Sunday, September 27, 2009

Swell Snowflake Hat

Well, I promised my sister I'd make her a hat, and even bought the yarn, about a year ago. But, well, she wanted a fair isle hat, and I wasn't overly great at complicated fair isle (the only fair isle I was happy with that I had done was that hat for Oliver, last year), so I decided now was the time to learn how to knit with the other hand... and I did! I think I'm almost as proficient (and actually faster!) with picking, now as I was with throwing. It's a very exciting development in my knitting ability :) Anyway, what they say is true, it *is* a lot easier to do stranded knitting holding one strand in each hand. It came out great, despite my gauge being slightly off - I'm still really happy with it.

Sunday, September 20, 2009

Apple Streusel Muffins

It's September and the weather's getting cooler which always leads me to baking and fall foods! My kids love apples, so we've had some around the house (hoping to go apple picking today) and when I woke up this morning and decided apple muffins were the way to go. What better way to warm up the house on a chilly autumn morning? Unfortunately, digging through my pile of cook books, I couldn't find a recipe for apple muffins anywhere. How strange! So I went to my good ol' Betty Crocker cookbook, and looked through for a recipe that I thought would be adaptable enough for apple streusel muffins. I ended up adapting this from their blueberry muffin recipe.

Apple Streusel Muffins

Streusel topping:
1/4 c whole wheat flour
1/4 c packed dark brown sugar
1/4 teaspoon cinnamon
2 tablespoons room temperature butter

3/4 c milk (almond or coconut milk works as well)
1/4 c virgin coconut oil (warmed slightly so it's easier to mix) or vegetable oil of your choice
1 large egg
1 c all purpose flour
1 c whole wheat flour
1/2 c sugar
2 teaspoons baking powder
1/2 teaspoon sea salt
2 teaspoons cinnamon plus (a product from the pampered chef that has cinnamon, cloves, nutmeg, allspice... I was lazy and went with a mix, sorry!)
2 apples, diced

Heat oven to 400 degrees. Grease bottoms of 12 medium muffin cups.
Make streusel topping as follows, then set aside: Mix streusel flour, brown sugar, and cinnamon in a medium bowl. Cut in butter, using pastry blender or crisscrossing 2 knives, until crumbly.
Beat milk, oil, and egg in large bowl with fork or wire whisk. Stir in flour, sugar, baking powder, salt, and spices all at once until flour is just moistened (batter will be lumpy). Fold in diced apples. Divide batter evenly among muffin cups. Sprinkle each with about 1 tablespoon topping.
Bake 20 to 25 minutes or until golden brown. Let stand about 5 minutes in pan, then remove from pan to wire rack. Serve warm or cooled.