Papa

A lot of you already know this, but I have been so blessed to have married into an incredible family.  The Dargas are beautifully welcoming, loving, and in truth just all around awesome!  Their closeness and wicked funny humor remind me of my family.  I am truly lucky.

When Paul and I were dating, we redesigned the garage which was Paul’s absolute dream (I think he fell in love with me when he saw the size and emptiness of the garage).  Papa, Paul’s dad who is crazy handy, decided that I needed to have a little shelf under our garage window for my “trinkets and things”.  That’s when I fell absolutely head over heels in love with Papa.  His sweet nature, stunning blue eyes, quick wit, and the fact that he called me “Toots” made it easy for me to adore him.  I remember telling my friends I had a huge crush on Paul’s father, and they all could immediately see why when they met him.

A few months later, when I started teaching at McKinley, Papa found out that I didn’t have any bookshelves in my classroom.  So Papa built me two perfect blue shelves so that I could have a classroom library.  They’re still in my classroom today.

This morning Papa died surrounded by his family and as my sister-in-law, Celeste, so beautifully said just after he passed, “There’s a lot of love in this room.”

We left the hospital not quite sure what to do, so Paul said we should go home, turn on football, and that I should bake.  That’s what Papa would want.  So, here are my savory breakfast muffins in honor of Papa Darga.

Notes:

  1.  We had a lot of bacon in the fridge so I used bacon rather than sausage.  If you choose to do this, just mix the chili powder into the Bisquick.
  2. I did not add extra salt because bacon is already very salty.  In retrospect, I would’ve added a touch of salt to enhance the flavors of the peppers.
  3. I don’t believe in mixes (I am my mother’s daughter).  I liked that this recipe gave an alternative to Bisquick.  Of course in true absent minded baker form, I didn’t see that until the muffins were baking.  I also forgot to add the cheese and thyme, remembering only after I had poured the batter into the muffin cups.  So I had to empty the batter back into the mixing bowl and add the missing ingredients.  I can be so scatter-brained sometimes.
  4. This recipe came from “the comfort of cooking”.  I didn’t realize this until I started typing.  The name of the blog is so poetically perfect.  I find great comfort in baking and cooking.

I love you Papa.

Savory Breakfast Muffins (care of thecomfortofcooking.com)

savory-breakfast-muffins

INGREDIENTS:  12-14 oz. raw breakfast sausage, 1 tsp. chili powder, ½ tsp. salt, ½ tsp. pepper, 2 cups Bisquick, 1 cup cornmeal, 3 eggs, 1/4 tsp. garlic powder, 1 3/4 cups milk, 1/4 cup chopped green bell pepper, 1/4 cup chopped red bell pepper, 1/2 cup minced onion, 1 1/2 cups shredded cheddar cheese, 3 tbsp. fresh thyme leaves, finely chopped, 1/2 tsp. salt pepper (to taste)

DIRECTIONS:  Line one medium-sized-cup muffin tin with paper liners, spray each liner with a little cooking spray, and set aside. Saute sausage with chili powder, salt, and pepper, crumbling the sausage with a metal spoon as it cooks. Drain excess grease with a wad of paper towels or into an empty aluminium can.  Preheat oven to 375 degrees.  Mix together bisquick, cornmeal, eggs, garlic powder and milk. Add sausage, peppers, onions and cheese. Stir well. Add thyme. Add salt and pepper to your taste. Ladle the filling into the prepared muffin tins, filling almost to the top.  Bake for 12-15 minutes. Allow to cool completely.

TIPS:

– Two cups of Bisquick can be substituted by a mix of 2 cups flour, 3 tsp. baking powder, 1 tsp. salt, and 2 tbsp. oil or melted butter.

– Store in the freezer in a large, airtight container or a large Ziploc bag.

– To reheat from frozen, microwave on high for approximately 90 seconds.

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