17 May 2012


Greetings, Earthlings—
If there’s anything I’ve learned at school, it’s that finals are only as good as your playlist(s).  My first of five playlists for finals was “Bloody Mary” by Lady Gaga, “No Reflection” and “You’re so Vain” (feat. Johnny Depp) by Marilyn Manson, “Mutter” and “Sonne” by Rammstein, and “Without a Face” by Rage Against the Machine.  My final finals playlist just kept growing as I worked later and later.  About 20:00 on Friday, I realised it would take me until the next day to finish my paper (which, incidentally, wasn’t due until a week later), so I figured I’d have fun with staying up past midnight in order to do schoolwork for the first and last time in my undergraduate education.  At strategic intervals, I carb-loaded, eating cereal and muffins-that-taste-like-doughnuts. 

Sweet Potato Muffins that Taste Like Doughnuts

2 tablespoons ground flaxseed + 6 tablespoons water

1/4 cup oil (I used canola)
3/4 cup sweet potato flesh, mashed (about 1 big sweet potato; could substitute applesauce, pumpkin, banana, squash flesh…)
1 teaspoon vanilla
1 cup non-dairy milk (I used plain soymilk)

1 1/3 cups King Arthur Flour Ancient Grains GF blend (or substitute all sorghum flour for a softer muffin)
1 1/3 cups brown rice flour
1 teaspoon xanthan gum
1/2 cup granulated sugar
1/2 cup brown sugar (I used Sucanat)
1 1/2 teaspoons baking powder
1/4 teaspoon baking soda
1 1/4 teaspoons ground nutmeg
3/4 teaspoon Kosher salt

Preheat the oven to 425 degrees Fahrenheit.  Grease or line with paper cups at least one 12-well muffin pan (I used a 12-well mini-donut pan and a 6-well heart pan, the latter of which is equivalent to an 8”-square pan.  Because I added more sweet potato than the amount of butter in the original recipe, the volume is going to be larger).

In a small measuring cup, whisk together the flax and water.  In a large measuring cup, whisk together the oil, sweet potato, vanilla, and non-dairy milk.  In a large bowl, whisk together the dry ingredients.   Add the flax mixture to the rest of the wet ingredients and mix well.  Add the wet to the dry and stir until just combined (lookout for dry pockets).  This makes a stiff batter.  Scoop into muffin wells.  Bake for 15 minutes or until the muffins have browned a little, pass the toothpick test,  and spring back to the touch.  Remove the muffins from the wells and cool completely on a rack.  Makes 12 mini-donuts and 6 full-sized heart muffins.

I did intellectual doping while I wrote my penultimate paper: I cooked kale that morning then I drank the steaming water.  Heh heh heh.

That’s about it.  My affirmation for the past week and a half has been from Susan Sassaman Claessens’ The One-Day-at-a-Time Low-Fat Cookbook: “Perfectionism is a self-made fence that prevents me from moving on.  Let me do a good job today and be done.”  In-frickin’-deed.

Parting shots:

Strawberries from my grandparents' garden.

My post-comps (senior oral comprehensive exam in the Religion Department) treat was to make Almond Mocha Bread, my modification of Allergy-Free Cook’s “Double Chocolate Hazelnut Bread.”  Chocolate for breakfast, people.

Rice and roasted garlic.  Bust out your asbestos fingers to handle the task of squeezing roasted garlic cloves.  Keepin' the vampires at bay tonight, yessirree-bob-a-doodle.

De-slugging lettuce from the garden is more fun than it sounds.

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