notes from maggie's farm
We have new neighbors, I'm told.
The home on the property next to ours has been vacant for over a year. The grass grew higher than the fence, and we had taken to tethering the goats along the property line to take advantage of the overgrowth, and keep the brush, thus the snake population, down.
But it's looked awfully sad over there for some time. The high winds did its fair share of damage to the house, and it had become quite an eyesore.
A few weeks ago we came home to find the entire property mowed, and repairs made to the home. A few weeks later, we saw that someone had hauled away refuse, and torn down a half-built shed on the property. Things were looking up.
There had never been any indication that the property was for sale, nor sold, so we could only guess what the signs indicated.
This Sunday afternoon, while I napped, a big shiny white minivan arrived, and a perfectly respectable family spilled out in front of the home. Reports held that they appeared to be unloading some things. By the time I awoke, there was no shiny white minivan or family, but I'm holding out hope that they'll be back.
I whipped up a housewarming batch just in case. It'll be so nice to see a golden glow in their windows, and signs and sounds of happy life filling the property that's been so lonely, so long.
Perfect with a bowl of steamy soup, these savory muffin bites are chockful of flavor with their creamy, pungent blue cheese nip complemented by the pep of red chile pepper and herbal freshness of earthy rosemary. Sesame in, and on, paired with whole grains, give these elegant little jewels a moist and almost chewy texture that stands up well to the heartiest of soups or stews you set them aside, and make a lovely little snack accompanied by nothing more than a smidgen of butter.
Adapted from Hodgson Mill Whole Grain Baking cookbook, Insta-Bake Easy Bake Muffins (p352), we added fresh rosemary, chopped fresh red chiles, sesame seed, and blue cheese. You could vary these additions to suit your taste. You could even keep their original sweeter version's ingredient proportions, and add a sweet touch of raisins or berries. Our plans for the next batch include fresh thyme and swiss cheese. Don't you just love a recipe you can tweak to make all kinds of flavors? The basic recipe calls for
We added the love. I bet you will, too
2 and 1/4 cups Hodgson Mill Whole Wheat Insta-Bake Mix
1 T sugar
1 t kosher salt
2 medium eggs
1 and 1/4 cup whole milk
2 and 1/2 tablespoons vegetable oil
1/2 cup sesame seeds, plus a few tablespoons for topping
1 cup crumbled blue cheese
4 T chopped fresh red chiles (we left in the seeds, but if you'd prefer a milder pepper kick, seed and remove ribs of chiles before chopping.)
4 T chopped fresh rosemary
Preheat oven to 400 degrees, Fahrenheit. Line 12 medium, or about 2 dozen mini muffin cups with paper liners.
Combine mix, sugar, and salt in a mixing bowl. Add remaining ingredients until just moistened. Fill muffin cups about two-thirds full. Sprinkle tops with remaining sesame seeds.
Bake 15 to 20 minutes for medium-sized muffins, or 12-15 minutes for mini muffins, or until tops are golden, and toothpick inserted in center comes out clean.
Now, I'm going to wrap these up with a quart of home-canned tomato soup and set out to make some new neighbor friends. I'm hoping to pay it forward for those days when our dog might just sneak under the fence to stop in for a visit. She's friendly that way.
Wish me luck!
This post featured on