Get Real: Banana Poppy Seed Muffins

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Do you have regular fridge-rummaging sessions? You know, the hours-long appointment in which you take out all those drawers, shelves, and rancid white-thing-that-used-to-be-orange? And you eventually make it to the freezer, where you find collard greens that you vowed to use six months ago in a really healthful and subtly gourmet extravaganza, probably featuring “Specialty Items” like tahini and unpronounceable produce?

I don’t really think I do. I mean, I find things like collard greens and unrecognizable species when I fridge-clean. But it’s more of a long, long overdue apology to the fridge…but perpetually, which means it is always long overdue. When I clean the fridge, it means I have said to myself (or to anyone who gives a shit about my fridge hygiene – aka my cats who have tuna investments), “Wow, that mysterious substance underneath the jalapeños is 13-month-old beer?”

Maybe this is the norm. If so, I would find its universality (that is, the Fridge Complex) to be perfectly justified; who the heck has sufficiently renewable courage, or the necessary industrial rubber suits, to go in there on a consistent basis? Anyway, upon my last fridge-and-freezer-raid, I found some bananas that looked super questionable, like they abuse their tanning-salon memberships questionable, but they were ideal for these Banana Poppy Seed Muffins (really)!

Enter muffins.

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Whole Wheat Everything Bagels

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I love bagels. They get such a bad rap, though, and I’ve been feeling a little defensive for them. Innocent bread circles, wonderfully round, thick and beautiful – what have they done to deserve such criticism, such shunning!

So, I have decided to do some sort of half-assed internet research. Are bagels six times worse than a slice of bread? What does that even mean? Do they, in a single bagel, really have as much calories and carbohydrates as a loaf of bread? How are they made? Did they save cream cheese from the brink of extinction?!

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All these and more, tonight on Bette Jane’s Bagel Hour.

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Blackberry Banana Bread

I came late to berry season. Upon waking up every morning, I thought, “BREAKFAST” closely followed by, “BLACKBERRIES”. After several weeks (I exaggerate not), a 21st birthday (and subsequently a renewed, heinous license that I will be subjecting bouncers to for the next five years), four dank bananas (which are rarely dank enough to not bake with) and a kitten (Duchess Lady Luna-Bear Elaine Athena Indica Rooney Artemis Cheese the III, aka Luna) later, I finally ventured out into the wild grass-wood-land that is our backyard…and frontyard…to collect a heaping bowl of blackberries. Meanwhile, my dear companion, Michael, barely scraped together a cup’s-worth.

It was totally the other way around. Whatever! Caterpillars!

Photo cred: radical drummer, Michael Hannon

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Brown Rice Pudding

Most of us take away invaluable lessons and memories from our college experiences. Outstanding professors, adventures, revelations; higher education provides us with a variety of important times…

…for me, that’s the introduction of rice pudding.

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Pumpkin Muffins with Millet and Chocolate Chips

This recipe adventure is actually an older one from the fall (hense the pumpkin, although who would really turn that down just because it’s summer?). I remember the day well: it began with an uncomfortably early rugby game, full of tight shorts, sweat and bruises the size of your mom (the sidelines are a tough place); then, I spent a few hours trying to coax my pilot light into wondrous flames (for, approximately, the eighth time); later, when I was filled with a need to recover from this strenuous day, I threw together these spectacular little hot cakes (correction, muffins) and shared them with fellow Writing Center nerd-friends over a semi-clean game of Scrabble.

Don’t feel bad if your life is less invigorating; mine is not meant to be a commonly traveled road. Pumpkin muffins, however, are on the path for all!

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