• Animal, Vegetable, Miracle
    Animal, Vegetable, Miracle
    by Barbara Kinsolver and others
  • Ad Hoc at Home
    Ad Hoc at Home
    by Thomas Keller

Apple Bran Muffins

I've been searching for a good, whole wheat and bran muffin recipe that is dark, rich and not too sweet. After tweaking and re-tweaking a Bob's Red Mill recipe, I've come up with one that's really quite good. Because there is so little fat in this recipe, it's important to throughly grease or spray your pan or use muffin cups. I experimented with spraying pan spray on the inside of the muffin papers in the second batch & they came out really well. 

Dry ingredients

Honey Crisp Apples


Apple Bran Muffin Recipe

Oven - 400 degrees     Yield: 24 mini muffins or 12 large muffins


1 cup whole wheat flour

1 cup wheat or oat bran

1/2 cup golden raisins (optional)

1/2 cup diced apple

1 cup grated apple

1 tsp baking powder

1 tsp baking soda

1/2 tsp Kosher salt

1 tsp cinnamon

1/2 tsp ground cloves

2 TBL brown sugar

1 cup milk

1 tsp vanilla

1/2 cup molasses

2 TBL vegetable oil or melted butter

2 eggs


Preheat oven to 400 degrees. Combine & stir dry ingredients - set aside. Combine and stir wet ingredients. 

Combine wet and dry ingredients & stir just until mixed. Scoop into well greased muffin tins or tins lined with paper muffin cups. Bake 16-20 minutes. 

These are great just as they are or split and toasted, then topped with a sliver of sharp cheddar cheese. 











Maverick Big Wave

Last weekend we had planned on attending the Maverick Big Wave surf contest in Half Moon Bay, but work got in the way and we stayed closer to home. We got lucky!  Check out the big wave that broke across the beach and injured a number of spectators


February Lettuce Babies

The unseasonably warm weather on the Central Coast of California has allowed us the quickly germinate another round of lettuce. Check out their big brother fava beans in the background. 


Winter Salad

These little field of greens has been feeding us salad for months!

A wonderful thing about growing your own lettuce is that it is fresh as it can possibly be and there is no waste. Enough lettuce is cut and washed for our salad, then wrapped in a dry towel and refrigerated for 30 minutes or so. Combined last night with slivered fresh fennel, red onion and a simple vinaigrette, it made a wonderful addition to our dinner. 

Simple Vinaigrette

1 small clove of garlic, minced

1 sprig fresh thyme - chopped

1 tsp Dijon mustard

1 TBL Spanish Sherry vinegar

2 1/2 TBL Extra Virgin Olive oil

1/4 tsp freshly ground black pepper

1/4 tsp Kosher salt. 

I mix this in a small jelly jar, put the lid on and shake it up and serve. Yum!




Simple sides or the whole meal!

Our little garden is offering up abundant amounts of Swiss Chard . This crop, in cool weather, is something of a slow grower, but with careful picking it has fed the two of us very well.  Planted at the end of October it's still producing new growth in February. Compared to the chard I buy at the market it is unusually tender. I trim the plants & we cook and eat them within an hour. 

Super healthy, beautiful to look at and simply delicious. 

Sauteed Greens


6 cups of cleaned greens (chard, kale etc)

1 strip bacon or 1/4 cup chopped pancetta (optional)

1/4 yellow onion, slivered

1 clove garlic - minced

1/2 tsp red chile flakes

1/4 cup water

2 tsp Spanish Sherry Vinegar

1 TBL olive oil

Kosher salt and freshly cracked black pepper to taste


Clean the greens really well by submerging them in a sink or large bowl of cold water. Depending upon how dirty the greens you may have to do this several times. The grit will fall to the bottom of your bowl or sink. Lift the clean greens out and pile into a large bowl. Stop to admire their lovely color!

Cut the stalks from the leaves and cut in small dice. 

In a large saute pan that has a lid, warm the olive oil. (add optional pork product here) Add the onion, chard stems & chiles & cook for a couple of minutes. Stir in the garlic, watching carefully that it does not burn. Toss in all the wet greens at once. Stir well. Add water, turn down heat, cover and cook until tender. (Our garden greens cook in as little as 7 minutes. Larger greens may take up to 25 minutes to be tender). Remove lid from pan, stir in vinegar & season to taste with salt and pepper. Eat!


Great with any grilled meat or fish; served over brown rice or eaten all by itself. Leftovers are fantastic folded into an omelette & topped with a few crumbles of soft goat cheese)


Winter Squash with Apples and Onions 

1 medium winter squash (Delicata, Butternut, Sweet Dumpling, Acorn etc)

1/2 sliced yellow onion

2 small, tart apples

1 cup chicken stock

2 tsp olive oil (butter works too!)

1 TBL apple juice concentrate

1 1/2 tsp fresh thyme

1 tsp Kosher salt

Freshly cracked black pepper to taste

This batch has a mixture of Delicata squash & garnet yam. 

Peel and cut squash into bites sized chunks. Core apples and cut into the same sized chunks. I don’t peel the apples though they certainly may be peeled if you prefer. Slice or dice the onion. Mix together the olive oil, chicken stock, apple juice concentrate, thyme, salt and pepper. Toss everything together to coat well. Pour into a casserole dish & cover with a lid or foil. Bake at  375 degrees for about 30 minutes. Remove lid and cook another 20-30 minutes until squash is completely cooked & is getting a bit brown on the edges.  

This is so good that I always make plenty for leftovers. Combine the leftover squash mixture with equal part of chicken stock and voila -instant squash soup!  Mixed with black beans and a little sharp, crumble white cheese this makes excellent burritos.