Monkey Muffins

Last week I was on vacation with Cody’s family, and man do I need a vacation from that vacation!

It was so relaxing, and I ate everything, and drank…everything.  Driving home on Sunday was hell because we were stuck in traffic for HOURS! And when we finally got home all I wanted to do was make a home cooked meal and hit the hay. After a much needed 12 hour sleep, I woke on Monday refreshed and antsy. I wanted to do something, I needed to do something.

It wasn’t that I didn’t have a to do list – like any one when they come back from vacation, with the unpacking, and the laundry and the mentally preparing for returning to work.  To be honest I was looking forward to getting back to our regular routine. In order to assist with getting back into the rhythm of things, I decided I was going to make muffins for my muffin (aww ?.. no? ew?) to have for breakfast for the next week. I took a traditional recipe and made it my own. They are peanut butter and banana muffins!

Ingredient list: 

2 Cups all purpose flour

1/2 cup lightly packed brown sugar

1 table spoon baking powder

1/4 teaspoon salt

3/4 cup of chunky peanut butter

2 tablespoons vegetable oil

2 eggs

3/4 cup milk

Before you start getting messy pre-heat the oven for 375 degrees F, then go over to your mixer and talk sweet to it. Let it know you are going to use it, but its going to like it. Whoa – did it just get a little spicy in here?

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Look at that bad ass bitch!

In a large bowl add all your dry ingredients starting with the 2 cups flour.

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Then the baking powder (note I used magic baking powder, you can only get this from going to your local witch or wizard, and trade them your magic beans for this! Don’t tell them I told you!)

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Then the brown sugar. I used dark brown sugar, because Julia bought it for me and it was in my pantry. Also she told me that it has better flavor than the light kind.. who knew? Now you do!

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And finally the salt! (for all those wondering, my nail polish colour is called pool party, I highly recommend this sassy splash of summer)

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Mix the dry ingredients together until blended, and combined. I didn’t take a picture of this because I am only one person, and give me a break. If you need a visual then you don’t belong in the kitchen!

Next add all your wet ingredients into your mixer bowl in order to prepare them to make a delicious baby with the dry ingredients!

First comes your chunky peanut butter. I used chunky because I like a little bit of a surprise when it comes to my PB&J, but please use smooth, regular or which ever kind you would like.

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mmmmm chunky!

Next comes the oil, vegetable oil. Nothing fancy.

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Dos eggs (dos means two, I learned this from my grade 10 Spanish class where I was named Eva – but according to  my niece, Dora is a great Espanol tutor)

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Add your milk. Fun fact: Cody is lactose in tolerant, so we never have milk in the house. We do however have cream, so I used 1/2 a cup of milk and then the rest of the required amount I used water. Which you could totally use cream for the whole amount if you are not worried about calories. (Also how about we agree on not telling him that I used milk in this recipe…K? K!)

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Then your ripe banana’s.  I got mine out of the freezer so they look especially delicious. Why did I get them out of the freezer you ask? Well because when I buy Banana’s I always buy enough that some will go ripe, and then I freeze them so when Cody or I have a craving for Banana bread I can bust out these bad boys and be a freaking super hero!

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Once all your wet ingredients are combined, then slowly add your dry! I did get a picture of this, because I became a photographer for a moment, and then pulled a muscle, and cut that shit out!

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Once everything is combined, add your liners to your muffin/cupcake pan. I like to tell my muffin mixture it is about to get thrust into adulthood so its not a surprise when they are put into the fiery inferno that is your oven, but hey – to each their own! Just don’t blame me when your muffins are all dry and not delicious because you decided not to give them a little warning.

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Pay no attention to the messy oven…

Now set your timer for 25 mins and relax… I like to crochet or annoy my dog with my love and affection. Or you could clean up the mess you made, but cleaning is for chumps!

After your lovely timer rings and sings the songs of peanut butter choir – run, don’t walk to your oven. GET AN OVEN MIT FOR THE LOVE OF GOD and take out your Monkey Muffins!

Mmmmmmmmmmmmmmmmmmmmmmm….. 

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Now… the secret to ANY good muffin is…Nutella! Mmmmmmm and enjoy!

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~ Jacqui

Instructions:

In a large bow, mix together the flour, brown sugar, baking power and salt.

In a separate bowl beat together the peanut butter, oil, eggs, milk and bananas.

Combine the wet ingredients with the dry ingredients until just moistened.

spoon the batter into 12 large muffin tins. Bake for 20-25 mins, use a tooth pic in order to confirm that they are cooked all the way through.

One last day

Today for most is back-to-school – new backpacks, sneakers, clothes, pencils, notebooks, lunch bags. But for us it’s the last day of vacation.

At our local school, the new junior kindergarten students start via appointment with their parents throughout the day, getting used to the classroom and the teachers, being reassured that babies will be okay and the teachers are awesome and fun will be had. We did this last year with our week-old Isaac, watching Sophie find the reading area and the house centre and the blocks and the paints and the water table and all of the exciting things she’ll do. And then we went home to wait for her full first day, which would be the Thursday of that week.

This time we have a senior kindergarten student, someone who is experienced and accomplished, who is counting the sleeps until she can go back to school and see her friends and her teachers. Someone who now knows her mom is boring compared to the action-packed curriculum she got used to last year. Someone who makes us prouder with every moment than we could ever imagine.

She's standing on a stool at the kitchen sink...because she CAN.

She’s standing on a stool at the kitchen sink…because she CAN.

Her first official day back-to-school is tomorrow, so today Ben has taken the day off and we are spending one last day of routine-less freedom enjoying the quiet and excitement, doing fun things like laundry and playing Super Mario on Ben’s old Nintendo 64 system. One last day of summer.

It’s also the last Tuesday following Labour Day that we won’t have to go to school. Next year, Lillian will be the Junior Kindergarten student with an appointment on the Tuesday and Sophie will be in Grade 1 full-time-all-the-time right from the hop and our life will look entirely different again.

The girls learning about the merits of each Disney princess. Hitting the books early.

The girls learning the merits of each Disney princess. Hitting the books early.

We’ve already started working with Lillian’s speech therapist about the ramp up and transition to school next year. We’re considering this time, this final year when Lillian is a child of classless freedom, as the sprint to school, the final leg in a race we’ve been running since she was born, one that was punctuated with hearing aids at 4 months old, a cochlear implant at 13 months old, and amazing us with her smarts and tenacity THE WHOLE TIME.

So beautiful and awesome. Makes my heart hurt.

So beautiful and awesome. Makes my heart hurt.

I can’t even begin to think about this fella starting school.

Isaac is helping do laundry...with his TEETH.

Helping do laundry…with his TEETH.

The thought of being home alone with him next year is already wigging me out. I oscillate between worry about not being interesting enough for him alone at home and excited for all of the free time I’ll have during his naps in the afternoon. (Do I watch The Social or write my novel or nap…decisions, decisions!)

For today, though, the focus is on being in this moment, this last gasp of vacation and summer sun, of lazy days and schedule-free living. Today is about silliness and family-ness.

LOVE this man.

LOVE this man.

It’s about being kind and being slow and relishing in now, because tomorrow starts early and ends late and is the beginning of the next leg of our journey.

Selfie in PJs! SO sexy.

Selfie in PJs! SO sexy.

Because today is one last day, and we’re going to summer vacation the crap out of it!

To all those going back, good luck! Have fun! BE SAFE! And look for us tomorrow as we join your ranks again.

~ Julia