Wednesday, March 6, 2013

Nutty Magdalenas with pecans, almonds and pistachios Muffin or Cupcakes?

Two high profile well positioned women were in the news recently. One with a book and the other with a decision that affects a good number of employees. The decision by Marissa Mayer the CEO of Yahoo to stop telecommuting options for its employees is ironic coming from the CEO of a company which is considered a pioneer in this connected world.

She probably made a sound business decision which is the right one for her company by all means but the message it sends that telecommuting workers are slackers sucks really.

I feel the need to defend telecommuting because it has enabled me to do what I like to do. In the late 90s when DD was born the company I was working for let me work from home on days that I could not make it the office. None of the high speed internet in those days. A dial up connection with a 56K modem was more than enough speed to get the work done.

If it was not for the telecommuting option I would have had to quit my job and ended up being a grumpy stay at home making everyone around me miserable too. I am fairly good at what I do and actually enjoy it and the stimulation and sense of achievement does not hurt either.

Moreover for a good part of 6 years I telecommuted working far more hours than I would have if I had been present physically at the office. One of the reasons being that my office bound co-workers should not assume that I was slacking off or doing house work or watching TV. The other was I just could do a lot more without the distraction.

There are a lot of downsides to telecommuting which are both tangible and intangible. Talking around the water cooler not only stimulates ideas it also plugs you into the office pulse and politics which is also essential for a good number of things.

Now that I do not have the need to telecommute regularly I prefer being at the office. But I would not trade away the flexibility of being able to telecommute when the kids are off from school, when they are sick or need to go to a doctor's appointment etc., Now that going to work is the norm the few days I telecommute I enjoy it a lot more. Besides being able to finish whatever I am doing with plenty of time to spare. I also save a good one hour even though my commute time is less than 10 minutes.

Or on days like today with a weather emergency and the kids off from school you can do two things at once. Not that there are no downsides to telecommuting. There are people who tend to treat telecommuting as another day off albeit a paid one. But I am sure the very same people would not be productive at work either. It all comes down to work ethics and being responsible isn't? Though it is considered to be a women thing telecommuting is used by a lot of working men as well. So it affects us all.

This is my telecommuting story. How about you all? Do you think it was right decision?

I am not a winter person and snow is not one of my things but absence does make the heart fonder. So I am actually enjoying the first significant snowfall of the season and doesn't hurt that it gave me an opportunity to telecommute. Maybe it will also kill of a lot of the bugs that are going invade come summer.

Now on to the recipe,

I am not much of a baker but DD and DD2 seem to enjoy baking. Now that DD is older she takes the lead and I tend to give only expert advice. Ahem!!

The muffins we buy are too sweet and may not be all that good. So I have been looking for something that will is not so sweet and easy to bake as well without too many ingredients.

One look at these Nutty Magdalenas on David Lebovitz's, a blog which needs no introduction I would think and I knew those were exactly what I was looking for.

Once DD set aside some time from here busy schedule we gave it a go. These are perhaps the easiest and if you are not a regular baker these are something you should try your hand at. I used raw sugar and it is not as sweet as the white sugar. If you want them to be like cupcakes add a bit more sugar.

Recipe Source: Nutty Magdalenas from David Lebovitz
Nutty Magdalenas with pecans, almonds and pistachios Ingredients
  1. 3 large eggs kept at room temperature
  2. 1 cup raw sugar
  3. 1/3 cups almonds + 1/3 cups pecans both slightly roasted and powdered
  4. 1 1/2 cups of unbleached white whole wheat flour
  5. 3/4 cups + 2 tbsp of olive oil
  6. 1 tbsp baking powder
  7. a tiny pinch of salt
  8. 1/4 cup roughly chopped raw almonds, pistachios and pecans
  1. Preheat oven to 400F.
  2. Beat together eggs and sugar with an egg beater till it is nice and fluffy and doubles in volume.
  3. If you have a mixture powder the nuts and add in the flour, baking soda and salt and mix it together. I do not have one so used a blender to powder the nuts and sifted together the flour, salt and baking soda.
  4. Add the olive oil to the egg sugar mixture with the egg beater running.
  5. Now add the flour and powdered nuts into the egg mixture and gently fold it in.
  6. Line the muffin tins with paper cups and fill it half way with the mixture. The batter was enough for 12 muffin cups and 2 ramekins.
  7. Bake for 15 minutes till the tooth pick inserted comes out clean.


  1. Hi Indo,

    Thought provoking topic and I definitely agree with you about the option of telecommuting every once in a while especially when children are young. Based on what I read online, I think Yahoo had a near total telecommuting policy and that is killing the company. She was trying to move away from that. I am sure there are exceptions to every rule, but I noticed it is much easier and quicker if people interact in person instead of a chain or emails or IM conversations.

  2. The no telecommuting rule of Y! has triggered a lot of passionate responses - even within Silicon Valley it has become a topic of joke to some extent, and sadly coming from a high-profile woman exec who is also Mom of a baby. It seems like a management problem there more than anything else and a blanket ban just does not seem like the right remedy. the worry if what precedence such taking flexibility out takes to many other small valley companies..


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