One of my goals for 2017 is to write more regularly- to map out all the little things that got me through the day and into the weekend. I’ll be sharing an article I couldn’t stop thinking about, a product I love, a song I had on repeat, or a book that really stuck with me: tiny glimpses of what I’ve been up to and things you might enjoy as well!
This week we had absolutely fantastic weather. Sorry, it’s spring and that means pretty much every week you’re going to hear me talking about weather and the yard…
SELF MEDICATING / DAMN GOOD STUFF
I know a lot of people complain about spring the Missouri since it’s unpredictable and often rainy- I usually don’t mind because it means bigger, better blooms. I’m expecting almost everything leafed out in the next couple weeks and I’ve found that it really lifts the spirits to see everything coming back to life. That said, with the frequent ups and downs in temperature and pressure (combined with seasonal allergies), spring season brings on a lot of migraines for me which brings me to…
This tea is such a splurge for me but also such a godsend. Sometimes I have to resort to stronger stuff but usually this does the trick. I keep a box in my desk at work, a box at home, and I always take a few tea bags with me when I travel just in case. It’s caffeine free and contains licorice root, peppermint leaf, sweet fennel, and basil (all organic). Licorice is naturally sweet so I don’t have to add any sugar but as it’s 1) expensive and 2) can cause blood pressure problems with over-consumption, this is definitely an as-needed drink. The ingredients are pretty simple so I don’t see why you couldn’t DIY or even grow the majority of the ingredients yourself. That said, Yogi Tea makes a dupe called Egyptian Licorice Mint for about $5.00 that’s a pretty good match if you don’t want to shell out $20.00 or more for Aveda’s.
Since this weekend was sunny and in the high 70s (!!!), I headed out to Weithop’s to stock up for the front step pots. I’ve always been pretty adamantly opposed to purely seasonal plants because it seems like a massive waste of money to plant something that will die months later BUT I tend to make an exception for the front pots. This year I did butter yellow cannas (which I can dig up and save for next year and will pop against the grey siding and cobalt door), white trailing alyssum, Mardi Gras sweet potato vine (which will be pastel pink, copper, and eggplant as it grows), a hot pink with red center geranium, along with some tulip and hyacinth bulbs I got half price. The tulips and hyacinths I’ll save too.
Wiethop’s has been around for ages and is well worth the trip to west county. They’re grower-direct so I always get high quality annuals, perennials (I snagged a gorgeous clematis for the mailbox), and edibles (hello, teensy tomatoes!) for a great price.
Let me just tell ya – I love Dorie Greenspan. Years ago when I was working as a chef’s assistant at a culinary school, I saved up for her big book on baking and have finally started working my way through. Lately, I’ve been making batches of her muffins for breakfast and this week, by request of my sweet-tooth boyfriend, made some late night triple chocolate muffins. They totally don’t count in terms of being healthy but…oh well.
Pro-tip: most of Dorie’s muffin recipes call for buttermilk which I literally never have on hand as we’re not big on dairy or…buttermilk. BUT…my latest grocery discovery is powdered buttermilk that can be reconstituted with the same amount of liquid as the recipe requires. I had zero problems with rise or crumb so I think it’s a pretty solid, economical replacement for buying cartons of buttermilk. I only use what I need and the rest doesn’t go bad, it just chills out in the pantry.
These muffins are almost like cake- they’re super light and fairly delicate in texture even having cocoa powder and melted bittersweet chocolate in the batter as well as chocolate chunks stirred through. If you’re worried about a cloying muffin, don’t. That said, next time I make these, I’ll up the chocolate chips.
You could just eat these plain but I like mine with a little blackberry or, in this case, elderberry jelly with butter. ‘Cause I’m fancy like that. You can find the muffin recipe here!
I’ve started watching a new-to-Netflix BBC drama, Shetland. Shetland has always been on my list of places to go and the show does a great job of capturing the scenery and mood of the islands. It’s a mystery drama that isn’t over-the-top gore. If you like British murder-mysteries or dramas plus a dose of great landscape shots, you should check out Shetland and the books the series is based on!
**As always, all reviews are unpaid and unvarnished!