Sunday, January 22, 2012

what else ya got, january?

If you keep reading, you'll get to the muffin-y goodness, I promise!

January 2012 has experience. I've coupled ten to twelve hour days (+ weekends) at the office with lingering illnesses. I know, I know...just the other day, I promised I'd stop complaining. So while I still feel less than awesome, instead of going on about my love/hate relationship with cough syrup or something equally riveting, I have a funny little story and a recipe (finally!) for you. 

The other day, I was starting to feel a tiny bit better, but was still exhausted, and just wanted to get home, eat something, and climb in bed. When I was walked down the street to my building, I heard sirens, but didn't think anything of it as the fire truck went flying past my street. It got to the next intersection, and threw a u-turn. 

Please don't turn down my street. Please don't turn down my....oh crap, it's turning down my street. Please don't go to my building. Please don't go to my building. I haven't updated my renter's insurance yet, PLEASE don't go to my building. 

Well, friends, it, and FOUR OTHER fire trucks screeched in to my parking lot in the time it took me to get to my building. They were kept in good company by an ambulance and half a dozen fire department SUVs. 

As I walked in to the parking lot and saw dozens of people mulling around, I had horrible visions of water and smoke pouring through my new, uninsured apartment. A woman explained to me that it was a kitchen fire on the fifth floor, and that it had been put out pretty quickly, but that there was a lot of smoke. Punctuating her story were several wild gestures towards a lone apartment that did, in fact, contain a high volume of fire fighters with axes and flashlights who were frantically shoving screens off the windows to hasten ventilation. 

I ended up standing outside in the cold for over an hour, which was just what my lingering cough needed. I kicked myself for cleaning out my work tote bag just the day prior, because in doing so, I had moved my car keys back to their usual home in my apartment, meaning I couldn't even get in my car and go somewhere warm and with food (I was positively ravenous). 

After what seemed like a lifetime of shivering, the firemen let those of us living on the first three floors back in to the building. I gave up on any hope of ordering take out considering over half of my building and the vast majority of the local fire department were still in the lobby and parking lot. I ate ramen, thanked heavens that my apartment was smoke and water free, and went to bed vowing to update my insurance the next morning (and I did). 

Luckily the drama factor has been low around here since then, and life has been consumed once again by work. I had to go in yesterday unexpectedly, and it zapped my energy entirely. Instead of doing something social (which was what I desperately wanted to do), I came home and made these double chocolate banana muffins

Having noticed this banana nutella pumpkin bread on Pinterest a while ago, I wanted to give it a try, but didn't have nutella, and didn't want to venture back out in to the bitter cold. I then realized I didn't have any chocolate chips, and the only ones available in the little store in my building were a)milk chocolate, b)too big, and c)over $5. 

I was baking something if it killed me, so I resigned myself to making (no longer double) chocolate banana muffins when I spotted my favorite chocolate bars sitting on the counter. 

And so I just made my own chocolate chips. Look out, people, the LKTC is making a comeback (yes, I consider this a comeback). 

The batter was actually super easy to make, no electric mixer required. And it looks delicious!

If you decide to try the recipe, I will say you have to mix the dry and wet ingredients for a while before the batter looks like the photo above. I was really worried that I'd measured something improperly, because it seemed way too dry. But if you just keep stirring with a wooden spoon, it all works out. 

The recipe says it makes a dozen, but I made mini muffins, and got about 2 1/2 pans worth out of the batter. Or at least I think I did...I ate at least half a dozen myself in the past 24 hours. I took the rest are being taken to work today (yes, I had to work on the day of the NFL playoffs...I can't even talk about it right now) so that I would stop inhaling them. (Note: if you go the mini route, too, they only need to bake for 10ish minutes) 

Work should slow down in about a week, at which point I am making a serious return to home-cooked meals (and hopefully to health, too!). For now, though, it's finally football time! 

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