Tuesday, June 4, 2013

"Yes, you can have another Chocolate Chocolate Chip Muffin"

(40 Months)

That was me this morning telling my little ones, that not only can they have another double chocolate muffin, they can have a luscious pink cream cheese frosting on top.  Is this a healthy muffin? Not really.  It's healthier, it's homemade and it has some secret superfood ingredients- wheat flour, eggs, dark chocolate and roasted beets.  Before any of you naysayers pass over this post because I mentioned beets, I'm telling you to give it a try and you will not be disappointed.  Plus, your house will smell divine and the kids will have fun baking these with you.  This muffin recipe comes from Pinch My Salt and it's scrumptious!

Double Dark Chocolate Chip Muffins
Makes 12 Muffins

1 cup whole wheat flour
1 cup all-purpose flour (we use unbleached flour)
2 tsp baking powder
1 tsp baking soda
1/2 tsp salt
1/2 cup bittersweet chocolate chips
1/2 cup chopped walnuts

1/4 cup butter
2/3 cup bittersweet chocolate chips
3/4 cup brown sugar
2 eggs
1 cup beet puree*
2/3 cup milk
1 tsp vanilla

1. Preheat the oven to 375 degrees.  Grease muffin tin.
2.  Sift together the first five ingredients in a large bowl.  Mix in the chocolate chips and chopped walnuts.  Set aside.
3.  In a medium microwavable bowl (I used an 8 cup Pyrex measuring cup), microwave the remaining chocolate chips in intervals of 30 seconds, stirring between each interval until melted.  Stir in the butter. Once completely incorporated, mix in the remaining ingredients.
4.  Pour the wet ingredients onto the dry ingredients.  Mix until just combined.
5. Scoop into muffin tins all the way to the top (I used a 1/3 cup measuring cup to scoop the batter).
6.  Bake for 18 minutes, or until a toothpick comes out clean.
7.  Allow the muffins to rest in their tins for two minutes.
8.  Carefully remove the hot muffins onto a cooling rack.  Enjoy with a cold glass of milk or hot coffee.  OR you can frost them with a delicious pink frosting.

I'm telling you, try it.  Her recipe is fantastic!

*How do I make beet puree?  For this recipe you need one large beet, the size of a baseball.  I usually roast at least three beets at a time, so that I have extra to make a delicious pink frosting or Pinkalicious pancakes.  Preheat the oven to 375 degrees.  Wash the beets with water and dry clean with a towel to remove any remaining dirt.  Slice off the top (by the greens) and a little off the bottom (by the pointy root).  Make a tin foil pouch, by placing the beet inside a 10" square sheet of tinfoil and enclosing it leaving room for the beet to steam inside.  Bake for 50 minutes.  Allow to cool.  Carefully, peal open the tinfoil pouch.  The skin will just rub off.  I then will either puree the beets into 1/2 cup servings and then freeze until I need them for up to three months, or leave the beets whole in a ziplock bag until I need them within the next few days.  To puree, just slice the beet into quarters and toss it in your food processor.  Process for a minute, scrape down the sides, process for another minute, scrape down the sides and repeat at least two more times until it looks like smooth baby food.

Monday, June 3, 2013

Potty Training Update

(39 Months)

It's been about three weeks since Wild One stopped wearing a diaper for his nap.  He decided that it was time to stop wearing diapers.  I told him that if he had a dry diaper for five naps in a row, we'll stop wearing diapers.  Well, then we went to visit his cousin Buddy (who's three days younger) and Buddy told Wild One that he doesn't wear diapers for naps when he's at school.  That did it.  When we got back home, Wild One sang "No more diapers for me."  So we tried it.  He peed.  We tried it again the next day.  It was dry!  Could this be a fluke?  We tried on day three, it was dry!  Day four?  Dry!  Woo hoo!!!  We are done with diapers for naps!  Your time is running out Pampers.  Day five?  It was wet.  Ohhh.  Well, I guess I celebrated too soon.  Days six through fifteen?  Dry!

Wild One doesn't like sleep, especially naps.  An average nap is about 50 minutes.  A good nap is when he makes it all the way to 60 minutes, I can count on two hands how many times in 39 months that has actually happened.  The reason I didn't want to stop using diapers for nap time was because I didn't want him to loose any precious nap sleep (ok, and I didn't want to lose my precious mommy time).  I was also afraid he'd overuse the "I have to pee" line to keep getting out of bed.  He does.  In fact, he's peed on the potty six times before falling asleep for nap on two occasions.  This kid can squeeze out just enough pee so that I'll say to myself, "humph, he really did have to pee."

When he does have to pee, he calls out, I come over and he walks (leisurely) from his room to go to the bathroom (we still use the Bjorn potty chairs).  He tries to start a conversation, but I'm trying the 123 Magic method, of not responding so that he doesn't feel like he can take all day.  Then I walk him back to his bed.  He usually falls asleep after the third or fourth time of peeing on the potty.  The major downside to him becoming more independent, is that where nap time used to be dedicated to getting the bills paid, mopping, doing dishes, folding laundry, making phone calls, looking up projects/recipes... now it's stop and go, stop and go (no pun intended).

It's amazing, that waiting for him to be ready made this process go very smoothly (again, no pun intended).