Archive for ‘SWEET KITCHEN’

June 26, 2013

Healthy Rhubarb Muffins

The heat and rain of MN has been just the ingredient my garden needed to jump-start our cold dreary spring! Which means our first harvest of rhubarb is upon us. We have 2 large plants in our little urban garden and I always have such a hard time deciding what to make. Yes, I could make my mom’s delicious AMAZING rhubarb pie, but I am looking for something a little different. So I went on a quest for a tasty, HEALTHY, time conscious rhubarb recipe. Below is what I found with the help of Fine Cooking. I modified the recipe slightly by using half applesauce and butter for a healthier alternative and adding my favorite ingredient of course…baking spice!

This muffin recipe is easy, yummy, and my now go to Rhubarb recipe. In fact, I may just make them again tonight!




Muffin Ingredients:

  • 2 cups Flour
  • 3/4 cup Sugar
  • 2-1/2 tsp Baking Powder
  • 1/2 tsp Baking Soda
  • 1 tsp Cinnamon
  • 1/2 tsp Baking Spice (found at Penzey’s Spice Shop)
  • 1/2 tsp Salt
  • 1 cup Sour Cream
  • 4 TBS unsalted butter, melted and cooled slightly
  • 1/4 cup Applesauce (1 snack size container)
  • 2 Large Eggs
  • 1 tsp Vanilla
  • 1-1/2 cups to 2 cups Rhubarb (1/4-inch-diced)

Topping Ingredients:

  • 3 TBS Sugar
  • 1/2 tsp Cinnamon

Topping Directions:

  1. Combine in small bowl: sugar and cinnamon.
  2. Stir to combine and set aside

Muffin Directions:

  1. Combine in large bowl: Flour, Sugar, Baking Powder, Baking Soda, Cinnamon, Baking Spice, and Salt
  2. Combine in small bowl: Sour Cream, Melted Butter, Applesauce, Eggs, and Vanilla
  3. Slowly add the wet ingredients to the dry ingredients until just combined (do not overmix)
  4. Add Rhubarb and stir to combine
  5. Divide batter into a 12 muffin tin
  6. Sprinkle Topping Mixture evenly on top of the 12 muffins
  7. Bake for 18-20 minutes until lightly golden and toothpick comes out clean

OVEN: 400 degrees


January 24, 2013

Soft Peanut Butter Blossoms – Favorite Cookie of all Time

There is no reason not to take your favorite Christmas cookie recipe and update or remove the red and green sprinkles for later in the year. Well it has been almost a month after the holiday cookie extravaganza and I just had to use up that last can of Sweetened Condensed Milk sitting in my small bungalow kitchen cabinet. You will find my absolute FAVORITE cookie of ALL TIME below (with the red and green sprinkles removed of course).

What is your favorite holiday cookie and how do you update for year round enjoyment?

peanut butter blossom

Soft Peanut Butter Blossoms


  • 2 Cups Bisquick
  • 3/4 Cup Peanut Butter
  • 1 Can Sweetened Condensed Milk
  • 1 TSP Vanilla
  • Sugar and Colored Sugar
  • 1 Bag of Milk Chocolate Stars

  1. Combine all ingredients except Chocolate Stars and Sugars with electric mixture until combined
  2. Add Sugars in a small separate bowl (this will be used later)
  3. Roll dough into TSP or slightly larger size balls
  4. Roll dough balls in sugar until coated
  5. Place on cookie sheet – do not flatten!
  6. Remove from oven and immediately press milk chocolate stars in center
  7. Allow to cool slightly on cookie sheet and move to cooling rack to cool completely

OVEN: 350

TIME: 6-8 minutes until dough balls are slightly cracked

Cook’s Tip: Make ahead of time and freeze for future enjoyment. Place one layer of cookies is a freezer Tupperware container and freeze. Once chocolate is frozen place wax paper on top of first layer and add another layer of cookies until container is full. Thaw on counter to enjoy.

November 17, 2012

Flax PB Chocolate Chip Cookies – Lactation Cookies

As the little hand of my nephew reached into the cookie jar, followed by my brother in-law, sister and me… I looked around to see the expressions on their faces after biting into these über healthy chocolate chip cookies for tonight’s dessert. Was it the nutty flax meal, the creamy natural peanut butter or the sweet chocolate morsels…that gave the ‘ummm’ response? I think it was a combination of all!

The addition of ‘Brewer’s Yeast’ is also an ingredient in these heathy little treats. This was the secret ingredient in the Lactation Cookies I made a few weeks ago.  I have an abundance of Brewer’s Yeast as I had to buy an entire canister of this good stuff when I only needed a few tablespoons! I am sure you have been in that same sitution…go to the store and realize a) your size you want is sold out or b) there is NO bulk options and you have to buy the larger canister of whatever you needed. SO, I will be coming up with creative ways to utilize this good stuff either though baking tasty treats or sprinkling some into my green smoothies. Either way, these cookies are delicious and I am glad I could bring these over to my sister’s family for all to enjoy and hopefully they will have the same effect for my sister being a new mama too!.

Recipe slightly altered from: Peaceful Parenting


  • 1 1/2 Cups Whole Wheat Flour
  • 1 TSP Baking Soda
  • 1 TSP Salt
  • 1 TSP Cinnamon
  • 3/4 Cup Natural Peanut Butter
  • 1/2 Cup Organic Butter
  • 1/2 Cup Sugar
  • 1/2 Cup Brown Sugar
  • 1 TSP Vanilla
  • 3 TBS Brewer’s Yeast
  • 1 Cup Flax Meal
  • 1/3 Cup Water
  • 2 Large Eggs
  • 1 3/4 Cups 5 Grain Cereal
  • 1 Bag Milk Chocolate Chips

  1. In small bowl combine: Flour, Baking Soda, Cinnamon, and Salt
  2. In large bowl combine: Peanut Butter, Butter, Sugar, Brown Sugar, Vanilla, Brewer’s Yeast, Flax Meal, and Water – combine until creamy
  3. Add: Eggs
  4. Slowly Add: Flour mixture
  5. Add: 5 Grain Cereal and Chocolate Chips
  6. Place on parchment paper lined cookie sheet by the teaspoonful
  7. Bake for 10-12 minutes

OVEN: 350

Yield: 4 Dozen (I like to make 2 dozen at a time and freeze the other dozens by the dough balls for future use)

November 8, 2012

Cake Cookies

Thinking of something a little different from the standard birthday cake or cupcake? How about a Cake Cookie!  That is what this post is all about. At work we always like to do a little something special on a co-worker’s birthday. I LOVE to bring sweet treats into the office when given an opportunity and decided to whip up a batch of my good college friends ‘Cake Cookies.’ Well it is his mom’s recipe, but he introduced it to me. Super easy and yummy!

I apologize for the dark photos lately. This whole daylight savings is ensuring I can only do indoor activities after work unless I have a headlamp of which I am sure my husband would be more than willing to provide for me.

You can most certainly spice up the recipe with using any type of cake mix. Honestly I should have grabbed the Fun-Fetti mix, but the yellow mix will do this time.


Cake Cookies


  • 2 Eggs
  • 1/3 Cup Water
  • 4 TBS Butter, softened
  • 1 Cup Creamy Natural Peanut Butter
  • 1 Box Yellow Cake Mix
  • 1 12 package of butterscotch or chocolate chips

1. Mix: Eggs, Water, and 1/2 of the cake mix

2. Add: Butter and Peanut Butter

3. Add: Remaining Cake Mix and Chips

4. Drop by the TSP onto parchment paper

5. Bake 8-10 minutes

OVEN: 365 degree’s


September 8, 2012

Lactation Cookies

I am beyond excited to have not one, but TWO new little babies join our family. My sister, bother in-law, and nephew welcomed two beautiful twin babies to our world last weekend, Harper Grace and Samuel Philip. By keeping the genders a surprise until they were born, the little babies wanted to be set apart even further by having different birth days and even months! Harper was born on August 31st in the late evening and Sam September 1st in the early hours of the morning. As they arrived early, Sam and Harper are both in the special care nursery at the hospital to get extra strong before they come home.  I will share photos and more of the ‘fresh humans’ as Nick likes to call them soon, once the family is all settled in.

My sister, being an amazingly strong women by bringing these guys into the world and a nurse herself asked if I could  bake up some ‘Lactation Cookies.’ I had no idea what these ‘cookies’ were all about. She said that as the babies arrived earlier than expected, mama’s milk was not quite ready for them. These cookies are made with special ingredients to help increase the supply. As my family knows I LOVE to bake, I jumped to  try a new recipe. I have lots to share over the next month as it is harvest time here in MN. If I could put a ‘smell button’ on this website I would. Currently my kitchen smells of: Heirloom Brandywine Tomato Sauce on the stove top, Homemade Applesauce in the crock-pot, and these Lacation Cookies!

For all the mama’s out there that may need a little extra help with milk, and just a nice tasty cookie; these are the ticket. Enjoy! I followed the recipe from Epicurious  without modifications.



  • 1 Cup Butter (Organic)
  • 1 Cup Sugar
  • 1 Cup Brown Sugar
  • 4 TBS Water
  • 2 TBS Flaxseed Meal
  • 2 Large Eggs
  • 1 TSP Vanilla
  • 2 Cups Flour
  • 1 TSP Baking Soda
  • 1 TSP Salt
  • 2 TBS Brewers Yeast (SECRET INGREDIENT!)
  • 3 Cups Old Fashion Oats
  • 1 Bag Chocolate Chips

1. Mix Flaxseed Meal with Water, Set aside 3-5 minutes

2. Cream Butter and Sugar

3. Add Eggs

4. Add Flaxseed Meal mixture and Vanilla

5. Sift Flour, Baking Soda, Salt, Brewers Yeast in small bowl

6. Add sifted ingredients to main mixture

7. Mix in Oats by hand

8. Mix in Chocolate chips by hand

OVEN: 350 degrees

YIELD: I made 36 cookies and 22 cookie balls for the freezer.

COOK’S TIP: Store cookies in air tight container with piece of bread for freshness.

April 9, 2012

Healthy Maple Granola

After subscribing to EatingWell Magazine, I have found SO many amazing healthy and easy recipes! I loved the story of ‘The Breakfast Club’ and found the maple granola recipe especially amazing. I have made another Honey Granola recipe, but having a few granola recipes is never a bad thing. The rain falling outside on Saturday morning made a perfect backdrop for the sweet taste of toasted granola in my kitchen.

I altered the recipe slightly as I indicate below, and added a secret ingredient! I normally do not share those but you HAVE to try Penzey’s Baking Spice. After discovering this amazing blend of spices, I sprinkle a little in almost everything I bake. One other point of advice, make sure to use real maple syrup. Many super market variety’s are flavored syrup but not true maple syrup. I once heard that it takes 40 gallons of maple sap to make 1 gallon of pure maple syrup. Yes it is a little more money but truly worth the organic pure taste.

This recipe is super easy and makes a lot of granola, which is perfect to give as gifts in cute glass mason jars!

Dry Ingredients:

  • 6 cups Old-Fashioned Rolled Oats
  • 1 cup Chopped Almonds
  • 1 cup Chopped Walnuts
  • 1/2 cup Maple Syrup

Wet Ingredients:

  • 6 tablespoons Canola Oil
  • 1/4 cup Honey
  • 1 tsp Cinnamon
  • 1 tsp Vanilla
  • 1/2 tsp Salt
  • 1 tsp Baking Spice
  1. Combine Dry Ingredients in large bowl
  2. Combine Wet Ingredients in small bow
  3. Pour Wet Ingredients over Dry Ingredients and mix
  4. Spray cooking sheet and evenly distribute granola mixture
  5. Stir mixture every 10-15 minutes to achieve an even golden granola

Oven: 325

Time: 50 minutes to 1 hour

March 13, 2012

Wedding: Rock Climbing Bridal Party Snack

With the majority of the groomsmen being rock climbers I thought it would be fun to put some healthy hearty snacks in a climbing shoe box; well my climbing shoe box. Chris Sharma is even on the box, he is so studly.

Let’s just take a peek at a few of Nick’s climbing photos. These photos were taken on his extended stay 4 month assignment in Taiwan just a few months before our wedding. The actual photos are from Rai-lei and Tonsai Thailand when he said he was going to take a vacation to “research” honeymoon ideas. Well…this isn’t exactly what I had in mind…I think a nice spa sounds a bit more relaxing! Love the photos though. We are hoping to go to Thailand next spring to enjoy a tropical getaway.

While he was climbing in Thailand I was putting together the below.  Love this idea! It housed all the snacks for easy portability and ease. I even hinged it open with some yellow ribbon! I was beyond excited to show Nick how I incorporated the ‘climbing’ aspect into the wedding.

March 3, 2012

Whole Wheat Indulgence Bars

Coming from the same website as the Energy Bars, another yummy healthy recipe from Whole Grain Groumet.This website is quickly becoming my favorite for healthy little energy packed goodness!

I made these breakfast bars as I like to call them this week and had a bar each morning and boy did they keep me going strong! This is also my first recipe using coconut oil. I had to melt the oil  in the microwave for 30 seconds or so to achieve liquid state as we keep our bungalow at a nice 65 degree’s  in the winter! Lots of layers needed.

This is the ONE small appliance that I cannot live without. My mom gave it to me as a Christmas present a few years ago and I use it all the time and have even borrowed it to friends. This little cuisinart is small and compacted and stores away nicely when not in use.

Combine all your dry ingredients in one bowl

Combine all dry ingredients together

 Combine wet ingredients except the egg and mix

Add the egg and combine


 Combine Dry and Wet Ingredients

Pop in oven and bake for 25 minutes until lightly golden

Cool, Cut, and Enjoy!

 Ok here is the recipe: Enjoy !

Dry Ingredients:

  • 2 cups old fashion rolled oats
  • 1/2 cup almonds
  • 1/4 cup ground golden flaxseed
  • 1/2 cup white whole wheat flour
  • 1/2 tsp baking soda
  • 1/2 tsp kosher salt
  • 1/2 cup Dried Dates
  • 1/2 cup milk chocolate chips

Wet Ingredients

  • 1/4 cup natural brown sugar
  • 1/3 cup honey
  • 1/3 cup coconut oil: liquid state
  • 1 egg

 Grab 2 bowls: 1 small, 1 medium

Small Bowl

  1. Using little cuisinart :  Add 1 cup of oats and pulse to make flour. Place in Small Bowl
  2. Using little cuisinart :  Add almonds and pulse to make flour. Place in Small Bowl
  3. Add all other dry ingredients including remaining 1 cup of oats to Small Bowl and mix

 Medium Bowl

  1. Combine honey, sugar, and coconut oil
  2. Add egg and beat until well combined
  3. Slowly mix and the dry ingredients to the wet ingredients
  4. Transfer the mixture to a greased 9×9 baking dish 
  5. Allow to cool before slicing
  • Convection Temp: 320 (325 non-convection)
  • Bake Time:  25 Minutes
  • Amount: Cut as desired
February 29, 2012

Girl Scout Cookies!

After hearing about the “Great Snow Storm” that was going to hit the Midwest, I sit inside my corner bungalow and listen to the heavy rain drops hit our roof. Upon looking out my window I see the beautiful old tree’s that line the boulevard coated with ice and slick roads with no cars in sight. Tomorrow will be a fun walk to the bus-stop and commute to work…maybe my footwear should be hockey skates?? I just hope this is not another 1991 Halloween ice storm. I was trick or treating that year, so it would be a bit different this time around.

Even with the inclement weather outside my neighbor, also the sweetest girl scout, and snow cone extraordinaire came over to drop off the below little morsels. What a treat on such a cold icy night! I had to stop myself after 3. The Samoas are my favorite!

I also got two free snow cone certificates for the summer months for being a loyal customer. Last summer upon coming back from completing our wedding registry with my mom and sister in-law I saw Nick and his friend double fisting snow cones at her stand! So I will have to keep these free certificates hidden for myself otherwise I know a certain someone will be first in line with certificates in hand on opening day!

November 21, 2011

Flourless Peanut Butter Oat Chocolate Chip Cookies

Yesterday marked the first snowfall and I became a baking and cooking machine! I could not resist whipping up a little treat while the flakes accumulated outside.

Bold statement, but I think these may even be better than the ‘Jess Cookies’ (aka: chocolate chip cookies). Once you start, you will not be able to stop with these little guys! Yum!!

  • 2 Cups Creamy Natural Peanut Butter (I used Skippy Natural)
  • 1 Cup Light Brown Sugar – Packed
  • 1 Cup Sugar
  • 2 Eggs
  • 2 TSP Baking Soda
  • 1/2 TSP Kosher Salt
  • 1 1/2 Cups Old Fashion Oats
  • 1 Cup Milk Chocolate Chips

1. Mix: Peanut Butter, Brown Sugar, White Sugar, Eggs, Baking Soda, and Salt until smooth

2. Fold In: Oats and Chocolate Chips

3. Roll into 1″ balls

4. Place on cookie sheet lined with parchment paper

5. Lightly press down on dough with fork

6. Bake for 10-12 Minutes

7. Cool 1-2 Minutes on cookie sheet before moving to wire rack to fully cool

Oven: 350

%d bloggers like this: