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Monthly Archives: August 2012

Love Muffins

Today is my daughter’s birthday, so I baked her favorite muffins for her to enjoy this morning. They are an adaptation of a recipe from Southern Living Magazine, I tweaked them to give them more of a lemon-y flavor. They are really easy to make and even easier to eat.

Lemon Blueberry Muffins
makes 12 regular size muffins, prep time 20 minutes

Ingredients
2 cups all-purpose flour
1/2 cup sugar
2 1/2 teaspoons baking powder
1/2 teaspoon salt
1 (6-ounce) container vanilla yogurt-whole milk is best
2 Tablespoons fresh lemon juice
1/2 cup vegetable oil
2 large eggs
2 teaspoon grated lemon rind
1 (6-ounce) package fresh  blueberries, or raspberries (about 1 1/4 cups) or 1 (6-ounce) package frozen blueberries, or raspberries,unthawed
tossed with 1 Tablespoon flour

Topping
2 Tablespoons flour
3 Tablespoons sugar
1 Tablespoon cold butter

Preparation
1. Preheat oven to 375°. Place paper muffin liners in a muffin pan.
2. Combine 2 cups flour, 1/2 cup sugar, baking powder, and salt in a large bowl; make a well in center of mixture.
3. Stir together yogurt and next 4 ingredients; add to dry ingredients, stirring just until moistened.
4. Fold berries with flour into batter. Spoon into muffin liners, fill 2/3 full.
5. Combine remaining 2 tablespoons flour and 3 tablespoons sugar; cut butter into mixture with a pastry blender or fork until crumbly. Spoon evenly over batter in muffin pans.
6. Bake at 375° for 20 to 25 minutes or until golden. Remove muffins from pans immediately, and cool on wire racks.

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How do you top ice cream?

I could eat ice cream every day, I don’t, but I could! To be honest, when I’m on summer vacation on the East Coast, I do eat it every day. I consider it a food group unto itself. Toppings make it even better.

Some of my favorites are:

Caramel sauce (check out Trader Joe’s for the ultimate indulgence)

Marshmallow Cream

Heath Bits O’Brickle (must be Irish)

Jimmies (or chocolate sprinkles to those of you outside New England) it’s urban legend that the word is a racial slur, that’s just not true, check snopes

Mini Reese’s, chopped

While I’m not a big fan of Hot Fudge, I am very fond of Magic Shell, and I was so happy to find that I could make my own version…

Home made magic shell –what’s that you ask? How do you make it at home? It’s so easy and much better than the store bought.

1/4 cup semi sweet, or milk chocolate chips

1 1/2 teaspoon coconut oil

melt chocolate in the microwave in 30 second bursts, stir in coconut oil once the chocolate has melted, and I like to add Heath Bits O’Brickle for a little crunch…

that’s for one serving, for more check out this recipe

Try this recipe and let me know what you think of it.

Thanks to alphamom.com for the photo.

What Julia gave us…

When you hear the name Julia, you know who I mean….today would be her 100th birthday.
She was the original t.v. chef. She led the way for today’s network chefs. As entertaining as they are, none can compare to her simple, honest, joy-filled presentation.
She introduced my mother’s generation, and my generation to fine cooking, and took the mystery out of it with her humor. I remember watching her on our little, black and white set. She recorded in Cambridge, and I grew up in Concord, so I thought of her as a neighbor. It wasn’t unusual to see her dining in a local restaurant, or shopping at the market.
Her cookbooks stand the test of time, and her love of teaching shines through in the instructions as she walks you through the most complex preparation.
We were so lucky that she took to cooking, rather than her career in the foreign service.
Here’s a link to a fun video made by PBS digital (rock on!). It makes me want to go back and watch all of her shows.

Bon Appetit!

Did you know that today is Creamsicle Day?

Creamsicles are the ultimate in summer refreshment, and today the wonderful creamy orange frozen treat gets it’s due.

(Sure, there are raspberry ones, but we’re talking orange today.)

Vanilla ice cream wrapped in an orange Popsicle has spawned many similarly flavored desserts and drinks. Here are three that sound pretty awesome.

Creamsicle Cocktail from She Knows Food and Parties. (Hey, that’s a tiny photo…)

Creamsicle Cupcakes from What’s Megan Making.

Creamsicle Pie from Serious Eats

So, go out today, and treat yourself to a delightful, frozen piece of Americana. Then, tomorrow, try one of these recipes and let me know what you think of them.

Ramblings about candy and baking can be inspiring…

So happy to be nominated for the Inspiring Blog Award. A BIG thank you to “the rays of sunshine” for the nomination. (The logo looks as if it should be church related, and maybe in the beginning it was.) The font is too wizardly for me, but still, it’s an honor to be nominated.

Here are a few bits of trivia about me (which I have to share in order to get the award, so bear with me here):
1. I have a list a mile long of crafts, and baking projects. It’s my bucket list.
2. I don’t like Ketchup.
3. Yellow is my favorite color.
4. I think napping is under-rated
5. I love New Orleans
6. I think Birmingham is a fantastic city and you should visit it soon
7. I am lucky to have such an awesome family!

Here are 15 inspiring blogs that I nominate. Yes, 15 nominations were another part of the nomination requirements. They are all great blogs, but it took quite a while put this post together…
I enjoy them for their humor and food posts: most of them are food related (surprise).

Vodka Cranberry Clooney
The Jen Source
Glitz Girlz Glamour Guide
Les Saveurs De Mimi
A Dash of Cinema
Bonjour Sweet Paris
The Ranting chef
The Pink Gourmet
The Bubbly Baker
Shiny tomato
Twice as Nice
Mon Petit Treat
Joyful Heart
Texana’s Kitchen
What’s Cooking with Chef Amy
Drop in and read those inspiring blogs.

Cocktail Jelly Beans, thank you, I’ll have another!

Jelly Belly has added “Cocktail Classics” to their flavor themes.
The flavors are: Margarita, Peach Bellini, Pomegranate Cosmo, Pina Colada, Strawberry Daiquiri, and Mojito.
My favorites are the Peach Bellini, and Pomegranate Cosmo, followed by the trusty Pina Colada. They only downside is no alcohol. I do believe that they’d sell buckets more if they were spiked. Am I right?
My friend Rebecca brought these from Pennsylvania, I hope they sell them here in Idaho…of course, they might be considered a “gateway” candy, next step, Candy cigarettes….

C Howard’s violet mints – a horse of a different color

Have you ever tried these? Do remember seeing these at the drug store, or in your grandmother’s handbag, yes they called them handbags, and what were you doing poking around in there, anyway?

The packaging is delightfully nostalgic. The label looks like it is called Choward’s, but it’s really C. Howard’s. A U.S., family-owned, candy company that has operated since the 1930’s.

The shape and texture is like a square Pez. The taste..uh, the taste…it’s a floral flavor, if there is such a thing. It’s a little too perfume-y for me. But, apparently these are a favorite because they have been around for 80 plus years.

Let me know what you think of these. Next I’ll try the lemon version.