Wednesday, October 31, 2012

Malted Peanut Butter Rice Crispy Treats

Happy Halloween!

I'm not exactly back to baking but I did whip up a tasty treat on the stove top. When I saw this recipe, I wondered, can you really improve on rice crispy treats? I was a little skeptical but was still game to give these bars a try since I had a rather large jar of malt powder left over from the lackluster cake I made. Despite my initial hesitancy, I really liked this iteration on the classic treat and my taste testers (Eric and my mom) gave them a thumbs up as well.

The recipe for these bars is from The Kitchn. I used natural peanut butter and unsalted, roasted peanuts but if I were to make these again, I would either double the amount of salt called for or use salted peanuts. If you use processed peanut butter, I doubt these adjustments would be necessary as I suspect it would probably have a higher salt content. Also, I used approximately 1/2 cup of peanuts instead of the 1/4 cup called for.

In other news, after much searching, I finally found the perfect Halloween costume for Ruby. Isn't my little cupcake a cutie? I could just eat her up. (I know, terrible pun.) She wasn't too crazy about the hat but she indulged mama long enough to snap a few pics. We got all dressed up for the neighborhood Little Monsters Bash last weekend and about 15 minutes after we arrived Ruby passed out and proceeded to sleep through the rest of the party. Yea for do-overs, though! I'm going to dress her up again and take her trick-or-treating to a few neighborhood homes tonight. Let's hope my sweetie (I can't help myself) stays awake this time.

Thursday, October 11, 2012

On how life is lately...

So that was a bit longer of a break than I had anticipated. Turns out an infant is rather time consuming. Someone jokingly told us that infants are benevolent dictators. I think that's a pretty apt description, actually. 

I've taken to telling people I've fallen down the bébé hole (a takeoff on the rabbit hole from Alice in Wonderland). It's like I've entered this strange new world where time is suspended and entire days go by before I surface for air and make contact with the rest of the human race. 

I'm not complaining, though. I love that I have this time to totally immerse myself in getting to know my daughter. Ruby is perfect and beautiful. I love her so much it's scary. People try to warn you but nothing really can prepare you for the intensity of emotions you experience with your child. Strangely, I feel like the helpless one between the two of us. She seems pretty clear on what she wants but I'm still learning to read her cues and I don't always get it right at first. It's getting incrementally easier each day but I still have moments when I'm just overwhelmed. 

Some days I embrace The Motherhood. When we're up, dressed, and out of the house at a decent hour to see friends or run errands I catch myself thinking, "Yeah, I've got this. I am rocking the mom thing." And then there are other days when I wake up with anxiety just thinking about the enormous responsibility that comes with this 9 pound little lump of humanity. Those are the days when it's a struggle just to get out of the house for a walk and I feel like I'm not cut out for this mothering business. 

I'm told the ambivalence I'm experiencing is fairly normal.  Thank god for all my mama friends who've been through this before and who've lent their support and welcome advice. One friend told me in a few short months it all becomes your "new normal." I sure hope so- nothing feels normal right now. 

A large part of the normalcy I've been missing is baking and cooking. Life on Ruby-time revolves around 2-3 hour feeding cycles and I'm still not very good at getting much accomplished in these short periods. However, one Friday night recently I did manage to bake a cake with Ruby strapped to me in the baby wrap. I can't say it was my best effort but even so, I felt a sense of accomplishment in finishing it. 

I know I promised this baking blog wouldn't become a Mommy blog but bear with me. Here's hoping the little dictator lets Mom return to the kitchen soon :-)