Tales of a Domestic Disaster

I took a break from house updates today because I felt the need to be domestic. All I wanted to do was bake banana muffins for Chris. Nothing fancy if you are pretty much anyone else in the world. For me, it was an epic undertaking.

I had been intrigued with baking since my friend Mackenzie had showed me some amazing cupcakes that she was making, and since Colleen had said “Baking is easy, all you have to do it follow the directions”. Little did she know who she was talking to.

Mom brought me a muffin tin that she gently told me “Came with plenty of experience, maybe it will help you”. It was my grandmother’s, who is an AMAZING baker. Somehow, I think this gene skipped me.

Before jumping into the story of today’s muffins I should probably give you a little background. I *try* to make my mom a birthday cake every year for her birthday. A few years ago she got a new stove instead of a cake. True story: I was baking her cake and somehow managed to explode the oven. All I heard was a huge BANG and saw flames. There was no cake that year. Last year I managed to bake the cake, but failed miserably on the frosting. I thought a Magic Bullet Blender would work to make the frosting. Fact: it does not. The frosting was so runny that instead of saying “Happy Birthday Mom” it said “sakjfhasoeiruhsldkjfh”. Chris fixed it with some artistic frosting maneuvers, but it wasn’t exactly what I had been envisioning.

So back to the muffins. I decided muffins out of a box simply would not do. I went onto the Food Network website on a suggestion from Colleen and hunted down the easiest recipe I could find. I carefully wrote down all of the ingredients and trudged off to store in the 90+degree weather. Upon returning home, I was ready to go. Then I got sidetracked by talking with Grandma, hunting for a wedding dress, playing Wii Fit, looking at bridesmaid dresses… well you get the idea. Around 3:30 I finally got going. I carefully followed all the directions. Things were going great until it came time to mash the bananas.

“Not a problem! Just squish them with a spoon” I thought to myself.

Bad idea. The first banana went shooting across the kitchen. I decided I needed to try another approach.

“Use a spatula?”

A little better, but not overly effective. Finally I just gave up, took off my engagement ring and washed my hands really well. Then I picked up the bananas and in pre-schooler mode began to squish them (it was a great combo of gross and wicked fun). The rest of the ingredient mixing went off without a hitch.

Pouring the batter into the muffin pan definitely did NOT go off without a hitch. It was a mess that only I could possibly create.Well, me, and probably that pre-schooler I had channeled for the banana squishing I mentioned earlier. There was batter pretty much everywhere except in the lovely pastel baking cups my mom had so kindly sent with the muffin tin. There was batter on the table, on the tin, on the cat, on the floor, you name it (I blame Phoebe for being in the way when that one glob hit the floor. She is capable of jumping heights of olympic proportions, and is not a huge fan of bananas. Now I know!). It was at that point that I let out a very pitiful whine that went something along the lines of “I’m a Domestic DISASTER!” (hence the title!). After a little practice, and a lot more whining, I was finally able to get the batter in the baking cup, and on my (now) merry way I went.

I had properly pre-heated the oven and was ready to put the muffins in. 12 minutes later I went to rotate the pan, per the directions, and somehow managed to burn my neck. I’m still working on how exactly I managed this. I think it had to do with the fact that the oven was giving off huge amounts of heat, and my necklace got really hot, landed on my neck when I stood up and burned me. OUCH!

I just ate one of the muffins I made. I have to say, not half bad. They are a little dry, so I will probably try a different recipe next time, but they are edible (SCORE!) and I think Chris might even like them. Lesson for the day? A burned neck and a mad cat are all you need to make pretty decent muffins.

Here is the recipe I used, along with the link to the website!

Preheat the oven to 425 degrees F. Lightly brush a 12-muffin tin with butter and set aside.

Whisk the flour, baking soda, brown sugar, and cinnamon together in a medium bowl; set aside.

Whisk the banana, oil, milk, eggs, salt, and vanilla in a large measuring cup with a spout or another bowl.

Make a small well in the center of the dry ingredients. Pour wet ingredients into the center; then stir with a wooden spoon until the dry ingredients are moistened but still lumpy. Do not overmix the batter or your muffins will come out dense. Gently stir in the nuts. Divide the batter evenly into the muffin tin.

Put the muffins in the oven and immediately reduce oven temperature to 375 degrees F. Bake until golden brown, about 25 minutes, rotating the pan halfway through the cooking. (Insert a toothpick into the center of a muffin to check if it is done. Toothpick should come out clean). Cool muffins in the pan on a rack for a couple minutes. Turn the muffins out of the pan and cool on the rack. Serve warm or at room temperature.

Copyright 2003 Television Food Network, G.P. All rights reserved

http://www.foodnetwork.com/recipes/food-network-kitchens/banana-muffins-recipe/index.html

Let me know what you think of these if you give them a try!