I’m enjoying silence more. Just a few months ago, the thought of sitting alone with my thoughts scared the living daylight out of me. I was the person who constantly had a podcast going, music on, or the television on at any given time when I wasn’t working. I was desperate to constantly distract myself because the fear of listening to the negative self-talk in my brain was just too painful. At some point, I think I just decided that the constant distraction was exhausting in and of itself, and I found myself wanting to sit quietly with my thoughts and see if I could learn to not beat myself up.
I have been allowing myself to do more things around the apartment without distractions. I get ready in the morning in silence, I wash the dishes steeped in quietness, and I cook quietly more times than not, encouraging myself to enjoy my own company. Does that sounds strange? Maybe it does for those of you who are fortunate enough to not know what it’s like to have a ruthless foe in your head. But I think most people can relate. We are our toughest critics, and sitting alone with my thoughts used to feel daunting.
I feel like I’ve taken a giant leap forward. Of course, I’m sure at some point I will take two steps back. But knowing I don’t have to have my nose buried in a book or have ear buds in my ears at all times feels very liberating.
I’ve been eating a lot of salads lately and so I figured it was time to add some carbs to my plate. I’m a sucker for ham & cheese melts/paninis, so I thought this would be a good recipe to try to change things up a bit. Although they are technically muffins, I would label them as a cross between biscuits and muffins. They would make a great accompaniment to any soup or salad. It’s a dreary rainy day here in NYC today, so treat yourself to a warm savory ham and Gruyere muffin.
Savory Ham and Gruyère Muffins
Adapted from The New York Times
Yield: 12-15 muffins
Unsalted butter, softened, for brushing pan
1 3/4 cups unbleached all-purpose flour2 teaspoons baking powder
1 teaspoon salt
1/2 teaspoon black pepper
3 large eggs
1/3 cup milk
1/3 cup olive oil
6 ounces baked ham, cut into 1/4-inch dice
6 ounces Gruyère, coarsely grated (about 1 1/2 cups)
1. Center a rack in the oven and heat to 350 degrees. Generously brush a muffin pan with butter.
2. In a large bowl, whisk flour with baking powder, salt and pepper.
3. In a medium bowl, lightly whisk eggs, then whisk in milk and olive oil.
4. Using a rubber spatula, fold wet ingredients into dry until barely mixed. Fold in ham and cheese.
5. Using large cookie scoop, place a scoop of batter into each muffin cup.
6. Bake until golden, about 15 minutes, and a toothpick inserted in center comes out with a few crumbs attached.
7. Transfer to a rack to cool in pan for 5 minutes. Release muffins from pan to continue cooling.