Our youngest is home for a few days to celebrate her dad’s retirement. And, just for grins and giggles, I stirred up a batch of muffins for breakfast. You might like them for the Fourth of July.
On Dave’s last day at work, he, too, lit up when I asked about a little tiny sweet to start the day. Continue reading
For the next three weeks, I’ll at some time during each week feature one recipe from my new book, Soups & Sides for Every Season (click HERE to order). Make the recipe, photograph it, email the pic to me: firstname.lastname@example.org. If yours is the first email with a recipe photo I receive, I’ll mail you a book! Don’t forget to include your snail mail address in the email as well as any adjustments you made to the recipe. Now get “cooking!” I can’t wait to hear from you.
If you haven’t had a chance to look at the book yet, it’s a soft covered paperback, 174 pages, and was a more than two-year effort that included a wonderful team: Patricia Miller, editor; Amanda Weber, designer; Daniel Craig, artist; and Drew Robinson, CS, sommelier. I had a dedicated team of testers and they’re all listed in the acknowledgment section.
The book itself is divided into seven chapters: one soup chapter for each season, and then one each for Breads and Spreads, Salads and Fast Sides, and, saving the last for best, Desserts. Today’s recipe comes from the Breads and Spreads chapter and is an original blueberry muffin recipe that was developed literally at the last minute before publication when the recipe planned just didn’t work out. It was a mad scramble to work out another muffin recipe and to test it at altitude, at sea level, and in between. Great thanks to Mary Ellen Harm (Boston), who tested and reported back via Facebook, Continue reading
Memorial Day Weekend….Do Breakfast Slowly…Remember it’s a Holiday?…..
The food magazines and papers are most likely full of barbeques; it’s time to light the grills and bring out the brats or ribs. Time to stuff the coolers full of beer and white wine and head for…wherever you head for when the great, warm weather arrives. However, if you live in the Rockies, I can just about promise you that 1. The chance of your grilling this weekend , in good weather (unlike almost any other time in our lovely geographic area), is nil. 2. The chance of you finding ANYWHERE warm or dry to go is even less likely. In fact, it’s probably a good time to make beef stew and hunker down in your family room with a stack of movies and magazines and a lovely bottle of Pinot Noir. As I add a photo and publish this post Friday morning, it’s 50 degrees and foggy with rain imminent. You can’t SEE the mountains, much less decide to camp there.
So, instead of great bbq recipes, I’m putting up a delish fast spread for breakfast because, if you live where I live, you might actually have time to cook it indoors this weekend. (Get some soup out of the freezer for dinner.)
Truly, there usually isn’t the hurry we think there is. But we do believe it because —well, you figure out why YOU believe it or want to. This weekend is the time to let all that go and breathe in between the bites.
So scramble up some eggs, fry some bacon (newest reports say it’s healthy/true!)and bake some blueberry muffins. Get out a stick of real butter; put the cream in a pitcher and the coffee in a thermal carafe. I’ve added a great sparkling drink if you’re in the mood. Not fancy, but luscious.
Set the coffee table in the living room where you can spread out with the papers. Turn on the stereo. What’s the hurry? I believe you’ll want to do it again. Promise.
Cooking tips: Get the coffee going and the coffee table set. Make the muffins first and give one to your helper to snack on with coffee while s/he waits for the rest. Next make the bacon (if you’re having any), the raspberry sparklers, then, last of all, the eggs. The bacon can be reheated briefly in the microwave after the eggs are done. The ability to get coffee, eggs and bacon all hot to the table at the same time is a much-admired one in our world. Try it and see why. It’s why people go out for breakfast so often.
Best Scrambled Eggs
¼-1/2 teaspoons minced garlic
3 tablespoons cream cheese, softened
Salt and pepper
Heat a medium skillet to medium heat; add butter and garlic. Sauté briefly. Add eggs to the pan and mix well. Let the egg mixture cook until about 50% set. Stir in cream cheese and cook another minute or so. Salt and pepper to taste.
Serve while still creamy.
Options: Try with grilled tomatoes and feel like you’re in the UK
Blueberry Muffins for You and You and You and You!
Sometime thirty years ago, working at Woodlawn Plantation in Mt. Vernon, VA, I found the recipe for these muffins called “Joseph Nichols Tavern Blueberry Muffins.” According to recent research, the Joseph Nichols Tavern in Lynchburg, Virginia, is a Federal building now transformed into four apartments. Apologies to any original recipe writers as I’ve tweaked the amounts over the years and still found the original proportions perfect. These muffins win kudos wherever they roam. They’re great for breakfast, of course, but are also tasty with chicken salad or even Salmon Nicoise. Comfort food par excellence, tuck them into a tote -if there are any left -when you travel by plane or car. Home will go with you.
Preheat oven to 400 F. Grease a 12-count muffin tin.
2 c unbleached flour
½ c sugar
1 teaspoon salt
2 teaspoons baking powder
1 cup milk
1/3 cup oil
1 cup fresh or frozen blueberries
In large bowl, mix dry ingredients well. In separate 2-4 c measuring cup, beat together milk, egg and oil. Pour milk mixture into bowl of dry ingredients and mix briefly. Add blueberries.
Pour into greased muffin tins. Bake 12-15 min. until just barely done. Turn out into basket and serve warm with butter.
Cook’s Note: For lemon-blueberry muffins, stir 1 tablespoon grated lemon rind into the flour mixture.
Memorial Day Morning Raspberry Sparklers
A special drink for a special morning
For each drink, place a fresh raspberry in the bottom of a champagne flute. Add one ounce Chambord. Fill flute with sparkling wine or champagne.
I love weekends! Sing a new song,
note: new photos added 8/2013