Wednesday, July 30, 2008

Summer Reads & Warm Muffins

A long time friend of mine (we met in the second grade) recently passed on five books for me to read. My first thought: what good deed could I possibly have done to deserve this? I know her tastes so if she liked the books chances are I will enjoy them also.

Lately stopping at the Library to find something new to read can be frustrating. When you don't have a book in mind it can be a little like looking for a dropped coin or ring you've inadvertently lost on the beach-impossible!

The one I am reading now makes me laugh every few pages. It's an easy summer read called: The True and Outstanding Adventures of the Hunt Sisters.

As for warm muffins. Yum! There are so many ways to make muffins. From a sweet chocolate chip or banana pecan to a savory leek and ham muffin or a crab and cream cheese.

Muffins are great straight from the oven or tucked away in the freezer for late night munchies.

Recipe for Cranberry Muffins:

butter (for greasing)
generous 1 1/2 c flour
2 tsp baking powder
1/2 tsp salt
1/4 c sugar
4 tbsp butter, melted
2 large eggs, lightly beaten
3/4 c milk
1 1/8 c fresh cranberries
1/4 c grated Parmesan

Oven to 400 degrees. Sift the flour, powder and salt in a bowl. Stir in the sugar.
In separate bowl, combine the butter, eggs and milk, then pour into the bowl of dry ingredients.

Mix lightly together until all of the ingredients are combined, then stir in the fresh cranberries. Divide the batter into 18 prepared cups. Sprinkle Parmesan over top. Bake for 20 minutes or until the muffins are well risen and golden brown.

Wednesday, July 23, 2008

Summer Guests & Beach Weather

I am back home from a quick over night trip off Cape. Sophia and I made the small journey to see family and friends because my two oldest are at a summer camp this week and it seemed like a good time to sneak away.
I have been baking all day today. I am making a Fabulous Carrot Cake for an upcoming wedding shower and I have Dreamy Island Cookies in the oven now for my next farm delivery.
I spoke to the sweetest lady today on the telephone about how much she likes my lemon cake.
Those calls are good for me-especially when their is a little part of me that wishes I spent the day at the beach today. Mostly because time spent outdoors and on the beach can be so limited.
On Friday I am expecting a total of seven house guests for the weekend. I have been mopping, doing laundry and changing sheets like no body's business while my goodies are in the oven.
Have you ever heard the kids song that sings:
"Cousins, cousins here come the boys! Bedlam, mayhem, noise noise noise..."?
It's the perfect song for this weekend-my house guests include my two sisters, four nephews (under six) and my sixteen year old niece. Not to mention my three children.
Here's to hoping for some of that Cape Cod beach weather!

Friday, July 11, 2008

Raising Kids & Baking Cakes

I may be reaching a little here but I always find so many similarities between raising my kids and baking a cake. My kids need the right amount of love, attention and discipline so they have room to grow in the world. My cakes also need just the right amount of my love and attention. If I put too much of this or that or if I leave out a little of something the cake can fall flat or even worse not taste quite right. When one of my kids doesn't get enough sleep, consumes too much sugar without a healthy meal to go along with it or simply hasn't had time to play and be free then they too 'fall flat' or don't seem 'quite right'.
It's always a juggle for me to get my kids to all their activities on time and replenish my table at the farm not to mention filling other orders that come in. I suppose I can learn from the kids and the kitchen that maybe it's simply a matter of striking a balance between giving my time to my kids and giving myself to my kitchen.

Tuesday, July 8, 2008

Nantucket Charm & Sugar Cookies

With the older kids visiting their Grandmother in Dallas, July 4th seemed like the perfect day to pop over to Nantucket. We rode the early fast ferry from Hyannis. Here are a couple pictures from the excursion. I also threw in a recent picture of my lobster and starfish shaped sugar cookies. They taste as good as they look!