A Tale of Two Muffins and Three Cakes


Yesterday I had a porch party. It was really a late birthday lunch for four of my wonderful friends who all happen to be Marys. The porch cooperated with perfect weather, a little sun and lots of falling leaves. We had gouyeres with a glass of wine before lunch. That’s not really a recipe for Richard’s cookbook, but they were actually fun to make (and eat) so it’s one I’ll pass along. 

The plan was to recreate the lunch I had on the porch of the tearoom in the Smokey Mountains, so we had lobster pot pies. The recipe I used for the cream sauce was one that someone gave me in the waiting room of a doctor’s office, and was written on an advertisement from a magazine. The tearoom potpie had cheese in it, which can be iffy with lobster. My sauce had lots of sherry instead. We had two salads, toasted Israeli couscous with grilled vegetable –yum- and the strange yet tasty collard green salad from the tearoom. I actually made spice muffins twice. They stuck impossibly in the pan the first time, and almost as badly the second. Good, but a lot of trouble.

I wasn’t the only one who had made a recipe more than once. You know someone loves you when they make a birthday cake for you not once, not twice, but three times! Mary Jo took issue with the mayor’s husband’s cake being the best show in town and she set out to prove it.  According to Mary Jo, too much yakking on the phone sent the first cake straight to the trash. The other two came over for lunch and I have to say they were both just delicious. One was very cakey and the other very fudgy and dense. The icing was to die for; in fact I’m having a little cake and a lot of icing right now with my coffee. 


It was a perfect afternoon and the perfect opportunity to allow me to write that I’m taking a break from daily blogs for a while. I’ll still post every few days, so I hope you keep reading.  The recipes for the cookbook are complete and ready to go. Now it’s time to concentrate on finishing everything else. Sammy is adding a section for comments where you can offer advise and let me know what you think of the recipes. You can also hit the email link below to comment. I can’t wait to write that the cookbook is complete and off to the publisher. Stay Tuned!



1/2 c water 

1/2 c milk 

1 stick butter, cut into tablespoons

large pinch of  salt 

1 c flour 

4 large eggs 

3 ½  ounces shredded Gruyère cheese (1 cup), plus more for sprinkling  

freshly grated nutmeg 


Preheat the oven to 400°. 

Line 2 baking sheets with parchment paper. In a medium saucepan, combine the water, milk, butter and salt and bring to a boil.

 Add the flour and stir it in with a wooden spoon until a smooth dough forms; stir over low heat until it dries out and pulls away from the pan, about a minute.

Let cool for a minute or two. Beat the eggs into the dough, 1 at a time, beating thoroughly between each one. Add the cheese and a sprinkle of nutmeg. 

Transfer the dough to a large baggie and cut a hole in the tip. Pipe tablespoon-size mounds onto the baking sheets, 2 inches apart. 

Bake for 20 minutes, or until puffed and golden brown. Serve hot, or let cool and refrigerate or freeze.

Reheat in a 350° oven until piping hot. Sprinkle with a little more cheese.

© Deer One Publishing 2019