If you haven’t entered the St. Lawrence Chocolate giveaway yet, make sure you do so by clicking here to go to the post where you need to leave your comment! The contest closes at 5 AM on Monday, October 13, 2008!

I decided early last week that it was time to go ahead and open myself up to the north country. Not many people out there in my area knew I had a blogspot. Not even some of my friends. Since I have been blogging almost a year now and have made some wonderful blogger friends, I felt it was time to let the hometowns know about me. I want to thank North Country Now for putting me up on their local blogs and I want to thank all of you who have visited as a result!

Early September our university underwent accreditation. One of our reviewers, Mr. Kim, had about 10 minutes with me while we walked from one destination to another. He was curious about my family, wanted to know if I lived here all my life, etc. I told him of my passion for cooking and baking and of my son’s passion for music (drumming in particular). He told me that my son and I should follow our passions, that when we are doing something we love, we will be successful. I totally believe him. My son is struggling with decisions (or the inability to decide) in his life and I have struggled with wanting to make everything right for him. I have finally given in and accepted the fact that I cannot make him do what he has no desire to do. How can he be successful if he isn’t happy doing it? I need to let him go and do what it is he needs to do to be happy.

The same thing goes for myself. I am happiest when I am in the kitchen. I am even happier when I am making others happy with the creations I have made in my kitchen! I’m not sure how, when, or what it will be for me to find my success, but like I tell my son, I will do what I have to and work towards what I want.

So, now that I have gotten that out, let me tell you about some mini muffins I made tonight!
My friend and co-worker Sue and I have been watching what we eat. I am so proud of myself because I have been a well behaved little dieter all week so far! It helps that Sue and I are both watching what we are eating and we can support one another. So, what does my careful dieting mean to my cooking habits? Only that I will have to start making more things that are better for me to eat. It doesn’t mean I won’t make unhealthy things. I just won’t allow myself to have more than a bite or two! I do have will power. I just need to exercise it! Now, on to the food part….

I had a couple of bananas that were getting quite ripe and I needed to do something with them. I have been wanting to make mini muffins. BUT because it is fall, I also wanted that fall “spice”. So, what did I make? I made Mini Banana-Apple Butter Muffins with Toasted Walnuts and a lemon glaze. I made them fat free (with the exception of the walnuts) and for sugar I used Splenda. Below is the recipe:

HoneyB’s Mini Banana Walnut-Apple Butter Mini Muffin

1 cup all-purpose flour
1 cup whole wheat flour
1/2 cup Splenda
2 teaspoons baking powder
1/2 teaspoon baking soda
1/2 teaspoon ground nutmeg
1/8 teaspoon salt
1/8 teaspoon ground allspice
1 egg
1/2 cup skim milk with 1 tbsp lemon juice
2 mashed bananas, very ripe
1/3 cup apple butter

Glaze for muffins:

3/4 cup confectioner sugar
juice of 1 small lemon

Preheat oven to 400 degrees F. Coat miniature muffin cups with nonstick cooking spray. I don’t suggest using the muffin liners. Even after they cooled, they stuck to the liners.

In a large bowl, combine the flours, sugar, baking powder, baking soda, nutmeg, salt and allspice. Mix well.

Beat the egg in a small bowl. Add the milk, banana, and apple butter. Mix well. Add to the dry ingredients. Stir just until the dry ingredients are moistened. Stir in nuts.

Divide the batter evenly among the muffin cups, filling each 2/3 full. Bake for 10 to 15 minutes, or until light golden brown and a toothpick inserted in the center comes out clean. Immediately remove muffins from the pan. When cool, drizzle with glaze.

Yield: 36 muffins