My Daughter, the Baker

My daughter's delicious Chocolate Chip Banana Muffins.

Hooray! It’s winter break and my daughter is home from college. Back where she belongs. And you’re probably thinking, the reason I’m so ecstatic is because I’ve missed her and it’s so good to see her again, right? Well, That is part of it. A small part. Tiny, really. So you want to know the real reason I’m excited?

She’s baking again! Something she started doing when she was home last summer. She’s making all of our favorite cupcakes, cookies and muffins, including her famous Chocolate Chip Banana Muffins, which we devour as soon as they’re out of the oven.

In order to prepare for her return, we stop at the grocery store and purchase all the ingredients we figure she’ll need. Flour? Check. Baking soda? Check. Chocolate chips? Absolutely! The bananas are already in the kitchen, having been procured several days ago, in order to give them a chance to ripen.

We pick her up at the airport and greet her with open arms and kisses, too. My son carries her luggage to the car, and I catch her up on family news. Once home, we give her a chance to bond with Henry, of course. Based on his greeting—and hyper-tail wagging—he is also thrilled to have her back. Then comes the tricky part. Finding ways to coax her into the kitchen when all she’s craving is a little shut-eye; jet lag and cramming for exams can be tough, you know.

Henry goes wild with excitement that she's home.

While she’s filling us in on how exams went, we listen and nod, all the while slowly making our way into the kitchen. She soon notices the ingredients we’ve casually left out on the kitchen counter, which reminds her just how much she enjoys baking and also how much she’s missed it. We, in turn, tell her we’ve missed her baking, too, and love, love, love all the muffins and cupcakes that she bakes from scratch. Throw in, a little bit of guilt, and good dose of cajoling, and pretty soon she’s baking up a storm!

One of our favorites that she makes is Chocolate Chip Banana muffins, which can be found on the Allrecipes site.

Warm from the oven, they're yummy!

Only, she mixes it up by using a combination of semi-sweet and white chocolate chips. She’s also been known to substitute the white sugar for brown and that gives it a whole different taste. No matter how she bakes them, they always are yummy, especially warm from the oven.

Whatever she bakes, makes us happy. And having her home really does make us happy, too.

Don’t you just love, love, love the holidays?

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50 thoughts on “My Daughter, the Baker

  1. I do. I love shopping even if I am not buying anything. I love the smell of the air, the smell of fires burning, of cookies cooking. And even though my family is functionally instance, I love visiting with them.. Of course, I like eating the cookies that are baking too. You spirit is contagious.. love this (lots are bahumbuggy).

    • Your comment is rich with visuals. Feels more like a poem or the start of one. My daughter went to visit her dad for a few days, back tomorrow. And when she returns, she’ll be baking and decorating lots of cookies. Can’t wait! Absolutely no bah-humbug allowed here! 🙂

  2. Pretty darn funny! My son is home from college but he’s not into cooking. Bah, humbug. He does like to sit with me and write, which is a hugely exciting twist. (we each sit at our own desk, and light inspiration candles) He wants to write a novella, and he’s got some really cool insights!
    Hey, thanks for stopping by my blog. Hope to see you pop in for my launch party tomorrow! Cheers, and enjoy those baked goods!

    • That is so wonderful that you and your son have created your own ritual for writing together. What a beautiful way to connect with him. I’m looking forward to your launch party!
      Thanks for stopping by!

  3. My son is the baker and just finished a gingerbread house with an ungodly amount of shortening and powdered sugar to glue the whole thing together (we’re not the best builders here: our walls weren’t square). As soon as he finished, he wanted us all to sample it. Of course, the roof caved in so we tossed the whole thing in a plastic container.

  4. I have a baking daughter, too. She’ll spend the next week baking at my parents and it will probably only take her brothers five minutes to eat them when we get in next Saturday.

  5. Those chocolate chip banana muffins looks soooo good. I wish I could get a little taste. I love the use of gentle persuasion to get what you really want – aha! always works. Happy Holidays to you and your beautiful family. My girls are small, but I am already teaching them to cook with the hopes that when they are older, they will cook and bake to their hearts content 🙂 mmhmm, wishful thinking.

    • At the very least, I wish I could add the scent for these muffins to my blog, so that you could do a scratch and sniff. Now, that would be so cool. Your girls sound sweet as can be. I’m sure they’ll be baking on their own in no time. 😉

  6. She really is an amazing baker. Have her do some new recipes and then create a Sarah’s Recipes page and post them. Seriously, I love a new recipe!

    • Guess, what was on her wish list this year? Cookbooks for baking cupcakes, cookies and even cake pops. Maybe I should just send her to France so she can learn to cook like the greats (Julia Child, James Beard, etc.). I’ll let her know your idea. Sounds good to me!

    • Well, she’s doing most of the baking. I’m just providing the ingredients and serving as a “taster” (to make sure she’s getting the recipe right 😉 ). Henry serves as my backup taster.
      Yes, I so enjoy having my girl home. She’s awesome!

  7. Domer got home this afternoon, and my poor Sheltie is beside himself with excitement! Isn’t it grand having the kids back where they belong (well, not really “belong” for I’m sure you’ll agree with me that they belong at school, learning to stand up for themselves, spread their little wings, and soar!!)

    • Home is where they belong for now. A few weeks before my daughter returns home, she starts missing us, which feels awfully good, if you ask me. But she’s like me and is able to compartmentalize her life. So, when she goes back to school, she’ll be in the zone, again. It’s king of fun to see our dogs get as excited as we are, don’t you think? 😉

  8. Hey Monica,
    First, thanks for checking us out at Aginggal.com. And re the muffins, the mother of one of my classmates in grad school used to make them for us every year. It was almost a shame to graduate. Enjoy the smells and merry Christmas!

    • Merry Christmas to you, too, Linda! (Or should I say, Bitty? I love that name!) I love the scent of muffins baking in the oven, and we get a warm glow, knowing that she’s baking. It’s like we’re living in a bakery for two weeks. Absolutely glorious. Love your memory of your classmate’s mom. 🙂

  9. Monica, you lucky woman, you! How I wish I had someone to bake something for me! As it stands, I’m stuck cooking and doing dishes. Today I screamed to the high heavens threatening to not cook a single thing if I don’t get a little assistance. This has been the week from hell and frankly, I’m looking forward to some chocolate chip banana muffins as well, even if that means I have to bake them myself. Or I could come over to your house and grab a couple! And brew some coffee even if you don’t drink it! Your girl must cause everyone know coffee drinking is compulsory in your college years! I’m so happy you’re enjoying time with your family! Good for you! 🙂

    • I’m sorry you’re not getting cooperation from your crew. I think you may need to stage your own “Occupy” sit-in and not cook until your demands are met.

      But you know you’re always welcome to come here. Bring your cafecito (I have been known to drink lattes) and enjoy the muffins. As, my mother would say, La puerta esta abierta. 😉

  10. So how do we “casually” coax Sarah into baking some of those yummy muffins on Sunday so you can bring them in on Monday to us!!!!! they are delicious and wouldn’t be the same if we made them. Tell her how hard we’ve been working, how much we miss her, etc… can you do that for us? PLEEEEAASSEEEE!

    • We’ll see what we can do. Can’t promise anything as she won’t be back until Tuesday and I’ll be off, but maybe I can ask her to bake some just before she returns to school so I can bring them in after the New Year. Keep your fingers crossed!

  11. Banana bread is one of Brett’s absolute FAVORITES.

    So thanks to you: Merry Christmas to Brett. Because I have a new recipe to try (and I love the idea of half semi-sweet and half white chocolate chips — yum).

    🙂

    I’m so glad your daughter is home — for my own selfish reasons (see above) and for you, friend!

    • Yes, they’re delicious with white chocolate, but when it comes to sugar, I think I prefer it with fine granulated sugar. Perfect for those cold, frosty mornings, with a cup of coffee, hot cocoa, or, my preference, Diet Coke. (DC Rocks! Am I right?)

  12. I love this post Monica! Makes me even more excited than I already was for my kids to come home – the first one tomorrow and the second on on Monday!! Neither of them are bakers and we will miss the baking tradition this year as vegan baking just doesn’t cut it, but now I can live vicariously thru your daugther’s baking. MMMM, I can taste those banana chocoloate chip muffins now!

  13. My girls like to bake too, especially Hope…she brags that her chocolate chip cookies are better than mine (sometimes they are!).

    Have fun with your kids over the holidays, Monica!

    Wendy

    • Henry makes quite a to-do, when she comes home from school and, anytime someone goes into the kitchen for whatever, Henry goes, too. The anticipation of possibly getting a bite to eat is something this dog can never resist. 😉

      I love that photo of Henry, too!

  14. So, did Henry get a muffin or two? Without the chocolate, of course.

    What I enjoy most about the holidays is watching all of the Christmas movies. I’ve seen them all on Lifetime this year, I think. I also love cruising neighborhoods to see Christmas decorations. I have a handful of CDs for the season that also give me great pleasure as I, however miraculously, manage to create a rare feast. And of course, it’s always nice to enjoy my kids.

    • No muffins for Henry. Too risky. He just enjoys having her here as much as we do. And, he has his own special treats.

      Totsy, I love how you celebrate the holidays. I enjoy the movies, too. I generally watch the same ones each year, The Bishop’s Wife, Christmas Story, Holiday Inn, Miracle on 34th Street, etc. When my kids were young, we’d drive through the neighborhoods to look at the lights, too. There’s always one house that is done up to the nines. It’s a spectacular sight. And what would Christmas be without the music? I love it, too. My daughter likes watching the holiday movies on the ABC Family Channel, which they package as the 25 days of Christmas.

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