Tag Archives: coffee

Muffins and (Half) Marathon Training

I’ve been MIA for far too long and it’s high time for a bit of an update. So what’s new, you ask? And I’m sure you were. Asking, that is.

Well, honestly, pretty much the same ol’, same ol’… I’ve just been failing a wee bit with my time management skills. In fact, as I type, I’m still snuggled cozily in my fuzzy robe with a coffee to my left and a fat, sleeping kitteh to my right.

But what I should be doing is getting off my arse, lacing on my sneakers and heading out for my 15k training run. I know, I know – why procrastinate this far along in the game?  I’m not. Not really. I just need to be well and truly awake before I head out to abuse my body for that length of time. I’m almost there. One more cup of coffee and a bit of peanut butter and carby goodness and I should be good to go.

In the meantime, let me share with you my latest creation:

Oatmeal Apple Blueberry Muffins

1 cup old fashion rolled oats (not instant)
1 cup unsweetened chocolate almond milk
1 cup whole wheat flour
1/4 cup brown sugar Splenda
1/2 cup unsweetened applesauce
2 egg whites (1/4 cup liquid egg whites)
1 tsp. baking powder
1/2 tsp. baking soda
1/2 tsp. salt
1 tsp. cinnamon
1 cup blueberries


  • Preheat oven to 400°
  • Soak the oats in milk for about an hour
  • Spray muffin pan with cooking spray (I like Butter-flavoured Pam)
  • Combine the oat mixture with applesauce and egg whites & mix until just combined
  • In a separate bowl measure and whisk the dry ingredients together
  • Add wet ingredients to dry and mix until just combined
  • Fold in blueberries.
    (NOTE:  You reallly do have to be careful that you don’t over-mix this batter or your muffins will end up the consistency of tiny tennis balls )
  • Spoon muffin mixture into muffin pan
  • Bake for 20 minutes
  • Remove from pan, cool and enjoy!

Okay! My artfully-honed procrastination skills are now sated for today. I’m off to run. Enjoy your Sunday!


Anniversary Rock Star Cupcakes

Two of my lovelies celebrated an anniversary of sorts this weekend – the first anniversary of their band, Arizona Lily. In honour of the occasion, a small gathering of a few friends and  more than a few cocktails was held Chez Murdoch where a good time was had by all.

In addition to  a couple of bottles of cheer, I decided I wanted to contribute some sugar & chocolate to the mix and came up with a pretty tasty concoction, if I do say so myself.

More than one of these pretties, however, will most likely throw you into a diabetic coma… so tread lightly, if you do decide to try out this recipe. These are neither calories-wise nor fat free. I make no apologies.

Mocha Rock Star Cupcakes with Buttery Bailey’s Coffee Icing

1 C strong black coffee (or 2 tbsp. instant coffee + 1 C warm water)
½ C (1 stick) butter, at room temperature
2 C granulated sugar
4 eggs
6 ounces unsweetened chocolate, melted
1 tbsp.  pure vanilla extract
1 C all-purpose flour + 1 C whole wheat all-purpose flour
1 tsp. baking soda
1 tsp.  salt


  • Preheat oven to 350°F.
  • Line standard muffin pan with baking cups (recipe makes 24)
  • If you keep such a thing in your home (blargh) combine instant coffee and water; mix well and set aside.
  • In large bowl, cream butter and sugar with electric mixer until light and fluffy.
  • Add eggs, one at a time; mix well.
  • Add melted chocolate  (there are a few ways to melt chocolate; I prefer the microwave method), vanilla and coffee mixture; mix well.
  • Combine flour, baking soda and salt in separate bowl.
  • Slowly add to butter mixture; mix well.
  • Spoon into baking cups.
  • Bake 18-20 minutes or until center of cupcake springs back when lightly touched.
  • Cool cupcakes in pan on cooling rack 5-8 minutes.
  • Remove from pan; cool completely before icing.


3.5 C confectioners’ sugar
2 tbsp. unsweetened cocoa powder
2/3 C butter or margarine, softened
2 tbsp. strong brewed coffee
1 tbsp. Coffee Flavoured Bailey’s

In a small bowl, stir together the confectioners sugar and cocoa powder. In another bowl, beat the butter until creamy, gradually beat in the sugar mixture, being sure to scrape the bottom of the bowl, occasionally. Finally stir in the coffee, and beat until smooth.

Decorate as you please!


Sometimes Hyperbole Just Ain’t Enough

Not made of chocolate

Today I saw a girl licking a fire hydrant. Seriously. No, you did not read that incorrectly. And you have no idea how much I really do wish I was exaggerating.

It wasn’t a piece of chocolate fashioned into the shape of a fire hydrant, either. Which might have made sense. It was just a plain ol’ bright yellow, City of Toronto fire hydrant. And the aforementioned girl was carefully bent at the waist, intently licking it like so much leftover Halloween candy. She seemed quite focused, too… which might even be more unsettling than the initial act itself. Almost.

I’d simply popped out at lunchtime with a co-worker to grab a coffee and pick up a December Metropass (sidebar: where the HELL did November go?) when this creative bit of performance art was presented to us (it had to have been performance art, right?) It seemed like an innocuous enough venture. But, I work in the East end of Toronto – Queen Street East, to be precise – and, for those of you familiar with the city, well: you’re familiar with the city.

Picking up the Metropass went off without incident. And, while waiting for my coffee, I assumed that the two misplaced Jersey Shore rejects sprawled across four armchairs would be the most colourful encounter of our afternoon jaunt. Silly me.

As we continued back to the office, coffee happily & firmly in hand, we realized that today was no ordinary day. It seemed that Pauly D and The Situation had, in fact, been trumped in the One of These Things Is Not Like The Other category by Shoeless Homeless Guy (is it wrong to assume one based on the other?)

SHG was, happily, rolling around on the sidewalk in front of a pub with a poor, unsuspecting dog who’d been tethered to a bike rack whilst his owner, presumably, ran inside to grab some takeout. Puppy didn’t look impressed. In all honesty, though, SHG looked like he was having the time of his life. So who am I to judge?

It was then that we encountered the initial oddity: Girl Licking Fire Hydrant. Sounds like the title for a piece of modern art. And, hey – for all I know she was a street artist working on a new piece. I’m going to go out on a limb, though, and vote: no. This is a neighbourhood quite renowned for its pharmaceutically-powered goings ons.

And, in all fairness, the neighbourhood wherein my office resides is – in general – one of the more sketchy of the downtown core, replete with characters living in each & every level of crazy town (as well as varying levels of chemical dependency.)

Come to think of it, this is the same – almost to the exact same block – location where I witnessed the charming meth-head-about-town regale me with a Harley Salute* this summer past. Maybe it was the same girl. Good to know she has hobbies for all seasons.

I love my city.
*A universal greeting primarily used by women intent on getting the attention of a lead singer and/or guitarist (not to mention the camera crew responsible for the Jumbotron feed) at a concert.


Monday Morning Rebellion

Well hello there, Monday, you ugly & merciless henchman of the Universe. It appears you’ve returned – yet again – to rip me from the comfort & safety of my Real World and deposit me back into the land of editing & marketing-speak. Why, oh why do you insist on doing this to me on such a constant and unrelenting basis? I’ve never wronged you, oh mighty Universe. Ok, maybe there was that one time when…

What’s that? A paycheque, you say? I don’t care about your stupid paycheque. Oh wait – crap – yes, I do.

But if I didn’t have a mortgage to pay, you can rest assured I’d be ready, willing & able to stick it to the Man.

What? Too old to pull of that sort of rebellious, 20-something, idealistic prattle? Fine. But I would, too. Stick it to the Man, that is. You don’t know. I can rebel with the best of them. Well, in my head I can. In my head I’m a rock star, a published novelist, a Marathon champion & Nobel Laureate. For now I’ll go edit the bajeezus out of a Christmas ad campaign. But I’ll be back. Count on it.