Tuesday, May 7, 2013

Cookies and Cupcakes and Brownies, Oh My!

I like to bake.  I really do.  It's different than cooking (of which I'm trying to get better).  I think I'm pretty decent at baking (not decorating, like those fancy cake decorator people who turn cakes into all kinds of crazy objects, I'm just good at putting the ingredients together).  Cooking has too many possibilities.  There are a bazillion spices and sauces and combinations of things that I have no idea what to do.I know people who can just toss a little of this and a little of that into the frying pan and out pops a gourmet meal.  That's not me.  I toss a little of this a little of that and my cat won't even eat what I come up with.  I can cook if I follow a recipe, although even then things don't always turn out right.  Or if it's something simple, I tend to forget I need to watch it and get distracted.  I once burned a pot of rice three times.  In one night.  I'll stick to basic baking.  Flour, sugar, eggs, not too much to go wrong.    

Baby also likes to help me bake.  She helps scoop things and pour things and mix things.  Sometimes she might fling a bit of flour here and there, or pour an extra teaspoon of salt, but it's not too big of a deal.

Since I've been staying home, I have a whole lot more time on my hands.  You know, in between keeping two children alive and happy (the happy part is the hard part.  I think I have the keeping them alive part down pat).  Baby2 likes to scream a lot, and that tends to stress me out.  My motherly instinct is to calm her down, but she doesn't like any of my tactics.  She lets me know this by more screaming.  When she screams, something inside of me screams SUGAR!!!  I just want something sweet, and I want it now.  Thus, I've been baking a lot.

I've made chocolate chip oatmeal cookies (I was trying to be good here- oatmeal is helpful with milk production), brownies (one of husband's favorites), and cupcakes (although I never did get around to frosting them.  I just ate them as is).  I would bake during the day, and Baby would have a blast helping mommy.  In the evenings, I was devouring as Baby2 was screaming.

They made me feel better.

I do know that I wasn't contributing to my weight loss in any way whatsoever and was most likely sabotaging myself.  Then I started noticing people posting recipes on Facebook.  Yummy looking recipes.  I saw a recipe for a 60 second chocolate chip cookie where you throw the ingredients in a bowl and nuke it in the microwave.  The effect was one giant chocolate chip cookie rather than the usual dozens that I would make with my normal recipe.  I've made the 60 second chocolate chip cookie numerous times now.  It was delicious, and Husband liked it so much he would proceed to lick the bowl clean.  I figured smaller portions would help me control my sugar bingeing.  Somehow I think I'm just compensating by eating it more often.

Then I saw some healthy recipes that substitute healthier ingredients for the nasty ones.  I made chocolate chip oatmeal cookies (yes, the chocolate chips were supposed to be raisins, but I couldn't resist) and substituted applesauce and bananas for sugar.  I thought they turned out great.

I have also replaced my butter (a dairy item, and I'm avoiding dairy for Baby2's sake) with vegan butter or coconut oil, depending on how I feel at the time.  Cow's milk has been replaced with almond milk.  I've also been using honey as a sweetener instead of cane sugar.  Poor Husband keeps asking for a batch of regular chocolate chip cookies.  One of these days I'll bake him some.  In the meantime, I'm having fun trying alternatives and convincing myself I'm eating healthier.        

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