Thursday, October 29, 2009

24 looooooong days...

That's how long I've gone without baking, but who's counting... :o). I'm happy to report that my granite counter top was installed on Tuesday morning, making my kitchen functional at last. I was super excited. It's just as beautiful as when I selected it a few weeks back. Getting this color of granite, Verde Jade, was a bit challenging. After a few phone calls, I finally found a few slabs. Yay! One of the contractors we considered for the counter top project actually tried to talk me into picking "something else, something more readily available". Talk about taking the easy route! Anyway, I'm really glad I stuck to my guns :o)

I would like to wait until the kitchen project is completely finished before I post pictures. This means, a tiled backsplash (for which I just finished creating a layout design) and a new floor, scheduled for the end of November. Sorry for keeping you in suspense in the meantime. I think the before and after pictures would be even more striking that way. In the meantime, you'll be able to see the Verde Jade counter top in the background of my pictures :o)

Chocolate Chip Crumb Cake Muffins. Definitely a keeper!

Guess what I did after work on Tuesday evening? If you guessed "baking", you were absolutely correct. With a bake sale at work the next day, I couldn't have had a better excuse. I decided to bake Chocolate Chip Crumb Cake Muffins from Gale Gand's new book called Brunch. I'm a big fan of Gale Gand's, ever since I watched her desserts show called Sweet Dreams on Food Network years ago. When I saw her new book on the "Just Arrived" shelf at the library, I had to check it out. These muffins were one of many recipes that immediately caught my attention. This was the perfect opportunity to try them out. They were easy to put together. They were chocolatey, moist, tender, with a nice crunch on top from the streusel. I won't be posting the recipe on my blog as I highly encourage you to check out her book at the library or purchasing it.

My changes to the recipe:
  • Added 2 tsp of instant espresso powder to the dry ingredients (without dissolving it).
  • Added 2 Tbsp of milk to the sour cream.
  • Modified the streusel topping by using melted the butter instead softened butter, and close to double the amount of flour. You get crispier streusel topping this way. I learned this trick from Sarah of Blue Ridge Baker. Thanks Sarah, it worked!

The batter was chocolatey and satiny smooth

This recipe makes 24 muffins which was perfect for the bake sale

Sprinkled each muffin with the streusel topping and mini chocolate chips

Here are all 24 muffins (I actually made 25 and shared one with hubby, and then bought 2 more of my own muffins at the bake sale, ha ha!)

Tried to capture the moist and tender interior of the muffin but the lighting was a bit off. It was delicious!


  1. So happy to hear you have your new kitchen! :)

  2. The muffins look great, I'm glad the streusel worked so well! From what I can see, those are some gorgeous counters - I can't wait to get a look at the rest of your brand new kitchen!

  3. I feel your pain--I completely gutted and rebuilt my kitchen in 2006, and it was 6 months of stress. Luckily my sister-in-law next door would let me come bake in her kitchen when I needed to.

    And I know how you feel about the right granite. I spotted mine early in the design process, and went ahead and bought the slabs so I'd be sure I could have what I want. And I still love it--it looks like a cross-section of a mountain streambed, with all different size pebbles.

  4. I can't feel your pain... not yet.. but I'm sure I will be getting there. We're in the middle of deciding which builder is going to build, already bought the kitchen (on paper) deciding which stove I'm getting. I'm already loosing sleep over it and they haven't even started yet!
    Good for you to stick to your choices!

  5. oh btw, you are going to show us right?

  6. The muffins look incrdible!
    Your kitchen is going to be so nice when it's done, I just know it! Im sure you will be so excited when it's completely finished! I look fwd to seeing the before and after pitures. Next to baking redecorating is my favorite thing to do!


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