Most productive morning in weeks.

Thanks, in part, to the City Minion who decided that 6:30 a.m. was the perfect time to sweep the streets, and, in part, to an impatient little black dog who wanted breakfast, I was up before 7 this morning even though I have today off. (I, in fact, have the next several Friday’s off, in an effort to use up some vacation time and get some much needed time at home.)

Rather than wallow in self-pity, though, I decided to get up and start my day. I had several bananas that were just about overripe that I wanted to make muffins or bread or something with and we’re going to some friends tonight for a barbecue and are supposed to bring something desserty, so the arrival of the newest Cooking Pleasures (the Cooking Club of America* magazine (website is largely members only) yesterday was well-timed.

There are several recipes in this edition that I want to try – there’s a recipe for Chicken Satay with peanut sauce that I’m *dying* to try (I’ve been accused of only ordering the chicken to use as a vehicle for getting as much peanut sauce as possible into my mouth.. I will neither confirm nor deny that motive. *grin*) and a couple other things on the grill that I’m intending to try to talk Jack into trying. There’s also a recipe for “Fruity Morning Muffins” – which, in addition to bananas, has strawberries and raspberries – and a recipe for “Mixed Berry Cobbler”, both of which I made this morning before it got to warm to contemplate turning on the oven.

The muffins are spectacular. Moist and delicious and perfect for quick breakfasts. I had two for breakfast this morning and have stashed half of the rest in the freezer for later and the other half will undoubtedly be gone by midweek. The cobbler looks wonderful, but as it’s for the barbecue tonight, I haven’t tasted it yet. But really, it’s fairly difficult to mess up cobbler, so I’m not expecting any tragedy.

While the cobbler was baking, I had some coffee and checked my email** and watched My Man Godfrey with Jack. Once the cobbler was finished, I grabbed my little garden spikey-diggy-up-thing and went out to weed the interior garden bed in anticipation of soon being able to plant the 4 O’Clocks and cucumbers there. Managed to get a rather large blister on my finger, but the bed is weeded and ready to planted once the plants get just a little bit bigger.

And it’s not even noon yet. *self-satisfied smile*

.. I wonder if I can make that chicken satay for lunch..

* The Cooking Club of America is well worth the membership. I am, in fact, a lifetime member (which means I don’t pay dues anymore because I paid something like 10 years of dues all during one year), so I get the magazine every two months and all the wonderful recipes and pictures and also get the opportunity to test products free. Most recently, I was sent a coupon for a free bag of Ghiradelli 60% Cacoa Chocolate Chips, which I already use regularly to make truffles because they melt and set up so nicely and taste divine. I’ve also tested spice mixes and kitchen tools and a popover pan and a variety of other things over the last several years and while none of it has been hold-the-phone-oh-my-this-is-really-valuable, we have found several things that have become staples of our kitchen. Plus, it’s fun to try out new things and both the magazine and the product tests give me an excuse to do that. Oh, and they have several recipe exchange things and you can order reprints of any recipe they’ve printed, up to something like 6 per year free and for a nominal charge after that.

** Got some rather terrible news in so doing. Nothing that is terrible directly for us, but news that the child of an acquaintance died last night. Obviously, this is nothing to simply gloss over and we are sending are thoughts to the parents as they struggle with what is undoubtedly hell. We are well assured that they are surrounded by a multitude of loving and supportive friends and family, though, so they are getting whatever solace is possible from those that love them.

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