So…May is here. I don’t know how it happened but suddenly, out of nowhere, it’s almost mid-May. Which means…Mother’s Day is almost here! Yay! This holiday has a whole new life to it now that it applies to me and not just my mom and grandmothers (not that I didn’t love celebrating Mother’s Day before I had Cassidy…it’s just more fun now.) Now that I’m on “Team Mom” (golly, that just sounds lame, doesn’t it?), I realize just how important it is for mothers everywhere to have an entire day dedicated to them. A day to feel special and well-rested, pampered and praised, and tended TO instead of being the one doing all the tending. Moms are the hardest working people on the planet- we get spit-up on, pooped on, poked at, toes stomped on, pinched, bitten, screamed at, sat on, and food thrown on us all before 8 in the morning. I think we deserve a day of recognition for that, don’t you?
And maybe a lovely batch of muffins to wake up to with a hot cup of coffee…sipped in silence and peace. Really, that’s all I could ever ask for for Mother’s Day. A little rest, some peace and quiet, and maybe a muffin or two. Sounds heavenly to me. These muffins are no-frills, quick and easy, and taste absolutely perfect warm out of the oven with a cup of coffee. I’ve tried lots of blueberry muffin recipes, but frankly, these are my favorite. They’re everything a blueberry muffin should be. Tender, slightly sweet, and full of juicy blueberries.
I certainly wouldn’t mind if someone were to make these for me on Mother’s Day weekend… (wink, wink!)
Classic Blueberry Muffins
1 1/2 cups all-purpose flour
3/4 cup sugar, plus 1 tablespoon for muffin tops
1/2 teaspoon salt
2 teaspoons baking powder
1/3 cup vegetable oil
1 large egg
1/2 cup milk
1 1/2 teaspoons vanilla extract
1 cup fresh blueberries
Preheat oven to 400 degrees F. and line 8 standard-size muffin cups with paper liners. Add 1 to 2 tablespoons of water to any empty muffin cups (this helps to make sure the muffins bake evenly).
Whisk together the flour, 3/4 cup of the sugar, baking powder and the salt in a large bowl. In a large measuring cup, whisk the vegetable oil, egg, milk, and vanilla extract until combined. Add milk mixture to the bowl with flour and sugar then use a fork to combine. Do not over mix. Batter will be thick. Carefully fold in blueberries with a wooden spoon.
Divide the batter between the 8 muffin cups and sprinkle the tops with the reserved tablespoon of sugar. Bake for 15-20 minutes until muffins are golden brown and a toothpick inserted into the middle comes out clean. Makes 8 muffins.
Recipe source: Inspired Taste
Cassidy liked them, too.
Who doesn’t love corn dogs, right? No one! Especially in fun-sized little mini muffin form! I saw these awhile back and knew I wanted to make them, but wasn’t jazzed about using store-bought wieners that are made with who-knows-what. If you buy the kind that are 100% beef, they’re full of fat and sodium; if you buy the turkey or “low fat” varieties, they’re still full of sodium along with all kinds of additives, preservatives, nitrates, and Lord only knows what else. So naturally, when I discovered Trader Joe’s (God bless that store!) carries all-natural chicken dogs that contain minimal fat and sodium, and are completely free of nitrates and preservatives- I did a major happy dance. Right there in the store. Then I came home and (finally!) made those adorable little corn dog muffins I’ve been dying to try! Yay!
Besides being so darn cute and fun to eat, these are actually really good! And bonus, they’re 100% kid-friendly! Granted, I had to cut them up into little baby-sized bites, but Cassidy still gobbled hers up.
Homemade Corn Dog Mini Muffins
1 package Jiffy corn muffin mix
1/3 cup milk
4 all-natural wieners (I used Trader Joe’s chicken dogs), cut up into small chunks
Preheat the oven to 375 degrees. Mix the corn muffin packet with the egg and milk. Divide batter into 2 greased mini muffin pans and drop a few pieces of the wieners in each cup. Bake for 8-10 minutes. Makes about 24 mini muffins.
Recipe source: adapted from The Family Kitchen
Ok, I realize “World Nutella Day” was yesterday, but better late than never, right?
This is possibly one of the easiest recipes I’ve ever posted, considering every ingredient is store-bought. But hey, sometimes life can get a little crazy and you just need a recipe like this. All it takes is canned crescent roll dough, nutella, and sugar, and in minutes you’ll have a warm, gooey, comforting snack, breakfast, or dessert. Yes, please! These would actually be really cute (and quick!) for the kids’ Valentine’s Day breakfast- maybe even use a little pink decorating sugar and it’s just downright festive!
Quick and Easy Nutella Crescents
1 can refrigerated Pillsbury crescent roll dough
sugar, for sprinkling
Preheat the oven to 350 degrees. Spread a little nutella (about one tablespoon per triangle) on each triangle of dough. Starting with the big end, roll into a crescent shape and sprinkle generously with sugar. Arrange on a baking sheet lined with parchment paper and bake for about 8-10 minutes, until golden brown. Serve immediately. Makes 8 crescents.
Recipe source: Sing For Your Supper original
Jessica and I have been friends for over 4 years now. We met on a cooking discussion forum, quickly discovered we had lots in common, then soon discovered we were both North Texas girls! That’s how we went from internet blogging friends to real-life friends. I’ve met her family; she’s met mine. We’ve gone blackberry picking together, she came to see me in one of my operas, I’ve eaten at her family’s favorite place to get fried fish in her hometown, we made macarons together:
…we’ve seen John Mayer together, we’ve visited each others’ houses, we got stood up at a food bloggers’ dinner (man, that one was embarrassing, huh?), we met DORIE FREAKING GREENSPAN together:
…and so many more memories. Too many to list. When I first met Jess, she seemed to be looking for something she hadn’t quite found yet. Fast forward 4 1/2 years later and she’s met the man of her dreams, running stinkin’ half marathons (go girl!), and GETTING MARRIED in less than a month! She’s found everything she was missing in Chris and now they’re going to start a new life together. Wow. I am SO happy for these two I can’t even tell you! And seriously, have you SEEN her engagement photos? Amazing.
Anyway, on to the food! I’m participating in a virtual shower thrown by my good friend Nikki of Pennies on a Platter. A bunch of us got together to throw a special wedding shower celebrating the beautiful bride! I decided to make Cinnamon-Sugar Crescents because a.) I think they’d be great shower food, and b.) I know Jessica loves cinnamon. She’s always baking up yummy treats with those delicious looking cinnamon chips, and of course I’ve always been jealous because I can never find them at my grocery stores! Ugh! Don’t forget to check out Nikki and Jessica’s awesome blogs to see the full list of goodies we all made to honor the beautiful bride! And Jessica, congratulations, dear friend. I love you and I’m so amazingly happy for you.
These couldn’t be simpler; store-bought crescent roll dough, butter, cinnamon, and sugar. But ohhhh boy are they good! Soft, flaky, cinnamon-y goodness.
1 can store-bought crescent roll dough, such as Pillsbury
2 tablespoons butter, melted and slightly cooled
1 teaspoon cinnamon (or more if you like lots)
2 tablespoons sugar
Preheat the oven to 350 degrees. Combine cinnamon and sugar. Roll out the crescent dough and brush the melted butter over each triangle. Sprinkle liberally with the cinnamon-sugar mixture. Roll each triangle into a crescent shape, then brush the tops with the remainder of the melted butter. Sprinkle with more cinnamon-sugar and bake for 10-12 minutes, until golden brown. Makes 8 crescents.
Recipe source: Sing For Your Supper original
Fightin’ Texas Aggie Football is in full swing, so naturally we’re watching every single game on tv (the ones we don’t go to in person). I don’t know about you, but I need something yummy to snack on while I watch a football game, otherwise I get….bored. In fact, usually once the food is gone I pretty much lose interest in any sporting event. I know…I guess that makes me what Joel calls a “2 percent-er”. Oh well. A few weeks ago when we were enjoying one of the (few) particularly good Aggie games on tv, I whipped up this cheesy pepperoni bread and BOY did we gobble it down! It’s perfect football food! I used a store-bought can of bread dough, so it really saved a ton of time and came together lightening quick. We loved it dipped in marinara sauce- overall, a totally yummy snack that I’m sure I’ll be making over and over again every football season!
Cheesy Pepperoni Bread
1 can store-bought Pillsbury Italian or French bread (you could absolutely make your own dough- I was just short on time)
1 cup shredded mozzarella cheese
marinara sauce for dipping
Preheat oven to 350 degrees. Unroll the bread dough so that it makes a large rectangle. Sprinkle generously with the mozzarella cheese, then top with desired amount of pepperoni. Carefully roll the dough jellyroll style into a loaf and place seam side down on a baking sheet lined with parchment paper or foil. Bake 18-20 minutes, or until the top is golden brown.
Recipe source: adapted from Brown Eyed Baker
Believe it or not, every now and then I like a healthy treat. Although I mostly crave baked goods of the gooey, chocolaty variety, it’s nice to take a break from all that and bake up something that’s actually good for me. For some reason, the other day I had a serious craving for bran muffins….how odd. Who craves bran muffins?! Anyway, I remembered I had a box of Bran Flakes cereal in the pantry and thought I’d try making a bran muffin with it. These were actually very light and fluffy (you can thank the banana for that) and not heavy or overly “bran-y”. We really enjoyed them with a little butter and honey. My coworkers loved them too! Next time you need a good, quick, healthy muffin, gives these a try- they’re highly satisfying and actually good for you!
Banana Bran Muffins
1 1/4 cups whole wheat flour
1/2 cup sugar
1 tablespoon honey
1 tablespoon baking powder
1/4 teaspoon salt
2 cups bran flakes cereal
1 1/4 cups fat-free milk
1/4 cup vegetable oil
2 ripe bananas, mashed
Stir together flour, sugar, baking powder and salt. Set aside.
In large mixing bowl, combine bran cereal and milk. Let stand about 2 minutes or until cereal softens. Add honey, egg and oil. Beat well. Add flour mixture, stirring only until combined. Stir in the banana. Spoon evenly into 12 muffin pan cups fit with cupcake liners.
Bake at 400 degrees about 20 minutes or until golden brown. Serve warm.
Recipe source: adapted from Kellogg’s.com
For some strange reason, scones are something I don’t often make. I really have no idea why, because I actually love them. They’re like biscuits, but slightly sweeter and you can add any number of ingredients to customize them however you like! Chocolate chip, strawberry, cinnamon, ginger….anything you want! I chose to make lemon blueberry because I had a couple of big, beautiful lemons and a pint of fresh blueberries just begging to be used. These were SO good! Light and tender, just bursting with fresh lemony flavor and full of big, juicy blueberries – a perfectly delicious breakfast (I really need to make scones more often!)! Believe it or not, I’m not one of those people who love overly sweet, heavy foods at breakfast – sure, I’ll indulge in a stack of chocolate chip pancakes every now and then, but really, I prefer more subtle breakfast foods, like scones. They’re ever-so-slightly sweet and light enough that I can have more than one.
I started with Dorie Greenspan’s Basic Cream Scones recipe, made a few changes and came up with a truly delicious scone that I know I’ll be making many, many times. If you’re looking for an easy, delicious breakfast recipe, this one won’t fail! Oh! And an exciting tidbit about this post- I’m guest posting over at Beantown Baker today as part of her Friday Favs series! How fun! Head over to Jen’s site and check out my post and be sure to check out all her other fabulous recipes as well! Thanks again, Jen, for inviting me to participate!
Lemon-Blueberry Buttermilk Scones
2/3 cup buttermilk
2 cups all-purpose flour
3 tablespoons sugar
1 tablespoon baking powder
1/4 teaspoon salt
zest of 2 large lemons
1/2 pint fresh blueberries
5 tablespoons cold butter, cut into small cubes
1 egg beaten with 1 teaspoon water, for egg wash.
sugar, for sprinkling
Preheat oven to 400 degrees.
Beat egg, buttermilk and lemon zest together and set aside.
In large mixing bowl, whisk the flour, sugar, baking powder and salt together. Add the butter and using a pastry cutter, fork or your fingers (Dorie prefers using her fingers best) cut it into the flour until you have a pebbly mixture the size of peas.
Pour the egg and cream into the flour/butter mixture and stir to combine with a rubber spatula. Very gently, fold the blueberries into the dough, being careful not to crush them. When the mixture is totally incorporated, turn the dough out onto a floured surface and pat out until it is 1 inch thick. Using a biscuit cutter, cut out circles and place on a baking sheet lined with parchment paper; alternatively you can just cut the dough into squares or triangles.
Brush the tops of the scones with the egg wash, then sprinkle generously with sugar. Bake for 18-20 minutes, until the are nicely browned. Serve immediately. Store any leftovers in an airtight container. Makes approximately 10 scones.
Recipe source: heavily adapted from Dorie Greenspan’s Baking From My Home to Yours
WOOO! It’s Thanksgiving food time! Now is the time everyone is planning menus, gathering delicious new recipes to try and calling their grandmas for the old tried and true recipes they just HAVE to have. So in honor of all that, I’ve decided to share a couple of excellent, easy Thanksgiving recipes with you this week. Starting with stuffing. Now, let’s get one thing straight- I am a Southerner. We don’t do ‘stuffing’; we do ‘dressing’. Made with cornbread. And we don’t put anything snooty in it, either. None of this Yankee-fied “chestnuts and sausage” business. Very straight-forward and very, very delicious. BUT, that doesn’t mean I can’t experiment with some delicious ideas before Thanksgiving! I do realize that the majority of my reader enjoy what my family calls “Yankee Stuffing”, and I need to stretch my boundaries a little, SO I made you some Yankee stuffing. It’s pretty good, too….for Yankee stuffing.
Sourdough Stuffing with Caramelized Onions, Apples and Cranberries
(this only makes one 9 inch pan- you may want to double or triple it for a large crowd)
1 loaf sourdough bread, crusts removed and cut into cubes
2 stalks celery, chopped
1 medium onion, sliced into thin rings
1 small green apple, peeled and chopped
1/3 cup dried cranberries
1 1/2 teaspoons dried, ground sage
1 teaspoon salt
1/2 teaspoon pepper
1 1/4 cups chicken broth
In a medium skillet over medium heat, cook the onions in a little olive oil for about 15-20 minutes, or until soft and caramelized. Stir in the apples and celery. Cook for about 5 minutes (you don’t want the apples to get mushy- just fairly soft).
In a large bowl, combine the bread, onion/apple mixture, cranberries, sage and salt and pepper. Pour into a greased 9×9 baking dish then pour the chicken broth over the mixture. Bake in a 350 degree oven for 45-50 minutes.
I think as food bloggers, sometimes we tend to try to improve everything. Put our own spin on it. “How can I make this recipe even better?” or “what can I substitute to make this even more delicious?” And that’s just fine! That’s why we have readers, of course- because we take things and make them our own. But sometimes, we tend to forget that some recipes are simply perfect as is. Like this recipe for pumpkin bread. It’s one of the most popular recipes on allrecipes.com; everyone makes it. And for good reason! It’s perfectly moist, has just the right amount of spice, the pumpkin flavor really comes out and….it’s always, always perfect! It’s the only recipe I use for pumpkin bread. So naturally, I had to stop myself when the normal urge hit to start substituting and adding (think butterscotch, caramel, crushed gingersnaps…). In the end, the only things I added were a few chopped walnuts and some fresh cranberries. No substitutions. And it was perfectly, wonderfully delicious. This bread always reminds what I love most about Autumn – baking. There’s just something magical about baking up a golden brown loaf of warm, spicy pumpkin bread. Your entire house smells warm and welcoming!
Pumpkin Cranberry Walnut Bread
-recipe slightly adapted from allrecipes.com (originally named “Downeast Maine Pumpkin Bread”)
1/2 (15 ounce) can pumpkin puree
1/2 cup vegetable oil
1/3 cup water
1-1/2 cups white sugar
1-3/4 cups all-purpose flour
1 teaspoon baking soda
3/4 teaspoon salt
1/2 teaspoon ground cinnamon
1/2 teaspoon ground nutmeg
1/4 teaspoon ground cloves
1/8 teaspoon ground ginger
3/4 cup walnuts, chopped
3/4 cup fresh cranberries (frozen is fine too- no need to thaw)
Preheat oven to 350 degrees F. Grease and flour a loaf pan.
In a large bowl, mix together pumpkin puree, eggs, oil, water and sugar until well blended. In a separate bowl, whisk together the flour, baking soda, salt, cinnamon, nutmeg, cloves and ginger. Stir the dry ingredients into the pumpkin mixture until just blended. Gently stir in the chopped walnuts and cranberries. Pour into the prepared pan.
Bake for about 50 minutes in the preheated oven. Loaf is done when toothpick inserted in center comes out clean.
Good mornin’, good moooornin’! It’s great to stay up late, good mornin’, good mornin’ to you! Sorry. Hope you don’t mind if I hit you with a little Debbie Reynolds this morning! A personal favorite of mine…Anyway, I’m particularly excited about these muffins- they’re the perfect way to wake up in the morning! They’re cheery, colorful and full of tons of juicy, delicious fruit – who wouldn’t want to have one of these first thing in the morning?! I got the idea for these from my favorite kind of yogurt – Yoplait makes a strawberry-orange-banana yogurt called “Strawberry Orange Sunrise” and it’s super delicious! I thought it would be fun to create a muffin based on these flavors, and while I’m at it, go ahead and add in a little fresh peach (YUM!). So I got in the kitchen with my Michael Jackson blaring (yes, there was indeed some booty-shaking involved…not gonna lie) and whipped these little babies up. They’re moist, fruity and just perfect with a cup of hot coffee bright and early in the morning! Enjoy!
Strawberry Orange Sunrise Muffins
2 1/2 cups flour
1 cup brown sugar
2 large eggs
1 stick butter, melted and cooled
1 teaspoon vanilla extract
1 1/2 teaspoons baking powder
1/2 teaspoon baking soda
1/2 teaspoon salt
2 ripe bananas
1 1/2 cups strawberries, hulled and chopped
1/2 cup fresh orange juice
1 medium-sized peach, peeled and chopped
Preheat the oven to 350 degrees. Line muffin tin with cupcake liners. In a small bowl, mash the bananas. Add the strawberries, orange juice and peach. Set aside.
In a large bowl, whisk together the flour, baking powder, baking soda and salt.
In a separate bowl, mix together the sugar, cooled butter, eggs and vanilla extract.
Add the wet ingredients to the dry ingredients and mix just until combined (you’ll have a very thick batter). Gently stir in the fruit mixture. Fill muffin cups 3/4 full and bake for 20-25 minutes, or until muffins are golden brown and a toothpick inserted comes out clean. Makes about 18 muffins.