by Debra on August 9, 2010

Musical pairing – Taking Chances by Celine Dion

I DID IT!!! I flew by myself to Pennsylvania last Friday, rented a car and drove BY MYSELF (with Lilly’s help – I’ve named my GPS Lilly) to the home of ThreeManyCooks and met people I only knew on Twitter; then flew back home on Sunday – YAY FOR ME!!! Only a couple of times where I panicked – once when I couldn’t figure out how to get out of the rental car parking lot . . . go ahead I’ll wait for the laughter to die down . . . and once on the return of said car to the same said parking lot at 5am when I learned that they weren’t open that time of morning.  My plane was to take off at 6:05 and I still had to print my boarding pass and get thru security . . . but in my defense, I hadn’t slept but 10 hours over the last three days . . . so there may have been a teeny bit of hysteria during that part of the trip . . .  yes, I am a wuss and a drama queen all rolled into one . . .

The day was near perfect, and I say ‘near’ because we’ve decided that the event needed to be longer – we loved hanging out with one another and hope we get to do it again soon!  I came away from the weekend having learned something about myself and experienced several ‘light-bulb’ moments.  Plus I now have another 30-some new friends!  So thank you, ThreeManyCooks, IvoryHut and SavorySweetLife – I am inspired, encouraged and uplifted by each of you.

Arriving in Indianapolis, The Professor met me at the gate and I have to admit, my heart still leaps when I see him; married to this man 13 plus years and I still love him – am in love with him.  He’s my best friend, my rock, my number one fan, my encourager . . . I could go on but you’ll be gagging and he’ll be rolling his eyes when he reads this.  Like I said, head-over-heels in. love. with. him.

So we’re walking to the car and he tells me that he has cleaned the house, run the vacuum, did the dishes, made the bed and ran a load of laundry . . . awwwww . . . did I mention that I love him?  We get to the top of the escalator and he says, ‘I picked up some groceries at Trader Joe’s – got everything on your list . . . and I also got a speeding ticket . . . ‘  Huh?!  My head snaps in his direction and I busted out laughing . . . ‘How much is the ticket?’ ‘Don’t know, I have to go online.  I was going 54 in a 40 zone.’  I’m still laughing, we pay for our parking, start walking towards the car and then The Professor says, ‘I also fixed the kitchen lights while you were gone . . . but those fixtures were really old and the ballasts wouldn’t work anymore.  So I replaced them with new light fixtures . . . I don’t like them and I know you’re not going to like them.  And I made a complete mess in the kitchen – there was plaster and dirt all over the stove, all over the floors, all over the counters – I should have used a tarp, but I didn’t.  I’m glad you were gone because it would have driven you crazy.’  By this time, we’ve arrived at the car; he opens the hatch and hands me a bouquet of beautiful flowers, ‘Welcome home!’ he grins, leans down and kisses me.  I’m laughing hysterically and say, ‘So I get the good news about all the house cleaning, then the news about the speeding ticket and the light fixture and now I get flowers – kinda sandwiched the bad parts in between the good parts.’  ‘That’s pretty much it,’ he said.

I love this man and he makes me laugh.  (He’s right, the light fixtures look like two rectangular space ships . . . they will be coming down very soon . . .)

This recipe was one of the most talked about, twittered about and swooned about from the workshop.  I made them for The Professor as soon as I got home – he is forever grateful to Jen of How To Simplify for enlightening me on the virtues of having a recipe like this one around.  Don’t wait, make them as soon as possible and you will be enlightened too!

HowTo: Simplify


For the muffins:

1 3/4 cup flour
1 1/2 teaspoons baking powder
1/2 teaspoon salt
1/2 teaspoon nutmeg
1/2 teaspoon cinnamon
1/3 cup oil
3/4 cup sugar
1 egg
3/4 cup milk

For the coating:

1/4 -1/2 cup butter, melted
1/3 cup sugar
1 Tablespoon cinnamon


1. Preheat oven to 350 degrees and grease a muffin tin.
2. Combine flour, baking powder, salt, nutmeg and cinnamon in a medium bowl.
3. Combine oil, sugar, egg and milk in a large bowl. Add dry ingredients and stir only to combine.
4. Bake at 350 degrees for 15-20 minutes. While muffins are baking, melt butter in a small bowl. In another small bowl, combine the sugar and cinnamon.
5. Shake muffins out of the muffin tin while the muffins are still hot.
6. Dip muffins in the melted butter and then into the sugar and cinnamon mixture. Place on a wire rack and allow to cool.