Kay Wheeler Moore

Welcome to my blog

Hello. . .

The Newfangled Country Gardener is for anyone who has a garden, would like to have a garden, or who simply enjoys eating the garden-fresh way. I don't claim to be an expert; in this blog I'm simply sharing some of the experiences my husband and I have in preparing food that is home-grown.

About the author

Kay Wheeler Moore is the author of a new cookbook, Way Back in the Country Garden, that features six generations of recipes that call for ingredients that are fresh from the garden. With home gardening surging in popularity as frugal people become more resourceful, this recipe collection and the stories that accompany it ideally will inspire others to cook the garden-fresh way and to preserve their own family food stories as well. The stories in this book center around the Three Red-Haired Miller Girls (Kay's mother and aunts) who grew up in Delta County, TX, with their own backyard garden so lavish that they felt as though they were royalty after their Mama wielded her kitchen magic on all that was homegrown. Introduced in Kay's previous book, Way Back in the Country, the lively Miller Girls again draw readers into their growing-up world, in which a stringent economic era--not unlike today's tight times--saw people turn to the earth to put food on the table for their loved ones. The rollicking yarns (all with recipes attached) have love, family, and faith as common denominators and show how food evocatively bonds us to our life experiences.

Monday, January 10, 2011

Snow, beware: we have our Pear-Granola Muffins to keep us warm

When we saw it on the horizon, I went into my kneejerk Richmond, VA, reaction. The forecast for plummeting temps and snow was pretty sure to happen in the DFW Metroplex in the hours and days ahead. So, as we always observed Richmonders do during our past years of spending winters in Virginia, we grocery-shopped and cooked for the impending days of cocooning.

When the cold front finally hit on Sunday, I was ready. Pear-Granola Muffins helped make a warm breakfast on a blustery, thermometer-dipping morning (although Hubby vowed these muffins were just as good fresh from the fridge because the pear chunks tasted great super-cold). Two whole pears peeled and cubed, nonfat vanilla yogurt, whole-wheat flour, and lowfat granola (with some reserved for a crunchy topping) were the health features of this super item.

When the snow arrived (rare but not unheard of for our area of Texas), we had our healthy Pear-Granola Muffins (thanks, Chickasaw Nutrition Services for the recipe) to help us enjoy its beauty.

Pear-Granola Muffins

cooking spray
1 cup all-purpose flour
3/4 cup whole-wheat flour
2 teaspoons baking powder
1/2 teaspoon salt (or salt substitute)
1/2 teaspoon cinnamon
1 egg (or 1/4 cup egg substitute)
3/4 cup brown sugar (or 3/8 cup brown-sugar substitute)
1/2 cup vanilla yogurt, nonfat
2 tablespoon margarine, melted
2 pears, diced into 1-inch cubes
3/4 cup lowfat granola, divided

Preheat the oven to 400 degrees. Lightly spray cooking spray into cups of a 12-cup muffin tin. In a large bowl whisk together flours, baking powder, salt, and cinnamon. In a separate bowl whisk together eggs, brown sugar, yogurt, and melted margarine. In the center of the flour mixture make a well. Add egg mixture to the well and mix until combined. Gently fold in 1/2 cup granola and pears. Spoon batter (1/4 cup each) into prepared muffin tin. Sprinkle with remaining 1/4 cup granola, divided among the muffins. Bake 20 minutes. Cool 5 minutes before you remove from muffin tin. Makes 12 muffins.

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