Welcome back to my kitchen!

You know what part of a muffin I love the most? The muffin top! The crunch, the firmness and then the delight of a soft inner crumbly center. Muffins in a weird way have always reminded me of Em.

It could have been a recipe for a train wreck from day one. She was 12 (going on 16), the sole apple of her dad’s eye, with a natural smile but a feisty spirit. I was never married, childless, older, very independent, career focused and falling in love with her dad. She reached out to me first—with a few interesting, yet inviting texts: 1) Are you cool? 2) Do you go to church? 3) Have you been to my dad’s apartment? And, 4) Do you like birthdays? This kid was on a roll.

I answered them—with a 1) I think so! 2) Yes—Lutheran!) 3) Yes, it’s clean. And 4) Who doesn’t? I love throwing birthday parties! We met and I remember her trying to secretly take my picture from her cell phone from the car’s backseat. I’m fairly certain I went viral with her friends.

At our wedding I explained to our guests that I hit the jackpot. I married The Hubs and Em was part of the package deal. Em and The Folks, like I’ve said before, are quite the trio. There’s no a-coming between them. They are glued to each other and protect each other like I’ve never witnessed.

Em and her dad. Again, she’s always going to be the apple of his eye.

Em and me. She’s never once—never once has said to me, you are not my mom. Quite the contrary. When I was a professor, Em accompanied me to class. We went on ten college campus visits together. Even on the volleyball court, I know if she spots a friends of ours in the crowd—that’s our secret sign language. I’m the “go to” for life advice/mentoring. When she left for college, I told her one thing: I don’t care about you getting “A” grades, you need to be involved. I guess she listened. She ran for Freshman class president and won. She’s a two sport NCAA D3 college athlete (volleyball and lacrosse), on student senate for all four years, lead the college’s campus big student event, and found her passion.

After landing an internship with her college’s hometown police department, Em is now a volunteer reserve police officer in addition to being a full time student athlete. We couldn’t be prouder of her. In fact, my dad says one of the best days of his life will be seeing Em sworn in, dressed in uniform and serving the public. Her feistiness, physical capabilities is matched with her compassion, ability to relate to young, old, rich, poor (it’s in the genes from The Hubs), and her determination to serve. She believes in law and order. She believes in God and her country.

She’s sort of like a muffin. A tougher outer shell that is pure good on the inside. Stay the course, Em. We all can’t wait for that day.

We are beyond thankful. Em is being mentored, supported and guided by the same internship at the police department. They are truly America’s finest.

As we enter Em’s senior collegiate year, she’s found her passion in more ways than one. As we say, give it your “muffin” or nothing at all.

We’re on a roll. Life is sweet.
All this made with LOVE!

Jayne (aka The No Sugar Baker!)

No Sugar Baker Chocolate Chip Muffins

Ingredients:

3 C. Flour or Almond Flour
4 t. Baking Powder
½ t. Baking Soda
1 t. Salt
2 t. Cinnamon
½ t. Nutmeg
¾ C. Melted Butter
1 C. Swerve Granular
2 Eggs
½ C. Sour Cream
1 C. Heavy Whipping Cream
1 T. Vanilla
2 C. Lily’s No Sugar Added Dark Chocolate Chips

Easy Directions:

In small bowl, mix the flour, baking powder, baking soda, salt, cinnamon and nutmeg. Set aside. In large mixing bowl, mix butter, granular, eggs until well blended. Add in sour cream, whipping cream and vanilla. Add in flour mixture and stir until slightly combined. Toss in the chocolate chips. Spray or paper line a cupcake pan. You can either make small sized muffins or large muffins. Fill pan and sprinkle a little extra Swerve and cinnamon on top of each muffin. Bake at 425 for 5 minutes, then reduce heat to 350 for another 25 minutes. Let cool for a few minutes and enjoy!

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