Sunday Quote braces for a busy May

Posted by on Apr 30, 2017 in Blog, Quote | 0 comments

“The very existence of libraries affords the best evidence that we may yet have hope for the future of man.”
~ T.S. Eliot

Read More

Bready or Not: Jumbo XXL Lemon-Blueberry Muffins

Posted by on Apr 26, 2017 in Blog, Bready or Not, breakfast, lemon, muffin | 0 comments

You could made normal, piddly muffins. Or you can make ENORMOUS HONKIN’ MUFFINS like the kind you get in bakeries. These Jumbo XXL Lemon-Blueberry Muffins taste pretty darn good and will fill your belly, too.

Bready or Not: Jumbo XXL Lemon-Blueberry Muffins

These muffins pans are surprisingly cheap. Amazon has a couple different kinds. Search for “jumbo muffin pan” or “Texas muffin pan.” (Because everything is bigger in Texas).

Bready or Not: Jumbo XXL Lemon-Blueberry Muffins

Confession: one reason I like these muffins is because they are pretty. I add a couple blueberries on top to make sure they don’t all sink, and I add some turbinado sugar to make them glisten.

Bready or Not: Jumbo XXL Lemon-Blueberry Muffins

Then there’s the size. Look at the pictures here and you’ll see that silver cup for size contrast. That’s 1 cup. Yeah.

Bready or Not: Jumbo XXL Lemon-Blueberry Muffins

If that’s too much muffin for you to eat, you can easily cut one in half. Or you can do what I do and freeze most of the batch. Wrap’em up in a few layers of plastic wrap and they’ll keep well in the freezer for a few weeks.

Bready or Not: Jumbo XXL Lemon-Blueberry Muffins

That’s a perfect way to make these cakey lemon-blueberry bombs last a little longer!

Modified from Sally’s Baking Addiction. Shared another version of this recipe in 2013 on my LiveJournal.

Bready or Not: Jumbo XXL Lemon-Blueberry Muffins

Bready or Not: Jumbo XXL Lemon-Blueberry Muffins

Use a jumbo muffin pan to make delicious and ginormous lemon-blueberry muffins, just like the kind you get in bakeries! These muffins are best eaten within a day or two, but they can also be frozen to enjoy later. Eat at room temperature or warmed.

  • 3 cups all-purpose flour
  • 4 teaspoons baking powder
  • 1 teaspoon salt
  • 1 teaspoon ground cinnamon
  • 2 eggs, room temperature
  • 1 lemon, zested and juiced
  • 1 cup sugar
  • 1 cup milk (almond milk and half & half work well)
  • 1/2 cup canola oil
  • 1/2 teaspoon vanilla extract
  • 6 ounces fresh blueberries, washed and patted dry
  • sparkling or turbinado sugar for the top, optional

Preheat oven at 425-degrees. Use nonstick spray or butter on the muffin pan.

In a medium bowl, mix together the flour, baking powder, salt, lemon zest, and cinnamon. Set aside.

In a large bowl, whisk together the eggs and sugar. Mix in the milk, oil, lemon juice, and vanilla extract. Mixture will be pale and yellow.

Gradually stir the dry ingredients into the wet ingredients, making sure to scrape the bowl, but don't overmix. The batter will be thick and somewhat lumpy.

Carefully fold in the blueberries, reserving some to place on top of the muffins.

Pour the batter into the greased muffin tins, filling just about to the top. Add the reserved blueberries and some turbinado or sparkling sugar, if desired.

Bake at 425-degrees for 5 minutes, then reduce oven temperature to 375. Continue to bake for about 25 minutes. The tops should be lightly golden, and the muffins should pass the toothpick test. Allow them to cool for 10 minutes in pan, then remove to begin eating or to allow them to cool completely on a rack. (If you leave the muffins in the pan too long, they will steam and get soggy.)

Muffins are best eaten within a day or two, but they can also be frozen for later enjoyment. Eat at room temperature or zap in the microwave to warm up.

OM NOM NOM!

 

Bready or Not: Jumbo XXL Lemon-Blueberry Muffins

Read More

Sunday Quote feels poetic today

Posted by on Apr 23, 2017 in Blog, Quote | 0 comments

“Listen to the mustn’ts, child. Listen to the don’ts. Listen to the shouldn’ts, the impossibles, the won’ts. Listen to the never haves, then listen close to me… Anything can happen, child. Anything can be.”
~ Shel Silverstein

Read More

4 Ways to Affordably Acquire Historical Research Books

Posted by on Apr 20, 2017 in Blog, writerly advice | 0 comments

When you’re engaged in historical research, web pages often are not the best sources: old-fashioned books are. But how do you find the right books? How do you acquire them? How do you afford them?

- Use Wikipedia, but scroll down.
Sure, Wikipedia can provide a decent synopsis of a subject, but the most useful information is in the footnotes at the bottom of the page. That’s where you find cited data, such as book titles and theses. Follow the links and you might even find the materials online for free!

- Libraries still exist.
Shocking, isn’t it? You can go to physical libraries and get books for merely flashing a library card. Look into inter-library loans or see if you can access college libraries nearby. Librarians are available to help you out, too.

- Buy used books.
This is my preferred method of research, simply because I like to hold onto content for future reference. My favorite shop is Better World Books because the shipping is free, the selection is great, and my purchases benefit charities. I also look for used books on Amazon and Half.com.

- Find free ebook archives.
Most people know about places like Project Gutenberg and its efforts to digitize old books, but it’s not the only such resource. State and city governments and museums are also creating more online archives. For example, check out the California Digital Newspaper Collection created by UC Riverside or Washington State’s Online Library of classical state literature ranging from pioneer biographies to native tales or the San Francisco Library’s 1906 earthquake photograph collection. Savoring the Past has digitized a numerous 18th and early 19th century cookbooks. Don’t forget Amazon, either. Look up classic books and check their availability for Kindle; sometimes you can find them for zero dollars or for almost nothing.

Trust me. When you’re deep in the word mines and require dozens and dozens of books to world-build an alternate history, those free and almost-free books are worth a whole lot.

Reposted from Novelocity.

Read More