Baking #17: Stress baking & chocolate chip muffins

“You should have a muffin. They’re really good and they’ll help you.”

I originally got into baking in college because it made me feel good when I was stressed. Instead of stress eating, I could bake and enjoy the smells of the treats in the oven and then know that I could easily give it away by just walking down to the callboard hallway and offering it to a ton of other stressed out exhausted theatre majors who had probably forgotten to eat most of the day after going from class to rehearsal to another rehearsal and back again. (In a lot of ways being a theatre major really prepared me for parenthood….) I actually started baking so much due to stress my senior year of undergrad that people started making jokes about the Grey’s Anatomy character Izzy Stevens-

(I was so curious what they were talking about I started watching the show. OK, I will give them the baking aspect, but I have to say she would not be my character choice to identify with…)

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This is how unprepared I was to bake… the only muffin/cupcake liners I had were from Halloween… at least I remembered to buy more flour last week.

All that to say, this week is a very busy and potentially stressful week. busy busy busy, juggling different types of jobs and “hats” so to speak and I’m also playing catch up from giving myself some time off to actually celebrate my birthday, something I haven’t really done the last four years! So I debated skipping blogging and baking this week, but the idea of bringing ingredients together into something delicious that I could share and take with me on the run in the mornings during this busy week sounded like a very productive way to relieve some stress. So when i was lucky enough to score a naptime today without a fight, I took the opportunity to whip up some muffins!

These muffins have the bonus of 1. including chocolate and 2. offering some awesome protein thanks to one of our new favorite foods- Greek yogurt! They were super easy to make out and came out perfect- not too sweet, not too dry, and could pass for either breakfast or dessert depending on what one may need at the given moment. IMG_4769I did make one small change which was to swap out chocolate chips for hunks of dark chocolate (courtesy of those Trader Joes mini dark chocolate bars with a very high percentage of cocoa!) and to cut the amount from 1 cup to 3/4 cup.

I’ll definitely be using some for breakfast during this crazy week and I will definitely be packing some to keep me fueled during auditions tonight and, if we’re lucky, maybe even a zoo trip right before since we have what might be one of the final days of nice weather before the AZ summer really hits! YUM!

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PS: one of these days you will have to remind me to write a blog post on the cupcake theory of love…

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3 thoughts on “Baking #17: Stress baking & chocolate chip muffins

  1. I had never heard of stress baking til my second year in college, when another girl named Clara on my hall (we were the only two at the college at the time) happened to be in our hall kitchen early in the semester, with a big chocolate zucchini cake which looked/smelled/tasted amazing. “Is it someone’s birthday?” I asked, “no… I just have a big project, and I’m stressed, so I made a cake.” I think I needed her to spell that out a little more for me. “I bake when I’m stressed.” I remember my eyes getting wide and thinking something along the lines of, “this is a bad life choice, maybe, but I’m really happy this girl lives on my hall.”

    Later in college, and then in grad school I started doing a lot of baking myself, but never in quite the spontaneous way my friend Clara did. But it always helped my stress level to have cut out time for the baking. “It’s okay that I’m not reading right now. I’m making cookies. Even if the paper flops and I don’t have interesting questions generated from the readings, everyone will be happy about the cookies.” This is comforting to me in a way that other stress relief is not.

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    • HA. Now that I don’t live with quite so many people in close proximity it certainly has the danger of being a bad life choice. For the most part though it’s exactly what you said. Comforting. and a way better choice than binge watching netflix while eating chips and popcorn. And actually, now that I’ve started baking bread instead of just cookies and cupcakes, I don’t always need to find people to give it away to when I’m done! I’m just saving us on groceries. 🙂

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