Relatable Recap: Muffin Implosion

Week One: Muffin Messes and Mediocre Meal Prep

Closing week one of writing a blog was not nearly as rewarding or honestly exciting as I thought it would be.

Listening to a mellow song on repeat as I normally do on a weekend evening, I want to introduce my first set of series – the relatable recap. Will the name change? Probably. The point though, is to add in some realistic examples of everyday life that happen, even if it feels like everything should be working, the plans are laid out and the tools in place, sometimes it just doesn’t turn out how you hope.

Typical Mandarin//Cara Cara orange haul from a Friday grocery run

Fun fact about me, I am an avid mandarin orange enjoyer. A staple of our weekly grocery list is the Trader Joe’s Mandarins and the Cara Cara Oranges. This week however, I was fighting a cold for a majority of the week, so my orange consumption was lower than normal. This lead to a multitude of Mandarins to expire, and because of the nature of the fruit, once one went bad it was a very quick turn around for our hammock of fruit to become inedible. Pessimistically, that was now considered a waste of money and seemed like an end to the Mandarin era. I refuse to be a pessimist though, and as tradition Mandarins were purchased this week and are living happily in the hammock. 

I also want to confide here some mildly embarrassing results that although in the moment seemed impactful, ended up a-ok. This weekend I planned on doing some baking. There has been a bread recipe that I have been wanting to try after seeing it on the internet but I kept forgetting to buy the ingredients. I finally had everything and set out to make a pretty loaf of Challah bread, and was letting it rise covered in the oven with the light on because my apartment runs cold making countertop rising unideal. Well, as I was letting it rise I was mindlessly scrolling and came across a blueberry muffin post that just struck my fancy and was easy enough for me to whip up. Fun tid-bit about me is that nothing is more enjoyable than a baked good in the morning, so this blueberry muffin plan was flawless. Even better, I have almond flour that claims to be 1:1 replaceable with all purpose flour that I have been wanting to try. 

Batter:mixed, blueberries:folded, oven:preheating, muffin tin:prepared, crumble top:crumbled. Boom, the realization that the Challah dough was in the oven registered at the same time that the oven finished preheating to 400F. Some quick oven mitt action got the bowl out quickly, but it was warm and I was sure that I had ruined the loaves. Chins up, I still had the muffins. Wrong. What happened? Honestly I am unsure what happened but the muffins did not do what muffins do. When I opened the oven, expecting cute round muffin tops with a crunchy crumble on top, I was met with imploded goo-y craters that smells vaguely of blueberries and sugar. (Honestly though, the mess of muffin that I removed from the tin was still tasty – just not visually pleasing in the slightest)

Hopes were transferred back to the Challah loaves – the first rise was complete , and it was time to roll and braid the dough. Surprisingly, the dough was still malleable and even felt vaguely how I had expected it to feel despite having been “pre-cooked”. Second rise was even more promising as the loaves doubled in size in just under an hour. The resulting bread was actually a pleasant surprise. I have never had Challah bread before, so there were no pre-existing expectations, but the bread was dense and delightful. 

The last topic for this post will be in regards to meal prep. As someone who meal preps each week, I try to mix it up to keep the meals interesting and keep myself motivated to prep. Chinese and Mexican are my go-to meal prep plans, but I have a goal to make successful Italian meal prep recipes. In my opinion, the basic pasta meal prep just doesn’t cut it. This week was eggplant parmesan with tofu nuggets. It was fine – I was able to meet my calorie and macro goals, but the execution of the meal prep was sub-par. One issue I typically have with Italian style meal prep is sogginess, and it was in full effect for this meal. I oven roasted the eggplant and air fried the tofu, but regardless when I was enjoying dinner this past week every bite was just a tad bit mushy. 

Chins up, I have made successful lasagna and other pasta dishes in the past, I will be able to create a fabulous meal prep.

Wrapping up the first week of relatable recaps, I’m sure there will be just as many next week.

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