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Cranberry Muffins and Loneliness

TC wanted these blueberry muffins.  So I remade these cranberry ones instead.

cranberry muffins vegan gluten-free | gothic granola

Instead of defrosting frozen blueberries, I used fresh cranberries and a whole host of substitutions in this recipe.  It is the rare occasion when I have vegan yoghurt, and this time, I was even out of nondairy milk and Earth Balance!  Coconut oil is easy enough to swap in for all things butter (unrefined oil has a coconut taste, though).  Baking at high altitude means either increasing the flour or decreasing the wet ingredients slightly in a recipe.  I turned the flaxseed “egg” slurry into the acidic component usually fulfilled by yoghurt by combining the egg and yoghurt measurements (3/4 cup liquid) plus acidic apple cider vinegar.  Vegan baking science!

 

cranberry muffins vegan gluten-free | gothic granola

Cranberry Muffins
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Ingredients
  1. 3/4 cup warm water
  2. 1/4 cup ground flaxseed
  3. 1 teaspoon apple cider vinegar
  4. 1/2 cup coconut oil, solid
  5. 3/4 cup coconut sugar, blitzed
  6. 5 tablespoons triple sec (or other orange liqueur)
  7. 1 cup GF oat flour
  8. 1/2 cup teff flour
  9. 1/4 cup tapioca starch
  10. 1/2 teaspoon xanthan gum
  11. 1 teaspoon baking soda
  12. 1 teaspoon baking powder
  13. 1/2 teaspoon sea salt
  14. 1/2 teaspoon ground cinnamon
  15. dash cardamom
  16. 1 1/2 cups fresh cranberries
  17. 1/4 cup organic sugar for sprinkling
Instructions
  1. Preheat oven to 425 degrees Fahrenheit.
  2. Line a 12-well muffin tin with paper liners.
  3. In a small measuring cup, combine water, flaxseed, and apple cider vinegar and set aside.
  4. With a hand mixer or stand mixer, cream coconut oil and coconut sugar until fluffy and uniformly combined.
  5. Beat in the triple sec and flaxseed mixture.
  6. In a separate medium-sized bowl, sift then whisk together flours, xanthan gum, leavening, and spices.
  7. Add the flour mixture to the wet ingredients in three additions, beating well after each.
  8. Stir in the cranberries.
  9. Transfer the batter to the prepared pan.
  10. Sprinkle the top of each muffin with an aesthetically-pleasing pinch of sugar.
  11. Bake muffins for 5 minutes at 425 degrees, then lower the temperature to 350 degrees and bake for an additional 20-23 minutes.
  12. Muffins are done when they pass the toothpick test, have browned on the top, and spring back to the touch.
  13. Remove the muffins from the oven and let cool in the pan for 5 minutes before removing to a rack to cool completely.
Notes
  1. It's better to use paper liners since the cranberries explode when they heat up, making the muffins more difficult to get out of a pan that has only been greased.
  2. While these muffins should be stored in the fridge (the cranberries make them have too high a water content to be stored just in a container), their texture is best when heated up. The coconut oil tends to solidify in the fridge, making the muffins seem dryer than they really are.
Adapted from Sally's Baking Addiction
Gothic Granola http://gothicgranola.com/
Nope, they don’t glow under a blacklight.

cranberry muffins vegan gluten-free | gothic granola

When I originally began writing this blog post, when I wrote “loneliness,” I thought instead of “Happiness” by IAMX: “Staring blank at my screen/ Waiting for a sign, waiting for a smile to come to me/ Happiness…”

Now, I’m no chaser of happiness.  Longtime blog readers should have gotten that by now; contentment is better, longer lasting, yet more difficult to attain.  Basic Buddhist/New Age blandishment.

The casual reader may also think, “Hey Q, aren’t you married?  What the hell are you talking about loneliness for?”

Le sigh.   I could really use a “girlfriend” for, you know, girlfriendy things, such as having “girls’ night out” and going to quilting shows and the like.  Also, the going out and doing of things to make friends is not cheap when you have to drive at least 20 miles (to Boulder) or 40 miles (to Denver) to do anything worth doing.  It was not in “the plan” to end up in a suburb, but then again, I’m not as easily derailed as some when “the plan” does not go as expected.  This place is merely a way-station, not to last more than two years.

As for other factors that contribute to not getting out, there’s work.  While everything else about working remotely is awesome, being “just a phone call away” but also “only a phone call” and two time zones away from my co-workers is lonely-making.  Generally phone calls or work chats don’t involve much of the human interaction that one naturally experiences in an office; we get right down to business now.  I’m very productive!  Besides music, I often play interviews and podcasts in the background for conversational, sometimes educational, noise.

Of course, having lots of social things to do can be a distraction from making art.  Since I “got my writing back” around this time last year, I’m most certainly not disappointed when it’s Saturday night and I’m blogging and working on my novel. 

Side note (which has evolved into is own two paragraphs, I see…): other artistic thing I’m doing this month, besides working on the novel, is wearing makeup every day.  I don’t wear foundation since my skin is very “good” (thank you, genetics and vegan diet), but I am a crap visual artist and my eyeliner and eyeshadow skillz are wanting.  So I’m using my collection of vegan makeup and drawing on my face every day. 

cranberry muffins vegan gluten-free | gothic granola

I actually used to wear eye makeup all the time in my first one and a half years in college, but then I became vegan and stopped.  I only purchased makeup after becoming vegan when someone challenged me to be more feminine in order to attract the “right kind of people.”  There’s a loooong digression I could make here about femininity, attracting people, “-shaming” (as a suffix) and creepers, but let’s not get petty.  Oh, and funny story?  All the people that I look up to regarding makeup artistry are male (including my partner) or trans.  So, yeah, makeup = feminizing?  Let’s talk about that war paint, shall we?  Now I want to read anthropological articles on the history of makeup and face-painting.

Parting shots:

Stuff in the back of my car…the bear jacket.

the bear jacket | gothic granola

My “other” father-in-law got me a cookie press for my birthday!

 

spritz cookies vegan gluten-free | gothic granola

The recipe is from Vegan Cookies Invade your Cookie Jar.

  

Whatchoo got there, Nimbus cat?  Are they overly-sweet store-bought vegan and gluten-free cookies that clock in at 200 calories apiece that we won’t be buying again?

Yes, yes they are.

cranberry muffins vegan gluten-free | gothic granola cranberry muffins vegan gluten-free | gothic granola

4 Thoughts on “Cranberry Muffins and Loneliness

  1. ann kerr on 16/11/2015 at 12:05 said:

    Take some classes at Full Circle Yoga (groupon has a deal) and meet some gals!

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