Life in Lloyd

Hello friends!

I’ve been shipped out to Lloydminster for 2 months for my rural family rotation. It’s about a 2.5 hour drive from Edmonton. Lloydminster is not quite rural, but not really a big city either. I don’t count it as rural when there’s a big superstore, walmart, and 3 tim hortons! It’s nice out here…RPAP has set me up in a little house. I have my own bedroom, ensuite bathroom and closet…and most importantly a big kitchen! I think I might suffocate if they put me in a place without a kitchen.

There’s not a whole lot to do out in a small town. But I played cricket for the first time last week. It was fairly embarrassing, as to be expected. Ball-sports and I don’t get along very well. But I didn’t get hit in the head, thankfully. I also discovered that I have the food network. And I hauled along my waffle maker amongst other things. I’ve been baking a couple times for the nurses in Emerg. They are all really friendly and don’t complain about the cookies and muffins =)

Here’s one of my go-to muffin/cupcake hybrid recipes. I love this recipe. You can use it in a pinch, when you want to make something fast but have run out of eggs. Or if you only have one banana left and it’s rapidly deteriorating so you can’t eat it OR make banana bread. Or just make it when you feel like because they’re moist and delicious.

Chocolate Banana Muffins (adapted from theppk.com)
Ingredients
3/4 cup sugar (I used 1/2 cup packed brown sugar, 1/4 cup granulated sugar)
1/4 cup applesauce + 1 tbsp oil (original recipe uses 5 tbsp butter – but they are so much healthier this way and super moist!)
1 tsp vanilla extract
1 banana, mushed well
1 cup flour (I use 1/2 AP and 1/2 whole wheat)
1/4 cup unsweetened cocoa powder
1/2 tsp baking soda
1/4 tsp salt
1/2 cup milk (original calls for soy milk, but I didn’t have any on hand and regular is fine)

Directions
Preheat oven to 350.

Combine applesauce, oil, sugars, and vanilla extractin a large bowl, mix well. Add banana, stirring well to combine. Lightly spoon flour into dry measuring cup and level with a knife. Combine flour, cocoa, baking soda, and salt, stirring well with a whisk. Add flour mixture to sugar mixture alternately with 1/2 cup milk, beginning and ending with flour mixture; mix after each addition.

Spoon the batter into 12 muffin cups lined with paper liners. (I used my new silicone muffin cups which works great, and then you save cupcake lines and don’t have to grease any cupcake tins) Bake for 20 minutes or until cupcakes spring back easily when touched lightly in the center. Allow to cool, and frost if desired.

I just spread peanut butter on top of these suckers and they are absolutely lovely. You could make a fancy peanut butter frosting, or a peanut butter cream cheese frosting. But with just peanut butter, I can pretend that they’re healthy. ENJOY!

Not living at home means I have to cook for myself. It’s been fun, but also time-consuming and takes some creativity when you’re only cooking for one person. I always used to like to make big batches of stuff in baking, but when I make normal portions for meals I end up eating too much and still have leftovers. It’s tricky! One of the things that I have found myself a fan of: spaghetti squash. Such a cool little squash, that one is.

All you do is slice it in half, pop it in the microwave for 15-20 minutes in a bowl with some water, and then pull out the shreds with a fork comme ca:

It totally does look like spaghetti! I wouldn’t say the texture is the same. It’s crunchier. But it’s a really healthy substitute and easy to make too. Then just whip up whatever sauce you want. I just stirfried veggies and junk and added some pasta sauce:

Then toss it into your spaghetti squash, and voila! Yummy and fast! If you want, you can even put it back into the shell, sprinkle cheese on top and bake it. But I’m too lazy and hungry for that…

I just use my *heart* Magic Bullet *heart* to whip up all sorts of smoothies to go with it. My freezer is full of bags of frozen fruit. Mangoes, strawberries, blueberries, blackberries. I love love love it.

So Lloyd’s treating me pretty well so far. Although I miss Edmonton a little. I definitely miss all my friendsies. And I miss the shopping! And I miss my double oven. ❤

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