It's a brand new year. It comes shiny and packaged, like a Christmas present, leaving me wondering what kind of surprises lay ahead. I know that I want what I had last year, only more so. I want family dinners, with casual conversation and funny anecdotes. I want lazy Sunday breakfasts in pajamas. I want late night snacks and movies, moshed together on the couch, under a comfy quilt. I'd like Birthday cakes and everyday cakes, both with candles and wishes. I want comfort food when my family needs band aids and respites from the inevitable bumps in the road. And celebratory meals with friends crowded around makeshift tables and big laughs from little children. I want contentment, with a scoop of ice cream on the side and a cherry on top.
So here's what I resolve to do this year:
Stay healthy. No diets, just healthful foods (and treats, too) and lots of running (half-marathon or full?) and fun family exercising like tennis, ice skating, swimming, bike-riding, and hide and go seek. Maybe I should sign up for fencing with West.
Stay happy. Take a good long look at my charges when they are sleeping, every night. Listen to their stories, even if its the 179th time that West wants to tell me about a scene from Star Wars. Never skip dessert, unless it is Fruitcake. Play Trivial Pusuit with my parents, who incidentally clean my clock everytime. Take the charges to New York to see their Oma and Opa, on their turf. Tell my nieces and nephews why I love them. And I really do adore each and every one of them. Write secret notes to the Quiet Man, especially during church, since it reminds me of when we were dating and why I knew I'd be no good without him. Keep blogging and strive to be worth of my readers.
Stay sane. I need a little help with this one, since I'm starting with a deficit. Ask for help when I can't do everything. Refuse late papers from students, unless they have a really, really, really good excuse. Telephone my sisters, since they are my free psychologists. Go through the drive thru at Del Taco when dinner seems impossible. They actually have pretty good cheese quesadillas, don't they? Don't let myself get so busy that I don't have time to be spontaneously kind. Laugh in the face at perfection, and embrace imperfection.
And now, to share with my dear readers, the first recipe of 2010. Here's a scrumptious, yet better for you Chocolate Buttermilk Muffin, partially in celebration of the second year anniversary of my online Baking Club "Tuesdays with Dorie," and partly in celebration of a new year. May it bring you much peace, happiness, sanity, and chocolate. Hopefully all together.
Better for You Chocolate Buttermilk Muffins
Notes: These are fantastic warm and fresh from the oven. They are every bit as yummy as a full fat cupcake.
Estimated Cost:$1.50 for six
1/2 cup semi-sweet chocolate chips
2 tablespoons butter
1/3 cup buttermilk
1/4 cup sugar
1 egg white
1 teaspoon vanilla
1/2 cup whole wheat flour
1/3 cup all purpose flour
1/2 teaspoon baking soda
1/8 teaspoon salt
1/4 cup additional chocolate chips, optional
powdered sugar, optional
Preheat oven to 400 degrees. In a medium microwaveable bowl, melt chips and butter. Stir until smooth. Add buttermilk and stir well. Add sugar, egg white, and vanilla. In a separate bowl, combine flours, soda, and salt. Add to chocolate mixture and stir VERY GENTLY, until just combined. Fold in additional chips, if using. Line a muffin pan with six muffin liners and divide batter between cups. Bake for about 20 minutes, or until puffed and firm to the touch. Sprinkle with powdered sugar, if desired and serve warm.
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