I was looking for some rice the other day to cook for my husband since the quick cook rice I had in the cabinet seemed to not be cooking up right. As I stood in the isle at Whole Foods looking for a simple bag of brown rice I had too many choices to know where to begin. This one caught my eye, because it was on sale, and lets be honest, sales are always nice. When I looked at the back of the package for cooking directions and nutritional info I was even more intrigued. Due to the fact that it is germinated it cooks up in 25 to 30 minutes. That is almost half the time of regular rice. That was another bonus.
So, here are the nutritional details:
190 calories per 1/4 cup(dry) serving
2g fat (no saturated or trans fat)
This rice has a hardier texture than others that I have tried. I happen to really like that, and so did my husband who is a very picky eater. He had it with chicken. I had it with vegetables. I would like to try cooking it with milk and adding some fruit, and try it for breakfast. I think it will become my staple for rice. And, I can't forget that it has a little calcium and iron in it. Cook away!
It is unusual to experience Spring around here. Usually we get a week of nice weather, then it just gets hot and very humid. This year, for the first time in a long time, we have had several weeks of comfortable weather with cool breezes and lots of singing birds. It has been overcast for a while, but I don't mind as long as it isn't cold. I heard someone complaining about how she hasn't enjoyed Spring this year. I wasn't sure how to respond since it's the first year Spring has actually been like it is suppose to be. I simply stated that our other option was 95 degree days with 80% humidity. I will take this weather any day. How can you not enjoy the view when you have this to look at:
This is the first Iris to open this year in my flower beds. I always look forward to them every year. When I got home the other afternoon, and saw this beauty had opened it got me thinking. I wonder where Irises came from? A quick internet search and I had my answer.
The iris can be dated as far back as ancient Egypt. It represented eloquence, and was associated with the god Horus. In ancient Greece the iris was associated with the goddess Iris, which is where it gets it's modern day name. It was used for perfumes and medicinal purposes in both Greece and Egypt. It is easy to see why this flower was associated with the gods. Now-a-days the flower is mainly used in gardens and floral arrangements.
I know that I have posted several pictures containing the sky recently.
This is by far my favorite. I cannot promise that this will be my last
one as it seems the sky keeps offering picturesque scenery.
Recently there has been an infestation of MONsTerSSss in our home. You know the kind I am talking about. The ones that hide under the bed, in the closets or any dark area of the house. And I can't forget my favorite kind of monster; the invisible monster. They can be little monstersor big monsters. Some might be plump and others might be thin. Some might only have one eye while others have five eyes. Ooohhhh, extra scary! For some reason these monsters are only present when there is a child in your home, and often stay tucked away in the shadows. No matter what type of monster that you are dealing with, they are all pesky, and hard to get rid off. With some patience and much thought I have managed to get ourmonster infestation under control. Although we occasionally have one pop up, most of the monsters that were residing in our home have packed up and moved on. You might be asking yourself what is the best way to deal with this type of infestation. I have complied a list of things that you can not only do to treat, but also prevent any further monster infestations.
There is always the traditional night lights. They work great to flush
the shadow monsters out from dark corners and low lying areas such as
end of hallways and empty corners of the bedroom. The problem with night
lights is that you can end up with a night light in every plug in the
house which completely illuminates your house. You might as well just
sleep with all the lights on. If you are only dealing with one or two
monsters in a corner or two then night lights are an easy and cheap way
to get rid of them. You can even get them in your child's favorite
cartoon character. Some are even motion activated so this will help you
see when those invisible monsters are on the move.
If you and your child(ren) don't have any allergies plugins that heat up, and release your favorite scent into the air are great. You see, monsters don't like anything that smells. Your house will smell wonderful, and you can treat your monster problem at the same time. These can easily be purchased at your local supermarket, Target and Walmart. Just plug into your wall and let it do it's job.
Monster spray. This is my favorite way to treat and prevent monsters in the home. All you need to make this special monster spray is an empty spray bottle and some water. Simply fill the spray bottle, turn the knob on the nozzle to mist and spray the house. If you would like to add fresh herbs to your water this will add a pleasant scent to the monster spray that your child can also smell so they know the spray is working. This is a great option for the invisible monster, because it too is invisible when sprayed. Spray as often as needed.
A more expensive option(if you don't already own one) is a pet. Dogs, cats and even birds can signal the presence of a monster in the room. And if you didn't know this, here is a special tip: Monsters don't like pets. They are TERRIFIED of pets. Simply having one in or around the house is enough to keep monsters at bay. If you are in the market for this particular type of monster eliminator then let me recommend your nearest animal rescue society. You might be surprised at just how well this works, and not to mention the love you will be bringing into your home in the process. Just remember that pets are a lifetime investment so don't jump into anything unless you are prepared for the upkeep of this wonderful home monster treatment.
This next monster keeper awayer is something that you probably already have in your house. A stuffed animal. They make great guards for children's rooms. Stuffed animals are the best for under the bed and closet monsters. They fit perfectly in tight places so no sneaky monster will have a place to hide. You can sit one under the bed to keep watch at night, or place one permanently in the closet to keep it free of spooky monsters at all times. They work well in the doorway too. Placing a stuffed animal in the doorway will prevent any monsters from being allowed to enter into your child's room. If you need to you can place them all over the room just for extra protection. You can never be too safe.
I hope that some of these tips help you get rid of any monsters that may be living under your roof. Hopefully, your child will be able to sleep more soundly knowing that their room is free of unwanted guest.
Autumn is my favorite time of the year. The changing of the leaves is wonderful to watch, and the cooler weather is a great welcome after months of heat and humidity. Usually this time of year it is still really hot. This year though, it was really hot for a while, and now we seem to be getting some much needed relief. We still have a month to go before Autumn is officially here, but evidence of it's arrival are already starting to show. I came across these bright red leaves this morning. I was so excited that I had to share.
My ferns are looking very nice this year. Wish that they grew during the colder months. At least I will have this picture to remind me of them until Spring.
I can remember when I was growing up all the pies and cobblers that my grandmother made. She never made just one at a time, and during the summer she always had them ready to be eaten. My favorite had to be the blackberry cobbler. She would wander out into a patch of blackberries not worrying about the thorns that covered the bushes, and come back with buckets full of dark, sweet blackberries. Those wild blackberries are becoming harder and harder to find these day. Blackberries that can be bought in the store are often large, and also sweet, but they are pricey. I happen to come across some blackberries and blueberries at a decent price. I bought both intending to use them in smoothies, but I ended up not using them for that purpose. Not wanting to let the berries go bad I decided to make muffins. I figured that would be something easy and delicious. I knew blueberries would be good in muffins, but I wasn't sure about the blackberries. Well, now I am sure. They worked great! I was sent back to a time when I played outdoors all day during the summer, and only came in to eat. My grandmother's cobbler was one of the things that I remember fondly. I will never be able to recreate her cobblers, but I now have these delicious muffins that do remind me of the taste.
I love how these muffins turned a deep golden color.
Full of antioxidant packed berries.
They smell yummy!
Look at all those berries...
It only took me a few minutes to mix all the ingredients together, and it didn't take long for them to start to brown in the oven either. I replaced the oil in these muffins with unsweetened applesauce. The applesauce helps add moistness and flavor. If you would like to use oil instead replace the applesauce with equal parts oil. Adding oil instead of applesauce will slightly affect the flavor.
2 cups whole wheat flour
1 cup ground flaxseeds
1 teaspoon baking soda
2 teaspoons baking powder
Dash of nutmeg
½ teaspoon cinnamon(more if you like a stronger cinnamon flavor)
1 large egg
6 oz. vanilla greek yogurt
½ cup to 1 cup of sugar(depending on how sweet you want it)*
½ cup unsweetened applesauce
½ teaspoon vanilla extract
½ cup water
1 pint fresh blueberries, rinsed
1pint fresh blackberries, rinsed
oven to 375°.
In a large bowl mix the whole wheat, ground flaxseed, baking soda, baking
powder, nutmeg and cinnamon. Set aside. In a separate bowl mix egg,
yogurt, sugar, applesauce and vanilla extract. Add wet ingredients to dry
ingredients. Mix gently. Add the water a little at a time until all ingredients are
just blended. Do not over mix. Mixing too much will create a rubbery consistency.
Batter should be thick. Using an ice cream scoop, fill the scoop with batter and
place in pre-lined or greased muffin tin. One full scoop will be enough for
one muffin. Bake about 15 to 20 minutes or until golden brown. Check for doneness by
inserting a toothpick. It toothpick comes out clean then the muffins are done.
If the toothpick is wet then the muffins aren’t ready.
Let muffins cool in muffin tin for about 5 minutes. Remove
and let cool on a cooling rack.
These muffins freeze easily. I generally freeze all but a couple at a time. I take out what I will need for the next day letting them thaw in the fridge overnight. I was able to get 20 muffins out of this recipe.
*I used ½ cup of sugar which is plenty sweet for me. It is just enough to take any tartness out of the berries. If you
would like more of a dessert muffin then you can use up to 1 cup of sugar.
Its a good thing this recipe made 20 muffins. More for me!
As I am typing this post I realize that this would make a great dessert. Add the full cup of sugar to the recipe and bake as directed. This would be good topped with whipped cream, butter cream frosting, and even cream cheese icing.
Opening my refrigerator today I realized I had some blueberries that wouldn't make it til tomorrow before they would have to be thrown out. Those tiny, blue, antioxidant filled orbs were staring at me from their spot on the shelf saying "save me, save me". I just couldn't let them go to waste. Right next to them was a package of blackberries that were meant for smoothies, but I didn't feel like making smoothies with them once I got them home from the store. After a few minutes of experimenting, and a few more minutes in the oven I ended up with a delightful, lightly sweetened muffin. My first thought when I took a bite while they were still warm was......... cobbler. My intention was just to make a simple muffin with berries in it. I had no idea that it would end up tasting like a cobbler, but, boy am I glad that they did.
I am working on the recipe, because as I said this was an experiment. I didn't write everything down as I went along. Once I have everything written down I will post the recipe with more photos. In the meantime I am going to try not to eat all the muffins at once.
On the last post I talked about storms popping up, lasting several minutes then moving on their way. Well, this year the storms have been happening very frequently. In the last four days it has rained or stormed everyday. Some of these storms are not fun to have to go through, but they do make for great pictures. All of these pictures were taken in the "calm before the storm". I can imagine that I could get a great picture during one of these storms, but I am not willing to venture out among the lightening to get said picture. I value my life more than that, and I would miss chocolate too much. While I am sharing pictures from the last several days, I am also going to take the time to share with you how I edited these photos. All I needed was my smartphone and the wonderful app Pixlr-o-matic.
Here is an original photo before any edits:
And with the press of a few buttons, here is the after:
Here is another example. Before:
This app is wonderful...no, fabulous, no, spectacular. Is there a way to wrap all those words into one? Whatever that word is, it is how I would describe this app. Let me say that my favorite photo editing tool is Adobe Photoshop. It will always be my most valuable photo editing software, but sometimes all I have access to is my phone. It isn't always convenient to carry around a heavy bag full of camera equipment, but I always have my phone with me. And, because I just can't leave a photo alone this app is the perfect thing. It's easy, fast and tons of fun to see all the ways that I can play up my photos. This app even has frames you can use to give your photos some finishing touches.
Here is another before:
After finding the right filter and adding a frame to round the corners here is the after:
There are dozens of edits that you can do with your photos. You can overlay different filters, and frames to get the desired look that you want for your photos. You can even add effects like scratches, and light flares. Pixlr-o-matic is extremely useful for enhancing your photos. The best thing about this app is it is FREE!
Warmer weather is officially here, and around the area that I live that means that the weather can get nasty at any moment. Even if the weatherman said it isn't suppose to storm there is still a chance that a storm will pop up. Usually it only last for a few minutes, but it creates a whirlwind of chaos during those few minutes. This picture is the perfect example of the calm before the storm.
Warmer weather also means vibrant colors in the form of flower which always make me happy!
And the nicer weather means more time outside which my dogs love, but it also means bath time outside in the washtub which they hate. Enjoy the nice weather. It won't be too long before it's too hot to go out.