Tuesday, July 24

A Long Long Time Ago, in a Kitchen Far Away (Mocha Muffins)

I made these muffins a long time ago.  So long ago, it happened while I was pregnant.  Which is a long time ago, since my kiddo is now cruising (though unsteadily and slowly) along the furniture.

What's out there, mom?

Anyway, I made these to take with us on our trip to Cape Cod last summer.  They're everything that a great muffin should be, moist and rich, with a nutty crunch from the pecans.  They'd be perfect with some french vanilla coffee for a tasty weekend morning, sitting outside before the heat hits, sharing the first hours of the day with those you love.  The recipe is from Tate's Bake Shop, and like everything Kathleen King makes, they're perfect.

Wednesday, July 18

Empty Fridge... (Vanilla Coffee Creamer)

Hubs, kiddo and I spent the past two weeks at the seashore about an hour away, commuting back and forth to work when we had to.  It was a lot of fun, but eventually it was time to come home.  We all trooped home, unloaded the cars, and fell into bed.  The next morning, the kiddo and I went downstairs for breakfast, and I opened the fridge to find...nothing.  No milk.  No cream.  Nothing to put in my coffee.  (Well, besides breast milk and Similac and I'm really not ready to go there.)

What I did have, serendipitously, was exactly what I needed to make homemade french vanilla creamer.  So I did.  So should you.  It's 100 times better than the stuff in the bottle - no artificial flavors, no corn syrup, nothing with long scientific sounding names.  Just creamy vanilla goodness to start your day off right.

French Vanilla Creamer 
(a girl, a dog & an oven original)

1 can evaporated milk
1 can sweetened and condensed milk
1 vanilla bean
3/4 teaspoon vanilla extract

Note:  I used fat free sweetened and condensed milk, you can use whatever kind you want.  Also, if you don't have vanilla beans, omit that step and up the extract to 1-1/2 teaspoons.

Pour the evaporated milk into a medium sized bowl.  Scrape the seeds from the vanilla bean and mix them into the milk.  Throw the pod in for good measure and give it a stir.  Add the extract.  Microwave on medium high for 60-90 seconds, until the milk is warmed.  Remove the pod and add the sweetened and condensed milk.  Whisk until smooth.  Store tightly covered in the refrigerator for up to 10 days.
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