Vegan Lemon-Lavender Muffins

lemon lavender muffins

As a new blog treat, while I expand my brand into the kitchen goods realm, I have decided to add some vegan recipes, hopefully once a month.

With the start of  September come the last days of summer, this recipe is perfect for a refreshing reminder of summer before heading into the cooler fall months.

 

 

 

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INGREDIENTS

2 cups whole-wheat pastry flour

2 teaspoon baking powder

1 teaspoon baking soda

½ teaspoon sea salt

½ cup unbleached sugar, separated

3 Tablespoon dried lavender (culinary grade, I used French Lavender)

¼ Cup Earth Balance, softened (coconut oil works too if you like that taste)

2 teaspoon lemon zest

3 Tablespoon fresh lemon juice

½ teaspoon lemon extract

1 teaspoon vanilla extract

2 egg replacers ( use your favorite type; I used use 2 teaspoons of baking soda mixed with 2 tablespoons of white vinegar for 2 “eggs”)

1 ¼ cup cashew milk (this can be your favorite non-dairy milk)

DIRECTIONS

  1. Preheat oven to 350 degrees. Prepare 12-well, muffin pan with liners or greasing.
  2. Sift together pasty flour, baking powder, baking soda and salt.
  3. In a food processor (or blender), grind ¼ cup sugar and lavender together.
  4. Cream Earth Balance, with sugar and lavender mixture, and remaining ¼ cup sugar.
  5. Add lemon zest, juice, extracts, and favorite egg replacer and stir to combine.
  6. Mix dry ingredients into wet. Then add cashew milk. Stir until just incorporated. Do not over mix.
  7. Divide batter among muffin tins. Bake until golden brown outside, and a toothpick comes out of muffins clean, about 15 minutes.

Rosemary

rosemary | laughing devil designsRosemary (rosemary officiallis)

is my favorite fragrant evergreen, and I use Rosemary essential oil in our healing hand salve.

This pretty Mediterranean herb in thought to be a rich source of antioxidants and anti-inflammatory compounds. Rosemary has also been found to has properties which kill certain types of bacteria, fungi and virus on the skin, which makes it a great addition for treating minor wounds burns or skin conditions like dermatitis, acne, eczema or psoriasis. It helps dry skin regenerate, and helps improve blood circulation and helps lock in moisture.  It is also thought to aid in neutralizing free radicals; free- radical damage can comprise the structure of your skin leading to wrinkles, sagging, and uneven skin tone.

I love that it helps heal and moisturize which is why it is in my hand salve. I personally love to use salve before and after gardening and cooking to help keep my hands from drying out.  Since I come from a background in the arts, I originally created it due to paper and cloth drying out my skin, so it’s a dry salve that won’ t leaves greasy marks on paper once rubbed into the skin.

Aside from just being good for your skin topically, rosemary can work its wonders from the inside out by adding the leaves of the herb to your favorite foods.  Full of flavor, it is a good source of iron, calcium and vitamin B6, all which support healthy collagen levels. Rosemary is also a rich source of manganese, which has been found to help minimize wrinkles and protects the skin from damage. I love the flavor rosemary on just about everything, so I love that it helps my skin from the inside out too, my favorite dish has to be rosemary crispy baked potato wedges.  Do you have any favorite uses for rosemary?

 

Happy Spring! Yes I exist!

I have gotten some questions on where I have been, and if I am still in business. The second part of that question is the easiest, YES!, I’m still very much in business. I’m planning some news products and working on new goals for my company.

The other question is a much longer story. In 2013 and 2014 I was omnipresent at every bay area show of note except renegade (I still have never gotten in that one), including hiring helpers so my company could be present at multiple places at the same time. It was physically exhausting but worth it and I made a lot of great maker friends in that time. Maintaining this lifestyle for 2 years was wearing, and I forgot to have a life at the same time, so in 2015 I took a long break and I did not appear at a show until August 2015. What did I do in my downtime? I made products, did well online and even had a product featured in one of etsy’s emails last April.  It was the break I needed, though I was still keeping busy making, because maker’s gotta make.

At the same time, I was considering moving, which is always a stressful undertaking. The maker lifestyle is amazing, but it is hard in the pricey San Francisco Bay Area, so I was considering a move to Southern California for most of 2015. In total I spent 3 months in the Anaheim area deciding on if it was a fit. Plans didn’t work out, but that’s okay, instead I moved from sleepy Crockett (the most Northern city in the East Bay) back to Richmond (where I previously lived). Being closer to everything has helped in some ways and hurt in others, hurt as in rent costs more the closer to SF you live. I am still considering a move out of state, but for now I am still an East Bay girl.

The winter months are always a little slow for me for shows, but I am excited to be returning to the Fair season at Maker Faire 11th Annual Show May 20-22, 2016. I’ll be debuting some new tea towel designs, and kitchen art at this show, as well as continuing with fan favorites which I started this company around, vegan bar soap inspired by food and herbs. I started adding kitchen items, last year, experimenting with some items. Cooking is a passion of mine so it made sense, I hope you will love the new products as much as I do. I look forward to seeing everyone’s friendly faces this spring and on-wards.

Happy New Year!

The holiday craft fair season is over, and I want to thank all my fans and supporters that came out  in person, and all those that placed holiday orders. We were so happy this holiday season to be able to participate in SF Bizarre, Yelp’s Nifty under $50, Oaklandish’s Jack London Square Tree Lighting Pop-Up, SF Etsy’s Holiday Emporium, SF Bizarre at the Zoo Lights and SF Black Market “M”.  We had a lot of fun! 2014 is  already shaping up to be fun and we are looking froward to our winter and spring shows.  Check out some of our favorite pictures from the end of the 2013 show season below!

See you in 2014! Happy New Year!
Cheers, Shielaugh V.


Holiday Show season is in Full Swing!

I just came off from a weekend at Bluxome Winery and Yelp’s 2nd Annual Nifty under $50 Show.  The yelp show is a lot of fun and you can find a full review here.  One attendee commented “I really enjoyed walking around and looking at each booth. The one that caught my eye was Laughing Devil Designs, which sold handmade soaps and lotions. Her soaps smelled amazing, especially the seasonal mistletoe scent! I bought 2 soaps for $10 – such a good deal!”  I have to say I love when people think my soaps are a good deal, because that’s part of my philosophy, all natural amazing products without killing the wallet.  Below is a tidbit of my booth all set up from photographer Basil Glew-Galloway.

Laughingdevil_yelp2013This  coming weekend I will be bringing the whole sha-bang to my booth at SF Bizarre (formerly Bizarre Bazzaar), so if you are looking for something in particular Saturday and Sunday I will have basically everything in stock. Seasonal scents are bound to sell out, so this weekend is the time to pick some up.  Visit me  December 7th & December 8th 2013 11-6PM each day Concourse Exhibition Center EAST HALL, 620 Seventh St. SF, CA 94103.

Can’t make it Saturday or Sunday, I will have a smaller setup at Jack London Square on Friday night during the tree lighting inside the Pavilion building (the old Barnes and Noble).

Happy Holidays!
-Shielaugh

It’s making time!

I have a few larger shows coming up and I’ll be teaching all next week so I won’t have much time other than this week to prepare for my show at the Triton museum in Santa Clara, and The 4th of July show a week and a half later in El Cerrito.

Today I made about 100 lip balms. A Summer SPF 15 lip balm, A reformulated Smooth as Silk now with SPF 10, A new mica -free berry colored lip tint, and my Muted Merlot mica lip tint.

Since I’m allergic to all chemical sunscreens, that was fun to find out being as pale as I am, I sot out oils that have natural sunscreen, like Red Raspberry Oil and Macadamia Nut Oil to create my lip balms. The summer version has a bit of zinc to get the lip balm to be a board spectrum spf 15.

Making lip balm is super fun and a lot easier now that I have a mold, instead of having to make sure I didn’t over pour my little tubes before.

Here’s some photos of me making my new summer lip balm:

Rockwall Winery Show Review

I had prepared to be outside, but I was lucky enough to find my booth was assigned inside the dome (no windy day for me), which was really nice because I get cold easily. This was a fun show, and I sold out of the stock I brought with me of lip balms, hand wax, foot repair, healing salve, and foot scrub.

For those wondering about my lace tablecloth, it was hand crocheted by my  maternal grandmother. I like to take it to every show with me, so she is there in spirit. She taught me a lot about healing herbs and told me stories of her soap making days, so I think she’d have fun being at these shows if she were still here. Plus it looks pretty and vintage-y like just my soaps.

Here are some pictures of my booth from the day:

Rock Wall Art and Wine Experience

Hi! My next event is at the Rockwall Winery on Saturday, June 15th, 2013.  In addition to my normal soaps and scrubs and goodies. I have 4 new summer soaps that smell awesome and they are Raspberry Lemon, Cucumber Melon, Grapefruit and Stinson Beach (which is oceany clean).

I will also be releasing all natural bug spray, just in time for the camping/ outdoor season, a healing salve, hand wax that heals cuticles and protects hands (which is great for gardening and camping).

Plus my lotions will be back and reformulated without stearic acid and emulsifying wax, a fatty acid and fatty alcohol respectively, because I wanted all my products able to be used on all skin types. Although my fatty acids and fatty alcohols came from palm or coconut oil sources, I found in research that both can exacerbate certain skin conditions, so out they went, since my goal is products for even the most sensitive skin.

Cutting and Curing

Today I cut 8 lbs of my new  grapefruit soap and 16lbs of my very popular peppermint soap.  These are both 2 days old, I tend to cut my soap 1-4 days after it is made, when it is about as hard as cheddar cheese and then let the bars cure individually. In the above photos you can see how I cut my soap. I use a butcher knife and re-purposed old cookie cooling racks as my drying rack. While I still hand turn my soap every other day during the curing process, the wire racks help ensure that air it getting to all sides of the soap, helping it cure evenly.