Today is the last day of our play and tomorrow I have to get out there and finish up for Christmas. I’m honestly way behind this year but I’m not going to stress out about it because honestly that really won’t help. And when my daughter Kirsten and my new “son-in law” (I love saying that) Eigo get here late Monday evening after work, what I get accomplished will be perfect for them. Besides, they love to help and will both pitch in and do whatever needs to be done! Actually, that’s more fun anyway.
Also, I just got off the phone with my son, Sean, who is spending the holidays in India! During his travels this past month, he has been able to meet up with one of his friends from college (Trinity College) who is from India and now home with her family. They have welcomed him into their home and he said they are taking the most wonderful care of him. He said his experience living in India these past few months has been phenomenal and has wonderful stories and pictures to share when he returns next April. Next month he heads off to Cambodia to learn how to clean the coral reefs! This will be his first Christmas, in 23 years, away from home!
Well, he and I did spend one Christmas together in France — literally on the on the Eiffel Tower – which was an amazing and beautiful experience for me, when he was going to school in Scotland, but we were together! We will miss him but know he is in a good place.
So, I wanted to share two baking tips for muffins or any baking you may have coming up.
Tip Number 1: Silicone Muffin Pans. If you haven’t tried these types of trays or loaf pans don’t wait any longer. After your muffins are baked, to get them out of the tray, all you need to do is bend the tray back and with a bit of a push from the bottom out pops the muffin. How easy is that! Not sticking and breaking apart your beautiful muffin. If they occasionally want to cling a bit, use a small plastic spatula (you don’t want to risk cutting the silicone with anything metal or sharp). The best part? They clean up very easily and are dishwasher safe.
Tip Number 2: If you are trying to cut back on, or avoid eating processed sugar all together; when making a recipe that calls for sugar and water try this to totally replace the sugar: Take 5 pitted Medjool dates, covered generously with water and soaked overnight. Blend to rich paste in small food processor 1/2 cup of water from the soaked dates. The amount described here will replace ½ cup sugar and ½ cup of water. If your recipe calls for different amounts, adjust accordingly.
Seriously, anytime you can switch out a “processed sugar” of any kind for a whole food alternative — especially dates, please do so. It’s worth the “experiment” and the I truly believe the taste is so much richer and of course healthy! Dates are high in calcium, magnesium and potassium as well as Vitamin A and they are non-fat!
So, until then,