forbid that the kids go from noon to 3 p.m. without a snack.
The thing is, we're not really snack-foody people. Of course, Alex has had the occasional potato chip and such, but generally, I try to keep her intake of junk food down to a minimum. I would send her to school with some almonds or other healthful nut, but every wall of her school is plastered with "WE ARE HAPPILY A NUT-FREE ZONE!" posters, leading me to believe that her school is Ground Zero for some sort of weird, cosmic confluence of all the anaphylactic-prone, nut-averse children in Houston. Still, I happen to be a lawsuit-averse mom, so Mr. Peanut stays home.
I mentioned my problem to a friend recently, and she said, "Muffins. I make muffins. I make them on the weekend, and then just pop them into their lunch boxes, as needed. Easy."
So this week, I dusted off a recipe for apple muffins that I used to make about 20 years ago, and then doctored it up a bit (as is my way). They were as good as I remember, and thankfully, they're not particularly sweet, so I don't feel like I'm pumping Alex full of tons of sugar. And the best part? When I gave her one to try, she pronounced it "The Best Muffin In The History Of This House."
Since I haven't posted any recipes recently, I thought I'd share this one. It's very easy, and you can whip up a batch in no time. Great piping hot out of the oven, with a glass of ice cold milk.
THE BEST APPLE RAISIN CINNAMON MUFFINS IN THE HISTORY OF THIS HOUSE
3/4 cup milk
1/2 cup vegetable oil
2 cups all-purpose or whole wheat flour
1/3 cup sugar (I use organic evaporated raw cane sugar, but granulated will do)
3 teaspoons baking powder
1 teaspoon salt
1 teaspoon cinnamon
1 medium apple, pared, cored and chopped
1 cup raisins
1. Preheat the oven to 400 deg. F (205 deg. C.). Grease the bottoms only of 12 medium muffin cups (or line with paper cupcake baking cups).
2. Beat milk, oil & egg.
3. Stir in flour, sugar, baking powder, salt and cinnamon.
4. Fold in apples and raisins.
5. Divide batter equally among the muffin cups. Sprinkle with sugar if desired (I don't, and it tastes fine).
6. Bake until golden brown, about 18 - 20 minutes.
7. Immediately remove from the pan. Enjoy!
Update, October 29, 2009: I've recently been adding 1/3 cup of honey at the same time as adding the flour. It's a lovely enhancement that I would strongly recommend.