Posted by: Hallie | March 1, 2009

Muffins, Brownies, and Scary Potatoes

First things first. WHY do my potatoes grow fingers!?? I keep potatoes in my cupboard, and I thought potatoes lasted for months if stored in a cool place. The darker one I got a few weeks ago, but the smaller one came from Wednesday’s CSA bunch, and it’s already starting to grow…whatever they are! This is so annoying (and hilarious).



I just had to share.

This weekend, I decided to embark on not one but two baking projects. When I saw Roni had created a recipe for whole-wheat apple bran muffins, I knew I wanted to give them a try. I love bran muffins, but I know that store- and bakery-bought varieties aren’t necessarily healthier than regular muffins (fat- and calorie-wise) just because they contain bran.

After three trips to the store, I finally had all the ingredients. The baggies are filled with ingredients I bought from the bulk bins at my favorite health-food store.

muffin ingredients

I used whole-wheat pastry flour instead of regular ww flour, and I think it helped the light texture (of course, I never tried the original). I also added raisins, used brown sugar instead of molasses, and sprinkled raw oats over the top to make them pretty.

SUCCESS! They came out great. I’m taking a few to work and sending a few to a fellow blogger (hint hint). I’m not sure how well these’ll hold after a few days, but they were so moist and flavorful, I think they’ll be fine.

muffin close up 

bran muffins

And for my next baking adventure, I decided to attempt a lower-fat brownie recipe I saw features on Melissa’s and Meghann’s blogs awhile back. This also took a few trips to the store (I am the queen of forgetting to put certain items on my grocery list, not to mention making a list and then leaving it on the counter when I go out).

I didn’t take a “before” ingredient shot, but I used Ghirardelli-brand cocoa powder and chocolate chips. Gotta support my California-based companies, right? I was nervous that these would be dry since they have practically no fat (besides the chocolate chips) and I’m picky when it comes to brownies. I like the fudgy, chewy kind.

Well, these are so fudgy (that’s a funny word) that at first I thought they were undercooked. They were difficult to slice cleanly, so even though I only took the tiniest piece to taste, I probably ended up eating twice as much from “crumbs” as I was cutting them up.

(And that’s why I don’t think I’ll be taking on baking projects on a regular basis. Now that I know I can, it doesn’t mean that I should.)


They might look cakey but I promise you, they are not. I left one (ok, two) out for Mitch to try, stuck a few in the freezer for chocolate emergencies, and am sending the rest in the mail along with the muffins. I hope they don’t squish too much in transit! I will definitely be making these again for work parties, or if I ever need to bribe thank friends/coworkers.

Self-Pep Talk

Next week at work is going to be crazy because we are opening a new exhibit and we have our annual “chi-chi” fundraising gala on Friday. For me, that means late nights, early mornings and TONS of available food/drinks. All can lead to poor food choices and lack of exercise opportunities. My goals this week are to a) get through it and make it to Saturday alive, b) try to avoid eating out of stress or to keep myself awake (anyone else do that?) and c) remember that it might not be my best week for diet/exercise, but this is an exceptional circumstance and all I can do is stay conscious of my food decisions, and do the best that I can.

P.S. Angela at Oh She Glows is giving away a Jillian Michael’s 30-Day Shred DVD. I’ve heard great things about it! And, Michelle at Lucky Taste Buds is giving away Barney Butter, which I’m curious to try as well!



  1. Oh my gosh – that’s too funny! I posted the same kind of potato on my blog tonight!

    You would think they would last forever in the pantry – maybe we should refrigerate them??

    Happy Sunday!

  2. Wow! Those potatoes are freaky!

  3. Oh my god that potato gave me the heeby jeebies.

    Luckily the muffins and brownies were more pleasing to my eyes. 😀

  4. I also live in fear of the dread potato fingers and want to know how to save them.

    Also if your potatoes are little bit green – poisonous right?

  5. Oh, those potatoes look so funny! I would think it could be because they were left for a while in the dark? I know my mom stores hers in a cupboard and the same thing happens to her.. Either way, makes for a fun photo! 🙂

  6. Three cheers for buying bulk and supporting local companies! If you ever see Guittard it’s awesome, too (not sure if they have it in San Diego or just up here in SF. I used to live in SD!).

    Man, those fudgy brownies look awesome! Want! 😉

  7. […] Sloppy Joes, Per Request I’m glad I’m not the only one that experiences the potato fingers! It’s pretty […]

  8. THESE ARE AMAZING!!!!!! Thanks again!!!!

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