It's a beautiful, sunshine-y Sunday morning, and my kids are already dressed and out helping their father rake up leaves in our back garden. And you know what I mean by "helping", don't you... It means that my husband spends about an hour meticulously raking up a big flurry of leaves. And, as soon as the pile is large enough, and he goes off in search of yet ANOTHER brown paper yard-waste bag... the girlies come whipping out from around the corner of the house, where they've been hiding. Quick as lightning, and accompanied by three piercing shrieks of "COWABUNGGGAAAAA!!" ... Well, let's just say the leaf pile is rendered a Pile-No-More.
Leaf-raking in my garden is a seemingly endless project every autumn. It's right about this time, each year, that The Husband comes storming into the house, and announces that I have OFFICIALLY PLANTED THE LAST TREE ON OUR PROPERTY. ("Got that??!! NO. MORE. TREES. Enough shade, already!! Please??!")
I confess. I'm a sucker when it comes to beautiful trees. I'm a dryad in disguise. The trouble is, I'm a dryad with allergies and a nasty case of asthma. So, when it comes time to rake all the leaves those trees drop in the autumn, I'M the one who has to sit inside. Or, should I say, GETS to sit inside. And no "leaf-blowing" apparatuses on my property. Not EVER. Those things are just one great big fatal asthma attack waiting to happen, and I won't even go INTO my tirade about the excessive racket they produce. Noise AND air pollution, all in one little hand-held machine. Let's just say that in my humble, slightly wheezy opinion, there's nothing like the scriiiitttch-scriiittch sound a rake makes when tackling a lawn-ful of leaves. ESPECIALLY if I'm not the one getting blisters on the other end of the rake.
But I digress.
The point I'm trying to make is, I'M SITTING INSIDE on a beautiful morning.
And what better way to pass the time than to make a great big pan of really delicious muffins. Muffins that are chock-full of nutrition, and will fill my kids up after a good, long stint of decimating leaf piles out in the fresh air.
This is a recipe that my kids call "Bunny Muffins". And before anyone gets all snaky on me (yes, I'm talking to YOU Travellor, wherever you are today, AND YOU, Shawn-- I don't want any disappointed comments from EITHER OF YOU), let me make one thing clear:
THE INGREDIENT LIST DOES NOT INCLUDE A DEAD RABBIT.
Just carrots. LOTS of carrots. A good-for-you vegetable that is usually rawther difficult to get into my children on a regular basis... but in this disguise, they wind up eating plenty, without any fuss!!
In a medium-sized bowl, blend together:
2 c all-purpose flour
2/3 c brown sugar
1/3 c white sugar
2 tsp baking soda
1 tsp baking powder
1 tsp cinnamon
1/4 tsp nutmeg
In a separate bowl, combine:
1/2 c melted butter (you can also use Becel's olive oil margarine as an alternative)
2 eggs, beaten
1/4 c milk
1 c shredded carrots
1/2 c raisins
1/2 c chopped pecans (or walnuts... but pecans are my favourites)
Combine the "wet" ingredients with the "dry", and stir until moistened. Spoon into muffin cups, and bake at 350 degrees for about 20 minutes.
This should make about a dozen large muffins.
Your family will thank you... and so will Peter Cottontail.