It's hard to believe that Brianna heads back to school in less than a week. I'm still not used to the idea of school starting in August--we always went back after Labor Day. I think of the beginning of school as the start of fall, and the weather here is anything but fall-like. I think we're pretty much ready, though. School supplies are all purchased. (That whole thing still bugs me--I'm amazed at the amount of stuff that parents are expected to supply at the beginning of the year.) A new backpack is ordered and should arrive by the end of the week. (We're trying one from Lands' End this year; the ones we've bought in the past don't last long enough.) She has a new outfit for the first day. (Just one for now--all her spring/summer clothes still fit and it won't be cool enough for fall/winter stuff for quite some time, by which point she may have grown some more.) She even has new shoes, thanks to my wonderful husband. I've finally learned my lesson--no more attempting to shop for shoes with just me and the two of them. That never ends well. We split up this time; I took Gillian shopping Sunday morning, and Jamie took Brianna Sunday afternoon.
Besides finishing up the back-to-school stuff, I did get a chance to do some baking this weekend. Sandwich bread, cookies, and a new focaccia recipe (hopefully to be blogged soon; I need to make it again and follow the directions correctly this time...). I was on the fence about whether to make this week's TWD recipe. Natalie of Oven Love picked Oatmeal Breakfast Bread for us to make this week. It just didn't sound all that appealing to me, despite the fact that I really like "fall" flavors like apples and raisins and cinnamon. I might have just been a bit tired of oatmeal, too, since I've made several things with it lately. I asked for opinions on Twitter, and everyone responded positively. I decided to sleep on it.
Monday morning, I decided to go ahead and make the recipe to take to work with me. I decided to go with muffins so I'd be able to get them baked before I had to head out the door. As with most quick breads, the batter is fairly quick and easy to mix up. For the applesauce, I actually reverted to using a couple of the single serving cups I had in the pantry. For the fruit, I used regular raisins, since I like them with anything apple-y. The only change I made was to the topping--I substituted the streusel from our new favorite plum cake (using pecans). I scooped the batter into my muffin tin, and had enough for 12 muffins plus a bit left over, which I put in a mini loaf pan. I baked them for about 24 minutes, then let them cool in the pan for about 5 minutes before moving them to a rack to cool.
The verdict? I was quite surprised by how much I enjoyed these muffins--though I shouldn't have been, since I like all the things that went into them. And they were a huge hit at work--everyone was surprised to learn that they're fairly healthy (lots of fiber from the fruit and oats and not a lot of fat). I did leave a few at home so the girls could try them this morning. Gillian liked the muffins except for the nuts on top. Brianna took one bite, discovered the raisins, and requested toast for breakfast instead. Oh, well, can't win them all. =) I'll definitely be making these again.
If you'd like to try this recipe for yourself, you can find it here on Natalie's blog. And to see what everyone else thought of this week's selection, check out this week's links.