If there is one thing about my schedule that I am protective about right now, it is my time from 8:00 until bedtime. I have always been known as a terrible person when it comes to “going with the flow” but goodness having Evelyn has changed that. Now all I want in the world is to go with the flow because sometimes it feels like the only way to make it through, and I have to say I’ve become pretty good at it. Gerrit and I have repeatedly had conversations in the past weeks in which he has wanted to know what our “plans” are for that night or next weekend or a month from now. And usually my response is “I can’t think that far right now.” And then, because he has known my past calendar-obsessiveness and I have known his tendency to not consider all aspects of weekend logistics, we look at each other and think “What on earth has happened to us?”
I’ve found it much easier in the past months to have a general plan and figure out how to deal with the specifics as they come, knowing when Evelyn’s naps are and when she needs to eat, and just going from there. Because with Evelyn, I’d rather just assume that everything is unpredictable and then be pleasantly surprised when it all goes smoother than expected. (Exception to this: we have a wedding to go to in a couple weeks, and I have already written out a detailed timeline of when Evelyn needs to eat/get dressed/etc. so we are sure to make it to rehearsal/dinner/wedding on time and with a fed and happy baby. hopefully.)
But when it comes to 8:00 and onward at night, I have a plan. Evelyn is in bed and my time is my own and therefore, somewhat predictable. It is my time to work on projects on my computer or do yoga or read. And to be honest, there are very few things in life that sound more attractive to me than settling down and doing whatever I want to for the night. Like really. It is pure joy to sit in bed with nothing but my computer and a book and a couple of hours before I need to sleep. Or, as was the case last Friday when Gerrit was gone for the night, I had an whole of Friday evening with nothing but quiet and a kitchen. So I decided to make muffins.
I know that the idea of quinoa in muffins might sound a bit suspect if you’ve never tried it before, but I’d hate for you to miss out on them because of that. I know the quinoa is healthy, but it is just an added bonus here because I promise they do nothing to deter from the rich taste of chocolate. In fact, I think I like these muffins better than regular chocolate muffins because of the chewiness that the quinoa gives them. And because quinoa is full of protein, they keep me fuller longer so that instead of having a muffin or two and then thinking, “Ok, now let me find some actual breakfast,” I get to lunch time and my stomach only barely rumbling. Especially when I spread a little peanut butter on top of these muffins, which, let’s be honest, is the best way to do it.
I know that these muffins have quinoa in them, but don't be tricked by that. They have a rich chocolate flavor, and in my opinion the quinoa gives them a nice chewiness. Make sure the quinoa is cooked thoroughly before adding them to your muffins though; otherwise you can end up with an off-putting crunch.
- 1 cup quinoa
- 1 1/2 cups all-purpose flour
- 1/2 cup unsweetened cocoa powder
- 3/4 cup packed brown sugar
- 1 1/2 teaspoons baking powder
- 1 teaspoon fine salt
- 3/4 cup semisweet chocolate chips
- 3/4 cup milk
- 1/4 cup vegetable oil
- 1 large egg
- 1 teaspoon vanilla extract
- Cook the quinoa according to package directions (usually about 10-15 minutes). You should end up with a little more than 2 cups of quinoa once it is cooked. Set aside and let cool.
- Preheat oven to 350 degrees F. Lightly spray a muffin pan with non-stick cooking spray.
- In a large bowl, whisk together the flour, cocoa powder, brown sugar, baking powder, salt, and chocolate chips.
- In a small bowl, or 2 cup liquid measuring cup, whisk together the milk, oil, egg, and vanilla.
- Add 2 cups of cooked quinoa and the wet ingredients to the dry ingredients. Stir just until they are all combined (be careful not to over mix).
- Use a small measuring cup or ice cream scoop to scoop the batter into the muffin cups in even amounts.
- Bake for 25-30 minutes, until a toothpick inserted into the center of a muffin comes out clean. Cool for about 5 minutes, and then take them out of the muffin pan (although you won't ruin them if you let them cool completely in the muffin pan). Serve warm or at room temperature (and they are delicious with a little bit of peanut butter spread over the top).
adapted from Martha Stewart