Beauty and the Thorn Bush

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Abraham Lincoln once wisely said – or wrote, I’m not sure which – “We can complain because rose bushes have thorns or rejoice because thorn bushes have roses.” I had to keep reminding myself of this yesterday while pruning my “thorn bushes”. Surely, soon I shall be posting photos of my beautiful roses and sharing their stories.  The blooms from Spring ’till the first Autumn freeze are well worth a few days of torture every March or April. However, I have resolved that any future rose selections for my garden will be less densely thorned than this beast which tore through my gloves and jeans.  Oh, the things we do for beauty!

Lenten Rose and Thank You

Last March, I started this blog, A Taste of Morning. The image below is one of the first that I posted. At the time, I had no followers. I don’t know whether anyone ever saw this. It is an image of a purple Lenten Rose, the first flower to bloom in my garden last Spring. Having just noticed that the Lenten Roses are once again in bloom, I decided to commemorate the anniversary of my first year of blogging by sharing this early image. Thank you to everyone who has discovered my blog and shared your warmth and kind comments over the last year! Have a wonderful day!

 

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Banana Mocha Coconut Muffins

The other morning, I had a guest on an almost vegan diet; so I made these delicious muffins which one would never know were free of dairy products and eggs. I hope that you enjoy the recipe!

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Banana Mocha Coconut Muffins

3/4 c. sweetened shredded coconut

2 c. all-purpose flour

1 c. granulated white sugar

2 T. instant coffee or 2 t. espresso powder

1 T. baking powder

1 c. mashed ripe bananas

1 c. coconut milk

1/2 c. canola oil

1 T. coconut rum

1 c. semi-sweet chocolate chips, preferably miniature ( use vegan chocolate if needed)

1 recipe Coffee Coconut Milk Glaze (below)

1. Preheat oven to 400 degrees F. Spread coconut on a baking sheet. Toast in oven for 3 to 4 minutes or until just starting to turn golden at the edges. Remove coconut from baking sheet and set aside.

2. Meanwhile, prepare 12 standard muffin cups or 10 four-ounce ramekins with baking spray.

3. In a large bowl, whisk together flour, sugar, 2 T. of the instant coffee or 2 t. of the espresso powder, and baking powder. Set aside.

4. In a medium bowl, whisk together bananas, coconut milk, canola oil, and rum. Stir banana mixture into dry ingredients. Fold in chocolate chips.

5. Divide batter into ramekins or muffin cups. Using the back of a spoon, shape each cup of batter into a slight mound. Bake 15 to 20 minutes for 12 muffins or 20 to 25 minutes for 10 muffins. Muffins are firm to the touch when done.

6. Meanwhile, prepare Coffee Coconut Milk Glaze. Glaze muffins immediately upon removing from oven and  then sprinkle them with toasted coconut.

Coffee Coconut Milk Glaze

1 c. confectioner’s sugar

2 T. coconut milk

1/2 t. minced orange or lemon zest

1/2 t. instant coffee or 1/4 t. instant espresso powder

1/2 t. coconut rum, light rum, or orange or lemon extract

1. In a small bowl, slowly stir coconut milk into confectioner’s sugar. Stir in coffee, then zest, then rum or extract. Stir until smooth, then warm glaze to dissolve coffee.