of milk, muffins, and kids

The past week had been pretty hectic, running to and fro the local children’s hospital. The second niece got admitted after running a fever, refusing to eat and drink the whole day. It turned out that she had some sort of virus, which left her immensely dehydrated, and reduced the oxygen level in her body. Three days later, the doctors and nurses bade farewell to a screaming 2-year-old, as the drip was removed from her left foot, and she went [quote] “whoopee!” [unquote] off the bed, climbing the sofas around the ward.

She got reunited with her younger sister for a day, only to have the latter being admitted to the same hospital the next day, for showing similar symptoms of the affecting virus. Thankfully though, the 10-month-old fighter regained her appetite soon enough, and the house is once again coloured by her frequent [quote] “mammamm…” [unquote] (a possible derivative of the Malay word ‘makan’, meaning ‘eat”) baby babbles each time she sees someone with food in hand.

Now that they are staying with us for the time being;– we’re helping my worn-out sister with two still-on-medication little kiddos;– I thought what better way to celebrate the return of their appetite than with their favourite chocolate muffins.

It is probably too presumptuous of me to claim that these are their favourite muffins ever, but I think it should suffice to say that these are their favourite muffins when they come over.

I remember the first time I baked these chocolate muffins, they were a hit when fresh from the oven, and the only gripe was that there wasn’t enough to go round. And last Sunday when I needed to prepare eighty for an order, I had two muffins extra, and while the second niece politely pointed that one was for her, and another for “adik” (younger sister in Malay), she soon realised that her adik was taking longer than expected to return (she wasn’t aware that her sister was in the hospital), and that one reserved muffin somehow became a reserved half-muffin, and then none.

Today I decided to bake the chocolate muffins especially for them, and since the adults were not big on chocolate chocolate chip muffins (there was an extended negotiation in the kitchen between the chocolate faction and the non-chocolate faction), I decided to try out a basic chocolate chip muffin recipe that had long been bookmarked.

I tweaked the recipe a little, adding in more milk, because I felt the batter was too dry, and added more chocolate chips, by default of course. The resulting muffins were soft and fluffy, with the quintessential crisp exterior that I absolutely love on my muffins. I love the domed tops on these, and while they may stick to the liners if you bake them for 18 minutes, I find that if you go the full length of 20, you won’t have that problem anymore. The father preferred the latter, whereas I didn’t mind the sticking to the liner part one bit, so it really is a matter of preference.

See that empty glass at the background in the last picture? Well I heard that chocolate chip muffins, like cookies, go very well with a glass of milk, and since I don’t drink milk, I thought I’d leave it empty for you.

Also, I’m sending this entry over to Linda for her ‘Got Milk?’ event, in view of World Breastfeeding Week in the first week of August. Now I may not be in the position to extol the merits of breastfeeding since I’m not there yet, but to put it simply, I am pro-breastfeeding, and as Linda had aptly put it,”… it’s the very best a child can get”. At the risk of sounding like an advertorial, for more information on the benefits of breastfeeding, do click on the link to Linda’s event, where she had recounted her own experiences, and provided useful links to share.

Chocolate Chip Muffins
(adapted from here)

2 cups plain flour
1/2 cup sugar
1 tbsp baking powder
1 tsp vanilla extract
1 cup milk
1 egg
1/3 cup vegetable oil
1 cup mini chocolate chips

  1. Preheat the oven to 200C.
  2. In a large bowl, combine the dry ingredients. Make a well, and pour in the wet ingredients. Mix until just moistened. Add in the mini chocolate chips.
  3. Bake for 18-20mins.

The kiddos with their other auntie

Oh, and if you’re wondering, the two nieces are much better now, and seeing their smiles, hearing their laughters, and watching them run/crawl around the house gleefully is a huge relief for everyone. And of course, going down the stairs and unknowingly stepping on a half-eaten muffin, hearing a cheeky “Uh-oh…” has got to mean that things are relatively back to normal again. I think it’s easy to see who’s the cheeky one from the photo above.

39 thoughts on “of milk, muffins, and kids

  1. the mister


    You didn’t photoshop them photos this time right? It’s all the DSLR? AWESOME. Very well taken dear! Its like something out of a cookbook! πŸ˜€

    I’m glad the little kiddos are better. That photo of them made me smile… Hehe.. So CUTE! πŸ˜€

  2. ovenhaven Post author

    Thanks, bie πŸ™‚ All thanks to mister sun, there was no need for ps this time round πŸ˜› The kiddos are definitely better now, Alhamdulillah πŸ™‚

  3. Bernice

    Wow, the muffins sound so delicious! I love muffins with domes too. What I love most about this recipe is it uses oil instead, it seems healthier and definitely more pocket friendly. πŸ™‚

    Hopefully your niece are well now. πŸ˜€

  4. linda

    Ahhh, the kiddies are so cute! Glad to hear they are doing much better now. Up till now I’ve been very lucky with my boys, no hospital yet (knock on wood!).
    And I totally agree on the pictures! They look delicious!

    ps even though I’m hosting an event about milk, I don’t like drinking it πŸ˜‰ so thanks for the empty glass πŸ˜‰

    I’ll be doing a round-up after August 7th.

  5. ovenhaven Post author

    Bernice: Thanks, Bernice! πŸ™‚ I love muffins coz they’re so easy to put together; I usually substitute melted butter for vegetable oil as well, coz it’s less hassle that way.

    linda: Thanks, dearie. I never knew you didn’t drink milk either! *hi-fives* And yes, I think they assign each email address to a particular icon, that’s why you always get that potato head. Hehe πŸ˜›

    jean: Hahaha… Thanks, I guess! πŸ˜›

  6. grace

    what cute kiddies! i’ll tell ya, if i ever lose my appetite (what a dreadful day that would be), i wouldn’t mind getting it back with a few muffins. and thanks for the empty glass for milk–very thoughtful of you. πŸ™‚

  7. ovenhaven Post author

    Lore: Haha, what a cute observation! I never realised the muffins were smiling πŸ˜› Thanks for dropping by, Lore πŸ™‚

    grace: Thanks, sweetie πŸ™‚ I may not drink milk, but I do keep my milk-drinking friends in mind πŸ˜›

  8. didally

    The muffins are lovely and so are the kids. It sure break one’s heart to see them go through this when they are still so young.

    Glad that everything’s ok for them, they are really adorable!

  9. maya

    You know something? Whenever you wanna publish a cookbook, you just have to submit all these pics of yours….no need of snapping new photos and stuffs. Seeing all these pics makes me feel as if I’m just flipping thru pages of a mag/cookbook. Excellent job babe!

    Looking@this muffins does no help at all coz I have been craving for muffins since last week! I’m torn between chocolate muffins and durian muffins (No puns intended 2wards ur dearest mom and E mister :p) Btw, have you ever tried Dorie’s Chocolate Chunk Muffins?

    It’s good to see your nieces looking healthy and vibrant! They can mam2 all their way to glory with an aunt who bakes so well πŸ˜‰ I have 3 nieces and a nephew. Our house tends to be really quiet on most days, once E kids come over…it’s a whole new scenario! It’s like a party everyday! πŸ˜€

  10. ovenhaven Post author

    didally: Thanks, dearie πŸ™‚ I find it really sad when kids fall sick or have to go through such things. It’s a far cry from their active selves, and it’s really heart-wrenching to see them like that.

    Gigi: Gosh, what a huge compliment coming from you, sweetie. Thanks! πŸ™‚

    maya: Wah, you’re too kind, sweetie! I don’t think the photos come close to those in cookbooks, but thanks for your sweet words anyway. And my house is pretty much the same too when the kids come over! I’ve four nieces, but when the second one comes over, we actually put up like a small fence by the stairs, coz she’s very active and always tries to climb up the stairs!

    And yup, I’ve made Dorie’s muffins several times before. It used to be my go-to chocolate muffin recipe, but I felt something lacking in them, hence I came up with another. You should give Dorie’s a try though; it’s very fluffy and moist. Not to mention chocolatey! πŸ˜€

  11. Ashley

    Glad to hear your nieces are okay. Those muffins look so good! And thinking about the crisp outside makes me want to make them right now!!

  12. Maya

    I’m not being kind, am being honest and appreciative :p
    Anyways, I shall give ’em a try then πŸ™‚ E small fencing actually reminded me of what happened a few days back. There was a cat outside our house. Mom took my big styrofoam and used it as a fence so tht E cat cant enter. I nearly fainted! Im like “Mom!! thts my backdrop I need it for my photography sessions!” She was like “pinjam kejap!” I bought a new 1 today….Maybe E cat already licked E previous 1 or sumthing! Ewwww! :p

  13. ovenhaven Post author

    thecoffeesnob: Thanks, dearie! It most definitely brightened up my day to see the nieces with chocolate chips and crumbs all over their cheeks πŸ˜›

    Ashley: Thanks, sweetie πŸ™‚ Ah, don’t you just love the crisp exterior of muffins… *drools*

    Maya: Okay, reading that I immediately went “EWWWW!!!” Haha πŸ˜› I’m scared of cats, and recently there’s been a cat lurking outside; if I see him with specks of styrofoam bits on his ear or stg, I’ll know that he’s the same one that went to your house πŸ˜›

    destinyskitchen: Awww, thank you, dearie! πŸ™‚

  14. lydia

    hi i’d like to ask does it matter how u mix the ingredients? i use a wooden spoon. my muffins always turn out very dense and sticky. please help! thanks!!

  15. ovenhaven Post author

    Hi there, I almost always use a wooden spoon myself whenever I’m making muffins. The key is not to overmix. You just need to give the batter a good few stirs (like 5 or so), just until the batter comes together. Usually there will still be a few streaks of flour, which is perfectly fine. Overmixing the batter results in a dense muffin; I always had that problem when I first started out!

    Hope that helps, lydia πŸ™‚

  16. Carol

    Can i ask if the there is a great difference in taste using oil or butter for muffins? I have not tried using oil coz i have the impression that the taste would nt be as good.


    Your muffins really look tempting!


  17. ovenhaven Post author

    Hi Carol, thanks for dropping by. When it comes to recipes that call for melted butter, I must say that there isn’t a distinct difference in taste. That’s why I use oil, since it’s a tad healthier πŸ˜€

  18. Carol

    Thanks! I will try out this recipe. Its good to know that there isnt much difference coz melting butter is a hassle!!
    thanks again for your very prompt reply.
    P.S. I love your blog!

  19. ovenhaven Post author

    Awww thanks! For myself, I actually find waiting for butter to soften a HUGE hassle, so I look forward to melting butter πŸ˜› Takes less than a minute, what’s not to like? Hehe.

  20. Patricia

    I just fell in love with this muffins! I adooore them! They’re so perfect and I’m dying over here because I moved out recently and I have NO OVEN in here to bake this beautil love pieces right now!

    Buuuut, I want the recipe for chocolate muffins too! please!

    1. ovenhaven Post author

      What a pity you don’t have an oven yet! I don’t have a fixed recipe for the chocolate mufins, but I used the choc chip muffins recipe here as a base recipe, and tweak it to incorporate cocoa powder. Sorry I can’t be any clearer!

  21. Pingback: testing out the tried and tested [recipe: chocolate chip bread pudding with vanilla sauce] « :: epicurean escapism ::

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