Tuesday, March 13, 2012

Eating out ~ Part 2 ~ AND Raspberry Pie Muffins

In my February 28, 2012 blog entry, Eating Out, I wrote about my two-week visit with my son in the Washington D.C./Baltimore MD area. We typically eat out a great deal when I visit and this time was no exception.

To keep the blog from stretching for miles, I only wrote about half of our travels and today I want to take you along on the rest of my journey.

Red Hot & Blue...

When my son was stationed in that area about fifteen years ago, he frequented Red Hot & Blue, a franchise barbecue establishment. “Barbeque, Burgers & Blues” to be exact. I don’t ever remember eating at a barbeque joint before that moment, but this was definitely a memorable occasion.

My meal sounds simple ~ Pulled Chicken Salad. Think whole chicken with bones and skin, marinated and roasted. Then, the bones and skin are removed and the meat is pulled into strips. My salad was huge, loaded with veggies and the pulled chicken piled high. Fit for a teenaged boy! Worthy of three meals for me. I took more than half home.

A side order of Hush Puppies took me back to Florida memory heaven. Haven’t had HPs in probably thirty years. Loaded with bits of onion and deep fried. They were worth the heartburn that followed later that evening.

The Spice & Tea Exchange...

Spices, teas, seasonings ~ all packaged and mixed on-site. Buy whatever quantity you want and the prices are reasonable. The Spice & Tea Exchange of Annapolis said I could order online, too. Didn’t realize it was a franchise until later in our conversations with the owners.

I came home with whole cloves, coconut thai rub and raspberry sugar. Today’s blog entry features (further on) a recipe using the raspberry sugar.

Mamma Roma Italian Restaurant & Pizza...

In the second week of my visit, son asked me to come up with some ideas for eating out. I checked online, of course, and we finally settled on Mamma Roma.

My order of fettuccine with marinara and lots of vegetables ~ roasted red peppers, green pepper strips, onions, zucchini ~ was huge! Again, a meal fit for a teenaged boy, but providing several leftover meals for me. Delizioso!

Follow-up... Thanks to Mamma Roma for emailing me the name of my fettuccine dish. It's called FETTUCCINE BOSCAIOLA!


I felt like a kid in a candy store! Located in Baltimore’s Inner Harbor, It’Sugar reminded me of when I was a kid and went to a neighborhood Mom&Pop’s store to buy a bagful of candy for a nickel. Candies galore, serve yourself, and pay close attention to the pricing.

Chocolate Chocolate...

A week before I set out on vacation, I read about the Frances and Ginger Park, authors and entrepreneurs. Frances and Ginger own a tiny, highly popular shop on Connecticut Avenue in Washington D.C. Chocolate Chocolate chocolates include every type of chocolate candy imaginable, carefully selected from candy creators around the world.

Son and I visited the shop (easily accessible by car or Metro), met the personable Park sisters and their store manager Koomo, and had a yummy time tasting and hearing about the origin of each candy we chose.



The following is my basic recipe for 12 muffins. Use your imagination when it comes to adding ingredients or try some from my list below.


3/4 cup each unbleached white flour and unbleached whole wheat flour
3/4 cup brown sugar
1 teaspoon each baking soda and baking powder
1/4 teaspoon salt

Mix dry ingredients using fingers if necessary to remove any lumps from the brown sugar.

Make a well in the center of the dry ingredients and stir in...
2/3 cup milk
1/4 cup oil
1 egg.

Stir just until mixed, no longer.

Pour into prepared muffin tins (greased or oiled).

Bake in pre-heated oven 20 to 25 minutes.

For RASPBERRY PIE MUFFINS I made the following changes and additions...

*I changed the flour ratio to 1 cup white and 1/2 cup whole wheat

*I had Half’n’Half left over from another recipe, so I used it in place of milk.

*I placed 1 Tablespoon of Chambord French Black Raspberry Liqueur (which I found in a tiny bottle for under $5 at Bottles & Corks) in a liquid measuring cup, then added Half’n’Half up to the 2/3 cup line.

*After scooping about a tablespoon of batter into each muffin space (using half the batter), I placed a scant tablespoon (or a heaping teaspoon?)of Raspberry Pie Filling on each. Then topped each with the rest of the batter.

*Sprinkled each with Raspberry Sugar which I purchased in Maryland at The Spice & Tea Exchange. I had tried the sugar in two previous variations of this recipe, but sprinkled it on after baking which meant some of it missed the muffin and rolled onto the pan to melt. Take your pick and do it either way.

The basic muffins are delicious plain or you can add any one of the following...
1. Banana, cut up, and 1/2 teaspoon cinnamon
2. Raw cranberries, whole or chopped
3. Chopped uncooked rhubarb
4. Peach, chopped and mixed with a bit of lemon juice
5. Apple, chopped, and 1/2 teaspoon cinnamon
6. Raisins
7. Chocolate chips, regular or mini
8. Vegetables such as grated carrots, yams, or sweet potatoes

Step by Step in the Kitchen is on Facebook. Take a look and "Like" the page. I'll be posting extra notes and photos there.


I really love to hear from readers, to know what you think of my blog and my recipes.

What do you like to add to homemade muffins?


  1. Your trip, chocolate chocolate, these delicious muffins - there is so much in this post! Everything looks exqusitie and tasty and all I can do is sit here not jealous of you ;)
    You deserve to be having a ball my friend :D And everything looks awesome - especially that raspberry pie muffin recipe :D

    Choc Chip Uru

    1. Dear CCU ~ You always say the nicest things and I love hearing from you. Knowing your love of chocolate, wish you could visit Chocolate Chocolate!

  2. Thanks for sharing your trip with us. I love seeing what other people's camera see. It sounds like you really enjoyed your visit with your son. Your muffins also sound so delicious and moist with so many lovely flavors, fruits and even vegetable to boot. Take care, BAM

    1. I think the reason I always enjoy your blog so much, Bam, is that you relate the number of servings to teenaged boys. The son I visited was once one of those hollow-legged boys who could eat everything in sight! Thanks for your kind words about this blog entry. It was such fun to write (and take the photos and eat the food and...).


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