A recipe for the best muffins ever, and a reflection on charisms to go with it.
Well, we did it.
We made the big move. Thankfully, we had a plethora of family and friends available to help us over the weekend.
On Saturday, everyone got together at our old apartment and helped us load the moving truck. You should have seen it, we got the job done in 2 hours. I couldn’t believe how quickly it went.
Then on Sunday, we hit the early Mass, and a caravan of cars made the drive to our rental house. We unloaded the truck, put everything in the right rooms, and even assembled beds and got furniture set up.
By the end of the day, our house felt like home.
Not just because it was in livable condition with all our stuff in order, but because it was a party packed with friends and food.
Food I cooked, last week, in the midst of all the packing.
But I had it all planned out. I made my shopping list, I prepped, baked, froze, wrapped, packaged, and served.
We had lunch on packing day. We had breakfast after Mass on Sunday, before hitting the road. And we even had our first dinner together in our new house Sunday evening.
I didn’t do all this because I’m some sort of superwoman.
I did it because of my charisms.
In this amazing course from Jill Simons (which I highly recommend you take if you’re a blogger or entrepreneur), I discovered I have the charism of hospitality.
This means God gave me the specific gift of hospitality, as a part of who He created me to be, in order to serve His Church in a very special way.
As I thought about it more, I realized I already knew this about myself – just not in such an articulate way.
I’ve always been one to reach out to others. To plan get-togethers. To invite friends over, even in our tiny apartment.
Making others feel welcome gives me joy, invigorates me. And now I realize this is part of my calling. It’s a way I can serve others, and make them feel at home, let them know that they’re loved. It’s how I extend God’s love to them.
And it also helps me. I feel like I’m fulfilling my purpose when I use my charism of hospitality.
Prepping meals for this weekend actually brought me peace. Despite adding to my to-do list, it had a calming effect. It was good to know that the people who were taking time out of their lives to help me, were going to be taken care of. That I was going to help meet their needs too.
It wasn’t about the food, in itself.
It was about using the gifts God gave me. It was about being who He made me to be, even in the midst of this transition. It was about fulfilling my purpose in that one small moment in my life.
But, the food was darned good too (if I do say so myself).
My favorite item on this weekend’s menu was the apple crisp muffins.
To die for.
It was quite the process, developing this recipe.
First, I dabbled with blueberry muffins. I experimented with different recipes, took a little bit of this one and a little bit of that one, changed them around, added my own touch, tried and failed, and finally nailed it.
Blueberry was fine for a while, but one can get sick of the same-old-same-old.
So, it was on to bigger and better.
First a chocolate chip variation. Then finally, the mother of all muffins. Not just apple, but apple criiiiiiisp.
My dear friend asked me for the recipe this weekend, but I never wrote it down anywhere because it’s a secret and it’s going to stay in my head till the day I die.
Okay, that’s ridiculous. I never wrote it up because I’ve been too lazy
But, since she wants it and I love her so, I’m writing it up for her. And since I have to write it anyways, I figured you might want it to.
I hope you love them.
Feel free to whip them up next time you have plans that monopolize all your spare time and attention. But only if you have a charism that helps you enjoy cooking! I don’t want you stressing on me, now.
And while they’re cooking, check out this neat guide to discerning your charisms, and how you can use them to serve the Church.
So, without further ado – the most unbelievably delicious apple crisp muffins.
Unbelievable Apple Crisp Muffins
- 6 tbsp butter, softened to room temp
- 2 heaping tbsp applesauce
- 1/2 c. sugar
- 1/2 c. brown sugar
- 2 eggs
- 1 tsp vanilla extract
- 1/2 tsp salt
- 1 tsp cinnamon
- 2 c. flour
- 1/2 c. milk
- 4 apples (they gotta be Macs)
for the crisp:
- 3/4 c. oats
- 3/4 c. brown sugar
- 1/2 c. flour
- 1 tsp cinnamon
- 1/2 c. butter (cold)
1 Line your muffin tin and preheat the oven to 375º.
- Cream butter and applesauce until smooth. Add the sugars and mix well. These are the only ingredients you can mix like crazy. Turn on the stand mixer, walk away if you want, mix it for an hour, I don’t care. But after this step, do not over-mix unless you want hard, dense muffins. If you want soft fluffy muffins, stir gently until just combined.
Add the eggs, vanilla, salt, and cinnamon. Mix until just combined.
Add the flour and milk. Mix until just combined. Or even, almost combined. You’ll be mixing again in a minute, so don’t over-do it.
Peel those apples, slice, and chop into small cubes. Don’t mince or anything, but just a nice reasonable chop. Dust them with a handful of flour, and a little extra cinnamon and brown sugar if you want. This helps the apples stick to the batter so they don’t sink to the bottom of the muffins while they bake.
Fold in the apples. Scoop the batter into the prepared muffin tins. Usually, I get 6 big muffins and 4 baby ones – you know, cupcake size. I eat the big ones, my kids get the baby ones.
Time to prep the crisp. Combine the dry ingredients then cut in the butter. You’ll want one of those pastry knife thingies if you don’t have one. It makes a world of difference.
Sprinkle that crisp all over the the muffin batter.
Bake for 25 – 30 min. Or, however long it takes for the crisp to get crispy.
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