Once upon a time, I had peaceful, enjoyable, sunny, cheer-filled mornings.
Then I got married.
I have always been an early riser. I crave routine. I enjoy easing into my mornings.
It’s not that Mr. How Sweet is the opposite, it’s just that he is . . . a trainwreck.
You will see shortly why muffins, especially these specific ones, are needed in the mornings.
Mr. How Sweet rises and shines, which technically means he throws himself out of bed and attempts to make his way into the bathroom without hitting the wall. Literally.
What takes place in the next hour or so, I cannot be sure of since I am usually at the gym at this time.
However, I can tell you that it includes, but is not limited to him curled up on the couch watching country music videos or horse racing, him banging and clanging dishes so loudly that it wakes the neighbors, or frying 6-7 eggs while thinking that he still is not getting enough protein. Or, he may be vacuuming his car. Because, you know, that needs to be done at 5:30 in the morning.
By the time I return home, he is usually gone, or at least ready to go.
This is when the fun begins. If he is gone, I can usually count on 1-2 trips back to the house because he forgot his a.) wallet, b.) iPod, or c.) man-purse full of protein bars.
If he is still at home, he usually kisses me goodbye, then heads into the garage. Three minutes later, he is back up the stairs in our room, looking for his belt. Another goodbye kiss.
One minute later he is back. He can’t find his reciept from the store last night. Not that he needs it now, but he needs to know where it is. Because he is type A. (I know. Surprise!) A third goodbye kiss.
30 seconds pass. He’s back. ‘Have you seen my iPod?’ No. I hear him throwing things around in the other room. He leaves again. I have no idea if he found it. I assume not, since I hear doors slamming.
Just as I’m getting in the shower, I hear the voice of frustration. ‘Have you seen my keys?’ I pretend I don’t hear him. Trust me, it’s better that way. ‘Where are they?!? &*%! **&*^%! *&^*&!’
I have water in my ears now.
‘Ok bye! I love you.’ I think this time he is gone for good.
I must commend Mr. How Sweet on one thing he usually does every morning. That would be loading or unloading the dishwasher.
If he didn’t do it, it would never get done. Ever.
These muffins are the perfect combo of sweet and savory.
The tart goat cheese becomes a bit sweet when mixed with the honey and vanilla.
Each muffin also has a great texture – creamy from the cheese, crunchy from the figs, and cakey from the batter.
Goat-Cheese-and-Honey-Stuffed Fig Muffins
3/4 cup crumbled soft goat cheese
2 tablespoons honey
1 teaspoon freshly grated lemon zest
1/4 teaspoon cinnamon
1 1/4 teaspoons vanilla extract, divided
2 cups whole-wheat flour (I used half wheat/white)
1 1/2 teaspoons baking powder
1/2 teaspoon baking soda
1/4 teaspoon salt
2 large eggs
1 large egg white
3/4 cup light brown sugar
1 cup low-fat buttermilk
1/3 cup extra-virgin olive oil
1 1/4 cups chopped dried figs
3 tablespoons turbinado sugar
Preheat oven to 425.
Combine goat cheese, honey, 1/4 teaspoon vanilla, and and lemon juice until thoroughly mixed.
Combine dry ingredients in one bowl. In a separate bowl, whisk eggs, then add brown sugar and vanilla. Stir in buttermilk and oil.
Add wet ingredients to dry. Don’t over mix. Fold in figs.
Fill each muffin tin halfway. Top with a teaspoon of the goat cheese mixture. Add more batter on top. Sprinkle with sugar.
Bake for 10-12 minutes, or until golden brown.
See, I need muffins like these to get me through my mornings.