Thursday, May 19, 2016

Lemon Chicken with Bow-Tie Pasta - a Healthy taste of Summer

Variety is the spice of Life!  Especially in the kitchen and the meals we prepare.  When our kids were still at home we tried to make sure we experienced a variety of dishes.  I will be the first to admit, we raised a bunch of fussy eaters, which made selecting recipes a challenge, but as time went on we found we were able to modify various recipes to fit our specific tastes. 

Even though Roger and I both worked, we didn't have much extra cash to use for family vacations, so cooking a variety of dishes gave us an opportunity to expand our gastric horizons and add a few cooking skills to our repertoire.

The thing I am most grateful for is the bond we created by having a sit-down, home-cooked family meal more nights than not.  It does get to be more challenging for the family to get together to have a meal as the kids get older and more involved in various activities, but it is a foundation upon which our family was built; our grown children have shared their memories of family dinners and how important they became.  They certainly didn't realize it at the time, but it certainly developed a bond that with stay with all of us.  I could go on and on about the benefits of family dinners, but I'll save that for another blog.

One recipe I came across appealed to me because it was low in fat, and could be easily adapted to include vegetables my family would eat.  It turns out Lemon Chicken with Bow-Tie Pasta has withstood the test of time as a family favorite.  It even made it into our family cookbook I put together for our children.  I cleverly called it Kalata Kookery. My oldest son, a writer, hates the alliteration, but I love the whimsy of it. 

Recently we hosted a foreign exchange student, Mrunmayi.  She is from India and stayed with us for 3 months.  She would not eat beef or pork because of religious reasons, and was, for the most part, a vegetarian.  It turns out she doesn't care for our "American vegetables", so as you can imagine, cooking for her became quite a challenge.  Roger & I were willing to eat more chicken and save the beef and pork dinners for when she wasn't home for dinner with us.  So, I pulled out this recipe and made it for dinner one night.  Fortunately, she loved it, and even asked me to make it again a few weeks later.

As it turns out lemons are quite healthy for us, they help restore the body's natural ph balance, they are rich in vitamin C, improve liver function, improve regularity, have anti-bacterial properties, just to name a few.  And, am I the only one who thinks lemons taste like summer?
I use lemons throughout the year, and I don't take the time to make homemade lemonade in the summer, so why do lemons taste like summer?  Mostly, I think, because they are so refreshing and cleanse your palate.  Plus, they smell wonderful, delicious, and citrusy (if that is a word?)

Lemon Chicken with Bow-Tie Pasta is very easy to prepare, I'm sure your family will love it as much as mine does.

6 oz uncooked Bow-Tie Pasta                                   1 medium green pepper, cut into 1" pieces
1 yellow bell pepper, cut into 1" pieces                     1 cup fat free chicken broth
4 tsp cornstarch                                                          2 tsp sugar
4 boneless, skinless chicken breast halves                1/4 cup sliced green onions
1 tsp grated lemon peel                                             Juice of 1 lemon

Cook pasta to desired doneness as directed on package.  Drain, cover and keep warm.

Meanwhile, in a small bowl, combine broth, cornstarch and sugar; blend well.  Set aside.

Cut chicken breasts into thin, bite-size pieces.  Spray large nonstick skillet with cooking spray.  Heat over medium-high heat.  Add chicken and cook until it is lightly browned and no longer pink.  Tip: You can save time if you have some chicken left over from another dinner, or a rotisserie chicken.

Add cornstarch mixture to skillet; cook and stir just until mixture begins to thicken.  Squeeze fresh lemon into this mixture and stir.  Add cooked pasta.  Heat through.  Stir in green and yellow peppers, garnish with grated lemon peel.  Hint:  Use what ever fresh vegetables your family will eat.  If you like your vegetables cooked, sauté them for 2-3 minutes before adding the cornstarch mixture to the skillet.




Makes Four 1-1/2 cup servings

While you won't ever find Lemon Chicken with Bow-Tie Pasta on the menu at Pleasant View Bed & Breakfast, I hope I have inspired you to expand your culinary skills and  to sit down at the kitchen table with your family to create some memories that will last a lifetime.  For, it is at the dining table that many relationships are built and forged.



Monday, April 4, 2016

7 Ways to Enjoy the Chippewa Valley this Spring

For those of us who live in the upper Midwest spring can be an elusive season.  It is the time of year we start to feel cooped up and long to spend time outdoors without having to wear hats and gloves.  There are days we look out the window to a beautiful sunny day, only to step outside and discover it is all an illusion.  Even though the sun may be out, the temperatures are not spring-like at all and the wind gusts remind us of the wind chills we experienced in January and February.  It seems every year at the beginning of April I come to the same conclusion, for hearty Midwesterners, spring is more a state of mind than a season we can count on to spend time comfortably outdoors.  We are between seasons, there is no snow for skiing, snowmobiling or snowshoeing.  Fisherman need to wait another month or so before they are able to fish for anything other than pan fish, and baseball season is just beginning.  For the extra-hearty die-hard Milwaukee Brewer fans, their home opener is April 4th with projected high temps in the mid-30's.  Call me a wimp, but that isn't my idea of fun.  Don't get me wrong, I love baseball, but if I am going to a game, especially at an outdoor stadium, I much prefer temps in the 70's.  I guess that just speaks to the hardiness of most upper Midwesterners.  I have no doubt the Brewers will have plenty of support on April 4th, despite the cool temperatures and my absence.  So what does all of this have to do with having fun in the Chippewa Valley this spring?  Well, dress accordingly, because we have plenty of things going on indoors and outdoors!!

  1. 52nd Annual Spring Art Show at the Heyde Center for the Arts, Chippewa Falls, WI April 10-22.  The Chippewa Valley Cultural Association/Heyde Center for the Arts and The Chippewa Herald will host over 100 artists during the 52nd Annual Spring Art Show. The non-juried, community art exhibition includes original paintings, sculptures, photos, stained glass, mosaics, ceramics and other creative art forms from artists in the Chippewa Valley and beyond.
    There will be two demonstrators for the Spring Art Show. Julio Altamirano will demonstrate his art on the opening day, Sunday April 10th at 1:00 p.m. and Mary Hermanson will demonstrate on Sunday, April 17th at 1:00 p.m.
  2. RiverBend Vineyard & Winery, tasting room opens Saturdays and Sundays during April.  those who visit RiverBend will enjoy complimentary wine samples and then purchase either a glass or a bottle of the wine they enjoyed the most.  That is the most difficult part, how to choose?
  3. 50th Annual Eau Claire Jazz Festival, throughout the city of Eau Claire, April 22 - 23.  The Eau Claire Jazz Festival is a two-day music festival featuring student competitions for middle school, high school, and college vocal and instrumental ensembles, as well as jazz events for the entire community to enjoy. The Eau Claire Jazz Festival is a production of Eau Claire Jazz, Inc., in partnership with the University of Wisconsin - Eau Claire, and brings jazz music and culture to Eau Claire area residents and visitors. It is one of the oldest and largest jazz festivals in the country.
  4. For the silent sports enthusiasts, runners in particular, you will find quite a challenge with the Chippewa 50k and 10k Trail Run in at the Ice Age Trail in New Auburn, WI.  The Chippewa 50Km Ultra Marathon and 10k are beautiful trail runs along the Ice Age Trail in New Auburn, Wisconsin. the 10K is race #1 of the Dirty 30 Trail Running Series.  For those not quite so enthusiastic about running, the Chippewa Moraine State Recreation area is home to the David R Obey Ice Age Interpretive Center, located 7 miles east of New Auburn.  The Chippewa Moraine State Recreation area is less than a 30 minute drive from Pleasant View Bed & Breakfast.  So convenient for the runners and whomever is traveling with them.  For the runners we can prepare a small breakfast of oatmeal and 12-grain toast to give you staying power for the race. 
  5. Chippewa River Distillery and Brewster Bros Brewing Co. just had their grand opening at the end of March. We are very excited to have one more venue for those traveling to Chippewa Falls to visit. Jim Stirn, one of the owners, has been creating his own brews for many years.  All of the beers served at the brewery will be their own.  Currently they are offering six standard beers and one specialty beer, ranging from stouts to pale ale.   You will find a cocktail and tasting room along with indoor and outdoor seating.
  6. If you love to listen to live bands, then the 2016 Chippewa Rotary Foundation SpringFest is the place to be.  The celebration begins on Friday, gates open at 4:00 pm.  Not just for music lovers, SpringFest is a family friendly event with over 40 vendors to share their wares with you and lots of activities for the kids.
    • Friday, April 29
      • Shirts & Skins
      • LoveMonkeys
    • Saturday, April 30
      • The Gators
      • Sue Orfield Band
      • Boogie & the Yo-Yoz
    • Sunday, May 1
      • Ari Madson
  7.  Leinenkugel's SpringFest 2016 Kubb Championship at Leinie's Lodge, April 30, 8:30 am.   Kubb teams from around the country will vie for monetary prizes and Leinie products.  The Leinie Lodge will host the tournament, with Kubb Farm as the official set provider for the tournament.  They have partnered with SpringFest to bring you the ultimate Kubb experience.
We hope to see you in the Chippewa Valley this spring, we are confident you will love it as much as we do!  And, don't forget to make your reservation at Pleasant View Bed & Breakfast while you are here.

 
 




Thursday, March 17, 2016

It's Official - Wisconsin has the best Cheese!

 
 
 
Well, I am proud to say a Wisconsin Cheese has won the World Championship Cheese Contest held in Madison, WI earlier this month.  We offer up hearty Congratulations to Emmi Roth USA for it's winning entry of  Roth® Grand Cru® Surchoix cheese.   Even though the contest is held in Wisconsin, America's Dairyland, the judges are a well rounded panel of cheese experts from around the world.  In fact, the last time any cheese from the U.S. won the Grand Prize was in 1988.  I don't claim to be a cheese expert or connoisseur, but, I do appreciate a variety of cheeses.  In fact, I would go so far to say that many of us Wisconsinites have a tendency to complain when we travel to other states and find the selection of cheeses to be lacking.  I believe this is a reflection of how fortunate we are to live in a place where excellent cheese makers abound.

Did you know Wisconsin produces more than 35 percent of all the cheese made in the US?  It has been a tradition in Wisconsin for many, many years.  Many of those producers are small family-owned and operated cheese factories working hard every day to give us those award winning cheese selections.  Wisconsin boasts more than 80 cheese factories, many of whom offer tours to the public.  You can make a day trip out of visiting some local cheese factories and sampling their products.  Of course, there is a website to help you out with that, Wisconsin Cheese Factories and Tours

Guests who stay at Pleasant View Bed & Breakfast have an opportunity to visit several cheese factories, all within a 1 hour drive.  Marieke Gouda in Thorp is a great place to visit, they produce an award-winning gouda cheese and have a café where you can enjoy breakfast or lunch.  Marieke® Gouda is their signature cheese made with an authentic Old World Gouda recipe. The equipment, cultures, herbs and spices are all imported from Holland. The rBGH free cows milk from the Penterman Farm cows couldn’t be fresher being piped directly from the first milking of the day directly into the processing vat. 

Yellowstone Cheese in Cadott, WI has been making cheese since 2007.  The farm which produces the milk used to make the cheese is locally owned by Jeremy and Heidi Kenealy, along with their children Brad and Brooke.  The Kenealy Farm is a Grade A, BGH Free farm and is located only 200 yards away from the factory.  The milk is hauled over in a bulk tank on wheels, where it is then pumped into a pasteurizer and crafted into a variety of flavored cheeses using colby, monterey jack, or cheddar for the base.

The Cady Cheese Factory was established in 1908 in Cady Township on the outskirts of Wilson, WI.  At two different points in it's history the factory was destroyed by fire, both times they rebuilt and now they produce over 50,000 lbs of cheese per production day!  The Cady Cheese Factory is known for its Colby longhorn cheese. It also produces Cheddar longhorn, Monterey Jack, and a combination of Colby and Monterey Jack called Gold'n Jack. The newest addition to the product line is the mini-deli longhorn, which is four inches in diameter - the right size for a burger or a sandwich. Cady also makes a large variety of flavored cheeses such as Hot Pepper Jack, Salsa Cheddar, Garlic Jack, Roasted Garlic Jack, Bacon and Onion Colby, Jack and Dill.

So, the next time you are looking for adventure for the day, don't forget to check out your local cheese factory.




Thursday, March 3, 2016

March Inn to Spring Cleaning Madness - Tips for cleaning your bedroom

With the arrival of March come the thoughts of spring weather.  Those of us in Wisconsin, especially here in the northern half of the state, begin to daydream of warmer temperatures, the tulips and
daffodils peeking up through the ground, the ice melting off of the area lakes, robins looking for worms in our lawn.  Most of us up here realize it will be another 40 to 50 days before that really happens, but we can dream of it anyway.  So, what are we left with?  Well, the other day we were fortunate enough to have some unusually warm weather, it got above 50 degrees and, since I have lots of windows with southern exposure, I was able to open them up and get some much appreciated fresh air into the B&B.  This led to thoughts of deep cleaning the house.  I try to do this once every 3 or 4 months to make sure our guests are very comfortable while visiting Pleasant View Bed & Breakfast.  With  5 guest rooms, this task can be somewhat daunting.  So, what I have found to be helpful for me is to break down the chores into specific tasks.  Then, the challenge is to stay focused and not get side-tracked by all the other things you notice along the way.  I will share with you how I break down my chore list, feel free to adapt to what everworks for you.

Make a list of each room that needs to be cleaned.  I find it easier to concentrate on similar rooms as the cleaning chores in those rooms are very similar.  Cleaning the bedrooms seems to work the best for me.  Then break down the chores into segments that will take 15-30 minutes.  This will help you keep track of what has been completed in each room and when you find you have a few minutes between obligations you can quickly cross off something on your cleaning to-do list.

Every surface in the bedrooms need to be wiped down or vacuumed, so I start from the baseboards and work my way up.  In my personal space sometimes the most overwhelming task can be sorting through the miscellaneous items I have left lying on my dresser or night stand. So, this is the first order of business.  Clean up all items lying around, either on your dresser, night stand, or on the floor.  In order to concentrate on the actual cleaning of the bedroom you may need to grab some boxes to organize items that need to be dealt with at a later date.
  • Once the clutter is cleaned up the first thing I do is pull the furniture away from the walls toward the center of the room so I can wipe down the baseboards.  If the woodwork is painted I use 1 cap full of Mr. Clean concentrated cleaner to one ice-cream bucket full of hot water to wipe down the baseboards.  If the wood is sealed I use Murphy's Oil Soap, 1/4 cup to one gallon of water.  Be sure the cloth is just damp, water can damage the wood, make sure you don't leave any standing water on your wood surfaces.  If the wood is natural and not finished, I use the brush attachment on my vacuum to clean the surface.
  • Wash the walls if necessary.  I am not in the habit of washing the walls every time I deep clean the house.  This can be very time consuming.  I do this on an as-needed basis.  When I do wash the bedroom walls, I just use the same Mr. Clean solution as on the painted woodwork.  For any smudges or marks that may not come off of the wall I use a Mr. Clean Magic Eraser.  Those things really work, but you have to be careful, I always test a spot on the wall to make sure it isn't going to take the paint off.
  • Vacuum crown molding.  Do you have crown molding?  Then all you need is the brush attachment on your vacuum and you can vacuum the cob webs away.  I haven't always had crown molding, but still made a habit of vacuuming up where the wall meets the ceiling to get rid of cob webs.
  • Vacuum the floor.  If you have carpets you can push the furniture back in place once the vacuuming is done .  If you have wood floors, a quick wipe with your favorite floor wood cleaner, such as Murphy's Oil Soap or Bona makes some excellent products to care for your wood  or laminate floors.
  • Wash doors and trim-work. 
  • Now comes the tricky part, you may need to move the furniture in awkward spaces so you can be sure to completely clean the floor where the furniture usually sits.
  • Put the furniture back.
  • Dust all dressers, night stands and knick-knacks.
  • If you have enough time to tackle the closet, keep in mind this is a great way to make some donations to your local charity that helps distribute clothing and household items to the needy in your area. 

    • One rule of thumb I try to keep in mind that has really helped me declutter, if I have not worn it or used it in the last 2 years I probably won't, so get rid of it.
I have to admit, while cleaning is not my favorite task, I do love the feeling of a freshly cleaned room.  Getting rid of clutter and things just taking up space gives me a sense of liberation and a renewed spirit.  So, carpe diem, let's try to get our homes whipped into shape before the nice weather arrives and we can spend time in the great outdoors guilt-free!

Sunday, February 21, 2016

Fantastic Recipe for Creme' Brulee French Toast

As I was doing my research for a fantastic Valentine's breakfast that my guests would never forget (that is always the goal, whether or not I accomplish that is another story), I found a recipe for Creme' Brulee French Toast.  When you go to a Bed & Breakfast you would expect to see French Toast on the menu.  I constantly challenge myself to provide my guests with a breakfast they would not cook for themselves or something different than what they would order when they go to their favorite restaurant for breakfast.  So, if I am going to make French toast, it had better be something pretty spectacular.  I found this recipe on AllRecipes.com I thought would be good.  My, oh, my, let me tell you, good is an understatement!  You know I always say a clean plate is the best compliment an innkeeper could ever ask for, and I had clean plates across the board.  I like this recipe because you prep the night before and then pop it in the oven the next morning.  I served with pork sausage links we buy from the butcher in Chippewa Falls, along with a locally made maple syrup to drizzle over the French toast, and, because it was Valentine's weekend, chocolate covered strawberries.

Gather the following ingredients:

1/2 cup unsalted butter                      1 1/2 cups half-and-half cream
1 cup packed brown sugar                  1 teaspoon vanilla extract
2 Tbs corn syrup                                1 teaspoon brandy-based orange liqueur
6 1-inch thick slices French bread        1/4 tsp salt
5 eggs

Melt butter in a small saucepan, mix in brown sugar and corn syrup, stirring until sugar is dissolved. Pour into a 9x13 inch baking dish.

The recipe says to remove the bread crust, I did not do this and found the presentation to be just as beautiful as posted on the allrecipes.com website.  Also, I did not use Grand Marnier® as recommended in the recipe.  I went to the local liquor store and purchased an airline sized bottle of a brandy-based orange liqueur. While Grand Marnier® is delicious, and I am sure substitutes are just that, substitutes, there are plenty of things going on in this recipe, so I felt the real deal was not missed. Since the recipe calls for 1 teaspoon, I did not see much reason to invest in a large bottle of liqueur.  There are purists who feel there is no substitute for Grand Marnier®, so if you don't want to make a sizeable investment in the large bottle, look for the airplane size bottle of Grand Marnier®.

Remove crusts from bread, and arrange in the baking dish in a single layer. In a small bowl, whisk together eggs, half and half, vanilla extract, orange brandy, and salt. Pour over the bread. Cover, and chill at least 8 hours, or overnight.


Preheat oven to 350 degrees F (175 degrees C). Remove the dish from the refrigerator, and bring to room temperature.

Bake uncovered 35 to 40 minutes in the preheated oven, until puffed and lightly browned.

I know your friends and family will enjoy this recipe as much as we did at Pleasant View Bed & Breakfast.  You could save it for a special occasion, such as a birthday or holiday celebration.  Or, sometimes just getting the entire family together at the same time to the breakfast table is reason enough to celebrate.  I am willing to bet if they know you are serving Creme' Brulee French Toast, they will be seated anxiously waiting for you to serve breakfast.  And who knows, you may start a new family tradition.

Tuesday, February 16, 2016

5 ways to enjoy Chippewa Falls in February and March


 As a relatively recent transplant to Chippewa Falls, my husband and I have been pleasantly surprised by the number of activities in the community.  But, when I take a couple of seconds to really think about that, we shouldn’t be.  We purchased Pleasant View Bed & Breakfast in 2014 because of the location, not only is the B&B located on Lake Wissota, but the Chippewa River runs right through the heart of Chippewa Falls.  The water provides for the usual outdoor activities, such as hiking, boating, fishing, skiing and swimming.  More importantly, Chippewa Falls has a dynamic business community that is engaged in community service, both locally and internationally.  It is those business leaders that are involved in the Rotary Club, the Lions Club, Kiwanis Club, etc., which have a significant impact on the community.  You will find some examples of those philanthropic events in the list below.  Chippewa Falls also has a great Center for the Arts which is always providing wonderful entertainment for all ages.  Remember, we all work hard, we need to take care of ourselves and be sure to have some fun so we can relax, rest and rejuvenate. This allows us to be fully engaged in all we do, not only for our spouses and family but also at work.
 
 
1.      February 28, 2016, at 2:00 pm.  Bob Bohm’s Variety & Magic Show at the Heyde Center for the Arts. Magician Bob Bohm brings magic, comedy and fun in a show jam packed with lots of audience participation and live animals with the aim to delight and amaze the audience. This super show is an unbelievable experience! Bob along with his animal assistants – Thurston, a giant white cockatoo, and Toby, a small brown dog – combine amazing magic and fun with astounding grand illusions. Bob takes audience participation to a whole new level presenting good clean wholesome fun that kids to adults, even grandparents enjoy.


 
1.     March 5, 2016, 9:00 am – 8:00pm.  Loopy's Annual Mad Hatter Volleyball Tournament at Loopy’s Saloon, Grill & Event Dome just west of Chippewa Falls on County Hwy X.  Sign up as mixed couples, play rotating 4's, 24 couples max, seeded to 3 - 8 couple groups - upper, mid and lower. Pay out based on 24 couples.
 
 


   3.  March 5, 2016 at 7:00 pm and March 6, 2016 at 2:00pm, Healing Harmonies at the Heyde Center for the Arts. Group singing can be both exhilarating and transformative. It takes something incredibly intimate, a sound that begins inside you, shares it with a roomful of people and it comes back as something even more thrilling: harmony. This year’s theme focuses on the health benefits that singing has on the singer and the listener. It is well known that music can be profoundly comforting to those with dementia and their caregivers. Music can bring joy and comfort to the families and loved ones who have struggled with the effects of dementia. The CVCC is based at the Heyde Center and has been in existence for over 30 years.
 
 


4.      March 17 thru March 20, 2017, TV Town – A Midwest Musical Comedy at the Heyde Center for the Arts.  A famous stage actress and her brother approach a banker in a small Midwest City, hoping to borrow money to start a television station. They have pooled their life savings to purchase a TV broadcast license, leaving them with no collateral for a loan. The banker directs them to a local radio station owner who has a building – plus a fiancée willing to invest her savings in television equipment. The four of them create a partnership to launch WHAM-TV. WHAM’s local program, “TV Town” gains instant popularity when a jealous rivalry develops between the famous actress and the radio man’s fiancée. Ratings are further boosted by news reports of three local sisters seeing a flying saucer. As a publicity stunt, the TV station offers a $10,000 reward for a photo of a UFO. The contest attracts the attention of a New York con man and his girlfriend. They hatch a plan to collect the reward. The FBI assigns a lady agent to investigate. Unpredictable love interests take hold as the plot thickens! Directed by Jerry & Carol Way and Amanda Tanzer, the production will be a treat for the eyes and ears of every visitor to “TV Town.”

 



   5.  March 19 10:00 am till 3:30 pm Stampede Stampin & Scrapping Expo at the Eagles Club in Chippewa Falls. This event gives stampers and scrap bookers an opportunity to do make and take projects, participate in the card buffet and purchase the newest products at our one day event. The Stampin and Scrapping Stampede EXPO is a not-for-profit fundraiser. Sponsored by Chapter BF, P.E.O. Sisterhood, an international philanthropic, educational organization, our purpose is to advance the role of women in the world through scholarships.
I hope I have inspired you to make a trip to Chippewa Falls in the next few weeks.  There are a few things I am certain you will find once you arrive:  a warm, friendly greeting, great customer service, and parking should not only be easy to find, but is usually free!  Oh, and if you are looking for a place to relax, rest and rejuvenate, Pleasant View Bed & Breakfast is just the place for you!!


 

 
 

Monday, January 25, 2016

Easy Gluten Free Blueberry Muffins









Some of the guests who come to Pleasant View Bed & Breakfast are requesting a Gluten-free diet.  Whether it be for a gluten sensitivity due to celiac disease, or a personal choice, these folks have eliminated wheat, rye and barley from their diet.  As an innkeeper I am always eager to please my guests and give them an experience like no other, and since I am relatively new to this profession, I had some research to do so I could take excellent care of my guests.  Since my guests are greeted with fresh baked cookies and a muffin tray is offered in the morning I wanted to be sure to include all guests and not have to exclude anyone because of dietary restrictions.  If you are looking for more information on Celiac Disease, the Celiac Disease Foundation
is a great place to start. 
My research yielded the discovery that there are plenty of gluten-free options for baking. In fact, it turns out there is a wide variety of gluten-free products.  You can even find recipes to make your own gluten-free flour, Erika's All Purpose Gluten Free Flour Mix, if you are adventurous enough to try mixing your own.

At this point in my career I am not that adventurous and found a gluten free flour that you can substitute for All Purpose Flour cup for cup.  It doesn’t get much easier than that, no need to calculate conversion rates.

  • 1 egg
  • 3/4 cup milk
  • 1/2 cu vegetable oil
  • 1 tsp lemon zest
  • 1 tsp Lemon Extract
  • 2 cups all-purpose flour, or whole wheat flour, or gluten-free flour
  • 1/3 cup sugar
  • 1 TBS baking powder
  • 1 tsp salt
  • 1 cup fresh blueberries or ¾ cup frozen blueberries thawed and rinsed
  • 3 TBS Coarse Sugar
Preheat the oven to 400°.  Fill a medium 12-cup muffin tin with paper muffin liners.  Beat the egg, stir in milk, vegetable oil, lemon zest and lemon extract.  The lemon zest and lemon extract are something I added to a basic Blueberry muffin recipe I found years ago.  I felt that recipe was lacking something so I tried adding the lemon zest and extract to add an extra depth of flavor and have been pleased with this recipe ever since.  Stir in flour, sugar, baking powder, and salt until combined.  Fold in blueberries.
Fill muffin cups about 2/3 full.  Sprinkle coarse sugar on top of muffins.  Bake 18-22 minutes, until golden brown or a toothpick inserted comes out clean.  This time of year, can you think of a better way to start out a Saturday morning than with fresh baked blueberry muffins?  Even better, you can put the leftover muffins in your freezer and then pop them in the microwave for 20-30 seconds when you are ready to have another muffin.
Some of my guests have become accustomed to doing without such treats as muffins when they travel or go out for breakfast.  I had one guest who became somewhat emotional when she discovered I take the time to prepare food that she can eat and enjoy.  And that, folks, is why I love being an innkeeper.