Self-portraits and Muffins

Did everyone go see The Avengers? No? Why not? I am already planning to go a 2nd time sometime this week. I live in NYC. Movie tickets are $15 (at least!). Yes, it is that good. Stop reading and go see it. Now. This post will be here when you come back.

For those of you who have seen it, am I the only one not on the Captain America/Chris Evans bandwagon? Had it come down to him versus Loki, I would’ve been cheering for Loki.

While we’re on that topic, why must they always blow up New York in movies? Yes, it IS the greatest city in the world. I get that. But still. There’s something extremely unsettling about watching alien armies destroy Grand Central Station when your actual office is only a short 10 blocks away.

Moving on.

Today’s photo assignment was “you.” I much prefer being behind the camera, so that’s where I stayed.

After church, I came home, made some zucchini muffins and watched my friend Rachel’s webcast concert. She is an amazingly talented musician and entertainer. And a wonderful friend who just happens to be coming to New York tomorrow! For all you Delawareans, check out her Facebook page for upcoming gigs. My personal favorite song of her’s is “The Way I Love You.” Go give it a listen.

Now back to those muffins. I made almond flour zucchini muffins from Against the Grain. After my many kitchen failures this past week, these restored my cooking confidence. I followed the recipe (almost) exactly and they turned out beautifully. The only slight change I made was that I date paste instead of honey and baking powder instead of baking soda. (Baking soda is a base and requires an acid to activate it. Honey was that acidic agent. I wasn’t sure if date paste would have the same effect so I decided to play it safe and use baking powder. You can always sub baking powder for baking soda but DO NOT sub baking soda if a recipe calls for baking powder. Trust me. You won’t like the outcome.)

These muffins are amazing. Sweet. Moist. Delicious. And pretty good for you, too. I’ve already consumed two. Here’s the nutritional breakdown, calculated using

Calories Carbs Sugar Fat Fiber Protein
Per Muffin 179 16 10 11 3 7

For those of you wondering “What on earth is ‘date paste’?” it’s pretty much pureed dates with some water added to thin it out (but it’s still pretty thick. Think apple butter consistency). I found this recipe over at the Healthy Foodie. You can really use any dried fruit, but dates work well because they are very sweet and don’t have an overly distinctive taste, like prunes or apricots. Stuff a jar with as much dried fruit as you can fit. Fill in the cracks and crannies with water and let it sit overnight. The next day dump it all in the food processor and puree it. Add more water as needed to get the right consistency. My jar was about 70% dates and 30% raisins, topped off with a little over ½ C of water.

You can use date paste as a sweetener in recipes (I did a 1:1 replacement of the honey) or you can just spread it on baked goods like you would with butter or jelly.

While we’re on the subject of dates, am I the only one who thinks they kind of look like cockroaches? They are so delicious, and probably the best natural sweetener out there, but sometimes I just can’t bring myself to eat them because I can’t get past their appearance.

Tell me that doesn’t look like a roach.


6 May 2012. Photography, Recipes/Reviews.


  1. Aunt Jeanette replied:

    Muffins sound wonderful!

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