Quinoa Carrot Muffins

I could live on coffee these days, but I limit myself to 1 (ok maybe 1 1/2) cup a day.

I could live on coffee these days, but I limit myself to 1 (ok maybe 1 1/2) cup a day.

I haven’t had a whole lot of time or energy to get much of anything done lately, aside from the necessary day to day stuff like dishes, laundry and showering…and even then, it doesn’t all get done (I won’t tell you which).  Eating is another thing that’s been getting put on the back burner, replaced by nursing, burping, rocking, nursing some more, burping, rocking…you get the picture (I’m actually nursing as I type this with one hand hehe).  This is a problem because I am hungry all.the.time.  So I decided to help myself out a bit by making a healthy, easy to grab snack that I can eat with one hand.  I had some leftover quinoa so I Googled for muffin recipes to use it up and found this Quinoa Carrot Muffin recipe.

I am no baker by any stretch of the imagination.  I’ve got one or two go-to recipes that I’ve mastered and the rest usually result in disaster, so I wasn’t overly optimistic about this one, but figured I’d give a shot anyway.  It actually turned out really well.

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Fingers crossed!

I did make a few small changes:

1 ) I didn’t have any apple sauce, so I substituted with canola oil.  Obviously this takes away the low-fatness and made them a little more moist than they probably should be.

2) I used golden raisins.  I find them better for baking.

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Success!

So far the whole family’s approved them and I would make them again, however I think next time I’d play with the spices a bit, add some clove and nutmeg to give them a bit more of a flavour kick, and I’d use applesauce as stated in the recipe.

As a bonus, here’s a shot of my little baking sidekick – she got to stay nice and snug while I mixed and stirred 🙂

LOVE my Boba wrap (http://www.bobafamily.com/). I highly recommend it for any new mom :)

LOVE my Boba wrap (http://www.bobafamily.com/). I highly recommend it for any new mom 🙂

 

 

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Magnetic Chalkboard Wall

We have a problem with organization in our kitchen.  I love having everything organized, but life gets in the way and just when I think I’m on top of things, BAM, life runs away from me and I’m trying to catch up to it and running out of breath.  In an attempt to help keep our daily lives a little more on the ball, we decided to create a magnetic chalkboard wall in our kitchen and make it an “organization station”.

We have this sort of useless wall next to the laundry room door just off the kitchen where we used to hang a calendar.  The popularity of chalkboard paint got me thinking we could make better use of this space.  My darling husband did some recon work and suggested we make the chalkboard wall magnetic: brilliant! So we bought the magnetic paint and chalkboard paint, taped off the area we wanted to paint and got to work.

The magnetic paint went on first.  Warning: this stuff is oil based so it STUNK up the place.  It’s also incredibly hard to mix because, well, it’s metal! Had we known it would smell so bad we wouldn’t have tackled this project in December when the temperature drops and having windows and doors open leave you curled up on the couch under layers upon layers of blankets.  Live and learn.  In total we put on 3 coats of the magnetic stuff. Unfortunately,  the wall isn’t as magnetic as we’d like, so in hindsight a few more coats might have helped.

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This is the best angle I could get of the wall. We went all the way down to the floor so the kids can use it too once they’re old enough.

Then it was time for the chalkboard paint.  Water-based, this stuff is pretty much scent free and much more user friendly. It also only required 1 coat.  Much easier! The manufacturer instructions said to wait 3 days before writing on the chalkboard.

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The light switch is in an annoying spot but we’ll just work around it.

We bought pre-primed trim to frame in the area.  Keegan cut and nailed it into place and I puttied the joints and nail holes and painted it white.  I just used the white semi-gloss paint we used on our baseboards.

The manufacturer’s instructions for the chalkboard paint recommended that you run the flat edge of a chalk all over the entire surface, then erase, in order to “prime” it.  Not doing this could result in your first etchings being “un-eraseable”.  Warning: this makes an INCREDIBLY dusty mess.  I recommend having a vacuum close by.  You will likely need to wash the floors after too.

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Corner joints puttied and chalkboard “primed”.

Finally, now for the fun part! We went out to buy chalk and, believe it or not, in many stores (including the craft store we went to), chalk is considered “seasonal”, so we could only find white chalk. Bummer.  I was really hoping for some funky colours.  I made due with what we found (for now).

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I haven’t had time to do anything more creative than the “K” at the top but eventually I’d like to create something artsy and fun.

Just this past weekend though, Keegan found some coloured chalk (at Chapters of all places!), so today I updated our menu 🙂

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I’m looking forward to having our weeknight meals organized and not scrambling at the last minute trying to figure out something healthy and tasty to eat!

I have plans to make this space even more useful, but that’ll have to be for another post 🙂