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Mid-Week Rant | Whole Wheat Apple Cinnamon Muffins

February 8, 2012













Dear crazy mothers from Toddlers and Tiaras,

You frighten me. You’re just straight-up scary. Yet, you’re also fascinating. Watching you obsess over your four-year old’s make-up, mimick your daughter’s “dance” routine from the audience (PS. You look like the devil is being exorcized from your body when you do this), and yell at her to “shine!” for the judges is like watching a train wreck. Part of me wants to change the channel. But…I just can’t. stop. watching.

Pageant dresses that cost $1500? Pageant coaches that charge $150/hour? Spray tans and fake teeth? Ridiculous. Have you heard of piano lessons? Sports? Dance class? Arts and crafts? What motivates you to push your young, impressionable daughters to partake in activities that value physical appearance more than personality or strength of character? Do you care so little about nourishing their self-esteem and instilling in them important life values like honesty, respect, and kindness?














And when you criticize your daughter for not smiling big enough for the judges, or for not holding still while applying her fake eyelashes, I feel a strong urge to punch you in the face. Or at least give you a damn good shake in an effort to knock a little sense into you. Get a grip! Look at the example you are setting for your daughter, who will one day grow up and be a mother and raise children of her own.

If I may make a suggestion: Tell your daughter that she is beautiful, smart, and funny. Every day. Because I guarantee that there will come a day when she doesn’t believe it; when she questions whether she is smart enough, good enough, or pretty enough. She needs to hear these words, so that when she is doubting herself, she will hear your voice, telling her that she is all that and more.













Crazy pageant mom, life is hard. People can be mean. Be kind to your daughter. And teach her to be kind to others. Finally, to the mother whose child won the “grande supreme” title, and then promptly exclaimed that she won the pageant because she is so beautiful and talented and that all of the other girls are ugly and stupid…please, please, set your daughter straight. In about 10 years, she’s going to be waltzing through her school’s hallways as though she owns the place, teasing and bullying other girls that don’t meet her standards of perfection. I know, because I was one of those girls who suffered through three hellish years, all because I was flat-chested and didn’t wear cool clothes. So stop living vicariously through your 6-year old, stop forcing your 4-year old to eat salads while the rest of your family eats pizza so she will lose 5 pounds before the pageant (!!!), and stop teaching her that life is all about looking pretty and winning obnoxious trophies and crowns. Life is about so much more. Let her be a kid, for crying. out. loud.

Most Sincerely,


Ok, rant over. Time to make muffins!













These muffins are wonderful little packages filled with whole wheat flour, a healthy shot of cinnamon, and big chunks of apple. They are so moist, and the sugar on top creates a sweet little crunch. I recommend storing these muffins in the freezer if they aren’t eaten within the first couple of days of baking them, as I fear that all of those beautiful apple chunks might get a little dodgy if they sit out too long. I actually stuck the whole batch in my freezer – I grab one each morning on my way out the door and by the time I’m ready to eat it at work, it’s perfectly thawed and dee-licious!

Whole Wheat Apple Cinnamon Muffins (barely adapted from Smitten Kitchen)

1 cup whole wheat flour
1 cup all-purpose flour
1 tsp. baking powder
1 tsp. baking soda
A healthy pinch of salt
1 TBSP. cinnamon
1/2 cup butter, at room temperature
1/2 cup white sugar
1/4 cup + 2 TBSP. brown sugar, packed
1 large egg, lightly beaten
1 cup plain yogurt
2 large (or 3 small) Granny Smith apples, peeled, cored, and coarsely chopped

Preheat the oven to 450Β°F. Prepare a 12-count muffin tin (for big muffins), or prepare two tins (to make 18 smaller muffins).

Mix together the flours, baking powder, baking soda, salt, and cinnamon, and set aside. In a separate bowl, cream the butter and the white sugar, as well as 1/4 cup of the brown sugar, until fluffy. Add the egg and mix well, scraping the bowl at least once. Gently mix in the yogurt with a wooden spoon. Stir in the dry ingredients and fold in the apple chunks. The batter will be quite thick.

Divide the batter evenly among the prepared muffin cups, sprinkling with the remaining 2 TBSP. of brown sugar. Bake for 10 minutes, then reduce the heat to 400Β°F, and bake for an additional 8-10 minutes, or until a toothpick inserted into the center of a muffin comes out clean. Cool the muffins for 5 minutes in the pan, then turn them out onto a wire rack to cool completely. Enjoy for breakfast or a lovely afternoon snack! Preferably with a hot cup of tea.

























PS. During one of the commercial breaks, I saw an ad for a show called “My Strange Addiction”, in which a dude was trying to explain his emotional, physical, and sexual relationship with his car. Um, sexual relationship? Wha? And then it showed him making out with his car. As in, kissing his front bumper whilst the lower half of his body was underneath the car. With tongue.














What is the one show that you’re most embarrassed to admit that you watch?

34 Comments leave one →
  1. February 8, 2012 11:04 pm

    I am absolutely in love with your measuring cups and spoons. Like I will now obsess over them until I find some similar.

    • February 8, 2012 11:19 pm

      They are pretty cute, aren’t they? I got them as a gift, but I think they were discovered at Pier 1!

  2. February 8, 2012 11:09 pm

    Great post Amanda. I have an unhealthy addiction to America’s Next Top Model.
    Also…. Those measuring cups look familiar!! Weren’t they stolen from you??!?

    • February 8, 2012 11:21 pm

      Well apparently Santa thought I was a really good girl this year, and they appeared on my desk one morning…:)
      PS. I used to follow ANTM, but I can no longer handle the Tyra.

      • February 9, 2012 10:17 am

        That is so so sweet!! You deserve them πŸ™‚

  3. Gabriel permalink
    February 8, 2012 11:44 pm

    Wow wonderful muffins – I hope I get the chance to try one some day. The photo’s are to die for. Who taking the photo’s who ever they are they have a great eye for composition.

  4. February 9, 2012 2:14 am

    Like for post and for rant!

  5. February 9, 2012 5:49 am

    I love Santa! and I love your measuring set. (Thank goodness I live in Hong Kong and do not have access to really crazy shows like Tyra as I might go mad. )

  6. February 9, 2012 9:20 am

    Hahah Toddlers and Tiaras…never have I ever watched that show. Well I totally agree with your freezing things and then having them defrost on your way to work – works like a charm! Now these muffins have me craving that crunchy, sugar crumb topping…thaaaaanks a bunch.

  7. Natasha permalink
    February 9, 2012 10:28 am

    food n’ fhilosophy… what a delicious combo. loving your blog from across the pond. :O)

  8. February 9, 2012 11:14 am

    I wasn’t expecting a commentary on pageant moms, but I totally agree! You make great points regarding the values that are being taught to these young children. And, it’s just weird.

    And now I want to make some muffins, but I’m trying to stay low carb! Maybe I’ll make a half recipe πŸ˜‰ Great post!

  9. February 9, 2012 11:23 am

    These muffins look amazing…I could eat the entire tin…whilst watching Toddlers & Tiaras and screaming at my television. Yep, you’re welcome to come over anytime πŸ˜‰

  10. February 9, 2012 12:15 pm

    HAHAHAHA… muffins looks great love. ALSO, have you seen the Tom Hanks “Sexy Baby” (toddlers and tiaras) skit from Jimmy Kimmel Live? Here’s the link. You’ll love it:

  11. Candi Wooden permalink
    February 9, 2012 1:37 pm

    I’m going home to make tim some!! For him to take in his lunch when he goes to his NEW JOB!!

  12. February 9, 2012 5:44 pm

    If I had an afternoon to loaf and watch tv I would not be shy to take in What Not To Wear! Great blog, I am a new follower! Beautiful photos!

  13. February 9, 2012 10:57 pm

    awww…! I agree. Girls should not be told how much they should look or weigh! It’s so frustrating when people feel like they should have control over how others should appear like. Anyway, great post! And your muffins are making me craaaaave right now! Love your blog πŸ™‚

  14. February 10, 2012 10:18 am

    Adorable post!! AND I have heard MANY good things about these muffins.

    Too bad I’m on a self imposed muffin fast for the time being – WAY too much muffin baking over the last week or so! !

  15. February 11, 2012 10:57 am

    I’m pretty sure I should be embarrassed about how much I love the Rachel Zoe Project but I’m not. And I quote it all the time and no one ever gets it. Seems like everyone is making muffins this weekend and these sound pretty fabulous.

  16. February 11, 2012 12:32 pm

    Yum – I love that you use yogurt and whole wheat flour in the recipe. This is my first time visiting your blog, but I look forward to checking back πŸ™‚

  17. February 11, 2012 9:32 pm

    alrighty, confession time: I have been watching Toddlers and Tiaras on You Tube for 2 days now while nursing my baby…. its FASCINATING!! I can’t believe that so many people who really don’t have a lot of money would decide that THIS is the way to help their kids move forward in life!! How about investing a fraction of that in putting your kids in sports, or music classes? They would learn a skill, make friends, and possibly get some exercise!! Thanks for the new distraction Amanda! Thank goodness I have a boy! They are so much simpler!!!

  18. February 13, 2012 1:25 pm

    mmm they look so good

  19. The Teenage Taste permalink
    February 13, 2012 5:23 pm

    Those are the cutest measuring cups ever! Seriously, super cute!

  20. February 28, 2012 10:28 am

    I shouldn’t stare at muffins on an empty stomach. These look amazing, and I have everything to make them…

    Except the muffin pan.

    Might try to see if a loaf pan would workβ€”apple cinnamon muffin bread!

    As much as I hate to admit it…I watch the Maury show. I don’t know why I enjoy it. It’s trash TV at its finest (?) .

    • February 28, 2012 10:59 am

      I bet apple cinnamon muffin bread would be fantastic! Just give yourself some extra baking time.

      I totally watched Maury regularly a few years back – a definite guilty pleasure! Does he still have all of those “Who’s My Baby’s Daddy?” shows? Complete ridiculousness!

      Enjoy your bread! And I highly recommend investing in a muffin pan. πŸ˜‰

      • February 28, 2012 8:39 pm

        He does. In fact, it’s 60% of his show now. The talent competitions are now a rare treat. Frankly I wound up watching again because he leads into Anderson Cooper’s new talk show.

        (He had on some pageant moms recently. He’s as bewildered as I am about the whole phenomenon. I find the whole thing rather disturbing.)

        I’m definitely investing in a muffin pan. One of the good heavy ones.

  21. Kammie permalink
    March 15, 2012 4:48 pm

    These look delicious and healthy. Will definitely try them soon :))

  22. May 16, 2012 3:10 pm

    Pier 1 has pretty much the best stuff ever. In the world. Btw, totally agree with your rant, and am sadly admitting I am embarrassed that I watch Buffy the Vampire Slayer (and own the whole series…dear lord).

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