June 30th, 2014
Holy bananas. (Or, uh, cherries?) We’ve been home from our trip to Paris and Italy for 4 nights and every single one has been a terrible sleep. As in being greeted at 3 a.m. with, “Good morning mama, I can’t sleep. It’s morning, right?” The good news is that I think tonight’s going to be a good one. The bad is that it comes just in time for our new camp schedule. You know, the one where one of us has to be out the door with one kid at 7:45 a.m. while the other one leaves at 8 a.m. take the other kid in a totally different direction.
Yea, that one.
I’ve prepared as much as I can. Backpacks are stuffed with towels, swimsuits and lots of other labeled shit (do you guys label each sock?). Lunches are prepped. Water bottles are stationed by the sink, ready to be filled. And so it will be every Monday through Friday for the next 5 weeks. It isn’t fun (for me), but with thoughtful preparation it is manageable. I wish I could say I felt the same about getting a healthy breakfast into my boys before we walk out the door.
You guys probably remember that back in March I took control over breakfast. I learned about how to choose a healthy cereal, what makes a better breakfast food, and created a healthy breakfast meal plan that limited cereal to 3 days a week. It’s been going great, but I’m a little bit worried about keeping it up with this new schedule. Yet, again, preparation will be the key.
For this week, I’ve prepped smoothie packets and have granola and yogurt ready to go. I also baked a batch of Sweet Cherry Muffins with Coconut Crumble since I suspect that on-the-go breakfasts are going to take on new meaning. And, of course, I hard boiled a dozen eggs. Can’t go without them.
That should carry me through this week. Then only 4 more to go.
What’s your summer schedule like these days and how has it impacted your breakfast and morning routine?
Sweet Cherry Muffins with Coconut Crumble
Makes 1 dozen full-sized muffins
(Can be shared with kids 10+ mos)*
2 3/4 cups all-purpose flour, divided
1/2 cup sugar
1 tablespoon baking powder
3/4 teaspoons kosher salt
1/4 teaspoon ground cardamom (optional)
1 egg, beaten
1 cup milk
1/4 cup butter, melted & slightly cooled
1/2 teaspoon vanilla extract
1 cup fresh, pitted, chopped cherries (cut into quarters)
3/4 cup shredded, sweetened coconut
2 tablespoons light brown sugar
6 tablespoons cold unsalted butter, cut into pieces
1. Preheat oven 400 degrees F. Line a 12-cup muffin tin with paper or silicone muffin cups and set aside. In a medium bowl, whisk together 2 cups of flour, sugar, baking powder, salt and cardamom.
2. In a separate bowl, combine egg, milk and butter. Add the wet ingredients to the dry and mix gently with a wooden spoon until well combined.
3. Gently fold chopped cherries into the batter and set aside.
4. To make the coconut crumble topping (which is optional; these muffins are great even without it), combine coconut, remaining 3/4 cup of flour and brown sugar. Add cold butter pieces to the bowl and, using a pastry cutter or your hands, work the butter into the dry ingredients until it becomes the consistency of coarse sand. Some clumps will be larger, which is okay.
5. Spoon batter into muffin cups, filling them about 3/4 of the way. Generously sprinkle the crumble topping over the muffin batter, dividing it evenly. Place muffins in the oven and bake for about 20 minutes or until a toothpick inserted into the center of the muffin comes out clean. Remove muffins from the oven and allow to cool in the pan for 10 minutes, then remove them from the pan and allow them to finish cooling on a rack.
*Note: While there is nothing in these muffins that is unsafe for younger eaters, I recommend them starting at 10+ months due to the relatively high sugar content. No matter what age your eaters, be sure to serve age appropriate portions. Even just a 1/2 muffin goes a long way with wee ones.