Thursday, March 27, 2014

Clean Eating Paleo Power Muffins// The Starscapes Blog Recipe Files

Today we'll be making my favorite breakfast! Power muffins!!
Aric and I make these about twice a week, give or take. They are a quick and easy breakfast and they give you lots of nutrients to take on the day!
I really love this recipe because not only are they good for you and tasty, but you can modify them however you want. For example, this particular recipe is for tomato basil power muffins, but we have made Mexican power muffins, American breakfast style power muffins, and a few others and they are always delicious!
A slight disclaimer: Aric and I do clean eating/paleo, however we don't have sugar of any kind because we want some cheese and milk in our diet. So if you eat traditionally paleo, just leave the cheese out and it is still great!


-4 pearl tomatoes
-1 small onion
-6 cage free brown eggs
-3 Dorot brand frozen chopped basil cubes (or fresh basil if you prefer)
-1/2 cup ground beef (not pictured because... its ugly.)
-Optional: grated cheese (We used Canadian cheddar from Trader Joes.)

This recipe makes six total muffins.

Alright! On to the steps!

Preheat your oven to 350 Fahrenheit

Chop your onions and tomatoes!

I would HIGHLY suggest that when you are chopping the tomatoes you get as much of the seeds/liquid out of them. I normally scoop it out with the knife and then once I'm done with it all I blot it with a paper towel. If you have cheese cloth, even better!

Combine all your nom noms!
For the eggs, we use 3 whole eggs and 3 whites. Add your basil, tomatoes, onions, and precooked ground beef. (Or other protein. tofu, chicken, steak cubes, etc.) Here's the step where you can add any salt or other seasonings if you like.
I'm not the hugest fan of adding salt to things simply because I'd rather taste the flavors of the food than taste salt.
Scramble all of these yummies together!!
We have popover tins, so I just use those because they cook really evenly, but regular muffin tins should work out just fine!
Fill your tins up about 3/4 of the way so they don't bubble over too bad.
Super important step, make sure you put a cookie sheet under your muffin/popover tin or you'll regret it. (a.k.a. your oven will be a little messy.)
Now cook for 30-35 minutes. Just keep checking them, you'll want them to be golden brown. They might take a little longer, it just sort of depends on if there is cheese or not/how much there is.
Et voila! They are done! Yum yum!
I used a calorie calculator and it looks like if you don't add the cheese you are looking at 108 calories and 5 grams of fat and 8 grams of protein per serving! With the cheese it's 198 calories, 12 grams of fat, and 14 grams protein. Yum!
Enjoy my little cosmonauts!
See you in the future!
Aric + Ashe

Thursday, March 13, 2014

Flourless, Butterless, No Sugar Added Instant Gratification Cookies // Starcapes Recipes Files


1 slightly past ripe banana (mashed)

1 organic egg

2 Tbsp almond butter

1/2 a cup of unsweet cocoa powder (or cacao if you can find it!)

1 pinch of sea salt

1/4 tsp of vanilla extract (or 1/4 of a vanilla bean pod if you have it)

1/8 of a cup of cacao nibs (optional)

-Set the oven to 350

Mash 1 banana until mostly smooth and liquidy. The banana I used is pretty brown spotted and soft, so if you have some bananas going bad those are perfect!

Once that is nice and mashed, mash in 1 egg until everything is mixed together and thickening up a bit. Add vanilla and mix.

Mix in your almond butter, and then add the cocoa powder and salt. Stir until mixed well and the batter looks like a thick brownie batter. (Depending on the ripeness of you banana you might need to add a little more cocoa powder if it looks too loose.) Then mix in the cacao nibs if you want to add them! (I think chopped hazelnuts would be delicious in this too.)

Spoon onto cookie sheet and bake for 10 minutes.

When they cook they don't look like normal cookies do, the outside will stay slightly shiny so I suggest touching the tops to make sure that they are slightly firm.

I did a recipe calorie calculator of this and it looks like they end up about 60 calories and 3g of fat for 1 cookie. Not bad, especially considering you aren't eating any icky gluten and they only have natural sugars! They are pretty decadent too so I find I eat less of these than a normal cookie.

Bon Appetit!
That's all for now cosmonauts.
See you in the future,
Ashe + Aric

Wednesday, February 26, 2014

Washington D.C. Travelogue // Starscapes Blog

Aric and I aren't exactly extravagant people. Well, maybe we are in our tastes, we just don't live the life. We are reverse posers basically. Un-posers? Anyway, needless to say I was shocked when Aric came home one night and said that he was taking me to D.C. for the weekend and that I got to help him pick out a fancy hotel.

I am a HUGE hotel design nerd, a.k.a. Aric sometimes has to sit through hours of me looking though photos on boutique hotels websites while I 'ooh' and 'ah' and sometimes critique their design choices. I guess that just comes with the territory of being an interior designer's daughter.

We finally decided on Donovan House hotel because of it's great location, yummy looking in-house restaurant (which we actually never ate at.), it's modern/zen atmosphere, and it's crazy looking space-aged spiral shower. Okay, I'll be honest, it was mostly for the shower.

Donovan House was great. The front desk staff was friendly and helpful, and they really took care of us well. Unfortunately D.C. had just had a snowstorm so some of their reservations got backed up, and that coupled with the fact that half of their rooms were undergoing renovations meant that although we arrived at 11:30 for an early check in we weren't able to get into our room until 5:30.

Thankfully though they held our bags for us so we could go out and explore without having to tote those around, and they were nice enough to give us some vouchers for breakfast then next morning and were incredibly apologetic about it. Speaking of, the staff told us we were the nicest people they had handled all day, which made me sad because I felt like even we were being grumpy. As a girl who works in the service industry though I can understand this. I'd say 50% of the people I deal with at work are just plain mean and rude. What is wrong with people today? Do they not understand how to be human anymore because they are so used to instant gratification? (Okay, end mini-rant)

While we were waiting we walked over to the White House for some typical touristy photos and then headed to the Smithsonian Natural History Museum, which neither of us had ever seen. (It's amazing, by the way.) When we finally made it back to the hotel we didn't have long to wait until we were in our room.

Oh the room. Let me just say, I highly recommend Donovan House to anyone who wants to go on a trip and splurge a little. The room was amazing and incredibly comfortable, and being on the 11th floor we had a pretty amazing view of D.C. The rest of our trip was mostly just relaxing and hanging out together, but on Sunday before checkout we walked a few blocks over to Shop House, which is an Southeast Asian bistro by the creator of Chipotle.

Let me just say, oh my goodness. I fancy myself quite the Asian food connoisseur and I was a little wary about this seeing as how the only "fast food" Asian restaurant I like is Thai Express (in Canada), but wow. I was happily surprised! It was delicious! (Especially the chicken meatballs) I highly suggest going to one if their is a location near you!

Alright Space Cadets, click below to see more photos after the jump!

Tuesday, February 11, 2014

Blue Ridge Mountains Travelogue // Starscapes Blog

Well! We are back from them there mountains! (Sorry, had to.)

This was my second time visiting the cabin, and also my second time visiting in Winter. Aric and his family have been coming up here at least once a year since he was 4. (21 years! Wow!) This year was far colder than last time.

Once again the Blue Ridge Parkway was closed due to snow so we had to make the cold and windy 3.4 mile trek in. (3 mi. on the Parkway, .4mi through the forest on a trail.) We arrived around 9:30pm and it took us about 45minutes to get everything situated (gear on, packs on, food and such harnessed to toboggans) and then we headed out.

It was around 8 degrees out, plus there was a lovely (or not.) wind-chill situation going on. I spent a good fifteen minutes of the hike complaining to Air that I was getting frostbite and my fingers and toes were going to fall off. (Guess who dressed much warmer on the way back?) Though, just like last year, I got so distracted by stars and the delightful crunch crunch of our boots in the snow that the walk went by quickly. Though I'd be lying to say if I didn't practically cry tears of joy at the sight of the cabin and the outhouse.

The next morning we set right to work chopping wood to replenish the wood pile outside, and guys, this is a big deal, I was actually able to chop wood!! (It's a miracle!) Unfortunately it was too cold to do any real exploring like we had planned on, but we made a fire outside and had fun playing target practice with Aric's blowgun.

We all turned into the cabin pretty early thanks to an unexpected snowfall. We battened down the hatches, cooked, and played the Worst Case Survival game which was pretty hysterical, just for the record. Though, pretty much everything with these guys is hysterical.

We didn't want to leave, per usual. Weekends like this just make me want to quit my job, sell everything I have and move to the middle of nowhere. Ahh... one day, one day.

See the (millions of) photos after the jump!

Wednesday, January 22, 2014

Forward to the future! // Welcome to Starscapes

Welcome to Starscapes!

I'm not sure how you stumbled across us in the vast space that in the interwebs, but we are glad that you did!

I feel that every blog needs an intro of sorts so you can sort of see what we are going to be all about. (A.K.A. an alternative to a big ugly "coming soon" sign.) So, without further ado, let's start with the introduction.

We are Aric + Ashe, a married couple living in Southeast Virginia. (Properly pronounced "ver-gin-eye-aye" for those of you who don't know.) (kidding.) For a living we both make coffee for the lovely (and not-so-lovely) folks of this great land, and in our spare time like to write music (Aric), draw (Ashe), take photos and go on adventures (both of us). Oh and drink more coffee. We seem to do a lot of that.

Aside from being coffee addicts, we are travelers, design junkies, big huge nerds, and most importantly, parents to a cat. (Yes. I went there.)

So I suppose this will be a big huge jumble of all those things. So grab your helmets and strap yourselves in Cosmonauts, mission control has cleared us for launch. Get read for this adventure!

See you in the future!
Aric + Ashe