Change. Orange Bran Muffins.

Change tends to come quickly. Maybe it takes you by surprise. Lately change has been sneaking up on me.

Two weeks ago I was running in full winter gear as snow flurries fell onto my tongue. This week I’m wearing shorts and tank tops. Not together. Let’s not get too crazy. Two and a half months ago I had my heart broken. Talk about chaos. A week and a half ago I remembered why I loved the mountains and a barn filled with horses—peace. And five days ago I crossed the finish line of the Shamrock Shuffle with a new personal record and the Chicago skyline rising in front of me. I felt this overwhelming sense of luck and joy, and that feeling just hasn’t gone away yet. Change is sticking.

I once thought bran muffins were ridiculous. I worked at a coffee shop in Raleigh and we sold muffins. The bran were always left at the end of the day, and honestly I didn’t blame our customers. Why would you opt for healthy, tasteless bran when you could go the blueberry or carrot?

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The End of Creativity

Um, I know. June ended like a week ago.

I have the last two days of creativity for you. 30 Days of Creativity challenged me more than I’d expected, especially after Michael pointed out that I cook every day anyway, so using that as the majority of my creativities was kind of cheating. The point of a challenge is to stretch yourself, right? Coming up with ideas wasn’t the hard part. It was finding the time to create after a long day of work and the budget to create. I am more excited about the ease of DIY projects, and I’ve found lots of inspiration on Pinterest.

So maybe this isn’t the end of creativity as we know it. I certainly feel fine.

Day 29

I revisited the coconut peach cookies, now renamed peachy colada cuffins (that’s cookie + muffin). Peaches have been added and pureed.

Day 30

Vegan raspberry muffins from ReadyMade. I love one thing about these muffins – they’re vegan. No butter and no milk. All whole-wheat flour. But I’ve made healthy, whole-wheat muffins before! The addition of silken tofu and the lack of sugar got my interest. I don’t know that I’d make them again considering they require buying tofu, but I have been enjoying them.

Lots of Days

The above muffin recipe makes 15 muffins. I cannot eat muffins that fast, so after three days I packed them into a large ziplock bag and stashed them in the freezer. Now, most mornings, I take one out, defrost it in the microwave, and make a smoothie (that’s 1 banana + handful of berries or peaches + spoonful of peanut butter + 4 spoonfuls of Greek yogurt/soy milk halfway up the fruit blended in blender). Perfect breakfast! Quick and easy, and can be eaten on the go.

I have lots of music posts coming up now that creativity has ended. Summertime music is here!

Muffins, Races, and BFFs galore!

I got an iPhone about a month ago. God it’s worlds better than the LG Ally I had. And universes better than the HTC Eris before that. I can confidently say that I am an Apple girl all the way! I’ve been snapping lots of pictures with my iPhone. It’s not the world’s greatest quality (like I won’t be taking tons of pictures with it when we go to SPAIN! More later.), but it’s so nice to take photos when I’m out and about.

So here is a brief tour of the last week in my life via photos.

Two weekends ago we went to Chicago for the Shamrock Shuffle, an 8K that starts and ends in Grant Park. This was my first race since I’ve gotten serious about running. Marnie and her boyfriend Jannson have done it the past two years I believe. The weather was perfect on race day. I ran the 5 miles in 44 minutes. So proud of myself!

The 717 totally tore it up!

Coffee always tastes better with two of your best friends. Especially after steak dinner at 11pm the night before! This was one of my favorite trips to Chicago yet.

One of my visiting people rules is Never Show Up to a Friend’s House Without a Baked Good in Hand. This weekend we were runners, so I picked a healthful baked good that would give us fuel.

These ginger-cranberry oatmeal muffins from Everybody Likes Sandwiches were perfect. Made with only whole-wheat flour, oats, and no butter or oil, I really felt OK about eating these muffins. And they were not heavy or dense. Nicely the opposite in fact. I think my favorite part was the chewy candied ginger bits and tangy cranberries. Click over to Jeanette’s blog for the recipe. The only thing I did different was replace the oil/melted butter with a mashed up and very ripe banana, per Jeanette’s suggestion.

This past weekend my bff Bette came up from Charlotte to visit. Bette and I have been friends for 16 years. I have been down to North Carolina to visit her (in a non-working-at-camp visit) about five times in the last three years. Oh and plenty of times before that too. Bette, on the other hand, had visited me in Indiana twice in the past 16 years. Granted, North Carolina is like 20 times cooler than Indiana. But I was ecstatic when she finally bought a plane ticket to see my city.

We ate crepes, drank local beer,  went to Luna Music for National Record Day (OMG The Head and the Heart album is to die for!), hung out in Zionsville, and ate cupcakes, despite less than ideal weather on Friday and Saturday.

We even found some sunshine time to take Mira to 100 Acres at the Indianapolis Art Museum.

I hope she comes back sooner than 11 years from now!! I do love the girl.

And in news that I cannot yet document in photographs, Michael and I are going to Spain for 10 days in May. In fact, we leave in 2 1/2 weeks!! We’ll be staying six days in Granada and two days in Madrid. Hopefully there will be some site seeing, beach going, hiking in the Sierra Nevadas, lots of delicious food and wine consuming, and merriment!

Have you been to Spain? I’d love to hear favorite places, recommendations, and general input.

Ginger Peach Muffins

Sometime between Thursday at 3pm and Monday at 12pm I have to customize my Farm Fresh Delivery bin. This means I get to fill my bin with as many of the fruits and vegetables available that week as I can for f$25, and then go virtual grocery shopping and add things like fresh, local pasta, local coffee and mustard, farm fresh eggs, and organic soy milk. If I forget to customize my bin, Farm Fresh delivers my standing order – the grocery items I’ve designated to be automatically delivered every week and the produce they automatically select to go in bins. This is not a bad thing, but sometimes, like last week when I forgot to customize, I end up with four peaches and four apples. Too much fruit for me to consume.

only sad pic I got because lighting at 9pm in my kitchen sucks balls

After eating peaches in my oatmeal for a few mornings, I decided to stick the rest of the peaches into a baked good of some sort. Ginger peach muffins to the rescue!

I hate the way fresh ginger smells. Kind of like cleaning solution. So I don’t really cook with it too much, which is a real mistake I think. Turns out ginger pairs amazingly with peaches. I also hate grating anything, so grating fresh ginger for this recipe was  chore, but a chore well worth it. I think my favorite part about these muffins is the nice, buttery smell of the peaches on the tops.

This was also my first attempt at baking with agave nectar instead of sugar. I think it went well. The general rule to subbing agave for sugar seems to be use 2/3 – 3/4 the amount of sugar in your recipe and reduce any liquids (milk, water, soymilk, etc.) by 1/4 – 1/3. Also, drop your baking temperature by 25°.

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Today’s Letter is "M"

I think today’s Wednesday. I kind of don’t care to keep track anymore because I’ll only be reminded how many more days stretch ahead before the weekend. And once the weekend gets here, how few days are left before the inevitable return to work on Monday. Sorry, that’s kind of negative, I know, but seriously. We’ve gotten a bunch of snow in the past five days. Every morning this week I’ve woken upon hoping for too much snow on the road to go into work, but the damn city has kept our roads snow-free. So I’ve been spending most of my week daydreaming of North Carolina. Oh and yesterday I spent my day watching the Bonnaroo line-up be slowly and painfully announced on Bonnaroo’s MySpace. Who does that? Anyway, it looks pretty good. I usually feel that Bonnaroo’s line-up is a pretty good preview of Lollapalooza’s. Hopefully will get to at least one festival this summer!

Mira was somewhat suspicious of the tiny snowman we met on one of our walks.



The snow did kick in a serious hibernation switch on in my head over the weekend. I decided that I needed to cook and bake a lot just in case I could never leave my apartment again. Friday night I made these bombtastic baked chicken meatballs. My only problem was that my tomato paste had been in the fridge for awhile, and some nice fuzzy, white stuff was growing on parts. I just went ahead and used the non-fuzzy, white parts. A few hours post-meatball consumption, I felt off. Amazingly enough, still ate leftovers the next night, and even more amazingly enough, felt slightly off again. HAH. Anyway, the meatballs are super tasty for few ingredients (which is my favorite. The less money I have to spend, the better.) I made them bigger (got about ten balls I think), and ate them with spaghetti. I bet they’d be the perfect party appetizer if made smaller.


Then came the muffins. These whole wheat apple muffins have been my go to when I’ve had extra apples lying around this fall and winter. They are DELICIOUS. Nice and warm spicy (you know, like cinnamon), moist for days after, and partially healthy. This was probably the fourth or fifth batch I’ve made.

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