Friday, July 31, 2015

Coconut mini muffins, an adventure with too much coconut flour.

I read a recipe for a cross between donuts and bagels that intrigued me. They were made with coconut flour and sweetened with raisins. The most interesting thing about this recipe is that they were cooked in a mini-donut machine.

I have, so far, avoided buying one of the little donut/cupcake/mini-pie bakers, because honestly my garage is FULL of seldom used, single purpose small kitchen appliances. Enough is enough, right?

But, I was intrigued  by the the "Donagles" on this page. This is Jennifer Priest's website and this is a page on Paleo diet friendly snacks for kids.

Disclaimer: I am not following a Paleo diet, or any other kind of diet, for that matter.

So, off to Amazon I went to get some coconut flour. If I had been paying attention I would have seen that the recipe called for 1/3 of a cup of coconut flour and I was ordering a 3 pound bag. So this big bag of coconut flour comes in and darned if it doesn't say on the bag that it should be kept in the freezer, or at the very least in the refrigerator. Of course the bag it came in was not resealable.

The artwork on this bag suggests that the company is related to "Nuts About Florida". Or at the very least they use the same graphic artist.  So, into mason jars went the flour, until I ran out of mason jars, that is. The rest went into another zip top bag and into the freezer. Did I mention that this is best used in a few short months? Yikes!

I made some changes to the printed recipe, of course. I used dairy milk (I don't have issues with dairy, thank you very much). I also had a mason jar full of flax seeds and no flax flour (flax meal?) so I just put the flax seeds in the Vitamix with the other liquid ingredients and let 'er rip.  When I got to the part about sifting the coconut flour I said "Oh hell no" and just put it in the Vitamix, too. As a matter of fact, the only thing that didn't get the blender treatment was the raisins and the walnuts.

This recipe is the perfect size for a mini-muffin pan. I baked them at exactly twice the time recommended for the mini-donut cooker and they came out great!

The only thing is, they taste exactly like bran muffins to me. They do not have a bagel texture at all. If you are avoiding grains, this is a great recipe. For me, it was just a delicious experiment.

Now I have to cook other stuff with coconut flour and see if I can pass this off to my coworkers. They might suspect something is a little off about these, due to the "rough" texture. If cooking these for others, I will top them off with some cinnamon sugar to give that first sweet bite.

Any suggestions for my next coconut flour experiment?

Tuesday, July 14, 2015

Shake your tail feathers!

Yup, variations on a theme! I love the back of this cute chicken!

I wanted to use the sentiment "I Miss Your Face" but after searching my stash, apparently I don't own that set. I tried to put one together from an alphabet stamp set and I really need a lot more practice with it to get the letters lined up correctly. Or even in a pleasingly crooked fashion.

These are 2 more for my last Operation Write Home box which will go out at the end of this week.

Monday, July 13, 2015

Water coloring for amateurs!

I gotta tell ya, I LOVE to watercolor images. It looks good no matter how you plop it down there.  I waited to get this cactus and roadrunner image from The Alley Way Stamps, (Cha Cha Cha set) and boy is it a lot of fun to put faces on the cactus. Yes, there is more to come later. (TAWS' Neener Neener again).

I used my Gansai Tambi watercolors for this image, and you can't tell by the picture, but the ground is actual metalic gold. Oh my! I need to work out better shading for the ground, but still I think it looks so cool!

The sentiment is from TAWS' Chick Magnet set. It is so much fun!

Another 2 previously unused sets that are now used. Does it matter that I ordered them and got them after I set my goal? I guess I can make up my own rules now, right?

Saturday, July 11, 2015

Two more down! Jars and coffee cups!

Two more virgin sets got used today. I am determined to use as many unused stamp sets as I can before I pack up my last box to Operation Write Home. That box really needs to go out in less than a week now. Yikes!

The coffee cup and its sentiment are from The Alley Way Stamps. the Jar and the scripty "Thanks" are from Lawn Fawn. I will confess to rushing these to get them done. I can't believe how I HAD to have that set with the jar in it, and once I got it I never used it. I actually have another jar stamp from a different stamp company that I got for the critter that came with it.

Friday, July 10, 2015

Oops, get the Windex!

Ok, I might just be reaching with this one, but really.

In my quest to use all my stamp sets before approximately July 15, I had to stop and scratch my head when I got this set called Oh Splat! from The Alley Way Stamps. It's all splats, drops and liquid-looking  oopsies.

I can't be the only one who immediately thought of bird poop when I saw it. No, this won't be the last bird poop card because I have, thanks to TAWS, a large collection of bird stamps.

I used 2 previously unused sets, both from TAWS -- Tree's Company and Oh, Splat! The bird, branch, and blue sky "glow" are water-colored with Distress inks. The splats and star sprinkles are stamped with Distress inks.

I am entering this into the current "Naughty or Nice" challenge, so that's why there are stars stamped in the upper right corner. They don't really work but I really wanted to get in on the "naughty" action.

I don't usually do inside sentiments, but this one will have one that says either "Get the Windex" or "Time for a big rain storm!"

True story: My ex-husband made the entire extended family wait an extra half hour one Thanksgiving while he meticulously polished all the car's windows until you couldn't see them. 10 minutes into the 2 hour drive we got the biggest, grossest bird poop EVER in the exact center of the driver's side windshield. I thought he might pop a blood vessel; he was so mad. Yes, we had to find a place to stop and repair the damage.

Monday, July 6, 2015

Marching onward, towards my goal

It's official. I am stealing design ideas directly from the Alley Way Stamps's website and design team members. 
Yes it's crooked. Please don't notice, please?

This notecard was designed by Tara Chaussee at Secret Bees Studio. It was fun but there was a lot of stamping and masking involved. I cut enough paper for 3 more which I may do in time for the final box. Maybe.

So, 3 cards using 4 previously unused sets puts me at 50% of my goal. So much pressure, I don't know how to deal! I think I need more coffee and chocolate!

Sunday, July 5, 2015

It's good to have goals, I guess.

So, with Operation Write Home winding down, I reflected by looking through all my stamp sets, which I had to have. HAD to have.

There were a lot of sets I had never even opened. And of those I had opened, some of them were only for one image or sentiment, one time.


My goal, between now and July 15th is to use each of the stamp sets I've purchased and never used. I'll never make it, as slowly as I work, but at least I'm not drifting from one thing to another without a plan.

So, Friday and Saturday, July 3rd and 4th, I created 3 new cards. Big deal, right?

This card is created using Paper Smooches' Vegetastic set. The papers are from a mat stack set I got at Target over a year ago.

This card features Lawn Fawn paper and sun die. The cool face is from The Alley Way Stamps new mini set called Neener Neener. It has all faces, and when I saw the cool sunglasses I knew he belonged on a shiny sun. The sentiment was a bit trickier. The letters are mostly from TAWS new alphabet set Express Yourself. I haven't got the hang of the individual letters in this set yet, and couldn't get through the whole phrase without messing up or smudging at least one letter. So I went old school and cut out the words from different attempts. The "you're" came from something else.

This is a summer card, obviously. The milkshake is from TAWS' Slurp set. I think I may have used something in this set before, but I can't remember so I added it to the virgin packages.

So that's my weekend so far, at least crafty-wise. My goal is 3 or 4 more sets to be broken into today. It counts if I use more than one set on a single card, right?

PS, I have 24 unused sets. Don't judge me.

Friday, July 3, 2015

Robots can be sentimental too!

I'm making some more cards for my last OWH box. Sniff. I'm going to miss them, even if the reason is a good one.

I have been looking for a good place for these screw brads for a couple of years now. So, yay for robots.

The robot image is from The Alley Way Stamps' Lighter Than Air set, and the sentiment is from, ugh, I think it's from TAWS' Jibber Jabber. Maybe.

I hope I can be productive over this 3 day weekend, but I'm off to a very slow start.