Tag Archives: recipes

Ze bleuberry mooffins!

Monica asked for my MOOFFIN recipe.  I am happy to share this recipe, because it makes delicious MOOFFINS.  MOOFFINS FOR EVERYBODY!


Seriously though, these are frigging amazing muffins.  They’re deliciously hearty and homey, and have just the right amount of sweetness.  They’re not just a one-note treat:  vanilla and cinnamon, tangy buttermilk, and a little brown sugar make for a perfectly rich flavor without being too heavy.  Flax meal and whole wheat flour give them a “stick to your ribs” quality that make them the perfect way to start the day (or a quick, vaguely healthy snack when chasing after your resident almost-toddler).


And of course, there’s no law against using raspberries instead, or adding nuts (or chocolate chips!), or raisins, or chopped dried apricots, or sweet cherries, or… you get the picture.


So you see, you pretty much have no excuse not to add these to your repertoire.


Couple notes first:

1)You don’t have to use half AP and half whole wheat flour.  You can do all white, or all whole wheat, or whatever ratio floats your little boat.  Personally, I like doing 1:1 or 2:1 (favoring whole wheat), because it gives you the whole wheat heartiness without being all heavy and sad.  Just so long as you end up at 1 1/2c flour altogether, it doesn’t particularly matter how ya do it.


2)Buttermilk is also not necessary, but nice.  Because tangy zip! (and no Miracle Whip).  If you keep Greek yogurt around, you could always use some of that (and some regular milk) instead.


3)If you’re lacking in inexpensive fresh blueberries, or if you don’t always keep a bag of frozen ones on hand (blueberries soothe boo-boos much better than a bag of peas and carrots, IMHO), then you should give TJ’s frozen wild boreal berries a shot.  They’re almost as good as the ones I spent DAYS AND DAYS slaving in the hot sun to procure, many years ago in northern Ontario.  Only now I can just go 1.3 miles down the road and buy a 16-oz bag for $3.29.  WIN.


4)Long ago, this recipe was derived from the “sweet muffins” recipe in the 1970’s Betty Crocker cookbook.  It bears, like, no resemblance to that anymore, but I would  be remiss if I failed to mention its heritage.





(subtitle: “for you and for me.  But mostly for me.”)


1 egg

1/4c vegetable oil

2/3c lowfat buttermilk

1 t vanilla

3/4 c whole wheat flour

3/4 c AP flour

1/2 c packed brown sugar

2T flax meal (optional)

2 t baking soda

1/2 t salt

1/2 t cinnamon

1 c blueberries (fresh or frozen – not thawed)

Coarse sugar, for sprinkling (optional)


Preheat oven to 400*.  Prep 12 muffin cups (or 36 mini cups) in the usual fashion.  Beat egg; stir in milk, oil and vanilla.  Stir in brown sugar and flax (if using).  Sift or whisk together remaining dry ingredients; stir in only until moist (do not over-mix!).  Gently fold in blueberries.  Divvy into muffin cups; top with a pinch of coarse sugar (or homemade struesel topping, or more cinnamon, or all of the above!).  Bake about 20 minutes.

(Sign #235b that I’m not a food blogger: I forgot to take a good picture before devouring one of these mofos.  FAIL.  I also use a muffin pan procured at Dollar General circa 2005, because I’m fancy like that.)



PS> I need to tell you about Simon’s birthday party, and the fact that I have a – ::gasp:: – ONE YEAR OLD.  Soon, friends.  Soon.

Christmas, etc.

As I write this I’m currently trying in vain to keep my lap cat-free.  It’s not working.  Just thought you should know.


The days leading up to Christmas were super busy for me (and, I’m sure, for other holiday knitters and crafters ’round the world 🙂).  Then I was off work all last week, and Dr. Who is on Netflix streaming, and I have all this lovely stash yarn to knit up, and…you know how it goes.  Not a lot has gotten done 😀

This was our first year hosting the big family Christmas Eve dinner (and, since we’re moving to California next year and then DC after that, it may have been our only shot at the gig).  My parents came into town on 12/23, so Roxie got to have some quality time with her Granddad…

(I think they were both happy with that arrangement)


and I enlisted Mom into indentured servitude, making a table runner from a length of fabric I’d picked up at Hancock:

See how happy she looks about driving 250 miles and then immediately being forced to slave over a temperamental sewing machine?



The next day (Christmas Eve), Dad taught me how to prep a turkey:


That’s also when I learned that for some reason, turkeys come with severed necks in their chest cavities:


Fucking disgusting.


This is the most awesome picture ever and I think I’m going to ask it to be lasered onto my headstone.  With the caption, “Julia Child she ain’t.”

(Err…what’s the past tense of “ain’t”?)


The finished table, complete with Mom’s runner:

Isn’t it pretty? I’m so proud 🙂  The white tablecloths were borrowed from Mom, and Jeff’s cousins brought a bunch of folding chairs when they arrived later that day.  The holiday china was a gift five or six years ago, and I got the sage green napkins at World Market (they were half the price of the IDENTICAL Christmas napkins; the only difference being that these didn’t come in a pack with a cartoon reindeer on the label.)


I made those namecards – the snowflake stickers from Target are all matchy-matchy with the pattern on the runner.  And the thingies on the plate were Mom’s idea (via Pinterest, I think):  “reindeer noses” of Whoppers, in muffin papers wrapped in baggies.


(Yes, that is where I get “it” from)


And of course, my little Type-A self had to plan – and label – each serving dish before cooking!

I don’t know where the Zoloft post-its came from, but I giggle a bit every time I use one.


I’d been looking for a small, non-tacky garland for the dining room hutch, but I never could find one.  So I kept it simple:


While Mom was making the runner on Friday night, I baked a red velvet cake.  And then on Saturday morning, I frosted it.  Like so:

The brown flecks are toffee crunch bits from the cake decorating section at Michael’s.  Alicia gave me the idea for the red velvet cake – originally I was going to do another turtle cheesecake, but I was sort of tired of those, having made three in as many weeks.  Then I was going to make a plain chocolate bundt cake, but decided I wanted to do something just a bit more special.  Then I was going to make a pumpkin cake, but was out of canned pumpkin.  So…red velvet it is!  I’d made red velvet layer cakes before, but not a bundt cake.  So I used this recipe, though I was initially dubious about the lack of sugar and chocolate. I also threw out their cream cheese frosting recipe and went with my own. I was really happy with how it turned out! 🙂


While I was cooking, Dad and Jeff chilled out with Roxanne:


and Mom found Macbeth, then actually persuaded him to let her pick him up!

Six years we’ve had that cat, and that’s the first time he’s let Mom hold him (and only the third time she’s even seen him!).


Shy cat is shy.


I was pretty busy cooking all day.  Our final menu ended up being:


  • Nasty 1970’s-esque pinwheel things that everyone descends upon like locusts on the wheat crop
  • Cranberry-covered goat cheese with sweet-salty crackers
  • Bean dip + chips from Jeff’s cousin


  • Turkey (yay! It worked!  Nom.)
  • Mashed potatoes (family recipe) and gravy (Dad’s recipe)
  • Sweet potato casserole (adapted from here. And I will never reveal the secret changes.  But it was good.)
  • Green bean casserole (adapted from here – no onion crunch topping; I use pearl onions instead and just sprinkle breadcrumbs on top.)
  • Olives (TJ’s finest, yo)
  • Hot rolls (Grandma’s recipe – it’s like the cinnamon rolls, but not rolled out and just cut into 15, then baked the same)
  • Brussels sprouts (loosely based off this; a vast improvement over my usual method of “just steam the fuckers”)
  • Salad from Jeff’s cousin


  • Red velvet cake
  • Snowball cookies (I make mine with Ghiradelli mini chocolate chips, and pecans.)


None of these people starved to death on Christmas eve:



After dinner was over and gifts were exchanged and Roxie made an impassioned plea to run away with her new best friend (sorry, Dad.  Roxie’s got a new love, and it’s Jeff’s cousin Paul)…


Then everybody left but Mom and Dad, and Jeff and I washed the dishes and settled in for this:

(Christmas Vacation, of course),


and this…

(Two Buck Chuck, of course)


Well, in no time flat, I was out.


Mom and Dad got here at about 9:30 on Christmas morning, and we did our presents then.  Highlights included a dinosaur-bone-sized-rawhide:





We only let Wozzie nom half of that, because (TMI, but she’s a dog so it doesn’t count) OMG those things give Roxie what we affectionately call The Ass of Doom.  We may be ready to give her the other half sometime in June.  Or maybe next time she’s at Grammy and Granddad’s, so she can stay out in the yard. 😛


But she’s happy, so that’s all that matters.


In the realm of “gifts which don’t make the recipient fart”, here’s Dad with the rug I latch-hooked for him (to add to his vast collection of elephant stuff):

Funny story, this.


I got the kit to make that when I was a young teenager – ’round 2000 or so.  EVERY SINGLE YEAR since then, I’ve undergone the same process:

1)Take out partly-finished elephant latch-hook rug

2)Vow that “This year’s the year!” to finish elephant latch-hook rug

3)Work fervently on elephant latch-hook rug for period of time lasting between two hours and two days

4)Lose all interest in elephant latch-hook rug shortly after realizing latch-hooking is incredibly dull

5)Sort out another Christmas gift for Dad, and stash elephant latch-hook rug away for next year


This rug – in its unfinished state – has accompanied me on no fewer than FOUR discrete moves and to THREE separate cities.


Funny thing is, though, that when you work on something in fits and starts over the course of eleven (!!!) years, it *will* eventually become finished.  Somehow.  And that’s what happened this year:  with just 1,500 threads left to place, it only took two evenings’ effort to finish.


And now I don’t have to move it to California.


My parents really outdid themselves this year on our gifts, too: I got an ice cream maker for my KitchenAid, a Tibetan singing bowl:

(which I’ve lusted after since forever ago)

and a bunch of cute clothes from LLBean (have I ever mentioned I like LLBean?) and Life is Good.  Life is good 🙂


I gave Mom a donation to their favorite animal shelter, and collars for Maxie and Eliza (it’s tradition).


Jeff gifted me with a framed print of one of my favorite PRB paintings:


and some bling (yo!):


and I gave him a personalized bookplate, some handknitted socks (photos forthcoming), books, and assorted video game paraphernalia.


Before Mom and Dad headed back to KC, we had cinnamon rolls (Grandma’s recipe), eggs and turkey sausage for brunch, and then Jeff and I spent the rest of the day knitting (me), playing video games (him), and annoying the dog with the singing bowl.  Turnabout is fair play, after all.


Of course, there were handknits too (oh so many handknits), but I’ll save that for another post:  this is getting ridiculously long as it is, and I need to get off my duff and go put away Christmas decorations 🙂


Happy new year!

You want to make this

Remember my awesome new bread baker from yesterday?
This morning I decided it was high time to test it out.  So I threw together a batch of blueberry bread.  Because I can.



It’s OK to be jealous.



I mean, I am now the owner of what is essentially A GIANT MUFFIN.



And I know you want some, too.  So here’s the recipe:

Blueberry Bread

2 1/2 c flour

1 c sugar

3 1/2 t powder

1 t salt

1 t cinnamon

2 T oil

1 1/4 c milk

1 egg, beaten

1 c blueberries (I use TJ’s organic wild blueberries)

coarse sugar, streusel topping, or more cinnamon

Preheat oven to 350*F.  Grease and flour your pan.  Stir together dry ingredients.  Add wet ingredients, and mix.  Batter should still be a bit lumpy.  Pour into pan; top with coarse sugar, streusel or cinnamon if desired.  Bake 55-70 minutes, or until done through (top will brown and crack slightly).




(mine came out a bit soft in the center, since I’m still learning this new baker).


This is the same stuff that Mom used to make for me when I was in college and generally starving to death.  She’d send a whole loaf back with me and I’d hoard it in my room, only occasionally sharing with roomies or Jeff.


(If you don’t have an awesome handmade bread baker, this works just as well in a greased and floured standard-size loaf pan. Will take slightly less time to bake.)

Friday Favorites – 12/3/10

(Feels like it’s been a while since we’ve had one of these!  What can I say? I’m a slacker.)


As someone who got engaged at 20 and married at 21, I heartily agree.


Add one of these baskets to the list of “things I didn’t know I needed ’till I saw it but now I must have it.”


Just in case you live on top of a mountain in Peru and somehow haven’t read this yet…  (warning:  may cause laughter-induced death)


Is it too early to get excited?


This should be mandatory reading for anybody who supports homebirth.  Or opposes it.


Mmmm…apple latkes!


Lol forever.


Gorgeous tattoo – so rich, balanced, and pretty!


Friday Favorites – 10/29/10

I do this too.

White bean and artichoke dip. Mmmm…


Babywearing testimony.  Wonderful.

Hmm…am intrigued by this future.

Holy crap I could haul EVERYTHING with this!  Including my detarded goggie!

I still have trouble with this concept.

This is on my list of “things to make when Jeff’s gone next summer and can’t complain about me serving mushrooms for dinner.”

Makes ya think, doesn’t it?

Childhood epitomized“.  YES.

Interesting read re: “Dirty Jobs” (and not just the TV show)

Ten ways modern obstetrics ignores evidence.

So pretty and festive!

How to pre-draft fiber.  My spinning is about to get a lot better.


If I were rich, and had Hooplings

Friday Favorites – 10/15/10

I would like to be this awesome.


::headdesk::  I weep for what the present is doing to the future.


Great Sunday Sweets from CW.


Prettiest baby-measurer I’ve ever seen!  I love this idea!


For me, every week is wool week.


Based off this, I should eat a ton of meat and fat, moderate amounts of highly processed carbs, only a little bit of  vegetarian protein, and almost no fruits or veggies.


Great idea, but who would want to scrub soap scum off these things?


Beautiful – I may have to get this!


Cute little tattoo.




Amazing guide to green cleaning products – most of these “recipes” are pretty similar to my own.


Guilty as charged.


Swiss chard, onion and cheese frittata.  Yum!


Well said, former free-range kid.  Well said.


Heh heh heh yeah….


Pretty fall photos 🙂


Amazing Pashley ads.  Which also makes me think that their target demographic is girls named Kate, too.

Friday Favorites – 10/8/10

This is how I prefer to think of the post-oil landscape.


I love the Cornett familyLinger on these photos.  Absorb them.  Love the details.


If I live in the city, I want my house to look like this.


Entryway inspiration.


These are what I call “breakfast cookies.”  Guess what I’m going to do with them? 😀


Rechelle does it again.  I die laughing.  BRILLIANT.


Great kid’s project!


I’d love to start making my own medicines and cosmetics.  I have so many recipes bookmarked…


Hauntingly beautiful.


Good advice which I shall completely fail to follow.


I’ll make this some night that mushroom-hating Jeff isn’t home.


Beautiful floral tattoo.  Love the placement, too! (and one good turn deserves another)


Prufrock for the 21st century.  Amazing!  (original here, if you never took 10th grade English.  It has been – and always will be – one of my favorite poems)


I’ve made apple chips before, but it’s been a while.  Maybe this weekend? 🙂


How wonderful this would be.


Good news as we work towards ending plastic bags.


I’ve never wanted to copy a tattoo more than right now.  But I won’t.


Mmm pumpkin granola!


OK call me crazy (I dare you!) but from this angle, when you squint, doesn’t it sort of like like an AT-AT skeleton?


Great (non-knitterly) post from the Yarn Harlot.


Brilliant.  Amazing. And also, not a plastic bag. 😀


My Netflix queue is growing


That may be one of my most favorite FF compilations EVER.  Really.  Hope you enjoyed it too!

Friday Favorites – 9/24/10

Never before have I wanted a stone patio as much as I do RIGHT THIS INSTANT.

Maple apple ginger cake.  And I just so happen to have two bags of apples in my kitchen.  Hmmm…

Wow.  WOW.

Nutri-Grain bar replacement?  Possibly…  (will let you know)

This truly terrifies me.  Really, truly, TERRIFIES.

I just died from the pretty.  But don’t make the same mistake I did – reading about this castle’s history will take away the special.  I promise.

Makes me want to be a teacher, just so I can say this.

Amazing D*S collection:  bikes.

Love this post – inside and out.  I may take a stab at my own version of that list…

Mmmmm baked scallops!  I’ve gotta try this 🙂

Friday Favorites – 9/17/10

I have just the linen yarn for this supercute kerchief

OMG SO TRUE.  I was *always* the first one awake at sleepovers.  And I’d lay quietly as long as I could ’till I heard my friend’s parents woke up and then I’d usually wander into the kitchen and sit there feeling awkward and drinking an unusual brand of orange juice and watching the clock ’till my mom would come pick me up.  UGH.

Amazing library desk.  But how could they stand to lose so many books?!

More library porn – only with a 19th-century twist.

I’m making pumpkin cream cheese tomorrow, y’all.  Just so ya know.

Love it.

Could this be the best Cake Wrecks ever?  Perhaps…

I want to make them all!

Note to self:  make challah.

Fine art, Star Wars style.  Just what it sounds like.

Delicious easy appetizer idea?  yes please! 🙂

Great post on cycle commuting.  I know that “there already?  Aww…” feeling.

I think Bed Intruder is my favorite meme of the year.



I got a wild hair this morning to put links to all of my recipes together in one place, here.

(or you can just click on “Recipes” next to “About” at the top of the page.)

Purely by coincidence, I’m now craving snickerdoodles, oatmeal cookies, and lemon bars.  Wonder why?