Thursday, October 15, 2015

Hospital Food: breakfast sandwich and Lemon Poppyseed Mini-muffins

Recently, someone in the household stayed in the hospital for 2 days and 1 night for some tests; so I get to try breakfast at the cafeteria again on the second day of the stay since I went there early. It had been awhile since my last visit. Honestly, I have always like the food there. 

When we moved here 10 years ago, the first thing that strucked us was that the hospital food were better-looking and better-tasting than the local eating holes in town. We are weird-we know-but when it was confirmed to me by a friend (and formerly a restaurant-owner in the East coast and really good home-cook) who passed away last year, that she always loved the food at the hospital cafeteria-then I knew I'm not crazy agreeing with her. 

Yesterday, I ordered this "sausage-egg-cheese English breakfast sandwich" and it was sooo good I literally just shoved it in my mouth: it was juicy, hot and flavorful. It tasted like how I want it: homey. Unfortunately, I really don't have the habit of taking photos of food when I eat out, so I don't have the photo here. Food workers think it's weeiirrd to take picture of food (lol). But I am pretty sure-hopefully-some of you who are partial to hospital food, would try the cafeteria. 

And I was just so glad when I saw (heard that) the same people are still working the cafeteria. I can never recall their names (Sorry!) but I always felt welcome when I see them. Really appreciate your hard-work feeding the boogered up and the people that fix us/them (Wahaha! But seriously, I do!) 

So later on, I found out that breakfast got served to 'my patient' but he was supposed to have another tests done so the nursing assistant (Ms. Kaillie, 3rd floor) was already taking it away when I saw that the tray was almost untouched. I asked if she can leave the tray as I know my patient wasn't done eating yet. Kaillie obliged and went o doing what she need to do while we talk about Wendy Williams and Michael Jackson (lol). And then I saw this lidded tumbler on the tray-those cups used for to-go dressings when ordering take-out. Nestled inside was this tiny, little yellow thing. It smelled like sweet lemon then I saw some black specks and instantly I knew it was a Lemon Poppy-seed Muffin, in a cupcake size. It was so fragrant with lemon essence and it was so sunshiny yellow and crusty in the outside but cake-y inside. I will later regret that I opened the tumbler and gobbled it up in 2 bites. My patient (okay he's my man!) found out when he got back from labwork. "I haven't eaten in 24 hours and you're eating my meal!" I was laughing in between apologies but I thought I knew what I will do when I get home and recuperate for the day: re-create the muffins in Lime flavor!

Lime & poppy-seed Muffins


2/3 sugar
grated lime zest and juice of 2 small limes (or 1 lemon)
2 cups all-purpose flour
2 T poppy-seeds
2 t baking powder
1/4 t baking soda
1/4 t salt
3/4 c sour cream
2 large eggs 
1 stick (8 T) unsalted butter, melted
1/2 t vanilla
1/2 t lime (or lemon) essence
 2 drops each of green and yellow food color (optional)


Preheat oven to 400°. Lightly grease a 12-cavity cupcake pan if you are not using cupcake liners. A nonstick cupcake pan doesn't need to be greased if using liners.
In a big bowl, toss the sugar and lime zest with a light squirt of lime juice. Set aside when sugar is slightly moist and smelling of lime. Whisk in the dry ingredients. In another bowl, whisk the wet ingredients until well-blended. Pour the liquids over the dry ingredients and using a rubber spatula quickly but gently mix without over mixing. Do not over mix. Divide the batter equally in cupcake pan.
Bake for 18 minutes or until the tops are golden brown; double check with a bamboo skewer inserted in the center of each cupcake comes out clean. Let it sit for 5 minutes before carefully transferring each muffin onto a wire rack to cool completely. 

I have limes instead of lemons. And adding the food colors made the muffins 'seem' more citrusy. My point is to re-create the sensation: the texture looked like it and the potency of the sweetness and the lime flavors are the same as the lemon muffin from the hospital. Go ahead make it in lemon!