This is the time of year that becomes difficult to cook. You muster your strength to again survive the harsh cold of winter (this one being especially challenging), knowing that spring is just a few short weeks away. But wait. March 20 doesn’t instantly bring a new season of fresh produce. Plants are still seedlings, barely yet being transported from greenhouse to ground. It’ll be another month at least before we see the first stalks of asparagus make their way to the Greenmarkets and still longer for those first stalks of rhubarb and ripe strawberries.
Can you believe it’s practically March, yet here we are, still in another wave of deep freeze? My Foodie Penpal package was late this month, going out and coming in. Not due to anyone in particular’s fault but thanks to good old Mother Nature. For those of you not in the northeast, the day before Valentines Day we were greeted by yet another blizzard. The 4th? 5th? 20th? of the year? To any extend, shopping trips and shipping were delayed. Though as always, when the box arrives on my doorstep, it’s always worth the wait.
I’ve always had a thing for lemon poppy seed muffins. Why I’ve never made them, I’m not sure. The extra stress of shopping for poppy seeds? Who knows. So when I was assigned to Traci’s Burnt Apple blog, through the Secret Recipe Club, I knew exactly what I would be making. I absolutely love Traci’s honesty. In her introduction, she admits to making a muffin so hard her husband tossed it through the wall, literally. She couldn’t cook. Yet her determination and growing family, forced her to take on the challenge. Burnt Apple is filled with healthy recipes, but unless you read the recipe, you’d never know. Everything just looks so tasty!
For the longest time chestnuts have been somewhat of an anomaly for me. I love their subtle, nutty flavor, but have enjoyed them in dishes at restaurants, never at home. During the holidays, supermarket shelves are packed with canned and jarred chestnuts, begging you to “buy me!”.