School’s In

School’s In

T-minus 24 hours and I’ll be a working girl again. An 8-5er. A breadwinner. A mover-and-shaker. A quivering mess of first-day-of-school nerves (!).

I finished my list of errands and To Dos for my Last Day of Freedom, and I’ve carefully penciled in some time for ‘just me’. Just me time includes some sewing (to hopefully finish a cute dress for my First Day), and a trip to town for some grocery shopping (this isn’t a chore for me, I love grocery shopping) and a new pair of jeans, since my new office has a CASUAL DRESS CODE. That’s right guys, I can wear whatever I want to work everyday. I just need to be clean and tidy and that’s about it. I am SO EXCITED.

Of course, though, I’m jittery and nervous. Like, what if they don’t like me nervous, and what if I can’t make friends nervous, and what if I’m making a terrible mistake nervous. I truly have First Day of School nerves, but this is almost worse, since my school nerves were usually delightful and buzzy and electric, this feels more foreign.

This tells me, however, that I’m probably making a great decision. The last two times I walked in to a job and didn’t have these nerves, well, let’s just say I learned something about my guts and how they check things.

Breathe. Anyway. Like any good little food obsessed girl, I’m already worried about what I’ll eat for breakfast most days of my first few weeks. Once I get settled into my desk I can designate a drawer for oatmeal, granola and snacks, but when a girl is in training it’s hard to say ‘can you hold that thought? I need some brekkie.’ I am not one of those people who can eat within a half hour of getting up so a nosh while primping is out. And getting up earlier to accommodate eating before leaving for work is a big fat Yeah Right.

What to eat, what to eat? Smoothies came to mind but they aren’t satisfying. I do love a nice scrambled egg in the morning, but this falls in to the Yeah Right category. I’m in love with Overnight Oatmeal, but this requires two hands to eat and I’m usually eating in the car when I’m headed to work. And Nick strictly forbids me to drive with just my knees (though I am a very good kneecap driver, for the record). An obvious solution here is an egg sandwich, but I don’t like them when they’re reheated, the egg gets rubbery and weird, not to mention the English muffin gets soggy.

Another obvious route is baked goods, something of the muffin or scone persuasion. The problem, though, is that they are usually so fat- and sugar-laden that one is better off eating a bagel with bacon and cream cheese on it (one of my favorite camping breakfasts). At least there’s protein in a bacon bagel sammie!

I like the idea of a muffin for breakfast, though. They are decidedly breakfasty, and a pan of them is more than enough for me for breakfast for a week; in fact it’s enough for one for breakfast and one for afternoon tea (which I also won’t be taking while I am training with someone – ‘one lump or two?’). I searched around and didn’t find too many that fit my bill – too fatty, to many ingredients, to many muffins in a batch, too too too. And then I found one, over here. (If you haven’t been over to Andie’s blog, well, get there. She is amazing. You’ll fall in love with her posts like I have.)

With a couple of substitutions from the original healthy recipe I made it even healthier. This muffin clocks in at around 185 calories/19 g. carbs/10 g. fat/6 g. protein per muffin, which leaves enough calories and fat in my daily count to add a smear of butter or reduced-fat cream cheese (YES… makes them like carrot cake). They also freeze really well, so make the whole pan, cool them completely, individually wrap them up nice ‘n’ tight in cellophane and freeze them inside of a zip top freezer bag. Pull one out the night before or in the morning to defrost for a quick breakfast.

Even Healthier Morning Glory Muffins
Adapted from recipe at Can You Stay For Dinner?
Makes 18 muffins (still kind of a lot, but I’ll send some to work with Nick)

1 cup all-purpose flour
3/4 cup whole wheat flour
1/2 cup almond meal
2/3 cup sugar or honey (I used honey)
1 1/2 teaspoons baking soda
1/2 teaspoon baking powder
1 teaspoon ground cinnamon
3/4 teaspoon salt
1/2 cup unsweetened apple sauce
3 large eggs
1 tsp. vanilla extract
1 (8-ounce) can crushed pineapple (including juices)
1 1/2 cups shredded carrots (2-3 medium)
1/2 cup unsweetened dried cranberries, or raisins if you prefer
1/2 cup sweetened shredded coconut
1/2 cup chopped pecans, toasted

Preheat oven to 350 degrees F. Line a 12 cup muffin tin with paper cups. In a large bowl, mix together flour, sugar (if using, otherwise mix the honey in with the wet ingredients), baking soda, baking powder, cinnamon, and salt.  In a separate bowl, beat together applesauce, eggs, vanilla and pineapple (including pineapple can juices). Stir egg mixture into the flour mixture, just until combined. Stir in the carrot, cranberries, coconut, and pecans. Scoop batter into prepared muffin cups. Bake in preheated oven for about 20 minutes, until a toothpick inserted into center of a muffin comes out clean.

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