Let’s be honest… when I first moved to Australia I had a hard time adjusting. My first week was spent getting used to life here, establishing a routine for myself and learning to live with three boys, who I can understand 80% of the time. Regardless of the fact that Aussies speak English, it can be really difficult to understand their accents. I was stuck in a rut, unsure if I made the right decision to leave my life in America and move to Australia.
Don’t worry, Ben knew all of that before I wrote it; if you think I wouldn’t tell him I was having mixed feelings then you are nuts. Communication and trust have been, and always will be the core of our relationship. Ben was, as he always is, extremely supportive; although, on the inside I know he was heartbroken at the thought of me second guessing things.
I knew that the one thing that could turn it all around was to bake. Baking would be the one thing that would get me back to normal and comfortable with living here. I was right. It was the pick-me-up I needed, and I am happy to say I really enjoy living here now.
Although I still don’t have all of my kitchen essentials *cough* stand mixer, I set out to find a recipe that I would be able to mix by hand. I also searched for in season fruits in Australia and found a great list from the Sydney Markets. After a little internal convincing, I decided that instead of using fresh pear for muffins (because that could get weird), I would make some Zucchini Muffins, and incorporate carrot and raisin.
This is the first recipe I baked while using my new camera, and I never realized what fun it could be to shoot still objects. I am slowly getting used to things like aperture and shutter speed, figuring out the best combinations to use when taking food photos, as well as camera angles, times of day, and which step in the process to capture.
I washed the zucchini and began to grate it using a cheese grater. It took three zucchini’s to make two cups; followed by one grated carrot and that bumped me up to the three cups of grated veggies I needed.
After mixing together all of the dry and wet ingredients – don’t skimp or sub out the butter on this one – add the raisins. I started first with half a cup (pictured below) and added in an additional cup. The butter and raisins in these muffins are the most prominent flavors, they absolutely just melt in your mouth.
Spoon the batter evenly into the prepared muffin tins. Like I said, my batter made 16 muffins, but depending on the amount of raisins, carrots or other add-ins you incorporate you may have more or less.
Bake for 25 to 30 minutes. I kept my batch in the oven for 25 minutes exactly until they were golden brown and a toothpick inserted in the middle came out clean.
Cool on a wire rack in the tins for 5 minutes, then remove from the tins and cool for another 20 minutes before enjoying.
Ben’s parents stopped in town on their way home from Sydney Thursday and we shared a few muffins before doing some antique and kitchen supply shopping while Ben was at work. These muffins were two days old by then, but a quick 15 seconds in the microwave are all these need to go from room temp to delicious.
- 2 cups grated zucchini (about 3 average size zucchinis)
- 1 cup grated carrot
- 2 eggs
- 1 1/3 cup of sugar
- 2 tsp. vanilla
- 2/3 cup melted butter
- 2 tsp. baking soda
- 1/4 tsp salt
- 3 cups flour
- 2 tsp. cinnamon
- 1/2 tsp. nutmeg
- 1 1/2 cups raisins
- Preheat over to 350°F (175°C) and grease muffin tin with cooking oil or butter.
- In a large bowl, beat the two eggs.
- Add in sugar and vanilla and mix until combined.
- Stir in grated zucchini, carrot, and melted butter and set aside.
- In a medium bowl, combine the flour, baking soda, nutmeg and cinnamon.
- Mix the dry ingredients into the wet mixture.
- Stir in the raisins.
- Divide batter evenly between muffin tins until batter is greater than 3/4 full.
- Bake on the middle rack of your oven until muffins are golden brown, about 25-30 minutes.
- Test muffins by inserting a toothpick into the center, if the toothpick comes out clean, the muffins are done.
- Remove from oven and cool on rack in tins for 5 minutes.
- Remove from tins and continue to cool for 20 minutes before serving.
- Don't like carrot? Eliminate it and add an additional cup of zucchini.
- Depending on the extras you include in this recipe (raisins, walnuts, flaxseed, etc.) you may find that your batter will yield more than 16 muffins.