Friday, December 17, 2010

Finding Inspiration, Homemade Cereal and Muffins

Squirrel visitor outside my window
Last Sunday we woke up to a light covering of snow.  Perfect for a special day.  That afternoon my neices and nephews (all but the youngest, who just turned one :) came over to make Christmas ornaments.  I dug out a variety of craft supplies, made some muffins (see recipe below), and listened to the sounds of John Dowland.  It was a festive atmosphere and thanks to Adam's help, everything was ready to go when they arrived.

I don't have any pictures, but there were some great ornaments I wish I could have captured. Popular materials of the day were felt, paper and bottle caps.  I won't go into details in case any are used for gifts for sisters who may read this blog.  Thanks to Tori, Madi, Sean and David for such a wonderful afternoon!

Any writers reading?  Well, I have recently decided on a little challenge to keep the creative juices flowing.  For the next month I will write at least 50 words per day.  50 words isn't much at all, so it should be very doable ;)  The idea is to set aside time each day to write a few thoughts, a poem, journal, or whatever wordplay comes to mind.  If you are a writer who is not writing, maybe you should consider creating a challenge for yourself.  Or perhaps there is something else that you dream about, but make little time to do.  Just remember to make the challenge something that is easily doable, so that it is not a matter of stress, but just a chance to allow your creativity to flow.  If you decide to do anything like this, I would love to hear about it!

Besides wonderful blueberry and chocolate chip muffins, Mom always made orange muffins.  Not only are they flavored with orange juice, but they are slightly crunchy from grape nuts.  Since we didn't have any berries in the freezer, these seemed like the perfect choice on Sunday.  It also gave me the perfect opportunity to make homemade grape nuts. That is, until I remembered that I didn't have any orange juice.  By the time that occured to me, I had already made the grape nuts and prepared the dry ingredients.  So what did I actually make that day?  Hearty Cereal Muffins with raisins.

Hearty Cereal Muffins with Raisins
(adapted from Mom's Orange Muffin recipe)

Dry ingredients: 
2 c. flour (I used spelt) 
1/3 c. coconut crystals (or other sweetener)
1 t. baking soda
1/2 t. salt
1 c. grape nuts (see recipe below)

Liquid ingredients: 
2 T. flax mixed with 6 Tbs. water
1 c. soymilk 
1 T. orange peel
1/2 T. cinnamon
1/3 c. coconut oil

2 handfuls of raisins 

* Mix all dry ingredients, except raisins, in a large bowl. 
* Mix all liquid ingredients in a medium bowl.
* Add the liquid ingredients to the dry ingredients and mix until moist.   
* Gently mix in the raisins.
* Bake in a greased muffin tin for 20-25 min. at 400 F (204 C) 

Homemade Grape Nuts
(adapted from More-with-Less

1 1/2 c. flour (I used half spelt, half ground buckwheat)
1/4 c. wheat germ
1/2 c. (or less) coconut crystals (may use other sweetener; use a little over 1/3c. if liquid)
1 c. soymilk + 1 tbs. lemon juice 
1/2 t. baking soda
pinch of salt

* Beat all ingredients until smooth.
* Spread dough onto a large greased cookie sheet and bake at 350 F (177 C) for 25-30 min. 
* Crumble while still warm using a blender, a cupful at a time.  
* Crisp in oven, set at 250 F (120 C), for 20-30 min.
* Store in an airtight container. 


Carissa said...

Aw, I love your squirrel friend :) I get excited every time there is a squirrel in my yard. Your muffin recipe looks like something I would love too!

Cassie - Vegan Fox said...

I actually took that a year ago. It seemed perfect to post :) Let me know what you think if try the muffins!

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