The Sweetest Things in My Kitchen

Sometimes the sweetest things in the kitchen aren't always what you're cooking; sometimes it's the people we cook with or cook for. As I cook, I think about the years of meals I've prepared and enjoyed with family, friends, colleagues, neighbors and perfect strangers. People coming together to share a meal is really a great unifier. I remember an elder in my family stating once at Thanksgiving that you really can't complain if your mouth is full of food. Brilliant. 

Whenever I make these cinnamon roll coffee cake muffins, I'm reminded of so many delicious sweet treats--cakes, cookies, sweet rolls, breads, puddings and the like that I've made over the years. The sweetest aroma of cinnamon, ginger, vanilla, butter and brown sugar is always welcome. It's that aroma that has rousted kids awake from a deep sleep which wasn't always easy. The recipe, Cinnamon Coffee Cake with Cream Cheese Icing from was perfect--sprinkling a few tablespoons of Ginger Spiced granola into the batter as well as on top of the coffee cake before baking. I didn't ice them as the recipe directed. The recipe calls for making this in a Bundt pan, however, I spooned about a half a cup of batter into individual ramekin cups. Either will work.

I've recently began pouring over newspaper clippings and xeroxed copies of recipes in my homemade notebook as well as some favorite cookbooks (with notations). Some of these recipes brought smiles to my face as there are a few old favorites which I'll make soon. I especially like reading the handwritten recipes from family or friends. Here’s one for Brown Sugar Walnut Cookies, written by a 90 year.

This same lady cooked simple meals and prepared foods that were relatively easy to get, usually from local markets, butchers or farms. The dinner table was a regular rotation of roasts, stews, fish, vegetables (greens, green beans, cabbage, potatoes), casseroles and homemade cakes, cookies and breads. Classic old school. Much loved.

Are there any family favorites that you miss?


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