Food tastes so much better when cooked on a grill. From meats to vegetables and fruits the flavors just burst with excitement. Unfortunately, we do not have a grill, yet. But, we are still able to enjoy typical BBQ fare roasted in the oven or […]
May is national bike month. The League of American Bicyclists is promoting Bike-to-Work Week from May 11-15 and Bike-to-Work Day on Friday, May 15. If it is not possible to bike to work or school there are other alternatives to promote staying active. – This […]
After three days and two nights of no sleep and the inability to eat I finally finished the three of the four books from Stephanie Meyer’s Twilight Series. I could not put the book down. The last time I was confined by a book was when Stephen introduced me to Robert Jordan’s The Wheel of Time.
Day one out of my comatose state the kids demanded something homemade. After a short deliberation we settled on muffins utilizing the package of fresh strawberries we picked up at the market. The hint of nutmeg was an unexpected delight reminiscent of Bella’s description of “her Jacob”, woodsy and warm. The strawberries added the cool sweet essence associated with Bella’s “Romeo”, Edward.
Source: Child Tea Party
2 cups all-purpose flour
1 tablespoon baking powder
1/2 teaspoon salt
1/4 teaspoon ground nutmeg
2 large eggs
1 cup milk or cream
2/3 cup light brown sugar, packed
8 tablespoons unsalted butter, warm melted
1 teaspoon vanilla
1 1/2 cups fresh or frozen strawberries, chopped
Cinnamon & sugar to sprinkle
Preheat the oven to 400 degrees. Grease a standard 12-muffin pan or line with paper cups.
In a medium-sized bowl whisk together flour, baking powder, salt, and nutmeg. Mix thoroughly and set aside. In large bowl whisk together eggs, milk, brown sugar, warm melted butter and vanilla. Add the chopped strawberries to the flour and toss. Fold the flour mixture into the wet ingredients; careful not to overmix.
Pour the strawberry muffin batter into the muffin cups. Sprinkle the top of each muffin with cinnamon and sugar before baking. Bake until a toothpick inserted in 1 or 2 of the muffins comes out clean, 12 to 15 minutes. 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.
Recipe yields 12 strawberry muffins.
Sitting down at the table together is still one of the best ways for families to grow and stay connected.
When we gather around the dinner table, I envision happy children with hands washed, eager to devour the meal prepared for them. Once seated, there is a hush as we take hands and offer thanks for our bounties. The conversations are light and fun. There is a feeling of warmth as we enjoy one another’s company while we discuss the highlights of our day.
There is a book that has been nestled among my cookbooks since Christmas. It is called “Dinner? It’s in the Bag!” Bringing your family back to the table one meal at a time. I have only ever leafed through the recipe section. Tonight, however, I had a few spare moments while I was making dinner to peruse the book a little further. The last section is titled “Table Talk and Family Fun.” There were a few ideas I thought worth noting.
“Meal time is a time to relax, connect and learn. Discipline, unpleasant subjects, tragic stories and stern lectures have no seat at the dining table. Those subjects can be discussed later in a private setting. Laying the cares of the day aside, turning off the television, video games, internet, telephone and turning on soft background music, will greatly enhance your efforts. As families gather around the table, the door is opened to learning about what we are all thinking, feeling and dreaming.
The author goes on to say, when her children were young every morning during breakfast her husband would pose a question. The children were encouraged to think about it during the day and collect research on the topic in preparation for discussing the answers that night at dinner. I was reminded of stories I have heard Stephen’s father tell about growing up around the dinner table. It was a question and answer feast each night as his father would ask a trivia question based on the current events of the day, past history or uncanny bits of information.
Another suggestion that was made in the book was about the importance of gratitude. Meal time is the “perfect time to express love and gratitude for each other and for our blessings.” She and her husband encouraged their children to take turns sharing their positive feelings about what they like about each other. She then talks about a friend whose family keeps a gratitude journal. When their children were younger, they would tell someone what to write in the journal or they would draw pictures. Today, the grandchildren have the opportunity to add their thoughts to the gratitude book.
I feel our lives are so busy during the day and especially more so leading up to dinner time. There have been times when the kids have dug in and left before Stephen and I ever got to the table. When we gather around the dinner table, for me, it is a time to sit together as a family. The only time during the day that we can toss our to do list aside and focus on each other. We give a sigh and let the rush of the day go. Sometimes, in the silence I can hear the children wondering “what is that strange sound?”
We can make dinner time more exciting by playing games such as trivia or making up stories. Take the time to really communicate. Ask questions. Be interested. Be positive. Really Listen.