Apple Walnut Streusel Muffins

(Ha, spellcheck tried to turn ‘streusel’ into ‘stressful’. I can’t imagine muffins being stressful. Really? They are anti-stressful if you ask me. The cure for stress. A couple of these and some tea? Or a glass of milk or even coffee…)

First, Happy Mothers Day to all Mothers, grandmothers, foster mothers, God mothers, and anyone involved in mothering. 


Since it was Mothers day, I figured I would make some of my own personal favorite muffins, apple walnut, although I do not have a go-to recipe really, like I do for some other recipes. This one is always hit and miss. So I dug through some of my favorite baking books.

This one is a hit! Continue reading “Apple Walnut Streusel Muffins”

Gluten Free Lemon Blueberry Muffins & Life in SoCal

Hello there! Long time no hear…

Sooo, hubby said he was running errands and did I need anything. I asked him to pick up -A- bag of Bobs Red Mill multi grain cereal for bread making.

A bag.

Indicating one.

Here is what he came home with, bless his little heart!

The people at Bobs Red Mill should be very happy with my husband.
The people at Bobs Red Mill should be very happy with my husband. Anyone up for some Pirates of the Caribbean Monopoly? Sorry? Those games were already there, btw.

He happened to go to Big Lots (remember Pic n Save?) and pretty much bought them out on their baking cereals. Even picked up some gluten-free mix and some polenta. (Polenta, really?) He is too generous for his own good and he brought me home 2 bags of granola too, as well as a brownie mix we haven’t tried. This kind of reminds me of a commercial for TWC, where some guy is supposed to go pick out a sofa and comes home with a whole living room set, hmmm….

So, since I had the gluten-free mix, and some organic blueberries in the fridge, I thought I might as well make muffins.

I mixed the gluten-free mix I had of my own with about half the bag of Bobs GF mix. I have heard people complain that their mix is too beany and has a bean aftertaste in the baked goods. So I mixed it up a bit.

You tell me…

Blueberries bursting all over the place.
Blueberries bursting all over the place.

I thought they needed a little something, so I brushed melted butter on top and sprinkles cinnamon sugar. Its like pixie-dust, it makes the muffins fly right off the plates! You would never know these were gluten-free. They are just darn good muffins.

Here is the recipe. Feel free to adapt. You could make them dairy free with substitutions, like using coconut oil or other fruit for the blueberries or add nuts or use buttermilk…


2 cups gluten-free all-purpose baking flour

1/2 cup brown sugar plus 1/4 cup white sugar. Or use all of one or the other

2 teaspoons baking powder

3/4 teaspoon xanthan gum

1/2 teaspoon salt

1/2 cup (1 stick) butter, melted and cooled.

1/2 cup whole milk (I actually put a large blob of sour cream in the measuring cup and then filled it up to the 1/2 cup mark, whisking it smooth.)

2 eggs

2 teaspoons grated lemon zest (plus I added a few drops lemon flavoring)

1 1/2 cups fresh blueberries (or frozen, but be careful. They will turn batter blue. I add them to each muffin individually, putting some batter in, adding frozen berries and then more batter.)

Preheat oven to 375.

Whisk together the dry ingredients in a medium bowl.

In another bowl whisk together the wet stuff, like butter, vanilla, milk/sour cream mixture, eggs, and zest.

Now just stir these two groups together until pretty much mixed up (that almost sounds political, doesn’t it?)

Add the berries and mix some more, making sure there are not pockets of dry stuff. Batter will thicken up. It says not to over stir, but you certainly don’t have to worry about developing gluten, which is why you don’t stir regular muffins much. But whatever.

Put cute little muffin papers in each muffin cup. Add a large scoop of batter, filling to the top, but not over. I set the muffin pan on a baking sheet just in case it spills over or is thinking about burning the bottoms.

Bake 10 minutes, then rotate pans. Bake another 10 minutes or until they start to get a bit brown and a toothpick inserted comes out clean.Cool a few minutes in the pan, as they are hot as the dickens to touch! Then put on a rack to cool.

After they are cooled:

Melt just a bit of butter and brush it over the tops. Sprinkle with a cinnamon sugar blend.

Then dig in!

So, what have you all been up to this summer? It is really a busy time of year for many folks. Some of you are doing room additions, others are vacationing, while some are staying home to sew up long overdue projects.

We went to the beach yesterday. What a beautiful day!

We were visiting Corona Del Mar
We were visiting Corona Del Mar. I guess everybody thought this was a good idea, because it was pretty crowded. Lots of sand castle building going on.
My freezer is full of summer tomatoes. Time to get some cilantro and make some pico de gallo!
My freezer is full of summer tomatoes. Time to get some cilantro and make some pico de gallo!
“You mean WE get to eat this??”
These are just screaming to be made into pulled pork sandwiches. If they dont sell at the bake sale tomorrow...We's eatin them!
These are just screaming to be made into pulled pork sandwiches. If they don’t sell at the bake sale tomorrow…We’s eatin them!
Shish-Kabobs and...
Shish-Kabobs and…
Apple crisp. Its always apple crisp season. (And you dont have to mess with a pie crust!)
Apple crisp. It’s always apple crisp season. (And you don’t have to mess with a pie crust!)

I am actually going to a friend’s house soon to have a little pie crust workshop. I am pie crust impaired. I am tired of everyone telling me how easy it is.  Buying the pie crust is easy too. But if Rita thinks she can teach me, she is a high school chemistry teacher so maybe she can. My friend baking Julie also offered to help me. She is the sourdough queen among other things. (See what I mean? Everyone else seems to be able to make pie crust.) So whichever house I make it too first. I should probably go to both. I need that much help.

I went to another friends house just last week and we did some canning, making some wonderful jams. But somehow I dont see any pictures of them! What was I thinking?

Oh wait, I found one…

The other Linda and a Rockcroc full of strawberry jam.
The other Linda and a Rockcroc full of strawberry jam. The other pot has peach-strawberry-raspberry jam simmering.

Or two:

IMG_3931 (1024x765)IMG_3930 (1024x765)

More tomatoes. Did you know you can just wash them, remove the stem and put bags of them in the freezer? Then, when its time to make sauce, you take them out and as they defrost, they just melt down. You can just pick the skins right out. (Or use a food processor and grind them in.)
More tomatoes. Did you know you can just wash them, remove the stem and put bags of them in the freezer? Then, when its time to make sauce, you take them out and as they defrost, they melt down. You can just pick the skins right out. (Or use a food processor and grind them in.)
Someone had his birthday...
Someone had his birthday…

IMG_3695 (1024x766)

And someone else got a hair cut!
And someone else got a hair cut! He must have lost at least 10 pounds!

So that pretty much sums up our summer thus far. That and ribbons from the fair, but that’s another story. I haven’t been there yet.

Have a wonderful rest of July friends!

Crananasauce Gluten Free Muffins

I was just looking for something new in the gluten-free department. I have conquered the lemon blueberry coffeecake. I got the cookies. Gave up on the bread for now. What to do, what to do? Ah-ha! Found this muffin recipe and adapted it. The little things turned out wonderful! They came out moist, lightly sweet and  stayed together.

They are actually banana applesauce cranberry gluten-free muffins. But who wants to say all that! So I shortened it just a bit. I already posted it on pinterest. But here is the recipe with pictures of the ones I made.

Credit goes to  Gluten-Free Culinarian for the recipe I started with.

It is really very simple, if you have gluten-free baking mix. I make my own and have a big jar of it on hand for quick and easy baking.

Preheat the oven to 375.

You will need:

4 Tbsp. (half a cube) of melted butter

1/3 cup sugar

1/2 cup of unsweetened applesauce

1 tsp. vanilla

1 large overripe banana, lightly mashed up

1 egg

3/4 cup gluten-free baking mix

1 Tbsp cinnamon or pumpkin pie spice (which I love to use all year, if I can get it.)

1/8 tsp. xanthum gum

1 tsp. baking powder

1/2 tsp salt

1/3 cup Craisins

cinnamon sugar for topping

In one mixing bowl, whisk together the melted butter, sugar, banana, vanilla, applesauce and egg.

In another bowl, whisk together the gluten-free baking mix, xanthum gum, baking powder, cinnamon and salt.

Put these two together, gently mixing them. It should be wet, but not runny. Now I add a handful of Craisins.

Spoon into prepared muffin pan. Top with a generous sprinkling of cinnamon sugar.

Bake in a 375 oven for about 12 minutes of until a straw or toothpick comes out with crumbs but no wet batter.


Pumpkin Muffins

Boy, as I am looking at this I am thinking “I sure wish I could remember where I got that recipe”. They were wonderful, soft and spicy. I took a tray of them to the scouts meeting to hand out “scouting for food” door tags.  They were all lingering around a street corner that morning, waiting to be let loose on the unsuspecting public, handing out tags to every house in the neighborhood. I thought this would be  a warm treat for them, and they were gone before I got home. Everyone seemed to love them. (okay, I ate 3, now its out there…)

Ah ha! I found it. Continue reading “Pumpkin Muffins”

Feather Light Muffins

Quite a few years back I found this recipe in a taste of home magazine, made it and loved it. Then I saw it again in my MOPPS cookbook. Since then it has popped up all over the place. What I remember most about them is that they were my daughters favorite muffins. Mine too. Imagine these warm out of the oven, cinnamon sugar melting in your mouth. Better than a doughnut! (and not to be confused with “feather light doughnuts” which I will be making this weekend. Check back with me then!)

  • 1/3 cup shortening (I use butter)
  • 1/2 cup sugar
  • 1 egg
  • 1 1/2 cups cake flour (or all purpose)
  • 1 1/2 tsp. baking powder
  • 1/2 tsp salt
  • 1/4 tsp. nutmeg
  • 1/2 cup milk

Preheat your oven to 325.

In a mixing bowl and with a hand mixer, cream shortening (or butter, room temp.) with the sugar and the egg.

In a large measuring cup or another bowl, mix the dry ingredients together. Now, add some of the dry ingredients to the batter, then some milk, then some dry, then the rest of the milk. Do not whip to death, just mix gently. You do not really want to develop a lot of gluten. (Cake flour has a very low protein level and does not produce much gluten. But if you don’t have it and use all purpose, just don’t over mix.)

Fill your oil sprayed muffin cups about 2/3 full of batter. Bake 20-25 minutes until just golden.

let cool for 3-4 minutes, Then, wave your magic wand and give it the pizazz that makes this muffin awe inspiring.

  • melt a half a cube of butter in a bowl.
  • mix 1/2 cup of sugar with 1 tsp cinnamon in another bowl.

You can now

A) Dip the top of the muffins in the butter and then dip and swirl around in the sugar and set on a plate.


B) Dip the whole darn naked muffin (without its paper skirts) into melted butter and roll the whole thing in the sugar. You will need a whole cube of butter for this one. My original recipe called for this, but I think just dipping the tops were plenty good.

To really substitute for the cake flour, you can put 1 Tbsp corn starch in a 1/2 cup measuring cup. Then fill the rest of the way with all purpose flour. Do this for each 1/2 flour used. I admit, I don’t do that as a rule. Too lazy. I just use all purpose. Maybe its not quite as light, but no one here seems to notice.

Such tranquility. Like I feel after one of these muffins