A Mighty Brunch, Indeed.

This past Sunday I hosted a brunch to benefit Charity: Water. I’m heading out on Thursday to Camp Mighty and every camper is tasked with fundraising at least $200 for this charity so that the entirety of the campers can raise at least $20,000. Some people are selling wares or teaching workshops or drawing pictures. I decided to make 192 mini muffins and turn them into a tree.

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We made other things, too. Here’s the spread…

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Kale and apple salad with poppyseed dressing, truffled deviled eggs, breakfast casserole, bacon roasted potatoes, The Source of All Bacon, fruit salad, muffin topiary (almond, pumpkin and cardamom pear) and Thank You Toffee.

I asked one of my friends to shoot pics as I assumed I wouldn’t have the attention span to do so. He did. Not that his attention span is much better.

Here’s one of me and his very patient wife, Stacy…

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Here’s one of just Stacy looking at him like she does…

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Here’s one of him (Andy) that I hope that she captured…

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I’m getting off track.

So, I hosted a brunch and lots of my friends attended. I was a little self conscious and didn’t want the party to be too big, in case I failed at hostessing. Mostly I just invited besties, people who have held my hair as I partied too hard and people who know my snarky side. Or any combination of above.

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Not a bad turnout, I say.

Greg and Moran came and brought their cherub of a son, Dashiel. Here he is with our fur baby, Shiro.

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Behind them you can see Dash’s mom alongside Casey and Marek. I think Marek is maybe driving the convo somewhat.

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My sweet puppy tried to scam my good friend, Megan, on whom Shiro could probably smell “total sucker for dogs.”

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My lovely beau, Clayton, offered his scrumptious breakfast sandwiches made fresh to order. Here’s a sample… Toasted sourdough spread with spicy mustard, topped with arugula, cilantro, bacon, sauteed onions and jalapenos…with an egg over easy. Or as I like to call it, “The Reason I am With That Guy.”

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There were endless Mimosas.

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Very adjacent to the donation bowl.

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And anytime a big, crystal bowl is at a party…someone has to make this joke:

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I love my friends. Thanks, guys, for helping me make my goal and giving me a most excellent send off to Camp Mighty. See you on the flip side!

Almond Jam Muffies

Breakfast was homemade almond muffins with porter peach jam in the middle.
I make my own almond milk (post coming soon) and it’s delicious. Being the miser that I am, I hate throwing anything away and store the pulp from milk making in the freezer. I recognize that not everyone reading this makes almond milk, so feel free to use almond meal or flour (find it with all the Bob’s Red Mill flours at your local grocer). You can make other substitutions, too, as you bake. The recipe called for regular white flour but I changed it to whole wheat pastry flour. About a month ago I used eggs instead of the replacer and stirred in chocolate chips after the final step while omitting the jam. Those were fantastic as well! Freeze the leftovers and reheat with swagger in the microwave.

Almond Jam Muffies

1 1/2 cups whole wheat pastry flour
1/4 cup vegan butter
1/2 teaspoon cinnamon
2/3 cup sugar
egg replacer for 2 eggs
1/2 cup almond milk
1 cup almond pulp
2 teaspoon baking powder
jam (I used porter peach jam I bought from Urban Agrarian)

Directions:

1) Preheat oven to 375 degrees Fahrenheit.

2) In a large mixing bowl, cut sugar into vegan butter with a pastry blender or fork until crumbly.  Whisk together egg replacer, almond milk and stir into sugar-butter mixture.  Gently stir in almond pulp, cinnamon and baking powder. Slowly and evenly fold flour into almond mixture.  The batter will be very thick….and that’s ok.

3) Fill a muffin pan with paper liners and spray with oil. Using a 1/4 cup measure, fill each muffin cup about halfway full.  Add a teaspoon of jam to the center of the batter for each muffin, then layer about a tablespoon of batter on top of the jam. My batter was so thick I could scoop and pat it into a little disk and lay over the jam-filled divot.

4) Bake for 25 to 35 minutes or until an inserted toothpick comes out clean.

*adapted from here.

Failure Muffins

Another Saturday came to pass and I decided muffins must be made. Because that’s how my kids know for sure that I now only love them, but am a passable mother. I assembled the usual* suspects…

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*I see at least 4 things in this pic that ended up not being a part of the recipe.

As the measuring and mixing went down I decided to adjust the recipe on the fly as a way not only to reduce the sugar in these muffins, but to illustrate that things don’t always have to be perfect. Lost in this clever thought of mine, about how we can start at one place and end up at another…and better for it….I noticed something weird. My muffin batter looked like pie dough.

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Ha, I thought. I patted it into a dish, adorned it with blueberries and sugar, shoved it in the oven and started over assuming I had been so lost in thought the first time around that I’d doubled the flour or something.

As I was saying, I started over….and the same thing happened. As 40,000 pounds of carbs happily baked away, Mr. Google revealed that blueberry muffin batter is often thick so that the berries don’t sink to the bottom. Huh.

Well, there you go.

Failure Muffins

  • 1 1/2 cups all-purpose flour
  • 1/2 cup white sugar
  • 1/2 teaspoon salt
  • 2 teaspoons baking powder
  • 1/3 cup vegetable oil
  • 1 egg
  • 1/3 cup milk
  • 1 cup fresh blueberries
Preheat your oven to 400. Fill your muffin pan with 6 liners and spray them with oil. Put the 1st 4 ingredients in a bowl and stir. Use a 1 or 2 cup measuring cup (the latter will give you more room to stir), add the oil, egg and the milk until you have 1 cup of liquid. Mix, then stir into the dry until there’s no more dry. Batter will be thick and confusing (much like my mornings before coffee). Stir in the berries. Scoop batter into muffin cups and bake 20 minutes or so.

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