KNR, p. 319 “Pistachio Muffins and Cupcakes”

Our Irish heritage compels us to chomp on special Irish comfort food recipes all year round, and share them with the crowd this time of year. But this one? It’s not Irish, but it is green and we serve it every year. If someone else is cooking the main dish and sides, we are always asked to bring this to the gathering, sometimes in the cake version. Enjoy!

In case you were wondering, we bought the mug in Ireland at a Bewley’s chain tea shop. Lovely afternoon.

Pistachio Muffins and Cupcakes

Sheila Kerrian *
Prep Time 20 minutes
Cook Time 30 minutes
Course Breakfast, Snack
Cuisine American
Servings 6 jumbo muffins


  • 1 Standing Mixer, wire whip


Crumble Topping (use fork to mix)

  • 3 Tablespoons brown sugar
  • 2 Tablespoons all-purpose flour
  • 2 Tablespoons pecans, chopped
  • 3 Tablespoons softened butter
  • 2 drops green food coloring
  • 1 Tablespoon chopped pistachio kernels (optional)

Whipped Cream Topping (use wire whip on standing mixer to mix)

  • 1 3.4 oz box Jello pistachio instant pudding mix
  • 2 pints heavy cream
  • 1 envelope Dream Whip Topping mix
  • 2 Tablespoons confectioners sugar
  • 2 drops green food coloring
  • 1 teaspoon vanilla


  • 1/3 cup sunflower seed oil (or other nut oil)
  • 1 cup brown sugar
  • 2 large eggs
  • 1 3.4 oz box Jello pistachio instant pudding mix
  • 1.5 cups all-purpose unbleached King Arthur flour
  • 1/2 cup sparkling water
  • 3/4 teaspoon baking powder
  • 1/4 teaspoon baking soda
  • 3/4 teaspoon sea salt
  • 1/2 cup chopped pecans
  • 4 drops green food coloring


  • Mix ingredients for the topping of choice and refrigerate until needed.
  • Pre-heat oven to 350.  Use standing mixer on lowest speed for muffins.
  • Cream oil and sugar. Add eggs and pudding mix and beat until just mixed.
  • Add flour, baking powder, baking soda, salt, and sparkling water a little at a time and mix until evenly moistened.
  • Add chopped pecans and food coloring and mix until evenly blended.
  • Divide mix evenly among 6 extra large greased, floured, muffin tins (or use jumbo baking cup papers)
    If using the crumble topping, divide equally and sprinkle on top of the muffins, about 2 teaspoons each.
  • Bake 25-30 minutes in center of oven - until toothpick inserted into center comes out clean, muffins are springy to the touch, and lightly golden brown.
  • If using the whipped cream topping, completely cool the baked muffins, then pile on the whipped cream to your heart’s content. Refrigerate until ready to eat.
  • There will be extra whipped cream, so put it on (or in) anything you like.


*Adapted from a cake recipe in a fundraiser cookbook.

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KNR, p. 317 “Blackberry Cobbler”

If there are no paragraph separations in the text, please double-click on the title to create a more readable version.

Everybody in Sheila’s family raved about her grandmother’s cobbler recipe. Grandma never gave up the secret, but did admit it was sooooo easy to make. However, easy to bake doesn’t mean easy to recreate. Sheila tried to duplicate the taste for many years, serving variations to anyone willing to take a chance on yet another attempt. Dessert lovers all, Sheila rarely heard a ‘no,’ whether similar in taste or not. 

BUT, this past week, an historical light clicked on in her brain and she worked on the premise of using ingredients that grandma had available to her at the time. This includes fresh blackberries from her own blackberry patch, and whole milk, because Grandma had cows. Sheila remembered seeing condensed milk in Grandma’s kitchen and asked why. Grandma just smiled and changed the subject, but its use makes a huge difference in flavor.

Sheila’s brother was visiting, tried it with creamy ice cream, whooped between bites, and declared, “She nailed it!”

For your consideration, really easy Blackberry Cobbler:

Blackberry Cobbler

Sheila Kerrian & Grandma
Prep Time 15 minutes
Cook Time 40 minutes
Course Dessert
Cuisine American
Servings 6


  • 1 & 1/4 cups self-rising flour
  • 14 ounces sweetened condensed milk
  • 1/2 cup 1/2 cup milk
  • 6 Tablespoons melted butter
  • 6-8 ounces fresh blackberries, 1/2 cup reserved for garnish
  • 1/4 cup light brown sugar


  • Pre-heat oven to 325 and grease 13” x 9” baking dish.
  • Place flour, condensed milk, plain milk, and melted butter into large bowl. Mix with large spoon or whisk until blended. Pour into the greased baking dish.
  • Slice blackberries in half, lengthwise. Spread blackberries evenly across top of batter, flat side down, saving a few for garnish.
  • Sprinkle the brown sugar evenly on top of the blackberries.
  • Bake in oven for 35-40 minutes until light golden brown and toothpick inserted into center comes out clean.
  • Let cool on rack for 10 minutes.
  • Serve with ice cream or whipped cream and a few blackberries. (Whipped cream with vanilla flavoring is shown in the top photo)


The cobbler can also be baked in a liberally buttered, oven-proof stoneware pie dish.







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KNR, p. 120 “Game Day Flatbread”

NFL season is over, baseball season is beginning, and hockey playoffs are under way. We need Game Day recipes!

This week we decided to serve a new twist on an old standby.  Game Day Flatbread. What’s flatbread? Basically, it’s a lot like the bread you see under the sauce on a pizza. Some of it tastes and looks like pita bread without the pocket. It’s firm enough to hold meats, doesn’t get soggy while it bakes, and keeps its texture when being eaten. People place a variety of cheeses and veggies on the flatbread and bake it in the oven. Picture heating up an open-face sandwich. Yes, it does look like pizza. Our Game Day Flatbread sandwich has no tomato sauce, and I’ve yet to see one in a pub or restaurant that does. But without the tomato sauce, the flavor mix and cooking time is different.

You can make the actual flatbread yourself, but why bother when you can buy various tasty versions – gluten-free or naan or herb seasoned or unleavened, etc  – right in the bread aisle of almost any grocery store. Tortillas won’t work. Find the kind that you would use to make a gyro. Or look for the brand that we get: Toufayan flatbread.

We plan to let our game day partiers make their own, mixing and matching the toppings they like best, but here is a tasty recipe for spinach & cheese flatbread, with a note for one with sausage. Sheila and I will prep the spinach, tomato, and sausage beforehand, so that all the guests have to do is put together their own creations.

We did a LOT of taste-testing for this one, basically because I could not decide which cheese and tomato combo I liked best. Yup. I’m stickin’ to that story. Sheila would back me up, but she’s busy trying another sausage one.  😉


Game Day Flatbread

Charlie & Sheila Kerrian
Prep Time 15 minutes
Cook Time 10 minutes
Total Time 25 minutes
Course Appetizer, Main Course
Cuisine American


  • 1 7" round Toufayan flatbread
  • 1 teaspoon olive oil
  • 2 cups fresh spinach
  • 1/8 teaspoon onion powder
  • 1/8 teaspoon garlic powder
  • 1/8 teaspoon sea salt
  • 1 teaspoon mayo
  • 1/4 teaspoon dried Italian herb mix (basil, oregano, thyme, rosemary)
  • 4 grape tomatoes, halved or quartered
  • 2 Tablespoons Parmesan cheese, grated
  • 1/2 cup mozzarella cheese, shredded


  • Preheat oven to 400 degrees.
  • Place flatbread on cookie sheet (or pizza pan).
  • Spread mayo on the flatbread.
  • Sprinkle 1/8 teaspoon dried Italian herb mix on top of mayo.
  • Stir fry fresh spinach in olive oil, sea salt, onion powder, and garlic powder until just wilted, about two minutes. Separate and spread evenly across the mayo-herb layer.
  • Evenly sprinkle 1 Tablespoon grated Parmesan cheese on top of the spinach.
  • Evenly spread 1/4 cup of the shredded mozzarella cheese as the next layer.
  • Evenly spread the tomato pieces next.
  • Evenly spread the remaining mozzarella cheese.
  • Evenly spread the remaining Parmesan cheese.
  • Evenly sprinkle the remaining dried Italian herb mix next.
  • Place in oven and bake for 10-12 minutes or until edges are lightly, crispy brown and cheese is melted.
  • Serve right away.


This recipe is for EACH flatbread sandwich.
Sausage Variation:
If you'd like to add sausage to the Game Day Flatbread, use 1/4 cup ground, chopped, cooked, mild Italian sausage. Add it before the tomato layer. Reduce the amount of Parmesan cheese and also adjust the salt in the spinach, because the added sausage may make this version too salty for some.


For other Game Day recipes, click on the links below:



Hearty Soup


*Photo by Patti Phillips





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