Chicken n’ Pastry

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As far as I can tell, there is no good information on the internet discerning the difference between chicken n’ dumplings and chicken n’ pastry. Why is that? “Because nobody cares,” you snidely remark. You are probably right but since I gain a certain pleasure in having people listen to me talk about things that nobody cares about,  I am going to continue.

Let’s start with the basics:

In the riveting, year-round classic The Oxford Companion to Food, gastronomic historian Alan Davidson romantically describes the origins of the dumpling:

“A dumpling is a food with few, indeed no, social pretensions, and of such simplicity that it may plausibly be supposed to have evolved independently in the peasant cuisines of various parts of Europe and probably in other parts of the world too. Such cuisines feature soups and stews, in which vegetables may be enhanced by a little meat. Dumplings, added to the soup or stew, are still, as they were centuries ago, a simple and economical way of extending such dishes.

“Dumpling. A term of uncertain origin which first appeared in print at the beginning of the 17th century, although the object it denotes–a small and usually globular mass of boiled or steamed dough–no doubt existed long before that.”

How charming.

Pastry is in fact a different beast altogether. It’s rolled out like a pie crust and cut into strips. It is in fact a simple, flat pasta.

I am glad to have cleared that up. Now let’s eat.

The Ingredients

  • 5 to 6 lb whole chicken
  • 2 1/2 tsp salt
  • 3 chicken bouillon cubes
  • 1/2 onion, diced
  • 2 carrots, chopped
  • 1 tsp dried parsley
  • 1 tsp dried thyme
  • 1/4 tsp garlic powder
  • 1/4 tsp onion salt
  • 1/4 tsp black pepper
  • 2 c all-purpose flour
  • (2 tbsp reserved chicken fat)
  • (1 c reserved broth)

The Process

Disclaimer* Chicken n’ Pastry takes a long time because you have to wait on things to cool. I suggest starting early or having a lot of wine on hand.

Start by boiling the chicken until the meat is falling off of the bone. This normally takes at least 30 minutes but can vary depending on the size of your chicken. Once the meat is tender, place the chicken in a colander to cool, reserving the broth and drippings. Place the broth in a container in the refrigerator to allow the fat to rise. Meanwhile, debone the chicken.

Once the fat has risen (this is the long wait), skim the fat and set aside. Pour the broth through a sieve over a stock pit and bring to a gentle boil leaving 1 cup of broth for the pastry. Add the vegetables, herbs and bullion (the added bullion makes a significant difference in taste!) to the broth and allow it to cook for about 25 minutes while you are making the pastry.

Making the Pastry is super simple. In a large bowl, combine the flour and 2 tsp of the reserved chicken fat with a fork until it is crumbly. Then add the reserved broth (1 cup) and 1 1/2 tsp of salt and blend into a ball.

Roll out the pastry dough until it is about 1/8 in. thick and cut into 2 in. squares. When you are ready, remove the vegetables from the broth with a slotted spoon and turn the temperature to high to get a rolling boil. Drop in the pastry, strip by strip, and stir to prevent sticking. Allow for the pastry strips to cook for about 10 minutes keeping an eye on the boil.

Add the chicken and season with salt and pepper. Let the dish cook for another 5 minutes or so for the chicken to warm. I topped mine with a little fresh parsley and ate immediately.

Pizza Capricciosa

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Last year I was sitting in Pizzeria Remo in Testaccio in Rome when my friend looked at me and said “Capricciosa?” “What is that?” I ask. “A pizza,” she clarifies, gesticulating in that way Italians do, “covered in many different things, who knows. A capricious pizza -it can’t make up its mind.”

“Hmm…” I confirmed but my mind had already wandered elsewhere. Capricious huh? I was familiar in the word in that I had heard elders close to me utter it in whispers when I was around but I wasn’t positive as to its meaning. I was positive that it was a brazen word for a pizza. I was immediately impressed with the intrepidity of the Capricciosa; the glaring non-conformity in the decision to choose neither traditional nor stable ingredients. Furthermore, I was jealous of the unabashed acceptance of this rogue, impetuous pizza especially in a culture steeped in tradition, superstition and social norms.

Then it hit me. Sitting there in the back of busy Remo, my friends chattering on in Italian, ignorant to my ephiphanous moment and becoming louder with each sip of vino: I had just been introduced to the thing most perfectly align to me in the entire world. My soul mate. And it was a pizza.

After that, I did a bit more research. If there has ever been a word that more adeptly describes my nature it would be capricious. Capricious defined: “Given to sudden and unaccountable changes of mood and behavior, impulsive, unpredictable…. whimsical.” Have we met?

There is no official recipe for Pizza Capricciosa. Change and variety is in both it’s nature and name. The most common ingredients include mozzarella, artichokes, prosciutto, hard-boiled egg, mushrooms and olives. I decided to add zucchini, onions, boiled potatoes and cherry tomatoes as well…. due to my capricious nature. The ingredients are not all piled on top of the pizza. Instead, each section of the pie boasts a different ingredient allowing you to try a bunch of things at once.

The Ingredients

  • Pizza Dough (This is my favorite recipe although not necessarily typical for Italian pizza)
  • prosciutto
  • Boiled Potatoes
  • Black Olives
  • Artichokes
  • Hard-boiled Egg
  • Anchovies
  • Mozzarella
  • Onions
  • Green Onion
  • Cherry Tomatoes
  • Mushrooms
  • Parsley

The Process

Preheat oven to 450 degrees F.

Once the dough is ready, roll it out and cover with a layer of tomato sauce. I added about 1/2 cup of mozzarella to my pizza, because I am excessive, but you could probably deal with less.

I added my ingredients in sections so that each slice had a combination of delights but no one slice contained all ingredients. This is the normal arrangement. Afterwards, I topped with w bit more cheese, some drizzled olive oil and salt & pepper.

Bake for 20-25 minutes.

 

The Great Chocolate Chip Cookie Recipe

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David Lebovitz is the only man who consistently gives me what I want.

Have you heard of him? He is this wonderful man who was a pastry chef in California but then moved to Paris and blogs about making macarons and Pierre Hermes and  Persimmon bread and life in Paris. And goes to truffle markets?! How does one even find that?

To be quite blunt, he does everything that I do (or want to do) but much, much better. And in Paris.

Anyways, I used his recipe to make chocolate chip cookies and they were the best cookies that I have ever had and now I am feeling a little bit bitter.

 

Recipe adapted from here which adapted it from here.

The Ingredients

  • 1/2 cup (100 grams) granulated sugar
  • 1/2 cup (120 grams) firmly packed light brown sugar
  • 8 tablespoons (1 stick) (115 grams) unsalted butter, cold, cut into 1/2-inch (1cm) pieces
  • 1 large egg
  • 1 teaspoon vanilla extract
  • 1/2 teaspoon baking soda
  • 1 1/4 cups (175 grams) all-purpose flour
  • 1/4 teaspoon salt
  • 1 1/2 cups (200 grams) semisweet chocolate chips
  • 1 cup(130 grams) walnuts or pecans, toasted and chopped (in fact, I did not use nuts. Nuts are expensive.)

The Process

Preheat the oven to 300 degrees F and line three baking sheets with parchment paper.

This is where it got a little tricky for me. The recipe says “Beat the sugars and butters together until smooth.” Have you guys seen my stand-up mixer, the Sunbeam Model 11, circa 1956? It has one attachment and no correct bowls (for now). Hence, what I thought the recipe said was “Slightly melt the butter and whisk everything together.”

 

After all that, I added the egg, vanilla and baking soda. Then mixed together the salt and flour and threw that in.

It was all quite simple actually. This recipe isn’t particularly special when it comes to chocolate chip cookie recipes. They all require some variation of these things and to be honest, most are more extravagant involving coconut and oats and such.

So what then made these cookies so delicious?

Let us look for a minute at cookie dough to chocolate chip ratio. Most cookies, for an amount of dough of this size, would recommend less than a cup of chocolate chips! Cookies like these, and these, and well, these.

“Fuck that”, says David (In my head). “I live in France and it is already noon and I have barely had my first glass of champagne. 1.5 cups of chocolate chips! And why not? Le plus grand faible des hommes, c’est l’amour qu’ils ont de la vie.”

And so it goes….. 1.5 cups of chocolate chips to 1.25 cups of flour make the best cookies that I have ever tasted.

Bake 18 minutes and enjoy.

Salmon with Roasted Asparagus and Lemon-Caper Sauce

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“There are some achievements which are never done in the presence of those who hear of them. Catching salmon is one, and working all night is another.”

Anthony Trollope

I know I say this in almost every post, but I think that there are few things that I enjoy more than Salmon. Grilled, baked, smoked….. tartare. Some of my very favorite memories revolve around Baxters on Amelia Island, a fine wine and buttery Lox with cream cheese, capers and caviar. Alas, long gone are the days  of financial freedom and the beluga well has long run dry. However, thanks to the amazing versatility of this oily, migratory morsel, I needn’t completely be without my fix.

Salmon is a big deal in the Methow Valley. The two main types of Salmon apparently present (I guess – I’m no fish biologist) are Coho (as seen above) and Steelhead. Together, the Methow Salmon Recovery Foundation, the Yakima Indian Nation, and the Washington Department of Fish and Wildlife (to name a few) work to monitor salmon reproduction and migration patterns.

Additionally, salmon are anadromous: they are born in fresh water, migrate to the ocean, then return to fresh water to reproduce. They do not simply return to the same river, but to the same off-shoot stream in which they were born. And all of this led only by their olfactory memory!

None of this is related to the recipe. I simply want you to know that you are eating a very smart fish.

Which could be the reason for all the health benefits that come with consuming with one of the most pungent of the Salmoniformes. Salmon consumption is thought to be served with the following benefits:

  • Decreased Inflammation
  • Cancer Prevention
  • Eye Health
  • Cardiovascular Health
  • Skin & Hair Health
  • Cognitive Function (my favorite benefit – Some studies have also demonstrated an association between IQ and a diet rich in omega-3 fatty acids.)

All of this being said:

The Ingredients

  • 2 tablespoons fresh lemon juice
  • 2 tablespoons minced red onion
  • 1 tablespoon olive oil
  • 1 tablespoon drained capers, chopped
  • 1 teaspoon chopped fresh thyme
  • 1/2 teaspoon grated lemon peel
  • 1 1 1/2-pound skinless salmon fillet (1 1/4 to 1 1/2 inches thick)
  • 1 pound asparagus, trimmed
  • 1 tablespoon extra-virgin olive oil

The Process

This is the simplest recipe ever. Seriously. You cannot mess this recipe up.

Preheat oven to 450 degrees F.

First, you whisk the first 6 ingredients together to make a sauce. Then line a baking  dish with the asparagus. Lay the salmon on top of the bed of asparagus and then top with the sauce.

Bake for about 20 minutes ( I did mine a little bit more because our oven is not so good).

Remove from oven, allow to cool and enjoy.

I’m Back…..

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I made it! Well, I made it a seven weeks ago but it has been complete madness getting settled in. Camille and I rolled into Twisp, our new home for 1 year, April 22nd and have been crazy busy since. For a population of a little under 1000, this place is hoppin’!

There is so much to do here! At first, I thought that moving to such a sleepy, loosely-populated mountain valley would be boring but I couldn’t have been more wrong.

Camille loves it too in case you can’t tell…

Before I get going on how cool this sleepy little town is, let me tell you a little about my job. According to my business card, I am the Agriculture Program Coodinator for Twispworks, which is a public development authority. This is very exciting considering that for some of the other jobs that I was applying for, my title ended in the word “Assistant.” Let me tell you: when applying for jobs, there is a difference in the way that you are perceived depending on if your former title was “Assistant” or not. It’s simply true. So thank God it’s not.

My job is seperated into two seperate programs. Firstly, I am now the capacity-building VISTA for the Red Shed Produce garden, which is a farm-to-food bank garden which also provides education opportunities for the local Alternative school as well as people struggling with food-based health issues. This is really exciting because it incorporates so many wonderful aspects. The kids from the alternative school help in the garden and the harvest feeds the low-icome families (there may be some cross over there…) A really wonderful program that fights hunger and healthy food issues on a real ground level.

The second part of my job involves exploring the creation of a Methow Valley agricultural brand as well as a collaborative distribution center and virtual store. This is really exciting for me because I am getting to use my marketing skills from college while learning an amazing amount about agriculural economics, marketing and production. Following a consultation by Seattle University MBS students, I am currently doing primary market research to gauge the interest from local Producers in collaborative programs. It can be a touchy area because this is a small town and people have unrelated grudges or opinions that go back for decades. I feel very lucky that I am coming at this as an outsider for these reasons.

Apart from these two main things, there are other activities that I perform while at work. Currently, one hour per week, I am helping out with the Methow Valley School District #350 Summer Feeding Program. Over 60% of elementary students in the Methow Valley are on free/reduced lunch and for some, the meal that they receive at school is the only meal that they receive in a day. We are trying to make sure that no child goes hungry over the summer by offering free lunch in the park to kids under 18. It is the school districts first year with this program and we are really very excited about the potential that it could have to make happier, more producitve kids. My role in all of this is to find volunteers to chaperone nad coordinate activities for the kids. I think that it is going to be an amazing summer.

Ok, enough about work – how about a little bit of the history of Twisp. Twisp is located in the marvelous Methow valley (pronounced Met-how, very important)  and marks the convergence of the Methow and Twisp Rivers. Apparently,  “The Methow Valley is Washington’s equivalent of the Old West. As you drive up the valley, you’ll pass fields of baled hay, big old weathered barns, corrals full of horses and the jagged Cascades for a backdrop.” That sounds like a pretty good description to me.

The spirit of these people is amazing. Many of the residents here are transplants from cities or elsewhere who visited the valley and simply fell in love. Lucky for me, this means a plethora of amazing activities that aren’t common in such small towns.

For example, I am now playing the role of Ethel Toffellmeier in the local production of The Music Man. Twisp has a playhouse, The Merc, which offers a a diverse array of live theater throughout the year and celebrates each summer with an outdoor musical. Personally, I couldn’t be more excited that the show this year is The Music Man because it seems a lot like Twisp…..

Here is my character, Ethel, playing the role of Marcellus’s (the lead singer) “Shipoopi”. Be sure to check out our dance solo around 1:36…..

Another cool thing that is happening is the VISTA RADIO HOUR! My fellow VISTAS and myself are hosting a radio hour on the local radio station, KTRT the Root. On our show we talk about VISTA things that are happening and projects that we are working on plus play music. I normally set up strange things and throw out dubstep or opera. The others are less experimental than I. But then again, that is normally the case.

Here is the interview that we first did which led to the show:

In fact, perhaps I will start recording all of our shows and putting them in the blog… Let me know what you think about in the comment section.

And finally, I have taken up tennis. I am having trouble finding the mental enegery to face all of these hills and mountains but had to start getting my excercise somewhere. Tennis is is then! A perfect fit to my level of athleticism and competitiveness, I mainly play with older ladies  (and my friend Maureen).  It is enough to get a workout in without feeling like my chest is going to explode (my general feeling when trying to tackle one of the abundant hills here in the mountains) and it is incredibly entertaining. Also, it has given me an excuse buy some new tennis clothes at the Senior Center (the rummage room where I do ALL of my shopping).

That is it for now – I promise that I will start posting recipes again soon because I have been cooking some marvelous things…..

Let me know your thoughts! <3.

Moving Time

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Hi Everyone! Just wanted to let you all know that the month of April is going to be a little slacker when it comes to the recipes. Last week, I went on Easter vacation with my family to the Nantahala National Forest and had a blast hiking and zip lining and just hanging out in the mountains. Needless to say, I had neither the time nor technology to cook or write.

Now that I am home from vacation, I have 4 days to get my entire life together to make the 10 journey to my new job in Washington State.  I have decided to couchsurf my way across America (with the exception of my 4 days in Denver for AmeriCorps training) and have all of my hosts pretty much set up. However, Camille still needs to get her shots updated, I need to pack, I am working two full days, I have to drive to Macon to pick up a car part and I need to get my teeth cleaned. That is a lot to do in 4 days! Plus, I am still taking that online Stanford Game Theory class, which is an excessive amount of work. Double plus, I still have to find a house in Washington!

The moral of this story: don’t expect a lot of me this month. I will try to update on my road trip across country but I doubt that I will be cooking much considering my current nomadic condition.  However, I promise that I will make it up to you when I get to Washington and begin my 12 month 12 skill challenge. Which, by the way, I still need a few more inspiring ideas for!

Check back in May for some exciting new recipes in line with early harvest! Cheers!

Key Lime Pie 1

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For awhile now I have wanted to take on the task of mastering a specific dessert. I wanted people to think of me and say,”Oh Marissa? She makes the best…” Macrons, which I view as the Kilimanjaro of pastries have been an option. As well as profiteroles. And representing South America and Spain I once thought that I would master the flan (that was a complete disaster). But I got to thinking, why would I, coming from Florida, make the best macrons when I haven’t even attempted the king of all Florida desserts… the Key Lime Pie.

So now I have. My new goal is to become a master of the elusive and diverse Key Lime Pie.

According to Key Lime pie aficionado David L. Sloan, “Around here everyone has a story. They tell it in Key lime pie.” This has led to amazing variations on the original recipe, from bacon to jalapenos. According to historians, the pie was probably created by sponge divers who added the abundant local key limes to the condensed milk that they had on the boats. However the official story is that the Key Lime Pie recipe was first invented by a cook named Aunt Sally who worked in the house of millionaire and ship salvager William Curry. The first recipe, however, wasn’t recorded until the 1930s. Ever since, the Key Lime Pie has held a popular role in the Keys food culture and has spread throughout the state as well.

Personally, I prefer my key lime pies to be lighter and more airy than it’s cheesecakey counterparts. This recipe came from Pepe’s Cafe in Key West and was recorded by Sloan for Epicurious. It is definitely one of the best that I have tasted but I plan on continuing the my search for the perfect pie.

The Ingredients

For the graham cracker crust:

  • 1 1/2 cups graham cracker crumbs from about 12 (2 1/4-inch by 4 3/4-inch) crackers
  • 1/4 cup sugar
  • 1 teaspoon ground cinnamon
  • 5 tablespoons unsalted butter, melted

For the filling:

  • 2 large egg whites
  • 4 large egg yolks
  • 1/4 teaspoon cream of tartar
  • 1 (14-ounce) can sweetened condensed milk
  • 1/2 cup fresh (or bottled, if you must)  Key lime juice

To serve:

  • 1 cup heavy cream
  • 3 tablespoons confectioners’ sugar

The Process

Making the graham cracker crust:

Preheat the oven to 350 degrees F.

Begin by stirring together the graham cracker crumbs, sugar, and cinnamon. Combine with the melted butter and press into the bottom and sides of a 9 inch pie plate. Bake for about 10 minutes until brown. Take out and allow to cool but leave the oven on.

making the filling:

In the bowl of a stand mixer with whisk attachments, beat the egg whites until they are frothy. Then add 1/4 tsp cream of tartar and continue to beat until they hold stiff peaks.

At this point I squeezed about half a bag of key limes to get the half a cup of fresh juice. You can use store-bought juice if key limes are unavailable or you don’t feel like making the extra effort but I think that it takes away the charm of the dish.

In a separate large bowl whisk together the egg yolks and can of condensed milk. Add the lime juice. Gently fold the egg whites into the mixture until just combined. Spread the mixture in the pre-baked crust and bake until the center is set, about 20 minutes. I went ahead and left mine in until there was a little browning on the top.

Allow to cool completely and then cool for at least 2 hours before serving.

Whip the heavy cream and sugar together until whipped cream forms and use as garnish.

The Ultimate Sweet Tater Black Bean Burger

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The transition into vegetarianism (well, pescatarianism technically but that word makes me shudder) is a tough one. There are things that make it easier for sure. Fake meats, veggie burgers, etc but normally, they aren’t much better for you than the meat itself.

This is a whole different story. This burger, though made of vegetables, is no veggie burger. This is an entity entirely of its own. I got the recipe from a blog called Edible Perspective, where it is referred to as “The Burger” and I think that is quite right.I topped them with some provolone, lettuce, tomato and roasted red pepper but I think that avocado would be really good too.

Ingredients

  • 15oz black beans, drained + rinsed
  • 3c cubed sweet tater, cooked + skin on [~1.5lbs]
  • 1/2c frozen or fresh corn
  • 2/3c finely chopped onion [1/2 medium onion]
  • 2 large garlic cloves, finely minced
  • 1/2c cooked quinoa
  • 6T rolled oats, partially ground
  • 2T sunflower seeds
  • 1/2t salt
  • black pepper
  • 1t cumin
  • 1t oregano
  • 1/4t coriander
  • 1t chili powder
  • 1/4t cayenne [optional]
  • 1T olive oil

The Process

First things first. The quinoa needs to be cooked according to instruction on the box. While the quinoa cooks, cube the sweet potatoes and then steam them until they are soft enough to mash.  Mash the sweet potatoes just a bit, they should not be creamy.

Preheat the oven to 375 degrees F.

Mash half of the beans and then mix them in with the other half of the beans. This will give a little bit of texture and help the burgers stay together.

Add all of the remaining ingredients, combine and adjust for taste.

Form the mixture into 8 medium-sized patties and place on a baking sheet. I have been lining my baking sheets with some new product that is half parchment and half foil. It worked for this but I don’t suggest it….

Bake for about 30 minutes, flipping half way through. Then serve and enjoy!

These are instructions from Edible Perspective for other ways to cook the burgers. I prefer baking mine I will let you make that choice.

“*To pan cook – Heat a pan to medium and lightly grease.  Cook on each side for 5-8min, flip + cook another 5-8min until golden brown.

*For the grill – Bake burgers for 15min on one side, flip burgers once and bake another 10min.  While baking, preheat your grill slightly above medium [~350-375*]  Grease the grates and cook burgers for ~3min per side.”

Camille

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As my little blog grows, I have this sudden urge to share things other than food. Plus, I happen to believe that this topic deserves at least one post. More realistically, it deserves an entire website.

Anyways, this is Camille. She is 9 years old and she is my dog and best friend since an ex rescued her from the pound 6 years ago. She goes with me everywhere and we are exactly alike. She likes bacon (but not fake, dog bacon), laying in the sun, boats and late mornings. She dislikes most children, crowds (especially crowds with balloons), jellyfish and excessive hygiene.

We are peas in a pod.

Oatmeal Muffins

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I have been extremely busy lately. Firstly, I am moving to the other side of the country in exactly 21 days. I am getting there, Camille in tow, via Kerouac-style road trip, couchsurfing my way across America. However, last week, I vacationed in my beautiful home town of Amelia Island and plan on spending an extended Easter holiday in the Smoky Mountains and hence, don’t have a whole lot of time left to pack. Also, I am starting a nonprofit. And working on my blog. And taking a volunteer class on game theory through the Standford Open Courses. And farming….

Oh, also I work full-time. I work in my dad’s office taking files out of shelves and then putting different files back into shelves. Sometimes, I move files to places other than shelves. But eventually, I take them back. However, because it is my dad’s office I also listen to audiobooks and dance and eat while moving the files. I learnt all about Mises in those shelves….. I can’t wait to start my real job.

Needless to say, what I really need is food that I can grab on the go. My mornings are normally completely booked with existential crisis and I always forget to eat. But I have found a solution.

Parts of this recipe came from 101 Cookbooks which is one of my favorite sources of inspiration as well as a constant go-to when things get complicated. Other parts came from memories that I have of making oatmeal muffins as a kid. At least I think that’s where they are from….

The Ingredients

Crumble topping:

  • 3/8 cup whole wheat pastry flour
  • 1/4 cup rolled oats (do not used instant)
  • 1/4 cup natural cane or brown sugar
  • 1/4 teaspoon fine grain sea salt
  • 1/6 cup unsalted butter, melted

Muffin batter:

  • 1 cup rolled oats
  • 3/4 cup unbleached all-purpose flour
  • 3/4 cup whole wheat pastry flour
  • 1/2 teaspoon baking soda
  • 1/2 teaspoon fine grain sea salt
  • 1 teaspoon nutmeg
  • 1 tablespoon cinnamon
  • 7/8 cup unsalted butter, plus more for greasing pan
  • 1 tablespoon vanilla extract
  • 1 1/2 cups plain yogurt
  • 2 large eggs, whisked

The Process

Preheat oven 350 degrees F.

Butter one or two muffin pans, generously. I used mini muffin pans. Use a fork to combine the flour, oats, sugar, and salt in a bowl and then stir in the melted butter until the mixture is moist. Form into a couple of hamburger sized patties and place in the freezer for about 10 minutes until they are crumbly.

The Mix

Sift together the oats, flours, baking soda, sugar, cinnamon, nutmeg and sea salt. In a separate large bowl, mix together the butter, vanilla, yogurt and eggs. Then stir the dry ingredients into the wet. Be sure not to overmix.

Spoon the mixture into the muffin tin, filling each around 3/4 full (you will notice in the pictures that mine are fuller then that… it’s in my reckless nature). Take the crumble outside of the freezer and break it into pieces. Sprinkle a bit of it over each muffin.

Since I made mini muffins, I reduced the cooking time to 15 minutes. It is also worth noting that I have a mega oven and I always tend to need to lower temperatures / cooking times.