Morning Glory


Yesterday, I got it into my head to bake Morning Glory Muffins. You remember these? They were all the rage in the 90’s. It seems like they’ve fallen out of fashion—or maybe it’s just where I live, but I don’t see them in bakeries quite as often as back in the day.

So two trips to the grocery store (there are a LOT of ingredients to forget!), several near misses during the mixing process (there are a LOT of ingredients to remember!), and one half empty can of crushed pineapple splattered across the floor and behind the refrigerator later (Sticky!) we ate some Morning Glory. Remarkably, it was still morning.


Speaking of eating. This child, this child won’t stop. He’s always hungry and I can’t keep up with his food demands. Where is he putting it all? Evidently, in inches UP! I just ordered jeans for the third time this year. Three sizes in 10 months, he’s now wearing a 14 slim and is showing no sign of slowing down.

It’s not just his jeans, though. I also got the shock of my life when trying to buy shoes for him to wear to the wedding (OMG!! two weeks, MARIE, are you freaking out??). Scrounging around in the kid’s department, we were striking out when it occurred to me if his jean size has exponentially grown, perhaps his feet were following suit.

Can we say heart-attack? This child wears a men’s 7. And that means, he has the same sized feet as me. He’s 11 and has already out-paced me. He’s running hard to catch up with his father. I don’t think he’s going to need the assist from age and gravity.

It’s a battle of wills, really. I keep willing him to slow down. But suggesting this to him gets no traction. He just looks at me with that twinkle in his eye—the same twinkle, for the record, that won me over when his father proposed—that screams, “Make me, lady!”

Give me back that muffin, kid!

I probably don’t have to tell you that I’m so not ready for this. It’s a glory to behold. Or it would be, if I could step back to watch it.

Our New Favorite



Sophie thinks she’s going to get a cookie. Sophie would be wrong.


Along with the lack of photos, I didn’t do much baking this holiday beyond our traditional chocolate pie. I just couldn’t get in the mood—and with the boys being sick with different viruses, the idea of sitting down and decorating sugar cookies sounded more like an experiment in swapping colds. I’ll pass, thank you very much.

But the New Year has arrived and while most people are resolving to tighten their waistbands, clearly I’m working on a different agenda! It’s nothing too outrageous, just a few cookies here, a pizza there. Enough to get back in the groove and feel at home again dusted in flour. It’s funny how easy it is to fall out the habit.

Recently, I picked up a package of Reese’s Premium Baking Pieces when IZ commented that he thought the boy would like them. But, the recipe on the back of the package didn’t appeal to me. In part, because at the time I started baking, it called for more butter than I had defrosted. Who wants to wait for butter to thaw? Not me! So, I went scrounging through my recipes and cobbled together a new bar cookie that has my family clamoring for more!

Boy Wonder: I really enjoyed these, Mom! They are my new favorite! Will you make more? Say, tomorrow??

Yes, yes, he really does talk that way.

As the second batch of these cookies are now cooling on the kitchen counter, I thought I would share the recipe with all of you. If you make them, come back and tell me what you think. M’kay?


Day Old

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Last week, Smitten Kitchen posted a recipe for Pumpkin Bread Pudding. Oh my. Bread and pumpkin, two of my favorite things! However, the recipe called for a day old baguette, and around these parts there are two things that never make it to day old: champagne and baguette. Ahem. No, good bread and any champagne gets scarfed down quickly, usually followed by someone proffering up an empty cup or bowl with baleful eyes, “Please sir, can I have some more?!” Day old baguette… who are we kidding?

What we do have that’s stale is a loaf of flax-seed, wheat-free bread that we all thought sounded like a responsible choice when we were standing in the market surveying our options. It was a good plan at the time. We didn’t know our future selves would turn up our noses and then scrounge around for something different leaving the loaf to dry out. So, it sat. This loaf of flaxy, seedy, lacking in taste wheat, bread—in our refrigerator for how long, I don’t rightly know. Weeks? Probably. Certainly that counts as day old right? It’s day old plus. That makes it better.

I decided to substitute the bread. And we all loved it so much that we scarfed it down like it was warm crusty baguette… and of course, somebody just had to go and ask, “Please, Mom, can I have some more?” Yes! And then someone else had to ask, “HOW many tablespoons of butter are in this? Six?? ARE YOU TRYING TO KILL ME??” Ok, that last question was a bit overkill; clearly, I was being handed a mandate. More, but less. I had a new mission.

So, off I went. To refine and reduce and remake a yummy bread pudding without all the fat. A good for you bread pudding. A bread pudding to revolutionize the world. A cure for all that ails you. Seriously, sometimes I buy my own press.

Under the cut is what I came up with… it’s so far from the original that I feel perfectly fine calling this my own recipe. It’s going on the list with baguettes and champagne: never, ever, day old.


August Smells of Blackberries


It’s August and the smell of sticky sweet, nearly rancid blackberries permeates the air. It’s a smell I associate with the end of summer, but not quite fall. Time for one last adventure, time for few more late nights on the sun porch sipping coffee, and time for berry picking.


The boy and I headed out to our one of our favorite berry patches today, only to find most of the large Himalaya Giants far out of reach or picked over. However with a view like this, hunting for berries is hardly work! While the berries were thin, the spiders weren’t. Oh my, adolescent Orb Weavers. I try not to shudder. My child, completely oblivious charged right in only to be met with thorns. I have to admit, that all those wee beasties did me in a bit.


The other variety that grows with abandon out here on the edge of the world is the Evergreen Thornless. It won’t fruit until after labor day and has a completely different flavor than the Himalayas most of us know as blackberries. They are smaller and more work to pick, but with a flavor that is out of this world and no thorns… oh so worth it! However, I tend to forget about them, because August is blackberry month and by September I’ve moved on to apples.


And would it be too much of a stretch for a segue to say “speaking of moving on”? Because, while this photo is a wee bit blurry, I love the fact it catches my very busy boy in MOTION. He’s moving, and moving on, on so many levels. We see less and less of him (don’t pity me, he’s a homeschooled child and we spend PLENTY of time together still!) and I’m steeling myself for the inevitable. He steals his mother’s heart every time he suggests that college could be right around the corner if he continues at his pace. I tease and suggest I should flunk him a few grades, just to keep him here. However, when given the option to go berry picking with his mother, he jumped. There is at least that.

Moving on… I adore the photo as well because that t-shirt of his is actually black but looks the color of blackberry juice. The light caught him and his shirt just so… and that makes me happy. There are those moments where grace reaches out and touches you—sometimes you find yourself blessed to capture that moment for posterity.


It wouldn’t be summer without blackberries nor August without berry picking. All this means it’s also time for Cobbler. Below the jump is my grandmother’s recipe for Blackberry Cobbler. Everyone will tell you their grandmother’s cobbler is the best, but that’s just because they’ve never had MY grandmother’s cobbler.

The last time we ate cobbler together was at my graduation from SPU—I was whipping up a batch (using frozen berries, shhh, don’t tell!) and I hollered into the living room, “Hey Gram, what are the proportions again?” Every woman from my family shouted back, “1+1+1+1”. How could I forget that!

“And 2 tsps. of baking powder, not soda” my grandmother added. It’s really not much more than that and blackberries. It’s not low-fat; nothing in Southern cooking is, or should be for that matter. When you’re plopping that stick of butter into the baking dish, thinking about your arteries and cholesterol, just remember this, the recipe could have called for Lard!


What’s For Dinner

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If I had to subsist on just one meal it would be breakfast. There is something about a fresh egg and scones and hot coffee that makes me happy. Especially if it is what’s for dinner!

Breakfast for dinner is our stand-by meal. Beyond being easy, we like all those breakfasty foods and because I’m the scone baker, it’s a meal we can prepare together. (Yes, IZ does all the cooking in these parts. I know, I know, I’m a lucky girl.) So, while he whipped together a Sundried Tomato scramble, I did a bit of baking. And while I highly recommend these for dinner with coffee, they make a wonderful morning snack with tea too!