Ch-ch-ch-cherry muffins

Ahh, the joys and sorrows of a new routine. The last time I was forced to wake up this early, I was getting rockets launched at my shipping container.

But the bright side of things? My current alarm clock is a lot less jarring than a duck-and-cover alarm…(and I’m not getting rockets launched at me).

I’m inherently cynical though, so despite my currently rocket-less existence, I’m a bit distraught over my new morning schedule and hour-and-a-half commute. I like my long leisurely mornings. I like to lay in bed for a bit, enjoy a long shower, slowly sip my morning mug of coffee, and pull together some sort of breakfast while catching up on some news or NPR.

When I say, “I’m a morning person,” I mean that under different circumstances, mornings are my favorite. More than weekends. It’s one of the few things I miss from the short-lived internship I had (yes. 10 am is indeed a better start time my workday than 8:30).

Not anymore. I wake up before the sun. To preserve my sanity from sleep-deprivation (yes, I have a bit of dramatic flair), I sleep as late as possible and usually have to rush through my morning routine. Since the new job is in a region of the world where walking-distances food stores are non-existent, it is a necessity to eat before leaving. (The other choice is packing approximately a tank full of food with me).

Mornings are now a blur of desperately trying to make myself presentable and work-ready, so a common scene in my apartment is me standing half-naked in my kitchen, frantically ironing (probably a fire hazard) while trying to maneuver coffee and cereal into my mouth (and not onto my half-wrinkled white button-up).

Well, necessity is the mother of invention. I needed a more accessible breakfast and I had a bag of cherries ripening on my counter.

If only muffins could iron my shirts in the morning, too.

– Cherry Breakfast Muffins – an Ivory Pomegranate recipe
Yields 12 muffins
2 cups sweet cherries, pitted and roughly chopped
1/4 cup + 1 tbsp sugar
1 cup all purpose flour
1 cup old-fashioned rolled oats
1/2 tsp salt
1 1/2 tsp baking powder
8 oz plain yogurt
2 tbsp milk
1/4 cup honey
1 egg
1/2 cup slivered almonds

– Preheat your oven to 350 degrees and prepare a muffin tin. (If you don’t have liners, butter the muffin tin)
– Toss chopped cherries with 1 tbsp sugar and set aside.
– Pour oats in a food processor with remaining 1/4 cup sugar and process until a finer, more flour-like texture is achieved (about 20 seconds).
– In bowl, combine oats+sugar with the flour, salt, and baking powder.

– In a separate bowl, whisk yogurt, milk, honey, and the egg until smooth. Fold dry ingredients into the wet ingredients just until everything is moistened. Fold in cherries and almond slivers.
– Divide batter among muffin wells, which should be more than 3/4 full, but less than completely full. (Would it be weird to say 7/8 full?)
– Bake for 25-27 minutes, until tops are browned and a toothpick comes out mostly clean, maybe with a few crumbs. Let cool in the tin for about ten minutes before removing to let cool completely on a wire rack.

The muffins last at least three days in an airtight container at room temperature. (Maybe more, but I ran out after three days.)