Thursday, April 24, 2008

Blueberry Muffins

I went to one of my favorite online sites in search of the perfect recipe and found one. To make it a bit healthier and give it some added flavor I changed it. It is now absolute perfection. So perfect that when you make them the birds will sing, the sun will shine and everyone will love you for making the most magnificent muffins known to man.


1 1/2 cups whole wheat flour
1/2 cup white sugar
1/4 cup brown sugar
1/2 teaspoon salt
2 teaspoons baking powder
1/3 cup vegetable oil
1 egg
1/3 cup skim milk
1 teaspoon vanilla extract
1 cup blueberries (fresh or frozen)

1/2 cup white sugar
1/3 cup whole wheat flour
1/4 cup butter or margarine
1 teaspoon ground cinnamon


Preheat oven to 400 degrees F. Line muffin tin with muffin liners.

Combine 1 1/2 cups flour, 1/2 cup white sugar, 1/4 cup brown sugar, salt and baking powder in a large bowl. In a separate bowl combine vegetable oil, egg, milk and vanilla. Now combine with dry ingredients. Since I used whole wheat flour for this recipe I had to add a bit more milk to thin out the batter. Fold in the blueberries.

To make the crumb topping:

Mix together 1/2 cup white sugar, 1/3 cup flour, 1/4 cup butter or margarine, and 1 teaspoon of cinnamon. Mix it until it is a crumb-like consistency.

Fill the muffin cups all the way to the top and sprinkle with crumb topping.

Bake for 20 to 25 minutes in the preheated oven, or until done. Remove from muffin tins and let cool on a wire rack.

Do you hear that? The birds are singing...

Monday, April 21, 2008

Baking With Friends!

So what's better than baking? Baking with friends of course! My friends Audrey and Bianca joined me for some child-like fun in the kitchen. We chose to bake something reminiscent of our childhood, something nostalgic and playful. We chose:

Ice Cream Cone Cupcakes!


1/2 cup butter, softened
1 cup white sugar
2 eggs
1 teaspoon vanilla extract
1 3/4 cups all-purpose flour
2 1/2 teaspoons baking powder
1/4 teaspoon salt
2/3 cup milk
24 flat bottomed ice cream cones


1. Drink Miller Lite and amish wine. Now this step is completely optional of course but it makes for some good times.

2. Preheat oven to 375 degrees F

3. Cream butter and sugar together well in a large mixing bowl while Audrey and Bianca stare at you and take pictures.

4. Beat in eggs one at a time then add vanilla. Mix flour, baking powder and salt in a small bowl. Add milk to butter mixture in 2 parts alternately with flour mixture in 3 parts, beginning and ending with flour.

5. Drink more wine and take pictures.

6. Fill cones about 3/4 full leaving the batter 1/2 inch from top.

NOTE: If you chose to do step 1 be careful when filling cones. Apparently amish wine can really affect your judgement during this step. Do not fill them all the way to the top! We made that mistake and our cupcakes spewed copious amounts of batter while baking.

7. Place filled cones on a baking tray. Bianca had a brilliant idea for this step. She took paper muffin cups, turned them upside down, cut an "X" in the center and put the cone through the hole. This gave the cones support.

Bake in oven for about 15 to 20 minutes until an inserted toothpick comes out clean. Now let's make frosting!


1 1/2 cup confectioner's sugar, sifted
1/4 cup softened butter
1/2 cup heavy whipping cream
1 teaspoon vanilla extract
pinch of salt


1. Beat the confectioners' sugar, butter and salt with a mixer or make your friend mix it like so:

What great technique
2. Add the cream and vanilla and beat until smooth. If the frosting is too thick you can just add more milk until you reach the desired consistency. Now frost the cupcakes and cover with sprinkles!
Eat and enjoy!

Tuesday, April 15, 2008

Pumpkin Apple Muffins

Let me start by saying that fall is my absolute favorite time of year. Not because of the weather but because I love the scents, colors and flavors that are associated with the season. Nothing says comfort quite like some sort of warm buttery concoction baking in the oven and filling the whole house with good smells. With spring right around the corner I feel like it's my last chance to bake something that reminds me of the fall. Kind of like a farewell to the cold Chicago weather. Pretty soon I'll be drinking a mojito or four and grilling out in the hot summer sun. The thought of that is pure heaven....summer please come now! Please! The only problem with the HOT weather is the fact that baking just isn't the same when it's 900 degrees outside. So I bid adieu by baking one of my favorite "fall" recipes:

Pumpkin Apple Muffins with Streusel Topping

I got the original recipe from I changed it up a bit and I love it!


2 1/2 cups whole wheat flour
1 1/2 cups white sugar
1/2 cup packed brown sugar
1 teaspoon cinnamon
1/4 teaspoon nutmeg
1/4 teaspoon ground ginger
1 teaspoon baking soda
1/2 teaspoon salt
2 eggs lightly beaten
1 cup canned pumpkin
1/2 cup vegetable oil
2 cups finely chopped peeled apples (I use granny smith)


1/4 cup sugar
2 tablespoons whole wheat flour
1/2 teaspoon ground cinnamon
1 tablespoon margarine

The original recipe calls for all-purpose flour but for a healthier twist I use whole wheat flour. In fact for most recipes I usually use whole wheat instead of all-purpose. It's healthy...try it people!


In a large bowl combine the flour, sugar, cinnamon, nutmeg, ginger, baking soda and salt. In a separate large bowl combine eggs, pumpkin and oil. Stir in the dry ingredients a little bit at a time until it is well mixed.

Fold in the chopped apples that kinda look like chopped onions.

Fill paper-lined muffin cups about three-fourths full.

For topping, combine sugar, flour and cinnamon. I usually throw in a dash of nutmeg for some extra flavor. Mix in margarine until mixture resembles crumbs. Sprinkle 1 teaspoon over each muffin. Bake at 350 degrees F for 30-35 minutes. Let the muffins cool for about 10 minutes before removing and placing on a wire rack.

"do you know the muffin man, the muffin man...."

Monday, April 14, 2008


So my fellow baking/blogging friend and I have decided to make whoopie pies the new "it" morning snack. Forget donuts, let's have some whoopie! Imagine, we can have lot's of variations just like donuts. We can have whoopie pies with sprinkles, some that are frosted, DIPPED IN CHOCOLATE....My goodness the possibilities are endless! Seriously though, they are a delicious treat. My baking/blogging friend made them this past weekend and her recipe is fantastic! Maybe she will post the recipe so I can make them everyday.

Friday, April 11, 2008

Chocolate Covered Strawberries

So I thought making chocolate covered strawberries would be a difficult task. It seemed like the kind of treat that you leave to the chocolate stores to concoct on Valentine's Day or Sweetest Day. I was having a conversation with a co-worker that inspired me to try it. Honestly, it's inexpensive and super easy. All you need are some strawberries and your favorite kind of chocolate. Personally, I prefer dark chocolate in general so that's the kind that I bought. Now there are two ways of melting chocolate. You can use a double boiler or you can put the chocolate in microwave safe bowl and throw that bad boy in the microwave and nuke it. Either way is fine.

Some people leave the leaves on so there's a pretty contrast between the chocolate, the red part of the berry and the green leaves. I wasn't concerned about appearance, I just wanted lots-o-chocolate. So I pulled the leaves off and dipped the entire thing into the chocolate, rolled it around a bit and slapped it onto a piece of wax paper. Eating them can be a bit messy since the whole thing is covered in chocolate but it's completely worth it. Now after dipping the strawberries and placing them on wax paper, put them in the refrigerator for at least a half an hour to set. Once they have set, eat 'em up! They are such a delicious treat.

Covered in yummy dark chocolate!

This Just Might Sway the Voters.....

So I decided that each month I'll do a poll. There will be three recipes that you can choose from. The recipe with the most votes will be featured as the recipe of the month. Oooohhhh...exciting right? Since I just started this blog and basically no one is really reading it at this point I hope to get a few votes before it closes. Maybe this pic will get some people pumped for my world famous, super-delicioso, better than anything-you-would-ever-want-to-eat, apple pie:

Did I hype that up enough?

Thursday, April 10, 2008

Martha Stewart, I Love You.

No, it's not in the way you might think. I'm not going to ask her for her hand in marriage any time soon, she's not quite my type. I can just totally relate to her love of perfection and cooking and that's why I like her. I was home sick recently with a lovely flu/cold/I don't want to get up off the couch type sickness and was watching her show. She made Lime Meltaways. I needed something to make myself feel better so it seemed like the perfect thing-and it was! The recipe calls for dipping the cookies in powdered sugar after they have cooled, which is delicious. But for a slightly different twist and flavor I used my butter frosting recipe:

Butter Frosting

1 1/2 cups confectioners' sugar
3 tablespoons butter softened
1 1/2 tablespoons vanilla extract
1 tablespoon milk
2-3 drops food coloring (if needed)


Combine the confectioners' sugar, butter, vanilla and milk. Beat until creamy. If needed, thin with a few more drops of milk until you reach the desired consistency. Stir in optional food coloring. Spread frosting over cooled cookies.

Spring is upon us and this is the perfect cookie to celebrate with!