Another sorry excuse...

September 23, 2016

My goal is to publish at least one post a week, but sometimes life just gets in the way. This blog is really still under construction though, and only a handful of people even know about it, so I'll just trudge through and hopefully get there eventually.

To be honest, I feel like my life is still under construction. There is so much to be done, but not enough organization to get to all of it. I haven't been feeling well for several weeks, so that has been my excuse for letting things slide by the wayside, but I'm feeling better now and it's time to make up for lost time.

My goal for the next few days is to sort out a schedule that allows me to get to blogging and everything else I have to do on a more regular basis.

Hopefully good things are to come!


"The Muffin Recipe" - aka "Mom's Idiot-proof Eggless Muffin Recipe That Even People Who Hate Following Recipes Will Love"

September 15, 2016

I am a little bit hesitant to post this recipe as it's such a signature recipe of mine and I'm a little possessive of it (who wants to give away all their best secrets?), but because blogging is all about sharing, I will oblige. It actually comes from my mom. Where she got it from I can't say for sure, but it's pretty safe to say that each cook makes it their own. 

Before I get to the recipe though, I have a confession to make..... 

I am a bit of a rebel. 

I'm the kind of person who reads a label on their sheets that says "Wash in cold water - Save the environment" and I do not like it.

"Are you the one sleeping on the sheets, oh sheet label writer?" 

"Are you the one who wakes up with a stuffy nose every morning from dust mite allergies??" 

"Well then don't tell me how I should wash my own sheets!"

"Furthermore, I have a problem with your inference that using hot water is somehow worse for the environment than washing with cold water, which usually means you need chemical laundry additives to get your clothes clean!" 

"Did you even think of that??" 

"And what makes you think I'm not already taking steps to reduce my impact on the environment in the first place?!"

"Here's an idea, why don't keep your opinions to yourself next time and let me wash my sheets how I please ... which will be in the hottest water I can get, thankyouverymuch!"

"Oh btw, what's the thread count on these again?"

Now, I don't know exactly if my rebellious nature is to blame in this next case (it could also be that I am a visual person, a creative person who needs to put my personal mark on things, or am just a poor reader in general), but for some reason I am almost completely incapable of following recipes. 

I find myself going back and forth, back and forth reading the same line of directions over and over, yet I still often get the measurements wrong or forget an ingredient or step. I also feel a compulsion to add things that are not in the recipe. Following a recipe to the tee feels like painting by numbers. *Yawn*

Just give me an idea of what to make and a general direction on how to get there and I'll figure out the rest. Sometimes it turns out fantastic and sometimes it flops, but it's always original!

That's where this recipe comes in. It is simple, it is just about fool-proof, and best of all it is a wide open book. You can choose what type of fruit (or non fruit) to put in this recipe. You can even choose what kind of flour, oil, liquid, or sweetener to add if you are adventurous. Buckwheat Boysenberry Beet Muffins, anyone? ... yes, I've really made that. And, if you are a rebel like me, this recipe is so non-dictative that it doesn't even tell you how long to cook it for! 

In case you want more details or are the kind of person who likes being told what to do:

For the muffin in the picture I used sugar instead of honey (honestly I haven't used honey for this recipe since I lived with my mom who used to buy bulk honey by the gallon), I used 3 mashed overripe bananas as the fruit (which was more that 1 cups worth of fruit), I added ginger powder and cardamon, and I sprinkled crushed walnuts on the top (which came out deliciously roasted and tasted amazing, btw). 

Another delicious way to use the recipe is to use peeled, diced apples tossed in cinnamon/sugar for the fruit. 

It is also a great way to reuse leftover oatmeal. Just use the leftover oatmeal in place of the fruit. 

Don't be afraid to play around with the recipe. 

Personally, I like to fold the ingredients together gently and mix as little as possible so that there are still a few ribbons of dry flour and sugar in the batter. It just gives it a more rustic feel that looks like it came out of a trendy cafe.

You really can't go too wrong except if you don't let it cook long enough. For a while I thought the recipe stopped working for me because the muffins kept collapsing when I'd take them out of the oven, but I think it was because for some reason I had it in my head that they took a certain amount of time to cook (which wasn't long enough). I know it might be hard to swallow for some people, but you really just have to let them cook on their own time. Drier batter will be quicker, wetter batter will take longer.

The best way to tell the muffins are ready is by smell. They give off a nice baking smell when they are ready, so give them a chance to do that if you aren't sure if they're ready yet. 

I hope you like this recipe. If you give it a try let me know in the comments what you thought of it and what crazy (or safe) combos you came up with!


Janmasthami Season

September 05, 2016

The months of August and September are a special time of year for Vaishnava Hindus. Several holy days fall during this time, the crown jewel of them being Janmasthami, or the advent of Sri Krishna, which is celebrated with much joy around the world. 

video is the property of Science of Identity Foundation

Vaishnavas accept that there is only one God. Some people think that God does not come to this world, but the Supreme Lord descends to this world in various incarnations known as avatāras. God says in the Bhagavad Gita (Chapter 4, Text 8):

“In order to deliver the pious and to annihilate the miscreants, as well as to reestablish the principles of religion, I advent Myself millennium after millennium.”

 About five thousand years ago, God appeared in this world in his original form. Yes, God is the oldest, the wisest and the strongest, but that does not mean His form is that of a muscular old man with a long white beard. The original form of God is that of an ever-fresh youth: the all-attractive, most beautiful, gentle, lovable, sweet Krishna. 

Krishna's sweet form during my own Janmasthami celebration