Saturday, March 30, 2013

Whole-Grain Blueberry Muffins

A trick I realized when  making this recipe: If you don't have buttermilk you can substitute the same amount of milk with two drops of lemon essential oil. These whole-grain muffins were eaten in minutes.

Whole-Grain Blueberry Muffins
1 3/4 cups old-fashioned rolled oats
1 cup whole wheat flour
3 tsp. cinnamon
1 tsp. baking powder
1 tsp. baking soda
3/4 tsp. salt
2 large eggs
3/4 cup wildflower honey
1/4 cup vegetable oil
2 tsp. vanilla extract
1 1/2 cups milk
2 drops lemon essential oil
1 1/2 cups blueberries

Preheat oven to 400.

In food processor or blender, pulse oats until resemble coarse meal.

In a large bowl, whisk flour, cinnamon, oats, baking powder, baking soda and salt.

In a cup mix milk and lemon essential oil.

In another bowl, mix eggs, honey, oil and vanilla until well blended. Mix in milk. Fold into flour mixture. Fold in berries.

Divide batter into muffin cups. Bake 18-23 minutes.

Monday, March 25, 2013

Patience and My Pew

I confess: I am a Country Living kind of gal. I have wishes and dreams of old-fashioned furniture, modeled just so, like the pages of a magazine.

The reality is I live in a six-year-old nondescript house, dressed with a blend of old woodwork, cheap, packed bookshelves and worn-down sofas and chairs. 

Most of my finds haven't taken much effort at all: an old school desk and chair found at an antique store; old dressers that belonged to my husband's grandfather. But really, nothing that screams "me."

And then I found Freecycle. Or it found me.

Until this point, Freecycle had been just a novelty to me, a way to put out calls for strange things like the long-lost DVR remote or to get rid of the random item that just hadn't made its way to Goodwill as yet.

And then one day a magical moment happened.

Someone was giving away pews. Lots of them. Free for the taking.

I'd idealized having a pew in my home, more of a decorative element than anything functional. And I figured when the time was right - when there was no college or grade-school tuition to pay; our debts were paid down - we would get one.

But on this day, Broad Ripple United Methodist Church was doing a massive renovation, and pews - handcrafted in the 1960s - were free for the taking.

I have to say, I've been impressed with the coordinated sweep it took to get those pews out to the homes in just a few hours time. And even more impressed that they thought to donate the wood to those who were interested. Pews found homes in everything from start-up churches to homes like mine.

Right now, my pew has found a temporary respite in the front of my house, while I make arrangements to pass along an old love seat to a new home. And I haven't decided still whether to keep the original finish or to strip it and stain it a nice cherry.

And while it may not be picture-perfect, I've been pleased with the moments this pew has already found - from my children playing "church" to little boys sneaking under it to play. And that beats a picturesque magazine shoot any day.

Tuesday, March 19, 2013

Removing paint fumes with essential oils

Preparing to paint your room? This is a tip from Modern Essentials I'll be sure to try during my repainting this spring:

Add one 15 ml bottle of essential oil (such as lemon oil or doTerra's Purify TM, Elevation TM or Citrus Bliss TM blends) to a five gallon bucket of paint. Stir it vigorously to mix.

You can buy these online by following my affiliate link.