I have a little problem.
Whenever I visit my parents' home, I tend to overindulge. A lot. I'm not sure if it's the free flowing wine, the ability to go back for seconds (or thirds), or a Pavlovian-type response to being in my childhood environment, but once I enter through that front door, I eat (and drink) like I'm storing up for hibernation.
This past Sunday was no exception. With an Easter brunch spread of homemade blueberry muffins, ham & egg casserole, buttery croissants with herbed cheese spread and brie, and a platter of fresh fruit, my stomach was doomed before I even sat down to the table.
I tried to reign it in a little. Tried to stop after just one small serving of the cheesy egg casserole that my dad told my mom was the "best she's ever made," but then my brother got up for seconds. And then my dad did too. If they got more, surely it meant that it was okay for me to get a tinsy bit more too? It was completely justifiable! Especially since I'd only taken a small portion to begin with. Really just a childlike serving -- a half cup at most!
So I took a little more, and then focused on sipping my tea in a weak attempt to keep my mouth as occupied as possible. I coyly nibbled away at my blueberry muffin, taking time to appreciate the interplay between the fresh lemon juice and zest, and the chopped and whole blueberries. All was going fine and well and dandy, until I noticed the brie that my family members were eagerly spreading over their croissants. My mind started working at foodie warp speed. Brie + fruit = bliss. Therefore, brie + blueberry muffin must equal bliss as well! As my brother looked on in horror, I smoothed the luscious cheese over the interior of my still warm muffin.
"What?" I said, my face reddening under the heat of his appalled gaze.
He shook his head in faux disgust.
I ignored his obvious disapproval and pressed on with my mission to pack as much fat as I could into my bakery-sized muffin. It wasn't soooo bad. Cheese has calcium and protein! I was doing my body good. Plus, I hadn't taken one of those uber buttery croissants, instead opting to fill my plate with loads of antioxidant-laden strawberries and pineapple and grapes and kiwi and berries and oranges, oh my! I was really quite the model of restraint.
Or at least I was until I realized that I never have the opportunity to eat croissants except on Easter. Most days I eat oatmeal or healthy yogurt parfaits for breakfast, and when I go out, I tend toward French toast or omelets -- never pastries. If I didn't eat a croissant right then, I would have to wait another whole year to indulge in one. It would be quite imprudent of me to skip that pivotal portion of our Easter feast!
"Does anyone want half a croissant?" I asked, as I tore a meaty croissant in two. I pretended not to notice that I'd torn off 2/3rds of the oversized pastry for myself. Everyone else had taken a full one, so I was really being quite reasonable with my slightly inflated half. Even if I did cover it with a nice hefty blanket of the garlic & herb spread. Calcium, remember? And the spread has way (err... a little) less fat than the brie!
The brie that I put on my muffin.
That was now gone.
Along with my two helpings of egg casserole.
And half a plate of fruit.
And 2/3rds of a buttery croissant with garlic spread.
"Does anyone want dessert?" My mom asked, holding out a plate of her famous marshmallow cookies.
I shook my head, my stomach finally registering all that I had packed into it. I was done. Cooked. Toast. Out for the count!
Or at least I was until dinner time. Shrimp linguine with clam sauce, anyone? And maybe just the slightest sliver of chocolate Earthquake cake...
Recipe for blueberry muffins can be found here.