Busy Philipps—the late-night TV host, iconic star of “Freaks and Geeks,” and generally fascinating actor and personality—has had her hands full lately. She’s been at home self-isolating with her kids Birdie and Cricket for about a month, and is as dedicated a mother as she is an activist. Busy is a tireless advocate and spokesperson for No Kid Hungry, a nonprofit dedicated to ending childhood hunger in America by working with educators, community organizations and lawmakers to launch and support programs that feed hungry kids. Last year, her work on a celebrity-studded variety show she co-hosted with Chef Curtis Stone raised awareness and funds for the charity.
Like all parents and caregivers, Busy has been hunting for ways to keep her own kids entertained while at home this month and checks in regularly on Instagram (photos, below) with progress. At “Camp Cricket” (affectionately named for her youngest daughter), she fills the days with yoga, croquet, reading, facials, garage tennis, slime-making (!) and, of course, cooking! Busy shares the recipe for healthy banana-chocolate muffins she adapted from Huckleberry cookbook below, along with her thoughts on keeping busy, staying at home, and giving back.
To learn more about No Kid Hungry and its work with state and federal agencies to make sure kids who continue to need nutritious school lunches while sheltering in place can receive them, visit its site. (Until April 30th, your donations will be matched!) Thanks for the work you do, Busy!
Hello from Camp Cricket! We are coming up on about a month of quarantine in my house and my six-year-old Cricket just wrapped 2 weeks (!!) of spring break. My older daughter Birdie is still doing her schoolwork over Zoom all day. Because I know that our kids…ALL kids, ALL people tbh, operate better when they have a schedule, I structure a day of “camp” for Cricket every morning with activities timed out. And we MOSTLY stick to it but even if we don’t, it’s nice to have the schedule there to return to.
On the schedule, every day is baking or cooking, which Cricket loves. We’ve used the opportunity to find things to make that will use food that is about to go bad and also can be frozen to keep longer. I found a recipe from the Huckleberry cookbook for gluten-free vegan Banana chocolate muffins so we decided to try that!
In this time with my kids, I’ve been thinking a lot about luck. The luck that I have had, to simply be born into privilege, which has made everything I’ve done in life so much easier than it is for so many others. It wasn’t until I became a mom, almost 12 years ago, that it really became clear to me that giving back in a real way had to be a priority in our house. I’ve worked with No Kid Hungry for several years now and I have seen firsthand the impact they have on kids in school. When this crisis started, I was so concerned about what the kids NKH supports would be doing for food now and thankfully, No Kid Hungry has a plan but they need our support!
So hopefully, while we are all at home doing our own versions of Camp Cricket, we can also give back in whatever ways we can.
And until this is all over, Cricket and Birdie and I will just be over at home, adapting recipes to what we have on hand and freezing muffins! I am loving this time with my girls and even though some days are difficult and endless, I am constantly aware and grateful for all that we have and how LUCKY we are. Sending you all the love and happy baking!
Gluten-Free Banana Chocolate Muffins
- 1 cup plus 2 Tbsp (140 g) Huckleberry Gluten-Free Flour Mix (2 3/4 brown rice flour, 1 3/4 cup oat flour, 1 3/4 cup potato starch, 1/2 cup cornmeal) [Busy used brown rice, oats and popcorn and blended it in her food processor to make the flour.]
- 6 Tbsp almond flour
- 2 tsp baking powder
- 2 tsp baking soda
- 3/4 tsp kosher salt
- 1/2 tsp cinnamon
- 3 Tbsp flaxseed meal
- 6 Tbsp canola oil (Busy substituted Crisco)
- 7 Tbsp agave syrup
- 6 Tbsp coconut milk
- 2 tsp vanilla extract
- 6 ripe bananas; 4 mashed 2 sliced (Busy had 5, mashed 4 and sliced one)
- 3 Tbsp walnuts toasted and ground
- 1 cup chopped dark chocolate 60-70% cacao (Busy used a mish mash of the dark chocolate chips she had on hand)
- Position a rack near the top of your oven and preheat to 350˚F (180˚C). Line one 12-cup muffin pan with paper liners.
- In a large bowl, whisk the flour mix, almond flour, baking powder, baking soda, salt, cinnamon, and flaxseed meal to remove any lumps. In a small bowl combine the canola oil, 5 Tbsp of the agave syrup, the coconut milk and vanilla. Whisk to combine.
- Pour the wet mixture into the dry mixture and whisk together by hand just until combined. Fold in the mashed bananas, walnuts and chocolate.
- Lightly toss the sliced bananas with the remaining 2 Tbsp agave syrup. Fill the muffin cups almost all the way to the top. Top with about 3 banana slices per muffin.
- Bake for about 25 minutes, until the muffins are browned and spring back slightly to the touch.
Recipe adapted from Huckleberry by Zoe Nathan with the permission of Chronicle Books (2014)