July 20th was my birthday. I turned 42. Is that old? I don’t even know anymore.
When I was 20, my mom turned 40 and I thought she was over the hill (sorry mom!). But of course, once I hit 40, I didn’t think it was that old. I guess it’s all relative right?
Here are a few things I’ve learned in my wise years of living on this earth.
- Kids grow up fast. While it seems like 18 years is a LONG time to raise a child, and when they are 2 yrs old throwing tantrums, I know I personally looked forward to the “next phase.” But, as a wise person, ENJOY the phase they are in. Seriously. Because 18 years goes fast. I still feel young at heart…even though my wrinkles tell another story.
- Speaking of wrinkles…use sunscreen and moisturizer daily. No seriously. When I was 16 I thought I had my “adult” years to worry about wrinkles and ages spots. But it’s those younger years when I damaged my skin the most. Frying my skin so I would be tan going back to school. Bleaching my hair with “sun in” (anyone remember this lemon stuff??) in hoping to be blonde. Take care of your skin and hair NOW…
- Exercise. I’ve been blessed with some good genes in my 20’s and 30’s that left me being able to eat what I want with minimal exercise. But the day I turned 40, my metabolism said “no more free rides.” Since I love eating indulgent food, I have had to counter this with lots of exercise. I spent about a year in denial, hoping this was some cosmic mistake, not wanting to go to a gym. But, now I’m back on the wagon, so to speak. Hitting the gym with weights a couple times of week. This is a must for me, and I wish I had been doing this regularly, but it’s never too late to start!!
- Food. Oh how I love food. And if you read my blog, or browse my recipes, you may see a lot of sweets. But it’s not the sweets that tempts me (well, unless it’s a plate of rice krispie treats). It’s a bag of chips. Doritos? Game over. BBQ chips? Pass the bag over and don’t think I’m gonna share. Thankfully, since I have begun exercising again, I’m able to continue indulging occasionally in those salty “treats.” Everything in moderation, right?
- Live life in the moment. Don’t put off what you could be enjoying today! This is one I struggle with often. As a working from home mom, especially in the summer, life is about balance. I put my family first. And thankfully, since I am my own boss, nobody yells at me if I only post twice a week instead of three times. Or if I completely skip getting on the computer one day because I’ve sat at the pool with my kids and read a book all day. I don’t ever want to regret not being present for my kids!
- Sleep ya’ll. It’s a must. And this girl needs a minimum of 8 hours. #truth
- Coffee. Another must in my life! A good cup of coffee in the morning, sitting outside on my patio, watching the birds in my yard. It’s why I appear to be a senior citizen!
Part of enjoying that cup of coffee is also enjoying a sweet treat with my breakfast. I know many people love to start their day with a healthy bowl of oatmeal. But that’s not me. I get my sweet tooth craving done in the morning. Then I have all day to fit in that exercise and healthy eating to compensate!
Today’s muffins are amazing. The base is a sweet, moist muffin with a great crumb and texture. I added in some fresh diced Crunch Pak apples and some frozen cranberries. The topping is a buttery streusel that adds a delicious crunch with every bite! For today’s recipe, Crunch Pak sent me some of their new sliced apples (in a bag) that were already peeled. SCORE!! Normally I would use the Crunch Pak mixed Apple Slices (in the blue bag). I find these at Target!
The recipe makes 24 muffins. Perfect for freezing or sharing with friends and family! ENJOY!
Cranberry Apple Muffins
- yield: 24 MUFFINS
- prep time: 15 MINUTES
- cook time: 20-22 MINUTES
FOR THE MUFFINS:
- 3/4 cup unsalted butter, softened
- 3 large eggs
- 1 tsp vanilla extract
- 1 tsp almond extract
- 1 cup granulated sugar
- 2 1/2 cup all-purpose flour
- 1/2 tsp baking powder
- 1/2 tsp baking soda
- 1/4 tsp kosher salt
- 1 cup buttermilk
- 1 1/2 cup frozen cranberries
- 1 cup Crunch Pak apples, sliced, peeled, and diced
FOR THE STREUSEL:
- 1/2 cup all-purpose flour
- 1/2 cup granulated sugar
- 1/2 cup light brown sugar, packed
- 1/4 cup unsalted butter, softened
- Preheat oven to 350 degrees. Spray muffin tin with baking spray. Set aside.
- In a large mixing bowl, beat butter, eggs, vanilla extract, almond extract and sugar until well blended. Add in flour, baking powder, baking soda, and salt. While beating this in, slowly add buttermilk. Once added, beat for 2-3 minutes, until batter is fluffy. Fold in cranberries and diced apples.
- Spoon muffin batter into muffin tins, about 2/3 full.
- In a small bowl, combined streusel ingredients with hands. The mixture should become a crumbly topping. Sprinkle generously over muffins, using a knife to slightly tap or swirl some of the mixture into the muffin batter.
- Bake muffins for 20-22 minutes, until toothpick in center comes out clean.
- Remove from oven and cool in pans 5 minutes.
Remove from pans and cool on wire rack. Store in airtight container (or cake saver) for several days. Or freeze in ziploc until ready to enjoy.