Tuesday, January 31, 2012

Blackberry Muffins

2 cups all purpose flour
1 Tbsp baking powder
1/2 teaspoon salt
2 large eggs
1 cup sour cream
1 teaspoon milk
2/3 cup sugar
8 Tbsp warm melted butter (1 stick)
1 teaspoon vanilla
11 oz of fresh blackberries, cut in half (often available at Trader Joe's)
(You can use frozen blackberries if fresh are not available.)
1 Position rack in center of oven. Preheat oven to 400°F. Grease a standard 12 muffin pan or line with paper muffin cups. (Actually, with the berries you'll have more batter than just for 12 muffins. This batch made 18 muffins.)
2 Whisk together the flour, baking powder and salt in a large bowl.

3 In a separate bowl, whisk together eggs, sour cream, milk, sugar, butter and vanilla.
4 Add the wet mixture to the dry mixture and mix together with a few light strokes, just until the dry ingredients are moistened. Add the berries. (If you are using frozen berries, defrost them first, then drain the excess liquid, then coat them lightly in flour.) Do not overmix! Overmixing will cause the muffins to be dense, not fluffy. The batter should not be smooth.
5 Divide the batter evenly among the muffin cups. Bake until a toothpick inserted into the middle of 1 or 2 of the muffins comes out clean, 17-20 minutes (or longer). Let cool for 2 to 3 minutes before removing from the pan. If not serving hot, let cool on a rack.
Serve as soon as possible, preferably within a few hours of baking.
Adapted from The Joy of Cooking

Saturday, January 14, 2012

Stitches in Hearts by Haley

Recently after a family friend died, I told Haley that this has been a hard year, with my mom being in the hospital so long and so many surgeries, then the loss of our Mary Lou. I have had many tears. Haley said to me that she saw this past year differently. more about lasting love. She wrote it out in a beautiful story called with her own perspective:
Stitches in Hears
We all know we have close friends and those that are family. Some friends are so close they are like family, but there are some people who disrespect your ways. But, ignore them, they don't get the way your inspiration works. Your family and friends get the way you think. Sometimes they can put imaginary stitches in your heart...Like when you give something like a get-well card, a thank you note or a present. It just tells them the important thing about them.....but you should work on this. It tells them you were nice, and keep using the gift you got. And those that have died, they will still have those stitches you put. But somewhere nice, they are still alive to you. Dead or alive, they will still have stitches. These stitches feel good to have. Then she drew a little quilted heart.....
Somehow, this made all the difference to me as she told me all about the stitches that don't hurt, the little acts of kindness, thoughtfulness, time and gestures that seem to brighten someone for just a moment....They last a lifetime really in the hearts of the ones you love. She is so wise for 9 years old, and she keeps me in stitches.

Monday, January 9, 2012

Easy Chicken Cordon Bleu


  • 6 skinless, boneless chicken breast halves - pounded or filleted to 1/2 inch thickness
  • 6 string cheese sticks
  • 6 slices ham
  • 1/2 cup butter, melted
  • 1/2 cup Ritz cracker crumbs
  • Dash pepper
  • toothpicks


1. Preheat the oven to 350 degrees F (175 degrees C).

2. Lay out the pounded chicken breasts on a clean surface. Place a slice of ham on each piece, then one stick of cheese. Roll the chicken up around the cheese and ham, and secure with toothpicks. Dip each roll in melted butter, then roll in cracker crumbs. Sprinkle with pepper. Place in a shallow baking dish.

3. Bake for 40 minutes in the preheated oven, or until chicken is browned and juices run clear.

Nutritional Information

Easy Baked Chicken Cordon Bleu

Servings Per Recipe: 6

Amount Per Serving

Calories: 423

Nutrition Info

Aromatic Lamb Meatballs

Recipe courtesy Nigella Lawson(Copyright 2004, Feast, Hyperion, All Rights Reserved)

Add Timer


· 1 pound ground lamb

· 1/4 cup finely chopped scallions

· 1/2 teaspoon ground cinnamon

· 1 teaspoon ground cumin

· 1 teaspoon ground allspice

· 1 teaspoon salt

· 3 tablespoons semolina

· 1 egg

· Vegetable oil, for frying


Put the lamb into a bowl and add the scallions. Sprinkle over the spices, salt, and semolina, and then beat the egg adding to the bowl. Work everything together thoroughly with your hands, and then cover with plastic wrap and leave in the refrigerator for half an hour.

Line a baking sheet with plastic wrap and scoop out a scant teaspoon of the mixture. Roll in your hands to form the meatball and place on the lined baking sheet. Have a bowl of cold water beside you to dampen your hands with; this helps them not get too sticky for rolling the meatballs.

When you are ready to cook them, heat about 1/2-inch of oil in a frying pan. Line another baking sheet with kitchen towel, and when the oil is hot, fry the meatballs in batches without overcrowding the pan. Cook them for about a minute a side, or until golden brown all over.

Friday, January 6, 2012

Practice Makes Perfect, Well Almost

Why am I struggling with technology today?