Thursday, 4 October 2012

Whole wheat, delicata squash and ginger muffins


Well, today is definitely not my favourite day. Instead of elusively leading you on to the reason today sucked, I will just come right out and say it: I was robbed. This afternoon, someone broke into my home and stole my brand new camera (among other things).

I came home for lunch this afternoon and baked these very muffins while I ate some soup and read through some protocols for my afternoon work. It was a late lunch, and around 2 pm Mike stumbled in the door, tossed in his bike and left again, I did not even see him, only heard him say he had no time for a muffin before heading back out.


I trudged back to work about 10 minutes later. At 5:30 pm I quickly rushed back home to change out of my work clothes and hop on the sky train to meet some friends in Gastown - at The Sardine Can. Only, I did not make it to the train. Instead, when I walked inside my front door, down the hallway, into the living-room and then back into the bedroom, I noticed that the house was really messy. Well, even more messy than usual. Bags were strewn carelessly about, our dryer rack in the bedroom was knocked to the floor, dresser drawers were pulled open and my jewellery box was knocked to the floor - cheap trinkets splayed everywhere.

I had not noticed when I first arrived home that Mike was in the bathroom. My first instinct was annoyance, why did Mike have to recklessly knock everything over when he was in a rush, looking for something that he could not find. When I realized he was home, I called out to him about the mess. He came out of the bathroom, looked around confused, ran to the living room and checked the patio door as we both realized that we most possibly had been robbed. My first reaction was denial, I did not want to admit that someone had been inside our home. It seemed surreal because our laptops were sitting out in the open, untouched. Our bikes, passports, liquor and chequebooks, all easily visible had been left alone. Only a jar and several rolls of change, an iPod and our 2 cameras were gone; overall we considered ourselves lucky.


Sometimes crappy things happen. I am most annoyed because I had to miss my highly anticipated dinner at The Sardine Can, on account of waiting for the police to attend to more pressing crimes. Losing the feeling of safety and security in my own home is probably the only thing I will have trouble dealing with. Although I am sad to have lost my new camera, I can replace it (hopefully my credit card company will help). I just have to hold on to the knowledge that lightening rarely strikes in the same place twice. I think alarming my doors and windows might also help.

The good news is that after taking pictures of my muffins this afternoon, I took out the memory card from my camera and popped it into my laptop so I could quickly check out the pictures. Thus, I have one last recipe I can share while I figure out how to replace my camera. If it takes awhile, maybe I will share a list of recipes that I am determined to try soon;  those that are book-marked under a 'make soon' folder on my Google chrome bookmarks bar.

Until then, lock your doors tight, shut your windows and blinds and do not leave money or other valuables laying about within a visible range from your doors and windows. And, as the lovely constable suggested who came by to document our home invasion, get yourself a dog.


On to the muffins...I have made these muffins twice now and the best thing about them (besides the fact that they taste great) is that they are just loaded with nutrients. There are very few empty calories in these little snacks and all of the ingredients are things you can find at any grocery store: whole wheat flour, a ton of squash, ginger, yogurt and honey. I added the apple more for the visual effect, but if you were so inclined you could stir some chopped apple or maybe some blueberries or even raisins into the batter. 

 
Whole wheat, delicata squash and ginger muffins (adapted from Makeshift Momma)
  • Delicata squashes do not need peeling in this recipe, the skin bakes up very soft. If you use butternut or acorn squash I would recommend peeling off most of the skin before grating.
  • I used young ginger here but any fresh ginger will do; just try to grate the outside of the ginger (after peeling off the skin) and leave out the tough, fibrous inner core - maybe save it for your next cup of tea. 
  • I added a few tablespoons of milk to this recipe for moisture and because I buy 175g containers of yogurt. If you have a larger container of yogurt, feel free to add another 2 - 4 tbsp of that instead of milk.
Ingredients
  • 1 3/4 cup whole wheat flour
  • 1/2 tsp fine ground sea salt
  • 2 tsp baking powder
  • 3/4 tsp baking powder
  • 1/2 tsp cinnamon
  • 1/2 tsp all spice
  • freshly ground nutmeg
  • 3/4 cup (175g container) plain yogurt
  • 2 tbsp milk
  • 1/3 cup honey
  • 1 large egg
  • 1/4 cup melted butter
  • 1 tbsp freshly grated young ginger
  • 2 cups shredded delicata squash
  • Thin apple slices to garnish
Directions
  1. Preheat your oven to 375F with a rack in the center of your oven, preferably with a pizza or baking stone on the rack.
  2. Combine the dry ingredients in a large bowl (I use a fork, or you can sift them together).
  3. In another bowl, combine the rest of the wet ingredients.
  4. Stir the wet ingredients into the dry ingredients
  5. Grease the wells of a 12-round muffin tin.
  6. Divide the batter among the 12 tins and top each one with a couple of apple slices.
  7. Place the muffins in the oven to bake for ~20 minutes or until golden brown. You can rotate the pan after about 10 minutes to help even baking.
  8. Remove muffins from the oven. Use a utensil to help slide the muffins out of the pan and onto a wire rack for cooling.

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