Three Healthy-for-cupcakes birthday treats

DSC_1633It's been several days now since the big par-tay, and I'm only just beginning to process officially crossing over from Babydom into Toddler Time.  Where did the last year go?! How overwhelmingly bittersweet, painfully missing my baby while rejoicing in the amazing, mirthful, marvelous little wonderball of an individual he's becoming by the second. Lately, I've felt bowled over with wistfulness and nostalgia for everything, even the moments I'm enjoying right now. He's here, cuddling and kissing upon request, and as much as I want to be 100% present, I can't keep this aching sense of longing and focus on the ephemeral nature of time at bay. Don't even get me started on the now sugar-coated newborn days. I even miss the hospital, how crazy is that?! Recently my friend Tressa texted about how, as fellow "old new" moms, we're together in feeling everything mommy with an especially poignant intensity, and oh did I welcome the companionship in the observation. Life these days is packed out in oxymorons. Old new mom or not, I guess that's part of the deal-- mastering frazzled calm, energized fatigue, a need for and fear of space, and most of all pain of love never before imagined.


I need to cut myself some slack for being overly emotional lately. It's exhausting chasing around a wee one who is reveling in WALKING (adorably, with strong but wobbly legs and dimpled little arms outstretched for the sides like a plane, or out front like a zombie...). The lead-up to our one year picnic-at-the-park celebration was rife with second-guessing and high speed preparations squeezed into odd hours. Seven dozen cupcakes (gluten-free chocolate; grain-free, dairy-free, nut-free, low sugar coconut; and vegan banana chip) were baked and frozen, a dozen a day for a week straight. Banana chips, raisins, and chocolate chips became sloppy but appropriately silly monkey faces the two nights before. That was my big contribution when it came to food: messy childlike cupcakes, plus a quinoa salad. The rest...which was A LOT, for 60-70 guests...was generously taken care of by Felix's grandma (my mom, but when it comes to party motivation, grandma all the way).

DSC_1845Party day went great--weather was perfect, food was consumed, and most of all, we felt enveloped in friendship celebrating a happy Little Monkey. The one downside was that afterwards Dave and I both felt we hadn't talked with anyone nearly enough. On the upside of the downside, though, somehow the feeling made me realize with a new clarity how much this journey of early motherhood has helped me to let go of certain walls. When it comes to the people I choose to spend time with, for the first time in my life I think I can say that the person they are getting is the real thing, whomever that is at the moment. Being real is more complicated than it seems. Today, in yet another seeming contradiction, I feel less sure of my identity but more sure of myself than ever before, and getting better at reminding myself it's all ok. Because it's all about the journey.

(*I've been saying a rambling, possibly overly sappy post was coming for weeks, and I guess this is it. Therefore, the recipe links seem purely gratuitous, but I want to remember that they worked out great! All three were frosted with melted chocolate chips or vegan chocolate chips with a little water and coconut oil stirred through, then decorated.)


Gluten free chocolate cupcakes (Adapted slightly from Giada de Laurentis' Chocolate Muffins recipe)

  • 1 cup brown rice flour
  • ½ cup almond flour
  • ½ cup unsweetened cocoa powder
  • ½ teaspoon fine Sea Salt
  • ½ teaspoon baking soda
  • ½ teaspoon baking powder
  • ½ cup honey
  • 1/3 cup unsweetened applesauce
  • 1/3 cup olive oil
  • 2 eggs
  • 2 teaspoons vanilla
  • 3/4 cup chocolate chips
  1. Preheat the oven to 350 F. Prepare a muffin tin with cupcake liners and cooking spray.
  2. In a large bowl, sift in the Brown Rice Flour, Almond Flour, Cocoa Powder, Salt, Baking Powder and Baking Soda and whisk together.
  3. In a small bowl mix honey, oil, eggs and vanilla.  Add to the flour mixture and stir just until blended.  Stir in chocolate chips.
  4. Spoon batter into the muffin tin, filling each liner roughly two-thirds full.
  5. Bake 20-25 minutes.


Grain-free, dairy-free, nut-free, low sugar coconut cupcakes (Elana's Pantry Paleo Vanilla Cupcakes, adapted slightly--I used coconut instead of palm oil, and maple syrup instead of honey; I also increased the baking soda to 1/2 teaspoon (for 12), and mixed everything in a bowl, no food processor)

Vegan banana chip: used this recipe from this blog :)