Food and Garden Dailies started as a way to record my family's favorite recipes. It has come in handy many times when I'm asked for a recipe. I simply email a link to the blog! But I couldn't just stick to recipes. The kitchen is tied to the garden in so many ways...and so I let you into my ever changing garden as well.

If you're interested in my all-time favorite recipes, check out this post first: My Favorite Recipes

Tuesday, May 22, 2012

Perfect Blueberry Muffins

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In my quest to find the perfect blueberry muffin, I've tried several.  Some have yogurt.  Some buttermilk or cream cheese.  These use sour cream.  What I love about these muffins is that they're light and airy.  Moist, but not dense. 

Recently I offered a dozen of these for a school auction.  Imagine my surprise when they pulled in $60!  For a dozen!  When I baked them for the lucky recipient, I doubled the quantity, and made some for our family as well.  They're simple to make, and a great way to use up all the frozen berries I purchased last summer!

Perfect Blueberry Muffins 
(adapted from Cook's Illustrated)

Preheat oven to 375 degrees F.  Line a muffin tin with 12 paper liners.

In a mixing bowl, cream:
     5 TB softened unsalted butter
     1/2 C sugar

Add and mix together:
     1 large egg

Add and mix together:
     3/4 C sour cream (or plain yogurt)
     1/2 tsp grated lemon zest

Mix in a separate bowl and then add to the butter mixture:
     1 1/2 tsp baking powder
     1/4 tsp baking soda
     1/4 tsp salt
     1 1/2 C all-purpose flour

The dough will be thick.  Fold in gently by hand:
     1 1/4 C fresh or frozen blueberries.  (If frozen, there's no need to thaw.)

Use a cookie scoop (the spring loaded kind) to fill the cups.  You can them about 3/4 full...or even a smidge more.  Bake for 25-30 minutes, until golden brown on top.  Cool on a rack and enjoy!!


Mason Jar Salt Shaker

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I suppose I'm like most Pinterest users...I've collected tons of ideas, but created very little.  I have made a few recipes.  (The microwave popcorn popped in a paper bag has been a favorite around here.)  Today I whipped up something super simple:  a mason jar salt shaker.  The Morton's salt container works just fine.  This is just cuter when I open my cabinet!

To make it, I emptied the salt into a wide mouth pint jar.  Then I used a bread knife to cut through the middle of the salt container.  I used scissors to cut out the entire top.  I placed the round top on a piece of scrap fabric and cut out the circle.  I outlined a hole for the metal dispenser and cut it out.  Then I simply put Mod-Podge on the cardboard circle and the back of the fabric.  I placed the fabric on the cardboard, and covered the top of the fabric with Mod-Podge.  I let it dry, and then placed it on the jar, secured with a metal mason jar band.

Monday, May 7, 2012

Foreign Exchange Student

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My family is excited about the possibility of hosting a high school foreign exchange student next school year.  Part of the application process involves sending photos of your home.  We're sort of in a pickle, as I am out of color printer ink (bought the wrong kind...again!).  With the application due ASAP, I am hoping that a link to my blog will suffice.  There are dozens of photos of my home on the blog, but this post will highlight the areas that were requested.  Please pardon the poor lighting. I quickly snapped these tonight (at 8 p.m.!), but will replace them soon with better photos.  Still, they will serve the purpose!

Family room

K's/Guest bathroom
K/Guest bathroom

Guest bedroom