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.
I’ve been wanting to make this baked oatmeal for SO long now! Almost every morning, I would pull the recipe up on my iPad and get ready to make it, only to have something interrupt me! Finally, I was able to spend a little uninterrupted time in my kitchen and make this for my family’s breakfast last week. Yay! We all loved it- it’s not too sweet, full of juicy strawberries and blueberries, and the texture is great. I’m dying to make it again this week! Breakfast truly is the most important meal of the day, and this recipe will start it off right!
1 cup steel cut oats (feel free to use old fashioned oats)
¼ cup chopped walnuts or pecans, lightly toasted, divided
½ teaspoon baking powder
¾ teaspoon ground cinnamon
Pinch of salt
1/4 cup brown sugar
1 cup milk
1 large egg, lightly beaten
2 tablespoons unsalted butter, melted and cooled slightly
1 teaspoon vanilla extract
1 cup fresh strawberries, hulled and cut in quarters, divided
1 cup blueberries (fresh or frozen), divided
Preheat the oven to 375˚ F. Lightly grease a 2-quart baking dish. In a medium bowl, combine the oats, nuts, baking powder, cinnamon, salt, and brown sugar. Stir with a fork to combine. In a liquid measuring cup, combine the milk, egg, butter, and vanilla. Spread half of the strawberries and blueberries in a single layer over the bottom of the baking dish. Sprinkle the dry oat mixture over the fruit in an even layer. Pour the liquid ingredients evenly over the oats. Sprinkle the remaining berries over the top.
Bake for 35-40 minutes, until the top is browned and the oats have set. Let cool 10 minutes before serving. Serves 4-5.
Recipe source: adapted from Annie’s Eats
I know it may seem a little preemptive to post a recipe with “poolside” in the title (especially since we’re expected to have some more cold [ish] weather this week), but since a lot of people are gearing up for barbecues and outdoor parties, I decided I couldn’t wait to share this one with y’all! I pinned this recipe months ago and had been dying to try it until our friend Patty brought it to a baby shower I hosted. Everyone kept raving about the awesome dip and finally I asked her what it was- “I saw it on Pinterest. It’s called ‘skinny poolside dip’”. Every single one of us (no joke!) erupted with, “I pinned that recipe too!” Luckily, there was a little left over and I ate every last bit of it for dinner that night! It’s sooo good! I ended up making it for a cookout just a week or so later, with rave reviews. I love this stuff. Even if you don’t have a pool, you’ll definitely want to make it. It’ll be a favorite this summer for sure!
Skinny Poolside Dip
2 cans sweet yellow corn, drained
8 ounces fat free cream cheese, at room temperature
1/2 cup fat free Greek yogurt
2 jalapeños, seeded and chopped
1 red bell pepper, seeded and chopped
1 packet (1 ounce) dry Ranch seasoning
1 small can (2.25 ounces) chopped black olives
Mix all ingredients until combined. Chill until ready to serve. Serve with tortilla chips, triscuits, or crackers. Serves about 6-8.
Recipe source: adapted from Home Trends Utah
You know how everyone just LOVES pancakes?? …..yeah, notsomuch me or Joel. We’ve both never really been all that into pancakes. They’re too rich and usually too much “work” for a mediocre result. Give me waffles any day. Cassidy, on the other hand, LOVES pancakes. I make them for her at least 3 times a week.
However, I’ve recently had a craving for hot, fluffy pancakes lately. I have no idea why. Luckily, I happen to find a recipe that wowed both me and Joel and I’ve never looked back. I’m now a big ‘ol pancake lover! I just love how vanilla-y and fluffy these are! If you haven’t gotten on board the from-scratch pancake train, this recipe should change your mind. It doesn’t take long, and the results are far superior to anything you could get from a box! You could add in any kind of fruit you like to customize them to your tastes, too! We love blueberries!
1 cup buttermilk **
1 teaspoon vanilla
2 tablespoons sugar
1 cup all-purpose flour
1 teaspoon baking powder
1/2 teaspoon baking soda
1/2 teaspoon salt
2 tablespoons melted butter
Preheat a greased griddle to medium-low heat (if you’re using non-stick, there’s no need to grease). Whisk together the buttermilk, egg, and vanilla in a small bowl. Set aside. In a separate bowl, combine the flour, sugar, baking powder, baking soda, and salt. Stir in the buttermilk mixture, then the melted butter. Batter will be a little lumpy. Let sit for 5 minutes. Scoop out batter 1/3 cup at a time and pour onto the heated griddle. Cook until small bubbles start to form, then flip. Cook for another minute or so, then remove when golden brown. Repeat with the rest of the batter. Serves 2-3.
**If you don’t have buttermilk on hand, no worries- just use regular milk, but add 1 tablespoon white vinegar and let sit for 2-3 minutes. Works like a charm!
Recipe source: adapted from Coleen’s Recipes
What happens when you’re short on time and ingredients but need an impressive cake that not only looks great but TASTES great? I’ve written a whole post on how to get homemade results from a boxed cake mix over at my family blog, A Little Something Lovely and I hope you’ll check it out! Click here to see the post.
It’s pretty hard trying to be healthy when you’re a recovering sweets-aholic. I’ve been almost 100% good over the past few months, but to be perfectly honest, most days I find myself daydreaming about giant slices of dark, dreamy, moist, chocolate cake with chocolate frosting (seriously- have a look at my pinterest boards…). So what’s a girl to do when those (really, really) bad cravings hit?? Recipes like this one save my life!
I love Greek yogurt anyway, but add in smooth peanut butter, vanilla, and mini chocolate chips, and mama’s HAPPY, y’all! I really love this little trick- it satisfies even my worst cravings and helps keep me on track. Plus, the added protein in my diet helps me burn fat and stay satisfied longer! Double win!
Cookie Dough Greek Yogurt
1 small container (6 oz.) plain, low-fat Greek yogurt
1 tablespoon peanut butter
1/4 teaspoon vanilla extract
1 tablespoon mini chocolate chips
1 tablespoon agave nectar, honey, or other sweetener of choice
Mix peanut butter, vanilla, sweetener, and chocolate chips directly into yogurt cup. Eat immediately. Serves 1.
Recipe source: my fridge food
I hope everyone had a happy Easter! Ours was great- the Easter Bunny came to visit Cassidy, church was great, and my whole family had a wonderful meal at my parents’ house. Of course Cassidy was the life of the party.
One of the best parts about the meal was surprisingly not one of the decadent desserts (one of which was provided by me), but the simple fruit salad my sister brought. Nothing but fresh strawberries, blueberries, and grapes tossed in a honey-lime dressing. It was sooo good! Something about the combination of honey and lime juice is magic! I have a feeling this will be a pool-side favorite this summer!
Fruit Salad with Honey-Lime Dressing
1 pint container fresh strawberries, stems removed and cut into halves
1 pint container fresh blueberries, stems removed
1 bunch (about 1 1/2 pounds) seedless grapes
1/4 cup honey
juice from 2 limes (about 2-3 tablespoons)
Combine fruit in a large bowl and set aside. In a small bowl, whisk the lime juice and honey until combined. Pour over the fruit and toss to coat. Serves a crowd.
Recipe source: my sister, via Oh! You Cook!
Over the past few weeks, we’ve really gotten a taste of some glorious weather. Sunshine, 80 degree temps, and nice cool breezes. I’ve been taking Cassidy and Izzy on lots of nice, long walks every day to enjoy the beautiful weather. We even had a little picnic in our front yard last week!
So, with all the gorgeous weather, I’ve just been dying to get in the kitchen and bake up some bright, springy treats. And then- BOOM! Freezing temperatures and high, cold winds. *sigh* Oh well. That’s what you get when you live in Texas. However, I STILL decided to bake up something bright and sunny- this Orange Yogurt Cake. It’s nice and moist with a great pop of fresh orange flavor. So even if it was freezing outside, we brought the sunshine indoors with this yummy cake!
Orange Yogurt Cake
1 cup all-purpose flour
1/2 cup granulated sugar
1/2 teaspoon baking powder
1/8 teaspoon baking soda
1/4 teaspoon salt
1/2 cup non-fat Greek yogurt
1/4 cup vegetable oil
1 tablespoon grated orange zest, plus 1 tablespoon, juice
1/2 teaspoon pure vanilla extract
Preheat oven to 350 degrees. Butter an 8-inch round cake pan. Stir flour, sugar, baking powder, baking soda, salt, yogurt, oil, orange zest and juice, egg, and vanilla in a bowl. Pour into pan. Bake until a cake tester comes out clean, about 25 minutes. Let cool on a wire rack.
Garnish with additional orange slices if desired.
Recipe source: adapted from Martha Stewart
I don’t know about you guys, but one of my favorite things about summer is the fresh corn on the cob. Our grocery store will usually have them for around 5 for a dollar, so I stock up! We grill them, roast them, make salads, casseroles and all kinds of awesome dishes. But right now, fresh corn on the cob isn’t in season, so I’m stuck with frozen. Luckily, I found this tip about how to make oven roasted corn using frozen kernels. I was so intrigued I just had to try it.
I’m not going to say it’s as sweet and awesome as fresh-off-the-cob, but hey, in a bind, it works great! I added in some red and green peppers and my family gobbled it up!
[Short Cut] Oven Roasted Corn
1 bag frozen corn kernels
salt and pepper
Preheat the oven to 400 degrees. Toss the frozen corn with olive oil, salt, and pepper and spread on a baking sheet in an even layer. Roast for about 10 minutes until corn begins to blister slightly. Serve immediately.
Recipe source: adapted from Bev Cooks
One of my favorite meals is my mom’s stuffed peppers; and over the past couple of years, every time I’ve made it, I’ve asked myself, “what if I used quinoa in place of the rice?”. Joel and I both love quinoa, so this was a no-brainer. Finally, I did it, and surprise, surprise- we loved it! This dish is SO full of flavor- I’m so happy with it every single time I make it, which has earned it a regular spot in our dinner rotation. The best part is, my baby girl loves it (and I feel great about giving it to her)!
Quinoa Stuffed Peppers
2 medium bell peppers
1 teaspoon sugar
1/2 teaspoon basil
1 15-ounce can tomato sauce
1 pound lean ground beef
1 small onion, chopped
1 1/2 cups quinoa, thoroughly rinsed and cooked
1/2 cup grated cheddar cheese
Cut peppers in half lengthwise. Bring a large pot of salted water to a boil, drop the peppers in and boil for 5-6 minutes. In a small bowl, mix tomato sauce, basil, and sugar and set aside. Brown meat and onion in a large skillet; drain. Stir in the tomato sauce, salt, and cooked quinoa. Cover and simmer for 5 minutes. Spoon meat/quinoa mixture into peppers and place into skillet. Pour any remaining meat mixture around the peppers (you should have quite a bit left). Top with cheese. Cover and cook on low for another 8-10 minutes. Serves 4.
Recipe source: adapted from my mom’s recipe
**Looking for good, non-candy ideas for your baby’s Easter basket? Check out my list of helpful ideas at my family blog, A Little Something Lovely!