Friday, December 21, 2007

Coming "home" to the kitchen

I can't believe December is already threatening to disappear on us. It's been a whirlwind couple weeks. Granted, this entire semester has been a sort of tornado. It blew me South to a land I didn't realize I had missed.

There I got to relive my Oxford experience through my job (which I found to be a dangerous thing, considering I almost threw away 15 useful credits to go back this coming semester). I actually complained about not getting to share a classroom with nudists (in figure drawing). I rediscovered daily uses for my camera (hence this blog). My Japanese vocabulary expanded beyond three random words that formed the useless phrase "goodnight butt flower." And I recovered from a half-marathon with a cold beer (I would make my Uncle John proud).

Then I came back home and few things looked the same. Instead of our family home in the country, my mom has moved into an apartment on the outskirts of town. My dad is living closer to downtown.

My friend dropped me off on Tuesday, and in the kitchen of this unfamiliar new place I am to live for the next two weeks I found a bit of the familiar, of home, of peace - a little recipe clipping - on top of the Bosch my mom has had whirring and kneading since I was young.

So, after unpacking and putting on a hot pot of tea to ward off the cold, I fired up the oven (unromantically, but thankfully, that only required a turn of a knob).

These muffins did not disappoint. Though reluctant to waste my time on any recipe besides my mom's rummy raisin variation, I believe bananas to be highly redeemable components to any recipe (for example, the curried banana salad that was last night's dinner...never mind, that could be a very long tangent). In this bread/muffin batter the lovely banana-rum combination still existed along with plenty of chewy coconut, and the lime glaze was a nice way to fancy-up the flavor and make it an attractive looking treat. Cooking Light calls this is their best quick bread, and I think I now have the authority to say they're onto something.

Coconut Banana Muffins/Bread with Lime Glaze
Adapted from Cooking Light, September 2003

Makes about 16 muffins or 1 loaf of bread.

2 cups all-purpose flour (about 9 ounces)
3/4 teaspoon baking soda
1/2 teaspoon salt
1 cup granulated sugar
1/4 cup butter, softened
2 large eggs
1 1/2 cups mashed over-ripe banana (about 3 bananas)
1/4 cup plain low-fat yogurt (I had whole milk yogurt on hand, which kind of boots this out of the "light" category)
3 tablespoons dark rum
1/2 teaspoon vanilla extract
1/2 cup flaked sweetened coconut, plus additional for tops of muffins
1/2 cup powdered sugar
1 1/2 tablespoons fresh lime juice (lemon works too)

1. Preheat oven to 350°.

2. Lightly spoon flour into dry measuring cups; level with a knife. Combine flour, baking soda, and salt, stirring with a whisk.

3. Place granulated sugar and butter in a large bowl; beat with a mixer at medium speed until well blended. Add eggs, 1 at a time, beating well after each addition. Add banana, yogurt, rum, and vanilla; beat until blended. Add flour mixture; beat at low speed just until moist. Stir in 1/2 cup coconut.

4. Spoon batter into greased muffin tins; sprinkle with coconut. Bake at 350° for 12-15 minutes or until a wooden pick inserted in center comes out clean. Cool in muffin tin 10 minutes on a wire rack; remove.

5. Combine powdered sugar and juice, stirring with a whisk; group muffins closely together in order to most easily drizzle glaze on top. Cool completely on wire rack.


Kate / Kajal said...

hey there , thanks for dropping by my blog. I'd like to agree with you on Dec dissapearing , before we know it'll be gone.

These muffin bread cakes look nice n easy . just right to have ready when some hungry friends drop by.

Happy Holidays :)

Dad said...

Memories are as sweet as the food you use to invite us to the past. Thanks for stroll - and the drool.

Caryn said...

I'm glad that you've made it home safely. Enjoy baking over the holidays!

Lael said...

Kate: thank you for stopping back by my blog. I love unexpected visitors! happy holidays :)

Dad: if you are drooling, I'm doing my job :)

Caryn: my dear, you would be loving washington right now. hope you have a wonderful family-filled christmas!