First Thing in the Morning… a Sharp Knife and a Good Cutting Board

In the morning, before I get up, I think about what I’m going to fix for breakfast for my hubby and myself and what kind of sandwiches I’m going to make for his lunch. Because I am still half asleep, when I get downstairs to the kitchen, I like a sharp knife and a large wooden cutting board. Standing at the counter cooking at 7:30 in the morning is one of many things I do to keep healthy and energized and having a sharp, long, slender, serrated steel knife that slices through tomatoes quickly, on top of a stable, wooden cutting board, gets the job done. The sooner I get the breakfast routine done, the sooner I can move on to things I really enjoy, like gardening, writing and ironically, cooking and baking… once I’ve woken up.CreatespaceAcornsAndEat'emFRONTCOVER

Suellen Ocean is the author of many books on diverse topics. Her books are available here:

Using Polenta for Baking Corn Muffins and Throwing in Some Unusual Spices

One of my favorite wintertime pastimes is making biscuits and muffins. Today I made some cornbread muffins and used polenta (coarse ground corn). I wasn’t sure how it would turn out because I usually use cornmeal but the polenta was delicious. They were crunchy and the unusual spices I added gave them a tasty kick. The basic recipe was whole wheat flour adding one-third polenta. Of course I added baking soda, baking powder and salt, and I used water to moisten it. To the dry flour I added powdered orange peel and turmeric. Between the turmeric and the bright yellow polenta, the muffins had a great color. Because there were no eggs or milk added, these muffins would be considered vegan. It’s probably my mother’s love of making cornbread (she grew up on the Kansas prairie) that makes this a comfort food for me. But because of my desire to keep calories to a minimum, I have changed the recipe quite a bit. I would be lying if I said my corn muffins are better than my mother’s but I need to keep the calories down and still enjoy a good muffin. Let’s just say they are so tasty… I could eat a dozen.

Suellen Ocean is the author of Acorns and Eat’em, a how-to vegetarian cookbook and field guide for eating acorns. Find it here:–Vegetarian-Cookbook/dp/1491288973