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Mother’s Day 2014

Mother’s Day 2014

Catching up from the busyness of life, I just have to share some of the great things we did for Mother’s Day weekend. There was much cooking done so I will share some some of the Mother’s Day recipes.

On Saturday Daughter Number Four told me she just HAD to make me some muffins that she had found a recipe for. At nine, she isn’t quite capable of baking by herself, so what she was asking was if I would help her bake muffins.  She pulled up a recipe that she had found online at “KidsHealth”. We did have all of the ingredients, so we got right to it.

Mixing Muffins



The muffins were very good, and Daughter Number Four did most of the work herself. She is becoming a great cook! We shared some of the muffins with our family. Everyone was impressed.

On Sunday, while the girls and I were at church, The Hubs made brunch for me / us. To be honest, the weekend did not turn out quite the way we had wanted it to. I couldn’t even believe that after our drain debacle on Cinco de Mayo, the night before Mother’s Day we had a pipe break under the house. The Hubs had spent several hours on Saturday evening working on it, and started back up on Sunday morning.

The girls and I did clean up and go to church. I was surprised and excited to come home to brunch and champagne cocktails. The brunch casserole he made was absolutely delicious, and the girls loved it just as much as I did. This is a dish I will make for brunch in the future.

The Blintze Bake paired perfectly with Mimosa’s and Apricot Bellini’s.

Not only was the food was really wonderful, and I am over joyed that we were able to get the water leak fixed!

These are definitely some morsels worth trying and would both be great for a brunch.

Peanut Butter Banana Muffins

  • 2 eggs
  • 1 cup milk
  • ¼ cup banana (about 1 banana, mashed with a fork)
  • ¼ c. peanut butter
  • 1/3 cup vegetable oil
  • ¼ cup frozen apple juice concentrate (thawed (left out of the freezer until it's soft))
  • ¼ cup nonfat dry milk
  • 2¼ cup all-purpose flour
  • 1½ teaspoon baking powder
  • 1 teaspoon baking soda
  • nonstick cooking spray
  1. Preheat oven to 350 degrees. 

  2. In a small bowl, break the eggs and use a fork to beat them a little bit.

  3. In a large bowl, combine the milk, mashed banana, peanut butter, vegetable oil, apple juice, dry milk, and the eggs from the small bowl. Mix with a mixing spoon until the mixture is creamy. 

  4. Add the flour, baking powder, and baking soda into the large bowl. Mix again. 

  5. Line a muffin tin with paper liners or lightly spray with nonstick spray. 

  6. Spoon in the muffin mix. Fill each muffin cup about 2/3 of the way up. 

  7. Bake for about 15 minutes. When your muffins are finished baking, remove from muffin tin and cool them on the wire rack.

Makes 12 muffins

Blintze Bake

  • 2 – 8 ounce packages Neufchatel cheese (softened)
  • 15 ounces part-skim ricotta cheese
  • 5 eggs (divided)
  • ¾ cup granulated sugar (divided)
  • 1 lemon (3 Tablespoons juice, 1 teaspoon zest)
  • 1 cup all-purpose flour
  • ¾ cup butter (melted)
  • ¼ cup milk
  • 1 Tablespoon baking powder
  1. Heat oven to 325 degrees. 

  2. Beat Neufchatel, ricotta, 2 eggs, 1/4 cup sugar, lemon zest and juice in large bowl with mixer until blended. 

  3. Whisk remaining eggs, sugar, flour, butter, milk and baking powder in separate bowl until blended. 

  4. Spread 1/3 of the batter onto bottom of 13×9-inch baking dish sprayed with cooking spray; cover with Neufchatel mixture, then remaining batter. Bake 45 minutes or until center is set.




Posted by on May 19, 2014 in Brunch Recipes, Recipe


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Fall Favorites ~ Muffins and Cocoa


As I am still feeling nostalgic from the Ham and Scalloped Potatoes, I will share a brand new comfort food, including a pumpkin muffin recipe and an old, tried and true comfort drink.

The weather has turned cooler and there is a chill in the air. I absolutely love this time of year. It’s the time when the leaves start to change colors and fall from the trees. I love seeing my breath in the earlier morning crisp air, I love pumpkins and sweaters, but most of all I love to bake! Truly I really love to bake muffins. They are absolutely my favorite thing in the world to bake, and one of my favorite things to eat.

Saturday morning on our way home from the grocery store and a quick drive through at a coffee chain to pick up some pumpkin spice lattes, Daughter Number Four asked if I could make pumpkin spice muffins. I told her that of course I could. She asked if we could do that right away. I reminded her that we had to make all of the meals for the week when we got home, but that we could definitely bake muffins on Sunday. “Banana muffins?” she asked. “I thought you wanted Pumpkin Spice Muffins“, said I. “Yes, and Banana Muffins”, she said.

So when Sunday morning came it was time to get started making muffins. I looked at several Pumpkin Spice Muffins and did not find one that I fell in love with. So, I made my own. That went so well I created an all-new Banana Muffin, too. I have to admit that it is awesome! The family loved both kinds of muffins. Daughter Number Four decided that we had so many muffins that I should take the Pumpkin Spice Muffins to my office to share, so I did. Those were mini-muffins…so everyone felt like they were eating healthy!

I served the warm banana muffins with the hot chocolate recipe that my parents always made when we were growing up. These are the best parts of fall; sharing memories and good treats with my family and friends.

Thank you for sharing these memories with me, and I hope you can make some of your own. The pumpkin muffin recipe might help.

Pumpkin Spice Muffins

  • 1 ¼ cups all-purpose flour
  • ½ cup whole wheat flour
  • 1 teaspoon baking soda
  • ½ teaspoon baking powder
  • ½ teaspoon salt
  • ½ teaspoon pumpkin pie spice
  • ¼ teaspoon cinnamon
  • 1 cup pumpkin puree
  • ½ cup brown sugar
  • ¼ cup turbinado sugar
  • ¼ cup applesauce
  • ¼ cup canola oil
  • 2 eggs
  • ¼ cup warm water
  1. Preheat oven to 375 degrees. Line a muffin tin with papers, or spray with nonstick cooking spray. 

  2. In a large bowl whisk together flours, baking soda, baking powder, salt and spices. 

  3. In a medium bowl, whisk together (or use electric mixer) pumpkin, sugars, applesauce, oil, eggs and water. Stir the wet ingredients in with the dry ingredients until just blended. Spoon batter into prepared muffin cups to about 2/3 full. Gently knock the pan on the counter a time or two to evenly distribute batter and to remove air bubbles. This can be topped with turbinado sugar, or a cinnamon sugar topping, if you like. 

  4. Bake for 20-25 minutes until a toothpick inserted in the center comes out clean. Remove from oven to a cooling rack. After 10 minutes remove from pan and cool completely.


Banana Chocolate Chip Muffins

  • 1 ½ cups all-purpose flour
  • ½ cup whole wheat flour
  • 1 teaspoon baking soda
  • ½ teaspoon baking powder
  • ½ teaspoon salt
  • ½ cup chocolate chips
  • 3 overripe bananas (mashed)
  • 3 eggs
  • ½ cup sugar
  • 5 tablespoons melted butter
  • Turbinado sugar or pearlized sugar for topping (optional)
  1. Preheat oven to 375 degrees. Line muffin tins with papers, or grease with butter or nonstick cooking spray. In a large bowl, combine flours, baking soda, baking powder, salt and chocolate chips with a whisk. In a medium bowl, mash bananas. Using an electric mixer mix in eggs, sugar, and butter until smooth. Add creamed ingredients to dry ingredients and stir until just mixed. Fill muffin cups until 2/3 full. Knock the pan on counter top gently to distribute batter and remove air bubbles. Top with sugar, if desired. Bake for 17-20 minutes, until a toothpick inserted in the center of the middle muffin comes out clean. Remove from oven to wire cooling rack for five minutes. Remove muffins to cooling rack to cool completely.

Makes 12.


Hot Chocolate (Cocoa)

  • 2 Tablespoons cocoa powder (or less if desired)
  • Sea salt (scant)
  • ½ cup granulated sugar
  • 4 cups milk
  1. In a heavy bottomed saucepan, whisk the cocoa, salt, and sugar until smooth. Turn the stovetop on to medium heat. Gradually whisk in milk until smooth. Continue whisking until milk is hot, but not boiling. Remove from the heat and serve in mugs.

Top with whipped cream or marshmallows, if desired!


Posted by on October 8, 2013 in Recipe


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Triple Berry Chocolate Muffins

Triple Berry Chocolate Muffins

I had some fresh berries in the fridge that I needed to use, so this morning I came up with this awesome Mixed Berry Muffins. No, it isn’t a holiday, but the morning was dark and rainy so I didn’t need to feel bad about staying in. There was nothing to do outside!

These mixed berry muffins are so easy to throw together with just a few ingredients that most people have on hand. Well, maybe not the turbinado sugar, but the other ingredients should be household staples!

These were a big hit with the family, too. I think doubling the chocolate or using chocolate chips would make these even better. The sugar topping gave these a great crunchy top.

Triple Berry Chocolate Chunk Muffins

  • 1¾ cups all-purpose flour
  • 2 teaspoons baking powder
  • ½ teaspoon baking soda
  • ½ cup granulated sugar
  • ¼ cup turbinado sugar
  • 2 oz. semi sweet baking chocolate (chopped)
  • 1 cup milk
  • 1/3 cup vegetable oil
  • 1 egg
  • 1 teaspoon vanilla extract
  • 1 cup fresh strawberries (blueberries and raspberries, washed and cut into bite size if needed)
  • Pearlized sugar (for sprinkling)
  • Turbinado sugar (for sprinkling)
  1. Preheat oven to 400 degrees. Grease the cups of a muffin pan, or line with paper liners. 

  2. Mix the flour, baking powder, baking soda, sugar, and chopped baking chocolate into a large bowl. 

  3. Whisk together the milk, vegetable oil, egg and vanilla. 

  4. Pour the milk mixture into the dry ingredients and mix together until just blended. Gently fold in the fruit, so as not to smash. 

  5. Fill the muffin cups 2/3 of the way full. Lightly sprinkle the tops with the sugars. 

  6. Bake for 20 minutes or until a toothpick inserted in the middle comes out clean.

  7. Cool on a wire rack.

This recipe makes about 18 muffins.

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Posted by on August 11, 2013 in Baking Recipes


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Cherry Oat Muffins

Cherry Oat Muffins

Having frozen cherries in the freezer is so great! On Friday morning, daughter Number Four informed me that I had not made Holiday Breakfast the day before, on the 4th of July. What have I done?!? I started a tradition of making breakfast on (Big) Holidays, and apparently it has spiraled out of control. Being a quick thinker I took to a search engine to find a breakfast muffin recipe that was healthy and would utilize some of the cherries in the freezer. I came across a recipe that matched every requirement. I made some Cherry Muffins!

In less than 30 minutes we had fresh cherry muffins warm out of the oven. They were great alone, with a bit of butter, or some jam.

I was worried that this recipe would be too ‘healthy’ for some of the members of the family. Much to my delight everyone liked the cherry muffins. This is definitely something I will add to my repertoire. I will continue my search for awesome cherry recipes in the meantime.

Cherry-Oat Muffins

  • 3/4 cup whole wheat flour
  • 1/2 cup all-purpose flour
  • 1 1/4 cups rolled oats
  • 1 teaspoon baking powder
  • 1/2 teaspoon baking soda
  • 1/4 teaspoon salt
  • 1/2 teaspoon cinnamon
  • 1 cup unsweetened applesauce
  • 1/2 cup low-fat buttermilk
  • 1/2 cup firmly packed brown sugar
  • 2 tablespoons canola oil
  • 1 large egg
  • 1 cup fresh or frozen pitted cherries
  1. Preheat oven to 375 degrees. Line a 12 cup muffin tin with papers.

  2. In a large bowl mix together flours, oats, baking powder, soda, salt and cinnamon. 

  3. In a medium bowl whisk together applesauce, buttermilk, brown sugar, oil and egg. Combine until smooth.

  4. Pour wet mixture into dry ingredients and mix until just moist. Fold in cherries. 

  5. Fill muffin papers about 2/3 full. 

  6. Bake 15 minutes and check for doneness with a toothpick. If pick inserted in center comes out clean, they are done. If not done, bake in additional 1 minute increments until toothpick comes out clean. 

  7. Remove from oven to wire cooling rack for 5 minutes. After 5 minutes, remove muffins from pan to cool completely.

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Posted by on July 7, 2013 in Uncategorized


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Valentine’s Day – Mixed Berry Muffins

I got up early yesterday morning to finish my Valentine’s Day baking. I wanted to make some special muffins for the girls, and to share with my co-workers. They get to hear about all of my baking, but don’t get to partake very often. These Mixed Berry White Chocolate Muffins were just what they deserved!

For several weeks I have been looking for a recipe for muffins made with mixed berries. I adore mixed berries over yogurt with granola. I fell in love with that breakfast delight on a trip to Banff,Alberta,Canada with one of my girlfriends.

So, I wanted to try some muffins with blue, black, and raspberries. Oh, and white chocolate. I searched for weeks to find a recipe and the only recipes I could find with the mixed berries were from countries that use a different measurement system. So, I made up my own recipe for Mixed Berry White Chocolate Muffins.

My girls didn’t eat any. They were too busy drinking the pink hot cocoa and eating the giant sugar cookies I had made for them!

My co-workers really liked the muffins, as did I. I will have to play around with it a little bit more. The blackberries seemed to implode and make big gooey caverns.

One of the keys to muffin success is to add baking chips with the dry ingredients. This helps to prevent the chips from sinking to the bottom.

After the muffins were done and the cookies all boxed up for 2 of the girls, and cake balls readied for 1 girl, and gluten-free brownies cut into squares, all I had left to do for the school parties was to halve strawberries. I am still amazed at how perfectly heart-shaped strawberries are, when cut in half. Fabulous!

I wanted to make dinner for the hubs that was not in the least bit healthy. He tries to endure many of the healthier recipes that I create. There are a few that he just detests. So, what is love if it isn’t compromise? I chose to show my compromise in the form of making a dinner that I detest!

The hubs loves ribs. I am not a grill master. So, I made a recipe that one of my sisters-in-law had made several years ago for ribs in the crock pot. As I recalled people really liked them. So, I put the ribs into the crock pot with the rest of the ingredients to cook through the day. When I got home, all I had to do was make the side dishes.

I also made smashed potatoes, southwestern style corn, with onions and diced green and red peppers. Boy oh boy. The hubs was thrilled with the dinner! The potatoes were made to perfection, the corn was flavorful, and the ribs were…ribs.

I will say, that the little pieces of meat that I had were tender. The little girls really enjoyed the dinner, too. Except for the corn. The best part of all was that the hubs wasn’t expecting it. He knew that I had been busting my butt on baking and decorating treats for the girls for two days. He certainly wasn’t peaking into a very unassuming crock pot on the counter! A definite win for the wife!

The day was a complete and total success from start to finish, food wise, and otherwise. It was so great, that I can hardly wait for next Valentine’s Day!

Mixed Berry White Chocolate Muffins

  • 1 ½ cups all-purpose flour
  • ½ cup granulated sugar
  • 3 teaspoons baking powder
  • ¼ teaspoon salt
  • ½ cup white baking chips (plus additional for topping)
  • 1 cup milk
  • 1/3 cup butter (melted )
  • 1 egg
  • ¾ cup mixed berries (frozen)
  1. Preheat oven to 375 degrees.  

  2. Line a muffin tin with paper liners.

  3. Mix dry ingredients and add baking chips.

  4. Combine egg, milk and butter and stir into flour mixture. Stir just until combined. Gently mix in berries, being careful not to break up the berries. Do not over mix. 

  5. Fill your muffin cups about 2/3 of the way full with batter. Sprinkle a few white chips and coarse sugar on the tops. Gently knock the pan on the counter to get rid of air bubbles before baking. 

  6. Bake for 20 minutes. 

  7. Set pan on a wire rack to cool for about 5 minutes. Remove muffins from pan to cool completely.

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Posted by on February 15, 2012 in Baking Recipes, Brunch Recipes


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World Nutella Day muffins

Wow. This weekend has been busy. I’ve spent time with family, and done some cooking. Oh, and disinfected the house due to the still lingering and maligning nastiness that has decided to inhabit the hubs this weekend! You know, with little ones, the germs just get passed around. What do need to be passed around are the Nutella Muffins I made!

Yesterday morning I got up and made Chocolate Chocolate Chip Muffins to send with daughter number 2 for the Forensics tournament. Daughter number 1 was coming in to town to judge at the tournament so I was planning on cooking dinner for her and her boyfriend, who came with her.

During the 2 little girls games the hubs started feeling a little less than healthy. By the end of it, it was a good thing we live close to the gym! I had to cancel the plans for dinner…but did NOT want to get the others sick.

I did get to spend some time with them at my mother’s house, which was great!

Due to all of the illness still ongoing, I didn’t make dinner for the family. I bought some broth and flavored water. Mmmmm.

My parents were the greeters at church today. The greeters have to bring a certain number of snacks for the fellowship after church. I had told mother that I would bake some muffins for her. She thought mini-muffins would be the best.

So this morning I got up and made some apple muffins. The pecans were omitted from the topping in case of nut allergy issues. I only made 2 dozen mini-muffins, so I put the rest of the muffin batter into my little donut pan. They were fun, and tasted amazing. These muffin donuts will be around in the future! Mufinuts, anyone?

I had promised daughter number 4, who missed 2 days of school last week sick, that I would bake a banana cake. So, we baked a banana cake!

Also, since it was World Nutella Day today I had promised myself that I would make something spectacular with Nutella! I decided to make Nutella Muffins. I looked for a recipe that I liked but didn’t find one, so I made these. They were a HUGE hit with the kids and the hubs! I’m not sure all of them should have eaten them with the lingering tummy troubles, however! I had one with some Nutella hot chocolate. Oh, yeah!

I was really pleased with how the Nutella Muffins turned out.

For dinner I made a very tummy friendly supper of baked chicken and mashed potatoes. I served it with lima beans. The chicken was good, but I overbaked it just a bit. I will be more mindful of that the next time. The bland and light dinner did seem to work. I had frosted the banana cake with a vegan cream cheese frosting, made with non-dairy cream cheese. We enjoyed that for dessert. I am glad that I tried the non-dairy cream cheese because I won’t have to again!

It was such a busy weekend of family and food, that I am looking forward to work tomorrow. I sure hope everyone is healthy and ready for school. My poor hands need a break from all of the disinfecting!

I hope you enjoy the Nutella Muffins as much as we did. Next year I guarantee I will have created more amazing Nutella treats. Who am I kidding? I will not be waiting a whole year!

Nutella Chocolate Chip Muffins

  • 2 cups all-purpose flour
  • 2 teaspoons baking powder
  • ½ teaspoon baking soda
  • ½ cup granulated sugar
  • ¾ cup semi-sweet chocolate chips (plus some for sprinkling)
  • ½ cup Nutella
  • 1 cup vanilla soy milk
  • 1/4 cup vegetable oil
  • ¼ cup egg substitute
  1. Preheat oven to 400 degrees.  

  2. Grease the cups of a muffin pan, or line with paper liners. 

  3. Mix the flour, baking powder, baking soda, sugar, and 3/4 cup chocolate chips into a large bowl. 

  4. Whisk together the Nutella, milk, vegetable oil, and egg substitute. 

  5. Pour the milk mixture into the dry ingredients and mix together. 

  6. Fill the muffin cups 2/3 of the way full. Sprinkle a few chocolate chips on top of each muffin. 

  7. Bake for 20 minutes or until a toothpick inserted in the middle comes out clean.

  8. Remove from oven to wire rack to cool.

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Posted by on February 5, 2012 in Baking Recipes


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