Sunday, April 15, 2012

Gluten free Meyer Lemon Poppy Seed Muffins (baking reflections...)

 For as long as I can remember, I've loved to cook and especially bake.  It calms and soothes.  The familiar and quiet of the kitchen beckons when all of life is upside down. It's also a thrill for the senses.  When I was a little girl, my mama would tie a dishtowel around my waist, hand me a wooden spoon and let me at it.  I recall a tiny rolling pin and mini cookie cutters, playing in soap suds while "helping" but what I remember most of all, was the time my mama spent with me in the kitchen.  She was patient and taught me everything.
 Her hard and fast rule always was (and is) "clean as you go."  I can't make anything in the kitchen with out an empty dishwasher, hot, soapy water in the sink, and a dishcloth at the ready, for wiping counter spills.  When I take something out of a cupboard, I use it and put it right back.  When I'm finished, my kitchen is no worse for the wear and I get to enjoy the process, rather than dread a huge mess to clean up all for the joy of baking.  I love that she taught me this.
 To this day, being in the kitchen seems the most natural place in the world to be.  I'm fairly fearless...unless I'm cooking steaks or big hunks of meat. (shudder.) I love trying new things.  I've invited my own children to "help" since they were little, just like my mama did, and I love watching my nine year old girl whip up a batch of brownies on her own.
 I took my gluten intolerant diagnosis in stride, and feel like I'm still able to give my gluten intolerant kiddos GF versions of regular foods with ease, thanks to the tremendous amount of resources out there.  I tweaked a vanilla cupcake recipe (first spotted here) and created a Meyer Lemon Poppy Seed Muffin recipe at the request of one very special small boy in my home.  Apparently, they are his favorites.  I didn't know.
 If you didn't know these were gluten free, you'd never suspect.  Even the texture is amazing, which is saying something since most GF baked goods are either crumbly or gritty.  This is neither. 
 I love Meyer lemons because they are sweeter.. well maybe not sweeter, but they aren't as acidic, and have a softer, thinner peel which make them perfect for baking.  And they're prettier too!  They aren't quite orange, but not really yellow either. 
 Gluten Free Meyer Lemon Poppy Seed Muffins: 
2 1/2 cups thai rice flour
1/2 tsp salt
1 Tbsp baking powder
1 tsp xanthan gum
*Combine all of the above dry ingredients in a small bowl and set aside.*

1 cup milk
1/2 tsp pure vanilla extract
1/2 tsp pure lemon extract
juice of one Meyer lemon
1 cup vegetable oil
*Beat the milk, extracts, lemon juice and oil in a mixer for 1 minute, and add the following four ingredients:
2 cups sugar
4 eggs
zest of one Meyer lemon
2 tbsp poppy seeds
*Beat until combined.  Add the dry ingredients into the wet ingredients and mix until combined.  Spoon into baking cups, about 3/4 full.  Bake at 350 for about 20 minutes.
 So... technically this is a cupcake when you look at the ratios of fat and sugar to the flour and baking powder.  Whatever.  We'll call it a muffin for argument's sake, because it was a muffin my boy requested for his after school snack.  And if you're wondering what the difference between a muffin and cupcake is, I heard a joke once- "A muffin doesn't look good in jeans, but a cupcake does." 

So there ya go.  Happy kids, happy life.  Enjoy.

Oh and the cute wood bread boards in my photos are from my bloggy buddy, Diana.  You can purchase a set here- they are wonderful and we use them for everything!! 


  1. yum! We JUST went glutten+dairy free so seeing such delicious looking recipes like this one gives us hope :)

  2. I love your milk glasses -- where are they from??

    1. I got them at Love them too! Use them all the time. :)

    2. I need ot get some of those milk glasses and the straws! LOVE them both.

  3. Your kids' smiles are EXACTLY alike. Cute.

  4. I love your kitchen and your cooking and your sharing of it with us. ; )

  5. look at their smiles! so precious!!! i am so glad you make gluten free look so delicious. and your pictures? dreamy!

  6. Sweet story of cooking with your mom and sweet faces enjoying their "cupcakes"!!


  7. I love that your mom taught you that. I need to be better about letting my 3 daughters help in the kitchen. Thank you for this sweet reminder! The muffins look yummy too! :)

  8. Ayou have made me humgry for dessert. Unfortunately I am trying to cut back, but will keep this in my recipe box as it's GF.

    Thanks for sharing the recipe and the yummy photos.

  9. Awww, thanks for the shout out! I always smile when I visit your blog and see my bread boards in your photos. I'm so glad you are enjoying them! This recipe looks delicious! Cupcakes and muffins are my weakness..... :)

    1. Girl I just LOVE them. My kids use them constantly for little things like snacks! They are so handy and are holding up amazingly. :)

  10. Sasha - you are adorable - so are you kids - and YOU always make me smile!

    Have a great day!

  11. Hey girlie! I LOVE how you wrote this post! Makes me want to be in the kitchen too as I feel exactly the same way about it as you do. Cupcakes sound DIVINE! Have a great week.

  12. I love Meyer lemons. My husband bought a mini meyer lemon tree for me a year ago, and it is doing so well, I make meyer lemon bars, meyer lemon curd and whatever else I can think of when it bears fruit. I love your blog, I cried when I read about Lucy....We have a pitbull mix, her name is Harley, she was the runt of her litter, we have had her since she was 4 weeks old, now she is about 10 years old. She is very healthy and active but I am a worrier, I worry about something happening to I can empathize with your pain.... anyway, I am so sorry for your loss! On a different note, I was wondering where you got your mini milk bottles, they are so cute. Thank you for answering my question. Have a good day....
    Vikki Baker

    1. Thanks so much VIkki- I miss my Lucy too!! So the milk bottles were purchased at I knew I should have included that in the post! LOL

  13. I made Lissa's recipe they were super good but adding lemon must have sent them over the top.

    Have a great day in your kitchen!

  14. Ahhh! My comment disappeared - so if it's reappears, you may have two from me. Anyway: YUM. And that's all I have to say about that.

  15. You should be a food stylist and photographer!

  16. I love your table runner! The colours and pattern are just perfect, where did you find it?

  17. Made these this morning and they are absolutely gorgeous with a lovely, fluffy texture. They were a little too sweet for me on their own, but delicious with fresh raspberries. I used a GF flour mix as we didn't have any rice flour, and added twice the vanilla as we didn't have lemon extract. Next time I'll cut back on the sugar, but I'll definitely bookmark this recipe. Thanks for sharing!