I can’t remember the last time I did anything for the sake of purely unwinding.
Lately I’ve forgotten how to allow myself to relax. I mean, I still do many of the things that I consider my relaxation activities, but I haven’t been doing them whole heartedly in a while. I’m always multi-tasking; always thinking up ways to squeeze in work or blogging when I’m supposed to be unwinding.
Before, I could read or draw for hours on end, thinking about nothing but the words or the lines. I had no troubles surrendering my mind to the world of whatever I’m reading or drawing without distraction. Recently, every time I’ve started a book or a sketch I can’t last even an hour before I think I need to do something for the blog. Even though I’ve done more than enough for the week.
For whatever reason, I keep thinking I have to keep abreast of the passing time every moment I’m awake. I keep thinking I have to be working on things at the same time to accomplish more. But I keep realizing every time I stretch myself too thin that time is impossible to chase down.
So now I’m constantly drained of energy. My unnecessary exhaustion has been turning me into a zombie at night and a cranky old hag in the morning. I’ve always known being a workaholic when it comes to things I’m passionate about is my tendency, and I like to keep myself busy all the time. If only nonstop work work working will earn me as much as Rihanna or Fifth Harmony does just by singing those words. When did I lose the ability to know when to stop?
The good new is I seem to have found a little compromise to this problem of mine when I opened up a cookbook again in the past week. My intention was to catalogue the recipes I wanted to try or tinker with for the blog, but I had forgotten how much poring through my cookbooks betters my mood. They inspire and motivate me, and it just feels so damn good to stare at those food photos. Relaxation under the guise of work! 😁
One of my favourite cookbooks of all time is Baked Elements by the duo from Baked NYC. This cookbook in particular features recipes based on their 10 favourite ingredients, which are mostly my own favourite ingredients too! It’s why I love looking through this book so much.
Unfortunately I was not able to pay a visit to their bakery during my previous trip to New York, but I’m happy that owning their cookbooks makes me feel like their goodies are at arm’s reach. But what I really admire about the Baked boys is how they have such unique takes on classic baked goods, and the twists they add are so clever and tasty!
They have the ability to turn something simple like corn muffins we eat without a second thought into more attention-grabbing Lemon Pistachio Cornmeal Muffins, just by mixing in things you normally wouldn’t imagine to.
Every bite of these beautiful Lemon Pistachio Cornmeal Muffins is a burst of sweet corn and bright lemon, with a light pistachio flavour that creeps in at the edges. Something I love about corn muffins is that gritty texture, but the addition of the pistachios really gives a light crunch to these. As a fan of corn muffins in general, this was definitely a brilliant way to level up the classic! I really wouldn’t change a thing.
Makes 12 to 15 muffins
- 1/2 cup pistachios, divided
- 2 large eggs
- 3/4 cup sour cream
- 2 teaspoons lemon juice
- Zest of 1/2 lemon
- 3 ounces (3/4 stick) unsalted butter, melted and cooled
- 3/4 cup all-purpose flour
- 1 1/4 cups yellow cornmeal
- 1 cup granulated sugar
- 1 teaspoon salt
- 2 teaspoons baking powder
- 1. Preheat the oven to 400°F (205°C). Lightly spray or line a standard 12-cup muffin pan.
- 2. In the food processor, pulse the pistachios until they are coarsely chopped. Remove 1/4 cup cup and set aside. Continue to process the rest of the pistachios until they are just almost powdery, but not yet a superfine dust.
- 3. In a medium bowl, lightly whisk the eggs. Add the sour cream, lemon juice, lemon zest, and butter, then whisk until combined. Set aside.
- 4. In a separate large bowl, whisk together flour, cornmeal, sugar, salt, the almost-powdery pistachios from the food processor, salt, and baking powder.
- 5. Make a well in the middle of the dry ingredients, then pour the wet ingredients into the center. Fold the dry into the wet until just mixed. Do not overmix.
- 6. Fill each muffin cup about 3/4 of the way full. Sprinkle the tops with the coarse pistachios set aside from earlier. Tap the bottom of the pan against the counter to level the batter.
- 7. Bake for 12 to 15 minutes, or until the tops are golden brown and a toothpick inserted in the center comes out clean. Transfer the pan to a wire rack to cool for 10 to 15 minutes before taking the muffins out of the pan and serving while still warm. Wrap leftover muffins tightly in plastic wrap for up to 3 days. Toast or warm before eating.
I have a good collection cookbooks at the moment and I am planning to catalogue them all, so it seems like I have a temporary fix to my relaxation problems. Still have to get back to learning how to really unwind though!