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Muffins For Mom.

The thing about moms is that you never seem to really appreciate them until you've grown up.

When you're a child mom is your best friend, banisher of monsters and kisser of boo boos. When you're a teenager she's the voice of reason, enforcer of chores and face of dreaded responsibility. When you're in college she's the embodiment of worry, telephone police and always the last one to find out about anything. When you've finally settled down and maybe even starting a family of your own she's right back to being your best friend, reliable confidant, trusted adviser.

I had struggled to draw upon one memory in particular to illustrate my mom for you. I've decided I can't choose just one because so many swim to the surface. Drawing lady bugs on band aids over my scraped knees. Letting me lick the bowl and beaters. Teaching me how to thicken sauce or roll dough. Knitting into the night squinting in her tiny reading glasses. Talking in her sleep in the dim light of the TV. Driving me to piano lessons and making sure my fingernails were cut short. Passionately singing along to songs on the radio to which she only knows half the lyrics. Sending me care packages of fudge, seeds, aprons and pearls. Calmly taking my various panicked calls about the pie, custard or turkey.

It's a well known fact that all moms love muffins. Breakfast is the traditional celebratory meal for mother's day so I combined the sweetness of turbinado sugar, the enticing scent of cinnamon and the adorable tartness of cottage cheese to make this mother's day special.

I love you mom! These muffins are for you.


Pretty Pictures.

There are a fair number of people out there that turn their noses up at food blogging. I know! Crazy right? They criticize food photography and food staging for being contrived.

But it is...

I'm not going to show you pictures of what I actually did with this rack of cookies or this plate of cake. That would be weird. Who really wants to see pictures of me stuffing my face messily, repeatedly and, dare I say, uncontrollably?

When you make something yummy your first thought isn't to place it artistically yet casually next to some perfect strawberries or pair it with a jug of milk that you'd never really drink from. And, admit it, some things we make aren't even that pretty.

This is why I spend hours in the kitchen just to bake a simple batch of cookies. 90% of this time is spent making sure my cookies don't look like junk and the other 10% is spent actually baking them.

Food photography can be a tricky business. There are tripods, expensive lenses, reflector panels, all the digital editing and cropping and let's not forget how hard it is to find photo-worthy dishes and utensils.

So yeah, it's contrived. But it's pretty. I'm all about making things pretty. Food bloggers go through a lot of trouble to bring you pictures worthy of mouth watering and stomach grumbling.

These pancakes are pretty. I didn't even need to do much to them. For reals. I just slapped them on a pretty plate, dusted them with powdered sugar, dropped a handful of raspberries on them and slathered them in syrup. Some things are just naturally beautiful.

And after turning off my camera I inhaled them, natural beauty and all. Can you blame me?


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