Monday, May 23, 2016

Healthy-ish Blueberry Muffins

When we were growing up, my dad used to get up early and work out in our garage. He would get up when the skies were pitch black and the rest of the family was contentedly asleep. I would hear him and stumble out into his workout room. In hindsight, he was probably trying to carve out a little time to himself in a day otherwise filled with babies and work. But nevertheless, there I was standing in the doorway in my Little Mermaid pajamas.

After his workout, he would bring me inside we would make blueberry muffins that came in little blue and white Jiff boxes. And by "we" I mean he would stir the ingredients together and I would eat spoonfuls of batter. I would eat a few warm muffins, watch a cartoon or two and fall back asleep.

It is hard to beat a warm blueberry muffin. Pair that with bitter coffee (with half and half, always) and I am good to go. Inspired by the muffins in my past (and  friend, there have been a lot of muffins) and a recent trip to a new bakeshop in Port Gamble, I decided to make a batch.

Butcher and Baker Provisions (check it out) has a full menu, cured meats and a bakeshop. We sampled a coconut macaroon, peanut butter and jam bar, a lemon ginger scone, and of course a blueberry muffin. 

The muffins I made are healthy-ish because I know Rose is going to eat them for meals and snacks and I wanted something a bit more substantial. They have a bit of wheat flour, coconut oil and applesauce plus a ton of fresh berries. They are a great excuse to eat cake for breakfast.

Just add creamy coffee.

Blueberry Muffins
makes 1 dozen

1 c AP flour
1/2 c whole wheat flour
3/4 c granulated sugar
2 teaspoons baking powder
1/2 teaspoon salt
dash cinnamon
2 Tablespoons coconut oil, melted and cooled
1/3 c unsweetened apple sauce
1 egg
whole milk*
1 teaspoon vanilla extract
1 heaping cup fresh blueberries
crystal sugar, for topping
- - -
pre-heat oven to 400F and line a 12 cup muffin pan with liners
1. In a large bowl whisk together flours, granulated sugar, salt, baking powder and cinnamon
2. In a 1 c liquid measuring cup combine egg and apple sauce until smooth
3. Fill the measuring cup the rest of the way up with whole milk
4. Add the liquid ingredients to the dry ingredients (including your melted oil and vanilla) and stir until just combined (there will be lumps)
5. Fold in berries
6. Scoop batter into the prepared muffin pan and sprinkle each muffin with crystal sugar
7, Bake at 400F for 18-20 minutes, tops will be golden
8. Cool slightly before serving

* no amount is given for whole milk, it is added after the egg and applesauce to equal 1 cup

Saturday, May 7, 2016

loving, lately

Well it finally happened. Eleven months in, and Rose got sick for the first time. She got the stomach flu and was a pretty sick baby this past week. Aaaand then just when she was on the mend, Jeff and I got sick. I will spare you the details, only to say that this was the worst sickness I have had as an adult, hands down. And taking care of a baby when you are sick is so challenging. That said, I did enjoy a fair amount of baby snuggles and Gilmore Girls this past week so it wasn't all bad! I think today I might end our quarantine and venture out to the park or something since we are feeling a bit better. Plus, it would do me some good to change out of pajamas. Rose is probably sick of seeing me in my Waffle House t-shirt and ratty robe. Since I figured my current diet of chicken broth, soda crackers and ginger ale wasn't blog-able, here is what we have been enjoying lately.

As I shared before, Rose's teething is a little outrageous and she gnaws on everything in sight (her crib included.) We found these crib rail wraps and they have been a lifesaver! They fit super snug to the rail for safety and are made of fleece so she no longer eats varnish and little pieces of wood! Win, win.

Pre-flu, I made a batch of these cookies and ate them in record time. They are meant for breastfeeding mamas but they are so good they are going to be my go-to oatmeal cookie recipe after Rosemary is weaned. 

Whenever I am home I am burning this candle... it smells amazing. I got it at this cute store near our house called The Weekender.

Nicer weather has meant more days at the park which both Rose and I do not mind.

A constant favorite is sharing food with Rose. We are trying out baby's first birthday cake recipes around here, and first up was funfetti adapted from Christina's recipe

She was a fan!

Below: having a moment with a piece of my peanut butter toast. She sat like that for a solid minute, eyes closed, gnawing on a stick of toast. I share her sentiments for this breakfast.

I read The Girl on the Train in two days and am excited they are making it a movie!

Also... Jeff and I are on the last season of Downton Abbey. What am I going to do with my nights after it is over???

Wishing everyone a happy Mom's Day weekend!

Tuesday, April 19, 2016

Raspberry Chocolate Cake

I will get right to it... dating your husband when you have an infant is damn near impossible. Once in a blue moon you will get dressed up (read: wear an actual shirt that was not meant to make breastfeeding easier) and go out for dinner and drinks, but rarely. It is easy to get lost in the hours, the days, the baby cheeks.

I know all too soon Rosemary will be older and we will have all the time in the world to date. So for now let's make cake late at night, drink cocktails while it bakes, and shamelessly eat half of it in one sitting, K?

This cake is a single layer dark chocolate cake. It is decorated with a bittersweet ganache (spiked with raspberry liqueur,) fresh berries and a dusting of powdered sugar.

A lovely date night in!

Single Layer Chocolate Cake
makes 1-8" or 9" layer cake

1 c AP flour
1/4 c + 2 Tablespoons cocoa powder
1/2 teaspoon baking soda
1/4 teaspoon kosher salt
1 stick (1/2 c) butter, melted and cooled slightly
1 1/4 c brown sugar, packed
2 large eggs
2 teaspoons vanilla extract
1/2 c hot coffee

1 c raspberry ganache (recipe follows)

raspberries and powdered sugar (for decorating)
- - -
pre-heat oven to 350F; line an 8" or 9" cake round with parchment paper and mist with baking spray
1. In a medium bowl whisk together flour, cocoa, baking soda, and salt
2. In another bowl, using a wooden spoon stir together sugar and melted butter until smooth
3. To the sugar mixture, add the eggs and vanilla mixing until fully incorporated
4. Add the dry ingredients to the wet ingredients and mix until combined
5. Pour the hot coffee into the bowl and mix until the batter just comes together
6. Pour the batter into your prepared pan and bake at 350F for 30-40 minutes until center springs back lightly when pressed
7. Cool completely before topping with ganache and decorating with raspberries!

Raspberry Ganache
makes about 1 cup

3 oz heavy cream
1 1/2 oz Chambord
3.5 oz bittersweet chocolate chunks
- - -
1. Heat cream in microwave until hot but not boiling
2. Pour over chopped chocolate
3. Allow mixture to sit for a few minutes then stir until smooth and glossy
4. Gently stir in Chambord, mixing until fully incorporated
5. Allow ganache to cool slightly (it will thicken) before pouring over cooled cake

Thursday, April 14, 2016

Life with Rose: 9 &10 months in

It is hard to believe Rose has been here for ten months! To say Jeff and I are smitten is the understatement of the year. Spending time with her is the best part of my day. I secretly love when she wakes me up early because I get some extra time with her.
As you can tell from the side of her crib, Rose is teething like mad. So far she has six teeth. There have been a few rough nights here and there, but overall she is handling the teeth like a champ. I found this teething guide and it cracked me up. Rose is totally in rabid chipmunk phase.

Rose is on the move constantly and loves to play with her toys, crawl and pull up to stand on any and everything. She has started standing on her own so I have a hunch walking isn't too far off. She loves playing with us and other people/children but also enjoys playing on her own. She sits and babbles to herself, it breaks my heart (in a good way.) 

Rose has always loved meal times, but now is noticeably more interested in eating solid foods than milk/bottles. We have started more substantial foods with her, some favorites: peanut butter, hunks of toast (preferably with more peanut butter,) scrambled eggs, avocado with goat cheese, polenta, and plain yogurt with fruit puree.

We are currently puppy sitting a friends dog and it is going really well (so well that we are talking about getting a pup of our own once our pet sitting days are over.) I must say I have been enjoying having a jogging partner!

My workout buddy.

I have been eating a ridiculous amount of peanut butter lately, mostly on toast. One of my favorite combos: peanut butter, fresh raspberries and some honey.

Oh and my dad made me some granola that I ate in record time because I am basically a squirrel.

We are enjoying warmer weather and have been fixing up our yard so that this summer we can spend as much time outside as possible. My dad helped me put in a patio for our barbecue which was a lot of work but exciting! Last summer, cooking was my least favorite activity because the oven and stove heated up the house so much. This year I fully intend on grilling as much as possible. Warmer weather has also meant the return of my favorite drink...

Don't mind me, I will just be drinking a sparkling Negroni until September.

Exercise-wise I have been all about at-home workouts after Rose goes to sleep for the night (still loving the pop sugar channel on youtube). Circuit training and more core/stability work have been my go-to options. I also take the pup for a jog most days.

I am already planning Rosemary's birthday party- I know, I know... I am that mom. It is going to be beach-y. I can't wait.

That is the face of a girl who wants some cake!

My sweet June bug... ten months in and we love her more every day. 

Wednesday, March 16, 2016

Road Trippin': Portland & The Oregon Coast

A few weeks ago Jeff and I took Rose on our first trip as a family of three! We went to the Oregon coast and stopped in Portland along the way. Here are some highlights/pictures of our little vacation!

Meeting Nana!

 Baby in a bar

Delicious curry mussels, OK beignets, & all of the beers

Playing at Powell's

These two...

Windy day on the beach

The best poppy seed muffin in the world & a buttermilk bar (a new favorite)

Baby in (another) bar... Bill's berry wheat is top notch

Rose eyeing Jeff's Pizza a Fetta

Travelling with an infant is a production, but overall went really well! We tried to stick to Rose's sleep schedule as best we could and as the trip went on she got more comfortable sleeping in her portable crib. Thankfully Pizza a Fetta does take out pies! Jeff and I wound up getting their pizza both nights we were at the beach. We would put Rose in bed and then enjoy pizza, a movie and wine. Not too shabby. We returned home with enough Sleepy Monk coffee to last a few weeks. All in all a successful first vacation!