That book I was impatiently awaiting? It finally arrived over the weekend. Those high expectations I had? This book managed to exceed them. I went straight from the door, where it was finally the UPS guy on the other side, and not some crazy lady, to the couch, where I immersed myself into the book, and stopped abruptly at page 41: Millet Muffins. I had everything needed to make them: whole wheat flour, millet, yogurt, eggs, butter, honey, lemon. Just that ingredient list had me sighing. It helped that the instructions were along the lines of: mix the dry ingredients, mix the liquid ingredients, combine, place in oven; definitely just the thing for a weekend morning, with “lazy” as its main description. It also meant that I could be back on the couch, with my new arrival, in just a few minutes. After page 42, I found a Whole Grain Rice Salad, with spinach, goat cheese, walnuts, torn fresh cherries and a cherry vinaigrette. Let’s rewind: torn fresh cherries. Also: Pomegranate-Glazed Eggplant with Tempeh. Little Quinoa Patties. If Heidi first made quinoa sexy, she now makes it irresistibly cute. And if you get to page 228 without feeling blessed that in a world such as ours, you have a gem such as this, right in your hands (who are you?), the recipe for Roasted Strawberries, parked right there, will totally do you in. I mean, roasting strawberries? A testament to this woman’s genius.
Smells of honey mingling with lemon, drew me back to the kitchen to check on the muffins. We enjoyed them outside, in our backyard, in one of the first bursts of summery weather, the little grains of millet, suspended in the dough, popping pleasantly in our mouths.
You can’t really tell from this picture, but this morning it was raining and the skies were a forlorn shade of gray. I pulled a Millet Muffin out of my freezer, and let it defrost on my counter. Slathered with cream cheese and black cherry jam**, it reminded me of summer, and the promise of lazy mornings in the sun. It also reminded me just how blessed I am, at home, sheltered from the rain, and with a copy of this book within reach.
You can download the recipe for these muffins here.
A few notes:
The recipe calls for whole wheat pastry flour. I used regular whole wheat flour, and it was just fine.
I used a thick, greek-style yogurt for the “plain yogurt” stipulated; I’m sure it would work well with a goat’s milk yogurt, too.
Next time, I would try scaling down the honey just a bit (maybe 3 tablespoons?) and adding the zest from an additional lemon.
Particularly noteworthy: these muffins freeze beautifully.
(Pictured: a glimpse into the sunny world of Super Natural Everyday.)
**That black cherry jam is amazing, people! It has plump whole cherries suspended in a thick puree of goodness. Do yourself a favor and pick this up next time you are at the supermarket (Jerusalem, Beersheva, Paris and Brooklyn; I’ve found this in supermarkets everywhere). It’s made of 100% fruit, with all natural ingredients, and contains no preservatives, artificial flavors, or colors, and is sweetened with grape juice. The production is a little uneven, and sometimes, it’s all whole cherries, with very little puree, while at other times the ratio is more of a 50-50, and on yet other occasions, the machines win and the cherries are all crushed. Unfortunately, there’s no way of telling until you open the jar. Although it can be sometimes slightly disappointing (only slightly, because it does, after all, taste the same), when you do discover that your’s is filled with dozens of whole cherries suffocatingly smooshed together, you’ll feel like you have hit the jackpot. Do I sound like an advertisement? It’s that good.