For Barbara Harris – Lemon, Pear and Choc Chip Muffins

by Amanda McInerney on 16/07/2012

The food blogging world is a very noisy place – both aurally and visually.  There are a lot of us out here in the ether and we’d all quite like some of your attention.  Some of us are prepared to go to great lengths to attract that attention with flashy themes and cleverly designed  websites, glitzy photographs, amazing recipes and over-blown prose – not that there’s anything wrong with any of that.  However, others take a quieter, more measured approach to their writing, food and life.  They are not carried by trends, the drive for traffic or passing food fads, preferring instead to genuinely engage with their passion and those they meet through it.

Barbara Harris was a food blogger of the latter type.  As she wrote in her seventh anniversary blog post, Wino’s and Foodies was a diary of Barbara’s days -  “a place to leave my memories of family and recipes for my children.”  It was the place where she shared her food and photo’s, and the place from which she reached out to other bloggers with warmth, support and sincerity – no matter how she was feeling.  She was one of the first in the blogging world to reach out to me when I started this little piece of silliness, encouraging, including and supporting me.  I valued her insight, friendship and kindness and I will be forever grateful that we were able to spend some time together briefly last year.

Barbara recently lost her battle with cancer, after quietly and courageously living with her diagnosis for some years.  Her struggle was not easy, but she carried herself with inspiring dignity, grace and warmth and she will be missed more than she could possibly have imagined, by people whose lives she touched all around the world.

LiveSTRONG With a Taste of Yellow was Barbara’s creation, timed to coincide with Lance Armstrong’s LiveStrong Foundation Day to raise awareness of cancer.  As an indication of the esteem in which she was held, this month’s Monthly Mingle event (created by Meeta of  “What’s for Lunch, Honey“), hosted  by Cook Sister is dedicated to Barbara’s memory and “A Taste of Yellow” so all who knew her and loved her can eat yellow one more time.

Lemon, Pear and Choc Chip Muffins
Prep time

Cook time

Total time


Serves: 12

  • 2 cups SR flour
  • ½ cup sugar
  • 1 good pinch salt
  • ¾ cup choc chips
  • grated rind of one lemon
  • ¾ cup milk
  • ¼ cup oil
  • 1 egg
  • 1 large pear, grated

  1. Preheat oven to 180C.
  2. Grease and line muffin pan with paper cases.
  3. Place dry ingredients in a large bowl, whisk together with a fork.
  4. Place liquids and egg in smaller bowl, mix well with a fork.
  5. Add the grated pear, stir to combine.
  6. Pour wet ingredients into dry and stir with large spoon to JUST combine. Do no over-mix.
  7. Spoon into prepared, lined muffin pans.
  8. Bake 20-25 minutes until golden.





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{ 25 comments… read them below or add one }

Eat, drink and be Kerry July 16, 2012 at 4:12 pm

Great post. I’m going to make the muffins, sit down with a cup of tea and think of Barbara. Thank you.

Erin @ she cooks, she gardens July 16, 2012 at 5:12 pm

This is a lovely tribute, Amanda. Barbara sounds like a wonderful woman, I am sorry that I am only just finding out about her work and her influence.

Barbara | Creative Culinary July 17, 2012 at 6:03 am

Barbara and I shared more than a name; we shared a philosophy. My blog is my history of cooking with recipes from when my children were little to the cocktail I made last week. I’m hoping some day my grown children will appreciate the thread that runs through it and that there is a legacy to keep. I can only imagine Barbara’s family is happy to have this piece of her; she will be missed.

Maureen July 17, 2012 at 6:09 am

Amanda, this is a lovely tribute to an amazing woman. These muffins would make her smile.

Hotly Spiced July 17, 2012 at 7:07 am

That’s so lovely of you to do this tribute to Barbara. Barbara was also one of the first to reach out to me when I started blogging too. Her comments on my blog and her encouragement were always so lovely. I knew she was fighting cancer but I didn’t know it was so serious. I was very saddened to hear she had lost her battle. xx

Bryan Harris July 17, 2012 at 7:17 am

Thank you Amanda for hosting this tribute to Barbara.
As a family we have been truly amazed by the outpouring of support and praise of Barbara’s life and work, the blog being her favourite interest.
We have all worn the yellow wrist bands from early in her fight, vowing to remove them only if she was to leave us.
There is now only one remaining, it is hers, and on my wrist.
Winos and Foodies will remain on line with one more post to come.
We intend to put up the program from her funeral which includes a recipe, one of her favourites.
My family hugs you all.

Anna@ The Littlest Anchovy July 17, 2012 at 9:23 am

Amanda, this is a wonderful tribute. Barbara has left behind a wonderful legacy in her recipes. I have only now just found out about her blog and will be enjoying scrolling through and learning a little bit about her life tonight.

Kate July 17, 2012 at 3:36 pm

Barbara sounds like a wonderful and admirable person – I would love to have met her and I just know I will enjoy her blog just as I know I will enjoy the muffins – hopefully I will get around to them at the weekend.

Meeta July 17, 2012 at 9:39 pm

Amanda, thank you so much for joining this Monthly Mingle. Barbara was a grand lady and I so appreciate everyone taking part. Reading the posts and going through the thoughts and memories is so special.

lizzie July 18, 2012 at 8:38 am

Barbara was such an amazing person. A great role model for new bloggies, like myself.

Its time to drink tea and make muffins, to reflect.

Lorraine @ Not Quite Nigella July 18, 2012 at 12:53 pm

A great post dedicated to Barbara, may be rest in peace.

Peter G | Souvlaki For The Soul July 18, 2012 at 4:10 pm

A beautiful post Amanda….she will be dearly missed!

InTolerant Chef July 19, 2012 at 10:12 am

What a lovely sentiment and recipe as well.

Jennifer @ Delicieux July 19, 2012 at 11:06 am

Amanda, what a lovely post and a beautiful tribute to the wonderful Barbara. She was such an amazing person and an absolute inspiration. I am sure she would love these muffins.

Lizzy (Good Things) July 19, 2012 at 6:47 pm

Such a lovely post. Such a lovely tribute for a lovely lady. Barbara will be missed by so many of her food writer friends. She would love your post and the recipe too, I’m sure.

Mark Gleeson July 19, 2012 at 7:59 pm

Farewell Barbara, thanks Amanda

Giz July 21, 2012 at 9:42 am

I love both the tribute for Barbara and the muffins. I’ve pinned the muffins – great combo and on my “definitely going to try” list. Barbara was a kind and generous person. So sad to see her go.

celia July 24, 2012 at 5:59 pm

A lovely post, Amanda, dedicated to a lovely lady…

Penny July 30, 2012 at 6:45 am

Thank you Amanda. I hadn’t corresponded with Barbara in awhile and I am having difficulty accepting that she has gone. The muffins will provide a wonderful opportuity to stop and take time to reflect on Barbara. And I will share them with my husband and my daughter…

Jeanne @ CookSister! July 30, 2012 at 10:31 pm

Such true words, and a beautiful tribute to a very special woman. Thanks ever so much for taking part and for sharing your memories of Barbara – and the muffins sound fantastic.

Paz August 10, 2012 at 6:37 am

How fortunate to be able to meet Barbara. Your muffins look delicious!

Ta August 10, 2012 at 9:07 pm

What a lovely post, and a great recipe too :)

ally August 22, 2012 at 1:19 am

lemon, pear & chocolate – i adore your creativity!

marla September 16, 2012 at 1:46 am

Love this recipe! Will be linking back to this in my upcoming post :)

Jaime September 16, 2012 at 6:37 am

Hi Amanda, I’m a new following after meeting you on Food Bloggers Network. I don’t know Barbara, but your post about her makes me wish I knew about Barbara and her blog sooner. She sounds like an amazing woman; inspiring. Beautiful tribute to her and something to take with me every time I bake muffins now.

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