Tuesday, October 13, 2009

TWD-Comfort Food Needed

DrRuckus and I got back from a great and much needed week in Hawaii this a.m. (more on the trip later). Our red-eye was pretty painless (despite the woman with the child who screamed all night in the row behind us) because we had cashed in miles to fly first class and had comfortable seats. ( I actually don't know how I will ever go back to coach again after the comfort, service, space, food, and make your own sundae bar. But I digress . . .)

Anyways, though we were better rested than we might have been had we flown that red eye in coach, we were still pretty tired when we got home. However, we were not nearly as tired as my poor mother in law was! My parents watched our kids for the first part of our week away and then my MIL flew down halfway through to take over for them. She had been looking forward to some alone time with the kids, though I thought she was nuts for taking it on herself. Well, so did she after two days because not only was the Z-Man holding on to the bug that has caused him to run a fever every day for over a week, but she also got sick. I always think that the hardest part of parenting is not being able to take a day off when you don't feel well. I called on some friends to help her, but she persevered on her own and made it through the day and a half before we got here.

So, this gray morning, she was eating her 800th piece of toast as it was the only thing that seemed agreeable to her. The Z-Man was feeling fine but stir crazy, and DrRuckus and I were a little bit jetlagged. I had no intention of baking, but when I saw that today's Tuesdays with Dorie recipe was for muffins, I decided that there was nothing that sounded more comforting than fresh muffins. These Allspice Crumb Muffins were intriguing because Allspice is not something I use frequently. The jar smelled delicious, like cinnamon and clove cigarettes (oh how much fun those were back in the day), so I decided to give it a whirl. As soon as everyone went for their nap, I whipped up the batter.

Because I went way off of my healthy eating plan about halfway through the vacation (though it was soooooo worth it), I thought that I better make these a little bit less fattening. So, I substituted all of the flour in the struesel topping and half of the flour in the batter for whole wheat and half of the butter in the batter for Fage fat free Greek yogurt. I did use the optional lemon zest because I think that it adds a zing to everything. The best part of making these was making the struesel topping. I did it all with my hands, mixing the flour, sugar, and allspice and then kneading in the pieces of butter. In my jeglagged state, it felt really good and relaxing.

I divided the batter in the muffin tins and then really smooshed the topping onto each one. I had heard that the topping slid off the muffins in some cases, but I didn't have that problem at all. These are them before they went into the oven.

I added 5 extra minutes to the cooking time because at 20 minutes they seemed raw. However, at 25 they seemed a tad dry and overdone. Might just be the proportion of whole wheat flour though. Tastewise, they are delicious. The Allspice has a subtle kick and a really delicious flavor. The Z-Man thought it was a "good cupcake, Mommy" though he did ask for a cup of hot chocolate to drink with it. I know that it is 80 degrees out, but the kid knows what's good!

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