Whole Wheat Pumpkin-Cranberry Muffins

Whole Wheat Pumpkin-Cranberry Muffins

The faucet is leaking, toys are strewn on the floor, and the lack of check marks on my to-do list is painfully obvious. I need to head downstairs and start a writing project while the kids nap, but I see a load of clean laundry dumped on the couch. Should I fold that now? Maybe I’ll bring it upstairs. Oh! There’s the estranged sock I’ve been looking for and the pajamas my son needed last night. I stop in my tracks, wrinkled clothes still in hand. What was I going downstairs for again?

My distracted self eventually makes it to the basement office, and there’s a pile of clean sheets dumped on the armchair. Crap. The laundry baskets are upstairs. Maybe I do need to stop and finish the laundry. No wait. I’m supposed to be writing.

I finally sit down at the computer, determined to utilize these few quiet moments when my toddlers sleep to put thoughts on paper. Without even thinking, I pull up Facebook. I just checked Facebook on my phone, right before I almost started folding laundry. Do I hear a baby crying? I forgot to schedule their pediatrician appointment. I’ll have to do that later. Why am I still scrolling through Facebook?

Continue reading and get the recipe at Coffee + Crumbs!

Whole Wheat Pumpkin-Cranberry Muffins
Whole Wheat Pumpkin-Cranberry Muffins
Whole Wheat Pumpkin-Cranberry Muffins

Full recipe and instructions can be found at Coffee + Crumbs!

Baked Oatmeal With Apples, Bacon + Maple Syrup

Baked Oatmeal With Apples, Bacon, & Maple Syrup

Nothing can totally prepare you for motherhood. We know this.

When I was pregnant, I did everything I could to learn about breastfeeding. I read books, took a class, sought advice from other twin mamas, and got the best pump I could afford. But it was still a completely unknown world to me, and I was nervous. Would I be able to produce enough milk? Would they be able to latch correctly? Would I ever sleep again? Would they gain enough weight?

I tried to hold on to the idea of nursing lightly. Like much of motherhood, the things you hold onto most tightly are often the same things that get painfully ripped out of your hands. As I anticipated, feeding turned out to be a huge challenge during those early months. My son took weeks to latch, and I remember at an outpatient appointment, the lactation consultant kindly looked at me and said, “How are you doing with this? Do you want to keep going?” She offered support and encouragement, but I was also relieved that she offered me permission to quit. As we talked, I choked back tears of exhaustion and frustration. I was about one feeding away from giving up completely

Continue reading and get the recipe at Coffee + Crumbs!

Baked Oatmeal With Apples, Bacon, & Maple Syrup
Baked Oatmeal With Apples, Bacon, & Maple Syrup
Baked Oatmeal With Apples, Bacon, & Maple Syrup
Baked Oatmeal With Apples, Bacon, & Maple Syrup

Full recipe and instructions can be found at Coffee + Crumbs!

Citrus Baked Oatmeal [that you can eat all week!]

My kiddos turned a year old this past week. It's been a whole year already. Then again, it feels like it's been about 20 years. I'll admit, the last few months have flown by. But the first eight? They seemed like an eternity.

(Mamas, if you find yourself wondering if your kid will ever leave your womb, hold their head up, sleep through the night or whatever other milestone you're waiting for, and you just can't listen to one. more. person. talk about how fast time if flying because for you time is plodding along at a glacial pace, know that I feel your pain. Feel free to skip reading the rest of this post and vent in the comments. Some days...and months...just drag.) 

That being said, the last few months have sped by. Every day, my kiddos are starting to do something knew. They're almost walking (scary!) and mimicking us a lot more (even scarier!). They're wreaking havoc throughout the house, and you can't walk more than a few feet without stepping on a toy, squishy banana or highly crustified piece of mystery food. Please don't be scared away, though. If you want to come over, just give me a heads up so I have ample time to clean/remove/hide/decrustify the aforementioned hazards.

As the kids grow and the mess grows, I'm trying to keep up as best I can. I'm also trying to let some things go. My house is not as clean as it used to be, and that's OK (although I do have a limit to how many rotten bananas I can step on before I go completely bonkers). We have times on our calendar blocked off and denoted "do not plan anything" to allow margin in our schedule. I use my slow-cooker more, Google "make ahead recipes" regularly and always make sure to cook enough to have leftovers - especially when it comes to breakfast. 

I've learned that for me, having breakfast leftovers is essential. A couple weeks ago, I made this Citrus Baked Oatmeal and ended up eating it all week long. I normally like variety in my meals, but sometimes, convenience wins the day. And convenience can still taste good...really good. 

I used a mix or oranges for this recipe, mostly because I get inordinately excited whenever blood oranges are in season. You can use whatever fruit you like. You can also swap out the almond butter for another nut butter, change up the cinnamon for your favorite spice or add a splash of vanilla extract and a handful of chopped nuts. It's my favorite kind of recipe - one that's easily adaptable to fit your preferences or pantry stock and good enough to enjoy all week long. 

Citrus Baked Oatmeal
Inspired by The Faux Martha
Yields about 6 servings

Cooking spray or butter for greasing the pan
3 cups rolled oats
2 teaspoons baking powder
1 teaspoon cinnamon
½ teaspoon salt
2 eggs
1 ½ cups milk
½ cup almond butter (or other nut butter) 
½ cup honey
1 ½ cups peeled, chopped fresh citrus* (remove any seeds as you chop)
1-2 oranges for topping, peeled, seeds removed and sliced
Coarse sugar for sprinkling (optional)

Preheat the oven to 350 degrees. Grease a 3 quart (or similar capacity) baking dish and set aside. 

In a medium bowl, add the rolled oats, baking powder, cinnamon and salt. In a separate bowl, beat the eggs slightly. Then whisk in the milk, almond butter and honey. Pour the wet ingredients into the dry ingredients and mix until fully incorporated. 

Gently stir in the chopped citrus. Pour the batter into the prepared dish. Top with orange slices, and sprinkle everything with a bit of coarse sugar. 

Bake for 35-45 minutes, or until batter is set and the top is slightly browned. Serve warm with cream, yogurt or your other favorite oatmeal toppings. 

*I stuck to using a variety of oranges (such as naval and blood oranges) for this recipe. You can also try mixing in a little grapefruit, but you may want to serve with additional honey or coarse sugar to balance out the tartness.

Quick Tip: This is also a great meal to bring to a new mama, a sick family member or a friend who could use encouragement. Double the recipe and make two dishes - one for your family and one for someone else!

Spiced Glogg Muffins

Did you make glogg yet? I hope you did...but if not, there's still plenty of winter left to enjoy it! And if you're thinking that all those raisins and almonds will go to waste after they've soaked in the brandy, wine and port, have no fear! They're perfect in breakfast treats like scones, quick breads and muffins. (In case you missed it, click here for the glogg recipe I'm referring to.)

After I make glogg, I strain out the spices, almonds, raisins and other mix-ins. If I'm not ready to do anything with them yet, I throw it all in a zip top bag and stick it in the fridge or freezer (although it's all been soaked in alcohol long enough that there's probably not much chance of anything going bad). When I'm ready to bake, I spread all the mix-ins out on a cookie sheet and quickly pick out the stuff I don't want - like cinnamon sticks, chunks of ginger and pieces of orange peel. I'm basically looking to hold onto the raisins and almonds, which eventually find their way into these Spiced Glogg Muffins.

If you're not much of a glogg drinker, you can take a handful of raisins and blanched almonds and soak them in brandy, wine or port for anywhere from 30 minutes to overnight. Then, just strain out the alcohol when you're ready to bake...and try not to snack too much on the boozy fruit and nuts before they make it into the batter!

Spiced Glogg Muffins
Yields 12 regular-sized muffins

2 cups all-purpose flour
½ cup sugar
1 teaspoon baking powder
½ teaspoon baking soda
½ teaspoon salt
½ teaspoon cinnamon
½ teaspoon ground ginger
¼ teaspoon ground cloves
½ cup sour cream
½ cup milk
1 egg
2 Tablespoons melted butter
1 cup of glogg-soaked almonds and raisins*

Preheat the oven to 400 degrees. Grease a regular sized muffin tin, or use paper muffin cups.

In a medium bowl, mix together the flour, sugar, baking powder, baking soda, salt, cinnamon, ginger and cloves. In a separate bowl, whisk together the sour cream, milk, egg and butter.

Slowly mix the wet ingredients into the dry ingredients, being careful not to over mix. Gently stir in the glogg-soaked almonds and raisins until full incorporated.

Divide the batter evenly in the prepared muffin tin. Bake for 18-20 minutes, or until a toothpick inserted comes out clean.

*You can substitute the glogg-soaked almonds and raisins for other mix-ins like dark chocolate chunks, dried cranberries or chopped walnuts.