Today I was thinking about how the life of a teacher changes during the summer months. It takes the first couple of weeks out of school to get accustomed to not being rushed. There’re no plans to make, no papers to grade, and you’re not constantly living by the clock.

My mornings do not begin at 5 a.m. in the summer. When they do begin, there is a relaxed cup of coffee and the “Today” show. I do a leisurely load of laundry a day rather than washing all weekend, which is a definite plus. Daily meal planning is easier than trying to plan on the weekend what we will eat during the week after we get home from work.

Fitting in occasional lunches and pool get-togethers with friends to catch up is a welcome pleasure. I am fortunate to have many friends, but a busy school year lends to not having a great deal of free time. A quick “Hello” by text is great, but there is nothing like a good visit with girlfriends.

There are occasional “summer projects” that I set for myself. They usually have to do with cleaning and throwing away things that have accumulated throughout the year. I like to make some meals for the freezer to have on hand during especially busy weeks.

As much as I enjoy my summer, I am usually ready for school to get started about the time the end of July rolls around. Football practice begins, and it is time to think about a new school year. I look forward to seeing those fresh new faces in my classrooms along with their new supplies and eager attitudes. I even like the smell of a new box of crayons.

Today I have some recipes for breakfast muffins. They freeze well and are great for a leisurely breakfast or one that is one the go. Thanks for reading.

MORNING GLORY MUFFINS

2 cups flour

1 cup sugar

2 teaspoons baking soda

2 teaspoons cinnamon

½ teaspoon salt

1 apple, cored and shredded

2 carrots, shredded

½ cup raisins

½ cup shredded coconut

½ cup chopped pecans

3 eggs, beaten

1 cup vegetable oil

2 teaspoons vanilla

Preheat oven to 350 degrees. Place muffin liners in two muffin tins. Sift together the flour, sugar, baking soda, cinnamon and salt. Add apples, carrots, raisins, coconut and pecans, and toss to combine. Stir in eggs, oil and vanilla until well blended. Pour batter into prepared tins, and bake for 25 minutes or a tester inserted comes out clean.

LEMON RASPBERRY MUFFINS

2 cups flour

1 cup sugar

1 tablespoon baking powder

½ teaspoon salt

2 eggs

1 cup half and half

½ cup vegetable oil

1 teaspoon lemon extract

1 cup fresh raspberries (if frozen, do not thaw)

Preheat oven to 375 degrees, and insert paper liners in two muffin tins. Whisk together flour, sugar, baking powder and salt in a large bowl. In a separate bowl, combine eggs, half and half, and lemon extract. Make a well in the flour mixture, and add egg mixture to stir until moistened. Fold in raspberries. Spoon mixture into prepared muffin tins 2/3 full. Bake for 18 to 20 minutes or until golden brown.

BLUEBERRY MUFFINS

1½ cups flour

2 teaspoons baking powder

½ teaspoon salt

½ cup sugar

1 egg

½ cup milk

¼ cup butter, melted

2 cups fresh blueberries

Preheat oven to 375 degrees. Fill a 12-cup muffin tin with paper liners. Whisk together dry ingredients. Beat egg and milk in a separate bowl. Add egg mixture and melted butter into flour mixture, and stir until moistened — batter will be lumpy. Fold in blueberries. Spoon batter into prepared liners about ¾ full. Bake for 20 to 25 minutes or until tester comes out clean.

• Contact Lee Ann Flemming at lafkitchen@hughes.net.

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