Raspberry Muffins

I love picking raspberries in September at Old Frog Pond in Harvard, Ma, and when I do, this is one recipe I have to make with them. Adapted from Silver Palate’s Good Times Cookbook, they are delicious! I almost always have streusel topping in the freezer ready to go, which makes this go even faster. You can also omit the topping or just sprinkle with a little turbinado sugar if you’re in a hurry. The lemon zest is nice in the topping though, so do try it sometime!

  • 1 ½ c Gluten free flour
  • scant ¼ c beet sugar
  • scant ¼ c light brown sugar
  • scant 2 tsp baking powder
  • ¼ tsp kosher salt
  • 1 tsp cinnamon
  • 1 large egg
  • 1/4-1/3 c lactose free butter, melted
  • ½ c almond milk
  • 1 1/4- 1 ½ c fresh raspberries
  • 1 tsp lemon zest

Streusel Topping:

  • scant ½ c brown sugar
  • 1/3 c gluten free flour
  • ¼ c oat flour
  • ¾ tsp cinnamon
  • 1 tsp lemon zest
  • 3 T melted butter, lactose free

Preheat oven to 350. Line 12 muffin cups with paper liners or melted butter.

  • Whisk flour, sugars, baking powder, salt and cinnamon together in a medium bowl.
  • Make a well in the center and add the egg, milk, and melted butter.
  • Stir and mix together just until combined.
  • Quickly and lightly, stir in the lemon zest and raspberries.
  • Distribute equally among 12 muffin cups.
  • Make the streusel topping…
  • Combine the flour, oat flour, sugar, lemon zest, and melted butter in a small bowl and stir with a fork until crumbly.
  • Sprinkle 1 tsp on each muffin.
  • Bake 20-25 minutes until tester comes clean.
  • Enjoy! Or freeze a few for another time!

Summer Pizza

adapted from theKitchn.com

I’ve made this pizza several times this summer and now that the corn, tomatoes, and squash are abundant, I’ll be making it even more! My version is gluten and lactose free, but you can use a regular pizza crust and cheese if you like. I love the pure veggies and basil garlic oil taste myself…delicious!

  • 1 frozen GF pizza crust (I like Cappello’s)
  • 1 handful of fresh basil leaves
  • 1 clove garlic, minced
  • 1/3 cup olive oil
  • ½ tsp salt
  • ½ cup red onion, thinly sliced
  • 1 cup grape or cherry tomatoes, halved
  • 2 ears of fresh corn (about ¾ cup), cut from the ears
  • 1 small-medium zucchini or yellow squash, thinly peeled into ribbons
  • 2 oz plant based cheese (optional)

Preheat oven to 440.

  1. Chop basil leaves and place in a small bowl. Add the minced garlic, salt and olive oil and mix.
  2. Place the red onion, tomatoes, corn, and zucchini/squash in a medium bowl.
  3. Add 1-2 T of the garlic basil oil to the mixed veggies.
  4. Put pizza crust on parchment lined baking sheet.
  5. Spread/brush garlic basil oil on the crust to edges.
  6. Arrange veggies on top evenly.
  7. Sprinkle with cheese if desired.
  8. Bake 11-15 minutes until edges are brown.
  9. Top with more fresh basil leaves if desired.

Cut into wedges and enjoy!

Chewy Brownie-like Cookies

Slightly crispy on the outside, chewy in the center…just the thing if you need a little chocolate pick me up, like if you have a migraine!

  • 1 stick butter
  • ¾ c brown sugar (or half beet sugar)
  • 1 egg
  • 1 tsp vanilla
  • ¾ c flour
  • ¼ c dark cocoa
  • ½ tsp baking soda
  • pinch salt
  • 1 c chocolate chips; ½ c melted
  1. Preheat oven to 350. Line baking sheet with parchment paper.
  2. Cream butter and sugar; add vanilla and beat in.
  3. Add 1 egg, and beat til light and fluffy.
  4. Whisk flour, cocoa, salt and baking soda together in a bowl.
  5. Melt ½ c chocolate chips; stir til smooth, and add to sugar egg mixture quickly.
  6. Add flour mixture in and blend til just mixed.
  7. Add ½ c remaining chips.
  8. Scoop into golf size balls and place on baking sheet.
  9. Bake 9 minutes and check…do not overbake.
  10. Remove when edges are done and center looks slightly wobbly.

Cool and enjoy!

Chocolate Chip Cookies

(adapted from Equal Exchange and King Arthur flour recipe)

These are a nice variety of basic chocolate chip cookies. Adding some Teff flour added a nutty taste that I liked. You could use buckwheat flour instead or just go with all purpose flour, your choice! They are crispy on the edges and chewy inside, which I love! If you want them chewier, take them out sooner. They will crisp up after they cool…yum!

  • 2/3 c brown sugar
  • 2/3 c beet sugar
  • 1 c unsalted butter, lactose free
  • ½ tsp salt
  • 2 tsp vanilla extract
  • ¼ tsp almond extract (optional)
  • 1 tsp cider vinegar
  • 1 tsp baking soda
  • 1 egg
  • 2 c flour, gluten free mix (part Teff, about 1/3 c)
  • 2 cups Equal Exchange semi-sweet or 70% chocolate chips

  1. Preheat oven to 375.
  2. Line baking sheet with parchment paper.
  3. In a large bowl, beat together butter and sugars, salt, vanilla, almond extract, vinegar, and baking soda until smooth.
  4. Add the egg, and beat until smooth.
  5. Add flour and chips and thoroughly combine.
  6. Spoon or scoop 1 1/4” balls onto prepared baking sheets.
  7. Bake 11-12 minutes.

Easy Veggie Stir Fry

Make the sauce: Whisk together the sauce ingredients, making sure cornstarch dissolve; set aside.

  • 1/3 c water
  • 2 T Tamari sauce or Coconut Aminos
  • 1 tsp honey
  • 1 T minced or grated ginger
  • 1 tsp white miso
  • 1 tsp cornstarch

Make the stir-fry:

  • 2-3 T safflower or coconut oil
  • 1 bunch asparagus, cut into diagonal 2 inch pieces
  • 8 ounces sugar snap peas, ends trimmed, large pieces halved
  • 1-2 medium red or yellow peppers, cut into strips, about 2 inches long
  • 8 ounces shitake or cremini mushrooms, sliced thin
  • 3 cloves garlic, minced

Heat a wok or large frying pan over medium high heat until a drop of water sizzles on it. Drizzle 1-2 T of the oil around the pan and swirl. Add the asparagus and a pinch of salt. Stir fry 2-3 minutes. Add mushrooms, and stir fry 2 minutes. Add 1 T oil and add peppers, snow peas and a pinch of salt. Stir fry 1-2 minutes; add garlic and stir fry 1 minute. Stir the sauce and pour into the pan, stirring constantly, until thickened and the veggies are coated, about 1-2 minutes. Serve over brown rice or rice noodles. Top with cashews if desired.

This is good with so many different veggies. I’ve used celery, zucchini, carrots, bok choy, so use what you have or want and enjoy!

Yoga Nidra is My Refuge and Anchor

As I reflect back over this past year of changes that Covid has brought into our lives, the one thing I attribute to making the most difference in my life is Divine Sleep® Yoga Nidra with Jennifer.

I’m prone to stress and worry, and have tried many ways to cope over the years. I started meditating when I was 23 years old, and have practiced various forms, as well as trained in two styles of meditation. After dabbling with yoga for many years, it’s now become a regular practice for me: focusing on breath helps me to slow down. I love to dance, and walk as well, and all of these practices have helped to tame my IBS (Irritable Bowel Syndrome), manage my anxiety, and keep me resilient. Until yoga nidra took me to a whole new level…

I met Jennifer at Kripalu Center a few years ago and took a couple of yoga classes with her over the weekend. I loved her warm and easygoing presence, and immediately signed up for her newsletter. When Covid hit, I began attending her online yoga nidra classes – and have been with her ever since! In the beginning, I did about five classes a week – her voice melted me! I was hooked. I found such peace and utter bliss each time I did it, I just wanted more.

Being a yoga practitioner and daily meditator, I thought I knew what relaxation felt like in my body, until I found deep healing bliss with Divine Sleep ® Yoga Nidra. During the practice, I find I am extremely relaxed, yet aware, as Jennifer guides me through all the different layers of my being – body, breath, senses, with contrasts like hot and cold, and her beautiful journeys filled with imagery – all while feeling safe and secure.

I often doze off and Jennifer explains that this is quite common, and that ‘my body would get whatever it needed’, and so it does! She said this deeply relaxed state was the parasympathetic nervous system, which is the body’s relaxation response to stress and is crucial for healing. I feel an inner sense of calm that I had never truly experienced before.

Practicing yoga nidra with Jennifer continues to be a blessing! I have several of her recordings on CD and listen to the Insomnia Track to put me to sleep almost every night. No matter what my day has been like, hearing her voice relaxes me, and makes me feel peaceful inside.

Jennifer is gifted, and I’m so grateful she chooses to share her gifts with me and so many others in person and now online. Her yoga nidra has been my refuge and anchor this past year and has become such an important priority in my life, and I can’t imagine that ever changing. In fact, I took her Divine Sleep® Yoga Nidra 40-hour online training in January as a 70th birthday gift to myself, and I can’t wait to share it with others in my community.

My daughter is in Guatemala, so sharing yoga nidra with her online is a great way for us to connect now.

I look forward to taking more of Jennifer’s workshops. I love her relaxed teaching style. She radiates compassion in every class and makes learning fun! From Five Element Yoga® and Immune Boost Mondays, to Mudras and of course, Divine Sleep®, I’ll be there with her as my guide. Her classes are always informative and interesting, and it always helps keep me balanced and healthy in body and mind.

My husband said to me the other day, “You seem happy almost all the time now…it’s really nice, and I like it!” He’s not one to give compliments, so that felt big! And my favorite yoga teacher in my area has said to me several times that I’m her ‘poster child’ for being positive through Covid.

I guess I have weathered this year well partly because I accepted it, as it presented itself, one day at a time. I’ve found that I enjoy being more introspective. And I believe Jennifer is part of the reason. Her positive, generous spirit is contagious. She’s so welcoming and gracious and brings joy to others. So thank you Jennifer, for being my guiding light this year.

May Spring Renewal…with Yoga Nidra
We can’t meditate in person, but we can meditate together on Zoom! It’s easy to sign up for Zoom, (zoom.com) and then I’ll send you a link via email so you can join this guided meditation. Everyone is welcome, no prior meditation experience is necessary!
If you’d like to join me for this special Celebration of May meditation — please email me and I’ll look forward to seeing you this Friday, May 7th, Noon-12:30 pm on Zoom!

It’s Time For A Change

“Finish each day and be done with it. You have done what you could. Some blunders and absurdities no doubt crept in; forget them as soon as you can. Tomorrow is a new day; begin it well and serenely and with too high a spirit to be encumbered with your old nonsense.”
~ Ralph Waldo Emerson~
Some mornings, it’s hard to get out of bed. The past couple of weeks, I’ve been restless, feeling unsettled sometimes, and not sleeping well. I know why- the uncertainty of the upcoming election, Covid numbers on the rise again, worrying about my kids, and hoping everyone’s health remains strong… And how the holidays will be different; what will that look like? I’ve been so positive throughout this pandemic, I know this is just a phase I need to go through, and like everything, this too will pass.
Does this happen to you too? We all have anxiety about something, right? What helps you get through these periods? For me, practicing gratitude, doing yoga, meditating, and getting outside for walks are the things that center me. And if I can walk with a friend, so much the better!
Cheryl Richardson asks herself, “What’s good about today?” If you can stop, breathe, and think of simple things that make you happy, you’ll notice a shift in how you feel. She says, “Life can be fairly simple when we stop making it complicated. It’s all a matter of running the right program on your internal computer.” So while obstacles occur, and tough things happen in life, you can choose to switch the program to find the joy. Which is just what I’m doing…
You Can Always Begin Again…

Invitation to Begin Again…a Meditation
We can’t meditate in person, but we can meditate together on Zoom! It’s easy to sign up for Zoom, (zoom.com) and then I’ll send you a link via email so you can join this guided meditation. Everyone is welcome, no prior meditation experience is necessary!
I hope you’ll join me for this special meditation that I wrote, Begin Again, next Friday, November 6th, Noon-12:30 pm on Zoom!

Want To Work From Home?

Jobs You Can Do From Home

From A Recent AARP Newsletter…

The COVID-19 pandemic has had a devastating effect on the nation’s workforce, with unprecedented levels of unemployment leaving millions of people without a job in the middle of a public health crisis. When — and if — those jobs will return is the question on everyone’s mind. And for some fields that already were shrinking before the recession, the prospects look even worse now.


During the week that ended Aug. 15, more than 1.1 million people filed a new claim for unemployment. In July, the unemployment rate for workers age 55 and older was 8.8 percent and the overall unemployment rate was 10.2 percent.
Many of the jobs lost this spring and summer resulted from the mandatory temporary shutdowns of restaurants, theaters, stores, gyms and other businesses deemed nonessential. It’s difficult to know if those jobs will return because much will depend on communities successfully containing the spread of the coronavirus. But the U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics (BLS) recently analyzed their data to determine which jobs are projected to face big job losses over the next eight years. Here’s a link to those jobs…

On the brighter side, if you are looking to work from home, and many are, there are more and more jobs that can transition nicely. Though intended for those over 50, these could be for younger folks as well. Here’s a link to jobs you can do from home…

There is hope, keep a positive outlook, take each day as it is given, one at a time…

Develop an appreciation for the present moment. Seize every second of your life and savor it.”
~Dr. Wayne Dyer

Can you accept that even with all that’s happening in the world, life is still good? We can keep our energy positive, treasure our connections and be grateful to be living in the Now. And we can practice this meditation together…

Invitation to Exploring the Breath Through the Body Meditation

We can’t meditate in person, but we can meditate together on Zoom! It’s easy to sign up for Zoom, (zoom.com) and then I’ll send you a link via email so you can join this guided meditation. Everyone is welcome, no prior meditation experience is necessary!

If you’d like to practice meditating on Exploring the Breath Through the Body, please click on the button below for details on my website and join me Friday, Sep 4th, Noon-12:30 pm on Zoom! Click Here For Details

Zucchini, Squash, and Eggplant Tian

This is a versatile, delicious recipe to make right now when summer produce is fresh and abundant! You can vary the squashes and the herbs: I’m loving fresh basil and thyme mixed together. My recipe is gluten and dairy free, but you can top it with grated cheese or breadcrumbs for the final 10 minutes if you like.

  • 2 medium zucchini, sliced about 1/8 inch thick
  • 1 yellow zucchini or squash, sliced 1/8 inch thick
  • 1 Japanese eggplant, sliced 1/8 inch thick
  • 1 medium onion, sliced thinly
  • 2 tsp fresh thyme, chopped
  • 1/2 tsp salt
  • pepper to taste (I like lemon pepper)
  • 3 T fresh basil, chopped
  • 1-2 cloves garlic, minced
  • 1/2 c virgin olive oil

Preheat oven to 350.

In a large skillet, heat the olive oil over medium high heat.

Add the onions, thyme, lemon pepper and salt, and saute until the onions are soft and caramelized, about 15 minutes.

In a small bowl, combine the olive oil, basil and garlic and steep 15 minutes.

Put a little of the basil oil on the bottom of a large deep dish pie plate or casserole dish.

Spread the onions in a layer on the bottom of the dish. Arrange a row of zucchini over the top, overlapping edges slightly. Lay a layer of squash on top, and then a layer of eggplant. Repeat the sequence with remaining ingredients, drizzling a little olive oil mixture between the layers.

Cover with foil, and bake for 45 minutes to an hour, depending on thickness, until veggies are cooked through. If you’re adding cheese or crumbs, leave the foil off and bake until golden brown. Enjoy!

Chocolate Zucchini Muffins

I was craving some zucchini muffins and found a recipe for chocolate pecan muffins that inspired me to try these chocolate zucchini muffins. I love these! They are rich, and cake like but not sweet. If you want sweet, you can frost them or add chocolate chips, or add more sugar, but try them like this first as muffins.  What a great way to use up some of that extra zucchini!  They freeze well too.

  • 1/3 cup cocoa
  • 1 cup flour
  • ½ cup buckwheat flour
  • 1 tsp baking powder
  • 1 tsp baking soda
  • ½ tsp salt
  • ½ tsp cinnamon
  • ½ cup sugar (brown, coconut or a mix)
  • 2 large eggs
  • scant ¾ cup coconut oil, softened
  • 1 1/2 cups finely grated zucchini
  • 1/4-1/3 cup coconut milk (use almond milk for more Ca)
  1. Preheat over to 350. Line 12 cupcake tins with papers, or grease well.
  2. In a large bowl, combine flours, cocoa, baking powder, baking soda, salt and cinnamon.
  3. In a smaller bowl, whisk together eggs and oil.
  4. Add liquids to dry ingredients and mix well.
  5. Fold in grated zucchini until evenly distributed.
  6. Put into prepared baking cups.
  7. Bake 20 minutes or until a toothpick comes clean.
  8. Let cool 10 minutes in tins; remove and cool completely.
  9. Dust with confectioner’s sugar if desired.

These are not sweet, but very chocolaty. If you want them to be more like cupcakes, then add more sugar, but they really are good muffins like this!

Note: Each muffin has about 20 mg Ca if you use almond milk and about 18 mg of Mg.