It’s Blueberry Season…Time for Muffins

Several years ago a neighbor of my parents brought my mom a bowl of freshly picked blueberries and a recipe for blueberry muffins. That recipe has become a favorite and one we look forward to making every year during blueberry season.


  • 1 1/2 cups all-purpose flour
  • 3/4 cup white sugar
  • 1/2 tsp. salt
  • 2 tsp. baking powder
  • 1/3 cup vegetable oil
  • 1 egg
  • 1/3 cup milk (approximately)
  • 1 cup fresh blueberries



  • Preheat oven to 400°.
  • Line 12 muffin cups with liners.
  • Combine flour, sugar, salt and baking powder in a medium-size bowl.
  • Pour 1/3 cup vegetable oil into a 1 cup measure; add the egg; and enough milk to fill the cup.
  • Mix this with the flour mixture and continue to stir just until all of the ingredients are fully incorporated.
  • Fold in blueberries.

Batter will be very thick. Fill muffin cups about 3/4 full.

Crumb Topping

  • 1/2 cup white sugar
  • 1/3 cup all-purpose flour
  • 1/4 cup butter, cubed
  • 1 1/2 tsp. ground cinnamon

Place all ingredients into a small mixing bowl and mix together with a fork until it resembles coarse crumbs. Sprinkle over muffins before baking.

Bake for 20-25 minutes or until a toothpick inserted comes out clean.



These muffins aren’t good for a quick breakfast, but worth the time on a weekend morning when you have a little more time. And really, how could they not be delicious with a butter, sugar and cinnamon crumb topping?

It’s time to pick some blueberries and make some muffins and maybe even a Lemon Blueberry Pound Cake!

Banana Pudding Mojo

A trip to Jacksonville meant a stop for banana pudding at one of Sarah’s and Daniel’s favorite restaurants, Mojo no. 4 Urban BBQ • Whiskey Bar located in Avondale.

IMG_7296Of course, we were adults and ordered and ate dinner first, but let’s be honest, we were really there for the banana pudding.

IMG_6940Pulled pork quesadillas, beef brisket, and delicious homemade sides of macaroni and cheese, black eyed peas, collard greens, smoked yellow corn. It’s hard to decide which to order. Just another excuse for a return trip.

And, of course, that means more banana pudding.

Basketball, Strawberries & Pound Cake

Since 1977 the traditional food eaten during the NCAA College Basketball Tournament has always been strawberries. That’s because the first year John and I watched the tournament together as students at Western Carolina University, I suggested we fix strawberries. I’m not really sure why that seemed like an appropriate snack food instead of chips, peanuts, popcorn, pizza or some other food usually associated with sporting events, but in any case it was the beginning of our tradition of watching the best basketball of the year while also eating the tastiest food on the planet.

As we bought the strawberries for the final weekend of this year’s tournament, John mentioned that I haven’t baked a pound cake in 2015. He asked if I intended to make another after last year’s Pound Cake of the Month challenge.


A good traditional pound cake is the perfect accompaniment for fresh strawberries so this year in addition to basketball and strawberries, we’ll add pound cake.

IMG_7542Sour Cream Pound Cake

  • 1 1/2 cups butter, softened
  • 3 cups sugar
  • 6 large eggs
  • 3 cups all-purpose flour
  • 1/2 teaspoon salt
  • 1/4 teaspoon baking soda
  • 1 (8-oz.) container sour cream
  • 1 teaspoon lemon extract
  • 1/4 teaspoon almond extract
    Click here for the recipe from the May 2006 edition of Southern Living.

9 Tasty Egg Dishes

Spring. Easter. Time to prepare eggs. Here’s nine tasty eggs recipes to try.

First up, Hash Brown Egg Nest from the Cooking Jar.

The Cooking Jar

I’m looking forward to some Deviled Eggs (I’ll substitute brown mustard for yellow mustard called for in this recipe.)

Maybe Ham, Sausage, Hashbrown Casserole would be a good way to start the day.

Pinch of Yum

Egg Salad, a lunch treat (maybe add a little celery or onion?)

A Family Feast

Yummy Breakfast Casserole with eggs, sausage, and cheese. Something to make ahead the night before.

The Real Housewife

Or maybe try Breakfast Casserole Muffins.


Hope this one lives up to its name, The Easiest Quiche Recipe, and there are four variations.

How to This and That

What about Baked French Toast?

Carmel Moments

This should satisfy my love for Mexican: Breakfast Enchiladas

Southern Living

Looks like some good recipes to spice up one of our go to foods.

Salad for Breakfast?

I admit to being more than a little surprised when the waitress delivered my breakfast at B.D. Beans Cafe Co. on a recent Saturday morning. I’d ordered the egg and ham flat bread sandwich and I knew it would arrive with roasted red potatoes, but I did not expect a green salad with tomatoes, feta cheese and vinaigrette dressing. However, it turned out to be a pleasant surprise.

IMG_6780I guess I should have expected the unexpected since this fence is what brought me into the place in the first place.

IMG_6787I’d noticed this fence for the first time when driving through Belleview only a couple of weeks before our visit and decided I wanted to give this place a try. I figured even if the food was disappointing, I’d enjoy the decor.

I’m glad to say I wasn’t disappointed with the decor or the food, and it looks like a coffee lovers dream.

We couldn’t justify dessert for breakfast, but the cakes and other baked goods on display will give us good reason to make our next visit for lunch.


A little advice from someone who posted on Trip Advisor:

Beans is a little hard to find (it’s behind Salon 101, near KFC), but worth the effort. It’s been around for 17 years, so the atmosphere is rustic. But the food is excellent and very appealing to the eye.

Well said…how have I missed this place for 17 years?

Shamrock Punch

With a name like McCollum, how can we ignore St. Patrick’s Day? As a teacher I always recognized this fun day by preparing shamrock punch for my students. This easy, tasty treat came at the perfect time during most school years. St.Patrick’s Day frequently fell in the middle of “standardized testing season” so a glass of shamrock punch after testing served as a refreshing change of pace.

Without a classroom full of students, I won’t need to purchase lime sherbert by the gallon this year, but I plan to make some as a reminder that Spring is just around the corner. This super, simple recipe is one I remember from my childhood. My mom made this punch, not for St. Patrick’s Day, but as a cool summer treat.

Shamrock Punch

I make this by the glass instead of in a punch bowl since it’s so much easier in the classroom.

In a small (5 oz.) plastic cup add one scoop of lime sherbert and then slowly pour cold Sprite. (It’s important to pour slowly because the soda will quickly bubble up and can easily spill over the top of the cup.)

That’s it! Make some Shamrock Punch Tuesday and have a Happy St. Patrick’s Day!

Shamrock Punch

Originally posted March 17, 2013.





The Place for Pancakes

I think I’d only eaten at Wolfy’s twice in the last dozen years, maybe I was still in withdrawal from the days when their location was a Lum’s…I loved their roast beef sandwiches. But, now that I’ve finally accepted that Lum’s is gone, we’ve eaten breakfast at Wolfy’s twice in the last couple of weeks.


What a pleasant surprise! The Early Riser Special with two eggs, two slices of bacon, and two pancakes was a great choice at a bargain price, and without a doubt these were the best pancakes I’ve eaten at a restaurant (it’s hard to top what John makes at home).

On my most recent trip, I splurged and added hash browns, thinly sliced and crispy. Yum.

Friendly, quick service, and good food, we’ll be back.

And I noticed they serve roast beef sandwiches. Wonder how they compare to Lum’s?



National Pound Cake Day

It’s National Pound Cake Day, and guess who is NOT baking a pound cake?

After baking a dozen cakes last year to meet my goal of baking a new and different pound cake every month on 2014, I haven’t been baking this year, and I won’t be baking today either. However, it’s a good time to share recipes for the cakes baked last year.

January: This Southern Living magazine started this pound cake obsession with a Lemon-Lime Pound Cake

February: Strawberry Swirl Pound Cake

March: Praline Pound Cake

April: Red Velvet Pound Cake

May: Lemon Blueberry Pound Cake

June: Lemonade Pound Cake (not recommended)

July: Pina Colada Pound Cake

August: Chocolate Sour Cream Pound Cake

September: Snickerdoodle Pound Cake

October: Caramel Apple Pound Cake

November: Orange Cranberry Pound Cake


December: Vanilla Wafer Pound Cake

Now I need your recommendation for another pound cake. I’m not baking a cake today, but I am ready to tackle a new recipe.


When making plans for lunch with friends, I was less than enthusiastic about meeting at Yummy House, a new Chinese restaurant in town. I like Chinese food, but I pictured the typical buffet loaded with food in trays under bright lights, and I’m not a fan of the Chinese buffet.

What a pleasant surprise to walk in Yummy House and find an attractive restaurant filled with dining tables. Not a buffet line in sight.

The food at Yummy House was tasty, but by ordering from the lunch menu, we each had only a single entree with rice.

A return trip needs to be made with a group ordering from the full menu so a variety of dishes can be shared. No, I don’t want a buffet, but I do want to eat a variety of foods when eating Chinese.

This may be a good place for a family dinner in the future.

Gainesville = Chuy’s Time

A drive to Gainesville is much more palatable now that we’ve discovered Chuy’s. As lovers of Mexican food, this place hits the spot.

It’s hard to believe we discovered Chuy’s while over 1000 miles from home, but when the Mexican restaurant we’d carefully selected before a visit to Austin, TX was closed on Sunday, we started aimlessly driving around the city in search of lunch. When we passed Chuy’s, the brightly colored building and full parking lot looked like a fun place to eat.

Greeted with a bowl of chips and salsa we picked up the menu to order and were surprised and more than a little disappointed to find we weren’t in a local restaurant, but in a chain. However, since it was already 2:00, and we were hungry and without any other options, we decided to stay and make the best of it. Glad we did…good food and drinks and a cool, relaxing spot to regroup on a 106º summer afternoon…and as a bonus, we noticed that we could visit Chuy’s only 40 miles from home in Gainesville.

IMG_6228Gainesville for a Gator baseball game? Eat at Chuy’s

l-3Gainesville for a shopping trip? Eat at Chuy’s

l-4Gainesville for a bike ride? Eat at Chuy’s

l-2Gainesville for an event at the Phillips Center or Harn Museum? Eat at Chuy’s

Even a trip to White Springs resulted in a detour to Chuy’s.

l-5We should branch out and try some other eateries in Gainesville, but it’s hard to pass up on a chance to eat at Chuy’s on Archer Road. Where else can you find a “fully loaded nacho car”?