Home ownership is expensive
We were recently reminded of home ownership costs. We’ve had a pretty good run over the years, but lately the expensive stuff is needing work. You know…the roof, driveway, appliances, air conditioning, and so on. Luckily for us, some of these things lasted a lot longer than we expected. You do get to a point though when you have to start replacing things.
Welcome to our week. This week we had to replace our air conditioner, water heater, TV antenna and the post on our porch. Gee…when it rains, it pours, as the saying goes 🙂 Although it’s not fun to spend money this way, we do have to remind ourselves that these are first-world problems. When we put things into perspective, we actually have it pretty good. Although we’re far from wealthy, we have a nice little home (cooler now with our new a/c), we have a TV to watch (thanks to our repaired antenna), and we have a structurally safe home (with a nice new post that helps to hold up our balcony). Better still… we have good health to enjoy all these things. It doesn’t reduce this week’s expenses, but we are grateful for what we have and so I’ll stop wining about the money now 😉
The work came with a day off!
Since someone had to be home to receive all the contractors, I decided to take a vacation day from work. Although I couldn’t go out, I did enjoy my day at home. We always have a lot of stuff going on, so I decided to really relax on this day off. I did some Netflix binge watching, I answered the occasional question from one of the contractors, and I baked. What a nice break.
When in Rome
What does a food blogger do when he’s got free time? He tests a new recipe!
I hadn’t really planned on making anything for the blog yesterday (I was busy resting, after all). This means I hadn’t planned or shopped for a new recipe. I pulled out my Mom’s book of traditions and starting flipping through the hand-written pages. Lots of recipes looked interesting and tasty, but I didn’t have ingredients for most of them. I finally found I knew I had all the ingredients for.
The apple cake recipe looked like a winner, but I wasn’t sure I wanted to make a cake. How about itty bitty cakes (called muffins)? Yes…that’s better. I decided to use the same recipe, with a few tweaks, and a muffin tin instead of cake pan. I know it’s really the same…but it’s not… you know what I mean? Maybe it’s just me. Regardless, the resulting treat was delicious and this really made my day.
And so I raise a muffin to you. Cheers to home repairs that can’t be avoided. Cheers to feeling grateful. Cheers to binge-watching and restful vacation days. Cheers to eating well, friends!
Mom’s Simple Apple Muffins
- 4 cups peeled and cut apples (small pieces)
- 1 cup brown sugar
- 1 cup granulated sugar
- 1/2 cup vegetable oil
- 2 large eggs, at room temperature
- 2 tsp pure vanilla extract
- 2 cups flour
- 2 tsp baking soda
- 1 tsp salt
- 2 tsp cinnamon
- Preheat the oven to 350 ºF
- Line a muffin tin with muffin liners
- In a medium bowl, mix the apple pieces with the brown sugar and set aside. Make sure to coat all pieces well.
- In another medium bowl, whisk together the flour, baking soda, salt and cinnamon.
- In a stand mixer bowl, pour in the granulated sugar and oil. Use the flat beater attachment (used for cookie dough) to beat the sugar and oil on medium high speed for about 3 minutes.
- Lower the mixer to medium speed and add one egg at-a-time, and then the vanilla. Mix 1 minute.
- Add the apple mixture and mix for 1 minute.
- Lower the mixer speed to the slowest setting and carefully add in the flour mixture. Mix for 1 minute.
- Pour the batter into the liners using a soup spoon. The liners should be about 80% full.
- Place the muffin tin in the oven on the middle rack.
- Bake for 25 minutes or until a cake tester comes out dry.
- Let the muffins cool in the tin for about 10 minutes and then transfer the muffins to a cooling rack.
- Let the muffins finish cooling and serve. Enjoy!
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