Guest Post:Terrible-Parent Guilt Muffins

October 3, 2011

Hi, Readers! I hope you had a weekend as joyous as mine. Actually, my weekend isn’t over yet, because the best houseguest ever is staying until Tuesday, and I’m determined to pack as much fun into those days as humanly possible.

This is good news for you, because today my hilarious, witty, thoughtful friend Naptime Writing is sharing her words in this space. If you haven’t visited her, you should. Really, you need her in your life. She’ll make you cackle and think and vow to be a better parent–a thing I vow to do daily and usually fail to accomplish, but that’s neither here nor there.

Enjoy her (I know you will).  And thanks, dearest Nap, for bailing me out today!  You rock, sister in snark.


We all have moments (I keep telling myself this, hoping against hope that I’m not the only one with outsized guilt after a particularly bad parenting moment) where we want to go wake our children and apologize for our behavior.

So in the throes of an “I can’t believe I yelled at those perfectly wonderful and innocent children” moment (you know the one: it comes before the “hey, wait a second, if they were wonderful and innocent I wouldn’t have yelled” hour), I pulled out my cookbooks and tried to find a recipe to assuage my guilt. And to make breakfast faster. Because I’m terrible, but I’m not dumb.

I found a recipe for Sweet Potato muffins that is too easy to be properly filed under Hairshirt. So I complicated it up a bit. It’s just my way.


  • 1 C sugar
  • 1/8-1/4 blackstrap molasses depending on your taste (why use brown sugar when you can make your own with more mess and tools to clean?)
  • 1/2 cup canola oil
  • 3 teaspoons vanilla extract (because every chef on the planet is wrong and we all need more vanilla)
  • 3 eggs
  • 1 C unbleached all-purpose flour
  • 1 C whole wheat flour (Yes, you can use all unbleached white, I guess. If you hate your kids. All whole wheat? Sure. If you hate your kids)
  • 2 teaspoons baking powder
  • 1 teaspoon ground cinnamon
  • 1 teaspoon ground  nutmeg
  • 1/2 teaspoon ground allspice
  • 1/2 teaspoon salt
  • 4 C peeled, shredded sweet potato*
  • 1/2 C dried grudge fruit**
  • 1 C  nuts (optional)
  • ¼ C oats

*Note: There are plenty of recipes that use canned sweet potato. But I thought you had some serious parenting guilt here. Do you remember what you did? Chances are, if you feel that badly, they probably had it coming and you probably have some extra energy to burn. Try grating 4 cups of sweet potato. It’s almost like beating them in effigy.

**Note also: Most recipes call for raisins. But my kids eat too many raisins. I use muffins as an excuse to get rid of extra dried fruit that sounded good at the time but didn’t get eaten. We’ve had dried persimmons in the house for years because, though I love them, I’m very angry at a former friend who has a persimmon tree. Long story short, she told me I was too intense to be her friend. Well, people of the Interwebs, even snarky people have feelings and when our big, gooey center is called unloveable, it hurts. So use whatever dried fruit you want, or make your kids happy with raisins, or whatever. I use whatever fruit I’m holding a grudge against.


  1. Preheat the oven to 350 degrees F (175 degrees C). Grease 12-cup muffin tin or plop little silicone cupcake liners into muffin tin. Then kiss whoever invented those bakeable non-toxic slips of goodness.
  2. Whisk together wet stuff (except the sweet potatoes) in a small bowl. Feel better that you did all that tater shredding because “beating” eggs is a pathetic catharsis substitute for aggressive tuber grating.
  3. Mix together the dry stuff (plus the sweet potatoes but not the fruit and nuts) in a large bowl. Commence lamest baking step ever: make a well in the center, and pour in the egg mixture. I know it’s stupid. But think of what you did and why you’re sorry and do something right for once in your parenting career.
  4. Stir everything together. Then stir in the dried fruit and optional nuts.
  5. Spoon the batter into the tins. Or, really, fork it in, since you’ve just spend time whisking with a fork and the last thing you need at the end of a day like this is another utensil to wash.
  6. Bake the muffins for 25 to 30 minutes or until a toothpick inserted into the middle comes out clean. Or sit two rooms away eating ice cream until you can smell the muffins ‘cuz that usually means they’re done. Cool them for a few minutes, then take them out of the tin to cool completely.
  7. Go to bed guilty that you’re going to serve your rotten kids day-old muffins because you suck too much to get up early (since you’ll most likely forget your guilt while you sleep the sleep of the Doing-Your-Best-And-Always-Exhausted Parent).

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