Saturday, July 21, 2018

Worth heating up the kitchen. . . . . . . . .

Baking days continue as Bob is still buying far too many blueberries. . . . . .
and they just don't keep long in this hot weather!

Good thing is muffins freeze so well. . . . . . . . and the neighbors love them too!
This week's batch were jumbo size, eight instead of twelve. I prefer these
because they seem more moist, and of course you get to eat more healthy
 blueberries. . . . . . . .and one is so filling you're not tempted to nick a second
 one and feel guilty!!!

Results from this never fail recipe I've shared before in posts HERE back in 2014
 and HERE  in 2016.

This post from a blog post waaaaay back in 2012 actually has the recipe
 if you want to try these yummy muffins. I now usually make one change, using
 half whole wheat flour rather than all white, they are delicious and less
 crumbly this way.  

Muffins are so easy to make and quick to bake.
Great for breakfast, lunch, even afternoon tea.

After carrot and raisin - my all-time favorite - these blues are next, then
 perhaps cranberry-orange, plus of course lemon-zucchini. . . . . . and
 I should be baking them soon with the usual summertime glut of zucchini

Do you have a favorite muffin?
Any muffin recipes to share?

Have a wonderful weekend.

Friday, July 20, 2018

Baking with fresh fruits. . . . . . . . .

Baked this easy galette yesterday as I needed to use up a remaining piecrust 
taking up space in the refrigerator.  Picked up a box of California plumcots------not
 pluots which are quite different------at LIDL, and found they did the job nicely in place
of traditional plums which were not available. 

As we all know by now, making a rustic, free form galette is a lot easier 
and more fun than a traditional pie. I've learned that baking on a sheet of 
parchment paper is best - with fruit it's almost impossible not to have
 juices leak out making it difficult to remove the pie which becomes stuck
to the baking sheet. This way just lift the galette with the parchment and
plonk it on a serving plate! I used my deep vintage pie pan which I love.

Here's a link to Plumcots interesting history. 
BTW, this is not a newfangled genetically engineered fruit which is good news!

Have you tried plumcots? 
Pass the crème frâiche, whipped cream or ice cream!
Do you enjoy baking, and of course eating, fresh fruit pies, tarts, galettes?

Wednesday, July 18, 2018

Thanks to Italian kitchens. . . . . . . . . . .

No, not from my kitchen this time!
Sometimes you just want someone else to prep, cook and clean up, don't you?

A recent hot evening drew us out of the house. Our a/c was still on the
 blink upstairs and it was Hades in reverse with the temp. reading 90F.
 So, a quick drive over to Midtown where we allowed Mia Francesca's
 chefs to cook for us, and the great staff wait on us.
Loved every moment, and even came home with enough of my
 Pizza Napoletano for another day!

Bob of course had a chance to eat meat which he rarely gets at home!  
Must admit the bowl of spaghetti and meatballs looked fabulous. . . . . .he said
 it was, and gobbled the whole plateful. Fortunately we don't eat lunch!

Photos via iPhone

Monday, July 16, 2018

Not all is perfection. . . . . . . . .

 . . . . . . . in the summertime garden!

Still have some sunflowers blooming, mostly the smaller ones - this spray
 of flowers is actually on one main stem and is beautiful. . . . . . and still
intact today!

Deer enjoyed a late night dinner out on Saturday!  
Sunday morning brought a few choice words from me when I found they had
 attacked the sunflowers and left a trail of petals, seeds and broken heads 
around the front garden! You can see how thick and tough those large stems are,
  however something chewed right through them to get the flower heads to fall to
 the ground, where 'it' (or perhaps 'they') had a real feast.

I stuck the larger heads into the bench seat. . . . . . . . . . . 

. . . . . . . and noticed this young male cardinal enjoying breakfast today!

Note: only one of the two heads remaining - wonder if the deer returned in the 
night and dragged the other one away.

On another subject, the squirrels are busy and hungry in the heat and I saw this little
one yesterday scuffling around for seeds under the bird feeder. Couldn't get a good photo, 
but noticed it has a deformed left front paw - it's there but turned backward. The little one
 still manages to dig, eat, and jumped up on the birdbath for water, thankfully.

FYI:  The green leaves are also sunflowers - growing naturally from the seeds
 dropped by birds!

Another member of the family who enjoy our garden looks really healthy
and loves the suet feeder.  We try to use mostly non-melt suet cakes at this 
time of year - the regular ones are so messy to deal with in this intense heat.

As for this year's fig crop, not sure what's happening. Hundreds of little 
green fruits fell to the ground while we were up north, perhaps from lack
of water. Now they seem to be hanging on and perhaps there will be
some to pick later. . . . . . . but none are ripe yet.

As for chores such as weeding, sometimes a weed comes up in just the perfect place. 
Another thing to ponder upon for lack of anything more pressing in the heat of the
midday sun! 

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