baked goods · Personal reflection · Quick and easy

Am I an Austinite Yet?


This August, I will have lived in Austin for 10 years. Even though I was born in Round Rock, I grew up in a little hamlet called College Station. Until I moved back to the area for graduate school, I hadn’t been an Austinite since I was 2 years old. When I moved here in 2007, I knew only a handful of people and had just rented a one bedroom apartment in Hyde Park.

How’s this for a moment of nostalgia, fellow Austinites: my apartment was 710 square feet and it cost $750 a month. Imagine how much that apartment is going for today…. Doesn’t it make you want to cry?

My office was basically a closet in an old building on the University of Texas campus, and being a nutrition science lab, my labmates and I talked about food a lot. We shared our favorite food magazines, restaurants, and recipes, all within the confines of a 14×10 foot room. The first new recipe I learned in Austin came from one of my labmates and for several years, it was the only way I used up my ripe bananas.

They say that you can officially call yourself an Austinite after living here for at least a decade, so in honor of my upcoming Austin-versary, I’m giving you the first new recipe I learned here: Yummy Banana Muffins – adapted from an Ina Garten recipe.

3 cups all-purpose flour
2 cups sugar
2 teaspoons baking powder
1 teaspoon baking soda
1/2 teaspoon salt
1/2 pound unsalted butter, melted and cooled
2 extra-large eggs
3/4 cup whole milk
2 teaspoons pure vanilla extract
2 cups roughly mashed ripe bananas (3 bananas)
1 cup small-diced walnuts
1 cup sweetened shredded coconut
Preheat the oven to 350 degrees F.
Line 18 large muffin cups with paper liners. Sift the flour, sugar, baking
powder, baking soda, and salt into the bowl of an electric mixer fitted with a
paddle attachment. Add the melted butter and blend. Combine the eggs, milk,
vanilla, and mashed bananas, and add them to the flour-and-butter mixture.
Scrape the bowl and blend well. Don’t overmix.
Fold the walnuts and coconut into the batter. Spoon the batter into the paper liners, filling each 1 to the top. Bake for 25 to 30 minutes,
or until the tops are brown and a toothpick comes out clean. Cool slightly,
remove from the pan, and serve.


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