When I don’t have a book to write, there’s time for all sorts of activities. And that a Burrito is on his way is impetus enough to attend to some sewing and baking. Plus it’s best to run the oven while the day is still cool. As I waited for some gluten-free banana chocolate muffins to bake, I attached bindings to three mug rugs I’ll finish on holiday. And in the meantime, here’s a mini-tutorial for Christmas coasters.
(Recipe for the muffins is at the bottom of post….)
These coasters were originally going to be squares within a quilt, but my youngest daughter saw them on the wall and said, “These are great! Can you make me some coasters out of them?”
I never thought about that, but actually these squares made from a Moda mini-charm pack are perfect for mug rugs. I had already sewed these charms into little blocks, so all I needed was to add a border. Last week I cut the fabric for borders and bindings; the border strips are 1 1/2 inches wide in Kona cardinal and pewter, the bindings cut from the same shades.
The smallest coasters I’ll make are six by six inches, so these blocks with borders are just right. First I sewed strips along the top and bottom.
Then I sewed strips along the sides. I pressed the seams open, although when I sewed the blocks themselves I pressed them to the sides for easy nesting.
A mini-charm pack lends to the ease of this project; I don’t have the patience or time to cut a multitude of two and a half inch squares…
I spent yesterday afternoon choosing some backing fabric and batting for those I’d already completed, then machine quilted them last night. The rest was done this morning as the scent of fruit and chocolate teased.
And speaking of those muffins… This recipe is adapted from my Better Homes and Gardens New Cookbook, circa 1981. I’ve used this recipe for years, but now having gone off gluten and lactose, substitutions are necessary. If you omit the chocolate chunks, this is a lactose-free recipe as well. But honestly, I need a little chocolate every now and again.
1 3/4 cups gluten-free flour (I used Premium Gold, which swaps out at an even 1-1 replacement for all-purpose flour)
1 1/4 teaspoon baking powder
3/4 teaspoon salt
1/2 teaspoon baking soda
2/3 cup sugar
1/3 cup shortening (I subbed the same amount of non-sweetened applesauce)
2 tablespoons almond milk (plus approximately another two tablespoons; gluten-free flour is more dense than all-purpose flour and often requires additional liquid)
1 cup mashed ripe banana
1/4 cups chopped nuts (optional, which I did not use)
1/2 cup chocolate chunks or chips (optional, which I did add)
Preheat oven to 350 degrees Fahrenheit. In a large mixing bowl beat sugar and applesauce with electric mixer until well blended. Add eggs, then almond milk, beating till smooth after each addition. Add half of the gluten flour and beat until combined. Add half of the mashed banana, beating until combined. Add rest of gluten flour, baking powder, salt, and baking soda and beat until combined. Add additional milk if batter seems too stiff. Add remaining mashed banana and beat until combined. Fold in chocolate chunks and/or nuts. Spray muffin tins with baking spray, then fill each cup to about 2/3 full. If using large muffin tins, bake for approximately 25-30 minutes. If using small muffin tins, bake for 25 minutes. Makes six large muffins or 12-14 small muffins.
Today I doubled the recipe, as I had four bananas. I did double the amount of almond milk, and could have used an extra banana. These satisfy not only my sweet tooth, but the desire to bake something special. Having gone gluten and lactose-free doesn’t mean the end of my baking career, especially not when kids and grandkids come visiting! And speaking of which, I need to vacuum. But it won’t be a chore as there’s a muffin waiting for when I’m done, a glass of almond milk to go with it.