Monday, June 24, 2013

Jalapeño Cheddar Muffins #MuffinMonday

Anyone who has ever been a new kid in school will understand my overwhelmed feelings the first day I walked into the fourth grade classroom at St. Thomas More back in 1972.  I was nine years old and had been living overseas since I started school.  This Catholic grade school in Houston, Texas was just as foreign.  And I was one of the only children in the whole student body with divorced parents.  An oddity.  Every grade had two homerooms and each homeroom had 30 children.  So many more students than I was used to.  I gradually got to know the other girls and boys in class and joined the Girl Scouts.  I made friends with a small group of girls that are still among my best friends today.  We picked up a few more in high school to round out our gang.

Last weekend, instead of baking these cheesy spicy muffins for posting today, I was celebrating our collective fiftieth birthdays in the party city of New Orleans.   We rented a house in the French Quarter and worked our abs by laughing harder and more often in those three days than I have laughed for years.  There is nothing like a group of friends who know your old secrets and keep them, except when they make a great story when you are all together.

We have so many inside jokes and shared adventures and traditions but one of my favorites is that we always take a photo at each wedding of all the girlfriends with the groom.  Here's the one from our wedding more than 27 years ago.

My sweetie (Isn't he handsome?!) with my beautiful friends.  

And here we all are now.  Seven of us have been friends for more than 40 years!  We just met the immobile girl in the middle.

So, I am baking muffins this morning on actual Muffin Monday and our chosen ingredient is peppers.  If you have been reading along for a while, you know I love spicy things and cheesy makes everything better.  These are perfectly both.

2 cups or 250g flour
1 tablespoon baking powder
1/2 teaspoon salt
1/2 teaspoon English mustard powder
16 oz or 450g extra sharp cheddar
2-3 jalapeño peppers
1-2 Fresno peppers
2 eggs
1 cup or 240ml milk
1/4 cup or 60ml canola

Preheat oven 350°F or 180°C and prepare muffin pan by greasing or lining with paper muffin cups.  When I am baking with cheese, I find that the paper liners stick to my muffins so I usually just grease the pan.  You might want to do the same.

Cut 12 thin slices off of the skinny ends of your peppers and set aside to use for decoration before baking.  Chop the rest of the peppers finely, removing the seeds first, if you don’t like things too spicy.

Grate your cheese.  Set some aside for sprinkling on top of the muffins before baking.

In a large bowl mix together your flour, baking powder, mustard powder and salt.  Add in the big pile of cheese and stir until well mixed.

In a smaller bowl, whisk your milk, canola oil and eggs.

Pour your wet ingredients into your dry ingredients and stir until just combined.

Now fold in the chopped peppers.

Evenly distribute the batter among the muffin cups.

Top with the extra cheese and one slice of pepper per muffin.

Bake for 20-25 minutes or until golden.

Remove from the oven and allow to cool for a few minutes in the pan.

Remove the muffins from the muffin pan and finish cooling on a rack.



  1. I love the muffins - but more than that I love that head piece the one girl is wearing - priceless 80's fashion! :)

  2. Oh! I was going to explain those in the caption, but forgot. The three in jewel tones (emerald, fuchsia and purple) were my bridesmaids, along with my two sisters, who wore royal blue. They all had those hats and I made them! The two who kept them on loved hats anyway. The other three shucked them off as soon as possible. I got a lot of abuse for making them wear those hats and it is a tribute to their love for me that they even agreed. :)

  3. Thanks, Jenni! I know how blessed I am. We remained friends over the years by following a few simple rules, which start with girlfriends come first. 1. If you liked him first, he's yours. Even if he doesn't like you. Until you say otherwise. 2. No dating a girlfriend's ex unless she gives complete permission. Because we all hate him until she doesn't. and 3. You came with us, you leave with us, I don't care who wants to take you home (when going out dancing at night) - also known as the "leave no man behind" rule. We kept each other safe and made each other laugh. Good girlfriends are worth their weight in therapists.

  4. Thanks, Cheryl! They are a group of lookers, aren't they? :)

  5. well - I must agree with your sisters - it is a testament! :) I love the color choices though - jewel tones have always been my favorite. Simon looks like the good guy on Mystery Date! I mean that in a good way. Remember that game? My 1st husband wore a tux just like that and somehow - it didn't look the same on him. :)

  6. I don't think I ever watched Mystery Date. I'll have to look it up. Simon's tux looks white there but it was actually ivory, to match my dress. The groomsmen wore black traditional tuxes so we were quite the festival of colors. I have never been a pastel kind of person. :)

  7. I'm all over these muffins! Or should I say, I want to be! They look incredible.

  8. Thanks, Ashley. They taste incredible.


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