This is my friend Wendy. She has stunning eyes that swallow the sky, a laugh that rivals her humor, wields knitting needles like magic, and emanates warmth and calm (necessary assets for her incredible work with disability-challenged elementary school children). Each time I’ve seen Wendy over the past nine months, her lovable traits shine brighter as her belly blossoms with the same grace and fashion I’ve come to expect. Wendy is about to become a mother! (Well, if you don’t count her and Dan’s first born, a charming Black Lab mix, Hudson).

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Wendy is my first friend to take on this adventure! And so, being the novice I am at baby showers, a band of beautiful women gathered from all over New York State to celebrate the imminent Baby Dubrow with a Sunday Brunch. Wendy was the biggest proponent of our champagne punch (“Please, drink some for me!”), which roused hilarious games, gift-opening and conversation.   The baby’s gender is still a mystery, and so we all took a guess, pinning a clothespin that said “boy” or “girl” to our shirt. Anyone who slipped with the “b— word” would have to relinquish their pin. I managed to collect five at one point (!), only to blurt my loss later and surrender them to Wendy’s childhood friend Rati.

The food was just marvelous; nutritious, delicious and fresh! Bobby and I are still (graciously) working through leftovers. My own contributions were easy and gobble-worthy: Spiced Carrot Papaya Muffins and a Potato-Rosemary Frittata. Truly perfect for any brunch, easy to prepare and nicely paired!

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Spiced Carrot Papaya Muffins

These were inspired by Kitchen Treaty’s Hearty Spiced Carrot Muffins, and are delicious toasted and lathered with fresh butter and drizzled with honey.

  • Prep Time: 15 minutes
  • Cook Time: 35 minutes
  • Total Time: 50 minutes
  • Yield: 16 muffins


  • All-purpose flour – 1 cup
  • Whole-wheat flour – 1 cup
  • Oats – 1 cup rolled oats + a couple extra tablespoons for topping
  • Baking powder – 2 teaspoons
  • Baking soda – ½ teaspoon
  • Salt – ½ teaspoon
  • Cinnamon – 1 teaspoon, ground
  • Cloves – ¼ teaspoon, ground
  • Nutmeg – ¼ teaspoon, ground
  • Ginger – ¼ teaspoon, ground
  • Cardamom – ¼ teaspoon, ground
  • Milk – 1 cup
  • Applesauce – ¾ cup
  • Brown sugar – ¾ cup packed brown sugar
  • Vegetable oil – ? cup
  • Egg – 1 egg
  • Vanilla extract – 2 teaspoons
  • Carrot – 2 cups, grated
  • Papaya – 1/2 cup, dried diced
  • Nuts or Seeds (optional) – 2/3 cup toasted nuts or seeds: I used 1/3 sunflower seeds and 1/3 cup chopped walnuts, but use what you have, for example almonds and pumpkins seeds


  1. Preheat the oven to 375 degrees. Grease a muffin tin or place muffin cups in the tin.
  2. In a large bowl, mix together the flours, oats, baking powder, baking soda, salt, cinnamon, cloves, nutmeg, ginger and cardamom.
  3. In a medium bowl, whisk together the milk, applesauce, brown sugar, vegetable oil, egg and vanilla extract
  4. Pour the wet ingredients into the dry and mix together just until the ingredients are incorporated (you don’t want big puffs of dry flour!).
  5. Stir in the grated carrots, papaya and nuts and seeds of your choosing.
  6. Fill the muffin cups to the brim of the cup, and sprinkle with oats. (If you only have one muffin tin as I do, you can let the batter rest until te first batch is done, and then cook off the last four muffins. Or, you can make a mini cake in a cake pan, though it will take a bit longer for the center to cook).
  7. Bake for about 35 minutes (check after 25 minutes, and then again at 30). The muffins are dine with a toothpick or knife inserted into the center comes out clean.
  8. Allow the muffins to cool for 5-10 minutes before removing from the muffin tin.
  9. Store your muffins in an airtight container at room temperature for 2-3 days, or freeze in a Ziplock bag for another morning!


Allergens: eggs, milk

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