Tuesday, 13 September 2011

Orange n' Cinnamon Streusel Muffins

I know that I've been a little MIA on the blog front in the past few days but I have good reason. This past Friday I was offered a job that I couldn't turn down. Yup, after 12 years as a stay-at-home mom I decided to get back into the work force. I have many reasons -- extra money is always good, very flexible hours (I work 4 days/week and only when the kids are in school), it's a 2 minute drive from home and it'll beef up my stagnant resume!

One of my fears of heading back to work was the added stress it would put on me. I see what my friends and family who have kids go through and, quite frankly, I don't want that. To have to do the majority of the cooking and cleaning on top of working wasn't enticing. I didn't want hectic running around trying to make supper our of a box all to rush to after school gymnastics/dance/swimming lessons. Then to come home to do laundry and prep for the following day.

Luckily, Brad came up with a solution. He is a whiz at Excel and whipped up a spreadsheet of chores and enlisted our children as well as he and I to do the chores! With a very generous increase in their allowance the kids have taken on quite a bit of the housework. We've divvied up the chores which include everything from laundry, helping to prep dinner, clean up after dinner, clean counters, dust, vacuuming/mopping, getting the mail and walking the dog! Makes my life easier and teaches them just how much work it is to run a home!

My first day was on Monday. Yup, I only had the weekend to get used to the idea but I honestly think that was a good thing. I tend to over think ... everything, quite frankly. I'm a worrier/over thinker and I totally admit it. My first day was good ... but so tiring! How can I race after three kids for 12 years and find a desk job tiring?!?! It's not like I didn't have a desk job before the kids were in school! I realize that there is a period of adjustment so we'll see how tired I am after tomorrow!

Before I went out into the wonderful world of paid work I decided to whip up some homemade muffins to send in our lunches for the week. I was feeling nostalgic about the end of my stay-at-home era and wanted to make sure that my kids had something made by mom in their lunch. Cue violins.

These muffins were a hit with our family. The orange flavour is very mild and the cinnamon compliments it very well. If you want a stronger flavour from the orange increase the zest or try adding some orange juice concentrate as well as the orange juice. One of my favourite parts of this muffin was the brown sugar/cinnamon filling. It bubbled up while they baked and gave them a little added something. Both of my boys have asked for me to make these muffins again. Awww, they still need their mommy! I hope you enjoy these muffins too!

Orange n'Cinnamon Streusel Muffins

Adapted from: allrecipes.com (Cinnamon Streusel Orange Muffins)

2 cups all-purpose flour
3/4 cup white sugar
2 tsp baking powder
1/2 tsp salt
1/3 cup vegetable oil
1/2 cup orange juice
finely grated zest from one orange (approximately 2 1/2-3 tsp)
1/2 cup buttermilk (or 1/2 cup milk + 1/2 tsp white vinegar)
1 tsp vanilla extract
2 eggs

3 tbsp brown sugar
1 1/2 tsp cinnamon

Streusel Topping
1/4 cup all-purpose flour
1/4 cup white sugar
1 1/2 tsp ground cinnamon
2 tbsp butter, at room temperature

Preheat oven to 350F. Line a 12-cup muffin tin with paper liners. Set aside.

Prepare muffin batter:
In a medium bowl, stir together 2 cups flour, 3/4 cup white sugar, baking powder and salt.

Juice the orange. Pour the orange juice into a measuring cup and add additional orange juice (freshly squeezed or pre-made) until it equals 1/2 cup.

In a separate bowl, whisk together the vegetable oil, orange juice, orange zest, buttermilk, vanilla and eggs. Pour the wet ingredients into the dry ingredients and mix until just blended.

Prepare filling:
Combine 3 tbsp brown sugar and 1 1/2 tsp cinnamon. Fill the muffin cups halfway with batter. Sprinkle approximately 1/2 tsp of the filling mixture onto each half-full muffin cup. Spoon more batter over the filling mixture so that the cups are two-thirds full.

Prepare streusel topping:
In a small bowl, mix together 1/4 cup flour, 1/4 cup white sugar, 1 1/2 tsp cinnamon and the softened butter to make a crumbly mixture. Sprinkle this streusel topping generously over the tops of each muffin.

Bake for 20-23 minutes or until a toothpick inserted into the centre of a muffin comes out clean. Cool on wire racks.


Dzoli said...

Congratulations for scoring in job and in teh hours that suit you!Ok we will celebrate with this great muffin recepie;))

Kym said...

Good luck with the new job!!! Spend your first paycheck on new books :)
I'm going to try these muffins on the weekend. (the time when we working moms get to do the fun stuff!)

Delia (Postcards from Asia) said...

Another muffin recipe! Yum! :)
Good luck with the new job, it looks like you two were meant to get together.

April from Comox, BC said...

Congrats on the new job Laurie! It sounds like a really great opportunity. And how fantastic that your hubby and kids have stepped up to make it go more smoothly. Oh...and can't wait to try this muffin recipe - sounds delish!

Jen at The Three Little Piglets said...

Congratulations on the new job! You'll get used to it and find your groove in no time; don't worry. I felt the same way last year when I started culinary school after 13 years as a stay at home mom. Now my kids can't imagine it any other way and love bragging to their friends that I'm going to be a chef. Totally unrelated, I'm a sucker for anything with a crumb topping on it! The muffins looks delicious.

TheBookGirl said...

Congratulations on your new adventure :)
I can understand the fatigue issue as I had the same thing when I started back to work after being home with my daughter for years.

What a lovely and supportive husband you have for coming up with a plan to ease your stress over the change in routine!

These muffins look good -- muffins are always popular around here :)

Laurie@The Baking Bookworm said...

Thanks everyone! After three days at work I'm more into the swing of things and not nearly as tired. Let's just say I have a whole new respect for working moms out there who work full time! How do you do it and run a household??

I do miss baking/cooking and being more creative in the kitchen. This week with our busy schedules it's been easy to make suppers and not nearly as 'fancy' as I like to make things. :)

I do love how much the kids and Brad have helped out this week. There's nothing like seeing your 11 year old vacuuming while the 10 year old tidies the front hall and your 7 year old is helping to prepare supper (not to mention how awesome it is to have Brad volunteer to clean all three bathrooms each week)!!! Woo hoo!

I hope you all enjoy these muffins. My boys have asked repeatedly for me to make them again. :)

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