DIY in the kitchen: vegan muffins

There is an incredibly liberating feeling that comes from paying off all of one's bills for the month. Being finished paying out other people until thirty days from now allows me a necessary breath from the deep, cob-webby part of my lungs where the air needs stirring... and its effects last, till next month.

I'm trying very hard to stick to my "swallow the frog" mantra and get all of the things I don't want to do started and finished within an hour of walking through the front door. Tonight, that involved sorting and starting the laundry, paying bills, making a budget for next month, emptying the dishwasher, and tidying up since I'm the picky one in the house. It makes the remainder of the evening relatively guilt free compared to how I would feel trying to read and cook as a form of procrastinating.

Tonight I went to Spider House with my step-sister who is in town from College Station for a meeting, so I didn't get home till late.

I love Spider House. The combination of fairy lights + rusted wrought iron head boards as a fence + cobblestone terrace + retro patio furniture is a veritable fantasy outdoor lounge. It's equally enjoyable on a Sunday afternoon with a lap top and tea, as it is at night with friends, dogs on leashes, and an adult beverage. If I had the money to spend drinking mochas and beer out as opposed to at my kitchen table, I'd spend a lot of it there. I'd never even heard of it till my coworker and I needed a place with wireless internet to start our program planning before we had access to our office, and she found it on a google search. I'm glad she did. Last week I took my step-sister to Flightpath, so perhaps it will be my goal to give her the full tour of Austin's coffee houses throughout the course of her Tuesday meetings.

Tonight I was a well-behaved spender, and refrained from spending money on more than a latte, knowing I had food at home I could make. When I was a sophomore in college, I started making everything myself from scratch, and this included jam, bagels, almond butter, tomato sauce, etc etc. I would like to get back into the habit, if not for the cost and nutritional benefit, but because making food for myself (and my co-inhabitants) is a meditative experience. I know my Asian Studies teacher told me that washing dishes should be meditative as well, but I haven't progressed that far.

For breakfast this morning, I pulled out another old recipe favorite to bake, and it was much easier and quicker to make than I remember. It goes like this:

Morning Glory Muffins

1 cup sugar
1/4 cup brown sugar
2 cups whole wheat flour
2 tsp baking powder
1/4 cup wheat germ or flax seed (optional)
1 tbs cinnamon
1 tsp nutmeg
1/2 tsp salt
1/2 cup shredded coconut
1/2 cup raisins
2 cups shredded carrots
1 apple, shredded
4 oz crushed pineapple
3/4 cup soft tofu
1 cup apple sauce
1 tsp vanilla extract
1 or 2 bananas (optional)

1) preheat oven to 350.

2) sift together: sugars, flour, baking powder, cinnamon, nutmeg, salt into a large bowl

3) add coconut, raisins

4) in a food processor, blend together: carrots, apple, pineapple, tofu, applesauce, vanilla, banana

5) add to mix and stir well

6) spoon into greased muffin tin (should make about 12 muffins)

7) bake 30-35 minutes

I had one with green tea, butter, and a bowl of vanilla yogurt over berries with honey while reading blog posts and the New York Times online. Did I mention that I *love* not having to work until noon?

Spider House was playing this album by Band of Horses, and this is by far my favorite song off of the album. Although, I love every song I've ever heard by them.