Chocolate-Bacon Mini Muffins!!

At the office, I'm a member of the department's Friday Morning Breakfast Club.  How does it work?  I'm glad you asked!

Each of the Breakfast Club members agrees to bring breakfast for the rest of the group twice during a two month cycle.  If you are a member of the group you get to enjoy the offerings every week.

So, today it was up to me, and my co-worker Carlie to supply breakfast to the department.  She brought a yummy cinnamon roll cake, and I brought chocolate-bacon mini muffins.  I found the recipe in the January/February issue of GRIT....

6 slices bacon
1 3/4 cups all-purpose flour
1/2 cup plus 2 T packed brown sugar
1/4 cup unsweetened natural cocoa
1 tsp baking powder
1 tsp baking soda
1/4 tsp salt
1 cup warm water
1/4 cup melted butter (or walnut oil)
1 T strong coffee
1 tsp Vanilla
1 large egg
3/4 cup semisweet chocolate mini chips, divided

1.  Pre-heat oven to 400 degrees.  Line muffin pans with paper liners, or spray with cooking spray.

2.  Fry bacon until done but not yet crispy.  Transfer to paper-towel lined plate and cool.  Once cool, chop into 1/4 inch pieces.  Set aside.

I used my trusty flat cast iron griddle.

3.  In large mixing bowl, combine flour, sugar, cocoa, baking powder, baking soda and salt.  Whisk together.

4. In separate bowl, combine water, oil, coffee, vanilla and egg.  Stir together.  Stir in 1/2 cup chocolate chips and half the bacon.

5. Add this mixture to flour mixture and stir just until moist.

6. Divide batter evenly among 12 regular muffin cups (or same amount of batter will make around 42 mini muffins).  Sprinkle remaining 1/4 cup chocolate chips and remaining bacon evenly over batter.

7. Bake for 15 minutes (around 10 for mini muffins - check your oven), or until toothpick comes out clean.  Cool for five minutes before serving.  Store leftovers (if you have any!) in refrigerator.

Before taking the muffins to work, I tried them out on my favorite test subject Baby Huck.  He loved his samples... all three of them!!

He was a big fan of the "CHOK-IT MUFFNS"!!
I took 40 mini muffins to work, and brought home two... so I think they were a success!!!


Thankful Thursday

In all things give thanks....

Today I am thankful for my little fellas.  They keep me busy, drive me crazy and generally make my life perfect and fantastic.  They are the lights of my life!  They are also growing up at an alarming rate, and it seems the old blog code names I'd given them (Little Guy and Baby Boy) are seriously outdated.

Therefore, some change is in order.  Introducing.....

Tom (formerly "Little Guy")

and Huck (formerly "Baby Boy")
not sure why this posted side ways.... just turn your computer.  :)


Egg-citing Fun!!

Little Guy goes to a small in-home daycare/pre-school. Usually the class has between 6 and 8 children but right now (because two families have recently moved away) there are only three. Since the class is so small right now, I decided that I'd be willing to try something different to take to their Easter party which was today (the Wednesday following Easter).

I found this clever idea in a recent issue of Disney's Family Fun magazine. The kids have been learning phonics and some sight words. They've been practicing 'word families' like the "AN" family includes the words fan, can, man, tan etc. I thought this project would be something that would go along nicely with what they are learning at school. Also she had asked that if we brought anything - it needed to be healthy. This final product included nothing edible, so no chance of unhealthy food! :)

Here's the Process...

I went to Wal Mart the day after Easter and picked up these cartons of candy eggs
and break apart plastic eggs.  I took out the candy, and raided my
colorful cardstock and scrapbook letter stickers...

Following the directions in a recent issue of Disney's Family Fun magazine
(If you have little ones, I think you might like this magazine) I went to work

Each carton held eight eggs.  Each egg had several single letter stickers on one side
of the "break" and on the other side a series of two or three letters that when
matched with the single letters formed a word.  The child can then twist the eggs for
word-building fun!

I made little signs for the top (again following the design in the magazine) and then we were done!
My Little Guy thought these were awesome, and his pre-school teacher loved them too since they weren't
filled with candy!! 

Don’t Start Without Me !!

"Little Guy" is now 4 1/2 
My parents will tell you, should you ask, that I was a precocious child. I was outgoing and talkative and on more than one occasion, brought them a certain amount of embarrassment. When I tell them that my two little ones (especially the oldest) are shaping up to be just like I was – they can’t hide their smiles.

One of my earliest memories (I would have been maybe four) was of sitting on the pew next to my Dad during a church board meeting. Who knows what they were discussing – the proposed purchase of a new piano, building maintenance, Bible School…I have no idea, but I do remember that I wasn’t all that impressed with the grown up talk…which is why I stood on the seat of the pew right next to my Dad and loudly proclaimed, “I know why they call this a board meeting. It’s BOORING!”
I know my Dad was mortified. I know this because God in His wisdom and with His divine sense of humor has blessed me with a child who is just as opinionated and noisy in church as his Mama was.

Our little church has a “children’s moment” every Sunday morning. This is a time when the little tykes can go up front and learn a very brief lesson from the minister. He teaches them something that is short and sweet but which helps them to feel that they are a part of the service. It’s really wonderful and my oldest LOVES it.  

One Sunday some weeks before last Christmas, the Pastor asked the kiddos what holiday was coming up. Instead of just answering “Christmas” as the other children were doing, mine walked to the top level of the stage, and began to belt out “Jingle Bells” at the top of his lungs.  

Another Sunday he and several other children were standing on the stage ready to sing a song they’d been practicing. Without encouragement of any kind, my little fellow took a big step forward, stretched his arms wide and loudly proclaimed, “LADIES AND GENTLEMEN, BOYS AND GIRLS!” The Sunday school teacher stopped him there, which I’m guessing was good. Who knows what kind of announcement he might have made? 

This past Sunday (Easter), I was kind of hoping that he wouldn’t notice it was time for the kids to go up front. The church was packed and we were wedged in the middle of a long pew. He did notice of course. Children were already arriving at the front when he looked at me anxiously, “Can I go Mom, please?” I nodded, and began to prepare myself mentally for whatever thing he was going to do. Its always ‘when’ and not ‘if’ with this boy. He pushed his way (as politely as a 4 and a half year old can) through the folks sitting next to us. Once he reached the aisle (keep in mind we were one pew away from the BACK of the church), he stopped and raised both hands. Waving them at the Pastor, he yelled as loudly as he could, “Don’t start without ME!” Everyone laughed as my little guy jogged to the front and plopped down directly in front of the minister, looking up at him with sparkling eyes.
Sometimes his antics embarrass me a little, but I won’t ever tell him that. I want him to approach life with the carefree and exuberant attitude he has for as long as he has it. He’ll have plenty of time to sit quietly as he grows older. Honestly his joy and innocent excitement is contagious.  Even when I have to shake my head and sigh, I'm pretty proud of my little sweetie.  After all, the Christy of 30 years ago would be running right behind him yelling "Don't start without ME!"  Sometimes I have to remind myself of that, but it is true. 

At this age, he doesn’t know any reason he should be shy or quiet.  You know what?  Neither do I.


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