Maybe there isn't perfection in life, but there is when you are cooking for those you love.
I have been so fortunate to meet so many extraordinary women in my life.
My family was filled with spirited women who were more than happy to share their opinion and their cooking talents with the people they loved best, their families and friends.
Although her cooking talents usually led people to bring take out to our home when they stopped by for a visit, my mother was one of those women.
Patti Ann Lashbrook-Jackson was what many people over the years have identified as a hoot!
While a little girl, Grandma Iva told me my mother's favorite toy was a bag of nails, a hammer and a piece of wood.
"She'd sit outside pounding nails into a board all afternoon, then spend the next day pulling them out," grandma would tell me to my mother's shame. "She liked to make mud pies too."
If you knew my mother, it made perfect sense -- she was a perfectionist.
If something had to be done, my mom was tenacious about finishing, but afterward would spend the next day fretting over if it were done right. In her mind, it usually wasn't, and she'd tear it up and start again. After trying so many times to be perfect, she'd finally decide to make do.
I remember one time, while helping my father with a home improvement project, mom destroyed two pieces of wood paneling before my father took the hammer away and banned her from the entire house until he was done. (She said she couldn't keep the nails in a perfect straight line. Like my father cared, he just wanted to get done.)
Although my mom thought she was a perfectionist (and who among us ever is?), the obvious truth is she wasn't. But while I was growing up, the humor and charm she displayed while trying was enough for me to love her.
I honestly didn't think I would care for another woman in a motherly role when my father began dating after my mother died in 1997, but he made a wonderful choice. Then again, maybe my mom made the choice for him.
Although life forced them into drifting apart for a number of years, Dorothy had been my mom's best friend since high school. The goofy pair was inseparable. Dorothy helped plan my mom's 52nd birthday party, she was there when mom became ill and was a solace for our whole family after mom's death.
It was a joy and an honor to have Dorothy as a stepmother, a step-grandma and as a friend. We shared many breakfasts together while remembering my mother.
Before her death, Dorothy shared a simple recipe for the most incredible ham and cheese breakfast muffins I've ever ate. Dorothy said she used to make them for her three sons when they were younger, and now she wanted to share it with me. I was honored needless to say.
I can't help but remember both my mothers when I make this recipe for my family.
Preheat your oven to 400 degrees while placing 12 medium foil muffin papers in cupcake pans.
Chop or shred 3/4 cup of cheddar cheese, 1/2 cup fully cooked smoked ham and 1/3 cup each of green pepper and onion and four strips of fully cooked bacon.
Mix together 3/4 cup of buttermilk, three tablespoons olive oil, one egg and 1 3/4 cups of Bisquick mix until all moist. Stir in the rest of the ingredients, adding a teaspoon of Mrs. Dash and then divide the batter evenly among the muffin cups.
Sprinkle a small amount of shredded cheese on top of each muffin and bake 15--20 minutes until golden brown.
You can omit the shredded cheese from the recipe, then, before placing muffins in the oven, drop a cube of cheese into the center of each one, making sure to cover the top with the mix. Bake as normal.