Thursday, November 12, 2015

Vegan Banana Muffins Recipe

I have a real soft spot for banana muffins. These particular muffins are yummy and yet still a tiny bit healthy. I often make a batch at the pie truck and then bring them home at the end of the day for my kiddos—They love when I bring treats. These days it's hard to keep my fifteen-year-old from eating us out of house and home. Seriously! As an added piece—so you can get in the mind of a crazy pie-maker/mother/obsesser-of-story-books—I have an old love affair with the Betsy Tacy and Tib books. I read each and every one multiple times as a child, and to be truthful, I even read some of her later books not so very long ago. Either way, in the stories the house keeper/cook always makes the family muffins on their first day back to school. I found this tradition so romantic. Every time I make my children muffins I think of Betsy and her family and the simple tradition that somehow has made a lasting impression on me. Silly as it sounds, I feel like these are the things that matter. These bits and pieces are what keeps us inspired, warm and decent people in a very complicated world.
vegan, baking, recipes, muffins, banana, healthy


In a large bowl mix:
3 ripe bananas 
1 cup orange juice 
1/2 cup grape seed oil
1/4 teaspoon nutmeg
1/4 teaspoon cardamom
3/4 cup dark brown sugar
1 cup ground walnuts

In a separate bowl sift together:
1 cup whole wheat flour
1 cup white flour
2 teaspoons baking powder
1/2 teaspoon salt

Mix both sets of ingredients together. Pour into an oiled muffin pan and bake at 350 degrees for 12 minutes and then rotate the the pan and bake for another 12 minutes or until a toothpick inserted into the center of a muffin comes out clean.

                                                                    Cheers ~

Monday, October 19, 2015

A short visit...

And a very special one. The kids and I snuck a few days away from our usual hubbub and spent some time with some very missed grandparents.* It is so funny to watch the kids rediscover the property where they used to live. To them it is now a distant memory. Sometimes it feels that way to me too.

                                                Cheers ~

*Unfortunately I am missing pictures of the other set of very dear grandparents who we also got to visit.

Monday, October 12, 2015

From an experience while visiting my parents. Today, I decided to put it into words.

Sitting on the hard ground, more rocks than actual dirt, I watch the water in the river, except—oh waitthere is no water there is a drought. I look out to the dry riverbed, birds a fluttering in every which way, I wonder where they fill their drinks and I smell the strong shrubs of the canyon hills. 

I see a long irrigation pipe scroll across from bank to bank and beyond. I feel the words blow through my head, they sound like something my dad would say “unfortunate that has to be there.” It’s not bad that a pipe lies across the ground, just unfortunate because it would be so nice if it were only willow shrubs, packed dry earth, grey and white river stones and the vibrancies of birds.

A realization sets in motion and I feel the truth, the real truths that emit their essence only when there is a moment like this. I feel it. I hold the sensation, I hold it and flow it across my very face and body and inner piece that so often is diluted and submerged in disillusion of where and what is clear.

Philosophy is for the one in the wilderness, impossible to be seen surrounded by concrete roads and brick buildings. You can still analyze in the vivid culture of modern world, but no philosophy can be extreme enough to be true unless you are in the open scape of no human.

I look carefully, I know my eyes can see, just for a brief segment of time, I want to know, I trust I will pull what I need out from this moment and I will carry it with me to the typical world I mostly toil in. I see clearly, we are not all one. That common misconception is so close that it can be muddled and stated as a truth. I wait for more; I know it is on the tip of showing. We are each a square or a perfect small piece of a giant whole. I feel that small piece that I hold up, if I clean my piece and make with it what I can, I will affect this giant one. I am not responsible for the other pieces.

I gather myself, I walk the fifty yards to a fresh sage plant and collect a bouquet for my good friend who had requested such. I feel my brother in my heart. I pick each twigy branch and feel the tie, the gift, the thankfulness, the complete of him, then my sister and myself.

Sage has an intensity, fresh off its rugged stems, that wafts and penetrates more than any other plant I can bring to mind. I carry that powerful smell with me as I climb into an outdoor shower not far from where my kids are sleeping. As the water pours directly down—not at an angle but straight from above, like a waterfall from the heavens—I shut my eyes and sustain the beauty of what I have witnessed. 

                                                                                      ~  Marica  

Thursday, October 1, 2015

Lazy relaxing + yogurt and ice cream...

I am terrible at relaxing. I run my mind too far and wide even as I sit thinking—don't do anything. I like the idea of relaxing, and I do manage to lay on the sofa to watch some terrible something when my day has been too long and there is nothing else left in me to stay upright. But even that gets to me. 
I just sat down with this exciting plate of vanilla ice cream, plain yogurt, sliced banana and toaster waffle. I took out the book I am supposedly reading and started alternating between sweet and sour bites and detangling the words that make up a page of the story I am trying to feel enthralled in. I'm not caught. My thoughts drift away to the pretty plate, the perfection of ice cream and yogurt —something I learned from my great aunts in Utica New York—and the fact my computer is only ten feet away, fully charged and I could even write a silly post about nothing. 

A silly post wins.
 Right now the little ones are at some national women's soccer league game with their godfather. My fifteen-year-old is in his room doing his own version of nothing and my husband is still working. 

A quiet house to my self. Remarkable!

I think I will get out my knitting and try to find some cold, wet, British movie that captures my imagination. Any suggestions?
                                                                                     ~ Marica

Thursday, September 24, 2015


I have noticed I have an overwhelming saddle of guilt. I see it in moments when I am tired, 
or my ability to complete things falls short. It really follows me everywhere, and I am starting to see how absurdly contradictory it is. In spite of the knowledge that guilt will do me no good on a daily bases, I still feel it crawling its long clammy claws through the folds of each day and burdening my sheer existence with its weight. 

I feel guilty when I go grocery shopping and spend too much money on 
grocerieseven if we need them. 

I feel guilty when I leave a grocery store, carrying out only one bag of 
ingredients that will last me but a single day.

I feel guilty when I make a luscious dinner with fabulous vegetables 
and expensive grass-fed meat. 

I feel guilty when I choose to make a cheap, simple dinner of pasta and 
cheese, knowing full well I am not feeding my family what it needs.

I feel guilt when I shop at Trader Joe's because it has so many irresistibly 
items that it always makes for a high total which I accept by scribbling my
 signature at the bottom of a very long receipt. 

I feel guilty when I am at a independently owned health-food-store and know 
I could get the same items at Trader Joe's for so much less money.

I feel guilty when I spend money to pay the bills.

I feel guilty when the bills don't get paid.

I feel guilty when I don't open the pie truck.

I feel guilty when I'm at the pie truck late, because I should 
be at home being a mother.

I feel guilty when I spend hours on this computer, carefully going 
over each line in one of my books.

I feel guilty when one of my books sit unfinished, and only I can finish it. 

I feel guilty spending time with just my husbandan evening off, out for a drink. 

I feel guilty when I don't make time to go out to eat, just the two of us, my husband and me.

I feel guilty when I make too many Christmas presents for the kidsI know 
they would prefer mostly bought ones.

I feel guilty if I don't make any Christmas presents, because what kind of follow 
through person can I be if I don't set aside time for that?

I feel guilty when I water my garden because why would I choose to grow plants that can't exist all on their own and need me to pump water out of this dear mother planet we live on, so I can see colors and greenery to calm my soul.

I feel guilty when I let plants die and shrivel up into composted soil.

I feel guilty when I mow my lawn, the gas emissions are unnecessary just 
like the wee patch of shorn blades that are supposed to be beautiful.

I feel guilt if my lawn grows too long, like I am a straggling, lazy being 
who can't keep up with my bidding. 

I feel guilty when I feel guilty because gosh darn it I am supposed to
 be enjoying life, not over analyzing my sorry feelings. 

Oh to be human. 

Anyone relate?

                                                                                        ~ Marica

Tuesday, September 8, 2015

And a million pies later...

This was a good week. A long week, but good in so many ways. Firstly, I felt in tune with the pie truckand that is a must to feeling good. Sometimes the inside me doesn't align properly with the tasks the world is requiring which certainly causes a lousy battle.  I find that when I feel as if I am playing, I am most at ease. It is a constant wonder in my mind if I am completely loopy, partially loopy, or if most people "play" when they are doing their best work. I hope some of you understand what I mean, because alas, it would be unfortunate to find I am the only one...

Secondly, this week I completed a project so huge and satisfying that my soul doesn't know how to withstand the comfort in having it done. I keep wanting to go back, tweak this, adjust that, yet there is nothing necessary to tweak or adjust. The project is done, at least for this stretch of the road. I am not going to be so thoughtful as to include you all in what the project is, I am not being coy or sassy, it is just that it needs to be kept unrevealed at this time. (Is unrevealed a word? My computer doesn't seem to think so). I will however say it is a book project, so no one will start believing that I built a house from ice blocks or sculpted a goddess in a giant boulder. 
Lastly, I managed to have my children clean the housejust enoughthat my "weekend" was not fiddling with dishes, washing floors and scrubbing toilets. I'll admit, I did do all of those things; wash dishes, clean floors and scrub toilets, but they were all minimal versions of what would usually be defined as major cleaning. I am so thankful.

Oh, and on a simple, minor note of satisfaction, I bought a small wood-desk at Goodwill. I thought it was for my daughter's room, but my husband reminded my what a stack of things would gather on it in oh so short a timeand he is rightit will be of so much more use downstairs as a wee work spot for me. Now here I sit, so professional, writing this and feeling quite complete with my forearms resting appropriately as I type. What a lucky trick for me, guiltlessly buying something for someone else, and then reaping the benefit of its luxury.

Well, that just about does it.

All my best to Everyone!

                                                           Cheers ~

Tuesday, August 25, 2015

Late August, and a Roasted Tomato Recipe...

I'm a winter knitter or at least a wait-til-fall knitter. Somehow in the summertime I never have any urge whatsoever to push needles through yarn. Warning: this is a bloggy-post blog-post, so please excuse me... 
I am noticing something is changing in the air—an autumn presence— you can smell it and feel it. It's one of those sort of days with wind in the trees, leaves rustling, clouds collecting high in the still-blue sky. I'm so excited, summer’s been way too warm. Even in the northwest I feel like I'm continually fighting summers. Yesterday I took the kids to the park... These kind of outings remind me of when the kids were little, when we were always altogether, always at the parks, and I was always making something on a blanket on the grass... Over the years my projects have become so much bigger; house restoration, food-truck start up, books... I feel nostalgia for the simple hat, a little doll and the oh so many attempts to make socks; they never came out as I wanted them to. I guess I'm just not a sock maker. I always marvel at all the people who knit these beautiful socks in beautiful colors with beautiful stripes. For me, somehow, I just never got the knack. It's probably impatience on my part, I hate patterns! I can't pause my mind long enough to want to read the small print with such specific guidelines...
  But summer is not done. Proof is in the tomatoes and zucchini still so abundant...

Hope everyone is having a wonderful end to August!
                                                                                                                  ~ Marica

Roasted Tomato Recipe

In a glass baking dish pour a splash of olive oil and then fill with sliced tomatoes, garlic and zucchini. Splash with more olive oil and then sprinkle with salt, black pepper and smoked paprika.

Bake at 400 degrees for about 20-25 minutes.