When you were a kid, you probably were oblivious to time, waking up and going to bed when you felt like it or when mom or dad told you to. The days might have passed quickly, busying yourself with games and fresh air.
As a teenager you were probably groggy and hard to wake, mornings weren't your favorite.
But somewhere along the way there is a subtle change, mornings start having meaning for you. That's not to say you evolve into a morning person (ahem), but you appreciate the early quiet, the chirp of the birds (unless you're trying to sleep in), the sound of the gate clicking downstairs as someone comes or goes, the chill of the early morning before the heat wave invades, and reflecting on last night, what you have to do today, and so on and so forth… over breakfast.
A warm, inviting muffin. Maybe the strawberries were a little overripe, but they make it juicy. The orange is enticing, you love how the batter tasted as you scraped the bowl. You go through the same moves as always, dry ingredients, wet ingredients, mix them together without mixing too much. You remember the exciting news and smile to yourself. Wash the dishes as they are baking, fragrant in the oven, you can't wait to see your simple creation, it's much more than chemistry.
And finally, when you sit down to eat the muffin, after having photographed it 48 times in 48 different positions, it's still warm. It gives way easily to the knife and welcomes the strawberry jam. And as you bite into it, you realize that maybe you are a morning person, after all.
Melt-in-your-mouth orange scented strawberry muffins
Adapted from Stonyfield Farms
Makes 12 muffins
½ cup sugar
Zest from one orange
2 cups all-purpose flour
1 ½ tsp baking soda
1 cup chopped strawberries
1 cup plain or vanilla yogurt
½ stick unsalted butter, melted
1 tsp vanilla extract
A few drops of orange oil (optional)
Preheat oven to 375F with rack in the center. Grease a 12 muffin tin or line it with baking cups.
In a large mixing bowl, mix together the sugar and orange zest with your fingers, until you create a uniform, deliciously-scented orange sugar. Add the flour and baking soda and whisk until well combined. Add the strawberries and toss well to coat.
In another mixing bowl, whisk together the eggs, yogurt, melted butter, vanilla, and a couple drops of orange oil, if using. Pour the egg mixture into the flour mixture and stir until just combined (the batter will be slightly lumpy).
Spoon the batter into the muffin cups and bake for 20-25 minutes (I did 20, next time I might lower the temp to 350F and bake a little longer), or until the tops are golden brown. Let cool slightly on wire rack.
Nutrition per muffin: Cal 160. Fat 5g. Carbs 25g. Fiber 3g. Protein 5g. (YES, THESE ARE LOW FAT!!!)