Monday, June 27, 2016

Chocolate Cherry Muffins (Gluten-Free, Vegan, and Sugar-Free)

I've nothing witty to say about this recipe. It's good. Make it. Eat it. Enjoy.

Chocolate Cherry Muffins

Prep time: 10  minutes
Cook time: 25 minutes
Yield: 12 muffins

1 Tbl flax meal
3 Tbl water
2 cups gluten-free all purpose flour
1/4 cup cocoa powder
2 tsps baking soda
2 tsps baking powder
1/2 tsp salt
1/2 tsp xanthan gum (if your mix does not have xanthan gum, increase to 1 tsp)
2/3 cup milk of choice (I used rice milk)
1/2 cup agave nectar
2/3 cup canola oil
1/2 tsp liquid stevia
1 Tbl vanilla extract
1 cup tart cherries, fresh or frozen

Combine the flax meal and water in a small bowl. Let sit for five minutes.
Preheat oven to 325 F. Line a muffin tin with paper liners.
Whisk dry ingredients in a large bowl. Whisk together wet ingredients (including flax mixture) in a medium bowl. Form a well in the dry ingredients and pour in the wet. Stir well, then fold in cherries. Scoop 1/3 cup batter into each muffin cup. Bake 25 minutes or until a toothpick comes out clean. Let the muffins sit in the pan for 10-15 minutes before removing to a cooling rack.

I find it helpful to use the same cup in measuring the oil and agave, so the oil comes out quicker (assuming you have a one-cup measuring cup with 2/3 and 1/2 markings).
If you've had problems with your cocoa powder clumping, push it through a strainer. It comes out beautifully fine.
This recipe is loosely adapted from this one:

Bon appetit!
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The Varied Stages of My Bedroom

A while back I posted this about the remodeling/redecoration of the room I shared with my middle older sister (that does make sense if you think about it), after posting several things about the remodel. On the first of January of this year, we stopped sharing a room, which saw me moving into one of the two guest rooms. Except for nine months spent at a rental house, in 2009-2011, this is the first time I've had my own room. While I loved sharing a room and I definitely recommend it, I very, very much enjoy living alone (haha - I'd actually hate to live completely alone, but a room of one's own has its perks).
When we first moved into this house, it was decided that while my sister and I would continue to share a room, we could each decorate one of the guest rooms and be in charge of keeping it clean, and etc. We called them our "havens" because the idea was that we could go there if we needed our own space. It has become even more of a haven now that is is my room. To avoid confusion, I shall continue to refer to this room as my haven in this post.
My haven has gone through very many stages of decoration and rearranging, as furniture is stored there or moved elsewhere and I have change my mind. In hopes that this progression may be interesting to some, I here provide a look at it.

To start way, way back:

This was late March 2010, when we had first bought our house. The room above (with my tiny pink crocs, and and a motor cycle poster) is our bedroom. Below, my haven:
 (Taken from the hallway)

Complete with weird blue curtains on only one window, and disgusting carpet.

A year later shows my haven looking much nicer — clean carpet, blue walls — but the mattress is still on the floor and has a twin-sized quilt. Obviously I was also not as tidy then. And is that a sheet serving as a curtain?

The pictures below are of our bedroom in January 2012. A royal mess, perhaps, but decorated with some taste.  Multicolors (and clutter) ruled the day.

 This picture below was taken about the same time. Mattress still without a headboard of any sort, but things are arranged a little neater, and there are actual bedclothes and curtains (plus a dying plant beneath the window).

And my very... unique form of a closet doors.
Between now and then I am sadly picture lacking. But you can see my haven live in October 2012 by watching the video here, which displays my lovely medievalish headboard and my closet curtains. (I also had a four-poster at one point...). It does not show the desk I acquired about the same time, but as I still use it you will see it shortly.

Late in 2012 we got rid of the desks and acquired a loveseat.

So as to not duplicate photos I shall say that in summer 2013 we repainted and drastically repopulated our room (furniture-wise), and you can see that here:

About a year ago I got a new headboard, because although the other one was very medieval-ish, as I said, it didn't actually fit the bed (it was only leaning against the wall) and would have required too much work to fit it. When I decided to movie into the room last fall, I moved the desk from against the wall with the door (where my bookshelf is currently) to beneath the window, and put the chest at the foot of the bed so I could store things in it and not have to constantly take plants off.

To the pictures:
Looking in from the hallway...

...and looking back at the door. You may remember the white peacock (Gertrude) from our other room.

If you read my bookshelf tag you'll notice I have a new bookcase. Although it doesn't match the rest of my furniture so well it fits nicely in the corner. And apparently we've had it in the family for twenty or so years, which is cool.

Featuring another piece of furniture which has been in the family for years — the little rose stool (which again, doesn't really match the rest of my furniture, as it is white and the other three things are dark wood stain, but who cares? I like it). On the desk you can see my large seashell disk with random things in it, my vase/pen cup, a random bust that my mother snuck into my room for fun, and my plant. My book plant has actually survived and not died like the other plants I've had before. (If the planter inspires you to go be crafty and make one, I'll say that tutorials were difficult to find, and this was the best I saw. )

I'm making this extra large so you can see my NIECE. And can you spot the pegasus?

Over in the corner there is a J.W. Waterhouse painting you may recognize, plus a random bust my mother found.

I have a trunk at the foot of my bed, and since I moved into my haven I keep clothes in it. It's very Anne-of-Green-Gables-type romantic and it's thrilling. (Plus another Waterhouse over the bed.)

And because I am a would-be citizen of the United Kingdom:

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