When my siblings and I were children (5 years ago, in case you were wondering), my Dad thought the timing was appropriate to fill us in on a bit of our family history. He told us a sombre tale of a battle that our Scottish ancestors had with the Greeks in the 1800’s. I’ll save you the details in hopes you will be able to sleep tonight, but let’s just say from that point onwards we felt a weighty responsibility, no, obligation, to our ancestors to never, ever, under any circumstances, eat Greek food. In fact, one day my sister was out for lunch with my aunt and was horrified when my aunt suggested a local Greek place for lunch – how could she not know?!?!!? My aunt, being the considerate person that she is, immediately called my mom to find out why on earth Jennie was so adamant about not eating at a Greek restaurant. Unbeknownst to our impressionable little minds, my lovely father simply didn’t care for chicken souvlaki and had made up the battlefield story so that we would agree to go to Swiss Chalet instead of asking to try somewhere new.
Funny guy, he is. Creative, too. I’m not sure if he ever has, or will ever, eat Greek food by choice, but I sure think of him whenever I do.
The other day, I felt like baking, but I also wanted to use up at least one of the 6 tubs of Greek yogurt that was in my fridge, courtesy of a great sale and going to the grocery store hungry. My Dad may not like Greek food, but I’m pretty sure he’d like these muffins – they’re moist, tender, refreshing, and have more protein thanks to the generous amount of yogurt in them. I think he’d approve, and maybe even think they’re worth going to battle for.
Ready? Here we go!
Greek yogurt, eggs, olive oil, honey, vanilla, sugar, cake and pastry flour, baking powder, salt, and an orange.
To get started, sift the dry ingredients together and set aside. I somehow neglected to take a picture of 1.5 c of cake and pastry flour, 1 T baking powder, and 1/2 t salt in a bowl, but you can just imagine how riveting it was. Please don’t unsubscribe over this!
Next, zest a small orange (about 1 t worth) and add to 1/2 c sugar.
Smoosh everything around, so that the essential oils in the orange zest have a chance to make friends with the sugar.
And of course, it smells AMAZING!
With the rest of the wet ingredients, you can either add directly to the sugar (if you thought ahead enough to use a bigger bowl) or in a separate bowl if you consider washing dishes one of your top 5 hobbies.
Whisk up 2 c Greek yogurt (I prefer 2%), 2 eggs, 1/4 c mild olive oil, 1/4 c honey (use a good quality, local honey if you can – I used Orange Blossom, which inspired the orange tone in these muffins), 1 t vanilla, and 2 T of orange juice. You can either juice the orange you just zested, or, if you’re like me, eat that orange or a snack and use the Tropicana in your fridge.
Add the wet ingredients to the dry…
Gently stir everything together just until the dry ingredients are acquainted with the wet ones. Remember, no one likes tough muffins!
After 24 minutes at 350 degrees, the battle was declared over!
Or perhaps, a new battle was just beginning…one that involves a dozen muffins calling your name. Oh my. I surrender. Just don’t tell my Dad, ok?
Next up…souvlaki, anyone?