Thursday, January 31, 2013

Whole Wheat Coffee Cake Muffins



I have had this recipe in my arsenal and waiting to go live on the blog for awhile, but when I had originally wanted to share it, I had just posted the Raspberry Crumb Cake recipe! I didn't want to inundate you with all things coffee and crumb cakey! Then you would have thought I was crazy or something, but that would just be crazy! Let's be real, I must be some kind of crazy because I am here on a blog sharing my cooking adventures and stories from my kookie life! Who would do such a thing?! :)


Well, you know what would actually be crazy? Not making these muffins (or saying crazy just one more time, sorry, not sorry)! This recipe calls for whole wheat pastry flour, which gives the muffin more of a grainy taste, but that is not a bad thing. Not only does the whole wheat flour make them healthy, but it adds an almost savory taste that complements the sweetness of the streusel topping. They are great any time of day, excellent for breakfast with coffee, a given, but they also pair well with vanilla ice cream. No way did I try that combination or anything! Psssh! Who would think of that?! Maybe you should try it too, then we could discuss the yumminess  you could tell me how it tastes!
I added oats to the topping-y goodness, but you don't have to, my mom is convinced it makes all the difference and gives you more fiber! She's a fiber fanatic!
"Molly, did you eat enough fiber today?"
Enjoy and eat your fiber!
Xoxo,
M

Whole Wheat Coffee Cake Muffins
Ingredients:
Batter:
2 Cups whole wheat pastry flour
1 Teaspoon baking powder
2 Teaspoons cinnamon
¼ Teaspoon baking soda
¼ Teaspoon salt
½ Cup granulated sugar
3 Large eggs
1 Cup plain Greek yogurt
½ Cup unsalted butter, melted and cooled

Streusel Filling and Topping:
¾ Cup loosely pack light brown sugar
¾ Cup whole wheat pastry flour
1 Teaspoon cinnamon
¼ Teaspoon salt
½ Cup cold unsalted butter, cut into small cubes
Optional: ⅓ Cup Oats

Directions:
1. Preheat your oven to 350 F, and line muffin tin (or spray with nonstick cooking spray). For the streusel mix the brown sugar, flour, cinnamon, salt and oats if using, in a medium bowl. Using a pastry cutter, blend in the butter until small crumbs form. Set this mixture aside.
2. In another medium bowl, mix together the flour, baking powder, cinnamon, baking soda and salt.
3. In a large bowl, whisk together the eggs and sugar until smooth. Then add in the yogurt and whisk until combined and the color has lightened. Then whisk in the butter that has been melted then cooled. Fold in the dry flour mixture until just combined. Do not overmix or you will have chewy, gummy muffins, ICK!
4. Fill muffin tin about half way with batter, then sprinkle with a generous amount of the streusel topping. Add a small amount of batter on top, just a few tablespoons. Top with more streusel topping and press down so that the layers do not separate.
5. Bake for 18-20 minutes or until golden.

Store at room temperature. Best enjoyed within two days of baking!
Recipe Adapted from How Sweet It Is


Click Here for Printable Recipe

Friday, January 25, 2013

Friday's Scoop 1/25/13

Gus knows the perfect spot to escape the frigid temperatures!
Something about this picture I just love!

Can you believe it is already January 25? I can't! I am not really sure what that has to do with this post other than I was shocked when writing the date in the title. Okay, lets refocus my ADD inclined mind! I don't know if you have noticed this or not, but often I get side-tracked very easily...wow look there is a squirrel! What were we talking about again? Oh, right how I get distracted in an instant, I almost always need to be on the move, I cannot be somewhere static. Again I have no idea what this has to do with this weeks Scoop other than hopefully enticed you to read more! Onto the Scoop!



(And I am not really sure what is up with that random gap?)

1. Today I played with Play-Doh. I haven't done this in a very very long time, probably years! If you are feeling stress I would recommend grabbing some Play-Doh and get yourself a molding, and rolling. It tends to be most relaxing when not accompanied by the three year old who decides to take all of the Play-Doh and dump it into a huge pile, proceeding to mix all the colors. Totally relaxing right? (Yes if alone and able to keep all the colors separate from one another (Not like I am OCD or anything).)

2. This week has been FREEZING to say the least, and I know many of you have been experiencing this as well. I am pretty sure it is the coldest temperatures that I have ever lived through. It has been so cold in fact I bought a hat while out the other day because my ears were burning so badly. How pathetic is that?
Also the other night before going inside I decided to dump the remaining water from my water bottle on the ground and see how fast it froze! I went inside for maybe two or three minutes, then went back out and guess what? It was already frozen! CRAZY!

The "sunny" means nothing.

3. Here are some of my favorite bookmarks and pins of late:

What have you bookmarked recently?

P.S. I would really love it if you followed me on Pinterest! The link is just over there on the left! Thanks!

4. I am really tired. I need to get exercising. I need to eat better. I feel pathetic...help me? Pity party, party of one! I need motivation! Do you have any tricks for motivating yourself? I need all the help I can get!

5. I know Valentine's Day angers some, they say it is not a real holiday. I neither agree nor disagree with them, depending upon your situation you decide how you feel about it. Setting aside said opinions on the holiday's validity, I am loving all the pink stuff that has been filling store's shelves! All the glitter too! And the pink! The heart shaped everything! And the pink! I do love the colors and decorations associated with Valentines day! I may or may not have bought 3 things of Valentine sprinkles and red curly straws...who would do that? Psssh crazy people!

Go kick back and relax! It's the "freakin'" weekend!

Yes, this is my dog and unfortunately she has made this strange face on more than one occasion.
 To me it's kind of creepy. What about you?
But I still love her dearly! And she loves her belly rubs!
This is her kicking back and relaxing!

Have a great weekend, go crazy for belly rubs (see above)!
xoxo,
 M

Monday, January 21, 2013

Where Have You Been?


A gorgeous sunset from on my way home last night! 
So I guess it is actually more like where have I been? I got buried in a humongous pile of sugar and I had to eat my way out. Since then I have been super hyper and just haven't been able to sit down and write. NOT. Actually what happened was:

LIFE. GOT. CRAZY! Today was a relatively normal day, but tomorrow it all begins again! So, I am just going to warn you in advance that my posts may become even more sporadic than they already are.   I love you all dearly and I hope that you will bear with me during this difficult and busy time! I am so mad at myself for having missed this past Friday's Scoop! The guilt keeps popping into my head! :(
As compensation here is an abridged, brief and random dissertation of my life recently!

Well I have been doing some recipe research, in addition to research as to possible magazine subscriptions! Any recommendations? I was a little disappointed by this selection because they had very few "sweet" recipes, but I shall try again next month!


Also, I went bowling! For like the first time since....before high school! 
(At least that is the last time I remember going!) Of course my first "bowl" was AMAZING, if I remember correctly I believe it was a spare! From there it went completely downhill! Do you have any pointers to improve bowling skills? I mean there is no rush since it will probably be eight to ten years until I go bowling again!

Not an attractive angle or accesories!
 Don't think you are going to catch one in these puppies!

I am so excited about this next thing!!!!!! Look what I found in the clearance section of Marshalls! I have seen this book mentioned on many blogs and I had thought about getting it, but I don't really like marshmallows! But I have heard that homemade marshmallows are bangin'! So when this caught my eye and was only five dollars, you know I had to snatch it up! 

Marshmallow Madness by Shauna Sever

Has your life been crazy lately?
Let's hope it slows down soon!
xoxo,
M

Friday, January 11, 2013

Friday's Scoop 1/11/13

A trail marker I passed. :) 
It is Friday? Say what? I don't know about you, but I have all my days of the week mixed up. I think I had to tell myself it was Friday at least three times today. Oi vey! Please tell me some of you are just as confused as I am!

1. First off I will share a few pictures from my recent vacation! It was so relaxing and much needed! Have you vacationed anywhere recently? Do you have any recommendations for vacation spots?

Glass Molds from Simon Pearce
I saw one of the glass blowers make a drinking glass, it was incredible! 

Also I learned that the movies lied, snowshoes do not make you float on the surface of snow.  

I had some of the best pizza I have ever had in my life!
I love me some super thin crust and lots of cheese! 
Maybe I will do a complete vacation post, would you like that? Or should I stick to recipes?

2. So... I went to Target today and I saw this:


Vanilla cupcake flavored Goldfish? Say what? Eww! Then tonight I was in CVS and saw this:


I did not even bother to take a whiff! I think these companies should just stick to what they do best cheddar goldfish and coffee cake, respectively.

3. I just want to apologize because I feel like my recent posts have not been very interesting lately. I feel like my writing just has not been flowing, but I don't know why. Anyone know a good remedy for writers block? I could really use one, mmkay, thanks!

4. Have you heard of Ruzzle? I heard about it from Brown Eyed Baker and decided to check it out. She had said that she was a fan of word games, and I share in her sentiments, my favorite games are from the puzzle section. Anyways, Ruzzle, its super speedy and really addicting! There is just one problem, you have to wait for someone to accept/challenge a game, which can feel like forever if you are on a streak! Try it out! My username is mollycakesbr , come challenge me!

5. My Favorite Bookmarks of the Week

Have a great weekend! Bake some goodies, I hope to!
xoxo,
M

Thursday, January 10, 2013

"Light" Peanut Butter Cup Blondies

Are you hungry yet?
So, how are your News Years resolutions going? Mine, not so well...surprise, surprise. Have I increased my exercise? Nope. Have I tried to eat better? Sort of. I hope you are better than I am, if not here is some incentive! Plus it's "light"! This would make the perfect post-workout reward. I got the recipe from Eat Yourself Skinny, from that name it has got to be some what better than the butter and sugar laden goodies I usually post about! Kelly adapted these from Cooking Light, which I am thinking about subscribing to. Do any of you? If so, would you recommend it?


Peanut butter and chocolate is one of my favorite flavor combinations, and I am sure many of you feel the same way. There is an ice cream shop near me that has a chocolate peanut butter cookie dough flavor. It is AMAZING! Add chocolate cake crunch and it is divine! If I only I knew how to make ice cream, then I could recreate the flavor and share it with you! Say I should make learning to make ice cream my New Years resolution, it would be much easier and much more enjoyable than getting in shape. Or maybe I should make an ice cream maker my reward for getting in shape, I may be on to something here! While I ponder this stroke of genius (tell me it is not a great idea!), here is the recipe for you!

Ready to dig in? These are very quick and easy to make,
so get your mixing arm ready! 

"Light" Peanut Butter Cup Blondies
Ingredients:
1 and 1/4 cups all purpose flour
1/2 cup granulated sugar
1/2 cup packed light brown sugar
1/2 teaspoon baking powder
1/4 teaspoon salt
2 large eggs, lightly beaten
1/4 cup (1/2 stick) unsalted butter, melted and cooled slightly
2 tablespoons skim-milk
1 and 1/2 teaspoons vanilla extract
1 cup mini semi-sweet chocolate chips
1/3 cup mini peanut butter cups (or 3 roughly chopped large peanut butter cups)
Directions: 
1. Preheat oven to 350 F, and spray a 13x9 baking dish with non-stick spray.
2. In a large bowl, whisk together the flour, both sugars, baking powder, and salt; set aside.
3. In a separate bowl lightly beat the eggs. Mix in the milk, vanilla extract, and cooled melted butter. Stir well.
4. Add egg mixture to dry ingredients, stir until the flour is about halfway combined, then add in the chocolate chips and stir until well combined.
5. Pour batter into prepared pan, spread evenly. Sprinkle the peanut butter cups evenly over the batter.
6. Bake for 20 minutes or until a toothpick comes out clean. Allow to cool in pan.

Printable Recipe Here
Recipe Adapted from Eat Yourself Skinny

Wednesday, January 9, 2013

Old Fashioned Crumb Cake with Raspberry Preserves


 In my family on Christmas morning you can always count on there being crumb cake, but usually of the sour cream variety. The recipe we usually use if from my grandmother, it has a dense crumb made with oats, and the cake has a unique tang from the added sour cream. The recipe is our go to for Christmas morning sweets to nibble on as we open our presents! This year I decided to buck our family tradition (Sorry family!) and try a new variety of crumb cake.


So much crumbly goodness! 
I upped the yum factor by spreading a generous (I used an entire jar :)) layer of raspberry preserves over the cake before the crumb! I would highly recommend the raspberry, but I am sure any flavor jam would work just as well! Next time I want to try blueberry!


Old Fashioned Crumb Cake with Raspberry Preserves
Ingredients:
Cake:
1 Box Pillsbury Yellow Cake Mix
3 eggs
1 cup water
1 Jar of Bonne Maman Raspberry Jam (or any flavor you choose)
Topping:
4 sticks of butter
1 tablespoon vanilla extract
3/4 teaspoon almond extract
5 and 1/3 cups all-purpose flour
2/3 plus 1/4 cups brown sugar
2/3 plus 1/4 cups sugar
2 Tablespoons Cinnamon
(Optional Confectionary Sugar for Dusting)
Directions:
Cake: 
1. Preheat oven to 325 F, and spray jelly roll pan with baking spray.
2. Using a large mixing bowl and handheld mixer (or standup mixer), beat the eggs, water and cake mix for 4 minutes.
3. Pour the cake batter into prepared pan and smooth with a rubber spatula.
4. Bake for 20-25 minutes, remove from oven, but keep the oven on. While the cake is baking, make the crumb mixture.
Topping:
1. Microwave the butter until melted, allow to cool slightly, then add vanilla and almond extracts.
2. In a large bowl mix together the flour, sugars and cinnamon.
3. Using a pastry blender (or two forks) cut the butter into flour mixture until it becomes crumbly.
4. When the cake comes out of the oven, spread with the raspberry preserves (I used the entire jar). Then sprinkle the crumb topping evenly over the cake.
5. Return the cake to the oven and bake for 20-25 minutes, or until lightly golden in color. Allow the cake to cool completely, then you can dust with confectionary sugar if you wish!

Recipe Adapted From My Life as a Mrs.

Tuesday, January 8, 2013

Liebster Award (UPDATED)

Source
Thank you so much Teresa at My Day Starts with Chips for nominating me for the Liebster Award, which recognizes bloggers with less than 200 followers! Here is the low down: 
I am going to list 11 facts about moi! Answer 11 questions from Teresa! Create 11 questions of my own for other bloggers! Nominate 11 other bloggers! Let those bloggers know! Say thank you!
Also even if you do not have a blog, feel free to answer my questions with comments!

Here are my 11 facts:
  1. For about a year I had braces on only one side of my mouth. 
  2. I love to sleep. 
  3. I had shingles at 13 and sometime before then I had mono. 
  4. I am really bad with organization. 
  5. I don't drink coffee. Only a latte occasionally. 
  6. My favorite TV show is Castle
  7. I am afraid of yeast and terrified of making bread! 
  8. I love the snow!
  9. I am obsessed with my dogs. 
  10. Sprinkles are my favorite!
  11. I am not very interesting, I don't have an eleventh fact. 
Answering Teresa's Questions: 
1. Would you rather watch a movie on dvd at home or at the movie theater?
DVD at home, I am a total homebody!
 2. Who is your favorite actor/actress?
Ryan Gosling! That man makes me swoon!
 3. If you had a castle, which country would it be in?
Ireland! 
4. You can chose anyone in the world to have dinner with, who would that be?
Michael Phelps so he can fall madly in love with me and we can get married! Or Kate Middleton to talk fashion! My serious choice would be Barack Obama! 
5. If you watched the t.v show Friends, are you more like Phoebe, Monica or Rachel?
My mom never let me and my sisters watch it! 
6. If you are on Pinterest, which category is your favorite?
FOOD!
7. What would be your perfect Sunday?
Sleep in until about 8, then go out for breakfast! Maybe a little shopping thrown in?
 8. Which birthday has been the best so far?
My last one! It was rockin'! 
9. If you could go on a shopping spree, would you come home with more clothes, shoes or bags/purses?
I think clothes because I already have a ton of purses and shoes!
 10. Are you a dog person, a cat person or neither?
Dog person all the way! Umm...all of it?
11. Which house chore do you dislike the most?
Umm...all of it?

EDITED: My Nominees....um I haven't found many with under 200 followers? Could you help this sista out and recommend a few? Thanks! I will add them as I find them! 

  1. Whisked. 
  2. Annie's City Kitchen

My Pathetic and Random Questions:

  1. What is your favorite food?
  2. If you could be a Disney Princess, which one would you be?
  3. Do you do any extreme sports?
  4. Dogs or cats? 
  5. What did you have for breakfast this morning? 
  6. Have you read the Harry Potter series?
  7. Milk chocolate? Dark chocolate? Or white chocolate? 
  8. Beach, lake or pool? 
  9. What famous restaurant do you dream of dining at?
  10. M&M or Skittles?
  11. What is your favorite quote? Who is it from? 

xoxo,

Monday, January 7, 2013

Drumroll....Pause (Please)

So, on January 7th I said I would be changing up the blog a little, well that is not going to happen. Not just yet anyways! Here's how it all went down! A wonderful and relaxing family vacation kept me out of the kitchen, so I was not able to make a special Six Month Blogoversary treat. Also I told my sister and her boyfriend the name I had thought of and it was shot down. This lead to my family trying to come up with some pretty crazy names, many with less than savory interpretations because there was scotch and limoncello involved! Now it is back to the drawing board for me!
I am so sorry to let you all down! Maybe I will be ready by my seven month Blogoversary!
Thank you for your patience!
xoxo,
M