I wasn’t planning on posting anything anytime soon. I’ve been swamped with work and caught in a whirlwind of Pre-K applications. If some of you have read my previous posts, you know I had been planning on homeschooling my kids. I felt I could provide them with a much more tailored education than could be provided at a public school – supplementing my kids’ homeschooling with extracurricular activities like soccer or dance classes, for the socialization, discipline, and physical outlet.
But the extracurricular activities aren’t exactly panning out. My kids (ages 4 and almost 3) have such intense stranger/separation anxiety that they don’t want to participate. That’s not the only thing. As parenting young children evolves, it goes from becoming a physically demanding endeavor to an emotionally taxing one. As my days are less and less filled with diaper changes, bottle prep, washing, rocking to sleep, etc. those pockets of time are increasingly filled with
- negotiations – how many times can you re-wear the same old tutu? when IS bedtime really?
- refereeing – who deserves that toy? how do you ask patience of an almost 3 year old when you are running out of it?
- cleaning up spilled milk/juice/paint – i literally cry over spilled milk
So, we’ve made the decision to enroll our daughter in Pre-K, and my son, when he is ready, next year, God willing. I think it will be good for me – and by extension, the kids. I’ve found in my conversations with other moms (full time workers, part time workers, and stay at home homeschooling mothers) that mothers who work part time have the best of both worlds. They have an outlet in the form of work – using their intellect, getting tangible rewards, conversing with other adults, etc. Plus, they get to spend a good amount of time with their kids afterschool or whenever. There are obviously exceptions to this. I can’t imagine my previous boss allocating any less time from her profession, or rather, her mission in life, to anything else. On the other end of the spectrum I’ve seen some homeschooling moms who just have it together and are getting it done! But until my baby girl starts her long, arduous journey of education, she will continue helping me out in the kitchen. Somehow both kids helped with making these (from sifting the dry ingredients, to scooping batter) and despite it all – they came out decent looking! These started off with good intentions – part whole wheat flour, part almond flour. But ended up getting a sprinkling of butter/brown sugar/cinnamon that – you guessed it – sent them over the muffin top. It’s got that nice sugary crust that bakery style muffins have. Everyone is crazy about brown butter these days and I am, too. But not so much browning butter, then adding it to the batter. I like when the food cooks in the butter (pancakes, toast, you name it), so that the browning happens at the surface, where it can impart a crunch when possible and elevate the whole flavor profile of said food.
Try these crunchy, nutty, fruity, delicious muffins. Recipe adapted from Food.com.
- 1 cup all purpose flour
- 1 cup whole wheat flour
- 1/2 cup almond meal (if you don’t have this, then you can use all purpose flour, but it won’t be the same!)
- 1 1/2 tsp baking powder
- 1/2 tsp baking soda
- 3/4 cup sugar
- 1/4 tsp salt
- zest from 1 lemon
- 2 eggs, beaten
- 1 cup buttermilk
- 1/2 cup vegetable oil
- half pint of blueberries
- 1/4 cup butter, diced
- 1/4 cup brown sugar
- 1/8 tsp ground cinnamon
- Preheat oven to 400 degrees F. Line muffin pan with 18 muffin liners.
- Sift flour, baking powder and baking soda together in a bow. Add the whole wheat flour, almond meal, sugar, salt and lemon zest. Stir with a whisk (if you try to sift the latter 4 ingredients, I’ve found that it just doesn’t pass through the mesh).
- In a separate large measuring cup or bowl, combine eggs, buttermilk and vegetable oil. Beat with a fork or whisk until well combined. Add to the dry ingredients, incorporating everything slowly. Take care not to over mix as that will toughen your muffins. Add the blueberries and carefully fold into the batter (you don’t want to mush the berries!).
- Using an ice cream scoop, evenly distribute the batter among the muffin pans. In a separate bowl, combine diced butter, brown sugar and cinnamon with your fingers. Dot the tops of each muffin with the butter/brown sugar mixture and bake for 20-30 minutes in preheated oven.