For the past few weeks we’ve been living with our friend in Calgary. We’re moving away at the end of this month but we got rid of our apartment a month too early so we were lucky enough to have a place to stay. One of the great perks of living in this house is the outdoor space. I’ve never even had a balcony, so being able to sit and work on the porch or the backyard has been amazing. Nothing beats fresh air and the neighbourhood cats that come to visit every once in a while. There was even a small family of red robins that build a nest in her tree and I got to sit and watch the babies take their first flight. Basically, the outdoors is filled with the best distractions. To top it all off, she has a small garden with some herbs and rhubarb. The rhubarb wasn’t being used, so our friend suggested that I make some rhubarb muffins so that it wouldn’t go to waste.
A while ago we had a couple of friends over for dinner. I knew I wanted to make something sweet but didn’t want to bother with anything too fancy or that had any chance of failing, but I always like to try something new when I have the chance. Smitten Kitchen’s chocolate banana bread totally fit the bill (as her recipes often do). It’s something that I’ve been wanting to try as soon as I saw it but our classic banana bread is such a household staple, it’s hard to try “spend” our rotten bananas on something else. Luckily I made the executive decision to try something new, and as our apartment started to smell like the most delectable chocolate muffins, I knew it was a good choice. I didn’t know it then but that was the birth of these double chocolate coconut cupcakes.
I’ve been seeing a bunch of recipes combining rye and chocolate lately. Personally, I couldn’t get the combination out of my head but didn’t have any rye flour at home, so it went on the back burner. This weekend, though, when I bought some cocoa nibs (at the best spice store ever!), I knew it was time to take the rye and chocolate combination seriously. And these muffins certainly deliver on both the rye and chocolate front: cocoa powder + cocoa nibs + unsweetened chocolate = muffin heaven and the rye adds a nice touch that make these muffins stand out from your standard treat.
There’s always one monstrous vegetable that the guy doling out the produce for our CSA box is trying to get rid of. I always politely pass it up because a) I would have to figure out what to do with 5 pounds of x and b) there is no way that we would be able to consume 5 pounds of x in one week. So, you can imagine my joy when I discovered that the biggest zucchini/squash that I have ever seen in my life was sitting on my kitchen counter. This is what happens when my boyfriend goes to pick up the CSA box.