I spent the past six days in one of the most fascinating cities: New York. The energy, people, fashion and sights were all so inspiring and as soon as I sat down on the bus to head home to D.C. yesterday, a revived sense of motivation washed over me. Walking around the city, meeting amazing go-getters, photographing a fashion show (I’m still pinching myself), and viewing the sights that I haven’t seen since I was younger provided me with such a breath of fresh air. For that, I thank you, New York.
Between fashion shows, the Toy Fair and client meetings, we did find time to squeeze in meals here and there to keep the energy levels high. We even stopped by my heaven on Earth on Valentine’s Day, Eataly. If you haven’t been to New York, first of all, go to the city and second of all stop by this Italian paradise. It features multiple restaurants, including a fine-dining Italian steakhouse, a pizzeria and a rooftop beer garden. It is also complete with row after row of Italian goods and housewares that exude the essence of Italy. As soon as I stepped through the doors, my jaw dropped and I became giddy with delight. I could have stayed there all day which gave me even more determination to experience the real thing. I’ve always wanted to go to Italy and now I’m more determined than ever to visit a place that has been listed on my bucket list for years.
As soon as I stepped in the door from a very productive and enjoyable trip, I was greeted by my husband and my babies, Caster and Tugboat. I was also reunited with my kitchen and I couldn’t wait to cook and bake to my heart’s content. In the spirit of Italy, I prepared a pasta dish for dinner that included many Italian flavors. As soon as I woke up this morning, I had a severe craving for muffins. Having not been to the grocery store in what seemed like ages, I perused my kitchen to see what I could find. Thanks to my husband for running up to the store while I was away, he ended up buying eggs and bananas among other items. I soon discovered that I had all of the ingredients to bake muffins for breakfast and the end result were these Banana and Chocolate Chip Muffins with Hazelnut Crumb Topping.
Banana and Chocolate Chip Muffins with Hazelnut Crumb Topping
For the muffins
- 1 1/2 cups all-purpose flour
- 1 teaspoon baking soda
- 1 teaspoon baking powder
- 1/2 teaspoon salt
- 3 bananas, mashed
- 3/4 cup white sugar
- 1 egg
- 1/3 cup butter, melted
- 1 tablespoon vanilla extract
- 1 cup chocolate chips
For the crumb topping
- 1/3 cup light brown sugar
- 1/4 cup all-purpose flour
- 1/2 teaspoon ground cinnamon
- 1-2 tablespoons oil
- 1/2 cup chopped hazelnuts
- Preheat oven to 375 degrees. Grease muffin cups or line with muffin liners.
- Combine 1 1/2 cups all-purpose flour, baking soda, baking powder and salt.
- In a separate bowl, mash the bananas and then beat together the bananas, sugar, egg, melted butter and vanilla extract.
- Combine banana mixture with the flour mixture until just moistened.
- Fold in the chocolate chips.
- Spoon batter into prepared muffin cups.
- In a small bowl, use a fork and mix together the brown sugar, 1/4 cup all-purpose flour, cinnamon and oil until crumbly. Stir in hazelnuts. Sprinkle mixture over the batter.
- Bake for 18 to 20 minutes or until a toothpick inserted into the center comes out clean.
Have you ever been to New York? If so, what is your favorite place to visit?