Cross Country Skiing and Muffcakes

As I child, I always pitied the children in other families who thought skiing was about clamping your boots into skiis and and sawing through a horizontal plane of snow.  Now, about 25 years later, I finally get why adults think this “boring” sport is so much fun.

My chivalrous husband, waxing all our skis, and looking jaunty in fluorescent orange.

On Sunday, I kept asking my girls, “What do you think? Are you having fun?” while they skiied on before me.

They seemed chipper enough, and both answered with a a hearty “yes”, but I am always a little mystified when the whole thing goes without too many hitches.

Of course they still fall and flop all over the trail like fish out of water, but this being their third season, they are now able to stand back up on their own.

Belén is heading out of our yard into the park to the trail Stan and I have stomped down. Now she just has to get around the firepit, we forgot to clean up before winter.

Our first ski of the year, on “real” groomed trails.

I should add that the above picture was taken at the beginning of our outing.  I knew it was time to turn around when Susanna planted herself firmly in the trail and whinnied (yes whinnied; like a horse) about Belén being in front.  I was patient…. oh, so very patient.  Then the whinnying turned to crying… and all of a sudden my patience disappeared.  I started yelling at my six year old child to GET MOVING (and who knows what else), when I heard the swish of skiis behind me.

I blushed, hoping whoever it was behind me hadn’t heard our little exchange.  I wasn’t sure how I was going to recover and say, “Beautiful Day, isn’t it?” with any composure.  Cross country skiiers seem so courteous, you know.

I glanced back and was relieved to see the skiier was my husband.  He took over with Susanna, and we all made our way back to the parking lot  in one piece.

Mother Teresa said, “Love and peace begin at home…”; honestly, isn’t it the hardest place to be lovely and peaceful sometimes?


For the past ten celiac years of my life I have eaten the same brown rice, all-natural peanut butter, banana, chocolate chip muffin.  Well, today, all of that changed.  We came up with this sugary, greasy, little number and it’s good.  Really good.

I have a rule about not making cookies intentionally healthy.  I figure if you’re eating cookies you should make it worth your while.  Now I might have to consider extending that rule to muffins.

Susanna has been calling muffins, “muffcakes” since she could talk.  We’ve all sort of adopted the term, and these are a perfect gluten-free muffcake prototype; they are shapped like muffins but more cake-y in character, and very moist.

Earlier in the afternoon, Belén had told me she wanted a doll for Christmas. I felt so nostalgic about her still wanting a doll, I only smiled, instead of growled, when they decided to stir the mix with Susie’s doll’s feet.

Gluten-free Banana Chocolate Chip Muffcakes

1 1/4, or a bit less, cups gluten free flour mix (my mix is very fluid, and is constantly changing but it usually has some brown rice, buckwheat, starches, and beans in it—basically anything I can find kicking around my pantry)

3/4 cup white sugar

1/2 tsp baking powder

1/2 tsp baking soda

1/2 tsp salt

1/2 cup oil  (next time I might use a teeny bit less)

2 eggs

1/3-1/2 cup buttermilk

1 1/2 mashed bananas

enough chocolate chips to match your mood

*Mix the dry ingredients and then combine wet ingredients in a separate bowl.  Add chocolate chips at the end.  Bake at 350 for 15ish minutes.  This makes 12 medium sized muffins

**Last year I decided to keep buttermilk on hand at all times; it’s one of those small decisions that makes life so much richer.  I know you can add vinegar to milk, as a buttermilk substitute, but it’s just not the same as pouring thick, gloppy buttermilk into your measuring cup.  It makes me gleeful every time.

If you happen to try these, let me know how yours turn out!

Happy Thanksgiving to all of you down there!


One thought on “Cross Country Skiing and Muffcakes

  1. I know what you mean about cross country skiing. When I was younger, those long skinny skis and desolate trails looked boring. Now………….give me a few hours of shooshing on Glacier Point in Yosemite, and I’m a happy and peaceful girl.

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