HAPPY BIRTHDAYS & Oatmeal Raisin Muffins.

Yesterday was my guy's birthday!! Yesterday also happened to be the busiest day of this season thus far. But it is alllllll good. Because somehow, I managed to make it all work. I had some wonderful friends come to my rescue help me out... Because let's be honest: you can't do things like this in life without your people. I would've been a wreck of a human being otherwise. I started planning a surprise party for John about a week ago. Of course, it didn't occur to me that planning a party takes actual coordination. I was too ambitious. Note to self: start planning earlier!!! Thank god for that extra hour. I started off the day by cooking a birthday breakfast. We used to have breakfast together all the time. But now that our schedules are so different, it's hard for us to find the time to enjoy each other's company in the morning. I woke up, whipped up a quick batch of oatmeal raisin muffins (recipe below!), some cheesy grits, and crispy bacon. I even had time to make coffee in the French press! So we spent the whole morning just catching up, drinking coffee, and enjoying a true Southern man's birthday breakfast.

Then it was off to a dress rehearsal, matinee concert with the symphony, and then a chamber music performance. But that's not that important. The surprise party was somewhat successful, though he figured it out when the whole house smelled like pizza. All of our friends came over and there was more than plenty of good stuff to eat/drink. One of his closest friends even drove up from 45 minutes away. He had a great birthday. And that makes me happy.

HAPPY BIRTHDAY JOHN WARD! 20131104-232027.jpg

I think that birthday breakfasts will have to become a tradition in this house. But with super rich/cheesy grits & bacon on the menu, I thought it would be best to go with a somewhat healthier muffin recipe. Oatmeal raisin cookies are my guy's fav, so I figured why not turn them into muffins? There's officially no butter in the batter. But I couldn't resist adding this streusel to to it.

Easy Oatmeal Raisin Muffins 20131104-230328.jpg

Ingredients: 1 cup mixed white/whole wheat flour 3/4 teaspoon salt 1 1/2 teaspoon baking soda 1 tablespoon ground cinnamon 3/4 cup brown sugar 1/2 cups apple sauce 1 1/4 cup milk 1 teaspoon vanilla extract 2 eggs 1 cup rolled oats 1 cup golden raisins

Preheat oven to 375 degrees F.

Combine flour, baking soda, cinnamon, and salt in a mixing bowl. Mix until combined.

Mix brown sugar & apple sauce until you've worked out all of the clumps. Whisk in milk & vanilla extract. Beat in two eggs. In 2-3 batches, mix in the dry ingredients. Fold in oats & raisins.

Pour into greased muffin or cupcake pans, until about 7/8 full. (Add streusel if you're feeling especially generous!) Bake for 20-25mins until a toothpick comes out clean. Done! See. Super easy.

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Miran