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Find the best olive oil in Tucson

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...and make Olive Oil and Honey Muffins for a taste of Italy. For this recipe you will be using corn flour, not cornmeal, and although these muffins are sweet, they would be as well suited to dinner as to breakfast. I saw them on the program Extra Virgin, which I like, and I have adapted them to organics.

This recipe also does not include any additions such as raisins or nuts, which lends them a little more gravitas than brunch food (not that there's anything wrong with brunch). But if you are looking for something that could well become a signature dish, here is a candidate for you. You'll find organic corn flour under the Bob's Red Mill label, by the way.

But don't make these muffins with anything but the best olive oil money can buy. In Tucson, you could go to Alfonso's. One of their stores is located in St. Philip's Plaza, and there you can find their Arbosana, an organic early-harvested and quickly-pressed oil that will help you create the kind of muffins that are eaten as snacks while the olive harvest is occurring every season.

The scene at Alfonso's is all about olive oil and balsamic vinegar, and the staff there is happy to advise you on pairing the two for the purpose of creating an oil-and-vinegar salad that will knock your socks off. Go to Alfonso's when you have time to linger.

Once you have some amazing olive oil, try these muffins. The choice of honey for them is also important, and I would buy unfiltered, wild honey such as Tucson's local desert honey, or something infused like lavender honey.

OLIVE OIL AND HONEY MUFFINS

Ingredients:

1 cup organic corn flour (not cornmeal)
1 cup organic all-purpose flour
1/3 cup organic blonde sugar
1 Tablespoon baking powder
1 teaspoon sea salt
1/4 cup honey
1 cup organic milk
1/4 cup olive oil
Zest of one organic lemon

Preheat your oven to 375 degrees. Prepare a muffin tin by applying nonstick baking spray or lining each cup with a parchment muffin cup.

Whisk together the dry ingredients in a mixing bowl and set them aside.

Whisk the honey, milk and olive oil together and then add the dry ingredients in three parts, whisking gently until everything is just combined.

Transfer the muffin batter to the baking pan and bake for 18-20 minutes, or until they are just golden around the edges. Serve warm.

These muffins will burn easily because of the honey they contain, so be sure to remain close to the kitchen so that you can get them out of the oven when they are done but not too brown. They will smell divine while baking, and then you can serve them with butter and more honey, if you like.

They would make an interesting variation on the dinner roll, by the way.

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