Fresh Strawberry Muffins

Hey you guys!

I passed!  I survived!  I didn’t go (too) crazy!  I made it out of my first year of med school in one piece.  Don’t act like you’re not surprised.  I am.  I know we all had a few doubts.  Can she fake her way through genetics?  (Yes.)  Can she understand just enough physics and chemistry to finally get action potentials? (Yes.  Approximately 7 years later.)  Can she remember to put her stethoscope in her ears the right way?  (Yes.  Maybe.  On a good day.)

Here are some things I like to think I know now that I didn’t know before August 15th:

1. Medical school is hard.  Like, way hard.  Harder than you think.  Think about how hard you think it is, then multiply by 100.  Then wonder quietly to yourself why people do it.  I may not come back from Europe this summer…

2. You can always fit more tiny little details into your brain.  There’s always another mnemonic you can make up.  Always more pathways to diagram on your dining room mirror.  The trick is knowing when to stop.  Being satisfied with how much you’ve learned.

3. The other trick is to not give up.

4. People are weird.  People are even weirder when they’re put in a room with 239 other people who are basically passionate about the same thing that they’re passionate about.  It’s easy to stay in that bubble.  Sometimes it’s okay to stay there because it’s comfortable.  Sometimes you have to get out.  Don’t forget to get out!

5. Other people do not care about why Zicam nose spray is called Zicam.  Or how the cerebellum functions in motor learning.  Or which part of a chloride channel is messed up in cystic fibrosis.  They do not.  I don’t understand why not, but I try not to make them listen to me.

6.  The same reason they don’t care about those things is probably related to the fact that I don’t understand the stock market, never will, and do not care to.  People probs don’t understand that either.  It’s ok.

7. Microwaved frozen vegetables and a string cheese can, sometimes, be dinner.  Any meal that you prepare can definitely be eaten out of the pan/pot to save yourself a dirty bowl, because sometimes that one dirty bowl will push you over the line from stressed to sitting on the floor staring at the wall for 10 minutes.

8. Gum keeps you awake at 3pm, as does ice, Slurpees, diet coke with diet cherry from Sonic (carcinogens, yes please), carrot sticks, and having a friend who will put up with your horrible scribbly drawings and notes on her syllabus.

9. On most days, no matter what else has happened or how much there is to do, it is enough to take a moment and realize how far you’ve already gotten in life – whether that’s medical school, law school, somewhere on the company totem pole, in charge of your own blog, your own home, or to the gym that morning.  You did the things it took to get there!  Look how awesome you are!  That, more than anything, is inspiration to keep on truckin’.

Another thing is that I made some strawberry muffins for my mom way back when on Mothers’ Day.  I missed the class on writing coherent blog posts, so here you go…

Strawberry Muffins

Makes 12 normal sized muffins

1 large egg
1 cup plain yogurt (I used fat free and it was fine)
1/4 cup vegetable oil
1/4 cup melted unsalted butter
1 tsp vanilla extract
2/3 cups granulated sugar + extra for sprinkling
zest of one lemon
2 1/2 cups unbleached all-purpose flour
2 tsp baking powder
1/2 tsp baking soda
1/4 tsp salt
2 cups fresh, roughly chopped strawberries

1. Preheat oven to 375F with a rack in the middle position.  Line a 12-cup muffin pan with muffin cups or grease the pan.
2. In a medium bowl, combine the egg, yogurt, oil, butter, and vanilla.  Set aside.
3. In a large bowl, rub the zest into the 2/3 cup sugar with your fingers to release the essential oils in the zest.  Add the flour, baking powder, baking soda, and salt.  Stir together until combined.  Gently toss in the strawberries to coat them with flour.
4. Add the wet ingredients to the flour mixture and stir gently with a rubber spatula.  Don’t overmix!  The batter may be slightly lumpy.
5. Fill each muffin cup about 3/4 full with batter.  Sprinkle the tops with granulated or sanding sugar.  Bake muffins about 18-23 minutes, until the tops are light golden and spring back when lightly pressed.  Let cool in pan on a wire rack for 10 minutes, then remove muffins to cool completely on a wire rack.  Store loosely covered (to avoid soggy tops) at room temperature for up to 3 days.

Recipe adapted from Joy of Baking

Thanks for reading!  Happy baking, and happy summer!



  1. Yes, my Han Phenom completed her first year of medical school with FLYING COLORS!! As her Mom, I can tell you that her expressions of modesty and self-deprecation are sincere, but there was nothing “barely” about the way she lived and learned this past year. She undertook the challenges with her characteristic wholehearted commitment to excellence and her passion for understanding as opposed to just learning. Most importantly (again, speaking as her Mom), she maintained a priceless balance between brain and heart — throughout the year she was available to her little brother for help with anything that he needed (studying, music sharing, girl or Mom problems); to her Dad for dinner companionship and laughing at his stupid jokes; to Ben for, well, ANYTHING, because he is after all the love of her life; and to her Mom for shopping excursions, party execution assistance, and support of any and all kinds — including the melt-in-your-mouth deliciousness and melt-your-heart sweetness of a homemade Mother’s Day treat. My daughter will be an inspired physician, and that’s great for the rest of the world. But it’s even GREATER for us to know that, above all, she values the most important relationships in her life — and that we always have her love all around us.
    From Adoring Mom to Hannah — YOU GO GIRL!!!!

    1. I think Hannah takes after her Mom! 😉 I LOVE reading this blog. Have a couple recipes put away I will make soon. Sally

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