Sunday, September 4, 2011

When Eating Healthy Fails

It's Fall.
I am a wonderful mother.
I feel like cooking.
I long to make delightful and healthy snacks for my family to enjoy.

And also, I have some black  over-ripe bananas on the counter that are starting to look like a science project.

Please...kill us...
I made some smashing gigantic banana muffins for camping in a new pan my pals bought be for my birthday and hit it out of the park with regard to deliciousness.

Crispy Corners Brownie Pan - Bed bath and Beyond

So of course, I can't find the recipe. 
And I suspect said recipe was laden with oil and sugar...and chocolate chunks. Chunks, not heard me. They were stellar and the campers descended upon them like a swarm of locusts. 

I looked for a new recipe that was both delicious and healthy so I could make my kids eat them for breakfast instead of cooking provide healthy snacks for my kids to take to school. Some had oats, walnuts, carrot, and flax seed. 

I had: flour, water, sugar, chocolate chips and some half dead bananas. 

I came across one that received good reviews so I whipped them up. The batter seemed thick, but I didn't worry too much - these were healthy and devoid of tragic substances like oil OR butter! I even used whole wheat flour I had hidden found in the back of the pantry. 

Guilt free goodness!!

I hummed while I worked, drank my tea and patted myself on the back when they practically LEAPT out of the crispy corners pan without effort. I sampled the fare and thought...........


Not bad, but certainly not the delicious camping goodness. They were heavy and a little dry. :-( Just then the baboos and their cousin rolled in, a-starve. I offered the muffins and they cheered, suspecting the return of the camping muffins. I hinted these were a little different, and then lay in wait to see the response. 


They ate them, but not exactly ravenously. They watched TV and merely consumed them, in slow bits. One didn't finish hers, and she always finishes hers...

I offered some butter, therefore RUINING the healthy aspect, but the group declined. And discarded their half eaten gigantic muffins on the coffee table as I wept. 

Muffin fail (cousin of muffin top, but that is another fail for another day).

What to do? Luckily, I made a DOUBLE batch of crap, so now what? Ah, Google, my dear friend. 

A few clicks and I was learning  more about simple syrup than I ever wanted to know. I few sites talked about how to avoid dry muffins and cakes next time, which I felt was rude. If I could go BACK, I wouldn't be trying to FIX my muffins, now would I? WOULD I? (ahem.)

Simple syrup is truly, simple. Equal parts sugar and water (and any additional flavor if you like) it can be added to iced tea, mixed drinks and of course, can be used to add moisture to baked goods you have screwed up trying to be healthy which have become dry. 

I stirred some up and whisked it furiously, even the the recipe just said boil. I brushed it THRICE over the muffins and even poked holes in them to facilitate saturation. I put a little between my cheek and gum, and put a dab behind my knee just because. 

Now i wait. Eating table water crackers. Why, because they are delicious and made with processed flour, thats' why! Duh.

The treated muffins smell good. They're shiny. The simple syrup has soaked the muffin papers on the second batch (round) and we may have to eat the wrappers too. 

They look sticky on the top, which is an improvement over their first look of..

((all together now))


When I squeeze them ever so gently, they seem to have a little more give and the syrup seems to have soaked into the holes I made with corn cob holders a very precise kitchen tool.

I want to suggest the baboos try another one, but I'm afraid of rejection.
And, it's lunch time. 

I consider having one myself, but I am now stuffed like a Christmas turkey with Table water crackers. 

It's stress eating. Don't judge. 

I spy the smallest and kindest baboo watching football and ask him to help with an experiment. He loves science, so he agrees to help. 

I explain the lengthy process of my corrective method while he listens intently. He says:


I cut the muffin down the center and wait patiently while he dives in. I ask "is it better??" He says:

"sort of. Can I have some milk?"


The larger baboo and her ridiculously tall cousin sweep in and go for round two on the scientific muffin experiment. The baboo RAVES about their improvement, lauding their increased sweetness and increase in moisture. Then, she says:

"Will you buy us lunch in town?"

Sigh. Science is so subjective. 

Saturday, September 3, 2011

Fall is in the Air and So are Allergens

Please to enjoy the adorable sneezing baby panda below and be assured that my continued sneezing is nowhere near as entertaining. I looked for a horse sneezing for a better comparison, but no. My allergies are a little flared today, as they are every year at this time. It's awesome.

After several weeks of high temperatures, it appears that Fall received the memo to start with the lower temps and wind TODAY. Normally it seems a little more transitional, but this morning was a tad frosty. I love fall, and I welcome all but the allergens every year. It's cool and breezy today and feels like football weather. It's delicious to get out of stagnant air conditioning (achoo!). Our autumn season is normally a shorter one, pre-empted by snowfall or a cold snap so I try to enjoy it while I can.

I worked at my Bountiful Basket Food Co op site today, and I was glad I am the type of person who doesn't clean out the car often, since I was able to retrieve a random sweatshirt from the rubble.




I thought it best to stay away from loading the baskets with produce, with all of the unsanitary sniffing and nose wiping. I am now looking at my "bounty" (I kind of dig saying that..) and deciding what we will and won't eat and what can be hidden in smoothies and lasagna. I feel like cooking some healthy muffins, and maybe a few pre-made lasagnas. The fam is hiding.

The baboos are back in school, which pleases me to no end. They are great to have around, but this life without a day without laying on the couch a schedule is a little weird for us all. I think we are all sort of sick of free time and we really want to feel the inflexibility of a rigid day to put a snap back in our step. Or, at least I feel that way.

We have been getting out of our pajamas for a whole week now and are no longer using swimming as a substitute for showering. I have begun the last of my classes toward my degree and am ignoring my homework right this very minute. The kids are sporting it up and Special Agent is fighting crime like he always does to allow us the opportunity to bitch about all of our free time.