Start the Day Off Right: Blueberry Muffins!



Caryn sits on the floor outside the door, talking on her cell phone.


I think we only have a few more days here and then we’re off again.


Matt flips through a car magazine as Punky bathes himself on the couch next to him.


You know, I’ve switched over to reading Chocolate and Zucchini. She updates more often.



Ha, ha. We have a day off today, so I’m working on another entry.

Loud laughs are heard from the door behind her.


I gotta go. I’m sure they’ll be crying for their breakfast any minute now.

She snaps the phone closed and stands up.


Mr. R., Lauren and Miss A. are gathered in the living room of a suite that could pass for a small house. Hard to believe his room and Caryn’s are even in the same hotel.

Caryn enters and heads straight for the kitchen where her streusel-topped blueberry muffins are cooling. She carefully lifts each one out of the pan and lays them in a linen-lined basket.


It’s so nice to have a day off. These six-day weeks are too long.


I’d rather shoot the whole movie straight through and head back to LA as soon as possible.

Caryn places the basket of muffins on the table and pours coffee.

MR. R.

Come on, Lauren. Everyone needs time off. What should we do today?

Miss A. takes a muffin and tears it open. Hot blueberries leave deep blue stains on her fingers.


Maybe Caryn can pack us a lunch and we’ll sight-see.

No one reacts to the suggestion, so she tries again.


Or we could plan a little dinner party here!

Lauren casually looks up at Caryn from her caffeine fix.


We could do that. Some of the people on the movie. Maybe twelve?

Mr. R. opens the paper as he picks streusel off the top of his muffin.

MR. R.

Caryn, you can put that together for this evening, right?


Sure. Whatever you want.

MR. R.

Okay then. We’ll relax around here today and have a few people over tonight for an easy dinner.

Everyone seems content. Mr. R. immerses himself in the morning news, Miss A. takes another muffin and Lauren enjoys her second cup of coffee while she skims some paperwork.

Caryn heads back to the kitchen, muttering under her breath.


Sure. Everyone needs time off…

Buttermilk Blueberry Muffins

These muffins are incredibly moist and tender. Make sure that the streusel topping is light and crumbly before sprinkling on tops, or it will sink into the batter. When working in a warm kitchen, keep the topping cool by temporarily storing it in the fridge.

2-1/2 cups flour

3/4 cup sugar

1 TB. baking powder

1 tsp. baking soda

1/2 tsp. salt

2 eggs, lightly beaten

5 TB. butter, melted and cooled

1 tsp. vanilla

1 cup buttermilk

2 cups blueberries

Streusel Topping:

3 TB. flour

2 TB. brown sugar

1 TB. sugar

2 TB. cold butter, cut into pieces

1/2 tsp. cinnamon

1. Preheat oven to 375 degrees. Generously grease 12 muffin cups.

2. To make streusel: place flour, brown sugar, sugar, butter and cinnamon in a small food processor. Pulse until coarse crumbs. Keep cool until batter is ready.

3. Mix together flour, sugar, baking powder, baking soda and salt.

4. Whisk together eggs, butter, vanilla and buttermilk. Add flour mixture to buttermilk mixture, stirring just until moistened. Batter will be lumpy. Gently fold in blueberries.

5. Fill muffin cups with batter until level with edge. Sprinkle streusel topping over batter.

6. Bake until golden and toothpick inserted in center comes out clean, about 20-25 minutes. Muffins will be very tender when warm. Carefully loosen edges with a spatula when slightly cool. It’s okay to cool muffins in pan until they are stable enough to handle.

Yield: 12 muffins with over-sized tops.


Ham and Swiss Atop a Mountain!



Caryn is half asleep standing by the counter. A young, SNOWBOARDER-TYPE GUY meticulously prepares Caryn’s sandwich while she waits. He hands it to her with a smile and she shoves it in her backpack that’s already heavy with a couple liters of water.


Caryn hikes up a rocky incline in the morning sun. Her backpack is strapped to her over the light jacket that serves as the only protection from the surprisingly chilly wind.

She is only a few feet from the top, but she is exhausted from the up-hill climb to the summit. The clouds are rolling in at a rapid pace, threatening to block Caryn’s view of the spectacular peaks that surround her. She races to beat them and she wins.

Caryn has climbed to the top of one of the highest peaks at the tranquil Sundance resort. Bare ski trails fall off at an alarmingly steep grade beneath her. One deep breath of the crisp, fresh air and her color returns with a vengeance.

She plops down and digs in her backpack for her sandwich. She unwraps the ham and swiss, on bread that’s still soft. She’s earned a good bite to eat. But one bite into it and her cell phone perks up. She pulls it from the bottom of the backpack.



MR. R. (O.S.)

I can’t find the butter.

Her hand slumps to her lap with the sandwich still in it.


On the door of the frig.

Pause. Pause.

MR. R. (O.S.)

I don’t see it.


On the door, in a yellow box. There must be two pounds of butter there.

Another pause.

MR. R. (O.S.)

Nevermind, I changed my mind.

Caryn falls on her back and covers her face with her arm.

MR. R. (O.S.) (CONT’D)

Are you coming back soon?

She takes in one last breath of that delicious air.


Yes. I’m on my way.


501 Main Street

Heber City, UT

(435) 654-5575 ph.

You could eat anything atop a mountain and it will taste good! Gandolfo’s may not be the most authentic New York deli you can find in Utah, but they make a nice sandwich for a backback. And they’re open in the morning when you need to get an early start on your outdoor adventure. Many locations in Utah to serve you.


On His Terms: Riverhorse Cafe!



Caryn is rolling, rolling and folding a puff pastry dough. But it’s not quite working as well as she’d hoped.

Mr. R. paces the trailer, mumbling lines to himself as he rehearses from his script. There is an icy chill in the room and it’s not from the snow-capped mountains outside the window. He speaks to Caryn without a pause in his recitation.

MR. R.

Is that for dinner tonight?

Caryn shoves the rolling pin aside.


I guess. If it turns out.

She attempts to mold the dough with her hands.

MR. R.

Do you have plans again tonight?


Um, yes. Well, if it’s okay, I’d like to drive into Park City and maybe grab dinner there.

Mr. R. stops pacing.

MR. R.

Park City?


If it’s okay with you, of course.

MR. R.

It’s fine.

He begins the pacing and mumbling again. Caryn stares at the dough, unsure how to proceed.


Maybe I’ll come with you.

She looks up at the suggestion, but her approval is irrelevant to him. She returns to staring at the dough. After a second, she wads up the whole buttery mess and dumps it in the trash can.


The perfect evening to sit on the open balcony above Main Street. Caryn is finishing a summery salad garnished with roasted peaches and goat cheese, but she is eyeing the last bites of Mr. R.’s shrimp wrapped in jack cheese and bacon, drizzled with a chipotle cream sauce.

The other diners seem to be happier than the awkward pair of chef and employer.

MR. R.

This shrimp is outstanding.




The plates are promptly cleared. The table is reset for the main course. Mr. R. picks up the book he brought with him. Caryn watches the table next to her talk to the restaurant’s chef.

She is rescued from her solitude by the arrival of the entrees. On Caryn’s plate, the freshest scallops available swim through a lemon-cilantro butter sauce. She picks up her fork and pokes at the potato pastry in the center, sorting through the delicate layers of flaky dough.

Mr. R. puts the book down to start on his stunning lobster tail curved beside a bank of pasta with sundried tomatoes, mushrooms and basil. Caryn slices through a scallop and tastes it skeptically.


Oh. Wow.

Mr. R. hides a smile behind his fork. Without asking, he reaches over and grabs a scallop from Caryn’s plate. Her mouth drops, but he quietly trades the scallop for a slice of the tender lobster.

And she can’t help but give in to the terms of the deal…

Riverhorse Cafe

It has been many years since my first visit to Riverhorse and I was so pleasantly surprised to find that the service and food is still outstanding. A wonderful meal.

510 Main Street

Park City, UT 84060

(435) 649-3536 ph.

Summer hours vary but aim for a sunset.

Appetizers Vegetarian

No Time to Cook: Hummus!



A truly gorgeous evening in the mountains. Caryn sits on the steps, thumbing through a local paper. Amelia strolls up from a trailer down the row.


I see you made it to Utah.


Why is a Civil War movie shooting here anyway?


They needed to simulate the Smokies. When Hollywood thinks of mountains, they think of Sundance. It’s the closest to nature they get.

Caryn laughs as the door opens and Mr. R. appears with a napkin tucked in his shirt collar.

MR. R.

Are we back from dinner?

Amelia gives him her most flirtatious smile.


Five more minutes.

Mr. R. nods and goes back inside. Amelia immediately returns to her normal professional self.


After we wrap, some of the other assistants are coming to my room to hang out. Can you make it this time?

Caryn inadvertently checks the door behind her before responding.


Um, I guess so. I mean, sure. Can I bring anything?


Maybe just some dip or something.


I make a pretty good hummus.


Oh please, no. Just pick up something at the store. Who has time to cook?

She laughs at the thought and starts down the row again.


See you later then.

Caryn waves goodbye before going in to assess the damage from dinner.


Caryn tiptoes down the hall carrying a large bowl that has been practically licked clean of the hummus that was in it. When she gets to her door, she unsticks a note taped to it.

NOTE: “Looked for you all night. In the future, please let me know if you are going out. –R”

She carefully replaces the note back on the door and slips inside without a sound.


This recipe from my mother makes a delightfully creamy hummus. And it’s so simple…

Mix in Blender:

1 16oz. can chick peas

3-5 garlic cloves

3/4 cup water.

Blend well.


1 cup sesame paste (tahini)

1 cup olive oil

1/4 cup lemon juice

2 tsp. salt

Blend well and chill.