Thursday, October 25, 2018

Zucchini Chocolate Chip Muffins - gluten free and delicious for all!

I am still totally committed to the idea that anything with fruit or a veggie in it can be called healthy - or at least "healthier"!  These zucchini muffins have added "good for you" qualities because they incorporate oat flour, honey (no refined sugar), and pure almond butter.  And the chocolate used is dark chocolate so even that is good!  with the dark chocolate and honey, they are just sweet enough and are also wonderfully moist.  You will want to make these again... and again....


adapted from Easy Flourless Muffins, Bars and Cookies

1 1/2 c. rolled oats
3 T. ground golden flaxseed
2 t. baking powder
1 t. baking soda
1/4 t.salt
3 large eggs, room temperature
1/4 c. whole milk
6 T. almond butter  (I like the BARE brand)
6 T. raw clover honey
1 T. Mexican vanilla extract (Mexican vanilla highlights the chocolate)
1 c. shredded zucchini (squeezed in paper towels to remove excess moisture)
1/2-3/4 c. dark chocolate chips or mini chocolate chips or a combination

Preheat oven to 350.  Line a muffin pan with parchment liners and set aside.

In a high speed blender, place the oats, flaxseed, baking powder, baking soda and salt.  Blend on high for about 20 second or until the oats are broken down into a flour.

In a separate bowl, mix all of the remaining ingredients except the zucchini and chocolate chips.  Add the blended flour ingredients and mix again just until blended - about 20 seconds on the medium speed of a mixer.  Fold in the zucchini and chocolate chips with a spatula.

Using an ice cream scoop, fill each lined muffin cup with the batter (the ice cream scoop gives the perfect amount for 12 muffins).  They should be about 3/4 full.

Bake for 15-18 minutes or until a toothpick inserted in the center of the muffin comes clean.  Remove from the oven and let sit in the tin for 10 minutes. Then remove from the tin and finish cooling on a wire rack.

These keep very well and also freeze well, if they last that long!

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Sunday, October 21, 2018

A Trio of Birthday Cards - Power Poppy inspired!

I seem to be totally hooked on Power Poppy images of late.  These three cards are all thanks to the artistic talent of Marcella Hawley who is the genius behind Power Poppy.  I think I have every one of her images and I am eager to enjoy all of them in time!  These three images were all print and cuts using the SCAL Pro 5 software and the Silver Bullet Platinum that features an awesome camera for doing print and cuts.  It makes what used to be a tedious endeavor a quick and fun project with instant results!

The first card spotlights the "Wildflower Mini" image.  I used Spectrum Noir alcohol markers to color this cute image.  It went to one of my very special friends (I am so blessed to have such amazing and wonderful friends in my life).

The background image is "Branching Out" clear toner sheets
from Deco Foil.  The stamped greeting is from Pretty Pink Posh.
Sequins from 28 Lilac Lane accent the background. And
the jar is covered with Glossy Accents to give it that "wet" look.

The second birthday card features Power Poppy's "Tea Cake with Strawberries" image.  I printed it on watercolor paper and used the Spectrum Noir aqua markers and FineTec watercolors to add color.  I am such a novice at this but I try to improve with each card....

A real paper doily accents this luscious looking cake pedestal.
The greeting is a Gina K Foil Mate and cut with one of her dies and foiled.
The image is embellished with Spectrum Noir shimmer pens and 
a black glitter gel pen.  The berries are coated with
Nuvo Clear Gloss.  The sequins are from 28 Lilac Lane.

And the last card uses Spectrum Noir colour blend pencils to highlight the image of "Irresistible Peonies".  This was for a very special friend who helped me when I first moved back to CA from Arizona and spent a lot of time with me after I lost my father back in 2004.  She was a special angel in my life then, and remains one now.  I love her dearly and am forever grateful for all she did for me.

The background paper is from First Edition and the card base is
Paper Temptress Leather.  The greeting is printed on Brother Label Tape
and the card is adorned with sequins from 28 Lilac Lane.  

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Saturday, October 13, 2018

Cards for Difficult Times

These two cards were meant to bring some love and care to the lives of two very special people.  One friend was facing a cancer diagnosis (caught early but still life changing in so many ways) and another had just lost her older daughter - totally unexpected. 

This "thinking of you" card was for my friend courageously fighting cancer.  She is doing well and we are all so grateful.  The beautiful flower is a digi image from Power Poppy called Dahlia.  I love how easy it was to foil it and it looks so beautiful with just a few extra touches.

The background is a Deco Foil clear transfer sheet foiled with glitter green foil 
and is held in place with simple rhinestones that hide the glue!  
I think it makes such a lovely card and so 
versatile for any number of occasions.

I love using the hummingbird and flower for special remembrance cards because it is so beautiful.  

I wish I could remember where I got this beautiful svg file, 
but I have used it many times.  It is one of my favorites 
because it is so detailed and elegant.  
It is cut out of Paper Temptress incandescent.   
I added sequins from 28 Lilac Lane and stamped a greeting
from Paper Smooches for the finishing touches.

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Thursday, October 4, 2018

Baby Cards - Celebrating a girl and a boy!

I love making baby cards and I don't get to do them often. So what fun to actually have one of each to create in the same month.  I had a great time trying to make them as special as I could.

The baby girl card was for the precious little granddaughter of my neignbors who have become such dear friends and welcomed me into their family. How lucky am I?  This is their second grandchild and first girl. Their first is her brother, Merritt, who I have spoken of here and who I love almost as much as my own grandson.  He has stolen my heart and so has his precious sister. They came over here when she was only a week old and I got to hold her while Mom and Dad took a break.  Good thing the grandparents were gone for the evening or I would not have had that much time with her!  It was so special.  I am not sure what it is about holding a baby, but it is truly the most wonderful feeling in the world.  I am so grateful to have been able to share in their joy and their lives.

 The cutting file for this card is from Birds Cards.  Her designs are detailed and cut beautifully.  I use the Silver Bullet Platinum to easily cut the detail out of card stock from the Paper Temptress White Diamond and Pop Tones.  The background paper is from Echo Park (I hit my neglected stash box!) and I love how it all came together.

Tried to capture the dimension of this card. The greeting and the 
baby buggy are sitting atop foam squares.  I used some adhesive lace to
border the buggy and make it more feminine.  I really love it!

I was in a bit of a rush to make the card for the baby boy so I only  have one photo - but it captures the spirit of celebration.  This is for someone special who serves on the board of Oceanside Boys & Girls Club with me and he runs a local Buffalo Wings.  He and his wife are expecting their first child, a precious little boy. We are all so very excited for them.

The design is from two separate designs from Miss Kate's Cuttables and her designs never disappoint.  The papers are from Paper Temptress and the patterned background is from my stash. :) (can you tell I am trying to utilize what I have??   Making a concerted effort...)

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