Friday, May 13, 2011

Victoria’s Secret and the Blueberry Muffins

Well, the anxiety is over…I feel more at Namaste as I finally ordered the dreaded bathing suit…or suits I should say.  It was difficult, but I persevered.  I got them from none other than… Victoria Secret.  Ah, I can almost feel my sisters cringing out there.  I hear your cries of indignation.  “How could you do that? With all of your anxiety about bathing suits, how could you sit there, viewing all those bodacious, size 0, 36D, bombshells without breaking down and plunging your head in a mountainous bowl of ice cream?”  I hear you and I agree.  It was rather daunting looking at all those lascivious women, which is why I methodically and rationally switched over to ER mode.
I experienced ER mode three years ago when Ari tripped and fell on the concrete at the pool.  He gashed his forehead and had a huge egg sized, hematoma like bump.  Off to the ER we went, blood spurting all over my clothes, a howling child and a very green-looking husband.   Ultimately, I knew Ari was safe, and that his gash was repairable and it’s not that I wasn’t worried, but I needed to be in control since my husband seriously looked like he was going to throw up.
Going into ER mode is like having an out of body experience.  It feels as if you’re floating above the surface and becoming completely detached, which ultimately allows you to focus on the detail of the situation, rather than the emotional.  It took approximately four people to hold Ari down for stitches.  I commanded the front end where all the action was taking place while my husband handled the waist down.   Throughout Ari’s sad and pathetic howling, I stayed the course and focused on the process with laser beam attention. I watched the doctor, calmed my child, as I became very transfixed on needle and thread going through my kids forehead.  It’s defense mode. It kept me from becoming unhinged.  
The ER phenomenon is how I managed to order bathing suits.  I became completely detached from non-dimpled, size 22- inch waists, and other perky thing-like goddesses.  I focused on the bathing suits at hand and really forced myself to find an array of seemingly realistic styles. 
Now, here is how I know I have grown as a person with body issues.   Some of the colors/styles were on back order and wouldn’t be shipped until the end of June.  The old me would have just thrown my hands up and said…”Oh well, woe is me, guess I won’t be ordering a suit today.”  But  the new and improved, baby step me decided to stop the insanity. No more excuses.  It was now or never and if they didn’t have the suit in Eggplant, well, Wild Blueberry would have to suffice.    
Speaking of wild blueberry, (I'm switiching gears now and this is a great segue) today is the last day of Food Allergy Awareness Week.  Yesterday, I brought in some treats to the teachers in honor of FAAW.  I decided that it was my responsibility to communicate and educate…again, baby steps.  I left a basket of some amazing blueberry muffins along with a note informing the staff that these were in honor of FAAW, and that they were nut, egg and dairy free.
The best thing someone can say to you is either, “Wow, you look awesome and skinny in that suit,” or I can’t believe these are allergy free!”  Let’s review the latter because it actually happened.   I guess part of my long-term awareness plan is to eradicate stigma associated with food allergies. When an item that is allergy free tastes equivalent too, or is even better than its allergy counterpart, it slowly changes the way non-allergy people think about it and allergies in general.  It’s my way of being proactive, along with this blog, to help shape a new awareness/attitude in the long run.
 I was at the farmers market last week, and asked one of the bakery vendors if they made anything without eggs.  He sort of turned his nose up disdainfully and said…”No, not really, the stuff just doesn’t taste as good without it.”  “Well, you obviously haven’t tried my stuff.” I replied.  He laughed.   Glad he thought I was being funny.  I was actually being serious that time. I do have my moments afterall.
Therefore, in honor of Food Allergy Awareness Week, I am posting my blueberry muffin recipe along with some notes to help you tailor them to your needs.  I wish I could say I created this recipe by myself, but, alas, I modified it from the Food Allergy Mama’s Baking Book by Kelly Rudnicki.  Apparently, they were quite a hit with the teachers at Ari’s school.
 Maybe-I should send some to the models at Victoria’s Secret (haaaa, hahaa hahaha,she maniacally laughs).
 Have a great weekend; the muffins are a great Sunday morning crowd pleaser.
 Blueberry Muffins-Yields 12 muffins
  • 2 cups unbleached all purpose flour (to make it healthier you can use  Whole Wheat Pastry Flour entirely but the texture may be a bit grainier, or use 1 cup per flour)
  • 2/3 cup granulated sugar (I use Florida crystals and cut the sugar to ½.  Sometimes I use ¼ Sucanat ¼ crystals).
  • 1 TBSP wheat germ (totally optional- not in original recipe, but boosts nutrition factor.  If you do use wheat germ, then make sure to use half-half flours otherwise it becomes really dense…unless you like it that way).
  • 2 tsp. baking powder
  • ¼ tsp. salt ( I use sea salt)
  • 2/3 cup rice or soy milk (unsweetened)
  • ¼ canola oil
  • ½ tsp. lemon zest
  • 1 TBSP lemon juice
  • 1 TBSP water
  • 2 tsp. vanilla (she uses ½) make sure it good quality vanilla-makes an incredible difference
  • 1 cup fresh or frozen blueberries
Preheat oven to 400 degrees.
Line a 12-cup muffin pan with cupcake liners
In a medium bowl sift the flour, sugar, baking powder, and salt together and then use whisk to combine. In another medium bowl, combine the milk, canola oil, lemon zest, lemon juice, water and vanilla with a spatula.  Add the flour mixture to the milk mixture and stir with a rubber spatula until just combined.  DO NOT OVERMIX OR THEY WILL BECOME RUBBERY.
Lightly fold in berries with a rubber spatula.  Divide the batter evenly among the cupcake liners.  Sprinkle the tops with granulated Florida Crystals (or not, but they add a nice crunchy topping) and bake for 20 minutes or until toothpick comes out clean.
Cool for 3-4 minutes and remove onto a wire rack.

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