Tuesday, June 18, 2013

Celebrating One Year Of Blogging!

This month My Creative Mommy is celebrating one year of blogging! What an exciting and creative journey it has been for me (and my two little helpers). The success of my blog has wildly exceeded my expectations, and I am looking forward to the next year!

Here are some interesting My Creative Mommy statistics from the last 12 months:

  • Over 40 fun and creative step-by-step projects
  • Over 10,000 pageviews
  • Readers from over 100 different countries (I've stopped counting!)

The top 10 most viewed blog posts were:

  1. Yes, You Can Make A Pop-Up Card
  2. Bird Seed Treats
  3. Making Barbie Doll Clothes
  4. Happy Little Polymer Clay Buttons
  5. Handbound Leather Wrapped Journal
  6. Hand Rolled Beeswax Pillar Candle
  7. Knitting A Hat On A Loom
  8. Make Your Own Lip Balm
  9. Autumn Leaves Picture Frame
  10. Homemade Laundry Soap Saves You Money

  • 114 Facebook fans
  • 40 followers on Pinterest
  • Selected as a member of the first ever Arnold Grummer Papermaking Design Team and wrote 13 blog posts for them, 3 of which landed in my top ten.

"How-to" blogging fits perfectly in my life as a stay-at-home mommy. My children are my highest calling and my greatest joy, and writing, crafting, cooking, baking and photography are all things I enjoy that can involve my little ones and work around our busy schedule. 

I have learned so much about blogging since I started a year ago, but the most important thing I've learned about blogging is this: A blog is only as good as the people who read it. Without you my blog would be lost in cyberspace. So give yourselves a big hug for me because I am ever so grateful for your continued encouragement and support. 

The next year promises a great line-up of new and exciting projects for you to try. And maybe some additional ways to get creative like kits shipped right to your door, and ebooks for instant download to your computer, as well as offering crafting classes for My Creative Mommy's local fans. 

I welcome your ideas and suggestions, and hope you'll get on board with me on facebook and pinterest for regular updates. The Internet is a big place, but we've carved out a little world-wide community of creative people - I challenge you to help us grow even more this year by sharing your favorite projects from my blog with everyone you know! 

Many Thanks & Blessings,
Jana : )

Monday, June 3, 2013

Plant-Based Power Muffins

It is no secret I'm a huge fan of plant-based foods. I've spent years learning as much as I could about the vegan lifestyle and the amazing health benefits of eating plant-strong foods. Eating high nutrient, minimally processed plant-based foods can have a dramatic impact on your total health.

When I was younger, my main resource for plant-based foods was Vegetarian Times. Now there is a whole crop of outstanding plant-based resources like T. Colin Campbell and The China StudyDr. Joel Fuhrman and Eat to LiveDr. Neal Barnard and Physicians Committee for Responsible Medicine, Dr. Caldwell Esselstyn's Prevent and Reverse Heart Disease, his son Rip Esselstyn's Engine 2 Diet, and The feature film Forks Over Knives which examines the profound claim that most, if not all, of the degenerative diseases that afflict us can be controlled, or even reversed, by rejecting animal-based and processed foods. There are many more, but they are a few of my faves.

I've wanted to whip up a great plant-based blog post for a while now, but with so many tasty recipes, it was hard to choose. But everybody loves muffins, and these muffins are exceptional. I first saw this wonderfully spicy and sweet recipe for Morning Glory Muffins in "Everything Vegan," by the folks at Vegetarian Times, and then I made a few changes. I have had morning glory muffins that are non-vegan, but these are way better and they're great for breakfast or an anytime snack. So here we go...

What you'll need to make 12 muffins: 
(I usually double this recipe because we can eat 12 muffins before they even cool, and they freeze well too.)

  • 2 cups all-purpose flour
  • 2 teaspoons ground cinnamon
  • 2 teaspoons ground ginger
  • 2 teaspoons baking powder
  • 1/2 teaspoon baking soda
  • 1/4 teaspoon salt
  • 2/3 cup packed brown sugar
  • 1/2 cup canola oil
  • 1 8oz. can crushed pineapple in its own juice, drained, juice reserved
  • 1/2 cup fresh carrot juice, or Bolthouse Farms organic 100% carrot juice
  • 1 teaspoon pure vanilla extract
  • 1 cup finely grated carrots
  • 1/2 cup Ocean Spray Craisins
  • 1/2 cup chopped pecans

Preheat oven to 350 degrees Fahrenheit. Coat a 12-cup muffin tin with cooking spray to prevent sticking. 
Mix flour, cinnamon, ginger, baking powder, baking soda, and salt in a bowl. 

Next, mix brown sugar, oil, 1/4 CUP reserved pineapple juice, carrot juice, and vanilla in a separate bowl (I thought the drops of vanilla suspended in the oil and juices looked cool!).

Grate the carrots as finely as you can. This is what mine look like. I guess you could get them finer, but I like to be able to see them a little in my muffins.

Mix the crushed pineapple, carrots, dried cranberries and pecans in a bowl. (Plant-based ingredients are gorgeous. They make photographing food a joy.).

Now, fold sugar mixture into flour mixture.

Stir crushed pineapple, carrots, dried cranberries, and pecans into the flour and sugar mixture. * Nifty plant-based tip...you can safely taste the batter!*

Scoop batter into prepared muffin tins. I filled them about 2/3 full. Then bake 18 to 22 minutes until golden brown and a toothpick inserted into the center comes out clean. You can fill your muffin tins higher for bigger muffins, they'll just take longer to cook.

When done, remove from oven and let cool in pan 5 minutes, then remove from pan and cool completely on a wire rack.
These muffins have a wonderful taste and texture. It is likely that no one will even know they don't contain animal products. They are an easy, and yummy way to introduce yourself and others to plant-based foods. So put on some tea, grab a muffin or two, relax and enjoy.

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There are about 196 countries on earth, and my goal is to take the whole world on a creative journey one project at a time. So I want to offer many thanks to all my readers in over 100 different countries so far. I hope this blog post finds each of you living in peace, happily creating all kinds of fun things.

Many Blessings,
Jana : )