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Dessert/ Morning Foods/ Muffins

Chocolate Banana Muffins

What to do with those black bananas?

In less than 24 hours we will be at Beaches Resort in Turks and Caicos celebrating our 50th anniversary with kids and 6 grandsons. There’ll  be 14 of us and I’ve been accumulating so much stuff that I probably won’t need. One suitcase is full of 4 floating chairs, gummy bears, sand molds, sand buckets and shovels, large bags of M&M’s (at least 6), mosquito bracelets, bottles and bottles of sun screen.

So, what could happen? Six little boys under 10 are bound to be up to something this summer and sure enough I get a text a couple of weeks ago and grandson Charlie (7) fell off the monkey bars and broke his wrist. Poor little guy was pretty unhappy that night but by the next day sporting a neon green cast he looked like he was ready to jump in a pool. Well, maybe by the time they get there. Hoping to see a waterproof cast by then, if not, then he’ll have something to put over the cast so he can join his cousins doing everything (maybe almost everything) at the beach and at one of the 8 pools. 

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Bread/ Dessert/ Morning Foods/ Muffins

Peanut Butter and Toffee Muffins

Want a good muffin to go with your pot of tea?

I love baking and I don’t care what it is. There’s nothing better than a hot loaf of Italian or French bread right out of the oven slathered with some room temperature butter. That makes me want to get out my yeast and start some bread. Sweet breads and muffins are another one of my favorite things to bake. 

Several years ago I made this Lemon Scented Pull Apart Bread. In fact it was back in 2011 when my daughter was home her wedding shower and her future mother-in-law and my sister were here; and everyone loved the bread. But, I was on some kind of diet at the time and I didn’t even eat it. This bread is on the top of my list to make again. 

We’re having another cold spell here in Texas this week. Just a few days ago I was complaining it was hot again when it got up to 80’s. But like always, wait around a few days and the weather will change. So, when it drops back down in the 60’s (my kind of weather) I’m thinking about what I can bake. Don’t you just love the aroma of something baking in the oven whether it is a sweet or savory item.

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Bread/ Muffins

Savory Zucchini Muffin

Savory muffin loaded with zucchini and cheese.

I’ve never tried so hard to get a recipe right.

Our garden club May luncheon is coming up and I’m doing the food. Tortellini Salad, Strawberry Dill Spinach Salad, and a Chicken Salad with orange maralade/mayo dressing. So, I wanted a savory muffin to go in the center of the plate in one of those cute little flower petal type muffin papers.

Finding a savory muffin was harder than I thought. My first zucchini muffin was awful and then I realized it was a “healthy” version of what should have been a good muffin – lo-fat cheese, no fat in the batter etc. My second attempt was a Bisquick version and even though it had 1 cup of Bisquick it had four eggs. I don’t know why that didn’t ring a bell in my head or in my ears anyway that are constantly ringing. Anyway, long story short that turned out more like one of those egg cups people make and mine was way too salty and that was probably because I added salt not thinking that the Bisquick had salt in it and then the cheese had a good amount of salty taste too.

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Bread/ Muffins

Blue Corn Muffins

Blue Corn Muffins – Santa Fe Style

I’ve had blue corn tortilla chips before and didn’t think much of them one way or the other; after all, they were tortilla chips that were blue in color and I’ve never noticed much of a difference between the regular and the blue corn.

While in Santa Fe back in September, we visit Eloisa restaurant twice and both times were served their blue corn muffins with a chipotle butter that was as orange as the evening sunset. The muffins had a little sweetness to it and the butter had a little heat to it — a match made in Santa Fe. And, they were just so pretty and hard to resist even though I wasn’t “eating” bread then. I have to say I did not pass up the blue corn muffins or the chipotle rolls we had at Geronimo’s on our last night in Santa Fe.

On our last day in New Mexico, we visited Chimayo. We wanted to check out the weavers and especially eat at Rancho de Chimayo since they had just won a James Beard award last year. While in one of the little shops, I was stocking up on green Hatch chile powder, the dried green chiles, and the red ones both crushed and ground I was talking to a couple of ladies in the shop (I guess they were stocking up on their spices too) and told them about the blue corn muffin I had eaten a couple of days before; and the owner heard me talking and pulled out a bag of blue corn flour. I know I could probably buy it here (Bob’s Red Mill) but there was just something about sharing recipes with these ladies that made my day. They told me how they use the Hatch green chile powder on popcorn and even though I had not had popcorn for about 10 weeks, it made me want to rush home and make some.

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Bread/ Morning Foods/ Muffins

Raspberry Muffins with Streusel Topping

Chocolate chips make this raspberry muffin chocolicious.

There is definitely one advantage of growing older. And that is that I don’t have to get up until I’m ready. And, well I can stay up as late as I want watching TV, go anywhere I want to go, when I want to go. I guess there are quite a few advantages. I love going to the movie at 10:30 in the morning and I average 1-2 movies a week (and I do ask for senior rates — didn’t think I would ever be glad to say I wanted “senior rates”).

Do you think “hoarding” is something that happens as we age? I get an upset stomach watching those hoarding shows. I do, on the other hand tend to hoard food; especially berries that I pick in the summer months or in the case of these raspberries that I got for .99 cents and bought 40 cartons to put in the freezer.

So, one Tuesday morning after a good 8 hours of sleep I decided to whip up these muffins to take to my craft circle. Do you see that happening a lot lately? I know they will be eaten. I have to be honest, a few weeks ago, I tried a gluten-free orange muffin and decided to add some extra orange extract. They were AWFUL, tasted like a mouthful of alcohol and when I noticed they were not being eaten, I threw them away. Gluten-free items are not my favorite things to make and I learned my lesson about adding too much extract; and, I would like to be known as that lady who brings “good” stuff.

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Egg Dishes/ Morning Foods/ Muffins

Spinach Bacon Egg Muffins

Skip the drive through today.

If I never hear the words “Egg McMuffin” it won’t be soon enough.  All the years of driving and trying to find something for breakfast I have finally had enough of the golden arches egg dishes. The last trip we did to Asheville we stopped once for a chicken biscuit; and after a few bites I’m liking the chicken, of course, but not the biscuit. The finally on the trek home I decided to try the cinnamon roll. Of course, that is a lot higher in calories and sugar but at least it wasn’t another Egg McMuffin, or biscuit of some type.

I’ve made a version of this Spinach Bacon Egg Muffin before but never got around to posting it. So, when I came across this recipe, it was so pretty I just had to make it. And mine pretty much looked like Eat Drink Love’s version except I made my muffins in mini muffin pans.

This recipe is very versatile and you can make whatever adjustments you want.  I changed her bacon to real bacon because I do not like anything that is suppose to taste like something else.  Same with the cheese; I used normal cheddar cheese not reduced fat. For a change, try crumbled sausage and swiss and maybe some mushrooms. Some other ingredients I have in mind to try the next time will be sautéed bell peppers, green onions, asparagus with Swiss would be great. Bottom line, put whatever you want in with the eggs and give them a bake. You will enjoy them whatever you decide to put in yours.

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Bread/ Morning Foods/ Muffins

Strawberry Goat Cheese Muffins

My daughter introduced me to these one weekend in Austin.

One weekend in Austin my daughter introduced me to this delicious muffin. She had picked up a couple at Central Market. They always have delicious baked goods; and of course they don’t give out their recipes so I had to do some digging to come up with my own version.

I’ve made all kinds of muffins over the years. I hope I haven’t told this story before but when we lived in Kansas, and this was before my catering days and probably what made me start thinking of going to culinary school, I use to sell muffins in our neighborhood. A neighbor and I decided we would make muffins every Saturday morning and sell them to friends in the neighborhood. We printed up a flyer and our kids put them on the doors so people could call in an order if they wanted fresh muffins to enjoy while they read their morning paper. We even bought little bakery boxes and tied the boxes with ribbon before delivery. We probably did this for about 6 months and then moved on to other money making projects 🙂 liked painting our pool fence (will tell that story another time).

I’m sure your thinking “what? goat cheese in a sweet muffin”. But I’m thinking the two make a pretty good match. So many muffin recipes out there are so sweet and I think the goat cheese adds a twang that counters all the sweetness.

Over the years I have made so many different muffin recipes that it’s hard to pick out a favorite. (Check out some of the ones I have posted — under bread section.) I started this recipe with an old Blueberry Muffin recipe that I’ve had in my files for years and made a few changes to it to come up with this version.

What’s your favorite muffin? Is it blueberry, apple, cinnamon or maybe, just maybe, you will add this to your list of favorites.

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Bread/ Morning Foods/ Muffins

The Best Blueberry Muffins

The vote is in and these are the best blueberry muffins!

Don’t these make you want to grab one and get a cup of tea/coffee or milk.

I always thought I had the BEST blueberry muffin recipe and in fact, in a cookbook that my sister and I put together, that is exactly what I named my recipe — The Best Blueberry Muffins.

If you love blueberry muffins and you think you have a recipe that is wonderful, I would like to hear from you and try your recipe. Like I said I always thought I had the best muffin recipe for those freshly picked blueberries I gather each year. But this recipe is from a friend, Kay, in Missouri (my sister’s husband’s cousin) and my sister had been telling me recently that this was the best recipe and that her husband, Gary, said they were the best he ever had.

Well, I have a freezer full of blueberries from last summer’s harvest and I’ve decided if I’m never picking blueberries again, I need to use up the ones I have in the freezer. For some reason they have a tough skin, I think, when they are thawed and they are not washed before freezing so I know that’s not the problem; but they are wonderful in muffins. Anyway, my berry picking this year will just be blackberries and maybe strawberries.

These muffins freezer beautifully and after thawing and few seconds in the microwave will give you a muffin that taste straight out of the oven.

I made a double recipe of these muffins and put them in a cute wire farm basket and took to craft circle of 50 or so ladies. They were gone before lunch.

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Bread/ Muffins

Honey Jalapeño Cornbread

Cornbread meets a plate of veal sweetbreads.

And you thought you knew cornbread.

Cornbread is a quick bread made with cornmeal, flour and some leavening and there are so many types of cornbread that come from soul food country in the south to a sweet cornbread from Texas. Two things I was disappointed in when we moved to Texas were the BBQ sauce (not hot but sweet) and the cornbread (not course in texture but more sweet and cake like).

I’m sure there are just as many ways to use/eat cornbread as there are recipes out there. My grandfather use to crumbled up cornbread into a big stemmed glass full of full fat cultured buttermilk that would go klug, klug when it was poured because it was that clabbered. And what would our thanksgiving dressing be without cornbread for your stuffing mixture; cornbread salad is a wonderful salad for the summer that is layered with beans, lettuce and other ingredients; and I have even used thin slices of cornbread cut in triangles as a base for an appetizer using smoked pork tenderloin and then topped with mango salsa.

Just as there are a million recipes and uses for cornbread there are just as many shapes it can be bake; in an iron skillet, muffins, corn sticks, fried in a skillet, spoon bread, cactus shaped, and I even have an iron skillet that is divided into individual wedges. I also have these tiny loaf pans that are 1″x3″ which make adorable (if you can say that about cornbread) little loaves.

To me there’s nothing better with cornbread than a big bowl of white beans with a spoon of chow chow on the side. But, on a recent trip to Chicago we had dinner at Leopold’s, which is a Belgian food inspired restaurant. We had a wonderful honey cornbread to go with some fried veal sweetbreads (thymus or pancreas glands) served with a mustard gravy and that was the cornbread that inspired me to come up withethics recipe.

Whether you are having a bowl of beans, soup, a vegetarian meal or just about anything you set before you to eat, a good piece of this cornbread in my opinion would be the finishing touch to your meal.

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Bread/ Morning Foods/ Muffins

Raspberry Cheesecake Muffins

If you like cheesecake, you will love these Raspberry Cheesecake Muffins.

This was another one of those Betty Crocker days because by the time I was finished baking, I had flour all over me and my kitchen. I should have been packing for our trip tomorrow) but instead I’m de-stressing and baking. We leave on a 8 day cruise that starts in Amsterdam and ends in Barcelona and then we have 9 days to explore Barcelona, Seville and Madrid. I sure hope I come back with some new recipes ideas to blog about.

I use raspberry preserves with the seeds. I think the preserves with the seeds for some reason have more color than the seedless preserves which are usually kind of brownish.

So I found some great raspberries on sale this week. I get so excited to find raspberries on sale.  Anything less than $3.00 a carton is a steal in my book. My only problem is I will buy them and they will sit in the refrigerator and start getting moldy before I think to use them. Not so with these berries. I bought a couple of packages and the first ones I used to make my Raspberry Nutella Gelato and then I remembered this Raspberry Cheesecake Muffin recipe that I have been holding on to for years and decided to give it a try.

The original recipe did not have the fresh raspberries in the batter  and just called for the raspberry preserves. BUT, how could any recipe not be improved by adding fresh raspberries.

Today was one of those Texas HOT days where I just didn’t want to get out of the house. I really didn’t even want to walk to my garage to my extra refrigerator (I have two in my garage) to fetch some butter and eggs. But, I braved the heat just so I could make these muffins. I think my husband appreciated the effort since I always put the baked goods in the freezer and he can grab something on the way out to his golf game.

The cheesecake topping is fantastic on these muffins. The batter is somewhat thick since there is no milk in the recipe but there is plenty of butter and sour cream to make this a delicious treat.


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Bread/ Muffins

Thyme, Onion and Chive Muffins

I love making things from my herb garden and it is so beautiful this year.

There’s just nothing like going out to your own herb garden and cutting some fresh herbs to use in a dish you are preparing.

Our herb garden seems to grow bigger each year, and this year I have planted three kinds of mint, chocolate mint,  grapefruit mint and peppermint. I have several kinds of oregano, rosemary, thymes, lavender, arugula (not an herb), bay leaf and some dill. They are absolutely beautiful growning in pots with some day lillies and other flowers stuck here and there around them.

Today was a beautiful sunny day and I was stuck in the house all day drinking nothing but broth and eating popsicles (yuck). So, with nothing better to do, I decided to make my husband some muffins for a special treat tonight. This is a savory muffin with lots of onion flavor and they are quick and easy to make with no rising needed. Since I couldn’t eat any food today and I knew I wasn’t going to be able to try these, I took one pan of muffins over to our neighbors and my husband is left with 6 which he will probably finish off tonight.

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Bread/ Morning Foods/ Muffins

Mississippi Spice Muffins

M-I-SS-I-SS-I-PP-I, that is the way I learned to spell Mississippi!

Funny how some things stick in your head. I remember learning to spell Mississippi saying it kind of like a rhyme M-i-ss-i-ss-i-ppi and also h-i-p-po-pot-amus. Kind of like skipping rope to a tune, something that just sticks in your head and you don’t forget.

I grew up in a small town in Missouri that sat right on the Mississppi River. In fact, our first street is “Third Street”.  I don’t really know what happened to First and Second Streets. Honestly, I don’t remember ever seeing them and this town is only about 6,000 in population. They may be there and I just overlooked them for 21 years. I was told the last time we visited family there that we do actually have a 1st and 2nd street. BUT, our first usable street that you can actually drive on is THIRD Street.

It was fun growing up in a small town and driving “the loop” was our entertainment on weekends. Having a levy that separated the town and the river was a fun place to go when it snowed to go sledding and also as teenagers and dating, seems like we drove down to the levy to look around. Back then, our pranks were (I should say this was my twin sister’s idea) was to make a dummy and have it’s arm hanging out of the trunk of our car while we drove “the loop”. We would also go out on the sand bars with our parents and brother. My dad actually make a speed boat that we would go out on and he would fish the Mississippi River and bring home lots of catfish that we enjoyed. Small towns are nice, you know everyone and everyone knows you.

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