The Cure for a Case of the Mondays
Oh Monday, you always come so quickly. And with such little regard for the fact that I need another day to recover from the weekend. This weekend particularly, I could have used a recovery day. I haven’t eaten anything green since dinner on Friday. Saturday, I introduced Courtney to the Biergarten Haus, where we enjoyed liters of Hefeweizen and Doppelbock and sausage platters on their heated patio (his observation: “this is a man’s place! *grunt*; ironic that we were out with six girls?) Yesterday, I took him to the 12th Annual D.C. Food & Wine Festival as an early Valentine’s Day present. I was a little nervous that this was like the episode of the Simpson’s when Homer gave Marge a bowling ball, but I think he enjoyed it.
I was pretty disappointed that the Groupon didn’t include the food pavilion. I definitely thought they had been a bit misleading about that. But there was enough wine that by the time we got an hour into the tasting the cheese and crackers and sampling tables sufficed. Spain and South Africa were very well represented, and we also found a couple of Pinot Noirs from New Zealand that we were quite impressed by. We also loved the chef demonstrations.
My favorite was Gina from PS 7’s, who showed us how to make (and more importantly let us try) two cocktails that she swore to be aphrodisiacs: a refreshing gin-based strawberry lemon punch and a warm milk and rum cocktail served over a chocolate ice cream cube.
Anyways, enough about my weekend. Onto the cure for my case of the Mondays: Chocolate Chip Pumpkin Muffins. Muffins are actually the cure for anything. In high school, my mom and I sometimes had a coffee cake muffin from Dunkin Donut’s for breakfast, and then again with an egg sandwich for dinner. That was until my brother kindly pointed out that a coffee cake muffin has more calories than a McDonald’s Big Mac. I’m not kidding. Heartbreaking, right? So muffins became our weekend treat. It went pretty much like this: each Saturday, mom bought muffins, and ate the largest one before I got up. I’d get up, paw through them all for the next largest, and mom would give me a hard time about it until I pointed out that she’d be doing the same thing the next morning. We share this charming trait. Well, I have excellent news about these Cure for the Mondays-Muffins: they’re healthy enough that you could eat them everyday. In fact, if you’re mother takes the largest one? Go ahead and have two!
I recently discovered (through what was probably a risky trial) that although I can’t carve pumpkins, I can eat pumpkin! So I have a lot of lost time to make up for. I set about pillaging the internet for pumpkin-driven baking projects, and came across these oatmeal dark chocolate chip pumpkin muffins. Honestly, I was pretty skeptical of these based on the picture (one reviewer very eloquently notes “that literally looks like shit”); I had a hunch they might taste ‘too healthy’. Really I was more concerned about whether my butter-lovin’ fiance would give them the OK; grainy high fiber muffins are actually kinda my jam. I decided to give them a try yesterday, with a few modifications. The whole house smelled like pumpkin pie, and Courtney had already finished two before I got around to confessing that these are good for you! (The pumpkin adds moisture so they actually require very little sugar and no butter!)
Here’s the recipe, with my slight modifications based on what I happened to have in my kitchen and with the addition of vanilla and additional spice to add flavor:
1 1/2 cups whole wheat flour
1 1/2 cups Quaker quick oats
1 teaspoon baking powder
1/2 teaspoon baking soda
1 1/2 teaspoon cinnamon
1/2 teaspoon ground ginger
1/2 teaspoon allspice
3/4 cup Splenda brown sugar blend
1 1/2 cups canned pumpkin
1 teaspoon vanilla
3 tablespoons vegetable oil
one large egg
one large egg white
1/4 cup low-fat buttermilk
1/2 cup dark chocolate chips (not optional)
- Pre-heat oven to 375 degrees and line muffin tin with muffin cups or cooking spray.
- Whisk dry ingredients and spices (through allspice) together in a large bowl.
- Add pumpkin, oil, brown sugar, buttermilk, vanilla, egg and egg white to a medium size bowl and mix thoroughly. Add wet ingredients to dry ingredient and mix well. Stir in chocolate chips.
- Fill muffin cases evenly and bake for 15-20 minutes or until golden.
Nutrition with modifications: 205 calories; 7.5g fat; 31g carbohydrates; 4g fiber; 5g protein.
I didn’t see the point of getting two muffin tins dirty, so I made 12 muffins instead of 14. These were super filling, and delicious and I’m excited to eat them all week!