Thursday, March 22, 2012

Almost Like Breakfast at Tiffany's...

Dorothy Mayville, my mother in law, at an Army wives' coffee circa 1962.  She is next to the end on the right.
I come from old school Army. Back in the day when my husband was a young LT it was routine to write your spouse (we were referred to as WIVES back then) into an officer's evaluation report (OER).  Much to my husband's chagrin I was indeed written into his first OER after we were married. Luckily, my report was favorable and this practice is forbidden today with good reason.  I mention this old fact because there was a method to the madness of  some of our Army sisters "raised" back in the day. They came from a time when they were at risk of being evaluated by the military and their performance, or rather their contribution to "the team", was perceived to be almost as important as that of their Soldier's. Today we can be ourselves and not be evaluated (in writing, at least) and honestly I think that's why we have become a little more laid back and casual.  This is good for me because I make mistakes easily but, like most people, take criticism to heart.

Recently, Fort Riley had the honor of hosting our FORSCOM (Forces Command) Commander and CSM and their spouses. We began our day by meeting at the airport and returning (wives only) back to Quarters One for coffee. Even though I have known the FORSCOM commander's spouse for many years, I still had butterflies anticipating a visit from a senior ranking officer's spouse. That quickly passed when we sat down to chat. I want everyone to know that no matter where you go in your Army life you are going to feel a little intimidated by someone and someone is going to feel a little intimidated by you! Always be yourself, as long as that self is kind, and judge not!
Here are some photos from our coffee. I am a big fan of casual elegance. That's a new "buzz word" for anything goes if it's on pretty dishes...well, that's my interpretation at least!

Keep everything simple, these French Breakfast Muffins were served warm with coffee.

We set our serving up on the coffee table in the living room. It was accessible to everyone but I did serve each guest. We had eight ladies that morning. I find that one recipe is plenty at a function such as this.
Can you tell I love white dishes? I love anything French Country or Italian. Having a set of white dishes and accessories allows you to mix and match easily even if the whites aren't exactly the same. It also gives the opportunity to add colorful pieces when you want to do so.
Here is the recipe we used for the French Breakfast Muffins    
French Breakfast Muffins
makes about 30 mini muffins
  • 1 ½ C plus 2 T flour            
  • ¾ sugar                                
  • 2 t baking powder               
  • ¼ t ground nutmeg              
  • ½ C milk                             
  • ½ t vanilla                   
  • 1 egg, beaten
  • 1/3 C butter, melted
  • 1/2 C sugar plus 1 t ground cinnamon
  • 1/3 C melted butter, additional for topping

Combine first 6 ingredients. Add milk, egg and 1/3 C melted butter.  Mix thoroughly, batter will be thick. Grease and flour mini muffin tins. Fill ½ full and bake at 400 degrees for 20  minutes or until lightly browned. Remove from tins while hot and immediately dip in remaining butter and roll in mixture of sugar and cinnamon. Best served warm!!

We make our own vanilla flavored sugar by storing fine baking sugar with several vanilla beans...we use this sugar in most of our baking at Quarters One.

Find us on Facebook ( for more photos and recipes from  Quarters One. 'Til next time...
Duty First!



  1. Thank you for sharing! I have heard many stories from my grandmother about what it was like to be an "Army Wife" back in the 50's.
    I must say that I love some of the traditions that have stuck around and look forward to keeping them alive as we continue on this wild ride.
    I am sure that this also comes from my love of entertaining and white dishes are a must for me as well. They do go so well in almost any setting and are so versatile.

  2. Love the dishes! I miss Nove! :)

    Also, gonna try those muffins this weekend. They look amazing!!!



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  4. Everything looks beautiful! I have a question about the vanilla sugar. When you use the sugar that has been infused with the vanilla, do you still put the vanilla extract into the recipe? Or do you use the vanilla flavored sugar for an extra little "pop"?

    Do you use a stone to keep your muffins warm? I recently had dinner at our CG's house and was surprised to pull a roll out of the basket and it was warm. I'm intrigued by this and want to know the trick!!
    Thanks for sharing :)

  5. Paula, we use the vanilla sugar in addition to vanilla extract when called for. We also kept the muffins warm in a warmer prior to serving in this instance. I have occasionally used warming stones but we generally serve warmer or oven straight to the table. If you hear of a good trick please share!!
    Shand :)