Thursday, October 18, 2012

Baking in a Rental Without Counter Space: Banana Crumble Muffins

For the first month or so of living in our new place (pics soon!) I avoided baking. You see, our apartment's sink is flanked by two laminate counter tops wide enough for one baking sheet on each. Yes, I measure things in baking sheet units. As you can imagine, those counter tops are not clear because we've got the toaster on one side coupled with a few dirty dishes and on the other side we have our knife block and dish rack. Counter space = gone.

I should tell you that this has not stopped me from cooking though, I mean, a girl's gotta eat. I make due with a large wooden cutting board placed over the two burners that aren't in use. it makes for a pretty great prep space, it's cozy and I like it.
When the oven's on (ie. when I'm baking) the cutting board is banished from the stove for obvious reasons.

Our solution to the lack of counterspace was to use a 3-tiered wooden shelf given to us by my grandparents. They found it in the garbage room of their condo, still wrapped in the plastic! It's one of those ones that needs to be drilled together and has the slatted shelves.

For my baking set-up yesterday, I brought the cutting board over to the window and popped it on top of the wooden shelf. I blocked off the entrance to the kitchen with garbage bins to stop our nosy pup from getting in the way/mooching and pushed the microwave into the centre of the room so I could plug it in elsewhere since we blew a fuse last week. I pulled my large bin of baking stuff onto the floor along with the canisters of flour and sugar. I hope you're getting the full visual effect of how ridiculous this whole set-up was. Apron on, flour everywhere, my computer perched on the wooden shelf with two mixing bowls, the oven beeping at me. A pretty, pretty sight. Or a hot mess.

Mess aside, I had fun time baking in my little kitchen. I could hear D's reactions to the Raptors' game he was watching in living room and I could see our little nosy dog peeking her head in, hoping to eye some crumbs for later.

Want to see the Banana Crumble Muffins? Feast your eyes on these babies.

I used this recipe from Amy Allen Clark at MomAdvice. My only change was that I doubled the cinnamon for the topping. This is a great recipe for using up bananas that are starting to turn brown. I usually go to my mom's recipe for banana bread, but decided to change things up a bit. I like the portability of a muffin for work and they are easier to share, too. My two co-workers gave them a thumbs up this morning!

I think I'm going to start adding some form of crumble to all of my future muffins. Blueberry crumble, apple crumble, raspberry crumble... It gives the muffin a bit more texture, richer taste and a dressier look - great for when you're trying to impress the in-laws. Haha. Beware of the crumble though! It's kind of like glitter in that it tends to get everywhere when removing the muffins and setting them on the cooling rack. I have my pup for crumbs, but you might need a damp cloth.

What are your go-to recipes for bananas past their prime? If you make any crumble muffins, let me know. I'd love to see them!


  1. Sounds delish, Janelle. I'm picturing you baking these it is making my day!

  2. My mouth is watering right now. Literally.

  3. looks delicious!! when my bananas are past their time i love to make banana bread or muffins. soooo good :)

  4. YUM!!! I am a banana bread girl, but I'm definitely going to try this the next time our 3 year old doesn't eat all of the bananas.


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