One of the things I told myself I wanted to do this year, aside from try to wear a little more makeup (somewhat achieved!) and use moisturizer (still trying! The effort though…), was to reach out and engage with like-minded folk through my blog, whether these be readers or fellow bloggers. I can’t say I have been too aggressive on this front (as with the makeup and the moisturizer), and it doesn’t look like I ever will be (aggressive that is, just not in my genetic makeup I’m afraid), but I am pleased to report that I have met a few more great people through occasions I have happily said yes to.
One such occasion was Mothers Who Brunch, a get-together conceptualized and brought to life by two lovely ladies, Michelle of Momma ‘N Manila and Sabrina of Sinfully Sabrina. I hadn’t met either before Sabrina emailed me with her cheerful invitation, but how could I resist? Would I be interested in joining them for a little cooking, brunch, and chatting in the Viking Kitchen? Hmmm. Now, understand this. Among life’s pleasures, cooking, brunch, chatting, and Viking ovens rank very high with me. The first three I indulge in regularly…the last, well, let’s just say a Viking oven lies in the fantasy realm right now. So the opportunity to do the first three, while surrounded by the last, was one I was not going to say no to!
And I am so glad I didn’t (say no that is). I met some really nice individuals, who although different in many ways, shared a love for food at some level…whether cooking, eating, feeding family and friends, baking sweets, or just starting in the kitchen. It was through that common ground (along with, of course, all being moms – which is a bonder unlike any other…sleepless night? Yes!) that fast connections were made, as evidenced by the rollicking laughter bouncing off the shiny surfaces of those gorgeous ovens.
The best thing about it, at least for me, was all the positive energy…I felt that the whole place was bursting at the seams with it. I suppose that is what happens when people with shared passions, and open hearts and minds, come together. I left feeling recharged and inspired!
I also left with this recipe booklet to which all the participants (including yours truly) contributed. This recipe is one of the ones shared.
Banana Swiss Miss Muffins
(by Patricia Cuyugan of Mrs C’s Sugarcoated Life)
- 3 overripe bananas (I only had 2 but it still turned out fine)
- 1/2 cup vegetable oil
- 2 large eggs
- 1/2 cup brown sugar
- 1 1/2 cup all purpose flour
- 1 packet Swiss Miss Dark Chocolate Sensation
- 1 teaspoon baking soda
– Pre-heat your oven to 400F. Line a 12-cup muffin pan with paper liners (the cuter the better says Mrs C…I agree!)
– Mash the bananas to baby food consistency.
– With an electric mixer on low (or by hand – I did this all by hand…it’s so easy!), combine the mashed bananas and vegetable oil. Add in the egg and sugar.
– In a separate bowl, sift together the flour, Swiss Miss, and baking soda.
– Gently add the dry mixture to the banana mixture. Do not overmix! It’s fine if the batter is lumpy.
– Spoon the batter into the prepared muffin tin (Mrs C used an ice cream scoop and so did I).
– Bake in the pre-heated oven for 15-20 minutes. They should rise significantly and become a nice shade of cocoa brown when done. Cool the muffins slightly in the pan before removing to a wire rack to cool completely.
I knew I had to make this as soon as I clapped eyes on the recipe. Firstly, I love banana bread and any and all iterations of it (just search this blog and you’ll see!). Secondly, I have been on a quest to covert my daughter into a banana bread lover (I know, her gastronomic tastes seem to be growing at odds with mine). And thirdly, the recipe calls for a packet of Swiss Miss…which just so happens to be one of my daughter’s guilty pleasures (ok, full disclosure: she most likely does not suffer any guilt from her habit of eating Swiss Miss straight from the pack…the guilt is all mine in that I let her do it!) – so if there was a banana bread recipe that would convince her, I figured this must be it.
Sigh…the fates were just not on my side as, once again, despite being so excited to be making cupcakes with Swiss Miss, she wasn’t swayed. But, no matter, the muffins were delicious! And, (banana bread dissenter aside), everyone else loved it. This makes exactly 12 muffins that are moist, not too sweet, with a light, tender crumb. The original recipe lists three bananas but I only had two, and it still worked out fine. It is also very easy and quick to throw together…so it’s perfect for your child’s lunch box (you could make this in the middle of a busy work week I promise you!) or merienda (or a midnight snack for tired parents).
This recipe is from Patricia Cuyugan, or MrsC of Mrs C’s Sugarcoated Life. I met her at Mothers Who Brunch and she is so much fun to hang out with…aside from being a master at whipping egg whites to stiff peaks (by hand!). So happy to have met you MrsC! Hope to see you again soon!
I may never be one to go to a lot of events, to cast off on my own, relying on nothing but chutzpah and charm with lots of new people. But I will definitely open my doors and explore more often. No matter how cozy a safe harbor may be, it’s always good to set sail outside your comfort zone. You may be surprised who you might meet along the way.
p.p.s. Still trying to figure out how to sneak a Viking oven out of that kitchen without anyone noticing…suggestions are welcome!