Another post! What!
Now that I’m finally getting back into the swing of things, I’m remembering how fast 2+ months are going to fly by, and then I’ll be completely and utterly OUT of the swing of things again. Please forgive me in advance. Maybe I’ll find juggling 3 kids and a newborn super easy? (I can dream, eh?) I’m pretty sure I’ll be pretty swamped in the first few… six… months or so.
All you moms out there – I’m so excited to get my body back to normal! I don’t mind feeling pregnant, but I’m glad it isn’t forever. Come back to me regular clothes. Pants with buttons and zippers. Shirts that my belly stick out of now.
This belly. It’s going to burst. It’s pretty amazing what our bodies are capable of. Talk about stretchy skin! Well, I don’t think mine has a whole lot of stretch left, but I’m glad it was stretchy at some point.
Anyhow, enough baby talk. We need food. I’m so happy food is a necessity to living. Yay, food!
Coffee is too, right?
We’ve somehow made it to yet another weekend. What could be better than that? Except maybe, if someone made these muffins for you, fresh for brunch one of those mornings?
I have had these as a brain-child for some time, but (as I’ve said before) I had lost my mojo for awhile there. They finally came to fruition! And I loved them. So did the kids. Think classic gingerbread giving birth to muffin babies with sweet dates studded throughout. I love gingerbread. Basically, anything spiced, especially when there’s molasses involved. Think Molasses Cookies. And dates! Wow. They are nature’s candy. So, so good. I have to hide the [huge] bag that I get at Costco from myself (<–out of sight, out of mind), because I eat them like candy. And yes, they’re fruit, but that sugar content is a bit high, I believe. If you ever are in need of a great date recipe, make these Oatmeal Date Cookies. They be so amazingly amazing.
So! To the muffins. Make them for breakfast. Eat them warm out of the oven. If there are some leftover for day 2, pop them in the microwave to make those dates oh-so-mushy before you slather them with butter. Believe me, I did it, and it’s highly recommendable.
- 1/2 cup butter, softened
- 1/2 cup white sugar
- 1/3 cup molasses
- 1 egg
- 1/2 cup sour cream
- 1/2 cup milk
- 1 tsp ground ginger
- 2 tsp cinnamon
- pinch cloves
- 2 1/2 cups flour
- 1/2 cup oatmeal
- 1 1/2 tsp baking soda
- 1/2 tsp salt
- 1 cup dates, chopped (optional)
- sugar for topping
- Preheat oven to 375F. Prepare muffin tins (grease, or use muffin cups).
- Cream together butter and sugar. Add molasses and egg. Beat well.
- Mix in sour cream, and milk.
- Add dry ingredients. Mix well. Stir in the dates if you're using (I'd highly recommend!).
- Fill muffin cups 3/4 full. Sprinkle with sugar. Bake for 17-20 minutes, or until the middles are set.
- Enjoy warm, slathered with butter!
- They will keep fresh in an airtight container for 3-4 days. You can also pop them in the freezer to save for later days (like when you might be having a baby and will want a yummy, quick breakfast).
Linked up on Sugar, Spice, and Family Life
I was determined to have scones for breakfast on my birthday. So I let my kids watch a show pre-breakfast, and whipped up a batch of scones! Tropical birthday scones.
I really loved dried fruit in my scones. Take these Apple Ginger Scones, for example. They are preeettty dang amazing. I bought the kids bags of dried fruit for in their Easter baskets this year (an attempt to not have quite so much candy around). Anyhow, I really love dried papaya and pineapple. So, of course, those were two types that I bought.
And when I was contemplating birthday scones, I was also dreaming about warm places. Tropical places. Places that people have been going to [without me] for the last few months. These tropical scones were born of my contemplation and dreams.
They’re very similar to the Apple Ginger Scones, with only a few, slight changes.
I hope you get chance to make them, share them, and enjoy them. With a cup of coffee or tea. That would be the way to go.
While I’m here, I guess I should let y’all in on that surprise I said I had in my last post….
We’ll be welcoming baby number four into the family the end of July, Lord willing!
I must say (I reminisce nowadays when I get a year older – a sure sign of age!), I’m not sure I imagined I’d be where I am right now 10 years ago. But I’m so very thankful for where I am. I have three great kids, am in my third trimester of my fourth pregnancy, I have a wonderful hubby of almost SEVEN years (HOW on earth did that happen?!), we are blessed with a house and a car, have lots of loving family around us, and live in a wonderful part of the world.
Yes, there are days I wish things were a bit different. But I wouldn’t actually change how things have ended up.
Here’s the recipe!
- 2 1/2 cups flour
- 2 tsp baking powder
- 1/2 tsp salt
- 2 Tbsp sugar
- 3/4 cup butter
- 1/2 cup buttermilk
- 1/4 + 2 Tbsp evaporated milk
- 1/2 tsp vanilla
- 2/3 cup chopped, dried fruit (I used papaya and pineapple)
- 1 Tbsp butter, melted (for brushing)
- Sugar for sprinkling
- Preheat oven to 375F. Line a large cookie sheet with parchment paper.
- Mix the first four dry ingredients together in a medium bowl. Cut in the butter with a pastry cutter, two knives, or your fingers, until the crumbs resemble small peas.
- Add in dried fruit.
- Pour in milks and vanilla, and stir lightly, until just combined. (Dough will be shaggy, but you can knead it together lightly in the next step.)
- Turn onto a lightly floured surface, and roll into a circle (about 9-10 inches diameter, 1 inch thick, or so). Cut into 8-10 pieces. Transfer to cookie sheet, leaving at least a 1/4 inch between scones. Brush tops with melted butter, and sprinkle with sugar.
- Bake for 22-25 minutes, or until the tops are lightly browned. Let cool on cookie sheet for 8-10 minutes, and then either EAT or transfer to a cooling rack.
- I totally only made 6 scones with my batch. (Have you heard me mention that I love scones?) Do want you want, I won't judge.
I told you I’d be back with something a wake-me-up, comfort-style recipe!
Muffins. Best breakfast ever. I know, I know. They’re basically glorified cupcakes. But they’re so much more than cupcakes. First of all, there’s generally some sort of fruit in them. (Fruit=healthy breaky, right?) Second, you get to warm them up and slather them with butter. It’s not looked up well if you do that to a cupcake. Though I’m sure it’d be pretty dang tasty. Butter helps all things. Except acne. Never put butter on your face. Please.
Anyhow. We’re going to go citrus because it’s February and all things are citrus.
I go with the flow. Sometimes.
Then we’re going to throw in a bunch of poppy seeds, because: crunch. They just make things better.
Top it all off with a tangy orange glaze, and you have yourselves the best kind of good morning muffin. Definitely enjoy with a warm cup of something. It is winter, after all. (And who doesn’t need a hot coffee in the morn?)
This recipe is adapted from Girl vs Dough (great blog, look around while you’re there). She made grapefruit muffins, and she made them a bit healthier than I made mine. (I’m guilty of hardly ever using whole wheat flour – it makes such a healthy tasting final product. Generally whole wheat baked good that I make taste like dirt. Nobody likes to eat dirt, amiright? I eat whole wheat bread. That’s it guys. White flour in all the other things.)
I also didn’t use fresh juice. I didn’t have any. I’m never prepared. I only had one egg, so thank goodness I only needed one. Instead of fresh juice, we use a scoops of frozen orange juice concentrate. I learned this trick from a dear friend to whose house I was taking these muffins. I knew she’d appreciate the tang and unpreparedness of my baking. It’s super easy, and adds such a nice zing. She makes AMAZING scones using the same method. Have I mentioned she’s brilliant?
To the muffins! You can seriously throw them together in about ten minutes, make the glaze while baking, and enjoy. Totally doable for a fresh breakfast, or store them, airtight for 3-4 days and heat up for an on-the-run breaky.
- 2/3 cup sugar
- 1/3 cups vegetable oil
- 1/4 cup poppy seeds
- 2 heaping tsp frozen orange juice concentrate
- 2 tsp vanilla
- 1 egg
- 2 1/2 cups flour
- 3 1/2 tsp baking powder
- 1 tsp salt
- 1 1/4 cup milk
- 2 Tbsp butter, melted
- 1 1/4 cup icing sugar
- 1/2 tsp vanilla
- 2-3 Tbsp frozen orange juice concentrate
- Preheat oven to 350F. Line or grease 14 muffin cups.
- Mix together sugar, vegetable oil, poppy seeds, and orange juice concentrate.
- Add vanilla and eggs. Stir well.
- Alternately add dry ingredients and milk.
- Fill muffin cups level to top.
- Bake for 18-20 minutes, or until the middle of the muffins has set.
- Whisk melted butter, icing sugar, vanilla and orange juice concentrate until smooth. Add more icing sugar if too runny, or more orange juice (or milk) if too thick.
- You can definitely use a mixer or a wooden spoon to make these! Whatever you prefer.
Mom-ing is hard.
This may not entirely fit in perfectly with the last Dear Moms post, but it’s definitely a continuation.
This is not a “pity me” post. It’s simply an “I can resonate with you – you are not in this alone” post.
I just wanted to confirm to you all that being a mom, well, it’s the hardest job there is.
I know I would have scoffed at that sentence before I had kids. Even during my first pregnancy. But wow. It’s literally 24/7. Even when they aren’t home, you’re washing their clothes, cooking their meals, or worrying about them. Do you know what I mean? It takes a toll on your brain. I think that’s probably why I can’t seem to remember which day is what, or why I walked into the dining room in the first place. Why am I here? What am I forgetting? So many times! I know other moms feel the same. I’ve listened to them about it. It’s not just me. And it’s not just you.
The last post was about moms with newborns. This is for moms who are moving past that stage, and are trying to figure out how to have some normalcy in life. Each stage is hard. Just different kinds of hard. Having three kids in about three years – I was exposed to all of the earlier stages at once. I can honestly say that I can’t remember so much of the last 5 years. I was either so tired, frazzled, or busy with the little ones that my brain just decided that it couldn’t keep with inputting memories. It was too busy trying to stay awake, or to focus on any one thing (instead of trying to think of everything all the time – which happens more often than not).
From having a literal line up at the change table (why would two of them decide to poop at the same time?), to nightmares (“Mommy is so tired, can you please try to stop thinking about bad things?” <— Do I sound/feel selfish much? Yes. I will reiterate that last Mom post. Motherhood shows you how selfish you really are, and bring out lots of other less-than-lovely things about yourself, that you may not have realized.). We’ve got spills happening at least 3 times a day, sometimes more. The patience it takes to not explode when someone spills the fifth cup of whatever (or somehow manages to slop their entire bowl of stew on the floor before taking a single bite), is immense. So much patience required.
There are so many things that try our patience, that help us grow, to become better parents along the way. And the best part? Our kids love us. No matter how many times we might lose our patience a little bit too quickly, they forgive and forget. They don’t understand how hard it is, but they do have little innocent hearts, that love quickly, and immensely. They know we will not stop loving them if they somehow manage to spill every drink in one day. They somehow have this great mechanism for forgetting that we were mad at them. Especially if we humble ourselves enough to ask their forgiveness for exploding a little bit too much. Those little hearts are so precious.
We’ve been tasked with the care of those little hearts. To guide them and to guard them. It is oh-so humbling to remember that every day. That we’ve been blessed with these littles, not burdened with them. Sometimes that is a hard thing to bring back to the forefront. I know that sounds horrible. But it’s truth. They feel like a burden at times. Mostly when they’re all screaming at crying and you want to go hide somewhere and cry too. If you haven’t had kids yet – don’t let that scare you. Every day is not like that, every moment is different. You can go from screaming and crying to having a special kitchen dance party, or seeing your littlest ones sharing ever so nicely. There are so many beautiful moments that happen. When you see your oldest trying to help your youngest, or explaining to his brother why doing something was wrong (their logic is hilarious sometimes, listen closely to what they say).
Kids are actually hilarious. They have the funniest senses of humour, and say the darndest things. Quite literally, they are the best form of comedy. And lame, though my jokes are, they think I’m funny too. They also think that I’m a pretty special person. Even though it may seem like they don’t hear you or see you (I think this happens a lot to stay-at-home-moms who are always with their kids), as soon as you are out of their sight for an hour, they are more than excited to see you when you get home. They need a break from us sometimes, even as we need one from them.
I laugh more being a mom then in anything else I’ve ever done. Yes. It’s hard. I will never ever tell anyone that parenting is easy. It’s heart-wrenching sometimes. I actually don’t like it when people say it’s “rewarding”. I didn’t have kids to be rewarded. But there are moments that you wouldn’t change for the world. Little spots in a day that you want to etch in stone. Write those down. Remember them somehow. Then on the hard days, you can look back and remember that these are kids. They aren’t just little crazies that are out to get you all the time. They are little hearts, trying to figure out the huge, crazy world we live in, and how they fit in it. Hopefully they are learning by watching you.
You are not in this alone, Mama. We’re all in this together, regardless of the different ways we approach things. We’ve all got a few things in common – We love our kids, and want to do right by them. We are human, and make mistakes. We don’t know what we’re doing. I will take every prayer, listen to advice (not necessarily use said advice), and love to talk to moms about what they’re doing with their kids – what works, and what they need help with. Bounce ideas off of one another. It helps so much.
Enjoy those kiddos this holiday season, see the wonder in their eyes as you put up trees, as you pass beautiful light displays on the road. Remember that they are the most amazing gift. Those sweet children, who aren’t always all that sweet. Remember the moments spent.
Sorry if this was hard to follow at all – my brain is a bit scattered. (Probably an understatement.) I hope you were able to glean some encouragement from this. Merry First Week of December!
You shall love the Lord your God with all your heart and with all your soul and with all your might. And these words that I command you today shall be on your heart. You shall teach them diligently to your children, and shall talk of them when you sit in your house, and when you walk by the way, and when you lie down, and when you rise.