Before we get to muffins, I have a game for you. Created spontaneously one night, after some dizzying Facebook scrolling (when did Facebook become one endless stream of bumper stickers?). Pardon my yawning.
I think I'll call this amusement... The Dating Game. Here's how it hatched over crudities and hummus.
"I wish I knew you in high school," I tell my husband. This is not news to him, by the way. It's a popular topic lately, now that I am in my second adolescence, eighteen years past mid-life.
I sketch for him a vivid narrative of study hall humiliations and spikes of burning shame, waving a carrot stick in his direction, just for emphasis. I search for words to depict how it feels when a snickering quarterback punches your clutch of school books with his fists, sending you to your knees in a crowded hallway to rescue the sprawl of English homework, algebra and biology books that emit the faint smell of ink and gum.
He sighs audibly. He hates to hear these stories.
"I would have played you my Tommy album," I say. "I would have cooked you brown rice and tamari. We would have talked about books. Siddhartha. On the Road. Women in Love."
He smiles and adds, "Fear and Loathing in Las Vegas."
We toast Hunter Thompson with our mineral water.
"You wouldn't have liked me in high school," he says.
This isn't the first time I have heard this. It always puzzles me. Though he tells me this with less conviction now that he's been married to me for seventeen and a half years. I picture him in Levi's and an un-tucked flannel shirt. Beefy, brainy, sarcastic.
"I was angry," he mentions.
"Me too," I say, "but on the inside. A classic geek. They called me Four-Eyes."
"That's original," he says, popping an olive.
"And Sandwich," I add.
He raises an eyebrow. "Sandwich?"
"Yeah," I sigh. "Because of my hair. Straight. Thin. Parted down the middle. Like this." I place the edges of my palms on either side of my face. "Sandwich."
"Bullies," he says, and shakes his head in disgust.
Suddenly I feel inspired.
"Let's date in high school! Let's watch the movies we loved. Share music. Talk about books."
He laughs but I can tell he is visualizing it.
"For our first date," I tell him, "let's see Easy Rider. It rocked my fifteen-year-old world. Peter Fonda. Captain America. It launched me into orbit."
I sit back, sip mineral water, and glance at him sideways. I conjure my best rendition of my fifteen-year-old self.
"Hey. Wanna see Easy Rider?" I ask.
"It's rated R," he tells me. "We'll have to sneak you in. Or get you a fake ID."
Karina's Wheat-Free Gluten-Free Apple Cake Muffins RecipeRecipe originally posted September 2012 by Karina Allrich.
These light and tender muffins flirt with being apple cake. They don't have the dense graininess of your typical gluten-free muffin. I think the difference might be the flour mix- with potato starch. And the oil. I used organic canola oil.
1 cup sorghum flour
1/2 cup millet flour, or brown rice flour*
1/2 cup potato starch (not potato flour)
1 1/2 teaspoons baking powder
1/2 teaspoon baking soda
1 teaspoon xanthan gum
1/2 teaspoon sea salt
2 teaspoons cinnamon
1/4 teaspoon nutmeg
3/4 cup light brown sugar
2 organic free range eggs, beaten
1/2 cup organic canola oil
1/2 cup rice milk
1 tablespoon bourbon vanilla extract
1 heaping cup diced peeled apple (we used two medium apples)
Preheat the oven to 375ºF. Line a twelve cup muffin tin.
In a large mixing bowl, whisk together the flours, potato starch, baking powder, baking soda, xanthan gum, sea salt, cinnamon, nutmeg and brown sugar.
Add the eggs and oil, and beat to combine. Add the rice milk and vanilla extract, and continue beating for a minute or two until the batter is smooth and elastic.
Stir in the apple pieces by hand.
Spoon the batter evenly into the muffin cups.
Bake in the center of a preheated oven for about 22 minutes, until the muffins are domed, and firm.
Cool on a wire rack for five minutes, then turn out the muffins from the pan to keep them from getting soggy. Continue to cool on a wire rack.
Option: Sift tops with powdered sugar when cooled a bit.
Wrap and bag leftover muffins, and freeze them to preserve texture. These gems make perfect grab-and-go treats.
Make one dozen muffins.
Recipe Source: glutenfreegoddess.blogspot.com
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Notes:I'm now using less brown rice and brown rice flour, and eating fewer rice cakes, etc. Here's why- there is elevated arsenic in rice.
For an egg-free, vegan version, I don't see why egg replacer wouldn't work. I have had great luck making gluten-free vegan muffins - see my Vegan and Vegetarian Recipe Index for vegan muffin recipes and inspiration.
For more substitution help, please see my guide to baking with substitutions here.