Saturday, February 25, 2012

The best muffins you will ever make

Today I needed to make something for a party.  Today I had bananas that needed to be eaten.  Today I had both Nutella and cream cheese available.  Today I invented an amazing muffin: the Banana Muffin With Nutella Cream Cheese Filling.
Sounds simple, right?  Phenomenal.  I already knew Nutella and cream cheese is a fantastic combination, but little did I know how yummy it would be combined with banana bread!  
When you make these (that is a when, not an if by the way), please do not neglect the crumble topping!  That topping adds a little crunch that just sets everything else off.
I am sorry I do not have more pictures, but this just means you will have to make them and see for yourself how good they are!
This recipe is a combination of 3 different recipes, so although bits and pieces in and of themselves are not mine, the effect together as a whole is :)

Muffin batter:
4 Large bananas, mashed
1 cup white sugar
2 slightly beaten eggs
2/3 cup melted butter
2 teaspoon baking soda
2 teaspoon baking powder
1 teaspoon salt
3 cups flour

For the filling:
8 ounces, weight Cream Cheese, softened 
½ cups Nutella

For the topping:
½ cup sugar
5 tablespoons flour
1½ teaspoons ground cinnamon
4 tablespoons cold unsalted butter, cut into pieces

Mix wet ingredients of batter together.  Mix dry ingredients together.  Combine ingredients - do not over mix.  Blend cream cheese and Nutella together.  Fill muffin cups 1/3 full of batter, drop small spoonful of filling in, then fill rest of cup normally.  Topping should be cut together until crumbly and then sprinkled on top.  Bake at 350 for approximately 17-20 minutes (ovens differ slightly, so just keep your eye on them).  Makes approximately 24 muffins (depending on how liberal you are when you fill your cups that could stretch to 28 or so).

Thursday, February 23, 2012


My body is still holding onto some of that pregnancy weight I put on last year (wow does that sound like a long time ago!), but I'm happy to say I am back in nearly all of my pre-pregnancy clothing!  I like my clothes - they are comfy and homey and "me".  
But I have discovered something weird.  Currently I have 3 pairs of jeans that I rotate: the size 6 and size 10 fit me great, but the size 8 is a little roomy.  Does that make any sense at all???  My husband can go into a store, check out a style of jeans, find the right size, buy them and bring them home without ever trying them on but knowing they will fit just fine.  Why are women's sizes so ridiculous??  
It is annoying as all get out (I ought to look up the etymology of that phrase because thinking about it it really doesn't make much sense: all get out? Huh.).
This week has seen the introduction of raspberries on our scene - not the yummy, red, juicy bits of goodness with the annoying pips, but the tongue between the lips blowing and funny noises sort of raspberries.  Ever since he discovered them J thinks they are hilarious.  And not just when he blows raspberries; it is now totally funny when Mommy blows raspberries, even though before he couldn't have cared less.  
Odd child.  
He has learned how to roll onto his tummy and back, and can maneuver himself around 180 degrees when playing on the floor.  He isn't quite to crawling or employing other forms of latitudinal movement, but it looks like it won't be long now before this mama has a whole new set of mobile issues to deal with!  Oh the joys of being a parent :)

Monday, February 20, 2012


Some days J refuses to be put down.  And by "refuses" I mean he cries incessantly until I pick him up again.  Those times it is usually that he is tired or sick or (lately) teething.  Other days he will play by himself for 30 minutes at a time until he gets bored and needs a change of toy or location.  
Currently he is lying on the floor talking to me, but I think he's reaching his limit and will need a nap soon.
Yup, nap time.
My sister's daughter is sick.  I feel bad for them both but I can't do much to help - if I could go babysit her for a bit while Dana goes out I would, but having a child of my own precludes that possibility.
So many things change having a child.
In many ways I feel more limited: going out, cleaning my house, taking time with friends are all things that are harder now I have a tiny person around to see to.  
But in other ways having a son has freed me: it is infinitely easier for me to talk to many of the women at my church now that we share motherhood in common, and I certainly have more confidence when it comes to watching other children now I know from personal experience that I won't break them.
There is a confidence that comes with motherhood which makes war with the self-doubt and second guessing I do as a parent.  
The confidence which shows itself when my baby cries only until I take him; the love felt when my son reaches for me and clings to my neck in a baby hug; and the joy shared when I get him to laugh out loud.  That I, as a mother, can sooth hurts physical or emotional is one of the ways God shows me I am the right person for this job no matter what my concerns or fears might be on any given day.

"And my God will supply all your needs according to His riches in glory in Christ Jesus. Now to our God and Father be the glory forever and ever. Amen." Phil 4:19-20

Monday, February 13, 2012

Such is life

I am not a good blogger.  I write up things in my head, then I forget to type them out and post them.  So, what have I been thinking about lately?

Sleep.  Yes, my son doesn't sleep well.  And because my son doesn't sleep well I don't sleep well.  Usually the hubby and I try to get to bed at a reasonable hour because of all the times I get up in the middle of the night and wee hours of the morning but sometimes we just don't make it - like last night, when we didn't settle in to sleep till 12:30.  Of course, J picked this morning to be awake at 7 no matter what I thought, so here we are: Mommy trying to get by on low-caf coffee (I nurse and don't want to give J too much of that nasty caffeine stuff that will keep him awake even longer) and a rather fussy baby who is going to go down for an early nap this morning.  Whee!

In other random news, my son loves to play with blankets.  There is a baby blanket in his play pen and I sometimes think he's more interested in that than in any of his other toys put together.  Although, the present his Aunt Stacey got him for Christmas is pretty high on his list: picture a musical cube of awesomeness with 8 different Mozart compositions, colors, lights and instrument selections and you might come close to understanding the thing.  My favorite part is the 8 different compositions the thing can play!  But...he seems to be tired of both it and his blanket currently.
And he's down for a nap.  
So here I sit, watching the snow, drinking my coffee and thinking about life.  
Heh.  That sounds as if I'm being incredibly cool and introspective and all that.  
I really like watching snow.  
I used to love snow itself, but having been a licensed driver for so many years it's harder to say that.  Even on days like today when I don't have to drive I feel a low level of concern for those who are driving, like my hubby.  But it truly is wonderful to watch snow fall.
The world seems quieter (hey, my kid is in bed of course it is quieter!), and I love how snow covers up imperfections.
Typically I hate the look of leafless trees, but snow can make even that deadness look lovely.
It's so peaceful.

When I said, "My foot is slipping,"
Your love, O Lord, supported me.
When anxiety was great within me,
Your consolation brought joy to my soul.
-Psalm 94:18-19

Wednesday, February 1, 2012

The first month

Of 2012 that is.  A lot can happen in a month, as I realized while feeding my son this morning.  He has gone from a few, hesitant bites of banana (Jan 1) to eating half a banana in one sitting (Jan 31).  We have also started sweet potatoes and avocado.  The month of Jan has seen J learn to sit and improve his rolling skills (soon we'll be teaching him to bark as well).  We have started the "throw something on the floor and watch Mommy pick it up" game, and he seems to be getting more interested in books lately.  This past month my son decided he doesn't like sleeping, so we are in the process of working on a sleep routine to help him (and Mommy!) get more shut eye.  His hair is growing so it no longer sticks up quite as much as it used to (which I miss).  He is talking up a storm and one of these days I have hopes I'll begin to understand what he's saying!  Recently J has been outgrowing his 3 month size clothes in favor of 6 month size.

So much has happened with J that I don't really know what has happened with me apart from him.  My life is more than my son, and yet he is such an integral part of that life now that I cannot imagine what I would do or be without him.  It's like when I got married - my life is more than being a wife, and yet everything I do is affected by my relationship with my husband.  And it is good: being a mom, being a wife.  These are gifts that God has given me which I in no way deserve but for which I will always be thankful.

Sometimes I forget to say "thank you" for that which I encounter on a daily basis.  Someone once asked me what my life would be like if tomorrow I woke up with only those things or people I thanked God for today.  It's a sobering thought, and one which I need to take more to heart.  So I am thankful for my husband and my son; thankful for my family and friends; and thankful that God is my source of strength, my ever present help no matter my need.

This was a bit rambling I suppose, but I am the mother of a (almost!) 6 month old and this post was started 3 times today.  And I just remembered that I was going to put up pictures!  But because it is getting late for this mommy I will only post one tonight with the promised hope of more tomorrow.

My little punk :)