Wednesday, August 3, 2011

This I know.

A shout out to all 3 week olds!
I'm not really sure what day it is, I have lost all track of time.  I'm not quite certain when I can stop changing my spit up covered outfits each day and when the permanent smell of sour milk will stop following me around.  I'm embarrassed to say that I don't remember what happened between the 1am and 4am feeding and how we managed to survive sleeping together on the couch with Charlie remaining in one place.  I'm realizing how much I've forgotten in the two years since we introduced a newborn to our home and I have learned to just take this all as a new experience. 
At the same time, there are some things that I am quite certain about.  I am beyond confident that I love every moment of this.  From the frantic moments when every member of this house is crying to the tender moments of Charlie sleeping on my chest.  I feel much more secure in knowing who I am as a mother - what to worry about and what to let go of.  It is a more peaceful experience this way.  I also know the little things that I didn't the first time around, like how soothe him, the importance of sneaking in some time to rest and avoid overdoing it in the beginning.  (I know these things and I am trying really hard to put them into practice, though if I find a mother that has perfected this, I'd like to know her secret!)
And all sentimental things aside, the one important thing that is most overlooked is how hungry you are when you are breastfeeding.  Seriously, nobody told me this.  I though that I must have some mysterious tapeworm in those first few weeks with Julia.  This time around, I decided to equip myself with the essential components of any breastfeeding mother's (or postpartum mother in general) kitchen: protein and easy accessible snacks.  Hummus is a favorite in our house.  Despite the frenzy in our home, I am probably making a new batch of hummus every 3 days here.  I use this recipe from Cooking Light.  It is pretty easy - just throw it all together and blend (I usually add cumin too). 
The other "regular" in our kitchen are a good batch of muffins.  Not just any muffins.  I call them breastfeeding muffins.  No, they're not made with breastmilk, but they are made with a combination of all of the great ingredients that keep me full for more than 10 minutes.  The secret?  They're made with ricotta, which packs in the protein and makes them super moist and chewy.  These muffins are the best ever.  You don't have to be a breastfeeding mother to enjoy these (yes, you can change the name)!  Julia loves them and we have had them on hand for our many visitors passing through - all agree that they are quite delicious. If you know a new mom and want to bake something for the family, this recipe is a good option!

Here you go:
Peach-Vanilla Ricotta Muffins
(AKA - Breastfeeding Muffins)
from Molly Katzen's Sunlight Cafe - Moosewood Cookbook
a great cookbook!

2 cups unbleached alll-purpose flour
1/2 tsp salt
1 1/2 tsp baking powder
1/8 tsp baking soda
1 Tblsp grated lemon zest
1/2 to 2/3 cup sugar
1 cup ricotta cheese
1 cup buttermilk
2 large eggs
1 Tblsp fresh lemon juice
1 Tblsp plus 1/2 tsp vanilla extract
1/2 stick unsalted butter (melted)
1/2 cups fresh peaches diced (you can use any fruit)

1. Preheat oven to 350, lightly spray muffin tin.
2. Combine flour, salt, baking powder, baking soda, lemon zest and sugar in a medium bowl
3. Place th ricotta in a second medium sized bowl and beat in the buttermilk.  Add the eggs one at a time, beating well with a whisk after each addition.  Whisk in the lemon juice and vanilla.
4. Pour the ricotta mixture, along with the melted butter and the peaches in to the dry ingredients.  Using a spatula, stir from the bottom until the dry ingredients are moistened (do not overmix).
5. Spoon the batter into the muffin cups - usually makes about 12 large muffins.
6. Bake for 20-25 minutes or until lightly browned on top.  Remove the pan from the oven , then remove each muffin and place on a cooling rack.  Wait 30 minutes before serving. 


Happy 3 weeks Charlie-bear!  I can hardly keep up with your growing self!

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