I know; nothing is as awesome as George Clooney. (Well, at least according to George Clooney). But this is still one heck of a stud muffin, nonetheless! (*groan*).
So, are you ready for the Oscars?!
As I’ve been remarking on twitter, I’m not sure why I’m so geared up to watch the glitz-and-glamor, botox-and-restalyn, glistening parade of sartorial faux-pas yet again this year, considering (a) I’ve seen but one of the movies; (b) the hosts, while both appealing in their own ways, are really a generation removed from most of the viewing audience; (c) this year’s show, with its surfeit of charity-ops for camera-hungry celebs and its plethora of cause-specific ribbons, promises to offer a massive ego-massage positively onanistic in its over-the-top, only-as-they-can-do-it-in-Hollywood, self-indulgence.
But hey–I might see George Clooney! And Meryl will be there! And maybe even Oprah! And gowns! And a dance number! And Joan Rivers–!!
Oops, no Joan Rivers this year (at least, not in Toronto). Boo hoo! To me, her biting commentary and snarky asides were mostly what made watching the Oscars worthwhile (that, and the squirm-inducing speeches, of course). Well, at least I saw La Joan the other night at her live performance. (For those of you who asked, she was tremendous. Hilarious. Gut-splittingly funny. A force of nature, indeed! And the worst gutter mouth of anyone I’ve ever heard, regardless of age. Nice to know some things don’t change as you get older!)
I’ve always wanted to have one of those Oscar-night parties with friends, at which you all eat themed foods and drink themed alcoholic beverages. Instead, tonight I’ll be watching the show while continuing to work on my puzzle, with the HH gleefully adding his ascerbic commentary from the sidelines. Not a fan of the whole Hollywood-worship vibe, the HH would rather read a book on nuclear physics. For real.
Still, gotta give the guy credit for staying in the same room and keeping me company. And who says couples can’t have different interests? When we were first together, I might have wished that my honey and I would do everything together, but I’ve since realized it’s no fun, for instance, sitting in a movie theater watching The Notebook and bawling your eyes out while your partner silently mocks you for your melodrama. Much better to go with a girlfriend, and let her silently mock you.
And so, in the spirit of each doing her or his own thing, I bring you these Awesomeness Muffins, made especially for the HH to enjoy on his own. Since he’s not on the ACD, and since I would much rather he bring a homemade muffin than a Tim Horton’s muffin to work for breakfast each day, I was happy to do so. And they’ll make a great snack for the guy while he reads that physics text.
The recipe is adapted from the talented Kris Holechek’s 100 Best Vegan Baking Recipes. The original muffins, called “Leslie’s Awesomeness Muffins” (see? some things really are better with your girlfriends) featured a combination of banana, dates, and nuts. I took the mix a step further–perhaps feeling a bit of the over-the-top Hollywood influence this weekend–and added butterscotch chips, which I sourced from a local supermarket and have been dying to use. The result was a moist, light muffin packed with a health-promoting punch and just a smidge of decadence. Somehow, I don’t think the Oscars will offer the same restraint this evening.
Awesomeness Muffins (ACD maintenance only)
adapted from 100 Best Vegan Baking Recipes
Light, moist, and with very little added sweetener. You can certainly substitute chocolate for the butterscotch, but the butterscotch chips add a lovely aroma and richness to the muffins.
2 medium bananas, mashed (about 1 cup/240 ml)
1/2 cup (120 ml) plain or vanilla soy, almond or hemp milk
1/4 cup (60 ml) sunflower or other light-tasting oil, preferably organic
2 Tbsp (30 ml) blackstrap molasses
2 Tbsp (30 ml) maple syrup or agave nectar
1/2 tsp (2.5 ml) apple cider vinegar
1 cup (100 g) old-fashioned whole rolled oats (not instant)
2/3 cup (95 g) chopped dried dates
1/3 cup (65 g) dairy-free butterscotch or chocolate chips
1/2 cup (55 g) walnut pieces, lightly toasted
1 cup (140 g) light spelt flour
1/3 cup (45 g) whole spelt flour
2 tsp (10 ml) baking powder
1/2 tsp (2.5 ml) baking soda
1/2 tsp (2. 5 ml) cinnamon
1/8 tsp (.5 ml) fine sea salt
Preheat oven to 375F (190C). Line a 12-cup muffin tin with paper liners, or spray with nonstick spray.
In a medium bowl, combine the bananas, soymilk, oil, molasses, maple syrup and apple cider vinegar; stir until well mixed. Add the oats, dates, chips and nuts and stir to coat. Set aside.
In a large bowl, sift together the light spelt flour, whole spelt flour, baking powder, baking soda, cinnamon and salt.
Add the wet ingredients to the dry and stir just until combined. Using a large ice cream scoop or 1/4 cup (60 ml) measure, scoop the batter into the prepared tins, dividing evenly. Bake in preheated oven 15-20 minutes, until a tester inserted in a center muffin comes out clean. Cool 5 minutes before turning onto a rack to cool completely. May be frozen.
Last Year at this Time: Grain Free Lemony Almond Pancakes