Maybe we can just forget about 2017, too. Give us a few more years and we can completely erase 2016 and 2017 from memory, perhaps.
It’s been a long and busy year. A lot of goals made, met, failed, or exceeded. A lot of food made, eaten, or completely screwed up and thrown away. Some ups, quite a few downs, and just a lot of days (365 of them, to be exact.)
But tomorrow morning is a new month and a new year, and while I’ll pretend that tomorrow’s goals are new and fresh, the truth is that I make my resolutions in advance, and I start on them in advance, too (if I have the time and energy and this year I had neither.) The goals are stale, then, but the attempts will be fresh and new…as soon as I recover from my impending hangover.
Let’s look back at what I did this year:
What an action-packed year.
Did I keep up with my resolutions? Most likely not.
Resolution 1: Get a new paid writing job.
Well, I went in completely the opposite direction and gave up all of my paid writing jobs AND asked for less work from my unpaid writing gig.
Resolution 2: Work out, expand and improve on my routine, and establish a more consistent work out habit.
Also, completely different direction. I haven’t been to the gym since April. I don’t even have a membership anymore (and hardly enough money to get a new one.) We’re two for two so far!
Resolution 3: Publish at least 4 savory recipes.
Finally, something positive! If we don’t count breads, then I got exactly four:
And technically, it should be five, but in the chaos of moving in September, I forgot to post a savory summer recipe and now it’s out of season, so that’ll just have to wait until next summer.
So maybe it hasn’t been my year, per se, but everyone gets a mulligan, right?
What about 2018?
I can take what I learned this year and use it to my advantage in the new year. If I don’t meet all of my goals and resolutions, it won’t be the end of the world (that’ll be caused by a certain someone else we all know and love…)
The ball is almost dropped, the year is almost over, and I think we could all use a group bear hug.
Let’s hug it out, y’all.
See you next year!
previous monthly muffins:
11/17, pumpkin cranberry white chocolate muffins | | 10/17, vegan apple cider muffins | | 6/17, balsamic roasted strawberry muffins | | 4/17, cinnamon raisin english muffins | | 2/17, glazed lemon poppyseed muffins
This time of year makes me wish I lived in Canada…or Vermont.
I bought my first ever flannel last autumn…and lost it this autumn when we moved houses. So I bought my second ever flannel this autumn and it’s not as good as the first, but I guess that’s always the case, isn’t it?
I’ve gotten really into using maple syrup in vegan and gluten-free pastries. I can’t remember at this point why, because granulated sugar has neither gluten nor any animal products, but for some reason maple syrup has been my saving grace in such recipes as my vegan snickerdoodles and gluten-free sweet potato muffins.
Like using coconut oil or milk, when you use maple syrup but don’t want to end product to taste like maple, it doesn’t. It’s magical. Maybe there’s a science to the madness, but this is like my Santa Claus so let me believe in the magic of coconuts and maple trees, please.
When starting on this recipe, though, I admit I was worried about whether the maple syrup alone would be enough. I looked up how to make maple sugar (no time or energy for that, and also I don’t trust myself to successfully manipulate any type of sugar after my two months making crappy honeycomb candy in a professional restaurant), where to buy it (which I did and immediately regretted because it is way too expensive), and what else to use to enhance maple flavor (not much useful information there and I can’t be bothered to reduce the maple syrup before adding it to the muffin batter.)
Fortunately, I didn’t need anything else, though I did end up adding maple extract to the recipe for an extra boost. You could do without the extract and the maple will still come through, especially if you use it in the streusel crumb topping in addition to the muffin batter.
Warning: these will taste and smell like pancakes for the obvious reason (hint: maple syrup.)
maple pecan muffins with maple streusel
makes 1 dozen
loosely based on my blackberry almond muffins recipe
Note: You can (should) make the streusel in advance in a larger batch and keep it frozen unbaked until ready to use. You can even keep it frozen, unbaked, for months (six is probably enough), and then just pull out whatever you need whenever you need it. Or, if you have zero willpower like I do, you could just fill up a baking sheet with streusel and bake it without the muffins, then snack on that (see: gorge yourself on that.)
7 oz (200 g) all-purpose flour
2.8 oz (80 g) whole-wheat flour
2 tsp baking powder
1/2 tsp salt
6.3 oz (180 g) milk or buttermilk
2 large eggs
3.5 oz (100 g) granulated sugar (or maple sugar for a more intense flavor)
2.8 oz (80 g) maple syrup
1 tsp almond or maple extract
4 oz (1/2 c, 8 Tbsp) unsalted butter, melted and cooled to room temperature
4 oz (1 c) pecans, coarsely chopped
1.5 oz unsalted butter, softened
4 oz all-purpose flour
1.5 oz maple syrup
dash of salt
1 tsp ground cinnamon
Make the streusel
Beat together the butter and flour until crumbs form, then beat in the maple syrup, salt, and cinnamon. Don’t let it become pasty or too dough-y, because you want dry crumbs so you can sprinkle them easily on top of the muffins. If the mixture starts really clumping together, don’t worry: chill or freeze it for a few minutes, then break up the big clumps with a fork or pastry blender.
Chill/freeze the streusel until the muffin batter has been scooped into the muffin pan.
Make the muffins
Preheat the oven to 350 F/175 C, and line a muffin pan with paper muffin liners.
In a small bowl, whisk together flours, baking powder, and salt. Into another smaller bowl, break the pecans into pieces (break them in half or into quarters, roughly.)
In a large bowl, whisk together milk/buttermilk, eggs, sugar, maple syrup, and extract until smooth. Pour the melted and cooled butter into the mixture while whisking, and using a rubber spatula, scrape out any melted butter still clinging to the bowl/cup into the wet mixture. Whisk until smooth.
Dump the dry mixture into the wet and quickly mix together until almost fully combined. Fold in the pecans.
Using a large cookie scoop, measuring cup, or spoon, fill the muffin cups about 2/3 – 3/4 full and sprinkle liberally with unbaked streusel crumbs.
Bake the muffins 20 – 25 minutes until springy to the touch like a foam ball, or until a wooden toothpick inserted into the center of a muffin comes out clean.
They look delicious, eh?