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Tuesday, April 12, 2011

Three Followers, Five Hundred Hits

Blogging is now "one more thing" on my daily to-do list.

And you've probably figured out that I don't always do what's on my to-do list.

This morning I logged on and decided to check my stats; boy, was I surprised to see that despite my meager following of three, there have been over 500 hits since I started this blog five weeks ago.

I went a step further and decided to check the page views by country:  though 99% of the views were from the U.S., Indonesia, Germany and Pakistan were also listed.

Wow.  Guess I should move this to a higher priority on the to-do list, somewhere below the main priorities like vacuuming and laundry yet above lower priorities like organizing cabinets and making new window treatments.

I solemnly swear from this point on to care for and nurture my blog so that it does not wither and die.
And I'm oh-so-happy that we had lovely temps in the 60's yesterday, not the 80 degree heat that was initially predicted, so my flowers did not wither and die of heat exhaustion as I had feared they might.
Today's recipe comes from a page I tore out of a magazine many, many years ago.  How long ago?  Well the description of the recipe says it's by baker Patti Jackson from Mad. 61, "one of New York City's hottest new restaurants."  I googled Mad. 61, from 1993-1996 it was a restaurant located in Barney's flagship store on the corner of Madison and 61st St. 

The "hot" restaurant has been closed since 1996, so I've been baking these muffins for at least 15 years.

I also googled Patti Jackson and learned that her career as one of the nation's top pastry chefs has enabled her to open over 20 restaurants throughout the U.S., and she is currently the executive chef at i Trulli in New York City.

I heart google.



Applesauce-Oatmeal Muffins

  • 2 cups all-purpose flour
  • 1 cup sugar
  • 4 teaspoons baking powder
  • 1 1/2 teaspoons salt
  • 1 1/2 teaspoons cinnamon
  • 1/2 teaspoon nutmeg
  • 2 cups applesauce
  • 1/2 cup butter, melted
  • 3 large eggs
  • 1 1/2 cups oats
  • 1 cup raisins
Preheat oven to 375 degrees.  Grease (or use paper baking cups to line) eighteen muffin-pan cups.

Combine flour, sugar, baking powder, salt, cinnamon, and nutmeg in large bowl.

Stir it up.
In the interest of full disclosure, this recipe also calls for a pinch of cloves.  I do not like cloves, so I omit them.  But if spicy muffins are your thing, now would be the time to stir in the cloves.
Combine applesauce, butter and eggs in a medium bowl.

Stir them up.....
............and add them to the dry ingredients.

Stir just until moistened.  That is the important part, don't over stir your muffins!  There are still more ingredients to be added and hence, more stirring to come.
Add the oats and raisins.  Buy the plumpest raisins you can find.  If you can find baking raisins, buy them!  If not, Sunkist is a good brand.  Skip the store brand or generic brand unless you are certain that they are plump and soft and not overly shriveled and dry.  It's nice to have soft, plump raisins when you take a bite of these muffins, not hard, pebbly ones.  Just sayin'.
Stir the ingredients just long enough to incorporate the oats and raisins.
Time to fill your muffin cups.  I like to use my 1/3 cup measuring cup to fill the muffin tin.  It makes the muffins a bit larger than average (this recipe should make 18 muffins, but in my case it only made 16), and it holds the batter nicely while you transfer it from the bowl to the baking tin.

After you've filled the muffin cups, you can sprinkle the tops of the muffins with some oats.  Or sugar.  Or both.
I just sprinkled them with sugar.
Specifically, sugar with extra-large crystals.

Bake for 20 to 25 minutes.  Do not over bake.  My slightly-bigger-than-the-recipe-calls-for muffins took 23 minutes to bake.

These muffins are sort of like Oatmeal Raisin cookies.
Except they're bigger, softer, and muffin-y (muffiny-er?).
And really good while they're still warm.

Tweaking suggestions:  I've already confessed that I omit the cloves from this recipe (and feel so strongly that it's the right thing to do that I didn't even list them for you in the original recipe).  I also increase the cinnamon (to 2 teaspoons) and the raisins (to 1 1/2 cups).

Enjoy!

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