September 2010


I’ve given you dinner muffins and midnight muffins, I would classify these as afternoon muffins.  I imagine them going perfectly with a cup of lightly spiced chai.  However, not a one ours was consumed during what I consider the “tea time” hours between 2-4pm.  The batch of six came out of the oven right before dinner, and by lunch time the next day, Tim and I had eaten all of them.  Given that statement, and the fact that this is the third muffin post on this blog, one might reasonably consider that we eat a lot of muffins around here, but its not true.  Perhaps its the rapid muffin consumption that ensues after a batch comes out of the oven that scares me off, especially when most recipes make a full dozen cupcake sized quick breads.  Or is it the thought of washing out each of those little cups?  In any case, less than 24 hours after the first taste of these, we are fresh out and I have plans to whip up another batch.   They are THAT GOOD.  They are moist, fluffy and sweet, with an ingredient list that won’t scare you off.  Even if you double it.

I was inspired by a recipe in a baby food book, of all places.  The author is English, and I was worried these would be too bland without the addition of spice.  I tried it first without, and found them to be plenty flavorful.  You might want to try them with a touch of cinnamon, cardamom, cloves, ginger, etc., but they are delicious as written.  You can also adapt the dried fruits to what you have laying around, but I would stick to the sweet ones (raisins, dates, figs, apricots, prunes) and avoid the sour (cranberries, cherries, blueberries), especially if you adjust the spice.

Afternoon Muffins (adapted from The Healthy Baby Meal Planner)

  • 1/2 cup almonds
  • 1/2 cup whole wheat flour
  • 1 tsp baking powder
  • 1/8 tsp baking soda
  • 1/4 tsp salt
  • 1/4 cup sugar
  • 1/3 cup plain yogurt
  • 1/4 cup oil
  • 1 egg
  • 1/2 tsp vanilla extract
  • 3 Tbsp raisins
  • 3 dried apricots
  • 3 dried dates
  1. Preheat oven to 350F (325F convection), coat the cups of a half dozen muffin tin with cooking spray.
  2. Grind almonds to a powder, being careful not to make almond butter.  I used the blender with pulses and got there in about 30 seconds.
  3. Whisk to combine ground almonds, flour, baking powder, soda, salt and sugar in a bowl.
  4. If you still have your blender out, briefly wizz together the yogurt, oil, egg and vanilla.
  5. Add the wets to the dries and stir to combine. Do not over mix.
  6. Chop the fruits to similar sized pieces.  I went for half a raisin size.  Toss them with a bit of flour to separate and fold into the batter.
  7. Fill up the cups to the brim – these make big muffins.  Bake 15-18 minutes, until golden brown. (The second batch, pictured, overcooked a bit – get them out on time for maximum moisture)
  8. Cool 10 minutes in the tin, then remove and cool completely on a rack.  If you started these after lunch, there just might be one or two left for tea time with a quiet cup of tea (tea time = nap time around here!).
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Today, Miles went from vegan to lacto-vegetarian.

I’m not sure that is an accurate statement since he was on an all-milk diet until he started solids at 6 months.  Anyhow, today he tried a little (cow’s milk) yogurt and loved it!

Saying Miles loved something this week is not really saying much.  He has been hoovering up whatever is put on a spoon in front of him for the last 4 days, effectively tripling his solid foods intake (and output, but this is a food post, and we don’t talk about that at the table).  For a few days before that I had been feeling lethargic and dehydrated, and finally realized it was from his mounting appetite.  In addition to the ever popular fruits and veg, I brought back some foods that were rejected before, like rice cereal.  I knew he was really hungry when he ate 20 spoonfuls of that stuff plain AFTER breakfast the other day.  I think he’s in the middle of some kind of growth spurt, and Tim and I feel like we’re being eaten out of house and home (with a couple ounces of baby food – wait until he’s 13!!).

As a self-proclaimed foodie, feeding Miles has been super fun for me.  I love to see his reactions to different tastes and textures.  I’m looking forward to the day when he wants to stand on a chair at the counter and help cook.

Foods he’s tried: banana, avocado, sw potato, carrot, spinach, oatmeal, pears, mango, papaya, brown rice, millet, pumpkin, green beans, white potato, fresh young (impressionable) coconut, yogurt

Up this month: tofu, prunes, almonds, broccoli, apricot, apple, cantelope, tahini

What a month!  Miles is growing, learning and developing at an astounding rate.  He keeps me on my toes, for sure – this boy does not sit still!

Highlights from this month:

  • Tooth Count: 2. Both bottom front teeth are in.  Neither was easy, and there’s lots to come!
  • Communication.  No real words yet, but he is vocalizing like crazy.  A shrill A-baba! means I am going to get that!  We also get lots of gaga.., baba.., haha…, and occasionally a dada and when he is crying mama is the first sound he’ll make.  He also learned to wave bye-bye.  For a week he was staring at his hand open-close-open-close, then we realized what he was trying to say.  Now he waves bye-bye to Tim when he goes to work.  There are a lot of other “signs” going on, nothing formal, but he will push things away that he doesn’t want, and kind of has a “yes” response in very excited jumping.
  • Mobility.  Hands and knees crawling started this month, and then picked up speed to where he is really, really moving along now, following me around the apartment and even going to explore rooms on his own.  He doesn’t like the grass on his knees, so outdoors he executes a hands and feet bear-crawl.  He is up on the furniture cruising around, and if he can get his hands up, he tries to kick up his leg to climb.  He’s been unsuccessful to this point, but its a sneak preview of what’s coming.  He also got an opportunity to climb stairs at a friend’s place (we have none in our apartment) and shimmied up with a CBS quickness.  His movements have become more graceful and confident, up/down from standing especially.
  • Food!  Miles loves his fruits and veg, but not so much onto the grains yet.  Not sure I would be either with mush cereals though.  Favorites are banana, sweet potato, papaya, pear and spinach. He tried a bit of finger food, and used the technique of smashing the potatoes onto his hand and then licking it off.  I guess that works.  We are still nursing every 2-4 hours, but Miles gets 3 meals of solid food a day of 2-3 different foods.
  • Sleep.  Ah, sleep, how my standards for a good night have gone from one end to the other and back these last 8 months.  He is now semi-consistently going to bed at 7pm and up at 6am with one wakeup around 3am.  This means that we can go out!  We have had 2 date nights now, where our amah (maid/nanny) Suzi stayed at the house while he slept.  We’re planning to set it up as a regular thing.   There are 2 naps during the day, at 8am and 2pm, totaling 3 hours if we are lucky.
  • Random.  Elimination communication continues with about 75% success rate of catching solids in the toilet…separation anxiety is rough, I just hope for a solo trip to the bathroom…went from loving the bath to hating it to loving it again…LOVES stories and songs…learned to blow raspberries on my belly (I do it all the time to him) – so so cute…is super interested in the refrigerator and the freezer, makes a beeline every time they are opened…doesn’t cry in the stroller any more!!…making friends slowly, but still misses all his friends and family at home like crazy!

Make that Foosballer…

I think every parent’s baby album is full of pictures of (at least their first born) holding a football, camera, whisk, beer, coffee cup or multimeter in the hopes that one day they can look back and say, “See, we knew you would be a {fill in the blank}”.  Or, if you come from our family, “We knew you would be a software developer!”  My recent experience with Miles has been that he will certainly grow up to be one of the following: electrician, plumber, launderer, horticulturalist or garbage man.  I would add super-taster to the list, but based on the items he places in his mouth, it appears his palate is not very discerning.

I recently emailed almost everyone in my address book with our new contact information.  To avoid major spammage, I will not be posting it on the blog.  If for some unforeseen reason you were not included on that email and would like our info, please send me a message and I will update you with our phone & snail mail contacts.  Sorry I missed you!

Great news about Miles’ little second cousin and his momma – Amy is going home on Tuesday, and Jacob is off the ventilator and opened his little eyes.  Hello, world!  Thank you all for your thoughts and prayers!

My cousin delivered their third child, Jacob Henri, this morning.   He was born extremely prematurely, just 25 weeks  and 3 days gestation, after a very difficult pregnancy.  Please keep them in your thoughts and prayers.

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