Category Archives: Muffins

Oatmeal Pumpkin Cookies with Chocolate Chips and Walnuts

On August 23rd we welcomed our beautiful son into the world. With a head full of hair and a smile that melts hearts, he has already changed my life in so many ways. There was no question in my mind that I would love him – but I honestly had no idea my heart was capable of SO MUCH MORE love! I’m just crazy about the newest little man in my life!

This sweet little boy who giggles in his sleep has completely re-prioritized my days (and nights, for that matter). For instance, here is an example of what my “to-do” list for Mondays use to look like:

  1. Sort Laundry
  2. Wash Laundry
  3. Create Weekly Menu
  4. Grocery Shop
  5. Deep Clean Kitchen
  6. Pick Up the Rest of the House
  7. Process Invoices from Last Week’s Customers
  8. Send Thank You’s to Last Week’s Customers

One of my favorite things to do is scribble big fat check marks next to completed tasks on my “to-do”. As you can imagine, it’s been hard for me these past several weeks to look down at my list at the end of the day and see so many boxes left unchecked. To help with this I had to modify my daily “to-do’s”, as I’m now well aware that as a new mother of a two-month old it’s just not possible for me to get as much done in a day as I was once capable of. So, here is my new pared down Monday “to-do” list:

  1. figure out what to eat today

Yesterday, as I was making these cookies one handed with a baby slung over one shoulder, I thought to myself, “You know, you could regain the satisfaction of checking off multiple items from a ‘to-do’ list if you just made a more realistic list”. And so I did. And here it is:

  1. Change diaper
  2. Feed baby
  3. Change diaper
  4. Feed baby
  5. Change shirt and ask yourself why you keep forgetting to grab burp rags before burping your baby
  6. Change diaper
  7. Pack diaper bag
  8. Rush in and out of grocery store as fast as you can
  9. Drive around a few extra blocks to see if you can lull your sweet adorable baby to sleep
  10. Tip-Toe into house, carefully remove baby from car-seat to bassinet for a nap
  11. Put away half of your groceries
  12. Change diaper
  13. Feed baby
  14. Put baby back down to finish nap
  15. Put away the rest of your groceries
  16. Prep dinner
  17. Feed baby
  18. Google “how much is a two-month old suppose to sleep during the day?” and “why isn’t my two-month old sleeping as much as other two-month olds?”
  19. Finish making dinner one handed with baby slung over one shoulder

Now THAT is a list I can zip through in a day!

OATMEAL PUMPKIN COOKIES WITH CHOCOLATE CHIPS AND WALNUTS

Last weekend I was able to spend some time with one of my very favorite friends (who happens to be an excellent baker). We enjoyed catching up over lunch and did a bit of shopping. She took me to a super cute boutique where I purchased a mustache pacifier for my son. Before I left, she gave me a loaf of her delicious and addictive chocolate-chip pumpkin bread. Working together, my husband and I had that loaf polished off by the following morning. And, as I sat there, saddened by the fact that the bread was gone, a thought crossed my mind – what if I tried to turn that tasty bread into a cookie? Is it even possible? Would that be a disaster? Or would they turn out awesome? The answers – Yes. No. And YES!  And they’re DELICIOUS.

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Ingredients:

  • 1/2  cup (1 stick) plus 6 tablespoons butter, softened
  • 3/4  cup firmly packed brown sugar
  • 1/2  cup granulated sugar
  • 2  eggs
  • 2/3 c canned pumpkin (not pumpkin pie filling)
  • 1-1/2  cups all-purpose flour
  • 1  teaspoon baking soda
  • 2-1/2 teaspoons pumpkin pie spice
  • 3/4 teaspoon salt (optional)
  • 3  cups old fashioned oats, uncooked
  • 1-1/4  cups chocolate chips
  • 1-1/4 cups chopped walnuts

Directions:

  1. Heat oven to 350°F.
  2. In large bowl, cream together butter and sugars. Add eggs and pumpkin; mix well.
  3. Combine flour, baking soda, cinnamon and salt in separate bowl. Add to pumpkin mix and combine. Add oats, nuts and chocolate chips; mix well.
  4. Drop dough by rounded tablespoonfuls onto ungreased cookie sheets. Bake 12 minutes or until light golden brown.

This recipe makes 48 cookies.

WEEK4 – Lemon Poppy Seed Muffins with a Vanilla Lemon Glaze

So. I have a really good excuse for why I’ve not blogged in a while. It’s because I’ve not been spending time in the kitchen. It’s because I’ve been too tired to focus on much more than figuring out what carb I’d like to ask my husband to bring me. It’s because I’ve been super nauseous and uninterested in anything other than pasta with capers and parm or bagels with peanut butter and sliced bananas.

It’s because I’m PREGNANT.

That’s right! I’m tin roof rusted. There’s a bun in my oven. A pea in my pod. This eggo is preggo. And we couldn’t be happier!

My husband and I tried for the past two years to start a family. At first when we weren’t having any success it didn’t upset me. I’d read lots of articles about couples taking up to 7 or 8 months to conceive. And we were told not to worry until we had tried for a year. But then a year went by. And then a year and a month. And a year and two months. A year and three months.

I began reading everything I could get my hands on about the difficulties of getting pregnant. We bought a juicer because one book I read suggested that going on a fresh juice diet 1 day each week might help. I also started tracking my basal temperatures daily by getting up at 6:45AM every morning to put a thermometer under my tongue for one minute. I stopped taking hot baths. We both changed our vitamins and started drinking herbal teas. But, to no avail, nothing seemed to help. And it really bothered me.

Bother isn’t quite the right word… more like devastated. With each month that came and went it got harder and harder to deal with. Getting pregnant was all I could think about.  Month after month of anxiety, waiting, and eventually being let down… it was becoming too much. So this past October I told my husband that the only way I was going to be able to enjoy the holidays was if we decided to take a break and stop trying for a few months.

As it turns out, that apparently is exactly what we needed. On Christmas morning we found out that our prayers had been answered – that we were pregnant.

How beautiful is that?

As of right now we are 12 weeks along which means our baby is just a tad bit over 2 inches in length or around the size of a lime. It also means that I may be nearing the end of my morning sickness. If that’s the case, I plan to throw a big party soon and will be inviting all of my favorite foods that I’ve not been able to enjoy for the past 6 weeks.

One of the crazy thoughts that I’ve had since finding out I was pregnant was this: “How fun would it be if each week I made something that featured the food item that our baby’s size is compared to? Or… would that be creepy? No, it’d be fun!”  So, with that decision made I’ve decided, now that I’m able to summon the energy and interest in baking/cooking again, that that is exactly what I’m going to do. And I’m going to spend the first couple of weeks getting caught up.

Today’s blog focus: the POPPY SEED.  Our baby was 4 weeks along when we found out we were pregnant and at 4 weeks they say your baby is the size of a teeny tiny itty bitty poppy seed.

Isn’t that just amazing?

Lemon Poppy Seed Muffins with a Vanilla Lemon Glaze

My mother is a wonderful cook. Most of my favorite recipes are hers. And usually when I’m in need of a new recipe I’ll give her a call to see if she already has a good one. That is how I came across this recipe – my mom. She told me that these muffins are outstanding and I agree with her.  They are moist and spongy and have a wonderful natural lemon flavor.  The muffin itself isn’t too sweet making the glaze that goes on top a nice addition. The recipe comes from one of her Southern Living cookbooks. I only made a few changes.

Ingredients:

  • 1  3/4 c flour
  • 1 tsp baking soda
  • 1/4 tsp salt (original recipe calls for 1/2 tsp)
  • 1/2 c white sugar
  • 1/4 c poppy seeds (original recipe calls for 3 TBSP)
  • 1 cup sour cream
  • zest of one lemon
  • 1 large egg, lightly beaten
  • 1/3 cup butter, melted
  • 2 teaspoons vanilla extract
  • 1/2 cup powdered sugar
  • 1 tablespoon lemon juice
  • 1/2 teaspoon vanilla extract

Directions:

  1. Combine first 5 ingredients in a large bowl, and make a well in center of mixture.
  2. Combine sour cream and next 4 ingredients; add to dry ingredients, stirring just until moistened.
  3. Spoon batter into greased muffin pans, filling two-thirds full. Bake at 400 degrees for 17 to 18 minutes or until lightly browned.
  4. Remove from pans immediately, and cool on wire racks.
  5. Combine powdered sugar, lemon juice, and vanilla in a small bowl, stirring until smooth. Drizzle glaze over muffins. Return to wire rack until glaze is set.