Most creative people tend to be creative in more ways than one. I’ve met writers who are serious crafters, knitters, painters…you name it. My other creative talent? I love to cook. Bake mostly, but cooking is starting to become more fun for me.
In my ‘real’ life, I run a bed-and-breakfast. A small one. Nothing too taxing. Breakfast is my favorite meal of the day, so I find making it for strangers a very relaxing and rewarding occupation. Before I serve any food to my guests, I try it out on the family. I like to make stuff that is tasty, a little out of the ordinary, but not too complicated. I hate recipes that require me to buy a lot of special ingredients I can only use for one recipe.
Muffins and quick breads are one of my favorite things to try. I have this incredible recipe for cinnamon loaf bread that would knock your socks off. It has buttermilk in the batter, and if you have ever made anything with buttermilk, you know how delicious it can be. I also have had raves about a Pina Colada bread that I make.
There’s something about cooking that clears my head. If I’m stressed or bored or stuck in a book, cooking sometimes helps me work through it. My mind becomes a blank as I focus on the measuring, the mixing, the final touches. It’s a methodical thing that doesn’t need 100% of your brain power.
So, for anyone who needs to work through some issues, here’s one of my favorites–
Zest of 1 lemon
1/2 cup oil
1 cup buttermilk
1 cup sugar
2 cups flour
1 teaspoon salt
2 teaspoons baking powder
For tops of muffins: juice of 1 lemon mixed with 1 tablespoon of sugar.
Preheat oven to 400 degrees.
Mix together lemon zest, eggs, oil, buttermilk, and sugar in a bowl. In a smaller bowl, mix together flour, salt, and baking powder. Add dry ingredients to wet, stirring until just combined. Batter will be very lumpy. This is good! Do not stir out the lumps. Fill muffin tin. Bake for 25 minutes.
After the muffins are baked, let them cool in the pan for about 10-15 minutes. Take a pastry brush and brush on the lemon juice/sugar mixture.
Makes 12 muffins.
**Trust me. It’s worth having a small container of buttermilk and a lemon on hand to make these suckers whenever you want. They are that good.