Galley: 1) the kitchen of a boat. Sally: 1) a venture off the beaten path, 2) a military action in which besieged troops burst forth from their position, 3) a witty remark.

Wednesday, October 19, 2011

Apple-Nut Morning Puffins

In the morning, after the alarm goes off and I push snooze, the first thing I think about is breakfast. Not about eating it, but about making it. I let my sleepy mind travel through the cupboards and cooler, inventorying ingredients and figuring out what could come together for a filling, nutritious and yummy start to the day. Then, I map out my movements, deciding in what order I'll attack making tea/coffee, heating pans, slicing, dicing, and making/packing lunches. Once I have it figured out, I get up. This might sound a little control-freakish, but with incredibly limited counter space I need to have the progression of events mapped out ahead of time. I can also minimize dish use this way.

Example: This morning, I heated corn tortillas and melted cheese on them as step one for lunches, leaving the same pan warm and clean for cooking breakfast eggs. If I did the eggs first, the pan would have needed washing before I could warm the tortillas. Anyway...

Not too many mornings ago, my internal tour through the galley was coming up empty handed. Milk? Just a tiny bit. Not enough to make hot cereal. Eggs? Nope. Ummmm... I could make egg-less pancakes! Wait, not enough milk. And no syrup or yogurt or even juice. Just when I was trying to (unwillingly) wrap my mind around serving the hot cereal without milk, or with watered down milk, I remembered the peanut butter.

And then I remembered the apple. And the walnuts. And then I got up.

I was ready to make Apple-Nut Morning Puffins, topped with peanut-butter. Mmmmmmm! Why are they call puffins? They are muffins in a pan!

Peanut-butter adds protein power to breakfast!

You will need...

Vegetable oil for pan
4 Tbsp butter (I used a thoroughly mashed banana instead)
2 cups all purpose flour
1 cup sugar (I used closer to 3/4 cup)
1.5 tsp baking powder
1.5 tsp baking soda
1 tsp salt
3/4 cup fruit juice, orange or apple, or milk (I stretched my milk with water)
1 egg, (OR 2 tablespoon flax seed meal + 6 tablespoons water. Whisk them together and let mixture sit ~5 minutes. This is equivalent to 2 eggs... I like it better that way.) 
1 cup chopped apple
1/2 cup chopped walnuts or pecans
peanut butter for topping

1) Stir together dry ingredients. If using butter, cut butter into bits, then use a fork or pastry cutter to incorporate butter into dry ingredients. Cut in until there are no pieces bigger than a small pea. If using banana, mix mashed banana into wet ingredient first.

2) Beat together juice/milk and egg/substitute and mashed banana if using. Pour into dry ingredients, mixing just enough to moisten. If mixture seems too thick/dry add milk/juice/water 1 Tbsp at a time. Do not over-mix! Fold in apples and nuts.

3) Warm pan over low heat. Add oil to lightly cover pan. Spoon puffin mixture into pan in ~ 2 Tbsp scoops. Any bigger, and you will have difficulty cooking them through before the outside burns.

4) When bottoms are nicely browned, flip each puffin and then lightly press it down with a spatula. This keeps them from being too "mounded" and not cooking through. When nicely browned on both sides, they are done!

5) Top with peanut butter for extra protein, or just butter if you don't have big plans. Great with coffee or tea!

Note: If your puffins are burning on the outside before they are done on the inside, your heat is too high.

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