“Some people like cupcakes exclusively, while myself, I say there is not–nor ought there be–nothing so exalted on the face of God’s great earth as that prince of foods, the muffin!” (Frank  Zappa)

Then again, some people think they don’t like muffins. But those people (whoever they are!) really should try these, because if you like cornbread and you like blueberries, well, what’s not to like? They’re sweet little corn cakes with fresh blueberries baked inside, all sorts of golden on top, perfect for breakfast or snickity-snackin’!

Yeah, you want one right now. I completely understand, so sit down in that chair right there, let me show you how it’s done (fire on the mountain, run, boys, run!). If you had any idea how many versions of that song I had to click through to find the correct version (NOT the “son-of-a-gun” one!). 😉 HA HA!


¼ cup butter, softened
scant ¼ cup light brown sugar
scant ¼ cup granulated sugar
1 egg
½ teaspoon vanilla extract
½ cup milk
2 tablespoons orange juice
3/4 cup all-purpose flour
¼ cup cornmeal
½ teaspoon baking powder
1/4 teaspoon baking soda
1/8 teaspoon salt
½ cup fresh blueberries

Cream butter and sugars. Add egg and vanilla; mix well. Add milk and orange juice. Combine dry ingredients; add to creamed mixture, stir till moistened. Now stir in half to three quarters of the blueberries. Save a handful to sprinkle over the top of each muffin—the rest of the blues will sink to the bottom.

As usual, I love my Wilton silicone baking cups for making muffins, or any single-sized serving of something. Either brush them with melted butter, or use softened butter to coat them, then spoon the batter JUST UNDER the fill line. When you sprinkle the extra blueberries, you should hit the fill line.

Bake at 400 degrees F for 20 minutes or a toothpick inserted into the center comes out clean.

Makes 9-10 delicious muffins. Best that’s ever been? I dunno–maybe so. You tell me!

Yesterday was a perfect day for baking here in the Land of Steady Habits–chilly with desperately needed pouring rain. What better time to let the oven help warm the house with something sweet and delicious?

When my #1 taster says, “That’s a keeper!” I know I’m onto something. This blueberry almond cream cake is a riff on my own favorite muffin recipe, but with blueberries, a layer of almond cream and a streusel topping. Whether you call it breakfast or dessert, I hope you might call it a keeper, too.


Streusel Topping
¼ cup all-purpose flour
¼ cup light brown sugar, packed
¼ teaspoon ground cinnamon
2 tablespoons cold butter*

Combine dry ingredients in a small bowl; cut in butter with a knife–or fork together. Set aside.

*I made my streusel with softened butter the second time and melted butter the first. It was the consistency of wet sand both times. Though it was rather Zen-like dropping pieces of streusel over the top of the cake, doing it properly with cold butter is probably a better bet. Hmm, a better butter bet!

Almond Cream
4 oz. cream cheese, softened (Neufchâtel is fine)
1 teaspoon almond extract
¼ cup powdered sugar

In a separate bowl, beat all ingredients until smooth. Set aside.

The Cake
½ cup butter, softened
1/3 cup light brown sugar
1/3 cup granulated sugar
2 eggs
1 teaspoon vanilla extract
½ teaspoon almond extract
1 cup sour cream
4 tablespoons orange juice
2 cups all-purpose flour
1 teaspoon baking powder
½ teaspoon baking soda
¼ teaspoon salt
6 oz. fresh blueberries

In the bowl of a stand mixer, cream butter and sugars. Add eggs, vanilla and almond extracts; mix till smooth. Add sour cream and orange juice. Combine dry ingredients; add to creamed mixture gradually–I do so in 4 or 5 separate additions–till moistened.

Butter a 9″ pan. Layer half of the cake batter in pan. Top/spoon with almond cream…

Then top with blueberries…

Smooth remaining cake batter over blueberries…

Then sprinkle streusel evenly over the top…

Bake at 400 degrees F for 35 minutesor till a toothpick inserted into the center comes out clean. Like this!

I snagged the first corner piece while it was still piping hot. Please note the NOM NOM NOM factor of the melted brown sugar!

I love the pretty blues and purples. Kinda reminds me of a killer sunset I caught last week.

Wishing you a week filled with pretty colors–both in the kitchen and outside your windows!

Are you a morning person? It’s worth waking up a little early to make these cranberry-orange muffins. Then, no matter how your day goes after that, you’ll know at least you had a productive–and DELICIOUS–start.

Seeing a spectacular sunrise is an added bonus. I must share the view from Katty’s Kitchen early Monday morning.

“Rise and shine–let the sun hit your eyes!”

This recipe yields between 7 and 10 muffins–depending on whether you overfill a bit or not. Purr-fect for when you don’t have many people around to help you eat them. You can double the recipe to feed more of your friends and family.


1/4 cup butter, softened
1/4 cup light brown sugar
1/4 cup granulated sugar
1 egg
1/2 teaspoon vanilla extract
1/4 teaspoon almond extract
1/2 cup sour cream
2 tablespoons orange juice
1 cup all-purpose flour
1/2 teaspoon baking powder
1/4 teaspoon baking soda
1/8 teaspoon salt
1/2 cup fresh cranberries, chopped (the mini-food processor is very helpful–and you can throw the candied orange peel in there, too!)
2 tablespoons candied orange peel, chopped

Cream butter and sugar. Add egg and extracts; mix well. Add sour cream and orange juice. Combine dry ingredients; add to creamed mixture, stir till moistened. Now stir in the cranberries and orange peel.

I love ()  my Wilton silicone baking cups–what is not to love about heart-shaped baked goodies? A little extra lovin’ from the oven, if you will. 😉 I brush them with melted butter, then spoon the batter in till it reaches the fill line.

Bake at 400 degrees F for 20 minutes or a toothpick inserted into the center comes out clean.

Buongiorno, amici! Make it a great day today!

Got extra bread on hand?  I picked up a tasty ciabatta  at Whole Foods this weekend, which always brings to mind this song. What I didn’t use to make sandwiches is perfect for making strata. Of course, it would be divine for chocolate bread pudding, too, but that’s a story for another day.

I’ve categorized this as breakfast, but I love strata any time of day, really–breakfast, lunch or dinner. Hope you’ll love it, too. Know that this recipe is easily adaptable to include different meats or veggies, so it can be a framework for your own strata-fication! 🙂


8 eggs
2 cups milk (I used 1% Over the Moon)
¼ cup whipping cream
1 cup shredded cheddar (plus additional ¼ cup or so to sprinkle on top)
4 cups of your favorite bread, cubed
2 teaspoons Penzey’s Sunny Paris seasoning
1 small bunch broccoli, maybe 1/4 pound or so, cut into small pieces
¼ pound prosciutto sliced thin, cut into strips
(I usually use pancetta, but either porky P works!)
1 shallot, chopped
6 mushrooms (I used baby bellas)

Beat eggs, milk and cream in L A R G E bowl–the big, blue bowl I use to serve pasta is the perfect size for this. Add shredded cheddar, Sunny Paris, salt and pepper. Stir bread cubes into egg mixture. This part of the recipe should hang out in the fridge for a couple of hours or overnight.

When you’re ready to complete the recipe, steam the broccoli for approximately 2 minutes, then set aside.

Get a sauté pan going on the stove with olive oil.  Add prosciutto, then shallots and continue to cook until the shallots are somewhat golden. Add mushrooms and let them  cook for a few minutes. It’ll look like this:

Stir prosciutto/shallots/mushrooms into the eggs, then add broccoli. Pour ingredients into a buttered 9″ square baking dish. Sprinkle top of strata with additional shredded cheddar.

Ready to bake!

Bake at 350 degrees F for approximately 50 minutes or till top is lightly golden and eggs are set. Let stand 10 minutes before serving.

Strata–it’s what’s for dinner again tonight in Katty’s Kitchen! Enjoy!

Last week I was “prescribed” spinach prepared in a cast iron skillet, three times a week. As far as prescriptions go, this is a particularly tasty one. Native spinach is readily available at local farm stands and I’m ready to experiment with new/interesting ways to go green.

Native spinach in world's coolest colander--note grape cut-outs!--from Berruti's Harvest House (Main St., Glastonbury, CT)

I was never a fan of cooking in cast iron. It’s heavy as all get out and I never seemed to grow adult wrists (!), but using two hands helps. Best of all, cooking in cast iron can increase your iron intake.

"It's gettin', it's gettin', it's gettin' kinda heavy..."

So, here’s a quick ‘n easy breakfast idea. Sautee a clove of garlic in a little bit of butter, then add a generous handful of fresh spinach and squeeze a quarter of a fresh lemon.

When the spinach cooks down (just a few minutes), make a little “nest,” crack an egg into the nest, cover the pan and cook to your desired consistency. I let mine cook about 3 to 4 minutes so the yolk could run all over the plate. Mmmmmmmmmmm. Spoiler alert: serious food porn to follow!

Ready for the waterfall effect?

Once the yolk had set a little, I topped it with a slice of fresh mozzarella in the pan. I am determined not to waste one bite of that creamy, dreamy cheese I bought earlier this week for my Capellini Caprese. A sprinkle of Penzey’s California Seasoned Pepper over the mozz completed the dish, served atop buttered toast.

Ahh, yes, the cascade of yolky goodness! Dig in!

I am (iron) woman, hear me roar! “I’ve got the power!” Oh, and true confession? I cooked two strips of Bob Evans maple bacon in that same pan. Dessert, if you will, because I wholeheartedly agree: bacon is meat candy! Please don’t tell Dr. Buckley.

How about an almond-y twist on French toast? Talk about almond joy! I often make this just for me.

Almond French toast with "meat candy"


1 egg
splash of milk
¼ teaspoon almond extract
1 teaspoon sugar

handful of sliced almonds
2 slices bread (I used a lovely sourdough boule)
butter for toasting
maple syrup

Whisk together egg, milk, almond and sugar; soak bread with egg mixture. Toast in a buttered pan over medium heat till golden brown. Aw, heck, you know what French toast is supposed to look like–kinda like faint tiger-stripes on each deliciously eggy slice (see above!).

Throw the almonds in to warm them up in some of the butter. You can simply sprinkle them over the top of the toast, but getting them buttery beforehand is an even better idea.

Serve with vanilla maple syrup–take a vanilla bean and let it hang out and infuse in your syrup bottle. Mmmmmmmmmmm! I had mine with candied bacon and blame Rick Bayless for wearing his “Bacon is meat candy” t-shirt when I saw him on Mexico: One Plate at a Time yesterday. It’s dangerous to be quite so suggestible…and dammit, I want that t-shirt. 🙂


Dredge bacon in brown sugar and cook as usual. My favorite way to do it is in the oven on foil (or parchment). Just about 10-12 minutes per side at 350 degrees F will do the trick. IMPORTANT: resist the temptation to blot or rest the bacon on a paper towel no matter how you cook it ’cause it will stick!

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