Posts Tagged ‘Breakfast’

There are sooo many mornings that I am rushing out the door.  Like way too many!  One would think I would learn my lesson and do simple things like pick out my outfit the night before, pack my lunch before/after I pick out said outfit, iron, you get the picture.  But no.  Instead I somehow find some weird thrill in constantly feeling rushed.

I need to have more of these Apple Baked Oatmeal Cups in my life.  They are are a great grab-n-go breakfast item or mid-morning snack.  The best part is that I know they are healthy.  One less thing to worry about while deciding on what to pack for lunch.  I thought they were best slightly warmed up and with a little bit of almond butter/peanut butter to up the protein factor.  Hope you enjoy these oatmeal cups as much as we did!

(Printable Recipe)

Apple Baked Oatmeal Cups

Recipe adapted from With Style and Grace


  • 2 cups old-fashioned oats
  • 1/2 cup brown sugar, packed
  • 1 tsp baking powder
  • 1 1/2 tsp cinnamon
  • 1/4 tsp salt
  • 1 1/2 cups milk (skim, soy, rice, almond, etc)
  • 1/2 cup unsweetened applesauce
  • 1 large egg, beaten
  • 1 apple, cored, peeled, and cut into small 1/2″ pieces
  • 1/4 – 1/2 cup dried cranberries or raisins


1.  Preheat oven to 350 degrees.  Spray cupcake pan with cooking spray and set aside.

2.  In a large bowl, combine oats, brown sugar, baking powder, cinnamon and salt.  Set aside.

3.  In a separate bowl, whisk together milk, applesauce, and egg.  Add wet ingredients to the oat mixture and stir until combined.  Gently fold in apple pieces and cranberries.

4.  Fill each cupcake well about 3/4 full.  Bake for 30-40 minutes or until tops are browned and a toothpick inserted into the middle comes out clean.

5.  Let cool in pan for 15 minutes and then transfer to a cooling rack.


  • You might need to run a knife around the outside of the oatmeal cups to loosen.
  • Best served warm.  Reheat in microwave for 10-15 seconds and enjoy with a smear of peanut butter, nuts, milk, etc

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HAPPY (belated) NEW YEAR!!!!  

I know it’s been some time since my last post and I apologize.  I took some time off during the holidays to spend with family and travel Ohio for Christmas gatherings and a baby shower.  When we got back I was totally exhausted getting back into the work week that I took a bit longer than expected off from the blog.  I hope you all had a wonderful holiday season and are looking forward to 2012 as much as we are!

While I was home we spent many hours in the kitchen!  I love baking and cooking with my family!  It’s always fun and I always guarantee to make a mess.  I felt so bad for my parent’s carpet.  I bet there is dried batter in more places than they care to know about.  Oops!  On the menu Christmas morning was this Pear Spice Cake I found over on Joy’s blog.  I love spice cake and knew that a pear one would make a perfect treat on that special day.

Original plan was to eat around 11:30am.  Well, an hour and a half past that we were finally sitting down.  The prep work turned out to be a bit more involved than I originally planned, or maybe it was because I was simply enjoying making it and not rushing through the steps.  Regardless, this spice cake is well worth it!  It was AMAZING!!!  Perfect flavor, texture, spice, and the praline topping was pure heaven!  The idea of turning this into a repeat Christmas cake was not only mentioned, but I’m pretty sure demanded.  This would make a great addition to any brunch menu, holidays or not.  Did I happen to mention it reheats very well…added bonus!!

(Printable Recipe)

Pear Spice Cake with Walnut Praline Topping

Recipe from Joy the Baker

Pear Spice Cake Ingredients

  • 2 cups all-purpose flour
  • 1 1/2 tsp ground cinnamon
  • 1 1/2 tsp ground allspice
  • 1 1/2 tsp ground nutmeg
  • 1 tsp baking soda
  • 1 tsp baking powder
  • 1/2 tsp salt
  • 2 sticks (1 cup) unsalted butter, room temperature
  • 1 cup sugar
  • 3 large eggs, separated and at room temperature
  • 1 tsp vanilla extract
  • 1 cup buttermilk
  • 3 pears, peeled, cored, and diced into 1/2-inch pieces (about 1 to 1 1/4 cups)
  • 3/4 – 1 cup walnuts, toasted, cooled, and finely chopped

Walnut Praline Topping

  • 3/4 cup packed light brown sugar
  • 1/2 cup butter
  • 1/4 cup whipping cream
  • 1/2 cup walnuts, toasted and roughly chopped

Pear Spice Cake Directions

1.  Make sure rack is in the middle position and preheat oven to 350 degrees.  Butter and flour bundt pan.  Set aside.

2.  In a medium bowl, whisk together flour, baking soda, baking powder, and salt.  Set aside.

3.  In a large bowl, beat together butter, sugar, cinnamon, allspice, and nutmeg with an electric mixer at medium-high speed until fluffy, about 4-5 minutes for a hand mixer and about 3 minutes in a stand mixer.  Be sure to scrape the bowl every few minutes.  Add yolks 1 at a time, beating well after each addition.  Beat in vanilla extract.  Reduce speed to low, add flour mixture and buttermilk in alternating batches, starting and ending with the flour mixture.  Mix well after each addition.  Fold in pear pieces and chopped walnuts.

4.  In a separate bowl with cleaned beaters, beat egg whites until they just hold stiff peaks.  Gently fold whites into batter until fully combined.

5.  Spoon batter into prepared bundt pan, smoothing top, and bake until a wooden pick or skewer comes out clean, 40 to 50 minutes.  Cool cake in pan on wire rack for 10 minutes.  If serving warm, start walnut praline topping while cake is cooling.  Invert onto rack to cool.

Walnut Praline Topping Directions

1.  In a medium saucepan, combine brown sugar, whipping cream and 1/2 cup butter over medium-high heat until smooth.  Boil for 3 minutes, stirring often.  Stir in walnut pieces.  Spoon warm topping over cake.


  • I reduced the amount of walnuts in both the cake and topping due to personal preference.  
  • When topping is first placed over cake it will run down the sides, this is ok.  It forms a wonderful pool in the middle that is absolutely divine.  If you prefer to have more topping on the cake itself, allow topping to cool slightly before spreading on cake.  Next time I think I will let it cool for a bit.  
  • This cake is delicious with pear, but would also be good with apple pieces as well.

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I’m down to my last can of pumpkin!  GASP!  Now the big question….do I buy more or do I call it quits?!?  Last year I bought more with the intentions of making more pumpkin treats but the holidays came and went, then I was on the post-holiday clean eating kick, and then spring was here.  If buying another can means I make these granola bars again, you better believe I will be snagging some up.

I first made homemade granola bars back in August and fell in love!  I knew this time I, of course, wanted to incorporate pumpkin and all the flavors of fall and had no doubts where to start the search, over at Two Peas and Their Pod.  I’ve used Maria’s recipes numerous times and they always turn out great.  I was pumped when I saw her recipe because it didn’t call for an egg or any oil!!  Woohoo!  A healthy breakfast or snack packed full of flavor, nutrients, and a touch of chocolate.  Winner, Winner!  Oh, the other totally awesome thing about this recipe, the prep works takes like 10 minutes.  Happy, happy, joy, joy!

(Printable Recipe)

Pumpkin Granola Bars

Recipe from Two Peas and Their Pod


  • 3 1/4 cups old-fashioned oats
  • 1/2 tsp pumpkin pie spice
  • 1/2 tsp cinnamon
  • 1/4 tsp nutmeg
  • 1/2 tsp salt
  • 3/4 cup brown sugar
  • 1/2 cup pumpkin puree
  • 1/4 cup applesauce
  • 1/4 cup agave or honey
  • 1 tsp vanilla extract
  • 2 tbsp mini chocolate chips
  • 1/4 cup sunflower seeds
  • 1/2 cup dried cranberries


1.  Preheat oven to 350 degrees.  Spray an 8×8 inch baking dish with cooking spray and set aside.

2.  In a large bowl, combine oats, pumpkin pie spice, cinnamon, nutmeg, and salt.

3.  In a medium bowl, whisk together brown sugar, pumpkin puree, applesauce, honey and vanilla extract until well combined.  Pour liquid mixture over oats and stir together until all oats are moist and ingredients are combined.  Next, add chocolate chips, sunflower seeds, and cranberries.

4.  Place oat mixture in prepared pan and press down evenly.  Bake for 30-35 minutes or until golden brown.  Remove from oven and transfer pan to a wire rack to cool.  After 5 minutes, cut bars into desired size.  Allow bars to cool completely.


The pumpkin keeps these bars very soft and chewy, so be careful not to under bake the mixture.

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The last few weeks breakfast has been whatever I can grab while running out the door.  At this point, I’m already about 10 min late, sometimes my outfit goes together (most of the time not, then realize what I actually look like the first time I walk into the bathroom and see myself in a full length mirror – YIKES), and everyday I walk out the door, pause, turn around, back inside, up the stairs and have to double-check the iron and flatiron to make sure I turned them off.  I think I need to start doing some word puzzles, Sudoku, or mind exercises before too long.  The post-it note thing just isn’t working anymore.

In an attempt to make sure I had something somewhat healthy leaving the house I made these granola bars.  Brent has been making some killer fruit bowls in the morning, which is perfect because I really think these bars would be best as a mid afternoon snack.  They have a nice combination of sweet and salty to curb those 4pm cravings.  Although you don’t NEED the chocolate drizzle, it sure is tasty with it.

(Printable Recipe)

Apricot Pistachio Granola Bars

Adapted from allrecipes.com


  • 2 cups old-fashion oats
  • 1/2 cup packed brown sugar
  • 1/2 cup wheat germ
  • 3/4 tsp cinnamon
  • 1 cup all-purpose flour
  • 1 cup dried apricots, roughly chopped
  • 1/2 cup pistachios, roughly chopped
  • 1/4 cup sunflower seeds
  • 3/4 tsp salt
  • 1/2 cup agave
  • 1 egg, beaten
  • 1/2 cup canola oil
  • 2 tsp vanilla extract

1.  Preheat oven to 350 degrees.  Line an 8/10 inch baking pan with parchment paper.

2.  In a large bowl, mix together oats, brown sugar, wheat germ, cinnamon, flour, apricots, and salt.  Make a well in the center, add agave, egg, oil and vanilla.  Stir together until fully combined.  Add in pistachios and sunflower seeds.  Pour mixture into pan and spread evenly.

3.  Bake for 20-25 minutes until the bars are golden brown on the edges.  Middle will look slightly undone, that is ok.  Cool in pan for 5-8 minutes.  Using parchment paper, remove from pan and cut into bars while still warm.  Bars become crumbly when cut after completely cooled.

4.  Drizzle dark chocolate over top of bars if desired. (optional)


  • Store in an airtight container for up to 3 days.  

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Let me preface this by saying, I am not a morning person.  I”m not the type to spring out of bed on the first alarm and be ready for the day.  And because I am not getting up early (usually up around 8 or 9 on the weekends, I can’t do the 11 wake up anymore I’m too old for that….my back starts hurting if I lay there too long.  No joke) , in return I am going to bed too late to get those said 8 hours to get up early the next morning.  It’s a viscous cycle.  But on the rare occasion that I do get that rest and it’s an early rise, why not fill the kitchen with a delicious smell of muffins baking in the oven.

These cinnamon carrot muffins were quite tasty.  I love that you can see the carrot shreds throughout the muffin.  Although they are still good reheated, I really think these are best straight out of the oven.  Jazz these up with some cream cheese drizzle if you want to sweeten them up a bit.

(Printable Recipe)

Cinnamon Carrot Muffins

Recipe from Whole Living


  • 3/4 cup all-purpose flour
  • 1/2 cup whole-wheat flour
  • 2 tbsp wheat germ
  • 1 tsp cinnamon
  • 1 tsp baking powder
  • 1/2 tsp baking soda
  • 1/8 tsp kosher salt
  • 1/3 cup vegetable oil
  • 1/2 cup buttermilk
  • 2 large eggs, room temperature
  • 3/4 cup light brown sugar
  • 2 cups finely grated carrots (4-5 carrots)

1.  Preheat oven to 350 degrees.  Line a standard muffin tin with paper cups.  Set aside.

2.  Whisk flours, wheat germ, cinnamon, baking powder, baking soda, and salt in a a medium bowl.  Set side.

3.  In a large bowl, combine vegetable oil, buttermilk, eggs, brown sugar, and carrots.  Fold dry ingredients into wet and mix until combined.

4.  Spoon batter into cups.  Bake until a toothpick comes out clean, about 19-22 minutes.  Cool in pan for 15 minutes, then transfer to a wire rack to cool slightly before serving.

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Well….we are all unpacked and settling into the new place and the new job!  Last week I came home each night from work totally exhausted.  So needless to say I didn’t do much of anything except eat some dinner and go to bed.  I was going through my pictures the other day and came across this bread.  I can’t believe I forgot to post it earlier.  This was another one of the successes from the big baking weekend.  Along with these and these!

The flavor of this bread is so warm and comforting.  And I love the big chunks of apples!!  Other than peeling and chopping the apples, this bread comes together pretty quick.  It makes a yummy compliment to any morning coffee or tea.

Thanks for stopping by!  Happy Monday!!


(Printable Recipe)

Apple Cinnamon Bread

Recipe from Two Peas and Their Pod


  • 1 1/2 cups all-purpose flour
  • 2 tsp cinnamon
  • 1 tsp baking soda
  • 1/2 tsp salt
  • 1/2 tsp ground allspice
  • 1/4 tsp ground cloves
  • 2 eggs
  • 1/4 cup canola oil
  • 1/4 cup applesauce
  • 1 tsp vanilla extract
  • 1 cup granulated sugar
  • 2 cups peeled and chopped apples (about 2 apples)


  • 1 tbsp brown sugar
  • 1 1/2 tsp granulated sugar
  • 1/2 tsp cinnamon

1.  Preheat oven to 350 degrees.  Grease an 8×4 inch loaf pan.  Line the bottom with parchment paper, then grease the parchment paper.  Set pan aside.

2.  In a medium bowl, whisk together the flour, cinnamon, baking soda, salt, allspice, and cloves.  Set aside.

3.  In a large bowl, beat the eggs on medium speed for about 30 seconds.  Add in the oil, applesauce, and vanilla and mix until smooth.  Next, ad the sugar and mix until well combined.

4.  With the mixer on low speed, gradually add the flour mixture and mix until the flour is just barley combined.  Gently fold in the apples with a rubber spatula.  Pour the batter into the prepared loaf pan.

5.  In a small bowl, mix together the brown sugar, granulated sugar and cinnamon.  Sprinkle evenly over the batter in the loaf pan.  Bake for 50 to 55 minutes, or until the loaf is golden and a thin knife inserted in the center comes out clean.

6.  Cool the bread in the pan for about 10 minutes, then run a dull knife around the sides of the loaf and turn it out on a cooling rack.  Remove the parchment paper and place right side up.  Cool completely before slicing.  Wrap leftover loaf in plastic wrap and store at room temperature.

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Another success from my baking bonanza of a weekend were these muffins!  I don’t make muffins very often but when I come across one that makes me go back for another….you better believe it gets stashed away in the “MUST BAKE THIS AGAIN” section.  This little breakfast delight was full of flavor.  Each component played so nice together which is why they turned out so good.


Don’t be fooled by the ‘Lemon’ in the name.  The recipe only calls for a bit of zest and juice but only to bring out the flavors of the others.

Although not in season, the blackberries were surprisingly very good!

Hope you enjoy these as much as I did!!  Thanks for stopping by!


(Printable Recipe)

Banana Blackberry Lemon Muffins


  • 2 1/4 cup flour
  • 2 teaspoons baking powder
  • 1/2 teaspoon salt
  • 1/2 teaspoon ground cinnamon
  • 2 large ripe bananas, mashed
  • 2 eggs
  • 2/3 cup brown sugar, firmly packed
  • 1/2 cup butter, melted
  • 1 tablespoon vanilla
  • 1 tablespoon lemon juice
  • 1 cup blackberries
  • 2 tablespoons grated lemon rind
  • 3 tablespoons sugar

1. Preheat oven to 375 F. Lightly grease muffin tin.

2. Combine flour, baking powder, salt, cinnamon and 1 tablespoon of the lemon rind.

3. Beat together bananas, eggs, brown sugar, butter, lemon juice and vanilla until blended.

4. Stir in dry ingredients until blended. Stir in blackberries just until combined. Spoon into prepared muffin cups, dividing batter equally.

5. For the topping, combine sugar and remaining lemon rind in small dish.  Rub together sugar and lemon zest with finger tips to slightly infuse the sugar.  Sprinkle evenly over muffins.

6. Bake for 25-30 minutes or until golden.

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