Silicone Cups on a Dreary Day

It’s one of those days. Went to bed last night with the weatherman’s warnings ringing in my ears.

Chance of rain, freezing rain, sleet, high winds, 3-5 inches of snow!
Icey roads, jack-knifed trucks, power outages! 10 inches of snow! Maybe 15!

I peeked out of the window around 10pm and it was snowing. Not big flakes but that really fine stuff and since the temp was just at freezing it looked really wet and heavy. I had just gotten a text from my son, who lives on the other side of the state, saying he had just driven home in rain changing to snow and was glad he didn’t have to go out on the morrow. Now the weather guys had been sounding this alarm for days. I especially loved the line, “This is going to be the biggest storm of the year.” Well that wasn’t saying much since we hardly have had any snow to speak of all winter. I guess that’s why they were so excited. I certainly wasn’t going anywhere. I had already cancelled our reservations in Milwaukee; we were going to get-away for a few days (sigh).

Anyway by morning we had about 1.5 inches of heavy wet snow, with some sleety, icey stuff around the edges. By lunchtime it was 36 degrees, gray and raining. Not exactly the apocalypse the weather guys were calling for. We were lucky though, the major snow (all 17 inches of it) went north of us. We got the slippery, the dreary and the damp.

View out my window, 2pm

Curt decided it was a perfect afternoon for a nap and I thought it a perfect afternoon to bake. I dug out our all-purpose muffin recipe and looked around for some fruit. I had recently bought some “Plum Amazins”, diced dried plums, that I wanted to try, plus I had some blueberries that were just getting their wrinkle on. Perfect.

batter w/blueberries and dried plums

Even more perfect are the silicone muffin cups I use now instead of muffin tins and little paper liners. In the past if I didn’t have those liners handy I had to grease the pans and still would have some sticking. If I used the liners, the muffins popped out of the pan fine but the papers didn’t always pull away from the cake smoothly. Then came silicone. I held off for a long time because they weren’t very cheap but I read good things about them.  I think it was Curt who found the ones we have online for a reasonable price. Individual silicone cups rather than a silicone muffin pan. They are great. Fill ’em, bake, cool, and the muffin just slides out. They wash up really easy in hot, soapy water.

batter in silicone cups

Right out of the oven

Now I know you purists will say the tins and liners work fine, the inconveniences are minor, but hey, I’m saving on paper. Probably took a whole twig to make the liners I would have used making these muffins the old-fashioned way instead of the handful of sand and the wonders of chemistry to make the silicone. And next time it would have been another twig, and another.

Anyway, the muffins turned out fine. The dried plums added a nice little chewy aspect and the blueberries were soft and sweet. Add a cup of Chai tea and the dreary afternoon brightened right up.

Chai tea and muffin w/butter

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