Crumby Banana Muffins

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banana muffins

I’m trying to start the morning out right. I’ve done my Bible study, savoring the last week of A Woman’s Heart during this Holy Week. I’ve thrown a load of laundry in the washer, started the coffee, and shoved in my contacts, thrown on yoga pants. (It’s an at-home day. I’ll change later … this afternoon.)

I know the first words out of their mouths every morning – “Mommy, I’m hungry! Can I have somefing to eat?” If I’m lucky, I’ll have ‘somefing’ ready before Libbie starts looting in the pantry and decides she will eat pretzels for breakfast.

Before they even woke this morning (albeit wiped out from travel, they slept a little late … and by that I mean until 7:20), I started muffins. Trying to beat them at their own game. Trying to be Mother.

I’ve had a kind of abysmal parenting day so far. But at least I gave them muffins. And they were good.

Crumby Banana Muffins

Yield: 12 muffins

Crumby Banana Muffins

Ingredients

  • 1/3 c. milk
  • 1/4 c. butter, melted
  • 1 egg
  • 1 ripe banana
  • 2 c. flour
  • 1/2 c. brown sugar
  • 2 tsp. baking power
  • 1/2 tsp. salt
  • Crumb Topping
  • 1/4 c. flour
  • 1/4 c. brown sugar, packed
  • 1/4 tsp. cinnamon
  • 2 T cold butter

Instructions

Pre-heat oven to 400F. Spray muffin tin with cooking spray.

Make streusel topping in a bowl. With a fork mix together 1/4 c. flour, 1/4 c. brown sugar, and cinnamon until well-combined. Cut in butter with a pastry cutter until it is coarse crumbs. Set aside.

In a mixing bowl, whisk egg, milk, and butter together; add banana and mash together.

In a small bowl, whisk together flour, baking powder, and salt. Add to wet ingredients and stir until just combined.

Divide among 12 muffin cups. Sprinkle each muffin with about 1 T of streusel.

Bake about 20-22 minutes, until a tester comes out clean.

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Saturday Linky Love

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Saturday Linky Love button

 

Hello, all! Happy Saturday night. I spent all day in the car so the kids are FINALLY asleep and I can put my feet up and write! Or, you know, link.

Reading offline: The Swan Gondola by Timothy Shaffert and Cress by Marissa Meyer. Has anyone read Swan Gondola yet? I’m a few chapters in and iffy on whether I’m going to read it all. Cress is the third in the Lunar Chronicles series (Cinder, Scarlet). LOVE them. Cinder is only $2.99 for Kindle if you want to start the series. SO GOOD. READ IT!

So, what did you read that was great this week? Link up here. You can grab the code for the button in the sidebar, if you want. Please link back here and add the PERMALINK to your post, not your home page.

Boy Mom

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I’m great at being a girl mom. I have the skills for crafting, coloring giant princess pictures (one of Libbie’s favorite bonding times), fixing hair, and painting toenails.

This boy thing, though. It’s foreign to me. I grew up without brothers. I had some male cousins, but I lived pretty far away from my relatives and I didn’t see them too much.

sillydavid

 

I’ve spent a lot of time with this fella since August. His sister is in pre-school three days a week, so it’s just Joshua, David, and me 15 hours a week. And Joshua usually naps a lot of that time.

David can be both very mellow and incredibly insane. As far as little boys go, he’s not destructive or reckless. He will play in his room for 2 hours by himself (although those times are getting much less frequent). He adores fire engines and trains and Lightning McQueen. And then there are those times he pops out something that just seems so BOY – something I can’t imagine Libbie ever, ever saying.

Me: “Let’s go find Sissy now!”
David: “Yeah! Let’s go kill her!”

Me: “Are you talking to your chocolate milk?”
David: “I am talking to it. And now I am drinking its blood. Mmmmm.”

I’m never quite sure whether to be shocked and appalled by these matter-of-fact statements or just accept them as three-year-old boyisms.

I never pictured myself as a boy mom. But right now, even in the midst of the Torturous Threes,  I have a lot of fun with my David-man.

How can you not giggle when your child says, ”If your chocwate miwk is squishy, you should frow it in the twash.” Or, “My favwite kind of dinosaur is TEE WEX! RROOOOOOOAAARRR. And I wike dinosaurs that are dark gween and light gween and dark wed and light wed and dark bwack and light bwack.”

I can only imagine the adventures of this boy mom-hood as Joshua gets old enough to talk and play too!

Do any other boy-moms have advice to share?

It’s-Sort-Of-Still-the-Weekend Linky Love

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Saturday Linky Love button

Every time I sat down to write Linky Love this weekend, something else came up and I just never got to it! But I wanted to share these links, and if you have a post, please still link it up!

Reading offline: I finished Behind the Scenes at the Museum last night. I’ve been reading Sapphire Ice on my Kindle, so I want to finish that, and per Amy‘s recommendation I’m going to start Battlefield of the Mind.

So, what did you read that was great this week? Link up here. You can grab the code for the button in the sidebar, if you want. Please link back here and add the PERMALINK to your post, not your home page.

S’mores Cookie Cups {Secret Recipe Club}

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S'Mores Cookie Cups

Welcome to this month’s installment of the Secret Recipe Club. Did you know I’ve been making recipes with the SRC since June 2011, almost three years ago? I’ve only missed one month in all that time, too! You can see all my Secret Recipe Club reveals here. (I just browsed back through my last few and oh man … I totally want Oxtail Stew again.)

My assigned blog for this month was Things I Make (for Dinner). This is only Sarah’s second month in the SRC. Welcome to the party, Sarah! Hope you’re enjoying it!

Sarah is a married woman, enjoying life with her husband in Ontario, Canada. She loves to cook in what little time she has and shared recipes from many different sources – but especially loves Everyday Food, from what I could tell on her site!

smores cups

 

I needed a dessert recipe for an Easter celebration at church, so I made these S’Mores Cookies, but with my own little twist on them. I was having a harder time getting my dough to stick together, so I shoved it into mini-muffin cups and stuck the chocolate inside. I didn’t use enough chocolate, though – so use bigger chocolate chips or a more generous portion than shown here. I’ll admit I had a late start this month so I didn’t get a chance to re-make the recipe like I would have liked to.

Mr. V tested these warm from the oven, though, and really liked them. With the addition of a little more chocolate (my fault totally, not Sarah’s!) they will be perfect party bites! Or go ahead and make the cookies as Sarah shows on her site.

S’Mores Cookie Cups

Prep Time: 20 minutes

Cook Time: 15 minutes

Total Time: 35 minutes

Yield: about 36 mini-muffin cups

S’Mores Cookie Cups

Ingredients

  • 1/2 c. old-fashioned oats
  • 1 c. all-purpose flour
  • 1 c. whole-wheat flour
  • 3/4 tsp. ground cinnamon
  • 1/2 tsp. baking soda
  • 1/2 tsp. salt
  • 1 c. butter, softened
  • 3/4 c. brown sugar
  • 1 egg
  • about 1/2 c. chocolate chips or chunks
  • 12 large marshmallows, cut into thirds with kitchen shears

Instructions

Preheat oven to 350F.

Pulse oats in a food processor until they are fine. Add flours, cinnamon, baking soda, and salt; pulse to mix.

With a mixer, cream butter and brown sugar until yellow and fluffy. Add egg and beat, scraping sides. Add the dry ingredients to the butter mixture and mix on low speed, until combined. You may need to mix by hand for a few minutes to get the batter to come together. It will be very thick.

Spray a mini-muffin tin with cooking spray. (I love my silicone muffin pan!) Drop about 1 Tablespoon of dough into each muffin cup. Press it down into the cup; then make a deep indention with your finger. Sprinkle chocolate chips or chunks into the indention.

Bake at 350 for about 14 minutes, until tops begin to brown.

Turn oven to broil.

Top each muffin cup with one-third of a marshmallow. Broil until lightly brown - watching constantly. This only took about 45 seconds for me.

Let cool in pan at least 5 minutes, then remove to a rack. Best eaten warm!

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I Refuse to Be Guilty.

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Last night, my sister stopped by on her way home from work. I’d had A DAY, and it was obvious by the way that I couldn’t even come up with a conversation topic. As my two older children chose to dance around me, reveling in disobedience, I tried to hang on to reality. Just a phase. Just a phase. This too shall pass. OH MY WORD I AM LOSING MY MIND.

I convinced my sister that I needed to go out to dinner. I’m not sure my husband was thrilled with my spur-of-the-moment plan, but he could certainly tell by my panicked expression that I needed out. We took Joshua with us and left Mr. V to take the older two to the dining hall.

(And now can we pause for this adorable one-year picture of Joshua taken by Leslie Dearman?)

Joshua's One Year Picture

 

As I informed Libbie that we were leaving and no, she wasn’t coming, I felt the guilt coming on. Libbie proceeded to wail, cry alligator tears, cling to my leg, and try to block the door. She’s 5, people. I was angry and I told her that I AM ALLOWED TO LEAVE FOR AN HOUR.

The whole afternoon was just disastrous. And yes, the time away helped immensely. I’m not ashamed to add that today I hired a babysitter so I could work without interruptions for two hours, too.

I tend to feel guilty about just about everything. Of course I feel guilty leaving my child when she’s screaming inconsolably. I feel guilty hiring a sitter when I am a stay-at-home mom and this is my job, dang it. (Well, except for that whole other freelance thing. I think I need to just start calling myself a work-at-home mom. Maybe that would help!)

But you know what feels worse? Letting myself get so depleted that I am yelling more than talking. That I am acting like a 5-year-old myself, wanting to throw myself on my bed and flail my legs and cry until I fall asleep from exhaustion. Becoming someone I can’t stand simply because I am not taking any time to refuel. (I really wanted to write amn’t there. Because David totally think it’s a contraction and says it all the time.)

refusetobeguilty

If I’m feeling guilty every time I leave my kids at all, then the standards I’ve set for myself are impossibly high. I don’t need to feel guilty for being me. And me is an introvert who needs time to herself and simply a woman who needs friendship and adult time.

Maybe I’m the only person in the world who feels like this, but somehow I doubt it. So you out there, if you feel the same way, let’s agree to hold each other’s hand and quit the guilt. Maybe we can meet for coffee. Without kids.

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