Firefighter Mini Muffins: A Cooking Collaboration

Thank you, Firefighters!

Firefighter Mini Muffins
We originally made these muffins and delivered them to the local fire station near Geist Reservoir in Indianapolis when my children were little and we wanted them to enjoy the pleasure of giving gifts of gratitude rather than just focusing on toys from Santa at Christmastime.  A few weeks ago my daughter, Kristina, mentioned that we should make these for our Fairbanks Ranch Firefighters, especially after what they did for us during the fires a few years ago. 

 Kristina is now busy with her own career in Orange County, so my new friend, Eric Karpinski, a Life and Happiness Coach, joined me in baking these muffins yesterday morning and we had the pleasure of delivering them to the temporary station on El Apajo.  Eric has switched gears from Venture Capital to his newfound love, coaching people in finding happiness and fulfillment in their careers and lives.  It was such a pleasure to get to know Eric better on a cooking level, a level of friendship beyond the cocktail party acquaintance. 

Below is the recipe:
In a large mixing bowl, combine:
3 cups flour
1 1/2 teaspoons salt
1 1/2 teaspoons baking powder
1 1/2 tablespoon poppy seeds
In large bowl of mixer, combine:
2 1/2 cups sugar
3 eggs
1 1/2 cups vegetable oil
1 1/2 cups milk
1 1/2 teaspoons each of vanilla, almond and butter extracts
Slowly add the dry ingredients into the mixing bowl and mix until combined.
Spray two mini muffin pans with vegetable or canola spray and fill with the muffin batter.
Bake for 25 minutes at 350 degrees or until brown on top.
Remove muffins from tins and put a teaspoon of glaze over each muffin. 
The recipe will make between 5 and 6 dozen mini muffins.  Wash pans and continue until you have used up all the batter.
The Glaze:
3/4 cup sugar
1/2 teaspoon each of vanilla and butter and almond extracts
1/4 cup orange juice


Perhaps there is someone who you would like to thank with these mini muffins over the holiday season!

Learn more about the science of happiness from Coach Karpo at

Here is Eric’s account of our experience yesterday morning:

Savor Holiday Acts of  Kindness  on December 16, 2010 by Coach Karpo

I had the pleasure of spending yesterday morning cooking with Karin Eastham, a high-energy former biotech executive who, like me, has stepped out of full-time biotech work to pursue a passion – hers is food.   And she’s writing a new cookbook called Cook the Part which “is much more than a collection of recipes; it’s an entertaining revolution. For the first time, menus are divided into ‘parts.’  Each of your dinner guests cooks a part of a fabulous meal.” You can read more about the concept of the book in her entertaining blog which also happens to be chock full of mouth-watering recipes.

Our task was to make Firefighter Muffins and take them to the local fire station as a thank you gift for their wonderful service to the community and to us.  Over the course of mixing and baking, we talked of how these firefighters had protected Karin’s house from the wildfires two years prior.  We were filled with gratitude that we had firefighters to help protect us.  And it was a real joy to see the faces of the firefighters as they tasted our little muffins.  I felt so full of kindness and gratitude.

Science is showing how powerful positive heartfelt emotions are to our health and well-being.  The holidays are an incredible time of year to load up on kindness and gratitude.   We are all doing lots of giving and receiving, but for these acts to really help us, they need to be heartfelt.   Take some time when you are preparing or wrapping a gift for someone to stop and think about what they mean to you.  Dwell in that space of gratitude and love and let it fill you up.  If you have time, share those feelings with that person and see how much more powerful your gift can be.

2010-12-15T10:11:06+00:00 December 15th, 2010|Menus and Memories, Recipes|