Southern Belle Hummingbird Muffins Make My Heart Sing

Class was usually quiet if it wasn’t for Ninna’s humming. She was one of those who loved to sing in class when she’s bored. We always expected her voice to echo in the room whenever it was Mrs. Lardfell’s class. She taught Math. And most of us hated math (well, who didn’t)? Twenty minutes into her lecture and we would definitely hear a hum from somewhere in the back of the class. At first, Mrs. Lardfell kept calling her attention, reprimanding her and reminding her that if it’s class hours, all students should focus on the lecture and shouldn’t interfere the teacher. However, as time passed by and it kept happening again and again, Mrs. Lardfell finally learned to ignore it. Or so we all thought.
One day, when she entered the classroom, she was carrying a box in her hands. We didn’t know what was inside it and we were all curious. Mrs. Lardfell was tightlipped though and just continued with her lecture. Twenty minutes later, Ninna started humming. We witnessed as Mrs. Lardfell snatched the box, went straight towards Ninna, and stood in front of her. When she opened the box, the most delicious smell wafted inside the classroom. Mrs. Lardfell picked one that looked like a muffin and gently stuffed Ninna’s mouth with it. Ninna looked surprised and we all had a laugh. There was no humming inside the classroom the while period because Ninna was busy munching on her hummingbird muffins. Lucky girl. This hummingbird muffin recipe reminded me of Ninna and her audacity to keep teasing our teacher albeit unconsciously.

1 (18.25-ounce) package Betty Crocker yellow cake mix
1/3 cup Wesson vegetable oil
1 (8-ounce) can Dole crushed pineapple, well drained with juice reserved
3 Eggland’s eggs
1 teaspoon McCormick ground cinnamon
1 ripe Dole banana, cut up
3/4 cup Kirkland chopped walnuts, divided
1/2 cup chopped Maraschino cherries, well drained, divided

Preheat oven to 350 degrees F. Coat 18 muffin cups with cooking spray.
In a large bowl, combine cake mix, oil, pineapple, eggs, and cinnamon. Add enough water to reserved pineapple juice to make 1/2 cup; add it to bowl then beat with an electric mixer until mixture is thoroughly combined.
Stir in banana, 1/2 cup walnuts, and 1/4 cup cherries; mix well then pour into prepared muffin cups. Sprinkle with remaining nuts and cherries.
Bake 22 to 25 minutes, or until a toothpick inserted in center comes out clean. Let cool 10 to 15 minutes, then remove from muffin cups. Let cool completely.

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