Gingerbread Date Muffins

Another post!  What!

Now that I’m finally getting back into the swing of things, I’m remembering how fast 2+ months are going to fly by, and then I’ll be completely and utterly OUT of the swing of things again.  Please forgive me in advance.  Maybe I’ll find juggling 3 kids and a newborn super easy?  (I can dream, eh?)  I’m pretty sure I’ll be pretty swamped in the first few… six… months or so.  

All you moms out there – I’m so excited to get my body back to normal!  I don’t mind feeling pregnant, but I’m glad it isn’t forever.  Come back to me regular clothes.  Pants with buttons and zippers.  Shirts that my belly stick out of now.  

This belly.  It’s going to burst.  It’s pretty amazing what our bodies are capable of.  Talk about stretchy skin!  Well, I don’t think mine has a whole lot of stretch left, but I’m glad it was stretchy at some point. 

Anyhow, enough baby talk.  We need food.  I’m so happy food is a necessity to living.  Yay, food!  

Coffee is too, right?  

We’ve somehow made it to yet another weekend.  What could be better than that?  Except maybe, if someone made these muffins for you, fresh for brunch one of those mornings?

I have had these as a brain-child for some time, but (as I’ve said before) I had lost my mojo for awhile there.  They finally came to fruition!  And I loved them.  So did the kids.  Think classic gingerbread giving birth to muffin babies with sweet dates studded throughout.  I love gingerbread.  Basically, anything spiced, especially when there’s molasses involved.  Think Molasses Cookies.  And dates!  Wow.  They are nature’s candy.  So, so good.  I have to hide the [huge] bag that I get at Costco from myself (<–out of sight, out of mind), because I eat them like candy.  And yes, they’re fruit, but that sugar content is a bit high, I believe.  If you ever are in need of a great date recipe, make these Oatmeal Date Cookies.  They be so amazingly amazing.  

So!  To the muffins.  Make them for breakfast.  Eat them warm out of the oven.  If there are some leftover for day 2, pop them in the microwave to make those dates oh-so-mushy before you slather them with butter.  Believe me, I did it, and it’s highly recommendable.  

Gingerbread Date Mufffins
Yields 1
Gingerbread muffins - molasses, spices, along with lots of chewy, sweet dates. A great breakfast or snack choice!
Write a review
Print
Ingredients
  1. 1/2 cup butter, softened
  2. 1/2 cup white sugar
  3. 1/3 cup molasses
  4. 1 egg
  5. 1/2 cup sour cream
  6. 1/2 cup milk
  7. 1 tsp ground ginger
  8. 2 tsp cinnamon
  9. pinch cloves
  10. 2 1/2 cups flour
  11. 1/2 cup oatmeal
  12. 1 1/2 tsp baking soda
  13. 1/2 tsp salt
  14. 1 cup dates, chopped (optional)
  15. sugar for topping
Instructions
  1. Preheat oven to 375F. Prepare muffin tins (grease, or use muffin cups).
  2. Cream together butter and sugar. Add molasses and egg. Beat well.
  3. Mix in sour cream, and milk.
  4. Add dry ingredients. Mix well. Stir in the dates if you're using (I'd highly recommend!).
  5. Fill muffin cups 3/4 full. Sprinkle with sugar. Bake for 17-20 minutes, or until the middles are set.
  6. Enjoy warm, slathered with butter!
Notes
  1. They will keep fresh in an airtight container for 3-4 days. You can also pop them in the freezer to save for later days (like when you might be having a baby and will want a yummy, quick breakfast).
Whisks and Wooden Spoons http://whisksandwoodenspoons.com/
 
Linked up on Sugar, Spice, and Family Life


Tropical Birthday Scones

It’s my birthday!

I was determined to have scones for breakfast on my birthday.  So I let my kids watch a show pre-breakfast, and whipped up a batch of scones!  Tropical birthday scones. 

I really loved dried fruit in my scones.  Take these Apple Ginger Scones, for example.  They are preeettty dang amazing.  I bought the kids bags of dried fruit for in their Easter baskets this year (an attempt to not have quite so much candy around).  Anyhow, I really love dried papaya and pineapple.  So, of course, those were two types that I bought.  

And when I was contemplating birthday scones, I was also dreaming about warm places.  Tropical places.  Places that people have been going to [without me] for the last few months.  These tropical scones were born of my contemplation and dreams.  

They’re very similar to the Apple Ginger Scones, with only a few, slight changes.  

I hope you get chance to make them, share them, and enjoy them.  With a cup of coffee or tea.  That would be the way to go.  

While I’m here, I guess I should let y’all in on that surprise I said I had in my last post….

We’ll be welcoming baby number four into the family the end of July, Lord willing!

I must say (I reminisce nowadays when I get a year older – a sure sign of age!), I’m not sure I imagined I’d be where I am right now 10 years ago.  But I’m so very thankful for where I am.  I have three great kids, am in my third trimester of my fourth pregnancy, I have a wonderful hubby of almost SEVEN years (HOW on earth did that happen?!), we are blessed with a house and a car, have lots of loving family around us, and live in a wonderful part of the world.  

Yes, there are days I wish things were a bit different.  But I wouldn’t actually change how things have ended up.

Here’s the recipe!

Tropical Birthday Scones
Yields 8
A fruity, sweet, buttery scone. Make those not-so-warm mornings better. Make these.
Write a review
Print
Ingredients
  1. 2 1/2 cups flour
  2. 2 tsp baking powder
  3. 1/2 tsp salt
  4. 2 Tbsp sugar
  5. 3/4 cup butter
  6. 1/2 cup buttermilk
  7. 1/4 + 2 Tbsp evaporated milk
  8. 1/2 tsp vanilla
  9. 2/3 cup chopped, dried fruit (I used papaya and pineapple)
  10. 1 Tbsp butter, melted (for brushing)
  11. Sugar for sprinkling
Instructions
  1. Preheat oven to 375F. Line a large cookie sheet with parchment paper.
  2. Mix the first four dry ingredients together in a medium bowl. Cut in the butter with a pastry cutter, two knives, or your fingers, until the crumbs resemble small peas.
  3. Add in dried fruit.
  4. Pour in milks and vanilla, and stir lightly, until just combined. (Dough will be shaggy, but you can knead it together lightly in the next step.)
  5. Turn onto a lightly floured surface, and roll into a circle (about 9-10 inches diameter, 1 inch thick, or so). Cut into 8-10 pieces. Transfer to cookie sheet, leaving at least a 1/4 inch between scones. Brush tops with melted butter, and sprinkle with sugar.
  6. Bake for 22-25 minutes, or until the tops are lightly browned. Let cool on cookie sheet for 8-10 minutes, and then either EAT or transfer to a cooling rack.
Notes
  1. I totally only made 6 scones with my batch. (Have you heard me mention that I love scones?) Do want you want, I won't judge.
Whisks and Wooden Spoons http://whisksandwoodenspoons.com/
If you’re looking for some different scones to try your hand at, check out these posts:

Whole Wheat Raspberry Scones

Lavender Berry Scones

Linked up on Create Link Inspire, Meal Plan Monday

Orange Poppy Seed Muffins with Tangy Orange Glaze

I told you I’d be back with something a wake-me-up, comfort-style recipe!  

Muffins.  Best breakfast ever.  I know, I know.  They’re basically glorified cupcakes.  But they’re so much more than cupcakes.  First of all, there’s generally some sort of fruit in them.  (Fruit=healthy breaky, right?)  Second, you get to warm them up and slather them with butter.  It’s not looked up well if you do that to a cupcake.  Though I’m sure it’d  be pretty dang tasty.  Butter helps all things.  Except acne.  Never put butter on your face.  Please. 

Anyhow.  We’re going to go citrus because it’s February and all things are citrus.  

I go with the flow.  Sometimes.

Then we’re going to throw in a bunch of poppy seeds, because: crunch.  They just make things better.  

Top it all off with a tangy orange glaze, and you have yourselves the best kind of good morning muffin.  Definitely enjoy with a warm cup of something.  It is winter, after all.  (And who doesn’t need a hot coffee in the morn?)

This recipe is adapted from Girl vs Dough (great blog, look around while you’re there).  She made grapefruit muffins, and she made them a bit healthier than I made mine.  (I’m guilty of hardly ever using whole wheat flour – it makes such a healthy tasting final product.  Generally whole wheat baked good that I make taste like dirt.  Nobody likes to eat dirt, amiright?  I eat whole wheat bread.  That’s it guys.  White flour in all the other things.)

I also didn’t use fresh juice.  I didn’t have any.  I’m never prepared.  I only had one egg, so thank goodness I only needed one.  Instead of fresh juice, we use a scoops of frozen orange juice concentrate.  I learned this trick from a dear friend to whose house I was taking these muffins.  I knew she’d appreciate the tang and unpreparedness of my baking.  It’s super easy, and adds such a nice zing.  She makes AMAZING scones using the same method.  Have I mentioned she’s brilliant?  

To the muffins!  You can seriously throw them together in about ten minutes, make the glaze while baking, and enjoy.  Totally doable for a fresh breakfast, or store them, airtight for 3-4 days and heat up for an on-the-run breaky.

Orange Poppy Seed Muffins with Tangy Orange Glaze
Yields 12
A winter wake-me-up muffin! Crunch and tang.
Write a review
Print
Muffins
  1. 2/3 cup sugar
  2. 1/3 cups vegetable oil
  3. 1/4 cup poppy seeds
  4. 2 heaping tsp frozen orange juice concentrate
  5. 2 tsp vanilla
  6. 1 egg
  7. 2 1/2 cups flour
  8. 3 1/2 tsp baking powder
  9. 1 tsp salt
  10. 1 1/4 cup milk
Glaze
  1. 2 Tbsp butter, melted
  2. 1 1/4 cup icing sugar
  3. 1/2 tsp vanilla
  4. 2-3 Tbsp frozen orange juice concentrate
For the Muffins
  1. Preheat oven to 350F. Line or grease 14 muffin cups.
  2. Mix together sugar, vegetable oil, poppy seeds, and orange juice concentrate.
  3. Add vanilla and eggs. Stir well.
  4. Alternately add dry ingredients and milk.
  5. Fill muffin cups level to top.
  6. Bake for 18-20 minutes, or until the middle of the muffins has set.
For the Glaze
  1. Whisk melted butter, icing sugar, vanilla and orange juice concentrate until smooth. Add more icing sugar if too runny, or more orange juice (or milk) if too thick.
Notes
  1. You can definitely use a mixer or a wooden spoon to make these! Whatever you prefer.
Adapted from Girl Versus Dough
Adapted from Girl Versus Dough
Whisks and Wooden Spoons http://whisksandwoodenspoons.com/
Also, if you have any glaze left over, feel free to cut a muffin in half, and drizzle it over the insides too. Please tell me if you do this. I need to know I’m not alone.  *Ahem…

Linked up on Create, Link, Inspire party, Sugar Spice and Family Life, Meal Plan Monday

 

Apple Ginger Scones

I sometimes wish that I had the time to jot down what I’m thinking about writing for a post right when I think of it.  Truth is – I don’t.  Saturday, when I was making these scones, I had great ideas about what to write in the post.  However, I was also doing laundry, refereeing children, trying to get them all dressed and ready to go, and making the house semi-presentable.  Oh, and making the best scones ever.  All I can remember about what I was going to write is that is was pretty good!  Maybe it’ll come back to me as I go along. 

I think it had something to do with the strong flavours that I seem to have a tendency to love.  I’ve mentioned before that I love all things peanut butter, anything with lavender in it, and ginger.  Ginger, oh ginger.  You are so yummy.  I normally keep a container of crystallized (or I call it candied) ginger in my cupboard.  It’s a great sweet treat every once in awhile.  Spicy and sweet.  Guess who else likes it?  My boys!  I think it’s pretty great that they share some of my loves.  Especially this one, because wow!  Sometimes that stuff is REALLY spicy.  

Apple Ginger Scones

Apple Ginger Scones

Apple Ginger Scones

There is a bakery in town that makes apricot ginger scones.  And I LOVE them.  The mellowing flavour of the apricot and the spicy kick from the ginger come together to make a bonkers awesome scone.  And I love those chewy chunks of both.  I don’t really like spending $4 for one scone though.  I wanted to try to recreate for at home, but using a seasonal fruit.  

Enter:  Apples. 

We went apple picking last weekend, so I had some really great ones on hand.  I think I used a Cortland.  It was a pretty big apple, but I used the whole thing – if you want less of an apple party in your scone, I’d suggest using a small apple, or only using half a large one.  It’s definitely customizable.  

Apple Ginger Scones Apple Ginger Scones Apple Ginger Scones

 

Apple Ginger Scones
Serves 8
Great scones, with sweet apples, and spicy ginger.
Write a review
Print
Ingredients
  1. 2 1/2 cups flour
  2. 2 tsp baking powder
  3. 1/2 tsp salt
  4. 1/4 cup sugar
  5. 3/4 cup butter
  6. 3/4 cup + 2 Tbsp buttermilk
  7. 1/2 tsp vanilla
  8. 1/3 cup candied ginger, chopped
  9. 1 medium apple, peeled and diced
  10. 1 Tbsp butter, melted (for brushing)
  11. Sugar for sprinkling
Instructions
  1. Preheat oven to 375F. Line a large cookie sheet with parchment paper.
  2. Mix the first four dry ingredients together in a medium bowl. Cut in the butter with a pastry cutter, two knives, or your fingers, until the crumbs resemble small peas.
  3. Pour in buttermilk and vanilla, and stir lightly, until just combined.
  4. Add in ginger and apples.
  5. Turn onto a lightly floured surface, and roll into a circle (about 9-10 inches diameter, 1 inch thick, or so). Cut into 6-8 pieces. Transfer to cookie sheet, leaving at least a 1/4 inch between scones. Brush tops with melted butter, and sprinkle with sugar.
  6. Bake for 22-25 minutes, or until the tops are lightly browned. Let cool on cookie sheet for 8-10 minutes, and then either EAT or transfer to a cooling rack.
Notes
  1. You can most certainly cut these smaller, if you just want bite-sized scones, or cut them out into rounds! Whatever you're looking to do. Just note that they might have a shorter bake time if they're smaller.
Whisks and Wooden Spoons http://whisksandwoodenspoons.com/
 I so hope you make these scones!  They’re pretty dang easy.  Just don’t over-mix them (you don’t want tough scones, do you?!).  I would highly recommend making these on a Saturday morning after one coffee, and then [trying] to drink a second cup leisurely as they bake in the oven.  So good. 

If you want to check out some other scones, here are some Lavender Berry Scones, and Raspberry Scones.

**Linked up on Naptime Creations, Honest Mum, Buns in My Oven, Lil Luna, Dear Creatives

Apple Ginger Scones Apple Ginger Scones Apple Ginger Scones

 

Streusel Topped Peanut Butter Stuffed Zucchini Muffins

Can somebody please tell me that August is still here?  September, how are have you already arrived?  Do you know that saying that time goes faster as you get older?  Because you should definitely heed it.  It’s true.  To the nth degree. 

Zucchini Muffins - dollops of peanut butter

Sweet summer is passing us by.  The bright coloured flowers are being replaced with golden rod and baby’s breath.  Fall colours are starting to burst out here and there.  Don’t get me wrong, I love fall.  It’s a great time.  But as I’ve said time and again – I love me some summer more than the rest.  That sun beating down on my skin, making me roast, it’s such a great feeling.  Sun-kissed kids running around.  That’s what it’s all about.  I’m determined that pants will not be constraining these legs until Autumn is official.  Dresses and shorts – bare legs – cold or not, until fall comes.  (I may have a stubborn streak in there somewhere.)

Streusel Topped Peanut Butter Stuffed Zucchini Muffins - Whisks and Wooden Spoons

Fall or not, this is zucchini season!  Everyone around here who has a garden (not yours truly… we slacked off on that this year) has a BUNCH of zucchinis.  We’ve been blessed with a few, so I’ve made zucchini bread, had curry with zucchini, I have zucchini lasagna on the menu this week, AND I made these muffins!  I think these may well blow your mind if you like peanut butter.  And breakfast.  Or muffins for supper.  Or zucchini.  If you like any of these things, you’ll like these muffins.  

Streusel Topped Peanut Butter Stuffed Zucchini Muffins - Whisks and Wooden Spoons

We’re just going to go right ahead and assume that the zucchini in these muffins cancels out all the other things and makes them healthy.  Okay?  Deal. 

Streusel Topped Peanut Butter Stuffed Zucchini Muffins - Whisks and Wooden Spoons

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Because a healthy streusel-topped, peanut butter stuffed muffin just does NOT exist.  Let’s be real.  Some mornings we don’t want healthy.  We need sweet.  (Or am I alone on that?)  Pour me a big cup of coffee.  Let me have that peanut butter and streusel, please! Perfect Saturday morning.  Or any morning, for that matter!

Streusel Topped Peanut Butter Stuffed Zucchini Muffins
Yields 16
Moist zucchini muffins with a great peanut butter punch, and a streusel crunch.
Write a review
Print
Muffins
  1. 1 cup shredded zucchini
  2. 2 cups flour
  3. 2 tsp baking powder
  4. pinch salt
  5. 1/2 cup sour cream
  6. 1/2 cup margarine, softened
  7. 1/4 cup milk
  8. 2 eggs
  9. 1 tsp vanilla
  10. 1/2 cup brown sugar
  11. 1/4 cup white sugar
Streusel
  1. 1/2 cup flour
  2. 1/2 tsp cinnamon
  3. 1/3 cup brown sugar
  4. 3 Tbsp butter
Peanut Butter Filling
  1. 1/2 cup peanut butter
  2. 1/4 cup icing sugar
Extra
  1. 2 Tbsp peanut butter, melted
Instructions
  1. Preheat the oven to 350F. Put muffin liners in muffin tins.
  2. For the muffins, mix together margarine, and sugars until combined. Add vanilla, and eggs. Followed by sour cream.
  3. Stir in flour, baking powder, and salt, alternately with milk.
  4. Add in that zucchini, and stir until it's all combined.
  5. For the streusel, mix all ingredients together until you have a decent crumb.
  6. For the peanut butter filling, mix together. It'll be thick, but that's good!
  7. Add about a [slightly heaping] tablespoon of muffin batter to each muffin cup. Scoop a dollop of peanut butter mixture onto each base of batter. Top with another [slightly heaping] tablespoon of batter. It should look pretty full. That's okay.
  8. Top with streusel and throw them in the oven for between 20-25 minutes. They'll start to brown, and will be set in the middle.
  9. As soon as you take them out of the oven, drizzle with the melted peanut butter. Let set in their tins for 5 minutes or so, and place on a rack to cool.
  10. Enjoy!
Whisks and Wooden Spoons http://whisksandwoodenspoons.com/
I really hope you enjoy these!  They were super moist and yummy, not to mention peanut butter-y! 

**This post is linked to What’s Cooking Wednesday at Buns in my Oven, Link Party Palooza on Lil’ Luna, and on Christian Blogger Community Linkup

Streusel Topped Peanut Butter Stuffed Zucchini Muffins - Whisks and Wooden Spoons

Lavender Berry Scones

For some reason, rainy days and tea inspire me to post.  Could also be the fact that we’re having leftovers and I’m not doing anymore house work for at least a few more hours.  Reason three – both boys are sleeping.  Soundly.  (For now…)

Lavender Berry Scones

I think I made these about 6 months ago.  Made em.  Photographed them.  Devoured them.  Made them again.  Forgot to post them.  That’s how I roll.  Forgotten is my middle name.  Memory is a thing of the past.

So, I’m going to share them now.  And they are SO good.  I even found the pictures!  Go me!

Scones being created

I follow Miss Joy over at Joy the Baker.  She is da bomb.  I love her style, wit, and food choices.  Anyhow, these scones come from her, only slightly changed by yours truly.  Skeptical of the lavender?  Don’t be.  It tingles the taste-buds.  I did have a comment from a slightly disgruntled guy that flowers are for smelling, not eating.  BUT, they were devoured and many compliments ensued.  So I’d say they’re pretty good.  My hubby even loves them.  (And that’s saying something, as he’s generally a baked-goods-hater.)  Here goes!

Prebaked Lavender Berry Scones

Lavender Berry Scones

Recipe very slightly adapted from Joy the Baker

3 cups flour

1/3 cup sugar

1 heaping Tbsp dried lavender

2 1/2 tsp baking powder

1/2 tsp baking soda

Dash salt

3/4 cup cold butter or margarine

1 egg

3/4 cup buttermilk

1 cup berries (I used frozen blackberries, blueberries, and raspberries)

1 beaten egg and sugar to coat and sprinkle before baking

First of all, remember that ‘boys are sleeping soundly’ thing?  It’s now untrue.  But I will continue nonetheless.

Secondly!  Preheat that oven to 400F, and line a baking sheet with parchment paper.

Combine all dry ingredients in a bowl.  Cut in butter (or margarine) with fingers or a pastry cutter, until it resembles large oat flakes.  In another bowl, combine egg and buttermilk, and beat lightly.  Add to flour mixture, just until moistened.  Fold in those berries (carefully, they’ll make a mess!).

Turn onto a floured surface, and knead for about 2 minutes.  Roll out into a 1-inch thickness.  Cut into desired shapes (re-rolling excess dough for more scones), and place on baking sheet.  Brush lightly with beaten egg, and sprinkle with sugar.  Bake for 15-18 minutes, or until slightly golden brown on top.

Enjoy!  These are quite amazing alone, or with a dallop of butter and jam.  (Go for blueberry jam!)

Lavender Berry Scones.Ready for oven

Now to finish off with some kiddo photos as usual.  Just can’t get enough of my boys.

Mister Man

{In the sandbox, smiling away}

Sweet Eyes

{He’s practicing blowing spit here, just so you know…  But he has the sweetest eyes, don’t you think?}

 

Whole Wheat Cinnamon Rolls

It DOES feel like fall.  And much too soon, in my opinion.  I’ve switched from shorts, a tank, and sandals to socks, sweaters, and leggings in a week.  From iced coffee to hot vanilla nut tea and hot chocolate.  (Not that it’s bad, just different, and MUCH too soon.)  I digress…

My counter.  Technically, it’s the desk my wonderful father made for me in elementary school, that I absolutely love.  But right now, it’s serving some time as a kitchen counter.  I was looking at it this evening after I put cinnamon rolls in the oven, and came to the conclusion that it’s a lot like my life.

Desk Explosion

Look at the organized clutter, the spattering of flour and cinnamon, the balancing of the laptop.  It’s got character, dents,scrapes, and doodles.  Lots of love oozes out of it when I think of the time and love my daddy poured into it as he made it.  (It’s got to be my favourite Christmas present ever.  Seconded by the hope chest he made me a few years later.)  My life is like my desk.  Organized, but in a messy, ‘only-I-know-where-everything-is-but-it-REALLY-is-organized’, kind of way.  Cluttered like my brain, jumping and crashing from one thought to the next.  Spattered like the laughter, screams, squeals, and tears of my family, throughout every day.  My life has had its share of dents and scrapes.  Doodles are the fun, quirky times.  So much love has been shoved into my life, and so much love squeezes out of me.  It’s give and take kind-o-deal.

There you go.  My life in a desk.  Didn’t think you’d ever come across that comparison now, did you?

On the other hand…

I may or may not need more counter space.  Either way, I had just enough room, in this cluttered mess, to make Whole Wheat Cinnamon Rolls.  I’m not going to share the recipe, I’ll just send you over to Piping Dreams for that.  But I did just want to say hey, and share a few photos.  Sorry (yet again) for being disconnected the past year.  Spring was crazy.  I thought, ‘Surely I’ll have some down time in the summer!’.  I was wrong.  Now that summer has flown by, and fall is at my heels, I’m thinking, ‘I must MAKE time through the fall and winter months!’.  Will it happen?  Only time will tell.

Whole Wheat Cinnamon Rolls

But for now, I leave you with cinnamon and clove scents wafting through my kitchen into yours.  As Lauren says in her post, these only take 30 minutes TOPS to whip up.  You can have your house smelling like mine in no time.  Or you can come over for coffee right now… or in the morning.  Whichever.

Whole Wheat Cinnamon Rolls

My hubby couldn’t wait for me to even get pictures, before he tried snatching a cinnamon roll.  What I didn’t tell him was that they were whole wheat.  Will he notice?  I haven’t heard any comments yet.  I’ll let you know.  (Sneaky wife here, trying to get him to eat healthier…  Do cinnamon rolls count as healthier?  Imma say yes.  Why not?)

If you really aren’t into whole wheat, check out these bad boys:  Nanny’s Cinnamon Rolls.  Yummmm!

Or these:  Apple Jelly Tea Rolls.  So good.  Soooo fall-ish.

Pictures of the kiddos you say?  Why, sure!

Cael's Fedora

Jude's new hat

{Hats all around.  Cael wearing his uncle’s fedora, and Jude’s new hat knit by a great friend of the family}

I have a hat fetish.  There are so many awesome hats that look absolutely adorable on little boys…  *sigh.

Hot Cross Biscuits

Three months.  That’s all the time I have left before baby numero dos is due.  (Unless of course, he…  or she, comes early…)  It seems like a long time, but I know it will just fly by.  Especially with Christmas coming.  I know, I know – I shouldn’t even have mentioned the ‘C’ word, but it’s true.  It’s a’comin’.  And personally, I’m pumped for the shopping trips.  Buying things for people, baking = fun, fun, fun.  Busy, but fun.  And our little guy will actually be aware of everything this year.  I’m super excited to see how he reacts to all the hullabaloo.  And that means baby will be along shortly (and I can stop going to work! Not that I’m excited about that, or anything…).

Thanksgiving anybody?  It was great to have a turkey dinner.  I made my first ever yule log thingy (and it was awesome – and I’ll share it with you soon!).  Dark Chocolate Buche de Noel.   Yum.  It was the first dessert gone at our family gathering.

Anybody say cute?

Here he is:

{My cutest little boy ever…  I’ve got to say that as many times as I can in the next three months in case I have another boy!  Isn’t he just great though?}

So I’ve got three words for you.

Joy. the. Baker.

Check her out.  She is an inspirational food blogger.  Just your everyday Joe, but she’s amazing.  I love everything she writes, and cooks, and I don’t know the girl.  But I wish I did.  She recently came out with her first cookbook (SO awesome!). And here was the chain of events that followed:

Got her cookbook.

Loved it.

Wanted to bake everything in it.

So what did I do?  Went to her blog and made something from there instead.  Hot Cross Biscuits, to be exact.  But don’t worry, a few days later I made her Cinnamon Sugar Rice Pudding out of the cookbook.  It rocked world.  But not near as much as these biscuits.  They were awesome.  I would make them again, and again.  And eat them.  All.

Hot Cross Biscuits

These are just slightly adapted from Joy’s recipe:

**I used dried cranberries in half of the recipe, switched orange zest for lemon, and didn’t use icing

Makes 8 to 12 biscuits

Print this Recipe!

For the Biscuits:

3 cups  flour

2 Tbsp sugar

4 1/2 tsp baking powder

3/4 tsp salt

3/4 cup butter, cold and cut into small cubes

1 large egg

3/4 cup buttermilk

2 tsp orange zest

1/2 cup dried cranberries

Preheat oven to 400F.  Line a baking sheet with parchment paper, or grease with shortening, and set aside.

In a bowl, combine flour, sugar, baking powder, and salt.  Using a pastry blender, cut in butter, until resembles flakes of oatmeal.

Add cranberries

Whisk together egg and buttermilk.

Slowly fold into butter/flour mixture, just until all the flour is wet.  Place on a floured surface and knead slightly.  Roll out until dough is 1 inch thick, and cut with a biscuit cutter (whatever size pleases you, really).

Brush the tops of the biscuits with buttermilk, and bake for 12-15 minutes, or until golden brown on top and bottom.  Remove from oven and let cool.

These are amazing served with butter and jam.  I omitted the cranberries from half of my recipe, and I loved them both ways.

Bon appetit!

30 Day Challenge

Day 10 – Discuss your first love and first kiss

Well.  That’s [fairly] early.  My first love would be my hubby.  I’ve had a crush (and then wayyy more than a crush) on him since elementary school.  Sure, we’ve had ups and downs.  But I never ever gave a thought to us not being together.  There were scary times, when it came close, but we got through.  He’s handsome, in a rugged (which is my favourite!) way.  Funny, sarcastic, great hubby, wonderful Daddy – these are only a few of the things that I love about him.  I’ve got to mention his little crooked smile, and the mischievous look he gets too.  They’re just too good to pass up.  He is the only guy I’ve ever kissed (other than my daddy, of course).  The first time was, well, messy.  And I thought about it for months…  Okay, maybe years.  Because we really had two first kisses.  The second time was… not so messy.  It made my heart flutter (literally, I think I could have had a heart attack), and I was so nervous both times, I could’ve thrown up.  But it was great.  I’ve kissed him a million times since.  Gets better every time.  So there’s the juice.  Now you know.

(You guys do realize it’s taking me about 30+ weeks to do this challenge instead of 30 days, right?  I’m slower than a tortoise!)

Peace out.

Whole Wheat Berry Muffins

So hey.  I know I said last time that I would be posting soon.   I’m ashamed to say that I lied… again.  Life is just crazy.  And my priorities elsewhere [apparently].

Summer is coming to a close.  I know this because I’m currently sitting wrapped in a blanket with a sweater on.  You’d never in the afternoons though.  It’s nice and warm, sun beating down.  But as soon as evening hits, so does the brisk autumn air.  And it gets CHILLY.  But it’s cool.  Only thing I mind is needing to change about 3 times a day to accommodate the temperature changes.

But.  It’s still summer.  1 more week.  I’ve seen leaves fall, coloured red.  It’s scary, and beautiful all in one.  Scary as I don’t know where the summer went.  Beautiful, because it’s a gorgeous time of year.  Colourful and crisp, wonderful.

Can I just say that my little boy is growing up too fast?  (This is part of the scary leaves falling thought…)  He’s getting so big, and is running around everywhere.  Weaning himself from 2 naps to 1, and being the cutest, silliest, smartest little guy I’ve ever known.  He has this funny growl/laugh thing he does deep in his throat that makes him sound like a maniacal scientist.  It’s pretty great.

{We have these sweet kid-sized grocery carts at the store.  Still a bit big for him, but he thought it was great!}

Since it’s still summer, I decided to use up some of my berries to make muffins!  I’ve come up with the brilliant idea of freezing my muffins.  Because you see, hubby doesn’t normally eat muffins.  So that leaves eating them (a dozen plus) up to me.  And by the time 12 mornings have gone by, the muffins are normally green, and so am I.  I like to change my breakfasts up every couple of days.  It gets boring having the same thing over and over again.  SO – freezing them is what I have come to do.   And it works!  Muffins freeze great.  And if you set one out the evening before, it’s all ready for you to eat the next morning.  Yum.  Fresh muffins whenever I want.

Back to my berry muffins.

These are going to be Whole Wheat Berry Muffins.  (Well, half whole wheat anyway.)

Here goes!

Whole Wheat Berry Muffins

1/2 cup margarine, softened

1 cup sugar

2 eggs

1 cup flour

1 cup whole wheat flour

2 tsp baking powder

1/2 tsp salt

1 cup milk

2 cups fresh/frozen berries (I used fresh blackberries and frozen blueberries)

Preheat oven to 350F.  Line muffin cups.  (If you fill them really full, you’ll get 12 nice sized muffins.)

Cream together margarine and sugar.  Add eggs and salt, and beat until combined.

Alternately add dry ingredients and milk.

Fold in berries.  Spoon into muffin cups.  Bake for 20-25 minutes, or until muffins are a golden brown around the edges.

Enjoy with a slab of butter, and a cup-o-tea.  A great (and almost convincingly healthy with the whole wheat flour) way to start an autumn morning.  Hope you like them!

And back to the 30 Day Challenge (that is taking me about 30 months).

30 Day Challenge

Day 7 – Your zodiac sign and if you think it fits your personality.

Okay, first off, I don’t do the whole zodiac thing.  So I actually had to Google what my sign was, and what it meant.  Some people might think this to be sad… Me?  I think it’s fine.  Stars know nothing.  Stars say nothing.

According to my [thorough… hemhem] research, I’m a Taurus (one of those bull-type things).

And according to some random website, this is what a Taurus is:

Patient and reliable
Warmhearted and loving
Persistent and determined
Placid and security loving

Jealous and possessive
Resentful and inflexible
Self-indulgent and greedy

Some of these… may be true.  Others, not so much.

Take patience for example.  I don’t think I’m overly patient (or even a little, for that matter).  Especially when I’m pregnant and my hormones are rollercoaster-ing around in my system.  As for persistent and determined.  Yes.  You might even say I’m stubborn.  But hey, I’m told I get it honestly.  Jealous and possessive, perhaps.  Greedy, I hope not… I don’t think so anyways.

Anywho.  That’s enough of the stars for me.  Forever.  Hopefully I’ll hear from you guys and get another post rolling soon!  Later days.

Whole Wheat Raspberry Scones

Just a tidbit of what happened in my life today.  Our family grew from 3 to 6.  All in a matter of one evening, and all by choice.  We went to pick up two kittens, and came home with three.  I just couldn’t separate them.  Two black sisters (one long and one short-haired) and one orange tabby brother.  Snap, Crackle, and Pop.  What’s an extra cat…  or three?  đź™‚

So – Whole Wheat Raspberry Scones.  That’s what I made today.  Proud of me?  They’re pretty good too.

I haven’t been doing a whole lot of baking lately.  Mostly because there has been too much else to do.  Chasing after Cael, cleaning the house, going away, being preggo, etc.  Oh, and I’m back to work part-time too, which definitely adds to the crazy chaotic life that seems to be mine.

But there has still been a bit of baking going on.  I have a few other recipes all set to share with you too.  And I’m sure more baking will be in my future.  Especially with a bridal shower and a wedding for my friend in the near future.

Anyhow!  To the scones!

Whole Wheat Raspberry Scones

 

I found a recipe at Smitten Kitchen and slightly adapted it to what was in my refrigerator.  Raspberries add such great flavour – they make the scones perfectly sweet and tart.  And whole wheat flour add a great body to the scones (not to mention a little added nutrition).  Try them out.  And if you don’t have my ingredients, check out Smitten Kitchen’s recipe; you’re bound to have one or the other.

Whole Wheat Raspberry Scones
Write a review
Print
Ingredients
  1. 1 cup whole wheat flour
  2. 1 cup all-purpose flour
  3. 1 tablespoon baking powder
  4. 1/4 cup sugar
  5. 1/2 teaspoon salt
  6. 6 tablespoons cold unsalted butter
  7. 1 cup fresh raspberries
  8. 3/4 cup non-fat vanilla yogurt
  9. 1/3 cup whole milk
  10. And... about 2 Tbsp lemon juice
Instructions
  1. Preheat oven to 425 degrees. Grease a baking sheet.  In the bottom of a bowl, whisk together flours, baking powder, sugar and salt.
  2. With a pastry blender, add the butter cut the butter into the flour mixture until it looks like dry curdled milk (yum, right?).  Add the raspberries and use the blender again to cut them into smaller chunks.
  3. Stir in the yogurt, milk, and lemon juice to form a dough with a flexible spatula.  When the dough is all sticking together, transfer the dough to a well-floured counter.  Flour the top of the dough and pat into a square about 1-inch thick. With a knife, divide the dough into 9 squares.
  4. Put the scones onto the baking sheet. Bake the scones for about 15 minutes, or until lightly golden at the edges.  Cool on the  pan for a minute, then place on a cooling rack.
Notes
  1. If you have to add more or less liquid - do so.  My dough was pretty sticky, but I floured it really well when I rolled it out.  I like making things like that, it's my preference.  But if it's not yours, just don't make it quite so sticky.
Adapted from Smitten Kitchen
Adapted from Smitten Kitchen
Whisks and Wooden Spoons http://whisksandwoodenspoons.com/

Enjoy.  They are great still warm out of the oven, as are, with a cup of tea.  Or warmed up later with a slab of butter on top.

After supper this evening, we went outside and had bubbles for Cael (courtesy of his Nana).  Here he is in action!  (He loved it.)

{He was having a blast!  And his feet were as black as…. well… tar}

{My slightly pregnant belly…} 

Talk soon!

**Linked up on Sugar, Spice, and Family Life