Showing posts with label cocktail muffins. Show all posts
Showing posts with label cocktail muffins. Show all posts

Monday, June 3, 2013

Olive Parmesan Cocktail Muffins #MuffinMonday

This weekend we celebrated the achievements of our elder daughter, the beautiful and talented Victoria.  But her graduation from Rhode Island School of Design was tinged with sadness for our family because, as we flew north for the weekend, we lost one of our patriarchs.  If you have been reading for a while, you’ve heard about my wonderful mother-in-law and how she has cared for her ailing husband, through increasing infirmity throughout this last year.  As she held that sweet, caring man in the wee hours of Friday morning, he passed peacefully from this world and was freed.

We had just been up to their home for a quick overnight after arriving in from Dubai, and before leaving for Providence.  As I usually do, I cooked dinner (this time with help from my own dear mother) and my mother-in-law invited her friends for drinks and a meal.  It’s my way of giving her a break and repaying the many kindnesses and constant support her closest friends provide when we are away.  I made these little olive Parmesan muffins for appetizers.  Bob ate one as part of his evening meal that night.  We didn’t expect that when we left the next day, we would never see him again.  After all, this time, we would only be gone three days.  But the ache of missing is there and real.

A couple of years ago, I wrote Bob a letter, which my sister printed for me and gave to him on the occasion of the joint celebration of his birthday and Fathers’ Day, thanking him for the part he played in raising my husband to be the wonderful father and husband he is.  When he married their mother, Bob took on day-to-day responsibility for three more young boys, in addition to his two.  Together, he and Heather had one more.  The stories of “yours, mine and our” holidays with six boys were rollicking and joyous, but I am sure they required a logistical mastermind and a firm hand and an enormous sense of humor.  I am more grateful than ever today that I wrote down the words and that Bob read them and knew of my gratitude.  It is a debt I can never repay, no matter how many meals I cook or muffins I bake.

2 cups or 250g all purpose flour
1 cup, grated, or 90g Parmesan cheese (plus a little extra for after baking, optional)
1 tablespoon baking powder
1/2 teaspoon salt
1 cup or 240ml milk
1/4 cup or 60ml canola oil
2 eggs
1/4 cup pimento stuffed olives

Preheat your oven to 350°F or 180°C and liberally grease your two 12-cup mini muffin pans.

Grate your Parmesan, if not already grated, and cut the olives into three or four slices each.

Set aside 24 middle slices for decoration, making sure you have red and green represented in each slice.

In a large mixing bowl, combine your flour, salt, baking powder and Parmesan.

In a smaller mixing bowl, whisk your eggs, milk and oil.

Fold your liquids into the dry ingredients until just mixed.

Fold in the sliced olives.

Divide the batter between the prepared cups in the muffin pan.

Top each with a reserved olive slice.

Bake in your preheated oven for 15-20 minutes or until the muffins are lovely and golden.

Sprinkle on a little more Parmesan, if desired.  More cheese always equals better.

Allow to cool in the pan for a few minutes then remove to a wire rack to continue cooling.

These are fabulous warm and go great with a glass of wine or whatever cocktail you are serving.

If there is anything my father-in-law enjoyed, it was a good meal.  Bob didn’t talk much in his later years because, after surviving cancer of the larynx 30 years ago, he spoke with esophageal speech, using swallowed air and his stomach muscles to create sound.  As he aged, and his muscle tone declined, he was less able to muster the strength required.  But Bob was lavish with his smiles and his  “thumbs up” whenever he was pleased.  The twinkle in his eyes said more than words ever could anyway.  He was one of my most generous supporters and, except for onions, he ate everything I made with relish and two thumbs up.

On 20 June, he would have been 85.  Happy almost Fathers' Day and almost Birthday, Robert Martin Lane.  You were one of the good guys and you are deeply missed.