Picture the Memories – Recipe: Brownie Muffins

 

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I have always taken a lot of pictures of my littles, even before I started this blogging journey.  While Sean has often made fun of the amount of pictures that I take, he loves looking back at them and smiling.  Even though we have a digital scrapbook in our minds, it is great to also have one on paper, as well.

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Because, try as we might, there are moments that we forget until we are reminded of it by a picture, which is why a picture is worth a thousand words.  Even though I am not the best photographer and do not have the latest and greatest camera, it does not matter.  I know that I will always look back and enjoy every single picture that I have taken of my babies.

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Yesterday, as I was picking Gabriel up at his classroom for his book fair, Summer obeyed and was waiting patiently outside of the classroom.  Given that she is always so excited to see her brothers at school, she often just busts into the classroom to run and give them kisses.  I asked her to wait at the door yesterday, and she did.  When Gabriel saw her, he knew that she looked sad, and he simply said, “Summer, are you okay?  Do you need a kiss?”  I did not get to capture the first shot, but I did get to capture the second one.  It was sincere and genuine, just a sweet moment between a big brother and his little sister.  While it was not a big event, it is one of those pictures that I definitely want to look back at and remember that sweet, enduring, loving moment of true sibling love.

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And, as they walked down the hall, Summer was beaming as her biggest brother held her hand.  While there is nothing that I can do to ensure that they will all always be close, I can enjoy it now, encourage it always, and capture the pictures that will last forever.  And, of course, hope and pray that the love that they all feel for each other now will continue, will last, will see them through all of the big and small moments in life.

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Which is exactly what I try to do when I am baking.  I do it because I enjoy it, because we enjoy it, because others enjoy it.  I love doing something so simple that leads to so much pleasure, even if it is just for a moment.  When I was planning my menu of what to make the staff and teachers at our school, I was trying to remember what I knew about all of them because I wanted them to feel special, to feel loved…because they are.  Gabriel’s 2nd grade teacher loves these chocolate muffins.  I created them into mini muffins yesterday because I wanted the recipe to make more so that everyone could enjoy them.  I was so happy when I was in the break room when she walked in.  Even though I did not have my camera, I will remember her scanning the table and being able to tell her that I made the mini muffins for her.  I will remember her hug of appreciation, just as I will remember everything that she did for my sweet oldest boy in 2nd grade.

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Brownie Muffins

Brownie Muffins

My sister originally found this recipe in Cuisine at Home magazine. When she brought a warm one over to me, I thought that it was the best thing that I had ever tasted in my life. Seriously. Since then, I have been making them for my family and friends to enjoy.

Ingredients

2 cups semisweet chocolate chips

10 tablespoons butter

4 large eggs, lightly beaten

3/4 cup sugar

1 teaspoon vanilla extract

1/4 teaspoon table salt

1 cup all-purpose flour

1 cup milk chocolate chips

1 cup walnuts or pecans, chopped, optional

Additional milk or peanut butter or white chocolate chips, optional

Instructions

  1. Preheat oven to 350.
  2. Line 12 muffin cups or 36 mini muffin cups with liners.
  3. Melt semisweet chocolate chips and butter together in a large bowl in the microwave for 1 minute. Stir, microwave another minute, and stir again.
  4. Repeat until mixture is smooth. It only took two minutes in my microwave.
  5. Cool slightly.
  6. Whisk together eggs, sugar, vanilla and salt.
  7. Add the egg mixture to the cooled chocolate mixture, whisking to combine.
  8. Fold in flour, just until incorporated.
  9. Add milk chocolate chips and nuts (optional).
  10. Fill prepared cups and top each with additional chips.
  11. Bake regular muffins for 20 minutes or mini muffins for 10 minutes.
  12. Remove from the pan and cool on a rack.
http://cookingformykids.com/2011/12/06/picture-the-memories-recipe-brownie-muffins/

Enjoy!  And, remember to always let your family and friends know how much you love them – take a picture, draw a picture, send a card, or make them these delicious muffins.

We love you, Mrs. Travis!

I shared this recipe at Delicious Dinners.

Monday Goodness – Recipe: Mini Pumpkin Muffins

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I have decided that there are critical steps to take in order to have a good Monday.

1.  Wake up and ignore the puffy eyes. Puffy eyes only make me want to go back to sleep.  Ignoring puffy eyes makes me think that maybe they went away for awhile.

2.  Watch the older littles ride scooters before school.

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3.  Read some of my favorite blogs to get inspired.  Blogs such as this (awesome bundt caking), this (pumpkin pancakes, oh my!), this (beautiful oatmeal cookies), and this (frito chili pie) always do the trick.

4.  Do crafts with my girl, using ideas from my Crafts board on Pininterest.  We had fun with the bubble stamping, which I found here.

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5.  Read a book and do a fun craft after the main character.  I found the idea here.

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6.  Watch my girl smile with pure delight as she continues to paint.  She is inspired on this Monday, too!

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7.  Instead of getting discouraged, give myself a peptalk about how I can figure out all of the things – Facebook, Twitter, etc. – that are so new to me.  Seeing this cute little face helps…because she does not care how technologically savvy her mom is.

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8.  Create some Fall-inspired cookies.  While they did not turn out exactly as I had hoped, they are almost there.  And, I will keep trying.

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9.  Receive some hand-picked flowers from the yard, from my girl.

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10.  Dream of cooler weather, trick-or-treating, and lazy days with a cup of tea and these mini pumpkin muffins.

Mini Pumpkin Muffins

Mini Pumpkin Muffins

Ingredients

1/2 cup brown rice flour

1/2 cup white rice flour

1/2 cup tapioca flour

1 1/4 cups granulated sugar

1 teaspoon baking powder

1/2 teaspoon baking soda

1/2 teaspoon xanthan gum

1/2 teaspoon salt

1 teaspoon cinnamon

1/4 teaspoon cloves

1/2 teaspoon nutmeg

1 cup canned pumpkin

1/3 cup vegetable oil

2 large eggs

1 teaspoon vanilla

Instructions

  1. Preheat oven to 350. Put mini liners in mini muffin cups.
  2. Whisk together pumpkin, oil, eggs, and vanilla.
  3. In a separate bowl, mix together flours, sugar, baking soda, baking powder, salt, xanthan gum, and spices.
  4. Add the pumpkin mixture to the flour mixture, and mix until combined.
  5. Using a cookie scoop, add a scoop of the batter to each of the muffin cups.
  6. Bake for 14 minutes.
http://cookingformykids.com/2011/09/26/monday-goodness-recipe-mini-pumpkin-muffins/

I frosted them with this frosting.  Enjoy!

I shared this recipe at The CSI Project, Life as Mom, and Gooseberry Patch.

Visit thecsiproject.com

Baking to Remember – Recipe: Pumpkin Muffins

I am sure that everyone knows where they were on September 11, 2001.  I was sitting at work when a co-worker came in to tell me that a plane had just flown into a building in New York City.  I instantly started looking on my computer while calling my husband at work, just a few buildings away.  Within minutes, the televisions were on, and it became very clear that it was more than just an accident.  I remember going home early, not knowing how to process what had just happened.  In the next few days, I remembered even more.

I remember firefighters who went above and beyond, while proudly showing the colors that let everyone know that we might be bruised…but we would not let this break us.

I remember a President who, amidst his grief, remained strong for our Nation.

I remember a school who captured the Nation with its dedication to remembering, its belief in standing together to heal.

I remember a wife who knew on that day that I wanted to be a mom.  I know that it was a crazy time to decide that, but I just knew.  I knew that I wanted little people in my life, little people who would always give me a reason to always stay strong, to always stay filled with hope, to always love to a capacity that I did not even know was possible.  We moved in with my in-laws the very next month because we wanted to be ready when the perfect house became available, the perfect home to start a family, to welcome a baby.  We did finally find the perfect house, and we moved into it in the middle of June, Father’s Day weekend.  We found out that Gabriel was in my belly on July 1.  I remember that day like it was yesterday.

Today, I bake to remember.  I bake because i love it.  I bake because I want my children to always remember September 11, to always know what it meant to our nation, what it meant to me.  I told my littles this morning that I knew 10 years ago today that I wanted to be a mommy.  I knew it then, and I still remember it now.

God bless America.  God bless the men and women who fight the daily battle to keep us safe, to keep us free, to give us hope as we remember a day when someone tried to take it away from us.

Pumpkin Muffins

Pumpkin Muffins

Ingredients

1/2 cup brown rice flour

1/2 cup white rice flour

1/2 cup tapioca flour

1 1/4 cups granulated sugar

1 teaspoon baking powder

1/2 teaspoon baking soda

1/2 teaspoon xanthan gum

1/2 teaspoon salt

1 teaspoon cinnamon

1/4 teaspoon cloves

1/2 teaspoon nutmeg

1 cup canned pumpkin

1/3 cup vegetable oil

2 large eggs

1 teaspoon vanilla

Instructions

  1. Preheat oven to 350. Put liners in muffin cups.
  2. Whisk together pumpkin, oil, eggs, and vanilla.
  3. In a separate bowl, mix together flours, sugar, baking soda, baking powder, salt, xanthan gum, and spices.
  4. Add the pumpkin mixture to the flour mixture, and mix until combined.
  5. Using an ice cream scoop, add a scoop of the batter to each of the muffin cups.
  6. Bake for 18 minutes.
http://cookingformykids.com/2011/09/11/baking-to-remember-recipe-pumpkin-muffins/

I frosted them with this frosting.

Enjoy, remember, bake, love!