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Monday, January 27, 2014

Cinnamon Spiced Muffins

Every since the last cold spell we had I have been using a lot more cinnamon in my cooking and baking. I love the warming effect that you get from eating cinnamon. I have always thought of cinnamon, nutmeg, allspice and ginger as winter spices. So, today I whipped up a batch of cinnamon muffins with cream cheese icing to warm up our tea time.

Cinnamon Spiced Muffins
(makes 12 muffins)
1 egg
1/2 cup butter milk (regular milk can be substituted)
1/4 cup melted butter (veg. oil or coconut oil can be substituted)
1&1/2 cups all purpose flour
1/2 cup sugar
1 tbsp cinnamon ( any warm spice can be substituted)
2 tsp baking powder
1/2 tsp salt

Directions: Preheat oven to 375 deg. F. Place papers in muffin tins.
Mix egg, milk and butter in a small bowl. Mix flour, sugar, cinnamon, baking powder and salt in a medium bowl. Add wet ingredients to dry ingredients. Batter will be a little lumpy. Spoon batter into paper muffin cups fill 2/3rds full. bake approximately 20 min. Cool and ice with icing of your choice. 

Cream Cheese Icing

1/2 a package softened cream cheese (125g)
1/8 cup melted butter
1 cup powdered sugar
1 tsp fresh squeezed lemon juice

Directions: Blend butter, cream cheese and lemon juice in a small bowl. Slowly mix in powdered sugar. Mix until smooth and creamy. Ice cooled muffins. 
I hope you enjoy and stay warm. What have you been baking lately?

Saturday, January 25, 2014

Preparing For The Unexpected

I want to level with you right off about this blog post. I have been thinking about this post going on about two weeks now. Its a very wide topic to be writing about. I won't be to be able to cover every little thought I have on this subject but I will try to hit on what I think is important and leave the rest to your own thinking.
Over the holidays we had several unexpected events thrown our way. Some of those events we were not prepared for but should have been. We know that life is always trying to throw you a curve ball you just got to be ready and catch it if you can.  From heart attacks, terrible flights, lost luggage, bad weather and illnesses we had enough curve balls thrown our way it would make you head spin.
The subject of being a prepper or the act of prepping has become the rage among survivalists and their followers. Not everyone is into prepping or survivalism. At least not to the extremes that some persons maybe. But in some fashion or another everyone is a prepper. You might not think in terms of prepping but being prepared and planning ahead is an instinct that everyone has to some degree. A great example would be the list I made of events I have planned for in the past or what I have prepared for in the future. 
Life(weddings, birth, education fund, savings, retirement)
Death(funeral, Will, insurance)
Disasters and Weather related events(tornadoes, flooding, hurricanes, earth quakes, etc.)
Unexpected accidents, Injuries and Illnesses(first aid, car insurance, health insurance, etc.) 

So, let me back up to a few of the unexpected events that got me started on this being prepared kick. The first was my fathers heart attack. Now, one might not think we could be prepared for a heart attack but I do believe we can at least have planned or been prepared for such an event. The first steps one might take is eating healthy, getting appropriate exercise and following doctors orders. This might not prepare us for a heart attack but being healthy might lessen the possibility of having a heart attack. The second step would be to have health insurance and a Will of some sort. You might also want to educate your self on the warning signs of a heart attack.
Another event was our lost luggage when flying over the holidays. How could I have possibly been prepared for that? I should have and will now always carry on my bags. When we traveled this last time we had one small bag to check and one carry on bag. Had I thought about this in advance and not been lazy we could have carried on both bags. Another option had my checked bag been larger would have been to add a change of clothing for each of us in our carry on bag. Being a seasoned flyer I knew the risks of lost luggage but I failed to prepare.
Lastly, I want to share our experience with acute bronchitis. After all our travels my husband and I came down with bronchitis and even shared it with our son. With all three adults in our home very ill we were in a sort of lock down. We put all visitors off limits to our home. We were quite ill for about ten days. When we returned home from traveling we had no fresh foods in our home as we had planned to shop for groceries over the weekend when time allowed. As ill as we were we only had enough energy to visit the doctor. What help our situation the most was our stored food and first aid supplies we had put aside for an unexpected emergency. We settled in and waited for our health to improve and stayed warm despite the freezing weather outside. I thought about how bad it could have been if our pantry was not stocked as completely as it was. At this point we have a two to three week supply of dried and canned goods that could see us through an emergency depending on how much family we would be cooking for. Looking forward we are hoping to stocking an even longer emergency food supply. So, as this little prepping bug catches hold I will probably be writing more about our journey into the world of prepping. So, off I go now to start preparing for some of those events I have listed. 
Readers, Are you prepared? Do you have something to add to this list. I would love to hear your thoughts on this subject.