To my mother:
Thank you for the unyielding, unwavering love you’ve shown me, every day since the day you and Dad brought me home from the hospital. I feel so honored, grateful and blessed to call you my Mom. I look up to you so much, even more now that I’m older and truly realize all that you’ve done for me, the sacrifices you made and the understanding you bestowed. Thank you for making me feel beautiful, and telling me so when there were days I felt anything but. Thank you for holding me up when I fell down, and for dancing next to me when I stood tall. Thank you for literally helping me learn to walk again, and for holding my hand when I wanted so badly to quit. There are so many memories that I cherish, and so many more that I know we’ll have. I love you.
Even though I wasn’t able to spend the day with my Mom today, we were able to have a nice long chat on the phone and catch up with each other. I look forward to Sunday afternoons for that very reason; my Mom and I can talk on the phone and an hour will pass before we even know it. Every time we talk I’m instantly transported back to the couch in my parents’ living room, where we used to curl up with blankets and talk for hours. Whenever I’m there for a visit, we’re always sure to spend time on that same couch, reminiscing about the past and talking excitedly about the future.
I figured that if I couldn’t physically celebrate Mother’s Day with my Mom today, I could do the next best thing to pay homage to her: bake. I learned how to bake from my Mom, who no doubt learned from her Mom, and so on. I have vivid memories of being a young girl with an apron tied around my waist, pouring through the endless kitchen cabinets. What became known as “glass bowl” involved Mom giving me a dozen different ingredients to measure, mix and make my own creation. We’d never actually cook or eat whatever concoction I created, but I know that’s where my love for baking first blossomed. To this day she is the best cook I know.
This afternoon I made banana chocolate chip muffins, with a cream cheese filling. Some of my favorite things to make with Mom were sweet treats: decorated sugar cookies, cranberry orange scones, and the infamous chocolate ganache praline cake that is somewhat of a legend in our family.
Banana Chocolate Chip Cream Cheese-Filled Muffins
Makes 15 muffins
- 2 cups all-purpose flour
- 3/4 cup brown sugar
- 1 teaspoon baking powder
- 1/2 teaspoon baking soda
- 1/2 teaspoon salt
- 1 egg
- 2 overripe bananas
- 1/2 cup milk
- 1/3 cup butter, softened but not melted
- 1 teaspoon vanilla extract
- 1 cup semi-sweet chocolate chips
- Spreadable cream cheese, softened
Preheat oven to 350. Arrange 15 liners in muffins tins. In a large bowl, mix together flour, sugar, baking powder, baking soda and salt. In another bowl, beat together egg, bananas, milk, butter and vanilla extract on a low setting until smooth. Pour wet mixture into flour mixture and stir until combined. Stir in chocolate chips.
Drop a spoonful of the muffin batter into each liner. Using a teaspoon, drop cream cheese into each of the liners. Top each with remaining batter. Bake for 18 minutes.