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Archive for November, 2012


flag muffins

My wicked smart, hilarious, sweet oldest child just turned 4, and to commemorate the occasion (aside from the family party and the big preschool party at Pump it Up), we brought a special snack into her preschool class where they all sang happy birthday and she got to pick out a birthday treasure from the treasure box.  These days, bringing in a preschool snack is no easy task since it has to be homemade to ensure there are absolutely no nuts whatsoever inside or within close range of said snack.  When I asked her what she wanted to bring, she surprisingly asked for my pumpkin chocolate chip muffins, which we’d been making quite a bit lately what with pumpkin season and all.  That sounded good to me (no need to frost anything!!), so we set to work.  My latest trick with pretty much any muffin recipe to try to up the health quotient is to immediately halve the sugar content, and also use 1/2 whole wheat flour.  I was a bit nervous about this at first, but honestly, I don’t miss the sugar AT ALL – and I’ve been making these muffins for years, so you’d think I’d notice.  We’re also doing a rainbow theme for her bigger party this weekend, so I stuck to that and made some cute little birthday flags with label paper and toothpicks to make each one a bit special (since there wouldn’t be any frosting or sprinkles).  They turned out great, and I think the teachers were glad not to have to deal with any frosting-covered hands and faces 🙂  The recipe is below, and I’ve also included a link to download the little happy birthday flags if you’d like!  Just print them on full sheets of label paper, cut and stick to regular old toothpicks.  The ones I made had her name on one side and Happy Birthday on the other, but I’ve updated it to just read Happy Birthday on both sides.  So easy!

Here’s a picture of the birthday girl with the final product (we’re in the “must make a silly face for any and all pictures” right now – I’m just going with it and hoping it passes quickly).

birthday muffins

Spiced Pumpkin Muffins:

Ingredients:

  • 3/4 cups white sugar
  • 1/2 cup brown sugar
  • 3/4 cup vegetable oil
  • 2 large eggs
  • 1 (16 oz) can solid pack pumpkin
  • 1/2 tsp vanilla extract
  • 1 1/2 cups white flour
  • 1 1/2 cups whole wheat flour
  • 1 tsp cloves
  • 3 tsp cinnamon
  • 2 tsp nutmeg
  • 1 tsp baking soda
  • 1/2 tsp salt
  • 1/2 tsp baking powder
  • 3/4 cup mini semi-sweet chocolate chips (optional)

Directions:

  • Preheat oven to 350
  • Beat sugar and oil to blend
  • Mix in eggs, pumpkin and vanilla
  • In a separate bowl, sift flours, cloves, cinnamon, nutmeg, soda, salt and baking powder, then stir into pumpkin mixture until just incorporated
  • If using, fold in mini-chocolate chips until evenly dispersed
  • Line muffin pan with paper cups and fill about 1/2 way – bake in preheated oven for 20-25 minutes

Click here to download the pdf for the rainbow flags!  Rainbow Flags

Rainbow Flags

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painting the day away

Ahhhh, to be a kid again… painting in your jammies without a care in the world.  Seriously, does life get any better?

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time keeps marching

How does time keep moving so fast?  In July I had determined to write blog posts more often, and now here I am, it’s almost 2013 with not one post having been written.  Thinking back on the previous six months, I supposed I can rationalize why that’s the case – here’s what our little family has been up to for the past six months:

  • I ran the SF 1/2 Marathon!  First time ever and beat my goal time of 10 minutes per mile by a whole minute!  I’m so glad I did it and am just waiting for the opportunity to get my butt in gear and do another.  (Sorry the picture is bad – it’s from an iPhone and turned out a bit wonky, but evidence is evidence!)

Yes, I wore my Kate Spade glasses through the whole thing – what?

  • We remodeled our house – I’m talking the real deal.  We tore out walls, added stairs, completely gutted the kitchen and dining room, and added a bathroom.  Next up – the 2nd floor!

Cabinets are going in!!! Better than Christmas!!!

  • I tackled the difficult and emotional decision to leave my job to stay home full time and made it through to the other side.  I haven’t left my job yet, but will be in a matter of weeks.  More on that later…
  • A. started her 2nd year of preschool and turned 4!  How on earth did my tiny baby get so big??
  • Likewise, P. FINALLY started walking and just uttered some of her first words, so I guess that makes her officially a toddler, which means I need another baby.  Stat.

Proudly sporting her Panda hat at the Giants game (woo-hoo!) and on the flip side, proudly scarfing down a banana muffin – pay no attention to the bed head.

Overall we’ve had an incredibly blessed year with everyone continuing to be happy and healthy.  We have a roof over our head – and a new kitchen to boot!  So now I think I’m ready to get this 2013 party started – but first up… Christmas!

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