Tag Archives: Baking

Blackberry Crisp – So Good!


I know, I know! I’ve been posting a lot of dessert recipes, particularly of the crisp variety. But I can’t help myself! Fruit and vegetables are plentiful right now and it’s the perfect excuse to rationalize my want for baking. WeĀ can’t let all this yummy food go to waste now can we?! And to my defense, I do make lots of dishes that aren’t dessert related, but the desserts photograph so much better I think šŸ™‚


We went to my mom’s last weekend and she has fruit trees and berry bushes beyond what any one family can devourĀ (her blackberries are ginormous!).Ā So I happily help myself and squirrel home my goods. And to this, I wonder why I have to workout so much…hmmm. Let’s think here…maybe give up baking!!!! Ha! That ain’t gonna happen šŸ˜‰

This is my latest baking creation that I have to say is so yummy and comforting for this time of year. Still the essence of summery berries, but also the comfort of a fall crisp topping. I adapted this from one of Ina Garten’s recipes. Her crisp topping is the all time best, so it’s hard to stray from something so perfect and foolproof. The filling is what I came up with. Crisps and pies usually call for flour as a thickener, but I almost always use corn starch these days. It thickens better and doesn’t leave a floury taste to the dessert. Hope you enjoy!


9 cups rinsed blackberries
Grated orange zest of one orange
2 tablespoons freshly squeezed orange juice
1/2 + a scant cup granulated sugar (depends on how sour your berries are)
4 tablespoons corn starch

For the topping:
1 1/2 cups all-purpose flour
3/4 cup granulated sugar
3/4 cup light brown sugar, lightly packed
1/2 teaspoon kosher salt
1 cup old-fashioned oatmeal
1/2 pound (2 sticks) cold unsalted butter, diced


Preheat the oven to 350 degrees F.
Place the fruit in a large bowl and add the zest, juice, sugar, and corn starch. Pour into a 9 by 12 inch baking dish.

For the topping:
Combine the flour, sugars, salt, oatmeal, and butter in the bowl of an electric mixer fitted with the paddle attachment. Mix on low speed for 1 minute, until the mixture is in large crumbles. Sprinkle evenly over the fruit, covering the fruit completely.
Place the baking dish on a sheet pan and bake for 50 minutes to 1 hour, until the top is brown and the fruit is bubbly. Serve warm.

Yellow Squash Cranberry Muffins


A few years ago I planted some yellow squash and it went gang busters in the garden. I made fritters with it, sauted it, roasted it, you name it. But I was at a loss of what else to do with it. So I found this recipe fromĀ CaramelPieĀ and altered it to cut down on prep time and make them a little more healthful. And since the, they have been by far one of my favorite summer baked goods.

I just baked up my first batch of the season and they are just as yummy as I remember! Super moist, light and delicately sweet!


15Ā muffins

  • 2 cups baby yellow squash grated
  • 2Ā eggs
  • 1ā„2Ā cup melted butter
  • 1ā„2Ā cup applesauce
  • 1ā„2Ā cup sugar
  • 1ā„2 Ā cup brownĀ sugar
  • 2Ā cupsĀ whole wheat flour
  • 1 cup all purpose flour
  • 5 teaspoons baking powder
  • 1teaspoon salt


  1. Wash squash, trim ends, and grate.
  2. Measure 2 cups of the squash, combine with eggs, butter, and applesauce, and set aside.
  3. Combine dry ingredients in a large bowl.
  4. Make a well in center of mixture.
  5. Add squash to dry ingredients, stirring only until moist.
  6. Spoon into greased muffin tins, filling 3/4 full.
  7. Bake at 350 degrees F for 18-20Ā minutes or until toothpick inserted in center of muffin comes out clean.

Sweet Potato Chai Muffins with Coconut Oil


I’m a little surprised at how often I make muffins these days since I wasn’t a huge muffin baker in the past. But now that my kids are going to school in the mornings and need a quick breakfast that’s also wholesome, I find myself trying more and more muffin recipes. Who doesn’t get tired of cereal and frozen waffles every morning! We gotta mix it up and we leave the pancakes (unless I make extra and freeze them) and smoothies for the weekends.

I had sweet potato in the freezer the other day that needed to be used (here’s a HUGE tip…buy the frozen mashed sweet potato from Trader Joes! Just defrost and you are good to go!!) and so decided to make this recipe that originally used pumpkin and then I swapped out the butter for the coconut oil. Easy peasy! I personally like coconut oil in my muffins and my girls like it too, but it can make the texture a little denser. That said, I love the added flavor the chai tea brings to these muffins.

Sweet PotatoĀ Chai Doughnut Muffins Author: Adapted from Martha Stewart Ingredients

For the muffins: Makes 12

  • ā…“ cup milk
  • 1 bag chai tea
  • 10 tablespoonsĀ coconut oil
  • 2Ā cups allĀ­purpose flour, plus more for pan
  • 1 cup whole wheat flour
  • 2Ā½ teaspoons baking powder
  • 1 teaspoon salt
  • Ā½ teaspoon nutmeg
  • Ā¼ teaspoon allspice
  • Ā¼ teaspoon cardamom
  • Ā¼ teaspoon baking soda
  • 1Ā¼ cupsĀ cooked and mashed sweet potato (pumpkin can easily be substituted)
  • Ā¾ cup lightly packed brown sugar
  • 2 eggs
For the sugar coating:
  • Ā¾ cup granulated sugar
  • 2Ā½ teaspoons cinnamon


1. Pour milk into a mug or small microwaveable bowl. Heat in microwave 40 seconds until hot (but not scalding). Steep tea in milk 10 minutes.

2. Meanwhile, heat oven to 350 degrees F. Butter and flour 12 standard muffin cups. In a medium bowl, whisk flour, baking powder, salt, nutmeg, allspice, cardamom and baking soda until well combined.

3. Remove tea bag from milk, squeezing out any extra liquid and flavor from bag. Pour milk into a small bowl and stir in canned pumpkin until mixture is well combined.

4. In a large bowl or bowl of a stand mixer, beat oilĀ and brown sugar on high speed 1 to 2 minutes. Add eggs, one at a time, beating well after each addition.

5. Using a spatula, wooden spoon or stand mixer on low speed, alternate stirring in flour (in 3 additions) and sweet potatoĀ mixtures (in 2 additions), beginning and ending with flour mixture, just until batter is combined.

6. Spoon batter evenly into prepared muffin cups. Bake 23-25Ā minutes until a toothpick inserted in center comes out clean. Cool muffins 10 minutes in pan on a cooling rack.

7. Meanwhile, in a small bowl, whisk together sugar and cinnamon. One at a time, remove muffins from pan then roll in sugarĀ­cinnamon mixture. Transfer to cooling rack to cool completely.

Quick and Easy Hot Cross Buns

IMG_4357I was determined to make hot cross buns for Good Friday today and although they came out differently than I had anticipated, they came out delicious and far quicker than I had planned!! I thought I had yeast to make the traditional version, but because just assumed I had some, when it came to the yeast step and went to grab it…sigh…I was out. So with a little improv and internet checking, I came up with a baking powder version for what I had already started and they came out yummy and easy!!! A little different in texture of course, but the flavors are there šŸ™‚ The recipe is below as well as some instagram easter basket and egg decorating idea pics I posted for Easter.


  • 3 cupsĀ flour
  • 4.5 tsp baking posder
  • 1/2 tsp salt
  • 1/4 tsp cardamom
  • 1/4 tsp nutmeg
  • zest of one navel orange
  • 1/2 tsp ground cinnamon
  • 3 TbspĀ butter room temp
  • 1/4 cup sugarĀ sugar
  • 1/4 cupĀ dried cranberries
  • 1/4 cup chopped dried apricots
  • 1/4 cup raisins
  • 1 egg
  • 1 cupĀ buttermilk

Directions: Makes 12

Preheat oven toĀ 350 F

  1. WhiskĀ dry ingredients, sugar, orange zest and fruit into a large bowl.
  2. Rub in butter with fingers until mixture resembles fine breadcrumbs.
  3. WhiskĀ buttermilk and egg together and add to dry ingredients. Mix just until a soft dough forms.
  4. Turn onto a floured board, knead lightly.
  5. Pat out to approximately 1 inchĀ thickness and, using a 3-4″ roundĀ cutter, cut into buns.
  6. Place onto lightly greased oven tray.
  7. Bake at 350Ā for 12-15 minutes.
  8. Glaze: Mix 1/4 cup powdered sugar with buttermilkĀ oneĀ tablespoon at a time until a paste is formed.
  9. Remove from oven and brush buns with glaze.Ā Ā 
  10. Cool buns on a wire rack. Cut slivers of dried apricots to make crosses and place on top of buns.



Easter basket inspiration. Most of these items are from the Target Dollar Spot…ummm…super cute bunny tote, right?!


I decorated some eggs and went the super simple, yet chic route: brown eggs and a white Sharpie – how easy can it get??!!


Protein Packed Sunflower Butter Muffins…Yum!

IMG_3737Well hello again! I disappeared there for a bit over the Christmas break. I posted a few inspirations on Instagram, but I was otherwise engaged with hanging with the family folk for the last few weeks. I have to say, it was nice to slow down, not rush out the door and just hang in our jammies if we so chose. Not to give an entirely wrong impression that we did nothing but hang out in our pjs slothing about. We did venture out of our hollow up to visit the snow, downtown to see the gingerbread houses and then a dismal attempt at driving around to find Christmas lights and ending up in a gas station bathroom (ewe!!).

Now that the merriment of the holidays are behind us, we’ve stretched our pants to capacity and dawned our nightwear sufficiently during the day hours, it’s time to get back on track. Exercise, stick to a schedule and eat healthy…but still eat yummy food of course!! The Christmas cookies are in the past and I am inspired to start thinking of some healthier options for my little peeps that they will actually eat. So I went to my “High Protein Vegetarian” cookbook and found these bad boys that I hadn’t tried before. Partly because my oldest daughter only likes almond butter and my youngest only likes peanut butter…hmph šŸ™ But a lightbulb went off last night and I thought of the all forgotten sunflower butter that I think is oh-so-delicisious, but hardly used. So with a few minor substitutions, I whipped these up last night while the girls were in bed. And the best part? they tried them for breakfast and they liked them! Yay! And I have to say I do too. Super yum with all sorts of healthy goodness in there to make a mom’s conscience rest easy.

Here is the recipe that was adapted from Veggie and the Beast:

Sunflower Butter and Chocolate Chips Protein Muffins


YIELD: 10 – 12 muffins (I only got 10)

PREP TIME: 10 minutes

COOK TIME: 15 minutes

TOTAL TIME: 25 minutes


  • Ā¾ cup whole grain spelt flour (or whole wheat pastry flour)
  • Ā½ cup quick oats
  • Ā¼ cup wheat germ
  • 1 teaspoons baking powder
  • Ā½ teaspoon baking soda
  • Ā½ teaspoon ground cinnamon
  • Ā¼ teaspoon salt
  • Ā½ cup natural unsweetened applesauce
  • ā…” cup creamy peanut butter
  • 3 tablespoons honey
  • 3 tablespoons dark brown sugar, packed
  • 1 large egg
  • 2 teaspoons vanilla extract
  • Ā½ cup 2% plain Greek yogurt
  • 1/3 cup mini chocolate chips


  1. Whisk together the flour, oats, wheat germ, baking powder, baking soda, cinnamon and salt in a bowl. Set aside.
  2. In another bowl, stir together the applesauce and peanut butter. Mix in the honey, sugar, egg, and vanilla, and then stir in the Greek yogurt.
  3. Slowly add the dry ingredients to the wet ingredients. Fold in the chocolates chips.
  4. Drop the batter into 12 lined and greased muffin tins.
  5. Bake at 350 for 15-18 minutes, until a toothpick/knife inserted in the center comes out clean.
  6. Allow to cool completely. Store in an airtight container. Since this is an oil-free quick bread, the muffin flavor and texture will improve overnight.

Eggnog Cinnamon Donuts – Yum!



Can I just say these donuts are yummy, festive and easy. I made these on Friday, it’s now Monday and the last one was just downed this morning by my four year old. And it was a big batch! I adapted the recipe from Ina Garten and let’s face it, her recipes are pretty amazing! If you don’t have a donut pan, you could easily make these in to muffins, but I strongly urge you to get yourself one (or two) for baking donuts (so much healthierĀ than frying!). The family will love you for it!

Here’s the recipe so you can get your donut on:

2 cups all-purpose flour
1 1/4 cups sugar
2 teaspoons baking powder
1 teaspoon ground cinnamon
1/2 teaspoon kosher salt
1 extra-large egg, lightly beaten
1 1/4 cups light or regular eggnog
2 tablespoons unsalted butter, melted
2 teaspoons pure vanilla extract
For the topping:
1/2 cup sugar
1/2 teaspoon ground cinnamon

Preheat the oven to 350 degrees. Spray 2 doughnut pans well.

Into a large bowl, sift together the flour, sugar, baking powder, cinnamon, nutmeg, and salt. In a small bowl, whisk together the egg, milk, melted butter, and vanilla. Stir the wet mixture into the dry ingredients until just combined.

Spoon the batter into the baking pans, filling each one a little more than three-quarters full. Bake for 17 minutes, until a toothpick comes out clean. Allow to cool for 5 minutes, then tap the doughnuts out onto a sheet pan.

Combine the sugar and cinnamon in a small bowl. Dip each doughnut first in the cinnamon sugar, either on one side or both sides.