When Bored, Bake

I’ve been to so many professional development trainings within the past month that I’M STARTING TO FEEL LIKE A PROFESSIONAL!  I know, bad joke 😛  After training, I went home and ate a late lunch which was soon followed by a snack [my tummy was rumblinggg]!

My afternoon agenda consisted of: NOTHING!  It was weird, I never have NOTHING to do…  So I weighed my options:

  • Go to the gym- nah, that doesn’t sound like too much fun, I’ll pass…
  • Meet up with a girlfriend- everyone was busy or at work…
  • Catch up on emails- check!
  • Catch up on blogs- check!
  • BAKE- check!

I’m not the most skilled baker, nor do I claim to be.  I’ve had enough baking mishaps in my young age to know that I will never own a bakery or be on Top Chef Just Desserts [sometimes it’s better to just leave it up to the professionals].

Side Story: Almost every weekend growing up, my childhood best friend and I would have a sleepover.  Whenever we slept at my house, we would wake up the following morning and “attempt” to bake.  I use “attempt” cautiously because RARELY had any success- most likely because  we never had yeast, we would accidentally use the wrong or too much/ too little of an ingredient, or ultimately, we wouldn’t follow a recipe and would create our own recipe [since all little kids know the baking essentials, right?].  The biggest fail of them all was when we decided to cook a pepperoni pizza, even though we didn’t have pepperoni.  The closest thing we had: bologna.  IT WAS THE WORST substitution EVER!  It was so bad that my best friends momma wouldn’t let her taste it, she feared for her health, HA! 

So… Where was I?  Oh yes- so I decided to… BAKE!

Last week I saw a recipe for Chocolate Chocolate Chip Banana Muffins with Glaze on Skinnytaste.  As soon as I saw chocolate + banana + muffins, I thought= delicious!  Unfortunately, I didn’t have time to make the muffins until yesterday and the bananas I bought over the weekend got eaten.  Resorting to my prior baking techniques, I thought I could just substitute pumpkin for the mashed bananas- Chocolate Chocolate Chip Pumpkin Muffins?!

I substituted 1 1/4 C pumpkin for 3 1/2 mashed bananas.  In addition, I substituted 3/4 C all-purpose flour and 1/2 C whole wheat flour for  1 1/4 C all-purpose flour.  All other ingredients remained the same and I followed Gina’s recipe from A to Z.

Am I the only one who likes to a handheld rather than an electric can opener?

Wet Ingredients

Dry Ingredients

Wet and Dry Ingredients

Don’t forget to add the [Ghirardelli 60% Cacao Bittersweet] chocolate chips…

Make sure to sample a couple to ensure their freshness 😉

Please refrain from commenting on what this looks like, I know…  I was apprehensive as to how these muffins would turn out because the batter was rather thick :/

Wet and Dry Ingredients Combined with Chocolate Chips

Hey Mr. Muffin, could you please speed up the cooking process? I would like to taste you... Now!

In the meantime, I started baking these…

TJ's Triple Berry Bran Muffins

Now, let’s get honest, who doesn’t like baking when the only additional ingredients required are eggs and water?!

I added a few hefty dashes of cinnamon...

All together now!

Pouring batter into muffin tins is a challenge, as seen in all of the “polka dots” of batter on the muffin tin!

What? You don't lick the bowl clean?!

I went to Costco earlier this week and bought a huge carton of fresh blueberries so I thought I’d give the muffins a little homemade touch…

The smell of cinnamon overwhelmed the kitchen... Mmm!

My Dear arrived shortly after both of the muffins came out of the oven and we got a little eager…

Evidence A

Evidence B

The verdict:

The Chocolate Chocolate Chip Pumpkin Muffins: they were a bit dense, but had an overall good taste!  It was a treat biting in and tasting a melty chocolate chip!  P.S. I woke up this morning and more than half of the batch got eaten last night by my brother and his friends- a good sign?!

The Triple Berry Bran Muffins: they came out with good consistency [still a little moist on the inside, not dry] and the addition of the fresh blueberries on top was great!  Unfortunately, they were kind of bland, so I’m thinking they’ll be best on top of a bowl of yogurt or oatmeal?!

The rest of the evening consisted of a walk around the neighborhood and dinner with my Dear at CPK (*California Pizza Kitchen*)- we split a salad and each got a pizza [I got the “Vegetarian with Japanese Eggplant” with double veggies and my Dear got the “Original BBQ Chicken”].

Oh yeah, we be cheesin'!

We tried to play putt-putt after dinner but the line to enter was up the wazoo so we just came home and watched some wedding shows [my weakness!] on TLC.

Question: Do you have any basic baking tips to share with a beginner baker?

Question: What’s your favorite dish at CPK?

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