my wise mother recently said to me, “there are three things certain in life: death, taxes, and change.”
as a military wife, i am always assured the last certainty. sure enough, upon returning home two months early from a one-year deployment to afghanistan, my husband received his assignment…. in kansas. so, even though my head is reeling a little from the past crazy year, it seems we have a move upon us in order to finally unite our brand new family of four!
though admittedly i have days that i have to read a few pages of ann voskamp’s book just to remind myself to breathe, i confidently believe this move is a good thing. a great thing for my military man and a pleasant chance to live near family for a short bit.
i am, however, as always, very sad to leave dear friends here in charlottesville. tremendously grateful our lifestyle has brought us here to meet these lovely folks and live among them for an exceedingly long (in military terms) three years.
this happens every time. i take just a few of them, deeply embedded in my heart. or maybe i just leave a little heart piece behind. trailing drops of love, fun, gratitude, and missing across the globe.
i could mention one or two others, but at the top of the heap are the trouts. i met kelly just days before our move-in as she was outside for her yard sale. upon telling her we’d be living across the street, i knew (and greatly hoped) we’d be friends. since that day, we’ve spent hours discussing food and cookies (check out the beauties she creates to sell here), sharing meals, borrowing cups of sugar, and countless moments that feed souls. her three boys have been like big brothers to my little guy. her extroverted husband and my introverted man hit it off instantly, becoming good friends. this sweet family majorly filled in the gaps during this last year’s deployment, for both me and my son.

we recently had one last hurrah in the form of a brunch…  i contributed these muffins. it was a great, relaxed day of good food, happy kids, and a group effort puzzle (the first puzzle i’ve successfully completed, not involving thomas the tank engine, in i don’t know how long.)

 i love these people. i’m beyond grateful for their friendship, thankful for all of the big and little ways they’ve cared for us, and wish there was more time across the street to return the blessings.
speaking for our four to your five, we love you, trouts!
Coconut Cranberry Muffins
Serves: 12 servings
  • 240 grams (about 1¾ cups) kumquat's all-purpose flour or other gluten-free flour
  • 40 grams (about ¼ cup) almond flour/meal (i used Trader Joe's)
  • ½ cup coconut sugar (or ⅓ cup regular sugar)
  • 2 teaspoons baking powder
  • ¼ teaspoon salt
  • 1 cup dried cranberries
  • ¼ cup shredded, sweetened coconut
  • 1¼ cups canned, unsweetened full-fat coconut milk
  • ¼ cup melted butter
  • ½ teaspoon vanilla extract
  • ¼ teaspoon coconut extract
  • 1 large egg
  • turbinado sugar
  1. Preheat oven to 400°. Combine flour, almond meal, baking powder, and salt in a large bowl. Stir in cranberries and coconut.
  2. In a medium bowl, combine coconut milk, butter, extracts, and egg. Add mixture to dry ingredients; stir well.
  3. Spoon mixture evenly into 12-muffin tins lined with cupcake liners or parchment. Sprinkle each tin of batter with a finger-full of turbinado sugar. Bake at 400° for 22-25 minutes or until golden and a pick inserted in center comes out clean. Cool in pans for a few minutes. Enjoy!

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