Monday, June 28, 2010

Wake Up to Sunshine (in your kitchen)

Okay, so this morning I woke up way too early considering this was my morning to sleep in.   I took one look outside, saw the drizzle, and thought.....blueberry muffins.  I know, I am weird that way!

Anyway, these muffins are truly amazing and super easy.  Oh, and they usually don't last long.  Around my house anyway.

I wish I could give credit to who came up with this recipe, but I just don't know where I got it.  It's one of my staples though, so thank you whoever you are!

The Best Blueberry Muffins - Ever!!!

6 TBSP unsalted butter, melted
1/2 cup milk
1 large egg
1 tsp vanilla
1 1/2 cups flour
1 1/2 tsp baking powder
3/4 cup granulated sugar
1/2 tsp salt
1/8 tsp nutmeg
1 1/2 cups blueberries


2 TBSP butter
1/2 cup flour
2 TBSP  granulated sugar

Preheat oven to 375 degrees and grease a muffin pan with cooking spray

Whisk melted butter, milk, egg and vanilla in a small bowl.

In a medium bowl, whisk flour, baking powder, salt, sugar, and nutmeg. (I sometimes add a touch of lemon zest)

Add in milk mixture and stir until just combined.

Fold in blueberries.

Spoon batter into prepared muffin pan.

Blend all three topping ingredients with fingers to make a crumbly topping and sprinkle evenly over batter.

Bake until golden, about 20 minutes.

If they last long enough I will be taking these to work tonight for Francis' birthday.  Shhh!  Don't tell him.


Chocolate + Chocolate + Chocolate + Sugar = Happiness

Well here it is!  What I came up with to lighten my mood.  Believe me, it's the only thing lighter around here as a result.  That's okay, I have approximately 40 days before I have to be in a bathing suit in until crunch time....I eat brownies!

Forget Your Troubles...

1 1/2 cups flour
1/2 tsp Baking Soda
1/2 tsp salt
2/3 cup butter
1 1/2 cup granulated sugar
4 TBSP water
2 pkg (12 oz) chocolate chips
2 tsp vanilla
4 whole eggs
1 cup of walnuts (optional)

Preheat oven to 325F.

Combine flour, baking soda and salt in a small bowl and mix to combine. In a large saucepan, melt the butter with the sugar and water. Bring just to a boil and remove from heat. Stir in one package of the chocolate chips and the vanilla extract. Whisk in the eggs one at a time, mixing well after each addition. Slowly blend in the flour mixture, and then add the remaining package of chocolate chips and the chopped nuts.
Pour into a greased 9×13″ pan* and bake for 30-40 minutes, or until a toothpick inserted comes out clean. Be careful not to over-bake, and make sure that your toothpick is coated with uncooked batter and not melted chocolate chips if you’re going to continue baking longer. Let cool at least 2 hours before serving.
Note: To make a half-batch, use a greased 9×9″ square pan and bake for 25-35 minutes.
Thanks to The Pioneer Woman for another wonderful recipe!

Saturday, June 26, 2010

Feeling super stressed and need to bake.....I will let you know what I come up with.

Tuesday, June 22, 2010

Well the weeks go by and before we know it, it's the last week of school.    My baby will be graduating Kindergarten this week and my big boy will be graduating Grade 4.   I can't believe it!  Lots of fun activities planned at school this week, beginning with a concert to celebrate Summer this afternoon, courtesy of Mr. Ciaran.   He's been practicing the songs which we hear little snipets from time to time.    The best part is, I finally have a decent camera which will enable me to capture the memories well!  I will be sure to post a photo or two.

Moving on to something yummy!

I had recently watched an episode of Throwdown with Bobby Flay (one of my faves).  It was a chocolate chip cookie throwdown.   The cookies in the show were 6 oz each.   Bobby didn't win against these babies.  These cookies give a whole new meaning to Monster cookies!

Here's the photo of mine and the recipe, which I found on the Vanilla Sugar blog.....they are awesome, you need to go to your kitchen right now and make them.

Levin Bakery (NYC) Chocolate Chip Cookie Clone

2 sticks unsalted butter, cold**** might be European style, not sure.
3/4 cup granulated sugar
3/4 cup packed brown sugar
2 large eggs
1 teaspoon vanilla
3 cups all purpose flour (13 ½ oz)
3/4 teaspoon salt (I used sea salt)
1 teaspoon baking powder
1/2 teaspoon baking soda
12 ounces (2 cups) good quality semisweet chocolate chips or chopped chocolate
1 cup nuts (pecans or walnuts)

If using dough right away, preheat oven to 375 degrees F. (It’s best to chill, though)

In a mixing bowl, using an electric mixer, beat butter and both sugars just until creamy. Don’t overbeat. Add the egg and vanilla and beat just until incorporated.

Stir together flour, baking soda, baking powder and salt. When thoroughly mixed, add to batter and stir just until blended. Stir in chocolate chips.

Divide dough into 12 big 4 oz lumps. Bake on ungreased cookies sheets (one sheet at a time). (I chilled my dough balls BEFORE baking)

Bake times:

Put the cookies in a 375 degree oven and set timer for 8 minutes. When timer rings, without opening oven or removing cookies, reduce heat to 325 degrees and bake for another 8-10 minutes or until cookies appear set.

Otherwise, you can bake at 350 for 18-22 minutes or until done. (Mine did 24 minutes, but I have a convection oven)

Makes 12 (mine made 14) 

P.S   I wrapped 4 of the cookies in a bag and did a cookie raffle at work.  I raised $36 for Breast Cancer....worth every penny!

Friday, June 11, 2010

Hey Cupcakes!

Look what I am selling tomorrow at my Garage Sale!!!

Cherry Chip Cupcakes.....with a cherry on top!

Thursday, June 10, 2010

Garage Sale for Breast Cancer

Big garage sale this Saturday folks!

8am to 1pm

It's time to get rid of some treasures.

All proceeds will be donated to the Susan G. Komen Breast Cancer Foundation.

Swing by for a cupcake and lemonade (pink of course)....for a small donation.

Tuesday, June 8, 2010

Alrighty, so in light of all the rain we had this past weekend, and the fact that my son's hockey season ended Saturday.  We took the opportunity on Sunday to have a family outing to the movies.  My parents, the boys and myself made a last minute decision to see Marmaduke.  

We rushed to the theatre with minutes to spare.  Looked like everyone had the same idea that day.  It was packed.  Half the self-ticketing machines were broken.  The lines up for refreshments had at least 30 or more people and to top it all off.....the butter machines were clogged.  Not sure if you have been to a movie lately, but the butter machines are do it yourself....awesome if they ever worked!!!!!   

Anyway, we got our seats, popcorn in hand, just in time for the previews.  

Now to the feature presentation.  Marmaduke.  According to the Ottawa Citizen newspaper, their critic gave it 1 out of 5....I am thinking they weren't too far wrong.  However, there were some cute, funny parts and my kids seemed to like it.  So I would bump it up to a 2 out of 5.   It's a rental!

MMMM, I am noticing a pattern here......rental, rental, rental....yup that's 3 movies I have said should be rentals....and yet my total spent at these movies is now, what?   over $200.....sheesh.  Will I ever learn?

Oh well, it was a fun family outing after all and that's what counts.  

It was either Marmaduke, or  ziplining with my the pouring rain.......woohoo Marmaduke!
Well hello people!!!   It's been so long since I posted something, I had almost forgotten my password!  Don't you just hate that when that happens?  We have passwords for everything these days, it's hard to keep track!  Anyway, I am back.

I have had a busy couple of weeks, what with work and  hockey tournaments, parenting my parents (just kidding), oh, and I started school.  Yes, because my life just isn't busy enough I thought I would through school into the mix.  I mean, why not....who needs sleep or a social life right?

So, I have been a little pre-occupied and have had no time to bake.  Which can account for a lot of mood being one of them!     Maybe this week, sometime before Friday...since two of my favorite coworkers are celebrating their birthday on the very same day!!!

Better get searching for something extra yummy!