Archive for the ‘Cooking/Baking’ Category

My Mostest Favoritist Pumpkin Muffins

Wednesday, September 26th, 2012

Fall is here: Time for Pumpkin Muffins!  (Actually, we make and eat these ones year-round.) Okay, so here are the ingredients you’ll need if you want to make them:  sugar, shortening (I use olive oil and sometimes half applesauce half olive oil if you feel like being really healthy!), eggs, pumpkin, flour (I substitute some of the white flour with wheat flour when trying to be healthy), baking soda, baking powder, cinnamon, cloves, salt, and water.


Oh and of course, milk chocolate chips (the big ones!)


And for extra yum add these:


My mom got this recipe from the Lion House Cookbook under “Pumpkin Bread” but we’ve altered it a bit:

11/3 cups sugar
1/3 cup shortening (I use olive oil or half applesauce, half olive oil)
2 eggs, well beaten
1 cup pumpkin
13/4 cups flour + 1 TBSP flour to set aside (sometimes I substitute wheat flour, or part wheat flour)
1/2 tsp baking soda
1 tsp baking powder
1 tsp cinnamon (I add just a little extra)
1/4 tsp cloves
1/2 tsp salt
1/3 cup warm water

Cream sugar and shortening until fluffy.  Add eggs and pumpkin.  Sift dry ingredients together and add to the mixture.  Add warm water and mix well.   In a bowl or ziploc bag, mix milk chocolate and white chocolate chips with 1 TBSP flour until thoroughly coated and add them to the mix. (The flour keeps the chocolate chips from sinking to the bottom of the muffins while baking.)  Pour into greased or lined muffin tins.  Bake at 350 degrees for 15-18 minutes or until toothpick comes out clean.

Okay, so one other trick my mom taught me:  After spraying your muffin tins with cooking spray…

Pour some sugar in each tin:


Then swish the sugar around to stick to the cooking spray on all sides of each tin and dump the excess sugar in the trash:


It makes the most delicious sparkly sugar crust on your muffins! Behold! The mini-muffins are out of the oven:


The smell in the kitchen is HEAVENLY.


They deserve lots of pictures (hehe):

Can you tell I get very excited about these muffins?

AND the regular size muffins:

These muffins also freeze great so you can save some for another day if there are any left!
Did I mention these are my MOSTEST FAVORITIST MUFFINS? hehe YUMMY!

Giant Cookies

Tuesday, August 28th, 2012

A few weeks ago the kids and I made some giant cookies. Such a fun and simple activity. I made a batch of cookie dough and then gave the kids their own bowls filled with toppings:


Then the kids had at it and decorated away:



Everyone enjoyed the sweet rewards:



Do you think they put enough toppings on?! hehe

And I made a little cookie subway art:

cookies=everybody happy :)

Fruit Pizza and a Piano Recital

Wednesday, June 13th, 2012

(click on any image to view larger)

Our kids had their end-of-year piano recital at their piano teacher’s house a couple of weeks ago. It was so fun to see their progress. I made a fruit pizza for dessert. There are several yummy recipes online for fruit pizza. I just bought refrigerated cookie dough for the crust (it was so much easier!) and used cream cheese and powdered sugar for the frosting. Then I topped it with blueberries, kiwi, strawberries and raspberries. YUM! Definitely a taste of summer.

Valentine Treat

Sunday, February 13th, 2011

You should try these! They are so easy to make. I got the instructions here.




Bread Cornucopias

Thursday, November 18th, 2010

I found this awesome idea today from The Idea Room and I was so excited to try it out with my kids. Instead of making normal size breads, we made mini-cornucopia loaves so the kids could participate.







After they came out of the oven, we stuffed them with butter, honey, brown sugar, cinnamon, etc.  It was so much fun!

Homemade Applesauce Dessert

Tuesday, November 9th, 2010

Yesterday I made homemade applesauce from Ina Garten’s (aka “The Barefoot Contessa”) recipe. It was very easy to make. As it baked, it filled up the house with a delicious aroma. I love that this recipe combines sour and sweet apples making for just the right balance of flavors. I whipped it in the blender right after it was done baking to make it extra smooth. I served it hot with whipped cream, and it just melted right in. Delicious! So comforting and cozy as it was cold outside. We had it again today for an afternoon snack, and it was so good cold, too. Such a sweet and savory treat. Autumn in every bite! Recipe here.








Rainbow Birthday Party

Sunday, October 31st, 2010

For my daughter’s 7th birthday, we had a rainbow party. It was so much fun! We had the guests pop “white clouds” (balloons) to make the rain and rainbows come. We strung froot loop neckaces and ate rainbow sherbet with rainbow cupcakes. (click on any of the images to view larger.)


Homemade Peppermint Patties

Thursday, February 4th, 2010


I made these with my son and they were really yummy, (and messy!), but fun to make. The peppermint filling can get very sticky, however, so use lots of cornstarch to roll it out on. I also refrigerated them when they were finished to let them set. I tried rolling the filling into balls before dipping into melted chocolate and that works really well, too. They would make a yummy valentine’s treat! I’ve tried a couple of different recipes, but here is the one I tried when I took the pictures: Peppermint Pattie Recipe (Click on any of the images to view larger.)