Thursday, January 31, 2019

The Best Corn Muffins

While many of you are dealing with extreme cold and snow, I am thanking my lucky stars that we are experiencing our typical Florida winter of some mornings in the 40's, but still warming up to the 60's
by the afternoon.  And that will last only for a couple days, and then we will be back to the 70's for

a few months. We did have a very nasty day on this past Sunday with rain and wind all day and chilly temperatures too.  We were invited to watch the MSU basketball game (our first loss in the Big Ten - so sad) at a friend's house  and when she said she was making chicken chili, which sounded so good on a cold day, I offered to bring these delicious corn muffins.  They are definitely not low calorie, but by adding all kinds of fun ingredients, they are not your mother's dry corn muffins either.

This recipe makes a pretty big batch (around 20), but I just froze the extra and they will be great to pull out from time to time.  I always use Jiffy Corn Muffin mix, because they are a local, Michigan based company and are a memory from my childhood.  But, any brand mix will do.  It's the other good stuff that really makes this recipe special.  Enjoy!

The Best Corn Muffins Recipe

3 eggs
3 T vegatable oil
1 15 ounce can cream style corn
1/2 cup frozen yellow corn
1/2 cup sour cream
1 cup shredded Monterey Jack cheese
1 small can diced green chilies, drained
2 packages Jiffy corn muffin mix

Preheat oven to 375 degrees.  Place muffin cups in 12 serving muffin tin.  Beat eggs and oil until well combined in a large mixing bowl.  Add creamed corn, frozen corn, sour cream, cheese and diced green chilies.  Mix and stir just until moistened.  Batter will appear lumpy.

Put batter in prepared baking cups with an ice cream scoop, filling almost full. Bake for 20-25 minutes until just starting to brown on the top. Remove from muffin tin and cool on rack.  Bake second batch as needed. Store leftovers in refrigerator.

Thursday, January 24, 2019

Life Lately

First a note: there seems to be a bug going around Blogger and I am unable to upload photos from 
my mobile device (iPad) and the app I use.  It looks like it is a known issue, but I may have to figure something else out until it's fixed. So, here is a post with just one photo, just for today.

When we first moved to Florida, I couldn't have imagined how full and busy my life would become. And, there are still a few more things I want to get involved in and I'm sure more friends to be made. I love being active and there really is so much to do when the weather is nice all the time.

We are really enjoying getting together from time to time with a new friend group of local MSU alumni and fans to watch the football and basketball games. If we can't be tailgating on campus or attending games at the Breslin Center, it's the next best thing. It was our turn to have everyone over Monday night and it was a fun group and a great win. I made fajitas and a pitcher of margaritas, which we enjoyed while watching the basketball game. Here's to continued success for our Spartans and a deep run in March Madness.

I have been going to yoga on Venice beach on various mornings, but I went to the sunset class last week and it was as wonderful as it sounds. The peace that's comes with a yoga practice and the sun setting into the Gulf of Mexico in the background, is something not be be missed. Life is good in Florida.

On Tuesdays, I golf with a group of ladies in my neighborhood and it has been so much fun and a great way to really connect. It's very informal and we mix up the pairings each week, so you are always golfing with someone new. The snowbirds are back, so our group is bigger again and after golf, we always enjoy a glass of wine at the clubhouse. And, slowly, but surely, with consistent golf, my game is coming back.

It has been awhile since I used my doughnut pan for oven baked doughnuts, but I saw a recipe for Old Fashioned Sour Cream doughnuts on Pinterest and I was in the mood for a quick and simple glazed style doughnut. These are really good and by baking, you reduce the fat. I also used Truvia to reduce the sugar, but unfortunately, the powdered sugar in the glaze kind of cancels that out. So, like I always say, indulge, but practice portion control. Life is short - eat a doughnut when you want. Recipe and original pin here.

Tuesday, January 15, 2019

Outlander Thoughts



I have a lot of thoughts about Outlander Season 4. But first, a little background. Over twenty years ago, I discovered the Outlander book series and have read each one many times and have eagerly anticipated each new one as is was published and the story continued. The wait time between books is anywhere from three to five years. There are currently eight books in the series, with book nine set to be published in 2019 and then a book ten (the final book) to come. So, you could say that I am invested in this book series. Being a lover of history, I find these books facinating, especially the detail of life the Scottish Highlands and in colonial America.

I had high hopes for the Outlander television series and while very good, it also has issues that as a book reader, I find hard to overcome. I have lowered my expectations and learned that the books are the books and the show is the show and that is fine. The characterizations at times aggravate me, but the sets, and especially the costumes are outstanding and bring the words on the page to life in ways I never imagined.

Season four (based on book 4, Drums of Autumn) has been really good for the most part. There has been a lack of chemistry between Claire and Jamie that is troubling, Claire's characterization has been wrong many times, but Jamie's is the best it has been since season one. Casting continues to be amazing and the newest villian, Stephen Bonnet, is deliciously bad. The costumes, especially the native American's, are something special and so interesting. The dialogue is best served when it comes from the book, otherwise it can be extremely clunky. Fraser's Ridge is something the show runners and set production got very right.

Here, along with photos from the episodes, are my favorite season four scenes, so far.




From Episode 1 - the Gaelic funeral lament at the colonial tavern. Such a great way to give our Highlanders a welcoming link between Scotland and America and the many Scottish immigrants in North Carolina.


Also from Episode 1 - Ed Speleers (Jimmy from Downton!) as Stephen Bonnet is amazing in every scene, but especially in the harrowing final scene on the river boat.



Jamie meeting Aunt Joscasta and our first glimpse of her plantation, River Run


Roger and Bree at the Highland Festival. Loved her clothes from the 1970's.


Jamie and Bree meet for the first time. Straight from the pages of the book and couldn't have been more perfect.


Life at home on Fraser's Ridge has always been my favorite part of the books.


Lord John and Bree's friendship translated well from the book to the screen and it was my favorite part of last week's episode.

For other posts on Outlander, just type Outlander in the search box on the sidebar and they will all come up. If you are an Outlander reader or watch the show, I would love to hear your thoughts.

Happy Tuesday!


Thursday, January 10, 2019

Olive Pizza Appetizer




This is a recipe that I pinned ages ago, but decided to try when I needed to take an appetizer to a football watching party. Do you do that with pins on Pinterest? You pin something that looks really good, but the pin languishes on one of your boards until it occurs to you that yes, you pinned it for a reason.

So, to describe this I'm going to reference that veggie appetizer that was so popular maybe fifteen years ago with a cresent roll base. This is very similar, but the base is pizza crust and the topping is a mixture of green olives, black olives and kalamata olives. (I used refrigerated pizza dough) You need to be an olive lover to enjoy this, but if you are, the flavor of the three kinds of olives together is delicious. I also like that the cream cheese layer incorporates fresh chopped parsley. It really brightens the flavor.

If you love olives, give this one a try the next time you need a quick, simple appetizer that has a wow factor. The original pin and recipe can be found here.

Happy Thursday!


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Monday, January 7, 2019

Winter Reading List



This list is a bit late if you count the start of winter as December, but there are still a lot of cozy winter days ahead, where a good book is called for. Especially for those of you who can curl up with a book, in front of the fireplace, on a snowy day. My reading spot here in Florida may not have a fireplace, but I love to sit on the comfortable couch on my lanai, with a blanket and a cool breeze blowing off the lake. Or, on those warmer winter days here, when the sun is shining and the temperatures are perfection, the lounge chair at my pool is the perfect spot to read a book too.

I have struggled with finding good books lately, but have high hopes for this list. As usual with my reading lists, I include a lot of the different genre that reflect my taste. I hope you find something you like and will let me know if you did.

Happy Reading!


A collection of personal essays and recipes


A favorite author of the Jane Whitefield series. This story has a similar sounding plot.


I never miss a Lisa See novel


I loved The Widow and The Child, so looking forward to this new one.


I love this author and have read all her books, but this one didn't get great reviews. Has anyone read this yet?


I have one book to add that I recently read and that I have conflicting opinions about.



It's probably the best book I have read in a long time and it's getting a lot of buzz. I could not stop reading it and it was deliciously creepy. But, the sexual content was excessive and lazy writing in my opinion. (Hello Fifty Shades of Grey) If you liked Gone Girl, this book is for you. Also the ending, while thought provoking, could have been fleshed out a bit more. It ended with more of a fizzle than a bang and left me wanting more. Have you read it yet and what did you think?


Linking with Show Us Your Books


Tuesday, January 1, 2019

Top 3 Recipes 2018



To be honest, I don't post nearly as many recipes as I used to, and 2018 was no exception. But, like all my blog posts these days, I'm not writing for the sake of writing, but because I really have something to say. The same could be said for my recipe posts. If I make something delicious, I want to share it and even better if it fits in with my trend towards a healthier lifestyle. Sometimes my top recipe posts feature all sweet treats or main dishes, but in 2018, my readers seemed to want something with a healthier twist. These three recipes were not just one time experiments either. I make all three consistently, especially the Chickpea Tuna Salad. It's such a great alternative to a sandwich lunch and I'm always looking to cut carbs wherever I can. So, the top three recipes in terms of pageviews are below, from third place to first place.


No Bake Peanut Butter Bites


4 Ingredient Applesauce Pancakes


Chickpea Tuna Salad


Happy 2019! May it be both healthy and happy.


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Michigan ➡️ Florida
family, books, gardening, palm trees, the beach, golf, up north, msu football, detroit tigers, walking with my dog, trying new recipes, musicals, BBC, martinis, yoga, lilly

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