Can you believe Christmas is less than a week away? I can’t wait to be with my family, drinking hot cocoa and decorating cookies. My family is generally less traditional than most on Christmas (we would rather pick out our presents than have the element of surprise on Christmas morning), but we still do some things every single year. We always eat cinnamon rolls for breakfast before we dive into the presents, and we always have cookies and chocolates galore.
This year, we’re also getting together with several of my cousins. The various members of my extended family are more or less moving targets, where everyone leads busy, exciting lives, so I am extra happy that, for the first time in a long time, we’ll all be together again. I feel more joyous this year than any Christmas in the past!
Though I’m not traveling until next Tuesday (Christmas Eve), most of my friends and colleagues at work have taken all of next week, and some even the week after, off for the holidays. I spent many hours embossing cards and decorating envelopes last night so I could distribute handmade holiday cards to my coworkers. I am so pleased with the way they turned out and I hope everyone likes them!
Onto less Christmas-y things… 🙂
I have mentioned before that breakfast is the single most difficult and stressful meal of my day. I’m wishy-washy about me feelings on eggs (although I recently made an egg dish that I loved and will be sharing soon!), cereal and oatmeal get boring REALLY fast, and since breakfast meats are obviously not an option, I’m left with sugary sweet dessert-like breakfast foods. Now, don’t get me wrong, I love donuts as much as the next girl, and though Krispy Kreme donuts on the regular would be my dream, I’d be about 500 pounds with clogged arteries by age 30. So, that’s not an option either. I get cranky and sluggish if I ever skip breakfast, and it just sets me up for a certain level of dietary failure for the rest of the day.
To add further complexities to my breakfast conundrum, I leave my apartment at 6:30am on workdays, when my thoughts are still monosyllabic and I operate under conditioned, reflexive motions that allow little flexibility to add “making breakfast” to the mix. I’m barely awake and functioning, and I’m expected to make breakfast? What?! To circumvent this issue, I get my breakfast, lunch and various snacks ready for work the night before. Lunch is usually leftovers from dinner, and lately my snacks have been clementines because they are so good and I eat them like candy. For breakfast, I either bring something I can microwave and is contained in a single piece of Tupperware, like eggs or oatmeal, or I bake muffins.
Muffins are the best. The best kind (read: full-fat kind) are buttery and decadent and bursting with sweet flavor. In the past, when I’ve made “low fat” or “guilt-free” muffins, they aren’t the same by any stretch of the imagination. I mean, for starters, they never even rise up to give that beautiful muffin top shape. I think that’s the only time in my life I’ve ever said “beautiful muffin top,” by the way. “Healthy” muffins tend to be drier and crumblier too, so the texture is way, way off.
But for the first time, this week, I baked muffins that have more full-fat taste without being full-fat. I adapted a recipe that I found here. In fact these muffins are only 5 Weight Watchers Points Plus (by my own calculations), whereas a regular muffin can run you anywhere from 8 to 12 Points Plus! My favorite part of these muffins though? The muffin top, of course!
Serves: 12 (1 muffin per serving)
Preparation time: 15 minutes
Cooking time: 25 minutes
Juice of 1 lemon
1/2 cup of sugar (or Splenda sugar substitute)
1 cup nonfat milk
1/4 cup of vegetable oil
2 large eggs
1 tsp vanilla extract
1 cup whole wheat flour
1 cup all-purpose white flour
2 tsp baking powder
1 tsp baking soda
1/4 tsp salt
1 1/2 cups fresh or frozen mixed berries
- Preheat oven to 400°F. Spray or line a muffin tin with paper liners.
- In a medium bowl, whisk lemon juice and sugar together until well combined. Add milk, oil, eggs and vanilla extract and beat on low until smooth.
- In large bowl, whisk both flours, baking powder, baking soda and salt. Add the milk mixture slowly and combine. Carefully fold in the berries. Divide the batter equally into the muffin cups.
- Bake for 25-30 minutes, or until the tops are golden and springy to touch, and the muffins pass the “clean toothpick” test. Cool, and enjoy!