Wednesday, July 28, 2010

Banana Crunch Muffins

My sister has informed me that it has been a while since I posted something. Well, we've been busy over here in these parts. Very busy nuzzling a certain baby neck and monitoring holding turns and such things. There hasn't been too much cooking going on thanks to our wonderful family and friends who have fed us for the past few weeks. However, I have taken care of breakfast and snacks so what I am sharing today is the result of my breakfast cooking. I would love to share some of the actual muffins but if you came'a knocking at my door, I'm sorry to say that there would be none to share. I couldn't stop eating them. And nursing appetite aside, they were really that good. Today I whipped up another batch to show you these photographs so if you came by in the next day or so you might actually score one for yourself. Hurry though, this nursing mama needs her calories!

The recipe is adapted from one on

In a large bowl, mix 3 cups of flour (I use half whole wheat/half unbleached), 1/2 cup brown sugar, 1/4 cup white sugar, 2 teaspoons baking powder, 1 teaspoon baking soda and 1 teaspoon salt. Whisk to combine. Measure the wet ingredients into a large liquid measuring cup. Mix 3/4 cup milk, 2 eggs (I used "flax eggs" 2 tablespoons ground flax seeds and 6 tablespoons water) and 1 cup of oil or melted butter (do not be afraid of the fat, it makes everything better). Mash 2 or 3 very ripe bananas. I chose not to show the mashed bananas, they looked pretty grotty. Set all these mixtures and mashes aside while you measure out the crunchy stuff and butter your muffin pans. This recipe makes 24 muffins, by the way. You can cut the recipe in half or keep the extra muffins to freeze or eat in a frenzy later on.

In another bowl, measure out the crunchy ingredients. You need 1 cup of chopped walnuts, 1 cup of coconut and 1 cup of granola or oatmeal. If you can, use your mother-in-laws antique bowl that she left in your fridge over the weekend full of egg salad so you wouldn't have to cook. Try not to think about keeping it.

Now, back to the first bowls. Pour your wet ingredients into the bowl of dry ingredients and mix quickly and gently. Quickly and gently are the cardinal rules of muffin mixing. Never forget them. Stir in the mashed bananas. See, I told you they look ooky. Don't worry about mixing it completely, when you add the crunchy stuff everything will mix together.

Pour in the ingredients that were in the Mother-in-law bowl. Again, try not to covet the bowl. Recognize your obsession with antique mixing bowls and then move on. I hope you are impressed with my action shot going on here. I try. Gently fold the nuts/coconut/granola mixture in. Remember the cardinal rule and don't get too busy with the folding.

Scoop the batter into the muffin tins. A word about buttering the tins as opposed to using paper liners. Obviously, the paper liners are easier but the muffins always stick and then you lose some of the delicious muffin. This bothers me so I buck up and butter the tins. Also, have you ever tried to eat a muffin while pulling the paper liners off of muffins for 5 kids? By the time you get to the fourth kid, the first one is ready for another muffins. Not very conducive to muffin eating.

Here are the muffins after baking for 20 to 25 minutes in a 350 degree oven. Warm and moist with a bit of crunchy yumminess, just perfect!

Friday, July 16, 2010

A Family Tradition

Once upon a time, a family ventured out into the forest and found a little cabin. No one was home so they decided to stay there for a while. After the mother and father helped all of their happy children get settled into the cozy cabin they sat down to rest. Later that evening when it was time for all the happy children to go to sleep the parent saw that since Baby Brother was sleeping in the baby bed they brought, there was no place for Baby Sister to sleep. So the mother pulled a drawer out of the dresser she found in the cabin and tucked her sweet new baby into the drawer. As she looked down at her tiny daughter snuggled in the drawer she realized that at some time during her years of being a mother she had tucked all six of her children into a drawer to sleep. Several had their turn sleeping in their uncle's drawer when they were visiting their grandmother. One had slept in a drawer at a hotel in Mississippi. The mother even remembered her little sister sleeping in a drawer from her college dormitory dresser when her mother brought her to visit for the weekend.
The mother realized that this sleeping in dresser drawers was almost a family tradition but most of all she thought there was nothing more darling than a little pink baby tucked in to sleep in a drawer.

Wednesday, July 7, 2010

A Few Things I Forgot

It might seem strange to have forgotten these things since we were in this same place almost a year and a half ago with Baby Boy but there are a few thing I forgot. Such as how tiny and funny newborn feet are. They curve around and fold up to their little legs. But only for a few days then that phase is gone. I had forgotten how impossibly tiny baby toenails are, you can barely see them!

I had forgotten how much I love scrawny newborn legs, little chicken legs with wrinkly knees. Soon there will be rolls and dimples on those knees but right now they are knobby and unbelievably cute.

Also, I didn't remember how much I love looking at her sleeping positions and identifying what parts were sticking out where when she lived in my belly. It was her right knee sticking out all the time, just as I thought. And it was her heels that would track back and forth under my ribs. She sleeps just as she has for the past months, old habits are hard to break I guess.
Another thing that I didn't forget but still surprises me every time is how much you can love a person you just saw for the first time. After all that waiting and preparing, I already knew her even the first minute I laid eyes on her. Thank you God for miracles!

Thursday, July 1, 2010

Welcome Madison Louise!

Yesterday we welcomed our sixth child into our family. Madison Louise was born at home at 8:14 in the evening after a long night and day of waiting and laboring. She weighed 8 pounds and 3 ounces and is 20 inches long. Our midwife was wonderful and our sweet neighbor who is a labor and delivery nurse helped as well. My mom was able to be there, which was such a blessing to us. One of our friends Gloria stayed with us all day to help with the kids and slipped in to see Madison's birth. It was absolutely wonderful to be at home and surrounded by so many lovely women and of course Joe who has to be the best birth coach on earth. Now we are enjoying our darling baby and watching the kids love on her. I am already imagining all three sisters in matching dresses, this is going to be fun!