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comfort & joy | Home & Away

1 deviled eggs on romaine in tupperware a deviled egg yolk ingredients boiled yolks ready for filling on romaine c recipe for deviled eggs deviled egg filling two teaspoons deviled eggs mom's way

Deviled eggs: one tasty dish that I associate with the return of Spring.  I first remember eating them at my grandma’s house for Easter dinner, then as part of the potlucks during Memorial Day and Fourth of July cook-outs.  It never occurred to me why my deviled eggs never tasted like those that I remembered eating at family gatherings.  I had been following, what I thought were, fairly standard deviled egg recipes; they all included some sort of mustard.  It turns out that the deviled eggs I grew up to love only had three ingredients — eggs, sugar and “salad dressing” (a sprinkling of smoked paprika was my addition).  I learned this fact when I made deviled eggs with my mom this past Easter, her way.  She turned to her recipe box and pulled out an index card describing her mom’s recipe.  We laughed at the spelling of the title, and she told me, “I typed this recipe card the day before I left for college.”  Slightly sweet and simply egg-creamy.  Now I look back at these photos and think of the promise of Spring and the comforts of home.

A helpful resource: 5 Secrets to Perfectly Hard-Boiled Eggs – thank you, Design Mom.

2 diebenkorn phillips collection3 laib wax room phillips collection 4 afterwords cafe 5 afterwords crabcake pasta 6 astro doughnuts dc 7 astro doughnuts on the rack 8 astro doughnuts cinnamon and lemon blueberry doughnutsOne D.C. afternoon, I took the Red Line to Dupont Circle station. I walked one block west on Q Street to 21st Street and entered the doors of the Phillips Collection. Next, dreams came true.  Sitting on a bench in the Rothko Room, standing in the Laib Wax Room, turning the corner to encounter Bonnard, Diebenkorn, Grandma Moses, and The Migration Series.  I consciously reminded myself to breathe.

Hours later I walked back onto the street and consciously reminded myself to eat.  Crabcake pasta at Afterwords Cafe, and a buy-one, get-one-free good fortune at Astro Doughnuts (cinnamon and lemon-blueberry, respectively).  It was more than two weeks ago, and I am still gathering my thoughts about that one May afternoon.

a cloud sculpture central park a magnolia central park south blossoms west fifty seven (six)A few weeks ago I was in Manhattan for a quick research trip with my mom (though all researchers know that there is no such thing as quick research).  It was snowing when we flew into the city at midnight, and despite cool temperatures, there were signs of spring throughout the city.  These photos were taken nearby Central Park South.  Sculpture by Olaf Breuning.

1 morning superpowers muffin half sweet potato 2 roasted sweet potato skinned in foil 3 ingredients morning superpowers muffins 4 empty batter bowl with scoop 4 ready to bake morning superpowers muffins 6 morning superpowers muffin in tinIf ever a muffin were meal-worthy and meaty, this is the one.  It begins with a mashed sweet potato and ends with a team of ‘superfoods’ encased in the batter.  This is the type of muffin that you throw in your backpack before a hike or grab on the way out the door to make up for breakfast.  Or better yet, have it for breakfast, toasted and topped with peanut (or other nut/seed) butter, and you will face the day as a force to be reckoned with!  The recipe below is a riff on a paleo inspired recipe for Morning Glory Muffins.  My version includes dried blueberries, walnuts, flaxseed, and coconut.  Did I mention that there is no butter, oil, or refined sugar in them; they really are super muffins.

Morning Superpowers Muffins

Ingredients:
1/2 cup mashed sweet potato (one small-medium sweet potato)
1/4 cup honey
2 eggs (slightly whisked)
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1/2 cup all purpose flour (3/4 cup almond flour for GF version)
1 t cinnamon
1/2 t cardamom
1 t vanilla extract
1 t baking powder
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1/8 cup shredded carrot
1/2 cup shredded coconut (I used unsweetened)
1-2 T flaxseed
1/2 cup dried blueberries
1/2 cup raw walnuts
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Directions:
  1. Preheat oven to 350-degrees.
  2. Mix all ingredients together in a large bowl (in three steps) until fully blended.
  3. Coat muffin tin with cooking spray or papers and divide batter evenly.
  4. Bake for 30 minutes.
  5. Allow to cool completely.  Even better the next day.  Makes 6 big ones!

1 close up slice glazed hot toddy bundt 2 lemon bourbon honey glaze on bundt 3 four roses bourbon lemons honey jar 3 lemon zest sugar 4 creaming butter sugar lemon bundt mixing batter hot toddy lemon bundt slicedHot toddy weather seems to be here to stay this winter. It seemed only natural to me to create a bundt cake inspired by the honey lemon bourbon beverage.  The perfect slice to complement hot tea, hot toddy, or hot company.

Hot Toddy Bundt Cake
adapted from Taste of Home

Cake
1 cup butter, softened
zest of two lemons
3 cups sugar
6 eggs
3 cups all-purpose flour
1/4 teaspoon baking soda
1/4 teaspoon salt
1 cup (8 ounces) sour cream
2 teaspoons bourbon

Glaze
juice of 2 lemons
1 teaspoon honey
1 teaspoon bourbon
2 cups confectioners’ sugar (maybe more)

In a bowl, cream butter. Gradually beat in sugar and lemon zest until light and fluffy, about 5 minutes. Add eggs, one at a time, beating after each egg. Combine flour, baking soda and salt; add to creamed mixture alternately with sour cream and bourbon. Beat just until blended. Pour into a greased and floured 10-in. tube pan. Bake at 325° for 1 hour and 25 minutes. Cool in pan 15 minutes, then transfer to a wire rack to cool completely.

Whisk together glaze ingredients. Using a pastry brush, coat the surface with glaze. Repeat every ten minutes or so to build up a sweet layer (think of it like basting). If you do not have the time or patience, thicken the glaze with additional confectioners’ sugar to make a frosting for spreading over the top.

ornament snow cap small backdrop small in focus snow top small layers snowy creek small walking small with mushroom platter snowA quiet hike in the snowy woods on New Year’s Day, before the snow fell heavily. And haiku inspired by the photos.

edging the tree trunks
fungi catch the weightless flakes
perches for snowfall

frozen apples hang
high in the snowy forest
nature’s ornaments

thin layer of ice
beneath reflection and snow
looks like the night sky

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