Bluebird Down

The pursuit of domestic bliss, one glorious debacle at a time.

Happiness is a Muffin Named Pumpkin October 24, 2010

Filed under: Cooking,Food,Tradition — Teri @ 7:32 pm

I’m waiting for my batch of pumpkin chocolate chip muffins to come out of the oven. Actually, I’m waiting on my crock pot chicken noodle soup to be done too. I’m looking forward to the muffins a little bit more though. These muffins were invented to be eaten in October. Great Harvest Bread Company makes awesome pumpkin chocolate chip muffins, but the calorie and fat content could sink a battleship. [Or make your butt look like the stern of a battleship.] Here’s the recipe that I modified from online:

Teri’s Kinda Healthy Pumpkin Dark Chocolate Chip Muffins

3/4 cup light brown sugar
1/4 cup apple sauce (less fat than oil!)
2 eggs
1 cup canned pumpkin (vitamins A, C & E!)
1/4 cup water
1 1/2 cup whole wheat flour (fiber!)
3/4 teaspoon baking powder
1/2 teaspoon baking soda
1/4 teaspoon ground cloves
1/2 teaspoon ground cinnamon
1/4 teaspoon sea salt (less sodium!)
1/4 teaspoon ground nutmeg
1/8 teaspoon of pumpkin pie spice (which you don’t really need since it’s really just a mixture of the other spices, but I had it and it felt right to use it)
1 cup dark chocolate chips, toss in 1/2 tablespoon of flour to keep from sinking to bottom of the muffins – shake off excess flour before mixing in (60% cacao makes the heart happy!)

Preheat oven to 375 and put liners in muffin pan.

Mix sugar, apple sauce and eggs. Add pumpkin and water. Mix all dry ingredients in separate bowl. Add dry mixture to wet mixture. Fold in chocolate chips.

Fill each muffin liner 2/3 full and bake for 20 minutes.

Yummy in the tummy, People.


730 Days Down, 14,600 Days to Go October 17, 2010

Filed under: Family,Marriage,Tradition — Teri @ 8:15 pm

Tomorrow is my anniversary. Zef and I have been married two years. I’ll give him another 40 years. [I’m not ashamed to admit that when I’m 79, I’m trading him in for a 30 year old.] Our marriage has been unique, to say the least. Out of 24 months, we’ve only lived together — strike that — been in the same country together for 10 weeks. Our marriage is conducted through email and Skype messages, and the occasional phone call with maddening static and sound delays. We’re still able to ask about each other’s days, go over plans for the house, talk about the news, laugh, get on each other’s nerves and say I love you.

Z sent roses to my office on Friday. He called shortly after they were delivered. After we hung up, I felt heartsick. I closed my office door and cried. Those are the moments when it feels like the loneliness permeates your entire being. Most days I just tuck it away and stay busy. Whether you like it or not, you have to dry your tears, open your office door and get on with your day.

For a while I wouldn’t do much socially because I felt guilty about having fun while Z was away. Yeah, I’m over that. And Z is OK with it. He already had a base of friends when we met. I had just moved here and didn’t know anyone. It’s taken a good while [I’m not the most outgoing girl] but now I have a base of friends that I love and rely on. They were with me this weekend and they were goofy and fun and lovable and I needed that.

In my ripe old age, and with two years of marriage to my credit, I hold this marriage truth to be self evident:

Love is nothing, nothing, nothing like they say. You gotta pick up the little pieces every day. ~ Liz Phair

As much as I love a good love story, I blame Hollywood for most girl’s unrealistic notion of how a relationship works. [Really, don’t get me started on the Twilight series.] The card attached to my roses read, “To my partner, my best friend.” He really couldn’t have written anything better. Marriage, I like to preach, is a partnership that has to be renewed every day — 50/50, my friend. And if it’s not 50/50, we’re renegotiating. Screw gender roles. Sure, this blog may be about my dalliances with domesticity, but don’t think Z doesn’t have his own monogrammed apron waiting for him when he gets home.

And, so far, I think we’re doing pretty good keeping up with our marriage vows:
I acknowledge my love for you
And invite you to share my life
As I hope to share yours.
I promise to walk by your side
To love, help and encourage you.
I vow to take time to share with you
To listen and care.
I will share your laughter and your tears
As your partner, lover and friend.

Happy anniversary, Z. I love you.