Muffins and smoothies…

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Does anybody know why i’m getting a little arrow on some of these pics???

Celebrating health with more muffins and smoothies…

One of my favorite sounds this time of year rang through the valley as I took these photos. Baby lambs calling for their mama’s and mama saying “for God’s sake I’m right here- Can’t I just go pee for thirty seconds on my own!”

Really though, they are so sweet… just like these muffins I had to make again. Here’s the GF version if you missed it.

I HAD to do it again. … with the all purpose flour, canola oil and white granulated sugar. As much as I love deviation- this is straight up followed. I even let them sit for twenty minutes before I buttered one and inhaled it in all it’s Morning Glory. They were good but not as good as in the bakery. That’s when you realize publishing a cookbook with your secrets won’t necessarily detract from your business.

Next is juicing…

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I’m not sure if the New Year juicing, fasting, GF cleansing has been plucked from popularity and you know I’ve had some dips already in the chocolate tin. Since I often get recycled magazines from the library I’m trending a little behind the beat anyway.  But if you could see me now I think I might be glowing.

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I’ve been reading about the positive impact of fruits and vegetables in the same blended drink. Sounds good except I don’t want to put my strawberries through the champion (old school around here) and my fibrous kale and carrots in the stand up blender (the one with a metal switch).

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So until I get something, if ever, a little more updated, then I’ll be pulling both units out. And this morning I had the time. Really it wasn’t so consuming.

I love juicing and I love smoothies and usually will crank both out for a week or two at a time. Because I have the attention span of a goldfish the thrill disperses quickly and I can’t justify a $500 bill on a new machine.

I juiced carrots, celery, kale and an orange. Poured this mixture directly into the blender and added a little spinach, berries, peaches, a frozen banana and my whey protein powder. Throw some flax or chia seeds in there and you will get an A++.

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Since I’ll probably do this for a few months , weeks, days, I decided to make up some packets. Two things that I still here my French cooking teachers say- “economy of motion… we must win the time”. This was his direct translation of gagnez le temp!… And “bien assaisoner”. Use the damn salt and pepper already (but that does not apply here).

I only made up three packets and they make about two servings each. Make them accordingly for yourself or family. But trust me the time it takes to pull out the peaches, blackberries, raspberries, strawberries and frozen bananas (the going brown ones you already peeled and put in a baggie), reach a hand into each one, and put them all back… OR you could pull out one little baggie and plop it in the blender. You can always rinse out the baggie and reuse it

Healthy mind-body smoothie

You could of course also portion and prep your veggies for several days at a time too. This way when you pull out two machines- it’s not so bad. And if you have one of those Breville’s or Vitamixes, well hell – you’ve got it made.

You will literally start to glow at least on the inside when you see all this goodness your body will be shortly receiving. I’m just finishing my first glass now. Still picking the raspberry seeds from my teeth. The first sip was a little hmmm… I’m confused. A hint of greens and orange… berries. Do I like this? By the third sip. “I think so.” By the last bit. I love it and am  on for seconds. Or maybe I should wait a few hours so I don’t go into detox shock.

Here’s the official Macrina Morning Glory recipe:

Ingredients 
▪ 1/2 cup seedless raisins 
▪ 1/3 cup walnut halves 
▪ 2 cups unbleached all-purpose flour 
▪ 1/2 cup granulated sugar 
▪ 2-1/4 teaspoons cinnamon 
▪ 1-1/2 teaspoons baking soda 
▪ 1/4 teaspoon salt 
▪ 1 medium carrot, grated 
▪ 1 Granny Smith apple, peeled and grated 
▪ 3/4 cup chopped pineapple 
▪ 3 eggs 
▪ 1/4 cup canola oil 
▪ 6 tablespoons unsalted butter, melted 
▪ 1 tablespoon freshly squeezed lemon juice 
▪ 1 teaspoon pure vanilla extract 
▪ 1/2 cup shredded, unsweetened coconut 
▪ 1/3 cup coarse raw sugar

Have a lovely week,

Tschüß xx

Macrina’s and my GF morning glory

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The morning began at 5.30am when first I realized I had slept seven hours straight. Is my puppy still breathing? Was my first thought. He slept all by his independent self (not on the couch because we’d never allow that). We have gone like few others without a crate. Usually, he stretches his newly elongated body across the bottom of our bed. But this lovely morning, I awoke like sleeping beauty after a kiss from her prince… except maybe with a few more well earned laugh lines and sun damage. And I was happy to feel so rested because…

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This morning I was anxious to check my mail as we were awaiting an update on O’s visa. The last document, a police certificate from the Netherlands has indeed arrived and the final interview will be scheduled shortly. I refrain from immediately responding with, “can you please define shortly”. I can only imagine the angst produced before the convenience of email. Early on I was politely told that email inquiries might actually delay the process. Note to self. From then on I tried to cleverly disguise my inquiries with valid questions. We have experienced only pleasant helpful responses.

I just want to say right now we are putting the music on for the happy dance. And I want to say thanks especially to TH at UCSIS for encouraging me last November to hand deliver in Frankfurt the first large packet of life defining materials in order to hasten this process.  O and I have lived differently these first forty something years. His consistency, drive and stability have combined well with my, how can I say this in a positive way, my spontaneity, tenacity, and creativity. Phew. That’s hard on both parts to sum up in three adjectives so it is certainly not the full description of who we each are. BUT…. when you fill out these papers with where you have lived, your divorces (or lack thereof), your employment etc… one might see a trend.

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Here we are though, a dozen affidavits later from friends and family who claimed our love is true, moments away from a certificate pasted in a passport that will bring us greencard glory. I would also like to thank MS in Frankfurt for his updates and help this past month. And now I’m wondering if after this is all said and done and O’s two feet are firmly planted on US soil, would I actually send them a link to my blog and show them my thanks! If I could I would send them some Morning Glory muffins.

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So to celebrate, instead of the miso soup with shitakes, cabbage and glass noodles I was going to post. I’m making outrageous early morning muffins. Just in Seattle this past weekend, we enjoyed a savory brunch at Macrina Bakery and Cafe and took home a couple treats including the Morning Glory muffin. I’ve owned a signed copy of Leslie Mackie’s Macrina Bakery & Cafe Cookbook since about when she wrote it in 2003. I’ll be damned if my copy has this recipe in it but several sites online sourced it from this book. Maybe it’s the updated version with a new chapter. I have retrieved the recipe from the once Seattle local Cake Spy . I have adapted it using GF flours and a few other things.

Such as currants, brown sugar, flax seeds and olive oil…

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Actually, it’s quite adapted and I almost wonder if Ms. Mackie would be rather pissed that I even referred to her gorgeous muffins.  And don’t get me started on GF. My fashion trending sucks, but I’m often being dragged through the street clinging white knuckled to the back of the food bandwagon.  So these are made with Bob’s Red Mill All-Purpose Gluten-Free Baking Flour,  Bob’s Red Mill Almond Meal, and Bob’s Red Mill Quinoa Flour  and their GF oats. Sometimes I think it is just me liking a challenge. No details on these flours yet because I can’t be bothered with to much info in one post and I’m pushing the envelope here already!

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{Print GF Morning Glory Muffin Recipe}

And now I suppose you are waiting to hear how they actually taste. Well they don’t taste like Macrina’s but if you really did need to be GF – you’d like them. Maybe a lot. I like them especially when you actually wait the requested twenty minutes for them to cool and like a chicken the moisture soaks into the meat of it…And a little spread of butter works very well.  But I don’t require GF and I will be buying myself another pineapple tomorrow. I want another taste of the “real” thing.

And very last thing to say… this isn’t the first time these muffins have been posted and won’t be the last (well maybe this version). I’m all about the food but let’s face it, this virtual community thing is powerful and we are inspired to share. It is our human need as social beings. I want to share because I feel heard. Thank you.

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Hope you all have a glorious day and week xx

UPDATE: Teen daughter gives thumbs up!

Tschüß,

One year ago:  Lemon Poppy Seed Cupcakes

PS – Otis totally slept on the couch. And sometimes he sleeps on the little bed when I work:

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Apfelbrot …. apple, figs, cranberries and hazelnuts. And vegan too!


Applebread

Our lives are in a bit of an upheaval and today is the first official day of breaking down our apartment in Hamburg. Excitement, sadness, sentiment, frustration all fight for their moment in the spotlight. Transitions for me are certainly opportunities for growth and all that… but they also like to chew into my creative space. I am longing to keep a little normalcy by cooking and posting. Sometimes I wonder why can’t I just be a regular gal and settle into a nice house, where we go to work, the kids go to school and we all live in the same house, city, country. yadah yadah….But I just haven’t been that kinda gal. We’ve had many adventures that ultimately I am so grateful to have experienced and now the feeling of NEVER moving again rings like a metal gong vibrating throughout my cranium. But because I love and accept myself now, finally… in my 40’s, I suggest to me and you never ever say never or ever.

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Welcome fall with Pumpkin Bread Pudding & spicy apple caramel

Every morning this week, before the eyelids parted, allowing visual stimulation to monopolize my brain, I have thought about…. drum roll…. Pumpkins. Pumpkin soup. Been there done that. Glazed pumpkin bread. Better. Pumpkin custard or pots de crème…  hmmmm. Then it hit  me, plunging into my thought pattern like an asteroid targeting the earth. Pumpkin bread pudding.

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A plum cake you will make. A lot.

We do have a lot of plums. And many varieties. Somewhere in a box is the old map scratched out in pencil on notebook paper of the trees originally planted on these 15 acres. Over 200 trees about 30 years ago by the guy who homesteaded the place when he was about 24 years old. I would say about 25% still remain. We’ve been remiss in planting new fruit trees and it’s time.

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chocolate and zucchini

chocolate and zucchini muffins

Of course this sounds familiar. No, not from the hundreds of zucchini bread recipes…just from one of the original food blogs, what was it? Oh right. Chocolate & Zucchini. One that I still peer into on a regular basis, she never seems short on ideas and is currently reaching out to her audience for inspiration on the title of her new book coming out in spring 2013. Go Clotide.

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Mixed Berry Hazelnut Tarts and June Bake Together with Abbey Dodge

Here it is the end of the month and you may have noticed, I’m trying to slip in a few “round ups”. I’m generally not a huge procrastinator and I gave myself permission not to stress about doing these because they really are for fun. Knowing we would be getting our main house ready for the summer season of vacationers, that I would have loads of friends to catch up with and would just want to have a little me time for projects, I decided I’d play it by ear. So yesterday I did make a third round of pasta for the Donna Hay photo round up at Jungle Frog and since I had friends over for dinner a couple days ago, why not make mixed berry tarts to add to Abbey Dodge’s very berry mini pie  round up. Right?

Now I’m down to the wire and still managed to be courteous to the Census Bureau Man who happened to drop in at 5pm on a Sat night. Go me.

And honestly, cooking is my “me” time, my project time. There’s nothing more fun than having a time-contstraint free day to cook, take photos and share my project with friends and loved ones. This was our dessert after the grilled salmon and goat cheese pasta. I can be pretty hard on myself when something really doesn’t hit the mark, but I’m also not afraid to give myself praise when deserved. Let me just say… these rocked.

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Rosenkuchen for Easter

Rosenkuchen for Easter

Finally, the long promised and awaited Rosenkuchen.  Ok. Maybe that is an exaggeration. This Rosenkuchen, a yeasted cake with hazelnut and apple filling, has quickly climbed the ranks of my cake list. We loved it. The neighbors loved it. Honestly, we would have enjoyed it more if it hadn’t been on the heels of the macarons.  I’m glad to have made this before our trip to share it with you prior to the holidays. This would be a PERFECT Easter brunch item. Easily made the day before. I actually made the yeasted dough on Saturday and held it over in the fridge till Sunday. Not a problem. I just couldn’t bare the thought of finishing it the same night as those Macarons and I was losing my natural light. I finished it Sunday afternoon but after a dinner of take out Indian food, we barely touched it till Monday.

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Rumblings, Frogs & Scones

Rumblings, Frogs & Scones

I know you are asking, “What the….?” Well, I’ll tell you. First off, it started this morning reading Joy the Baker. She wrote this week about rumblings and the desire to shake things up a bit in her world. Now here is a blogger who is doing quite well in my book. Popular writer, lives in a sunny place and has a new cookbook ready to order that’s getting good reviews and she has rumblings? And did I mention young? I know I’m simplifying, and we don’t know the complexities we all face in life. But I do wonder, do rumblings, stirrings, the need to shake things up a bit seem to permeate all people irrelevant of age, stage of life, success or gender? Or can it be pinned to a certain personality type? Are there people continuously satisfied with life? I’m not talking about happiness but satisfaction. Or do they go hand and hand?

Frogs came to the forefront today when I went out for a little nordic walking and saw these signs that are posted annually in March to protect the wee ones crossing the road. Is that sweet or what. They even put up an eight inch barrier and cover the manholes so the little guys don’t drop in.  This is a sign for me in Hamburg, that spring is on the way.

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Sunshine and rotten bananas

Sunshine and rotten bananas

I remember when Chloe (aka Alice)…ok the cat’s out of the bag… but now that I’m trying to morph into (or go back) to Chez Chloe – and obviously I haven’t been shy with using my entire name… and it’s not Chloe… you could guess where I may have garnished the name…. Chloe was about two and a half. Yes, we still slept in the same bed. Each morning, she would ever so gently nudge my cheek with her chubby little index finger. She glowed as my eyes opened and I whispered, “Good morning sunshine.” It was another glorious day to be alive, to be loved and to be entertained or provide the entertainment. Many mornings were spent in the kitchen baking, making pancakes and singing. Chloe’s singing and dancing always required an audience. I was happy to oblige. They were sweet days I remember with utter fondness.

Fast forward eleven years. I gently tap on Chloe’s door. I wait. No sound. I peek in the room to see a balled up floral flannel comforter hiding a full size body with a flash of blonde hair streaking from the edges. If I dared to tap her gently and whisper “Good Morning Sunshine,” I’d risk a good slap upside the head. So instead I turn on the lights, shine them directly at her head and grab only a wad of foot. “Hey you, good morning,” I say as I squeeze her foot and deftly step away. I try to maintain some sort of civility, express a mother’s love and protect myself. This is repeated in ten- minute intervals until she rises from the dead.

The first words I heard this morning when she made it to the kitchen for something other than eating breakfast, were “God, those look disgusting.” and she was referring to these beauties. Of course you and I know what’s on the agenda.

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