Wednesday, February 12, 2020

Breakfast Muffins

For the last couple of years my sister and I have been attempting to stay ahead of age, and though I've still got quite a few pounds I'd love to leave behind, we walk most days and compared to when we started out, we have made giant strides.  When we visit our kids around the country we don't embarrass ourselves, at least.  Well.. much.
One of the things we've found is that having meals on hand so that thought (or work) isn't required helps a lot.  We each have recipes for a breakfast muffin, and make a batch, freeze them, and they're ready to go each morning. 
Here's the recipe that I've gradually come to after lots of additions and trials.  For instance, I used to add dried sour cherries and dried blueberries, but realized I didn't like it too much and swapped in other fruit.  Also trail mix of assorted nuts, seeds, and raisins is great.  Anyhow...

Dry ingredients:
1 cup wheat flour
1 cup wheat bran
1 cup oat bran
1 cup rolled oats
1 T baking powder
2 t baking soda
1 t cinnamon
1 t cardamom
1 t nutmeg (or spices of your choice)

Wet ingredients:
2 over ripe bananas
1 cup applesauce (or persimmon pulp if I have it)
1 individual cup of vanilla yogurt (I really like Oikos Vanilla and toasted Coconut)
2 eggs
1 - 6 oz can crushed pineapple

The good stuff *these things area all interchangeable or can be replaced with other stuff*:
1 cup granola
1 cup coconut (unsweetened if I'm behaving)
1 cup (or more) broken walnuts or pecans
1/2 cup chopped dates
1/8 cup mini semi-sweet chocolate chips
1 T dark unsweetened cocoa
 NOTE:  you need to add at least 3 cups of additives.
Set oven to 400 degrees
Line muffin tins

I usually make up several batches of the dry and "good stuff" all mixed up and in the freezer. 
Mix up all the wet ingredients and blend.  An immersion blender is perfect.
Add dry ingredients and mix well. 
Makes 24 muffins
Bake for 16 minutes
I place a piece of cardboard on the bottom of a gallon sized zip-lock.  These can be used at least 10 times.  The cardboard allows them to be stacked neatly in the freezer.  Keep a couple of them out and refrigerate so you can just heat one up in the morning for about 30 seconds.  I use the cupcake liner cups to hold the muffins in the fridge - perfect.

Thursday, January 30, 2020

The Conundrum of Being a Small Business

When I was a child in the 60's, my mother was a renegade.  She started a small business to support us.  I learned many rules at her knee:
1) Always say "we" and appear successful.
2) Never talk about a downturn.  See #1.
3) Smile and apologize, no matter whose fault it is - and perhaps you can imagine how much more difficult that was for a woman at that time in history.

*Being* a small business is the only way you can describe it because the business is our reputation, our identity, and one of the kids.  One does not "own" a small business.  It owns us.

So while we may be very small cottage industries, it behooves us to present our businesses as spiffy, shiny, and big.  Sometimes people treat us big businesses.  This is the problem.

What am I getting at?
This morning I awoke to a charge back for a fraudulent sale - the second in 20 years.  In the rush of the Christmas Eve mailing, I somehow missed sending out an order for a single magazine. 
It was me.  I know that because it's always me.  I'm the shipping department, the purchasing department, accounts payable, accounts receivable, editor, schmoozer in chief, social media dept., and everything in between.

So yes.  It happened. (update - no, they got the order)
An order for $7.50 is charged back with an additional $15 fee.

NOTE: This has been resolved to everyone's satisfaction.

Granted, it isn't the customer's job to check up on an order that doesn't arrive, but if you're reading this and you ever deal with ANY online business, please give them a chance to correct the situation before hitting the fraud alarm.  A simple email, maybe?

Had this customer contacted me, she would have gotten immediate service and most certainly there would have been a gift of some sort.  Almost every boxed order that leaves here has a little something special tucked into it, so we (see? can't help it) would have bent over backwards to make things right.

It's not a huge deal in the big scheme of things, I suppose.  The other charge back was 2 years ago.  Someone had purchased a PDF and forgot, didn't recognize the charge.  So even though my website could prove that they sent the file to the provided email address immediately, for some reason she got back her $5, and I got to pay the extra $15 fee.

Please give businesses a chance to explain.  Wouldn't you want that?  Wouldn't you do that if we were a brick and mortar shop?  Don't be quick to assume the worst of people.

UPDATE:  This was reported in error.  It won't matter.  So was the last one.  The credit card company never reverses their judgment.

Tuesday, January 21, 2020

New Winter ebook!


Much like our magazine, the e-book is simply overflowing with all sorts of great articles and information to help slide through to spring.  Maryanne really enjoyed the freedom of unlimited space and not having to worry about resolution for printing.  It is beautiful.
Tea and syrup recipes, how to make salves and lots of other concoctions, breads, fairies, crafts, soups, soap, and a bunch of herbal monographs.  40 full-sized pages that contain an incredible amount of information.
Cover by Debra Sturdevant
Don't miss out on this deal - or stop by next month for the book.

Subscribe today and get your own copy!


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