Wednesday, August 24, 2016

Coffee Smoothie

This refreshing, cold coffee smoothie is like a decadent drink you would order from your local barista, only it's easy (and inexpensive) to whip up in your blender right at home!

Coffee Smoothie

1) In a blender container, combine 1 teaspoon instant espresso with 1 tablespoon hot water. Let sit a minute, then add 1 small, frozen banana (cut into chunks), 1/2 cup skim milk and 1 tablespoon honey.

2) Cover and blend until smooth, adding a little milk if needed. Gradually add 1/2 cup ice and blend to desired consistency. Serve immediately with a sprinkling of cinnamon.

Side note: don't use as much cinnamon as I did ... I had to scoop some off the top before stirring the rest into my drink. Ah, delicious!

Wednesday, August 17, 2016

Front Door Color Choices

Our front door has been "naked" for a long, long time and is overdue for a coat of paint. When we bought our bungalow in the summer of 1998, the house was a dingy white with a grey porch floor and grey front door. We had to tackle several projects after moving in, and painting the house wasn't in the budget.

A few years later, we did have the house painted. We chose a sage green with off-white trim. I don't recall if it was before or after the house was painted, but around that time I decided to tackle a little DIY project: stripping the paint off the front door. If you've ever stripped paint by hand, you know how arduous a task it is. I must have gotten burned out on the project because I stopped short of stripping the paint around the two windows. See below? How embarrassing -- our front door in all its naked glory!

I've been kidding myself all these years thinking the raw wood with streaky remnants of grey paint is charming. It's not. I do like the color of the wood though, and as much as I'd love to have a new wood Craftsman-style door, I have to admit it's not going to happen any time soon. We'd have to order a custom door (nothing in this old house is standard sizing) and it would be expensive as all get-out. So for now some paint will do nicely.

Over the weekend my husband went to Sherwin-Williams for supplies to refinish the porch floor (more on this in an upcoming post). While he was there, I asked him to pick up some paint colors he'd recommend for the front door. He came back with some options in dark greens, brownish-greens and deep burgundy. They're not quite what I had in mind. I'm envisioning more of a rust or brick red, something warm and welcoming. In these photos are some Benjamin Moore colors I like. The first color in the strip below is called Mexicana, which I'm leaning toward, and the Copper Clay is lovely too.

The color below is Benjamin Moore's Country Redwood. It is much more red, but looks pretty with the house colors.

Aztec Brick is a more orange shade (orange is one of my two favorite colors), but not too much so. It looks better in person than in this photo -- it's difficult to accurately portray these reds and oranges in pictures.

And the three swatches I chose lined up on the front door ...

Below are the current colors of our siding and trim. Go here to see more photos of the front of our house.

Do you have any color preferences for our front door? I'd love to hear your thoughts ... leave a comment if you'd like to weigh in. Thanks for visiting My Little Bungalow.

Monday, August 15, 2016

Blackberry Corn Muffins

It's blackberry season, folks. Big, plump, juicy blackberries are plentiful these days at our local farmer's markets. Last Thursday I bought a big container of them and yesterday morning before church I whipped up these blackberry corn muffins, which we enjoyed with a cup of coffee. They're quite easy to make and are some of the most delicious muffins I've had in a long time. This is definitely a new favorite recipe -- and they're gluten free. I should make another batch while blackberries are plentiful and freeze the muffins for later!

Blackberry Corn Muffins

2 cups almond meal (I used Trader Joe's brand)
1/2 cup corn meal (I used House Autry yellow plain corn meal. Do not use corn meal mix, which has flour in it)
1-1/2 teaspoons baking powder
1/2 teaspoon coarse salt
1 stick unsalted butter at room temperature
3/4 cup sugar, plus more for sprinkling
Grated zest of one small lemon
3 large eggs
1-1/2 cups fresh blackberries, halved

1) Preheat oven to 375 degrees F. Line a standard 12-cup muffin tin with baking cups. In a medium bowl, whisk together almond meal, corn meal, baking powder and salt. In the bowl of an electric mixer, beat butter, sugar and lemon zest on medium-high until pale and fluffy, about 5 minutes. Add eggs, one at a time, beating well after each addition. Add dry ingredients and beat until just combined. Fold in 1 cup of blackberries.

2) Using a small ice cream scoop, divide batter evenly among the lined muffin cups. Top with remaining 1/2 cup blackberries (2 to 3 halves per muffin) and sprinkle lightly with sugar. Bake until golden and tops spring back when lightly touched, about 25 minutes. Let cool 5 minutes in pan, then transfer to a wire rack to cool completely. 

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