Tuesday, November 20, 2018

If Only I had Raked

Sometime back in the early 1980's I had a fire in my front yard.  It was a hot, summer day and I looked out to see my mugo pine on the front mound going up in flames.   It was burning along with some spreaders planted there.  I called the fire department.

The fire was put out, but the plants were a total loss.  It was speculated that someone might have thrown a cigarette out of a car window and that the dry pine needles caught fire.  My thought was that the degenrate teen-agers who plagued out neighborhood at the time might have set it on fire on purpose.

Whatever the cause, the area was eventually re-planted.  but if only I had known that all I had to do to prevent something like this from happening was to rake those pine needles, well, I would absolutely have done so.  Where was the wisdom (???) of the current POTUS at that time?  Why didn't Smokey get this message out to us homeowners?  Why was Finland keeping this knowledge to themselves?  Oh, if only...

Do your part and Rake America Safe Again. 

Sunday, November 18, 2018

Double Chocolate Muffins

Charlie is always wanting to bake something.  If I am in the kitchen, he is dragging one of the stools over to help.  Well, I am sure that urge will disappear over the next ten years or so, lol.  Anyway, he wanted to make something and I had to come up with a recipe that did not involve a mixer and that I could use what I had on hand.  I always have chocolate so I came up with this muffin recipe which turned out pretty good.

Double Chocolate Muffins

Makes 12

4 Tbsp unsalted butter, melted
1/2 cup granulated sugar
1/4 cup packed light brown sugar
2 large eggs
1 tsp vanilla extract
1/4 tsp kosher salt
1/2 tsp baking soda
1 1/2 tsp baking powder
1/4 cup Dutch process cocoa powder
1 1/4 cup all purpose flour
1/2 cup greek yogurt
2 Tbsp milk
3/4 cup chocolate chips

Preheat oven to 350 F.

In a large mixing bowl, add melted butter and both sugars.  Whisk until combined.  And eggs, one at a time, whisking after each addition.  Add vanilla, salt, and baking powder.  Whisk till well-combined.

Place cocoa powder and flour in sifter.  Mix yogurt and milk in small bowl. 

Add 1/3 of flour/cocoa mixture to bowl and slowly stir in with spatula.  Add 1/2 of yogurt and mix in.  Add another 1/3 of flour and slow mix.  DO NOT BEAT mixture.   Add remaining yogurt.  Mix.  Add remaining flour and mix until well-combined.  Fold in chocolate chips.  (I used semi-sweet)

Line a muffin tin with cupcake liners and spray liners with baking spray.

(TIP: If you have a dishwasher, set the pan in the dishwasher and spray it.  That way you do not have spray all over the kitchen.)

Using a scoop, fill each cup about 2/3 full.  All muffin tins are not created equal, so I ended up making only 11  muffins.

Bake for 18-20 minutes.  Muffins are done when tops spring back lightly when touched.  Cool in pan 10 minutes.  Enjoy.

Saturday, November 17, 2018

How can it be Thanksgiving Already????

I have been asking that question all week.  I just celebrated my birthday.  But, when the month starts on a Thursday as November did this year, then Thanksgiving is November 22.  Ugh!!!

I have changed the menu so many times I am afraid I will forget to make something.  Of course, I always have a list, but there have been times when even that didn't help.

I have the grocery shopping done.  If I forgot something, too bad.  I'll improvise.  I need to get all the serving and cooking dishes out today and set the table.  Then I can focus on prepping all the food.  Oh, if I only had a sous chef.  Here is my menu, the last and final one:

Cranberry Sparklers

Assorted brie cheeses 
Candied bacon

Roast turkey  & gravy
Sausage, Chestnut & Fennel Dressing

Mashed potatoes
Honey-orange roasted carrots

Roasted Brussels sprouts with pancetta and shallots
Cranberry sauce

Rolls

Brownie Pumpkin Mousse