Monday, 16 February 2015

Staying home and baking muffins

Today is Family Day. While we should be thinking about our loved ones and enjoying the company of our family each and every day, this day in particular is a fun day to get out and do family-orientated activities. Enter the emergency room. Last night was our first visit to the ER with Max. The little guy has two ear infections and was prescribed antibiotics. I have to give him props, even when he is feeling crappy he still smiles and laughs through the discomfort. So today, which was planned to be a fun today that included a coffee date with friends of mine I have not seen in awhile, followed by an afternoon swim at the local community center, turned in to a quiet day at home.

This is when the voices in my head start to argue. You see, there is the selfish "it's my world" voice that says, ugh I haven't seen these friends in two months!! I was so looking forward to having a latte and taking Max out on the town in a cute outfit!! Maybe he will be fine, I mean we are only going to be gone for a couple of hours and he seems fine to me, look at him playing over there! And then there is the "mommy loves you" voice saying, it's not fair to Max, he was just in the hospital last night and he just started antibiotics. He can't talk yet so he can't tell you that while he is still playing he is comfortable because he is at home where he feels safe.
So the question is.. which voice do you think won?
Of course, the "mommy loves you" voice won. It wins every time. Do I feel bad for even having the "it's my world voice?" For sure I do. But you know what, I'm human, and I have needs too. Those needs just come after my son's needs, which I am totally okay with. So next year on Family Day, we will do something fun together. But for this family day, I will stay home and bake muffins ... oh and hold this sweet little boy :)

Life has been busy lately to say the least. While it is harder to find times to do things for myself, I know it is important to find time to do these things to keep me feeling grounded. 
 I love to bake. It's my therapy. There is something so satisfying to me about making your own food from scratch... when it turns out of course. My muffins typically turn out pretty good so I think that is one reason why I enjoy making them more over other dishes. There is something comforting to me about muffins... not sure why. I know that the ones you buy in the grocery stores or at the local coffee shop can be equal to eating a doughnut... which is sometimes needed. But when you want a healthy snack I find it helps to make your own, that way you know what exactly you are eating. I also usually take at least one cup of the white flour most recipes ask for, and use whole wheat flour instead. Depending on the recipe, some times I will also throw in a tablespoon of flax seed.

I have tried quite a few muffin recipes over the last year. My go-tos are ones that include oats, apples, zucchini, blueberries, raspberries, bananas and dried cranberries. I am also a sucker for throwing in a handful of chocolate chips as well. I like to use festive muffin liners, snowflakes in the winter, pumpkins in the fall, red and white polka dots for Canada Day, etc. You can always find these at the dollar store each season. I usually leave eight or so out in a sealed tupperware container (which lasts a hot minute once my husband eyeballs them) and then I freeze the rest individually in ziplock bags for the freezer. These make an easy grab-on-the go snack or part of my lunch at work.
These raspberry-banana choc. chips muffins were heavenly. They turned out really moist too.
I would not have thought the apple and zuchinni flavours would blend well together but these muffins are super yummy. I had to copy her cute picture for my instagram.
I made these muffins around Christmas time. Something about oranges and cranberries seemed to suit the holiday.
In the fall I took advantage of the canned pumpkin sales. it can be pretty pricey during the rest of the year, so we enjoyed pumpkin loafs and muffins during Thanksgiving and Halloween.
These muffins had flavour, but were bland enough that you could really add in anything that you enjoy (fruit, nuts, seeds, etc).
These are one of my favs. If you are going to try any of these recipes, make sure to try this one first!
Check out the picture of these muffins on her blog. They are so pretty.

 Here is one from my own recipe book, given to me by a friend's mother.

Whole Wheat Banana Raspberry Muffins
350 for 20 minutes in the oven (10 minutes prep)
3/4 c. white flour
3/4 c. whole wheat flour
1 tsp. baking soda
1 tsp. baking powder
1/2 tsp. Salt
1/3 c. oil (I use canola)
1/2 c. brown sugar
2 eggs
1 c. masked ripe bananas (2-3 medium)
1 tbsp. flax seeds

1. mash bananas. combine bananas, oil, brown sugar and eggs; beat until mixed.
2. stir dry ingred. together and add to banana mixture
3. fill muffin cups 3/4 full
4. bake 20 min or until inserted toothpick comes out clean

In the next couple of weeks I want to try one of the bran muffin recipes that call for bran flakes, as well as an oats and applesauce muffin that I'm sure Max will enjoy. 

Happy Family Day everyone!

~ K

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