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Archive for September, 2011

National Coffee Day!

Hey there, Fellow Coffee Drinkers!

I wanted to let you know that word on the street is that it is National Coffee Day, and a few of our fine coffee retailers are offering great deals or free coffee today. I hear that Caribou Coffee is offering Buy One, Get One Free and that 7-11, McDonalds, and Krispy Kreme are giving away free or discounted coffee today, too. Starbucks, however, says it will not be handing out any free coffee today…I suppose they are so successful that they don’t need to humor the peasantry with our silly, promotional, free coffee days. Too bad, though, I could totally go for a Pumpkin Spice Latte.

 

Anyone wanna meet for coffee?


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I have certainly been subjected to my share of unsavory blueberry muffins. C’mon, you know what I mean, you have been the unwitting recipient at a potluck, or maybe your Aunt Bessie makes them, or, worse, perhaps you (like me) have actually exchanged currency to partake of a muffin that tasted something like a pair of fine cotton socks, which are great for feet but bad for taste buds.

Et Voila!

Well, my friend Gwyneth* has decided to save us all by including in her awesome, new cookbook, My Father’s Daughter, the recipe for her mother’s prodigious Blueberry Muffins! Nothing ho-hum about these babies! They are the perfect muffin-y combination of sweet and light and moist and tart and their tops are ever-so-slightly crusty with a light dusting of sugar…sigh…so darn tasty!

*(Yes, that is Gwyneth Paltrow and actually, we’ve never met, but I do subscribe to her blog and so sometimes I pretend that we are just some Besties blogging away and making blueberry muffins together…yes, get a life, I know.)

So hear we go, straight from the pages of My Father’s Daughter…

Blythe’s Blueberry Muffins

  • 8 tablespoons (1 stick) unsalted butter, melted and cooled all the way
  • 2 large organic eggs (I confess I do not always use organic and they still come out scrumptious)
  • 1/2 cup milk
  • 2 cups unbleached all-purpose flour (I always use King Arthur because I am in love with it)
  • 3/4 cup plus 1 teaspoon granulated sugar
  • 2 teaspoons baking powder
  • 1/2 teaspoon fine salt (regular salt works, too)
  • 2 1/2 (2.5) cup fresh blueberries

Preheat the oven to 375. Line a 12 cup muffin tin with papers (or use silicon cups, like I do)

Whisk the butter, eggs, and milk together in a bowl. In another bowl, whisk together the flour, the 3/4 cup of sugar, baking powder, and salt. Stir the wet ingredients into the dry ingredients and fold in the blueberries. Divide among muffin cups and sprinkle with remaining teaspoon of sugar. Bake until a toothpick test comes out clean and the muffins are golden brown, 25-30 minutes. These are best eaten warm! This will make 1 dozen delicious muffins.

Oh, look, here they are now…

So much Muffin-y Goodness...

Um, I think it might be time for a spot of tea and muffin (or two)…

Happiness…

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Last Year's "Happy Birthday, Sam!" Cake

Monday

  • Chicken Milanese
  • Mashed Potatoes
  • Grilled Veggies

Tuesday

  • Caprese Paninis
  • Summer Slaw (now we’ll start calling it Fall Slaw)

Wednesday

  • Chicken Tostadas
  • Spanish Rice

Thursday

  • Tomato Soup
  • Grilled Cheese

Friday

  • Sam’s Birthday! -Birthday boy hasn’t decided yet but feels it should involve doughnuts.

Saturday

  • More birthday fun!- He’s undecided on this menu, as well, but feels it should also include doughnuts.

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Bounce!

Hello, Hello!

Today’s post is really just a money saving tip that I picked up from the delightful blog, This Week for Dinner (www.thisweekfordinner.com), but word on the street is this has been around for ages!

Okay, Ladies, did you know that you do not actually need a full dryer sheet to dry a load of laundry? Well, neither did I! But now that I do, I simply take my whole pile of dryer sheets and cut them in half. I promise it works just as well as a whole sheet! I haven’t had to buy dryer sheets in like six months which, of course, won’t make us rich but every penny helps, right?

Alright, my fellow Laundry Doers…I charge you to go forth and buy dryer sheets and cut those babies in half. Then, shove a load of Junior’s underwear or your best guest towels into the dryer along with a half sheet and share in the static free goodness!

Happy Drying!

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I used to have a tab on here labeled “Things I Hate”, I have since removed it because it obligated me to workout (and that is perhaps a story for another time). However, so that you do not stay up tonight wondering what exactly made the list, I shall enumerate it for you here. I hate exercise, spiders, and raisins. And then, during a recent time of deep personal reflection I realized I’d forgotten to mention the loathsome gelatinous mess that is cream soup in cans. I don’t know about you, but I do not like to feed my family anything that looks like someone has just sneezed it out. And that can not be real chicken. And the noise it makes when it comes out of the can is the stuff of bad sci-fi blob movies. Not that I don’t like that kind of movie because I do but as mentioned above, I do not like that soup.

Regardless, we all know that in the course of human events it becomes necessary for us to use something of the creamed soup variety. Where would our Broccoli Cheese Bake be without its creamy center, or Potatoes Au Gratin, sometimes you don’t have all day to brew up cheese sauce from scratch, and I don’t even want to think about my Chicken Pot Pie, all sad and dry.

Enter Stage Left…

Ta-Da!!!

The answer to our cream in a can issues? Dried ” Cream Of ” soup mix you make yourself! Yay!

(Okay, I Googled this forever ago and I don’t remember exactly where I got it from so if this is your recipe please let me know because Dinner Makers all over the world would love to to give you one long standing ovation for you have single handedly made “Cream of” cooking not disgusting.)

“Cream Of ” Recipe

  • 2 C instant nonfat dry milk
  • 3/4 C cornstarch
  • 1/4 C reduced sodium chicken or beef bouillon
  • 1/2 tsp dried crushed thyme
  • 1/2 tsp dried crushed basil
  • 1/4 tsp pepper

Combine all ingredients in blender. Store in airtight container. Use 1/3 C dry mix and 1 C water mix together in sauce pan. Cook until thickened. You can then add any fresh ingredients that strike your fancy such as diced up chicken or veggies or you can sauté some onion and mushrooms in butter and add the thickened soup to it to make a delicious Cream of Mushroom soup. This recipe is equal to about 8 cans of cream soup.

I also had the good fortune to spend last weekend with some dear friends who were happy to throw out their own solutions to the canned soup dilemma. One little lady says she makes a roux by heating oil and slowly mixing in flour to thicken it up and then adds a bit of seasoning. Another gal says she simply adds cream or milk whenever Cream of Anything is called for…also a very appealing alternative.

Whichever way you lean, I hope you have found a viable way to save your family from the dreaded canned creamed soup which I am sure we can all say feels, Mmm…Mmmm…Good!

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Sunday

  • Out: Subway-3 foot longs for 12 bucks, Baby!

Monday

  • Moroccan Meatballs
  • French Bread

Tuesday

  • Miso Soup
  • Teriyaki Beef & Broccoli
  • Steamed Rice

Wednesday

  • Shredded Beef Enchiladas

Thursday

  • Chicken Pot Pie
  • Arugula Salad

Friday

  • Loaded Nachos

Saturday

  • Out: Dinner with Friends

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They’re Baaaack!

Hello, Strangers! Long time, No See! Sour Potatoes is back from a month long (much needed!) hiatus.

Oh, I certainly have kept myself busy…

We visited Winter Park, where the flowers and hummingbirds abounded!

Spent a whole lotta time weeding out the back yard…

So many weeds...how is it even possible?!

Took photographs of interesting Candy Corns…

Weird, right?

Saw some Big Horn Sheep…

My those are Big Horns!

At the top of beautiful Mount Evans, elevation 14,130 feet…

“I think I can see Russia from here!”

Most importantly, we began our new homeschooling journey and that has been so lovely and meaningful and scary and overwhelming all wrapped up into one crazy educational burrito…

Just look at all that curriculum!
And all those curriculum boxes!
And all those Monkeys so excited to dive into all that curriculum!

Hope you all had a lovely end of summer! Now, back to life, reality, and cooking…this weeks menu coming up tomorrow! Please stand by…

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