Foodiva's Kitchen: My Red Kitchen Debut - One Bowl Mango and Raspberry Muffins

Tuesday, July 12, 2011

My Red Kitchen Debut - One Bowl Mango and Raspberry Muffins


It's funny how resilient, how resourceful the human spirit becomes when it's stripped to the core. I discovered this when my father fell critically ill while on a work trip to Mexico in the spring of last year. After a stint at the ICU, he wasn't getting any better and was promptly flown to Washington DC for further treatment and surgery. Meanwhile on the other side of the world, my mother, sisters and I rushed over (well, if you can call a 2-day long flight 'rushing over') to be with him.

We ended up staying for about a month while he recuperated but in our hurry to get there, brought only the bare essentials. It's a bit like that question people often ask that makes you pause and ponder before you reply, which is - if you were stranded on an island and could bring only 3 things, what would you take with you? We had less than 24 hours to pack, so apart from the necessary travel documents and phone, I brought only a small pair of scissors, undergarments, a pair of jeans and a bare-shimmer lip gloss. What that says about me, I'm really not sure. When I'm alone, I travel extremely light. Of course, I returned home with 6 rather huge suitcases but that's another story altogether. Okay, it was the sales and I couldn't resist!



We were blessed in that we had plenty of visitors and kind people who dropped by my father's hospital room. Some of them were instrumental in saving his life, like the doctors, nurses and technicians. Others were family friends who resided in and around DC and they came everyday, bless their souls. Never empty-handed, they always brought us home-cooked meals because they knew we were in no state to cook (or even think about eating, for that matter) that first distraught week or two.

Our apartment was in Virginia, where we had a an airy and fully-equipped kitchen. Now, I'm not the best cook in the world, so I left most of the main meals to my mother. Baking is more my forte and whenever I want to relax and bring about that zen feeling, I bake. However, I didn't have any of my baking tools with me so I stared longingly at the oven until one day, this lovely lady gifted us with some delicious mango and raspberry muffins that were an instant hit at the hospital. I got the recipe off her and was immensely pleased to learn that I would require only a bowl, spoon, disposable muffin trays and an oven to make these delightful treats! Essentially, all the ingredients go into one bowl, given a light stir and the batter is all ready for baking. 
   

From the very start, I wanted to thank all our wonderful visitors and caregivers at the hospital so one of the first things I did was bake and brought the treats into the ward to share around. These muffins have now become my go to recipe for when I need a quick pick-me-and-others-up.

When we moved into our new home last week, my kitchen equipment were all over the place...in boxes, on the floor, on the counter, some in the new house, others in the old house still. The whole process of moving was quite overwhelming to say the least because we did it 'manually', by ourselves. No professional movers, no trailers were employed in the process. Why? Because our new house is located right next door. Not even 30 yards away and it hardly seemed worth it to involve a mass of other people. On hindsight, it was a crazy decision and at the end of many a day we collapsed with exhaustion on the bed, sofa, or even the floor (me).

Well, we are settling in slowly and since I've mentioned this several times, I am now pleased to introduce you my new red kitchen. The one inspired by my first post on the very day I decided to launch this blog. The best thing about it is that there's a space where I can put up my cookbooks! Maybe it's just me, but I get ecstatic by little, thoughtful things like that.

Dear readers and friends...meet my Red Kitchen.
I like how everything has its own space...including my cookbooks and huge snack jars!

 And it doesn't hurt to have a view like this into our garden, pool and....old house next door.

In the midst of all the chaos going on in the house, these muffins were created. They went into the oven and baked in no time at all with not a single whisk unpacked and out of the boxes yet. Instead of collapsing on the sofa at the end of that day, I actually sat down on the kitchen patio with a cup of tea and ate a few of these moist, fruity muffins whilst feeling ridiculously happy. 

My greatest lesson during that month away last year is that when my life is simpler, when I have very little, I am still capable of producing and giving out great joy with whatever I have. And in case you have the urge to turn your nose up at these humble muffins, they actually landed me an invitation to attend a gathering of movers and shakers in DC to watch Barack Obama speak. I mean, who knew? :-)


One Bowl Mango and Raspberry Muffins
Ingredients:
2 cups self-raising flour, sifted
¾ cups caster sugar
¼ teaspoon salt
1 egg, lightly beaten
¾ cups milk
1 teaspoon vanilla extract
½ cup ripe mango flesh
1/3 cup vegetable oil
1 cup frozen raspberries, thawed slightly

Method:
1. Preheat the oven to 180C. Place the flour in a bowl and with a spoon, gently stir in all the ingredients except the raspberries in the order stated above, ie. sugar followed by salt, egg, milk, vanilla, mango and oil. Stir until the batter has absorbed most of the oil, maybe 8-10 turns at the end. Do not overstir or the muffins will be hard.
2. Add a heaped teaspoon of batter into a muffin cup. Place about a teaspoon of raspberry on it. Top with more batter up to ¾ of the muffin cup. Bake for 15-20 minutes until a toothpick inserted into the centre of the muffin comes out clean. Let cool slightly before serving.

50 comments:

Three-Cookies said...

Good to hear things worked out with your father. Why scissors? The kitchen looks quite nice.

Foodiva said...

Three Cookies, thanks. Scissors are much safer than a pen-knife since I'm a bit of a clumsy clot...especially after jet-lag. :-)

Peggy said...

Your red kitchen is absolutely gorgeous! I hope to one day have a kitchen as beautiful as yours =)

michelangelo in the kitchen said...

Wow Maya! What a fabulous kitchen you have! This is the place where you can really be creative even more. I'll take your old house anytime with the delicious mango and raspberry muffins. They look great! I wish you all the best on your new house. Cheers!!!!

Foodiva said...

Peggy, if you blog about it, it's like putting your dream down on paper. And you know, that's one of the best ways to achieve your dream kitchen, as I've somehow learnt!

Foodiva said...

Arthur, if you live in my old house, we'll be neighbors! I'll gladly trade my muffins in exchange for some food carving lessons from you :-).

spcookiequeen said...

I'm in love with you new kitchen and the muffins too. You are right, I should be in love with mangos. So glad your move went well. I'm sure it will be worth it once you get all settled in. I love how you have room for your books now. So glad everything worked out for your dad too, that must have been so hard. I wish we were neighbors, sniff, sniff.
-Gina-

Foodiva said...

I wish we were neighbors too, Gina...we'd have a blast everyday! Do you have an empty house next door to you? ;-)

Dad's fine now, but you were right, it was hard to see him so sick in a foreign land and we all had to stay strong the whole time (which was the hard part).

Jennifurla said...

it is gorgeous!

At Anna's kitchen table said...

I love your red kitchen!! It's amazing.
I'm new to your blog (found it via Kate (Norm's) blog)
I'm sorry your dad got so poorly! But isn't it lovely to bake as a way of saying thanks.

Alina---Explora Cuisine said...

Stunning kitchen, I love it Maya! my husband does 3D modelling and he always creates amazing furniture projects, especially kitchens :) Lovely space and light as well! and those muffins, OMG, they look soooo good!!! Hugs for you and I hope you'll be very pleased after you finish everything in the new house :)

Cher said...

Thanks for sharing :-) Love the kitchen (it matches my Kitchen Aid stand mixer...)

I am sure that was tough with your father. My friend's father became ill while he was visiting Israel several year's ago - my friend and her mother ended up spending a month there. (Things ended up well, but those four weeks seemed like a year...)

Best, best, best wishes on your new domain! Can't wait to see all of the awesome things that will come out of it.

S.V. said...

Oh mango raspberry muffins and a red kitchen. Nice. Red is my favorite color very cool kitchen.

Sandra said...

Maya, I am in love with your new kitchen!!!! So beautiful, bright and just like you food so creative! Congrats again!
I am glad your dad was alright, it is never easy to watch loved once get sick!
And your muffins..I would love to sit with you, sip the tea and enjoy the view and this delicious looking muffins:D Thank you for sharing piece of your life with all of us!

Adora's Box said...

Wow, I say WOW! Wow to the fabulous kitchen so fit for a Foodiva. Wow to the garden and the pool and the red table. Wow to the fab fruity muffins. Is that real sunshine? Did you move to paradise? Congratulations on the new house. Good wishes to your Dad.

Foodiva said...

LOL, Adora... That IS real sunshine! And I haven't moved to paradise but have always lived in it ;-). Many, many thanks for your wows and well wishes!

Alexis @ There She Goes said...

your kitchen is beeeyotiful!! serious envy right now :)

Christine's Pantry said...

I am glad your dad was alright.

Nice kitchen.

Ana Helena said...

I am so happy for you! The Diva in the Red Kitchen. This is perfect!

Great post, great lessons and great recipe!Thanks for sharing.

Tina @flourtrader said...

I really did enjoy reading this post. I copied the muffin recipe and your kitchen is awesome. thanks for sharing.

Carolyn said...

OMG, that red kitchen is AWESOME! I've always wondered what it would be like to move right next door or right across the street...worth it, perhaps, to hire someone to help after all!
Great muffins, too. Wonderful flavours and full of fruit!

The Farmers Wife said...

Wow!! That kitchen is gorgeous girl! Love what you've done with it! So glad to hear your dad is doing well again, and thanks for this recipe. I KNOW it would be a big hit as my family adores mangoes!

E.K.R said...

Okay wow!! That kitchen is incredible. I must say when you first mentioned a red kitchen in earlier posts, I had a hard time envisioning what all the fuss was about, but those pictures absolutely took my breath away!! Stunningly gorgeous! Hope you enjoy!

elle marie said...

It's the best feeling in the world when you move into your very own, designed-by-you-kitchen!

Will you use your older home for a guest house, or pool house? I did not know you were from the East Coast, I'm from Annapolis, but lived in NY (most of my teenage years), DC, West Coast, etc... I'm a dork but I keep forgetting, you are in Asia with me right? Or back in the US?

yummychunklet said...

Amazing red kitchen and love those muffin papers!

PFx said...

wow! the Drama! The bloody Drama!
If I was to seduce a lover in the kitchen with my ultimate creation, that would be my ideal kitchen. (Probably something spicy and Spanish ;P)

Top it up, Mango and Raspberry with a cup of tea; you could be the next 'desparately desired' wife in the new neighbourhood now. Hahaha.

I hope your Dad's well now. It is true that cooks and bakers get itchiness when they're not in their natural habitat.

createwithmom said...

beautiful kitchen love the red and the deco
the view wonderful to look at
Maya no wonder you were busy :)
muffins look fabulous
regards Akheela

Foodness Gracious said...

What a great post and a great insight to your life for a new visitor and follower like myself. The muffins look well tasty and a great combo of fruits, thanks for stopping by Foodness Gracious and I look forward to many more awesome posts.
Thanks!!

Norm said...

Congratulations on your new home Maya, and your FABULOUS new red kitchen! It's utterly beautiful, and of course you'll be creating wonderful things in it.

Kate x

Mardi @eatlivetravelwrite said...

You so deserve a kitchen of fabulousness :) Can't wait to see what you make in it!

Foodiva said...

Carolyn, I've moved countries before and those were much easier with the help of professional packers and movers! This time it's like trying to hail a cab to drive you down one block, there are no takers! LOL.

Foodiva said...

PFx, your comment is the one full of drama and you made me LOL at the thought of you using MY kitchen for unculinary purposes! Two words come to mind...Eva Longoria ;-).

If you look closely, this kitchen (esp the high cabinets) is made for a glamazon, neither of which Eva or I are one, unfortunately.

Foodiva said...

Kate@Norm, thanks. You're the only one here I can realistically invite over to see my kitchen and new home. And one day, when I can find everything in the kitchen, you shall!

Foodiva said...

Thank you, Mardi! Actually I think I deserve that small kitchen in Paris too, but I'll let you have that. For now. ;-)

wok with ray said...

That is one beautiful kitchen you have there. Love the combination of the ingredients in your muffin. Thanks for sharing.

Nami @ Just One Cookbook said...

OMG! I can even sleep in your kitchen! You know how much I love RED, and I can happily live there. So beautiful! Wow you have so many cookbooks! I only own....a few. =P This is a chef's castle. My husband would love this modern kitchen. If you let me in, I won't come out. LOL. Your mango and raspberry muffins look delicious! But oh boy, I am still thinking of your red kitchen... I gotta show this to my hubby saying this is my dream kitchen! ;-)

Lilly said...

Hahah so funny I had the same reaction as Nami! I wish my house had the room for a kitchen like yours!!
Even though my kitchen is way biger then the one I had before I still don't have enough room. Story of my life.
BTW great muffins...but that kitchen...

Erin said...

Can I come live with you - that is am amazing kitchen and view!

Maureen said...

The muffins are fantastic but it's the kitchen I love. What a happy color!!

We'll be expecting really fancy food from a kitchen like that. :)

Cheap Ethnic Eatz said...

What a moving post (pun intended) about your father, bare necessities, and last week's move. Next door????

All a recipe needs to work out is that it should be made with love.

NICE kitchen, wow that is red he he

Foodiva said...

OMG, looks like this darn kitchen has raised your expectations...the pressure's on, baby! LOL, thanks for all your generous comments so far. I'll try to produce even lovelier stuff out of this new kitchen, many thanks again for all your support and encouragement!

Jenny (VintageSugarcube) said...

I'm sooo glad your dad is OK and got great care in DC. I absolutely love the story about the muffins you made for the staff. And I'm beyond swoooooning for your kitchen. It could not be any cooler. Kudos to the Foodivo for all the extra touches. Now I must visit Brunei....XOXO

Foodiva said...

Jenny, yes you MUST! Come here and stay with us...we'd love to have you and we can blog from Brunei together :-).

Spicie Foodie said...

So glad to hear your father recuperated :) One should never underestimate the power of a small sweet treat. It never fails to cheer me up. Loving both the muffins and your kitchen. Red is my favorite color so I'm jealous. It looks beautiful Maya and I know you'll enjoy it to the fullest.
(PS I didn't want to distract you from the move so waited to reply to your email. Will do so later.)

Trix said...

OMG RED KITCHEN. LOVE.
Sorry but I just had to "shout" that! I love color - my bedroom and my living room are burgundy! lol. I am glad your father recuperated. Now I can't wait to see more photos of your lovely house. Hmm, maybe I can move into your old one? ; )

Victoria said...

Maya, I love your red kitchen!! It's really so special and I'm so glad you got the kitchen of your dreams (complete with bookshelves for your cookbooks)! Also, what a great story about these muffins, how simple and comforting they must be to make and enjoy :)

Magic of Spice said...

Lovely post Maya! And love your kitchen...bold and gorgeous!
These muffins look pretty fantastic as well :)

Foodiva said...

Nancy@Spicie Foodie, red is my favorite color too, and I can't get enough of it! Now that I'm getting older, I'm tuning that preference down to pink and purple...but no way am I getting a kitchen in either of these two colors! LOL.

Foodiva said...

Victoria, thank you! I also love the fact that my cookbooks are all within my vicinity in the kitchen, and no more rummaging through my cramped study to search for the one I want.

Joy said...

I love the new kitchen. Mine is never as neat as yours.

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