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Monday, December 8, 2008

  Monday Morning Mirth  

. . . it had to happen . . .

You Are a Blueberry Muffin
 

You are a nurturing, domestic, homey person. Of all the types, you are the most likely to make your own muffins at home.

You don’t like to rock the boat, and you’re most content when you’re making everyone else happy. You are very loyal. You’ll defend your family and friends, even if you secretly disapprove of what they’re doing.

You tend to be a bit shy and withdrawn. You don’t make friends quickly or easily. But once you do make a good friend, the chances are high that you’ll be friends for life.

What Kind of Muffin Are You?


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Thursday, December 4, 2008

Ever since I went to New York a few weeks ago, I’ve been enjoying a new morning routine. In addition to my cuppa coffee, breakfast is always eaten. That one important meal-o-the-day was one that was often times a passing fancy instead of a main stay and I’ve turned over a new leaf.

The first day (and every day thereafter) my friend Edie and I left the Hotel Barclay for some sightseeing fun, we went into a local coffee shop for a bite. This bite turned out to be Greek yogurt and a muffin. Now I’d never had Greek yogurt before and it was a delightful surprise: cool, thick and creamy. It came with about a tablespoon of honey to be swirled it into the yogurt before spooning.

YUM!

Almost everyday since I’ve been back in Chicago, I’ve enjoyed something like this in the morning. Many days since, I’ve gone to the Lavazza across from work and enjoyed their yogurt with strawberries (plain and unsweetened) with a banana muffin on the side.

But I wanted to get back to my routine of eating at home, leisurely style before the day begins. It is a bad habit to rush around in the morning instead of attempting to smooth into the day. For me, it sets the tone for the next hours; if I’m rushing, I never calm down. If I take time to peacefully open my body and mind to my activity, with some food to fuel the effort, my whole attitude is more effective.

Getting the yogurt was the easy part. There were a couple of brands of Greek yogurt at the market and I also enjoyed trying the organic plain by Brown Cow out of California. (This one is also really good to dip chips in).

But I needed some muffins and made some mini-s:
1/3 c butter or margarine
1/2 cup sugar
— Cream together then beat in
2 eggs
— Add in lightly
3 mashed bananas
— Stir in
1 1/2 cups flour
1 t baking powder
1/4 t salt
as many walnuts as you can stuff in there (about 3/4 cup with some reserved to sprinkle on top before baking)
— Bake at 400 degrees in greased tins for about 20 minutes

Makes about a dozen regular size muffins. I made them smaller and got 18.

Only thing about mine — next time I’ll wait a couple of days more for the bananas to turn completely black before using for baking. Mine weren’t quite as sweet as they should be.

I also have seen Baking Soda used instead of Baking Powder so I’m going to give that a go too. Any reasons that makes a difference?


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Monday, December 1, 2008

  Monday Morning Mirth  


. . . visitors love to pose with the giant ornaments . . .

Now you might think Chicago is Home of the Big Shoulders, but we like to think of it as Home of the Big Ornaments! I can’t tell you how excited I was the other day enjoying my Thanksgiving Bratwurst over in Daley Plaza at the Christkindlmarket. The Mayor’s Christmas Tree was all aglow and decorated and by gosh it looks like he even remembered us this year!

Now, this tree is a Miracle of Modern Science itself!

It starts out as a forest of trees, probably in my lovely home state of Michigan, where Pine is King!

These dozens of evergreens are married together, one by one on 3 platforms, uniting to make a gorgeous humongous Specimen of the Holiday.

 
 
But then the magic begins! Lights and gigantic ornaments are hung by the hundreds with care. It ends up being even bigger than the Picasso!

 


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