Wednesday, September 12, 2007

What Do Bears Eat?

Is it Wednesday already!! I am really off schedule this week. Hopefully things will settle down into a regular routine soon. In the meantime, I have a yummy muffin recipe to share. My daughter made these muffins this past weekend and I quickly got a photograph before they disappeared. This was her first attempt at solo baking. Well, I did coach her a little, she is only 8, and she used a recipe I made up several years ago and always turns out well. And there is an "art" to cooking!

Kiddo was inspired to do some cooking because nutrition is part of her studies in science at the moment. She got the idea to relate her culinary experiments to the theme of her movie of choice for our movie night. When she finishes a row on her reading log she gets rewarded by choosing a movie to rent. Last weekend it was Brother Bear 2. So what do bears eat? Blueberries, of course.

Blueberry Citrus Muffins - makes 12

With whisk mix:
1 egg
1 cup orange juice
1/4 cup melted butter (cooled)
1 tsp. vanilla
1/4 cup granulated sugar
2 1/2 tsp. baking powder
1/2 tsp. salt

With spoon stir in:
2 cups flour
1 cup blueberries
*do not over mix*

Bake in greased or paper lined muffin pan at 400F for 25 minutes

I was really proud of her not only for coming up with a great idea but also for her enthusiasm for baking. Because of her food allergy, learning to cook and bake for herself will go a long way to empower her all her life, more than just being self sufficient. She already knows more about nutrition and reading food labels than most kids her age should know. She knows that the complete information isn't always on the label and that sometimes you have to call the company to find out exactly what is or isn't in a product. She knows that peanut is overly prevalent in the food industry - even to the point of being in some kinds of orange juice - so that you can't take anything for granted. And she is very aware of issues with cross-contamination in manufacturing processes.

The hardest part for her is when she is singled out because of her food allergy. Everyone gets the same treat at the party except her, she gets the special "safe" treat. If you know of a child with a food allergy please keep this in mind. The parents are not exaggerating and they are always correct in their requests and should be respected. Class or party treats should be the same and safe for everyone. These kids with food allergies know what they face in the world of processed food, restaurants and baked goods and really don't need any more "this is real life" lessons. How would you want your child treated? Okay. Done with my rant now. Please enjoy the muffins while I get back to making art now.

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