Life Lesson #147 LOL

Laughing at ourselves is the gift of the secure. But what if the joke is pointed out in public, or on social media? Yikes! That’s when we discover the strength of the virtue. ūü§ďūüėĀ

The average person teases us because they like us. ūüėä These same kinds of people show us respect in more serious moments.

Sometimes we don’t like to talk about our flops and our failures. At least not until they are far behind us; making for humourous stories.

 

In my case, I won’t be gifting these cookies to any of you; I like you too much. The original ‘Breakfast Cookie’ isn’t a total miss.

The cookie may need to grow on me; and if you had one, the ūüź∂. They are not the food for any ūüźĪ, that’s for sure! ūü§£

Regardless, I’m going to give you the recipe. It may have potential, or maybe they just make for great storytelling. ūüėĀ

#humourgenre #howbadwerethey #letmetellyou #howbadtheywere

#norefinedsugar #glutenfree #herzogthefroggoesblog #herzogthefrogandme www.jmalmond.com

Breakfast Cookies

2 cups of coconut flour
1/2 tsp of baking soda
1 tsp cream of tartar
1 tsp cinnamon
1 tsp of vanilla
1/4 cup of honey
1/4 cup maple syrup
1/2 cup plain yogurt
2 eggs
1 Tbsp of brewed coffee
1/2 cup peach jam (no refined sugar)
1/2 dried cranberries
1/4 cup roasted almonds
1/4 cup pecans
1/2 cup ‘All Natural Gluten Free Honey Nut Granola’
1/3 cup chopped apricots
In large bowl mix dry ingredients. Make a well. Beat eggs in small bowl. Add: eggs, honey, peach jam, maple syrup, yogurt, coffee, and vanilla to dry ingredients. Mix thoroughly. Fold in; granola, pecans, almonds, and apricots. Stir until mixed. Roll batter into  1-inch balls, placing on a cooking sheet covered with parchment paper. Top with a whole almond. Gently press each cookie with a wide fork, holding the outside edges of the cookie as you do. Bake at 375 for 15-18 minutes. Place on cooling rack.

Compassion is What We Need!

 

Hope everyone is well and enjoying your summer. I went to a Jazz Festival on a very rainy Sunday recently. The Jazz performer sang, “Compassion is what we need!” She introduced the song by saying it reminded her of the best times when family and friends come together in Community.

Below is a post I made on  Instagram early this morning. About 6:30 a.m. to be exact.

Normally, I take the time to type a post out. Forgive me this time. I’ve copied and pasted a portion of it. I’m on a personal reading challenge reading two MG books a week and reviewing them.¬†This began at the end of June and will continue¬†until December.¬† The bookshelf in the photo came prior to the idea for the challenge but¬†works well to mark my progress.¬† It was purchased at a Silent Auction in support of our Local Chapter of The Special Olympics.

I continue to write in various mediums and my photography progresses. If you haven’t already,¬† you are welcome to join me on any of the links provided on my website. My author business wall on FaceBook is primarily¬†photography¬†for the time being. The other platforms have their¬†purpose as well.¬†

For those joining the blog for the first time, if I were to describe my passions they would be: writing,  photography, cooking and creating, humor, looking for beauty in nature,  supporting authors and local business; particularly entrepreneurs.

Locally sourced products in support of community are important to me.¬† I ‘m a vegetarian. However;¬† one with a sense of humor. Being fanatic or legalistic about anything in life – well it for sure won[‘t win you friends or influence people.¬† At least not in my experience or preference. lol – Dale Carnegie¬† ¬†Passion is something totally different.

Hope you enjoy the recipe. Find compassion for yourself and others every day within your own community. Discover your passions.  Follow them, they will lead you on.  Enjoy the journey and the Muffins. lol

Yours,

JM Almond – Author #herzogthefrogandme

A couple of #zucchinis came with my @haciendamarketgarden Run by Volunteers @workingcenter – delivered by – @ecocourierkw There are so many things we can do with this #vegetable at this time of year.
Here’s what I wrote in my Blog #herzogthefroggoesblog a while ago. I’ll follow with the Zucchini Muffin Recipe. #norefinedsugar
#nooil
Kindness, A Cup of Coffee, and a Muffin
Hi friends. Trust you are well. In these days, we must let kindness, compassion, and understanding guide us. Buddha once said if we are not compassionate to ourselves we have not experienced the fullness of compassion.
Herzog the Frog’s Zucchini Muffins

1 1/2 Cups of the Flour of Your Choice including Gluten Free
2 Tbsp Baking Powder
1 Tsp. Baking Soda
1/4 Tsp Salt
1 Tsp Vanilla
1 Tbsp Brewed Coffee
1 Egg
1/2 Cup Unsweetened Applesauce
1/4 Cup Raw Local Honey
1/2 Cup Plain Yogurt
1/2 Large Zucchini Shredded
1/2 Cup Thompson Raisins
Preheat Oven to 375. Shred Zucchini and set aside. Mix dry ingredients in large bowl. Make a well in the middle of that mixture. Add egg, vanilla, applesauce, honey, yogurt, and coffee. Mix well. Fold in: shredded Zucchini and Raisins. Line Muffin tins with recyclable paper liners, or non- stick cooking spray. Spoon in Muffin Batter. Place in oven for 20 minutes. Cool on Baking Rack. Serve with: Fresh Fruit or Cheese, or in their own. Enjoy!

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102 Days

Hello:

It’s been some time since I have written. Thank you to those who have stayed on.¬† I appreciate it!

Let me update you.¬† After that, I’ll share a new recipe.

A few weeks prior to Christmas I took a ‘power nap’ in my easy chair. When I awoke I seemed to know what I was to do next.¬†I acted on that ‘knowing.’ It wasn’t that it came out of the ‘clear blue sky.’¬†¬†lol

Those who have read earlier posts may recall I spent time¬†typing and organizing my Mom’s Recipe Collection. A cousin felt it noteworthy to gather the family stories surrounding those recipes.¬† What she was suggesting at the time didn’t fully resonate.

In the end, after ‘that’ power nap it wasn’t exactly what happened either.¬† I felt instead that I was to challenge myself. The challenge was to write a short story every day for 102 days consecutively. Many asked why 102 days? Well, not too scientific that question. I felt 100 too mundane; too ‘doable’ if you like. A friend had written a short story as part of a compilation. Along with several other writers the book contained 101 tales.

Along the way, I heard a suggestion that made sense. The wisdom was to go beyond what felt comfortable. Voila, 102 days of writing a short story for 102 days consecutively was born.

The only common element in each short story was a recipe from my Mom’s collection. I baked the recipe and photographed it on the same day. A little busy I was. lol I even wrote on Christmas Day and New Year’s Eve. I was grateful for my yoga group who ate the majority of the cooking.

The writings are not in anyway a cookbook; though the recipes could be shared as such. They cover all genres. Some non-fiction stories required a number of phone calls to relatives and family friends. Some days, I was exhausted. When my eyes would not stay open,  I went to bed, and then got up again in the middle of the night to finish the story. It was an adventure! I felt alive even when I was tired.

My Family went on the journey with me.   Aunts and Uncles,  Cousins and Sisters, and Distant Cousins got on board. I looked forward to their comments on my private wall, as they followed the stories every day.

Their encouragement kept me going. I typed all the stories with one finger (very sore by the end) on my cell phone. My cat was the reason. He refused to leave me alone on my laptop. lol¬† ¬†Many writers speak of such problems; truth be told we wouldn’t trade such wows for the world.

It was an invaluable process for me as a writer.¬† On a personal note, it was a delight to¬†share with family. A ‘social media family reunion’ every day for 102 days. Somehow, it’s been decided I’m to organize the next family reunion. I’m trying to stay under the radar on that one. J.K. Rowling, advises authors to protect their time at all costs. lol She’s quite right! Books don’t write themselves.

I could tell you so much more about those 102 days. For now,¬† I’ll share a recipe. One that came together accidentally on a Sunday evening recently. Not knowing what to make for dinner, I decided something from my favorite breakfast menu might work. What better than a muffin?

The breakfast or coffee time sweet has no refined sugar. This is true of most of the recipes I share on my blog.¬† I hope you’ll enjoy them. The usual¬†disclaimer applies.¬† lol, I liked them. I hope you will, but no guarantees. lol,

As always,¬†I encourage you to make the recipe your own. Make it suit your likes, or create something entirely¬†new.¬† There is no right or wrong. I think you might like this one.¬† On to the recipe…

Recipe:

Cranberry Pecan Banana Muffins

2 cups of flour (gluten free optional)

1/2 tsp. soda

1/2 tsp. salt

2 tbsp. baking powder

1/2 cup Coconut Palm Sugar

Mix Well

Add:

2 eggs well beaten

2 ripe bananas mashed

1/4 cup of pure maple syrup

1/2 cup of milk or coconut milk

Stir Well

Add:

3/4 cup of whole pecans

Preheat oven to 375. Line muffin tins or spray well with Cooking Spray. Bake for 20 minutes. Let Cool. Serve with:  cheese, fresh fruit, cottage cheese, yogurt, fresh fruit, or with scrambled eggs on the side.  Get creative with your breakfast options. Enjoy the muffin with your afternoon coffee or tea. Did I say tea? Our secret. Writers love their coffee! Truth be told so does this writer.  lol Happy Creating! Until next time.

JM Almond – Author

P.S. Herzog, the Frog’s story is not forgotten. More about that another day. lol

Happy New Year From Herzog and Me!

Hello everyone:

I trust this post finds you well. Herzog and I wanted to drop by and get you caught up.

It was a busy season, but an enjoyable one. We made sure to take some time to slow down. I hope you did as well. We spent both Christmas and New Years in the country.  Nothing like it!

Polar Vortex is the phrase at the moment. Makes for great opportunities to write. lol Wherever you live and whatever you are up to, I hope you are making the most of the time.  Even if you must for some reason take it a little slower, there is still so much of life to be embraced.

To catch you up on Herzog’s story, we are back working with our mentor after a brief time apart. He is a busy gentleman: a new musical,¬†a new book, and freelance work for magazines to name a few of his endeavors. Don’t ever let anyone tell you writers don’t work hard: published writers, as well as those waiting to be published, are some of the hardest working¬†people I have ever known. (Myself Included) lol

Passion drives us forward and for those most passionate the work is not laborious, or arduous.¬† ¬†One creative person I respect describes his work as his ‘drug of choice.’ Creative people simply must create! Keep in mind we are all born to create. You too, are creating every day!¬† Human Beings can’t avoid it!

Artists, photographers, authors live to create! The fortunate ones make a good living from their endeavors.  However; money earned does not make one an author, or an artist, or a photographer, or a creative person. Each of these men and women is who they are every time they create. Having said this, following the sometimes long road of passion will from my experience lead us to more. More amazing people, and eventually more wealth. Wealth is an inside job first and the monetary amount can vary for the individual. Passion is a powerful thing! Keep in mind the journey is always the destination.

JM is also working on another project at the moment. A series of short stories, with one common element to all, is proving to be an interesting, and enjoyable path. The author intends to write for 102 days consecutively and is currently on Day 26. She’s going strong,¬†full steam ahead and shows no signs of stopping! lol

In closing, I want to leave you with a Recipe of my Mom’s. I modified her Creamy Rice Pudding with good results. A photograph will show My Mother’s original recipe in her own handwriting. The picture of the pudding shows the version JM and Herzog created using palm sugar instead of refined sugar. The result was AMAZING!¬† At least, it didn’t last long at my house.lol

 

Creamy Rice Pudding Modified Using Coconut Palm Sugar

 

My Mother’s Orginal Creamy Rice Pudding Recipe in Her Own Handwriting.

 

The  Modified Recipe Below:

Herzog the Frog’s Creamy Rice Pudding

1/2 cup rice

4 cups lactose-free milk

2 egg yolks

1/2 cup coconut palm sugar

3/4 tsp. salt

1 teaspoon grated lemon

1/2 cup raisins (if desired)

  1. wash rice; cook in double boiler for an hour.
  2. beat eggs; add sugar and salt; add to rice
  3. stir and cook 5 minutes
  4. add lemon rind and raisins(optional) Serves 4-6

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Herzog the Frog Cookin’ Again!

Good Morning:

Wow! Time flies doesn’t it?

Herzog and I have been busy with photo contests and purging projects to name only a few of the things we’ve been up to. We went to a film festival, a fundraiser at a library, and the launch of our writing mentor’s new book. We traveled several miles for that special meeting. It was so great to see him!

What fun I had approaching his desk where he was signing his new book and asking him if he’d seen Herzog the Frog lately. lol We chatted briefly. We agreed after our break in writing that he called, ‘The Filling of My Well!’,¬† that it was time to head back to Herzog’s story. “These things can take time,” he wisely told me after autographing¬† my book with these words …”Looking Forward to the Rest of Herzog’s Story!”

What had seemed like a daunting task at a crucial part of Herzog’s story suddenly began to flow. For a writer, there is nothing sweeter. Well, almost nothing. Read on!

Because this time of year can get busy without even trying, lol¬† I decided yesterday in between things that I’d gift you with the gift of something sweet. lol You’ll be glad to know it’s good for you. lol Or maybe you won’t. lol Or mostly it’s good for you. lol I haven’t decided entirely. lol Anyhow, there is no refined sugar, it’s gluten free¬†and oh so ‘Festivee!’¬† Hope you’ll try it and let me know how it goes. It’s always a bit a risk sending others off with a new recipe, but best of luck to both of us!¬†lol¬†I hope we can still be friends no matter the results. lol¬†If it brings you any comfort, I’m finding it quite tasty between chapter edits. Quite tasty indeed! lol

And so from Herzog the Frog and Me Happy Holidays! Merry Christmas! Happy ‘However You Spend This Time of Year.’ I’m just glad you’ve come and found us here. You’re always welcome to stop in for a minute.¬† Now forward we go ..on to the recipe! I can hear Herzog’s story calling from across the room. lol

Recipe:

HERZOG THE FROG’S GLUTEN FREE QUINOA CRANBERRY CHRISTMAS LOAF

1 1/2 CUPS OF COOKED QUINOA

1 CUP OF PLAIN NON-FAT YOGURT

3 TBSP. GROUND FLAXSEED

2 CUPS OF ALMOND FLOUR

2 CUPS GLUTEN FREE OATS

2 EGGS

1/2 TSP. SALT

1 TSP. SODA

4 TBSP. BAKING POWDER

1 TSP. OF CINNAMON

1 CUP OF RAISINS

1 CUP OF RAW ALMONDS ROUGHLY CHOPPED

1 CUP OF CALIFORNIA WALNUTS ROUGHLY CHOPPED

1 CUP OF CRANBERRIES

1/4 CUP OF UNSWEETENED APPLESAUCE

2 TBSP. OF LOCAL RAW HONEY

1/2 CUP OF COCONUT PALM SUGAR

1 TSP. VANILLA

  1. COMBINE QUINOA, PLAIN YOGURT, AND GROUND FLAX  SEED. LET SIT FOR 30  MINUTES.
  2. ADD GROUND ALMOND FLOUR, GLUTEN FREE OATS, CINNAMON, SALT, SODA, AND BAKING POWDER. MIX WELL WITH QUINOA MIXTURE.
  3. BEAT EGGS WITH FORK AND ADD TO MIXTURE, STIRRING UNTIL MIXED TOGETHER WITH COMBINED MIXTURE.
  4. ADD YOGURT, HONEY, SUGAR, AND VANILLA
  5. ADD RAISINS, WALNUTS, AND ALMONDS
  6. FOLD IN CRANBERRIES
  7. ¬†PREHEAT OVEN TO 375. LINE LOAF PAN COMPLETELY WITH PARCHMENT PAPER ALLOWING PARCHMENT PAPER TO HANG OVER EDGES OF LOAF PAN. SPRAY GENEROUSLY WITH NON-STICK COOKING SPRAY. BAKE FOR 30 MINUTES. REDUCE OVEN HEAT TO 300. COOK FOR 60 MINUTES OR UNTIL A KNIFE COMES OUT CLEAN IN THE MIDDLE OF THE LOAF. LET COOL COMPLETELY. RUN KNIFE AROUND OUTER EDGES OF LOAF. TURN OUT GENTLY ONTO LARGE PLATE. SLOWLY REMOVE PARCHMENT PAPER. SLICE AND SERVE WITH FRESH FRUIT, AND CHEESE AS DESIRED.¬† DON’T FORGET YOUR FAVOURITE WINTER DRINK; HOT CIDER, COFFEE, HOT CHOCOLATE, OR SPICED TEA. MAYBE EVEN SOME SPICED CRANBERRY PUNCH.

The Sweetness of The Jam

Herzog and I went on a little road trip the other day to the country. One of our favorite things to do! Peaches are in season, and strawberries are still fresh. Summer is drawing to a close, fall is in the air, but¬†it’s a beautiful time of year.

Mom came to mind when I saw the baskets of fruit lined up in rows. She did all kinds of canning. Jams and jellies relish and canned fruit. ¬†Her cold storage and her freezer were always full. She was a woman who seemed to be able to do it all, with wisdom, and a zest for living. Before ‘Wonder Woman’ my Mother was already a ‘superhero.’¬†lol¬† Giving her such a title was ridiculous to her. ¬†She lived everything that was true about her, without needing to talk it over or get an award.

 

If you told Mom of her special traits, she often reminded you of how her Mom lived life. It’s true my Grandmother was another superhero. Perhaps we all are. lol

I have memories of Mom and Dad, cherished memories, ready to pull out anytime something reminds me of them. Like ¬†Mom’s ¬†cooking. ¬†If you follow me you know about some lifestyle changes. Alternatives to refined sugars from baking and reducing them overall to name a few. This along with a vegetarian lifestyle is having good results.

A young woman who lives in Australia www.bunnysbite.ca ¬† recently shared how she sweetened the jams she was making. I took Mom’s original Freezer Peach Jam, and Strawberry Jam Recipes, following them closely. Then I referred to Madeliene of Bunnysbite for the sweetening directions. I’m quite pleased with the results. Keep in mind because there are no sugars or the things that typically set¬†jams, they aren’t like a jelly you purchase in the store. Still, the flavors and tastes are full-bodied and all-natural! ¬†My goal in sharing the recipes is to help families or anyone who loves jam and is looking for a more natural approach to cooking. ¬†Now to the recipes. lol

BCDD4552            (open video link Рboomerang shot of strawberry jam)

 

HERZOG THE FROG’S FREEZER STRAWBERRY JAM (MODIFIED FAMILY RECIPE – AUNT FAYE GAVE TO MY MOM)

12 CUPS OF BERRIES CLEANED AND CUT (ABOUT 4 BOXES)

12 TBSP. OF MAPLE SYRUP

3/4 CUP FRESHLY SQUEEZED LEMON JUICE

WASH AND REMOVE THE STEMS FROM THE BERRIES. CUT IN HALF AND MEASURE OUT 12 CUPS. PLACE IN LARGE DUTCH OVEN COOKING POT. POUR BOILING WATER OVER THE BERRIES AND LET STAND FOR 3 MINUTES. DRAIN AND MASH. ADD THE MAPLE SYRUP AND LEMON JUICE. BRING TO A BOIL AND BOIL HARD FOR ABOUT 12 MINUTES. STIRRING OCCASIONALLY TO KEEP FROM BURNING, OR STICKING. LET STAND OVERNIGHT AND PUT IN JARS COLD.

STERILIZE JARS AND MASON LIDS IN DISHWASHER  OR AN INCH OF BOILING WATER TURNED UPSIDE DOWN IN A SHALLOW SKILLET. FIVE  MINUTES OF GENTLE BOILING SHOULD BE LONG ENOUGH. REMOVE ANY WATER WHEN YOU TURN RIGHT SIDE UP BEFORE FILLING THE JARS. TO SEAL JAR PLACE CANNING LID ON FIRST PLACING YOUR FINGER IN THE MIDDLE UNTIL YOU HEAR IT POP. THEN SCREW THE OUTER LID ON TIGHTLY. BE SURE TO GIVE IT AN EXTRA TURN AFTER THE JAR AS SAT FOR AWHILE. WHEN JAR IS COMPLETELY COOLED TIGHTEN ONCE MORE AND WIPE DOWN WITH DAMP CLOTH. PLACE IN FREEZER. REMOVE JAM FROM FREEZER AS DESIRED ALLOWING TIME TO DEFROST IN REFRIGERATOR. PLACE OPENED JAR IN REFRIGERATOR FOR STORAGE.

NOTE: CREDIT TO BUNNYSBITE FOR MEASUREMENTS FOR MAPLE SYRUP AND LEMON JUICE

 

HERZOG THE FROG’S FREEZER PEACH JAM (MODIFIED FAMILY RECIPE)

12 CUPS OF PEACHES PEELED AND CUT UP

12 TBSP. REAL MAPLE SYRUP

3/4 CUP OF FRESHLY SQUEEZED LEMON JUICE

1 PINEAPPLE CUT IN SMALL BITE SIZE PIECES (INCLUDING JUICES)

1 CUP FRESHLY SQUEEZED ORANGE JUICE (ABOUT 4 ORANGES)

ZEST FROM 4 ORANGES

6 SHEETS OF ORGANIC GELATIN

 

BOIL PEACHES IN LARGE DUTCH OVEN UNTIL PEELINGS SEPARATE FROM  PEACH. DRAIN AND RINSE IN COLD WATER. REMOVE PEELINGS AND CUT UP INTO SMALL PIECES, MEASURING OUT 12 CUPS. PLACE PEACHES IN CLEANED DUTCH OVEN. PREPARE THE GELATIN ACCORDING TO DIRECTIONS. IN SMALL SAUCEPAN HEAT ORANGE JUICE AND ZEST. REMOVE AND ADD GELATIN WHEN IT HAS SLIGHTLY COOLED. ALLOW TO THICKEN. ADD MAPLE SYRUP AND FRESHLY SQUEEZED LEMON JUICE THICKENED WITH ORGANIC GELATIN. BOIL ANOTHER 2 MINUTES. REMOVE FROM HEAT. COOL AND COVER OVERNIGHT. STERILIZE JARS IN DISHWASHER OR SHALLOW PAN TURNING JARS AND LIDS UPSIDE DOWN IN BOILING WATER. SPOON JAM INTO JARS. TO SEAL PLACE YOUR FINGER IN THE MIDDLE OF LID UNTIL IT POPS. KEEP YOUR FINGER ON LID UNTIL TIGHTLY CLOSED. WIPE DOWN JAR AND TIGHTEN LID AGAIN. GIVE IT ONE LAST TIGHTENING BEFORE COOLING. PLACE IN FREEZER. DEFROST JAM AS DESIRED AND REFRIGERATE AFTER OPENING.

NOTE: CREDIT TO BUNNYSBITE FOR MAPLE SYRUP AND LEMON JUICE  MEASUREMENTS.

 

 

 

 

Two Little Pumpkins, One of Them Was Spicy, The Other One Was Not!

I was curious as I scrolled through social media recently. It’s important to move along quickly sometimes and keep your humor handy. Otherwise, all kinds of things can happen. lol

This particular day, I noticed a lot of people were upset about pumpkin. ¬†lol Not pumpkin exactly, but ‘pumpkin spice’, and all the talk about ‘pumpkin spice.’ ¬†All kinds of people were not happy! They were making jokes, but I could tell they were not fond of this ‘pumpkin spice.’ No! No! They did not want to hear about it, read about it, or see recipes about it. ‘Enough already!’ some of them said.

“Pumpkin Spice,” I thought to myself has the power to create strong emotion in people. Growing up, pumpkin spice was nutmeg, cinnamon, and maybe some ground cloves. No, I’m testing myself, no emotion there. It’s spice. Some were upset about the recipes. Let me try this one out on myself. Vegetable Lasagna, Pasta Ricontini, Taco Salad. No nothing. Not even a little bit upset. I’m getting a little hungry though, I haven’t had lunch. lol

Herzog and I had just created a Pumpkin Recipe with some spices in it. ¬†We didn’t know if the world was ready for it, with all its spices. lol Would sharing our recipe take us down? lol A Muffin, with no refined sugar, and a lot of other great things. Especially tasty with homemade strawberry, or peach jam. (I’ll share that recipe in another post. It too has no refined sugar and is all natural Think good thoughts, we must still overcome the hurdle of the ‘pumpkin spice.’ lol

You can imagine with all this hostility in the air towards pumpkin, Herzog and I ¬†had some hard decisions to make. lol The recipe creation came about because we needed to make some room in the freezer. ¬†We had a lit bit of real pumpkin left from last year. ¬†Herzog and I decided to use some freshly grated ginger root, along with those other ‘nasty’ pumpkin spices I’ve already mentioned. lol

My sister grows ‘umumfm’ ¬†in her garden. That’s code for our hot topic. lol You know, the ‘orange ….thing’. lol You wouldn’t believe how much pumpkin there is when you cook up one tiny little pumpkin. Pumpkin. ¬†Pumpkin everything, with spices.

Herzog and I decided to go for it, be true to ourselves, no matter what. We were lovers of pumpkin and all its spices. lol Sometimes you have to stand apart from the crowd, forget about popular opinion.  lol Mark Twain once said if you find yourself in the majority, pause and reflect. I encourage you to reflect today, for the sake of pumpkin. lol

Do you have a pumpkin recipe by the way? With spices? Pumpkin is one those things that need spice. I don’t know why. ¬†I also have no idea why it creates such an emotional reaction for some. lol Go figure. lol¬†But then, we’re all different. Eggplant, for instance, puts me in a frenzy, not to mention eggplant recipes. I lose sleep. It’s a nightmare! In the grocery store, I have to turn a blind eye down the eggplant aisle.

My compassion is directed towards the pumpkin with spice, I admit it. Why is it nobody ever picks on a ‘chocolate banana cream pie’, or what about a ‘chocolate pecan pie’, or the dreaded ¬†‘chocolate peanut butter cheesecake?’ ¬†That’s it, ¬†now I’m riled up! lol ¬†I’m going find my fellow ‘pumpkin spice friends’ and start a campaign in support of pumpkin. Right after I risk sharing ‘Herzog the Frog’s Pumpkin and Spice Stylin’ Muffins.’ Just remember this recipe also has some zucchini in it. Zucchini, my vegetable friend you could be next. Don’t worry I’ve got your back Zucchini. lol

HERZOG THE FROG’S PUMPKIN AND SPICE STYLIN’ MUFFINS

2 CUPS OF GLUTEN FREE FLOUR

1 EGG

5 TSP. BAKING POWDER (OR 1/2 TSP. CREAM OF TARTER PLUS 1/4 TSP. OF BAKING SODA x 5)

1/4 TSP. SALT

1/2 TSP. BAKING SODA

1/4 CUP RAW HONEY

1/4 CUP PURE MAPLE SYRUP

1/4 CUP OF UNSWEETENED APPLESAUCE

1 TSP. GRATED GINGER ROOT

1/2 TSP. GROUND CLOVES

1/2 TSP. NUTMEG

1/2 CUP GRATED CARROT

1/2 CUP GRATED FUJI APPLE

1/2 CUP GRATED ZUCCHINI

1/2 CUP OF REAL PUMPKIN (COOKED NOT PURRED)

1 TSP. VANILLA

2 TBSP. OF BREWED COFFEE

1/2 CUP ORGANIC TOMPSON RAISINS

1/2 CUP OF PECANS

1/2 CUP DRIED CRANBERRIES

1 255 GRAM BAG OF LILY’S DARK CHOCOLATE CHIPS

PREHEAT OVEN TO 375. LINE MUFFIN TINS WITH ENVIRONMENTALLY FRIENDLY MUFFIN PAPERS. MIX DRY INGREDIENTS INCLUDING SPICES IN LARGE MIXING BOWL. MAKE A WELL IN THE DRY INGREDIENTS. ADD EGG, HONEY, MAPLE SYRUP, AND APPLESAUCE, VANILLA, AND COFFEE. MIX WELL. ADD GRATED CARROT, APPLE, ZUCCHINI, AND PUMPKIN. STIRRING UNTIL COMBINED. ADD THE REMAINING INGREDIENTS: PECANS, DRIED CRANBERRIES, RAISINS, AND LILY’S CHOCOLATE CHIPS. SPOON INTO MUFFIN LINERS. BAKE FOR TWENTY MINUTES. MAKES 12 MUFFINS. LET COOL BEFORE SERVING. SERVE WITH FRESH FRUIT OR CHEESE SUCH AS BRIE. STORE IN AIR TIGHT CONTAINER. THESE MUFFINS FREEZE WELL. ¬†ENJOY AND HUG A PUMPKIN! ¬†LOL LOVE IS FOR ALL THE VEGETABLES, SPICED, OR NOT. LOL

 

What’s Up?

I couldn’t resist naming this blog post ‘What’s Up?’ My brother Brian’s favorite¬†greeting.

Brian, to be honest, would have passed on the muffins. lol¬†“I’ll have Mom’s regular blueberry ones, thanks¬†all the same.” I can hear him say. lol

I created these muffins this morning with a teacher in mind that I met this week.  Her preschooler had some allergies. In talking to her I realized a lot of the recipes I was creating might work for her. I gave her the name of my website. I hope she found it. lol

The nuts in the recipe can be optional if that’s a problem for anyone. The grated carrot and ginger root, as well as the grated Fuji apple with spices, are said to work well for cancer patients. I discovered this in wanting to send a care package to a family member.

Get creative with the recipe. Do what works best for the needs of your family. I’m thrilled if the basics of the muffin recipe are of help to you, just as much as if you make the actual recipe. I ended up having a second one this morning. I found them quite tasty. I love the combination of all the ingredients. I don’t have any allergies. Just a desire to move away from refined sugars, and use healthier ingredients. I’ve made some lifestyle changes for well over year now and am having good results.

“What’s Up?” What’s Up” “Get to the Muffin! The Muffin!” LOL

HERZOG THE FROG’S HEALTHY BREAKFAST MUFFINS

1 1/2 CUPS GLUTEN FREE OAT FLOUR

5 TSP.BAKING POWDER (OR 1/2 TSP. CREAM OF TARTER PLUS 1/4 TSP. OF BAKING SODA x 5)

1/4 TSP. SALT

1/2 TSP. BAKING SODA

1 EGG

1/4 CUP OF RAW HONEY (PREFERABLY VERY LOCAL)

1/2 CUP UNSWEETENED APPLESAUCE

1 TSP. GRATED GINGERROOT

1 TSP. CINNAMON

1/2 TSP. NUTMEG

1 CUP GRATED CARROT

1 FUJI APPLE PEELED AND GRATED

2 TSP. VANILLA

1/2 CUP ORGANIC THOMSON RAISINS

1 CUP LILY’S DARK CHOCOLATE CHIPS

1/2 CUP RAW WALNUTS

1/2 CUP RAW PECANS

1/4 CUP (COMBINATION OF ORGANIC TUMERIC, HEMP SEEDS, AND GROUND FLAX SEEDS)

*OAT FLOUR CAN BE MADE BY ROASTING

Method:

  • IF YOU WISH TO ROAST¬† YOUR OWN GLUTEN FREE OAT FLOUR: SPREAD THE OATS ON A COOKING SHEET AND BAKE AT 350 UNTIL THE OATS APPEAR GOLDEN. TIME FOR¬† FIFTEEN MINUTES AND CHECK. WHEN OATS ARE LIGHTLY TOASTED -PUT IN THE BLENDER OR FOOD PROCESSOR AND GRIND INTO OAT FLOUR CONSISTENCY.

PREHEAT OVEN TO 375. GRATE 1 CUP OF CARROT AND THE FRESH GINGERROOT AND SET ASIDE.  IN LARGE BOWL MIX ALL DRY INGREDIENTS:  OAT FLOUR, BAKING POWDER, BAKING SODA, SALT, CINNAMON, NUTMEG, AND 1/4 CUP OF HEMP, FLAX, AND TUMERIC MIXTURE (OPTIONAL)

MAKE A WELL IN THE MIDDLE OF THE DRY INGREDIENTS. ADD THE: EGG, THE UNSWEETENED APPLESAUCE, THE LOCAL HONEY, AND THE GRATED GINGERROOT AND THE VANILLA.¬† (DON’T WORRY IF IT ISN’T ALL CONTAINED IN THE WELL) LOL COMBINE UNTIL THOROUGHLY¬†MIXED WITH DRY INGREDIENTS.

ADD THE GRATED CARROT AND GINGERROOT AND STIR UNTIL BLENDED. GRATE IN THE  FUJI APPLE. AND COMBINE. ADD; RAISINS WALNUTS, CHOCOLATE CHIPS, AND PECANS. LINE MUFFIN TINS OR SPRAY NON-STICK MUFFIN TIN GENEROUSLY. USE SERVING SPOON TO ADD BATTER TO INDIVIDUAL MUFFIN TINS.  BAKE AT 375 FOR 20 MINUTES. YIELD: 8-12 MUFFINS.  LET COOL. SERVE WITH FRESH FRUIT, CHEESE, OR YOGURT BUT ALWAYS COFFEE. LOL (  WE WRITERS LIKE OUR COFFEE) THESE MUFFINS FREEZE WELL. ENJOY!

Kindness, A Cup of Coffee, and a Muffin

Hi friends. Trust you are well. In these days, we must let kindness, compassion, and understanding guide us. Buddha once said that if we are not compassionate to ourselves we do not know the fullness of compassion. Be sure to love others, but start with yourself. Including being kind, and compassionate, and understanding to your own needs.

Let that be the spring board for which you offer that to others. Keep your humor going. Find places to laugh out loud and have fun. Give yourself permission. Over time in the long hours, we writers spend writing in solitude, I have taught myself to laugh, and enjoy myself, and my own humor.  I have been known to say that I fear we have underestimated the divine nature of laughter.

Goodness and beauty will always exist. It’s stronger than any darkness. Meditate on thoughts like…”Goodness is chasing or hunting me down.” That is a translation of a verse from Psalm 21. It can work for any of us no matter our belief. Your religion may have another way of putting it. I respect that. The law of attraction folk would say that the Universe conspires to bring goodness as we agree with it. It’s ¬†a good thought to think and dwell upon. Good thinking most often leads to good living.

Create places of stillness and rest. I use my balcony with its beautiful vista as a daily place of refreshing and stillness. I often take short breaks to get some fresh air and enjoy a cup of coffee. In the morning, sometimes a muffin and some fresh fruit with a scrambled egg might be my choice. I don’t tend to eat a big lunch. These muffins I’m going to share with you might be my choice with a cup of coffee. Again they have no refined sugar. I chose almond flour by accident. I was out of gluten free flour. Sometimes creative accidents turn out quite nicely. lol

 

Hope you enjoy them if you decide to give them a try.

HERZOG THE FROG’S ALMOND FLOUR CHEDDAR MUFFINS

1 1/2 CUPS ALMOND FLOUR

2 TBSP. BAKING POWDER

1 TSP. BAKING SODA

1/4 TSP. SALT

1 TSP. VANILLA

1 EGG

1/2 CUP UNSWEETENED APPLESAUCE

1/4 CUP RAW HONEY

1/4 CUP MELTED COCONUT OIL

1 CUP OF SHREDDED SHARP CHEDDAR CHEESE

PREHEAT OVEN TO 375. BEAT EGG WITH MELTED COCONUT OIL. ADD VANILLA, UNSWEETENED APPLESAUCE, AND RAW HONEY. MIX WELL. MIX DRY INGREDIENTS IN SEPARATE BOWL AND ADD TO WET MIXTURE. MIX WELL MAKING SURE ALMOND FLOUR IS BLENDED INTO MUFFIN BATTER. FOLD IN SHREDDED CHEESE. SPRAY MUFFIN TINS WITH NON-STICK COOKING SPRAY. BAKE FOR 20 MINUTES. LET COOL BEFORE SERVING. (YOU MAY NEED TO USE A SERVING SPOON TO GENTLY REMOVE MUFFIN FROM MUFFIN TIN – MUFFINS HAVE SOMEWHAT OF A CORNBREAD TEXTURE)

 

Thankful for Cookies!

Hi…just dropping in to say hello. I wanted to bring you this cookie recipe. You know those nights when you just want something a little sweet. Well, that’s how these cookies were created. To be honest, a little baking can be so satisfying for anyone. For a writer, it gets us away from our computer, and out of our offices, and into another space. I was looking to create a cookie that was gluten free with no refined sugar. I think they turned out pretty well. I had to do some leg work to find a chocolate chip with no refined sugar. I came to a brand at our large health and wellness grocery store. The brand is Lily’s. Specifically, Lily’s Premium Baking Dark Chocolate Chips. (they are vegan-friendly) I’m still enjoying the cookies I have to say. They seem to freeze too. Thank Goodness. lol I was so thankful after I created this recipe. I honestly felt they might be helpful to some of you and I was well satisfied with how they had turned out.

On being thankful. I’m sure most of you are. I make a practice of being thankful every day. I end my day with all the little specifics I’m thankful for and then in the morning, I am thankful again for a great day ahead. It’s no guarantee we won’t face challenges, but I find if challenges come thankful living allows us to handle them with more ease. Responding as needed rather than reacting emotionally. What’s that they say you can’t live a positive life while being negative. I’d have to agree.

Time for the cookies. Here you go, ‘Herzog the Frog’s Chocolate Raisin Oatmeal Cookies!’

HERZOG THE FROG’S CHOCOLATE RAISIN OATMEAL COOKIES

2 1/2 CUPS OF GLUTEN FREE FLOUR

1 1/2 CUPS OF GLUTEN FREE OATS

2 EGGS

1/2 CUP ORGANIC COCONUT PALM SUGAR

1/2 CUP UNSWEETENED APPLESAUCE

1/4 CUP REAL MAPLE SYRUP

1/2 CUP MELTED BUTTER OR VEGAN EARTH BALANCE BUTTER

1 1/2 TBSP. BAKING POWDER

1 TSP. BAKING SODA

1/2 TSP. SALT

1 TSP. PURE VANILLA

1/2 CUP OF ORGANIC JUMBO THOMPSON SEEDLESS RAISINS

255 GRAM PKG. OF LILY’S PREMIUM BAKING DARK CHOCOLATE CHIPS (VEGAN-FRIENDLY)

PREHEAT OVEN TO 375. BEAT EGGS WELL WITH COCONUT PALM SUGAR. ADD MAPLE SYRUP. STIR WELL. MIX IN APPLESAUCE. IN SEPARATE BOWLS STIR DRY INGREDIENTS TOGETHER: FLOUR, OATMEAL, BAKING POWDER, BAKING SODA, AND SALT. ADD TO WET MIXTURE AND STIR TOGETHER. MIXING WELL. ADD MELTED BUTTER AND VANILLA. MIX TOGETHER. THEN ADD RAISINS AND CHOCOLATE CHIPS.

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