It’s Beginning to Look Like Fall … Pumpkins and All!

I have to admit that I am sort of a “pumpkin” junkie.  Pumpkin Spice coffee, pumpkin ice cream, pumpkin oatmeal, anything with pumpkin is on my shelves at this time of year.  It’s too bad that we only enjoy pumpkin in the fall; it’s good all year long.  I came across this recipe for Pumpkin Spice Muffins and felt the time was right to give them a bake.

Pumpkin Spice Muffins

There is a lovely texture to these muffins and they are not to sweet.  I use the Sugar Blend for Brown Sugar to cut down on the sugar content and I omitted the salt.  The chopped pecans add a slight nutty flavor to compliment the muffins.  Serve warm with a bit of cream cheese and you’re ready for Fall.  Now where is my pumpkin spice coffee??  See ya around the hay bales this Fall ~ Barbara

Pumpkin-Spice Muffins

Ingredients
2 cups all-purpose flour
3/4 cup packed light-brown sugar
1 tablespoon baking powder
1 teaspoon ground cinnamon
1 teaspoon ground ginger
1/2 teaspoon salt
1/4 teaspoon ground allspice
3 tablespoons unsalted butter, cut into pieces and chilled
1/4 cup egg substitute (or 2 eggs)
3/4 cup plus 2 tablespoons canned solid-pack pumpkin puree (not pie filling)
2/3 cup skim milk
1 teaspoon vanilla
2 tablespoons chopped pecans

Directions
Preheat oven to 375 degrees. Coat 12 standard-size muffin pan cups with nonstick cooking spray or line with paper liners.  Mix flour, brown sugar, baking powder, cinnamon, ginger, salt and allspice in large bowl.  With pastry blender, cut in butter until mixture resembles fine crumbs.

Beat together egg substitute, pumpkin, milk, and vanilla in small bowl until blended.  Stir egg mixture into flour mixture just until blended.  Spoon batter into muffin cups, dividing equally.  Sprinkle pecans over the tops.  Bake at 375 degrees for 20-25 minutes or until golden and a wooden pick inserted in the centers comes out clean.  Remove muffins from the pan to a wire rack.  Let cool slightly.  Serve warm.

Makes 12 muffins.

Per Muffin:  161 calories, 4 g fat, 250 mg sodium, 4 g protein, 27 g carb, 8 mg cholesterol

 

 

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Pears and Blueberries, Oh My!

I’ve been keeping an eye on two Kiefer Pears that were still trying to ripen when I noticed they were finally ready.  After doing a bit of searching, I found a recipe for a Blueberry, Pear & Walnut Galette that sounded yummy.  The recipe uses Puff Pastry, which I love to use, some blueberries and pears.  It also calls for walnuts, but I used pecans instead.  Other than that one change, I followed the recipe exactly.  Unfortunately there is nothing left.  Sister and I each had a piece, I shared a couple of pieces with my neighbors and a couple more pieces with a friend who stopped by.  Oh well, guess I’ll have to make it again.  Hope you’ll give this a try.

Blueberry, Pear and Walnut (Pecan) Galette

Thanks to Pie Lady Bakes for the recipe and inspiration for this dessert.  Pie Lady Bakes, click here: Pie Lady Bakes-Blog

Blueberry, Pear & Walnut Galette

Ingredients:
1 roll of frozen puff pastry
2 Bosc pears, peeled and sliced thinly
1/4 cup dark brown sugar
4 teaspoons cornstarch
1/2 teaspoon nutmeg
1/2 teaspoon ginger
1/4 cup blueberries
1/4 cup finely chopped walnuts (or pecans)
1 egg, beaten

Directions:
Thaw the puff pastry, and place on a cookie sheet that has been lined with parchment paper. Preheat the oven to 400 degrees. Mix the brown sugar, cornstarch, nutmeg and ginger together. Toss the pears and walnuts in the sugar mixture until well coated.  Arrange the pear slices over the dough in two rows (see photo), keeping about 1/2 inch from all edges. Sprinkle blueberries over pears.  Fold over the puff pastry along each edge, pressing corners together.  Brush the puff pastry with the beaten egg.  Place in the bottom third of the oven and bake for 35 to 40 minutes or until the puff pastry is golden. Remove and let cool for a few minutes before serving.

 

Roasted Tomato and Onion Tart – Perfect for Sunday Brunch

Ah, it must be summertime when I see homegrown tomatoes appear on my door step.  One of my favorite ways to use these red jewels is in a tart with sweet Vidalia onions.  Roasting both the onions and tomatoes adds a different level of sweetness to this tasty treat.

Be watchful of the onions so they do not burn.  The tomatoes take a bit longer.

Puff pastry is my go-to dough for these tarts.  Let thaw, roll out and top with Mozzarella cheese, a Ricotta cheese mixture, the tomatoes and onions.

Slice the tart into six pieces and you have a nice addition to a Sunday Brunch.

Many thanks to my neighbor, Ray, for supplying me with these picks from his garden.  For the complete recipe, click on the link below.

Click here:  Roasted Tomato and Onion Tart

What’s your favorite recipe for summertime tomatoes?  See ya around the tomato patch. ~ Barbara

106 Miles – 8 Towns – 1 Saturday … Join me for a “Coastal Road Trip”

One of the joys of moving to a new town is “seeing” what makes a town unique.  Two years ago my sister and I moved to Southport (North Carolina) and now call it home.  After we settled in, we would take to the road to visit the neighboring towns.  Even though we had already traveled to these towns, I decided I wanted to “see” what maybe I had missed on our earlier road trips.  On a beautiful, sunny day last March, we set out for our “Coastal Road Trip.”  This journey was  documented through my photographs along with a short story.  My “Coastal Road Trip” was just published in the South Brunswick Magazine-Spring 2017 issue, Pages 77-84 and can be found in local grocery stores and drug stores in Brunswick County, North Carolina, for the next three months.  Be sure to pick up a copy, or you can read it here.  Ah, the joys of a good road trip!  Hope to see you on the road. ~ Barbara

“The Hive” – Oak Island’s One-Stop for Honey on Tap

The Brunswick Senior Buzz is a monthly publication from Brunswick Senior Resources, Inc. (BSRI) here in Brunswick County, North Carolina.  The mission of BSRI is to promote the well-being and enhance the quality of life for all senior adults in Brunswick County; by advocating for programs and delivering services that encourages and sustains independence and their continued participating in the community.

Last month I was asked to contribute an article about a local honey business, The Hive.  Owner Craig Connolly was kind enough to spend time educating me about honeybees and his store.  The June issue, with my article and photographs, hit the stands yesterday. Check it out … and be sure to stop by The Hive and give a wave to Craig.

June 2017 Issue

The Brunswick Senior Buzz can be found at local grocery and drug stores, as well as all Brunswick Senior Centers in Brunswick County, North Carolina.

See ya around the honey hive. ~ Barbara

 

Summer Markets Begin! Visit The Southport Sisters This Wednesday.

It’s that time of the year again as the summer markets come to town.  If you are in the Southport/Oak Island area of North Carolina, be sure to check out the Southport Waterfront Market every Wednesday from 8 a.m. until 1 p.m.  My sister and I, the Southport Sisters, will be there every Wednesday, weather permitting.  Look for us under the big oak tree.  Scroll down to see what we’ll have new this year!

Barbara will showcase new local scene images on note cards:

Francine will offer new shell game boards, complete with shells from Oak Island:

Francine will also bring her many varied designs of children’s growth charts:

We hope to see you at the market this summer.  ~ The Southport Sisters

What? No Camera? – New Exhibit of Scanography Work

Just what is “Scanography?”  Scanography is the process of capturing digitized images of objects for the purpose of creating printable art using a flatbed photo scanner.  No camera is used to create this digital art.  From sea shells, to fruit, to vegetables, and of course, beautiful flowers, the combinations are endless.  Want to see more?

From May 1, through May 31, 2017, a selection of my work is on exhibit at the Calabash Library: Hickmans Crossroads Library, 1040 Calabash Road, Calabash NC 28467,  (910) 575- 0173.  The library is open Monday-Friday, 9 a.m. – 6 p.m. and closed on Saturday and Sunday.  This exhibit is set up in the tall glass case in the main lobby, as shown below.

Here is a close up of a couple of the images on display.

I have written a tutorial that illustrates how this work is done on a scanner.  You will need some type of post-processing tools, i.e., Photoshop, Elements, etc. in order to process the images.  Click on the link below.

Click here: Scanography Tutorial by Barbara Sammons

If you need more inspiration to try this process, click on the link below that will take you to a gallery on my website of all the work I’ve done.  Maybe you will be inspired to try Scanography.

Click here:  Scanography-Creative Digital Photography

And don’t worry, you don’t have to grow your own flowers or vegetables … stop by your local food market or farmer’s market and pick up a bouquet and just have fun.

Any questions?  Drop me a line.  Happy Scanning!  ~Barbara

Craft Festival Season Begins – Come Out To The Villages Spring Market-April 29

And so the Craft Festival begins on Saturday, April 29, 2017!  If you are in the Wilmington, Leland, Southport or Oak Island area this Saturday, be sure to stop by The Villages Spring Market.  My sister and I, the “Southport Sisters,” will be set up under the big white tent on the parking lot of Lowes Food market at Brunswick Forest in Leland (located at 1152 E. Cutlar Crossing off Highway 17).  There will be 70+ vendors so there is something for everyone.

Be sure to stop by our booth and check out my sister’s new hand-painted Shell Tic-Tac-Toe board games complete with shells collected from Oak Island.  Many colors and designs to choose from.

Francine will also bring a wide variety of her hand-painted children’s growth charts.

I will be showcasing my photography on note cards with many new designs.

We hope to see you at this craft festival.  If you can’t make it to this one, we will be set up at the Southport Waterfront Market, every Wednesday (weather permitting) from 8am until 1pm, beginning May 3.  Click here to see our compete list of craft festivals and exhibits:  2017 Arts and Craft Festival Schedule