Ugly Muffins (Spiced Banana Muffins)

Banana bread can be so tricky (in my opinion). There are a million recipes out there and it seldom fails that I forget what recipe I liked best (or least) the last time I made it.

spiced banana muffins (with pumpkin and coriander)

Spiced Banana Muffins with Pumpkin and Coriander (and a cinnamon sugar topping!)

But this recipe….oh my lanta is it a winner! I know these “look” ugly but, they taste out of this world! I made these muffins and they were gone in 3 days flat. I had very little guilt about them too as the ingredients are healthy and the sugar fairly low. (Though I’m going to experiment and lower it even more!)

The recipe is from the thriftyhippie blog by the way! Here is the basic recipe.

  • 1 1/2 Cups Whole Wheat Flour
  • 3/4 Cup Dark Brown Sugar* 
  • 1 1/2 Teaspoons Baking Soda
  • 1/4 Teaspoon Salt
  • 6 Tablespoons Coconut Oil (or butter)
  • 1/4 Cup Milk
  • 3 Bananas, Mashed well
  • 1 Egg
  • 1/4 Teaspoon Nutmeg
  • 1/4 Teaspoon Allspice
  • 1 Teaspoon Vanilla

*denotes my change in the recipe

Heat oven to 350.  

Sift together the flour, salt, baking soda, sugar, allspice and nutmeg.  

In a separate bowl, beat together the bananas, vanilla, milk, egg and coconut oil until well incorporated.  

Add the dry to the wet and mix until it just comes together, try not to over mix the batter.  

Fill your lined muffin cups 2/3 full with the batter (1/4 cup).  Top with a cinnamon sugar mixture before baking to add a delicious crunch to the top of the muffins.  Bake for 22-25 minutes.  Remove from the tin and cool on a rack.

My family ate these warm out of the oven with some fresh salted butter (which immediately melted) and we all swooned over how delicious all the flavors were together! Enjoy these tasty babies!

I wanted to try a little switch up on these muffins just for fun, so here is the “Less Sugar Pumpkin and Coriander” version!

  • 1 1/2 Cups Whole Wheat Flour
  • 1/4 Cup Dark Brown Sugar
  • 1/4 Cup honey
  • 1 1/2 Teaspoons Baking Soda
  • 1/4 Teaspoon Salt
  • 6 Tablespoons Coconut Oil (or butter)
  • 1/4 Cup Milk
  • 2 Bananas, Mashed well
  • 1/2 Cup pumpkin puree (NOT pumpkin pie filling)
  • 1 Egg
  • 1/4 Teaspoon Nutmeg
  • 1/4 Teaspoon Allspice
  • 1/4 Teaspoon Coriander
  • 1 Teaspoon Vanilla

Same gig as above and remember to top with a sprinkle of cinnamon and sugar!



My friend Danielle and I both love to cook. She was mentioning to me one day when we were chatting that she loves to make crepes for her and her husband . I always thought that was a challenging endeavor, but she assured me it was way easy. So, I tried it out! She was totally right! This was a fun and easy recipe. I especially love that you can go savory or sweet with crepes. Try them this Saturday (hint, make them Friday night and let them refrigerate overnight to be ready the next morning) for a fun breakfast treat.

Julia Child’s Crepes (we think)

3/4 cup milk
3/4 cup water
3 egg yokes
1tbsp sugar
3tbsp liquer (opt-or a yummy extract like coconut, orange, almond, rum is yummy too!)
1 1/2 C Flour
5 TBSP melted butter

Blend in blender for 30 seconds. Refrigerate for 2 hours.

Use a regular non-stick skillet starting with 1/4 measuring cup.  Use one hand to pour in the batter while making circular motions with the other hand. You basically just want to pour it in the middle and then swirl it around so that the the batter goes around in the pan and is very thin. Personally, I love to use my Pampered Chef large frosting spreader for the job. It works perfectly!

 This is the spreader I use to flip my crepes!

I’m whipping these up for tomorrow; can’t wait to dive in!

Huevos Rancheros

I made this for dinner tonight…and it rocked.

Photo Credit Bev Cooks

It looked just like that and it tasted amazing…so just make it like the woman says!

Huevos Rancheros:

What it took for 1 serving (if you’re like me and eat 2 rancheros’s. Or is it rancheroses? Or is it rancheri?):

* about 3 Tbs. extra-virgin olive oil, divided
* 2 corn tortillas
* 1/2 cup black beans (from a can, drained and rinsed)
* 1 clove garlic
* 1 tsp chili powder
* 1 tsp ground cumin
* 2 Tbs. salsa (I used hot!)
* 2 eggs
* 1 Tbs. sour cream
* fresh cilantro, for garnish
* coarse salt and freshly ground pepper

In a mini food processor, add the beans, garlic, cumin, chili powder, a tsp of oil and a small pinch of salt and pepper. Blitz until you get a puree. Transfer to a small sauce pan and set it on a low heat. Stir (or press around) the mixture until it’s heated through. Remove from heat.

Put a small skillet over the heated burner and add the tiniest bit of oil. Lightly fry (it’s almost toasting really) each tortilla until slightly browned and bubbly. Transfer to a plate.

Add a tsp of oil (or a little more) to the skillet and crack your first egg in. If you want to use a bigger skillet and just fry both eggs at the same time, gah fer it. (That’s me trying to sound Irish.) Continue to fry the eggs until the whites are set but the yolks are still runny.

In the meantime, spread the bean mixture over each tortilla, followed by the salsa. Then top each with an egg. Dollop with a little more salsa, fresh cilantro sprigs and a good grind of black pepper.

Serve with lime wedges and sour cream!

Red, White and Blue Baked Oatmeal

I found this recipe today for a Blueberry Baked Oatmeal and I had to try it! But the thought of adding coconut came to my mind, and then I thought why not add raspberries too? It turned out so incredibly flavorful. Imagine eating a mixed berry cobbler for breakfast and that is what it tastes like!

Red, White and Blue Baked Oatmeal:
3 Cups oats (I used whole grain rolled oats)
1 Cup brown sugar-packed
2 teaspoons baking powder
1 teaspoon salt
1/2 teaspoon cinnamon
2 eggs, lightly beaten
1 & 1/2 Cups Vanilla Coconut Milk
1/2 Cup butter, melted
1/3 Cup fresh blueberries (or blackberries)
1/3 Cup fresh raspberries (or strawberries)
1/3 Cup unsweetened flaked coconut
2-3 drops of Coconut Creme extract

1. Preheat oven to 350 degrees and spray an 9×9 with a non-stick spray.

2. In a medium bowl, mix together oats, brown sugar, baking powder, salt and cinnamon; set aside.

3. In another bowl, place butter and melt in the microwave (around 1 minute). Add the Vanilla Coconut Milk, eggs, and Coconut Creme extract. Mix the wet ingredients into the dry, then gently fold in fruit.

4. Pour mixture into pan and distribute evenly. Bake for 30-35 minutes and enjoy warm!

red, white and blue baked oatmeal

Cranberry Orange Steel Cut Oats

I’ve been bored with my breakfast lately. So much so that I often just grab a banana or something else that’s quick. This is not filling me up enough to make it until lunch and then that annoys me even more! In my hunt for some quality calories (that taste good) I found this recipe on good ol’ Pinterest.

I didn’t have all of the ingredients needed for the recipe so I had to adjust a bit. Here’s what I came up with:

Cranberry Orange Steel Cut Oats

Cranberry Orange Steel Cut Oats

3 cups water
1 cup milk
1 tablespoon coconut oil
1 cup steel-cut oats (I used Trader Joe’s Quick Steel Cut Oats)
1/4 teaspoon salt
zest of one orange and juice of one orange
1 bag of Craisins
1 tablespoon pomegranate balsamic vinegar

In a large saucepan, bring the water, milk and coconut oil to a simmer over medium heat.
Stir the oats into the simmering water/milk/oil mixture. Reduce the heat to medium-low and simmer gently for about 20 minutes, until the mixture is very thick.
Stir in the salt. Continue to simmer the mixture, stirring occasionally, until almost all of the liquid is absorbed, about 10 minutes. The oatmeal should be very creamy at this point. Stir in the orange zest, juice, craisins, and the balsamic vinegar and let the oatmeal stand for 5 minutes before serving.
Portion into bowls and enjoy with some pecans or walnuts

*I did NOT think this needed any sugar added. However, I do prefer things to be unsweetened. So if you know you like your oatmeal sweet, than you will definitely need some sweetener with this. Honey and cinnamon would be good or if you’ve recently picked it up, try some coconut sugar! It’s delightful!

Banana Bread

I don’t know about you, but I’m picky about Banana Bread. Really picky. I feel it is completely necessary that something is on top of the bread for starters; a crumble crust, some sort of sugar/cinnamon combo, etc. I also feel it should not be rubbery or dry. I mean, it’s baked with bananas for crying out loud!

I’ve been on the hunt for a really solid recipe for years and this weekend, I found it!

Yummy Banana Bread

Its out of the same book as those amazing and giant chocolate chip cookies I made a few weeks ago, “A Passion for Baking” by Marcy Goldman. This book is becoming one of my favorites. Everything is just so good! So here ya go, one of the best recipes I’ve made…and I’ve tried a LOT of ’em.

Old-Fashioned Fragrant Banana Bread

1/2 Cup unsalted butter, softened
1 Cup sugar
2 large eggs
1 Cup mashed very ripe banana (I used exactly 2 bananas)
1/4 Cup sour cream
1 teaspoon vanilla
2 Cups all-purpose flour
1 teaspoon baking powder
1/2 teaspoon baking soda
1/4 teaspoon salt

*1 Tablespoon ground cinnamon
*1 Tablespoon sugar

Preheat oven to 350 degrees. Generously spray a 9×5 inch loafpan with nonstick cooking spray. (I used my nylon loaf pan and loved the results!) Place pan on a parchment-lined baking sheet.

In a small bowl, combine 1/4 cup sour cream with 1/2 teaspoon baking soda; stir and set aside. (This was a step that is not in the original recipe book. I just love the results…)

In a mixer bowl, cream butter and sugar until well-blended. Add eggs, banana, sour cream/baking soda mixture and vanilla. Fold in flour, baking powder and salt, scraping bowl often. Mix on low speed.

Spoon batter into pan. Combine cinnamon and sugar in a small bowl, then sprinkle ALL OF IT on the top of the bread. (This was also not in the original recipe…just trust me!) Bake until bread springs back, 50-55 minutes. It may have a crack in the center. It’s ok…If bread seems not quite done, reduce temp to 325 and give it an additional 10-15 more minutes. **I did NOT need to do this but I think that depends on the pan you use**

Cool for 20 minutes before turning out on a wire rack to continue cooling.

P.S. Marcy recommends adding walnuts and even chocolate chips…but I’m a purist. Do what you will!

Berry Oat Muffins

Note: I made these last week and they were good, but they were overcooked a bit. The color was fine, they just didn’t sit right with me on their moisture level once I bit into it. I therefore lowered the temp a bit. These aren’t going to get super brown so watch them!

Breakfast can be hard to come by when you are a busy Mom or Dad. Somehow the kids always get their stuff in the morning, yet I forget to feed myself! These muffins are a delicious breakfast on the go or even a snack with some hot tea. But, uh, let’s call this the “original” version and I’ll try to work up a lighter version some other time. For now, bring on the yummy! You can make these with fresh or frozen berries. I love them with raspberry but since they aren’t in season right now, I went with blueberry (and I used frozen). I think I’ll try peach later this summer.

1 C quick cook oats (or you could use old fashioned)
4 C all purpose flour
1 C sugar
2 tsp baking powder
1/2 tsp salt
2 eggs
1 1/2 C whipping cream
1/2 C or 1 stick butter (i used salted), melted
2 C berries
1 t vanilla extract
1 t cinnamon
4 T of sugar in the raw for topping

1. Preheat oven to *350. Line 2, 12-count muffin pans with paper liners

2. In a skillet over medium-low heat, toast oats until lightly browned and fragrant, set aside.

3.  In a bowl, combine flour, baking powder and salt. In the bowl of an electric mixer, combine egg, sugar, butter and vanilla. Alternately add whipping cream and flour mixture until thoroughly combined. If the mix seems too dry, add a few splashes of milk to get your desired consistency. Finally, gently mix in toasted oats.

4. Spoon batter (small amount!) into each cup. Place 3-4 berries in each cup, then top with one additional spoonful of batter to cover. Sprinkle each muffin with a little of the sugar in the raw and bake for 20-25 minutes or until lightly browned.

5. Allow to cool and enjoy!