Sunday, August 17, 2014

Muffins for Two - Lemon Huckleberry Yogurt

Who here hasn't ever thought, Man, I sure am craving something sweet. If only I could whip up just one muffin.

...or something to that effect? I know I've sometimes wished for just a single, freshly-baked muffin (even though really I could eat a whole pan).

Well, look no further. Before you is a delicious, healthy muffin recipe to fit your needs! Oh except, this recipe is for 2 muffins, because otherwise the man in my house would feel left out and sad. So either halve the recipe, give the 2nd muffin to somebody else, or - my personal favourite - just eat them both.

Now grab that tiny mixing bowl you never get to use, and let's get started!

Lemon Huckleberry Yogurt Muffin(s)

*Inspired by Single Serving Healthier Chocolate Chip Muffin


  • 6 TBS Flour
  • 3 TBS Oats
  • .5 tsp Baking Powder
  • Pinch of Salt
  • 1.5 TBS Pure Lemon Juice
  • 1 tsp Vanilla Extract
  • 1 TBS Honey
  • 1 TBS Coconut Oil (melted)
  • 1 Heaping TBS Honey Greek Yogurt
  • Huckleberries, as many or as few as you want (Blueberries will work if you don't have huckleberries in your area)
  • (optional) Large sugar crystals to sprinkle on top (we got a blueberry sugar on a trip to the Spice & Tea Exchange in Portland...which I seem to have lost. It'll top my muffins one day, rest assured.)


  • Preheat the oven @ 350°.
  • In your small mixing bowl, combine the Flour, Oats, Baking Powder, and Salt.
  • Now add in all the wet ingredients; Lemon, Vanilla, Honey, Oil, and Yogurt. (I am sorry that nearly everything requires your tablespoon.)
  • Lastly, add the Huckle/Blueberries. I popped a few so they could colour the muffins just a little bit,
    and left the rest intact.
  • Mix everything just until it is all combined. If we're all being honest here, I gave up on the stirring utensil very quickly and just squeezed everything with my fingers. It can all fit in one hand, so why not?
  • Now evenly split the batter and place into your muffin pan or liners. (Don't have those? Neither did I the first time. Just mold some plain ol' foil into the basic shape of a muffin and you'll be fine. I did fold mine so it was double-walled for extra strength, but I'm not sure that was even necessary)
  • Cook for 24 minutes, or until you can poke it with a toothpick and have it come out clean (or at least come out with only huckleberry blood).

Hot and Fresh

And that was all! You're done! Now enjoy your muffins, and think about what kind you will make next time. I will most definitely be creating many, many other recipes - especially since my favourite season of the year is coming up - and posting them on here. Right now I'm working on Matcha-Lavender, which isn't cooperating just yet. We'll see.

Arrivederci, little muffin. It was nice knowing you.

Recipe Note: I have also had success with adding another tbsp of each Oats and Lemon Juice. Makes the muffin a bit denser and tarter, if that's your thing.

Find this and other great recipes at the
FlourMeWithLove Monday link parties!

Saturday, November 16, 2013

Refrigerator Oatmeal Recipes

By now most of you have probably heard of the Refrigerator Oatmeal craze. If you are like me, at first you kind of wrinkled your nose at the weird idea of oatmeal being cold and moved on. If you are more open-minded, you thought, "Great idea! I should try that!"

It took a little while, but eventually I joined those of you in the latter group. Now I eat refrigerator oatmeal nearly every morning, because:

  • It's incredibly easy
  • It's super quick
  • It's full of healthy ingredients
  • It helps my stubborn stomach to digest things throughout the day
  • It happens to be delicious, not weird

So without any nose wrinkling and no more ado, let's make some Refrigerator Oatmeals!

My Supplies

What I use and why:

Jar - I prefer the "Elite® Half Pint (8-oz.) Wide Mouth Jars by Ball®" as they are the perfect portion for me, and they look so squat and adorable
Yogurt - Greek yogurt has the best texture, in my opinion, plus it is healthiest. I like Zoi Honey Greek Yogurt because (in my area) it has the most live and active cultures, and it doesn't have a bunch of junk added to it
Oats - just some regular rolled oats from the bulk section - no instant or anything like that
Seeds - Chia seeds happen to be the most popular in Refrigerator Oatmeal, and I'm just fine with that; I love those pretty little things
Milk - My stomach would complain if I used cow's milk, so I opt for a non-dairy alternative - oat milk is my favourite
Fruit/Misc. - Raspberries, blueberries, strawberries, apples, bananas, nut butter, cinnamon... I could go on and on. I'll give you my absolute favourite recipes below.

The Basics

So with that all being said, feel free to use whatever types of milk, fruit, etc. you would like to fit those ingredient categories, and make them whatever size you want. But for ease of communication, let's just assume for now that you are making them as I do.

When that is the case, here is what you need:

  • Half-Pint Jar
  • 1/4 cup Yogurt
  • 1/3 cup Milk
  • 1/3 cup Rolled Oats
  • 2-3 tsp (or 1 tbsp) Seeds
  • Other to fill

- Dump the oats and milk into your jar.
- Plop in the yogurt and sprinkle in the seeds. Stir. (it isn't strictly necessary to stir until the end, but stirring now will make your life a lot easier)
- The jar will be most of the way full at this point, so now just top it off with anything you would like and stir it well. Three averagely sized strawberries seem to be perfect most of the time, a handful of blueberries will do... and don't be afraid to mix and match! No reason not to have a strawberry/blueberry/raspberry/banana oatmeal.
- Refrigerate for a few hours until it thickens (I just do overnight).

I've done lots of experimenting with these over the past month or so; some attempts that sounded delicious turned out to be strange, some boring ones turned out to be just perfect the way they were, and a lot were decent enough to enjoy once or twice. The only ones I didn't like were those with wheat germ in them; it just tasted bitter. Oh well. Next I'm going to try adding Matcha!

One more thing before we get to the recipes: you can make these in giant batches for the week. I have eight jars at the moment, so four days of breakfast for me and the boyfriend. I just stir all the basic ingredients x8 in a mixing bowl (plus some extra milk - it seems to disappear somewhat in bulk), divide the mixture up between jars, and then flavour them all individually. I'm also going to chalkboard the inside of the circle on tops of those lids, so I can label each flavour as needed.

My Favourite Recipes

As always, I love meals that you really can't go wrong with unless you try. This is one of those recipes, so feel free to use my instructions as loose guidelines until you figure out what works best for your taste.
Raspberry Refrigerator Oatmeal
  • Half-Pint Jar
  • 1/4 cup Honey Greek Yogurt
  • 1/3 cup Oat Milk
  • 1/3 cup Rolled Oats
  • 2 tsp Chia Seeds
  • Raspberries to fill
Add everything but the raspberries and stir. Add the fruit, and as you stir, smoosh the raspberries just a bit to colour and flavour the whole oatmeal. Refrigerate.

Blueberry Maple Refrigerator Oatmeal
  • Half-Pint Jar
  • 1/4 cup Honey Greek Yogurt
  • 1/3 cup Oat Milk
  • 1/3 cup Rolled Oats
  • 2 tsp Chia Seeds
  • 2 tsp Maple Syrup
  • Blueberries to fill
Add everything but the blueberries and stir. Top it off with the blueberries and stir a final time. Refrigerate.

Pomegranate Refrigerator Oatmeal
  • Half-Pint Jar
  • 1/4 cup Honey Greek Yogurt
  • 1/3 cup Oat Milk
  • 1/3 cup Rolled Oats
  • 2 tsp Chia Seeds
  • 1/4 cup Pomegranate Arils
Add everything but the pomegranate and stir. Top it off with the arils and stir a final time. Refrigerate.
Strawberry Cacao Refrigerator Oatmeal
  • Half-Pint Jar
  • 1/4 cup Honey Greek Yogurt
  • 1/3 cup Oat Milk
  • 1/3 cup Rolled Oats
  • 2 tsp Chia Seeds
  • 1 tsp Cacao Powder
  • 1 tsp Cacao Nibs
  • 3 Strawberries
Add the yogurt, milk, oats, seeds, and powder and stir. Add the nibs, slice and add the strawberries, and stir. Refrigerate.

Your Turn!

Now time to make your own! Try banana-nut with cinnamon. Or an applesauce one. Definitely mix berries - I love huckleberry/strawberry/raspberry. Add honey or jam for sweetness, if need be. Try the Matcha before I do and tell me how it is because I'm slightly scared. Just be creative, and follow your tastebuds!

(Hmm I made a delicious smoothie with pumpkin butter the other day... I'll bet oatmeals would be great with that!)

Anyway, have you got any of your own scrumptious recipes that deserve a shout out? Let me know!

Thursday, September 5, 2013

DIY Fix for your Vehicle's Ignition Coil

I am very proud to be writing this post. You know that stereotype that women know nothing about vehicles? Well unfortunately, that is me. I can spot vehicle colours; I can tell the body difference between a little car and a pickup truck; I know what a camper shell is. Done - that is the extent of my vehicle knowledge.

But that's been changing since I recently purchased my very first vehicle - a 2002 Chevy Trailblazer.

The Problem

If I haven't mentioned this before, I am a fantastic destroyer of electronics. All I have to do is touch a phone, computer, tablet, etc. and its performance immediately plummets; on my unlucky days, it just breaks altogether (I apologize to one roommate in particular).

This is a real phenomenon, I'm not alone! Any of you cursed with this destruction?

Anyway, I say this because at the time of the incident, my boyfriend and I had owned this vehicle for nearly two months, with him as the primary driver. The one day when I drove it for, I don't know, about the fourth time, I was not at all surprised by the fact that it decided to suddenly act out against me.

As soon as I started the car, I could feel it shuddering abnormally. The shuddering was worse when idling or braking, and the poor thing hardly had enough power to make it up to 30 mph. Sorry, Trailblazer.

I did some research that day and decided my problem sounded like a bad ignition coil. I don't know if that counts as an electronic (poor vehicle knowledge, remember?), thus making it subject to my destructive touch, but nonetheless it still managed to break the moment I turned the key.

Anyway, more research brought up the fact that this would cost me over $600 to have fixed. Um, no! Luckily, being the savvy chick that I am, I was determined to figure out how to surmount this issue ourselves.

Sure enough, another search brought up several helpful videos for my needs.

The Solution

Now, I won't offer up a thorough tutorial here; I suggest watching videos if you need to take on this project, because they do a really amazing job walking through the process and I won't pretend I can do better. My post will serve more as a refresher once you already know what you are doing - I'm sure I'll be using it myself in the future.

Step 1. Gather a ratchet, a screwdriver, and your code reader if you have it - we have one that works with an app on our phone to tell us the exact meaning behind that pesky "check engine" light.

Step 2. Remove everything that is holding in this big plastic thingy.

Step 3. Hello there, ignition coils! To remove one of these guys, you need to unplug it and take off one bolt. Here are a few pictures to prepare you:

Step 4. If you have a code reader, then you can easily test the coils before replacing them. To test the coil you think is broken, simply switch it out with another one and get a new code reading. Our first reading said there was a misfire in #5. So, we switched that coil with #1 and went for a drive until the engine light came back on. Our new reading brought up a misfire in #1 instead, affirming that it was indeed the coil that was bad, not something else in slot #5.

Step 5. Just plop in the new ignition coil and put everything back together. Done!

30 Minutes and $600 Worth of Labour Later...

This was such an easy fix. Anybody who is capable of using simple tools can do this themselves, whether or not they have any prior vehicle experience. But the best part? It only costs one trip to the auto store (or a shipping cost) and a $70 ignition coil. That's a savings of $530!

It's been a couple months now and even though I've driven it several more times since, our Trailblazer is still running smoothly! Wish me luck for that to continue.

Now, is there anyone willing to pay us that $600 for our labour?