22 October 2013

People give me the shakes!

I recently gave a presentation on how one can use food preparation in their spiritual life. It is a topic close to my heart.

I think it was a difficult success. It has been a loooong time since I have done any sort of speech. I typically do not enjoy being the center of attention, especially with strangers. I also left some materials at home, including my written notes, so I did not feel prepared. Thankfully, I kept some on my tablet, so I was not completely lost.

Once I raced through what notes I did have and what I could remember despite my anxiety, we broke bread, and I asked everyone to just dialogue about food. I loved hearing all the different memories of past meals. How certain food were connected to a person or time. I guess I just liked being reminded that we are all unique individuals with our own experiences. All are valid and true. It's chaotic and beautiful at the same time.

I do hope that the attendants were able to glean some ideas and inspiration despite my stumbling. To be tremendously 90s goth, nothing is trivial. Every act can be with purpose and thought.

I would love to work through this hurdle. I have had 2 viola performances, and both were gut-wrenching. I was decent, but I felt like I was going to implode. My performance was hindered, just as it was the other day. I am now declaring it a personal goal to become more comfortable, or at least more functional, under pressure.
I do fully intend to write on this topic (food, not so much anxiety) in depth, and I hope that those who have requested it will be patient with me. After all, I am a far better writer than speaker.

06 October 2013

Carrot Bran Muffins

We are transitioning to a more whole foods menu. The most difficult part has been moving to whole wheat. At first, it doesn't seem like a big deal, but consider whole wheat pasta, whole wheat cakes, whole wheat biscuits. It just gets sad. But I'm stubborn and will try it until I get used to it...or I can't stand it anymore.

So, this is how we got to carrot muffins with wheat. Well, that, and I had carrots that were getting limp on me. It happens with age. Yup. That just happened.

First, this recipe is dumb. It calls for AP flour and wheat, then bran. Hello, it would have the bran already if you used all wheat. However, I only had whole wheatberries and a manual grinder. My wrist has been bothering me, so I ground what it called for and used the redundant AP-bran combination. Hubs was right. That mixer attachment was a better idea. But we dont have to tell him now do we?

1. Cream 1/3 cup coconut oil (called for vegetable oil, but we ditched it). Add 1/2 cup sorghum (or molasses) and 1/3 cup honey. Set aside. If you use vegetable oil, skip this step.
1. In a large bowl, combine 1 1/2 cups bran, 3/4 cup whole wheat flour, 3/4 cup AP flour, 1/2 tsp salt, 1/2 tsp cinnamon, and 2 tsp baking powder.
2. Toss in 1 1/2 cup shredded carrots to coat. (You could also add a handful of raisins or nuts if you like.)
3. Mix in 1 egg, 3/4 cup milk and the oil mixture.
4. Pour into muffin tins and bake for 15 minutes at 400.

I am genuinely impressed. There is no sugar in this recipe! Just mostly natural sweeteners.

High five!

These freeze beautifully if they last that long.

Next time, I will try this with all whole wheat flour and less bran to see if it is missed.