Blueberry Muffins with Cinnamon Streusel Topping

blueberry muffin with cinnamon streusel

Muffins!! I haven’t made a muffin in way too long, but think about them every time I pass by blueberries at the store.  Finally I passed them last week and thought the price was right!  This led me to looking at a few recipes and realizing they are so incredibly easy to make.  Let’s be real, any recipe that calls for vegetable oil instead of waiting for butter to soften is a winner in my book.  And like I said in my post about Cinnamon Crumb Banana Bread, any crumbly topping makes me weak in the knees.  Yes I know, my feelings towards food get really intense.  There are a few great things about muffins.  One is that they are to be eaten at breakfast, but are completely acceptable to be eaten as a snack with coffee in the afternoon or a dessert after dinner!  That’s usually the case for most things I make though.  You should probably make these this weekend and tell me all about it.

Just make a quick batter then fold with blueberries that are tossed with a little bit of flour.

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Friday Favorites!

Sadie!

Happy Friday!!  I don’t know about you but the summer has flown by!  As it has flown by I have picked up some new favorite items, TV shows and such that I need to share. And of course I had to share a cute pic of Sadie.   I sat down to stretch and she thought my leg looked like a perfect pillow.  Note to self: don’t even try to work out at home with this nugget around!  Okay onto my faves…

1) New Favorite TV Show:  Going Deep with David Rees.

This show is so hilarious and informative at the same time.  Love it!!

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Mocha Ice Cream Pie

Mocha Ice Cream Pie

Coffee. Ice Cream.  Chocolate.  There are few things better than those 3 right there.  Summer is the season of iced coffee and easy desserts.  No one wants to be baking all day in your condo that is 90 degrees (even though its 80 outside). Is that just me?  Well wherever you are in the world, I am sure we can all appreciate an easy and delicious dessert.  When you make this, because I am sure you will, I suggest being prepared.  Be prepared for it to be gone quickly and possibly have ingredients for two batches if possible.  I am also sure that this would be incredible with many types of ice cream.  Mint Chip, Strawberry, Rocky Road!  GAH.  I get too excited over ice cream.  Anywho.  Here I am talking about summer and heat when it is already almost over!  Pumpkin Spice stuff is already out?!  It’s too much. I love seasons but I love them because they are short and make you miss them!  Anyways, end rant.

Oh and side note… what do you think of my new layout??  I felt like a change was necessary. And I was home alone this weekend and got CRAZY on WordPress. I would love to know what you think of the simplicity of it and all that jazz.  Now onto the star of this post… MOCHA ICE CREAM PIE!!

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Apple Danish Braid

 

 Oh sweet puff pastry.  Did you know it is seasonal?  I still don’t know what the season is… but sometimes its just not available for a while.  Luckily its in season now and I had a bunch of granny smith apples to use.  I highly recommend making a danish like this if you have guests staying over to really wow them at breakfast time.  The “braid” really makes it seem professional and fancy but all it is is folding puff pastry over and over.  It is such an easy recipe and you can make them with a variety of fillings.  You can fill them with strawberries and some sweet cream cheese, or even make it savory with some ham and cheese!  So here is the plan.  Invite friends over for the weekend. Make the braid ahead of time but don’t bake it yet and put it in the fridge.  When you wake up after a fun night with said friends, pop this bad boy in the oven and get ready to be really impressive!  Lets do this!!

First lay out your defrosted puff pastry on parchment paper, on a cookie sheet.  Use the lines already on the folds to guide you on where to make cuts like so.

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Mint Oreo Whipwiches

Mint Oreo Whipwhiches

There is a new phenomenon sweeping Long Beach… okay maybe its just sweeping our condo.  After making that Strawberry Pie, I had left over graham crackers and cool whip and knew there had to be a dessert in there.  So I mixed some peppermint extract and oreo crumbs into the cool whip, scooped it between two grahams and voila!!  Whipwich. I can’t say I coined the term… that honor goes to the Fiance!  He’s so smart.  Speaking of him… I am sure you are all dying to know about wedding planning. Are you? Well I’ll just tell you anyways.  Planning is going great!! I don’t know if I haven’t been doing it right but it hasn’t stressed me out at all.  It is so fun to plan a big party for your friends and family!!  I also feel like it would be incredibly boring if it wasn’t for pinterest.  Did people used to come up with cute ideas on their own back in the day?  I can’t imagine.  Anyways, lets get back to these whipwiches!

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Fresh Strawberry Pie

Fresh Strawberry Pie

 The heat has hit our 3rd floor condo.  When we moved to Long Beach we really thought we had it made with our vaulted ceilings… that is until summertime when the heat creeps in and never leaves.  Because of this heat, Matt and I made an executive decision.  We decided to purchase a portable air conditioner.  It blows out wonderful cold air… but that’s about it.  It has yet to cool the place down, but we’ll take the cold air flow for now!  The only other thing besides AC that is necessary during summer… strawberries.  When I went to the store the other day I couldn’t help but be mesmerized by the perfectly ripe berries.  My mom had recently gotten a Fresh Strawberry Pie from Marie Callenders and I couldn’t stop thinking about it.  All the recipes online for these pies were with regular pie crust… but I have a huge soft spot for any and all graham cracker crusts.  This pie is so incredible easy to make.  You can even buy a pre done crust and make it REALLY easy.  So the next time you see some perfect strawberries, you just need to grab a couple more ingredients and wow your friends and fam with this pie!

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Chicken Parmesan

Chicken Parmesan

Most people have a handful of recipes that you LOVE because you grew up eating them and they remind you of home.  The top ones for me have to be Chili, Meatloaf, Chicken Parmesan.  They are all recipes that just taste a little bit better when my mom makes them.  Chicken Parmesan is probably my favorite recipe because it is so easy and SO good.  I mean, marinara and cheese on breaded chicken?  It can’t get any better than that.  This is one of those recipes that when I say I am going to make it to Matt, he makes that mouth open, eyes crossed face in excitement.  Have I convinced you it’s going to be good?  When you make this, because I know you will, you will thank me… but I guess you should thank my mom!

First, bread the chicken and brown it in a skillet.

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Bandit Wine: A Review!

Bandit Wine

Summer officially starts tomorrow!!!  Unfortunately when you are an adult you don’t get a summer break.  But if you work 8-5 you do find how wonderful it is that the sun doesn’t set until around 8.  Even with my 30 minute commute, I can get home and have time to run to the beach for a picnic.  And what is a picnic without wine??  I found this Bandit Wine at World Market and picked it up for two reasons.  It is portable and affordable!! Only after I got it did I realize that it also tastes amazing.  They somehow pack 3 glasses of wine in one of these “juice boxes” as we call them.  If you have a group of people that like different kinds of wine, these Bandit Wines are perfect to throw in a bag on the go.  They also have larger versions with a bottle and a half!  Box wine for the win.  It is also great to drink out of the carton on your couch… just sayin’.  I love the Red Wine Blend because it has extreme drinkability.   Maybe it’s too good?  But I don’t think that could even be a thing.   I also prefer to drink my wine with a meat and cheese plate… but to each their own.  Oh and another side note?  This awesome beach/ picnic blanket?  Its actually a table cloth from World Market.  But it works perfectly as a blanket!  And if you think about it, we are using is kind of like a table…

I think the moral of this whole story is that I am in love with World Market.  It sucks you in and doesn’t let you leave without some new decor and worldly treats!  And that is just fine with me.  If you are interested in these wines, go to their website here and click on find our wines to find some close to you!

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White Wine Apple Crisp

White Wine Apple Crisp

 Apple Crisp just about defines summer in my eyes.  It is such an easy dessert that is always a crowd pleaser. I was recently inspired by this Sangria Berry Crumble and knew there had to be more wonderful ways to add some booze to desserts.  The answer?  White wine!! You can use any white wine for this depending on how much you want it to taste like wine.  I went with Chardonnay to get the full effect.  Adding the wine really tones down the sweetness of the apples and adds a depth to the flavor that is so delish.  The pictures don’t really do the dish justice but just try it for yourself and get back to me!! 

On a personal note…. It has now been 2 weeks since Matt and I got engaged!!  What a whirlwind it has been.  In that time I also got a promotion at work and got a new car!!  It has been absolutely insane and I can’t believe how lucky I have been.  With all of those exciting things happening, I know this summer is going to be THE BEST!!!  Lots of fun wedding planning and celebrations.  Maybe a road trip too… I did get a Prius after all!  Okay back to this crumble… start with some butta!

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Nutella Cookies & Cream Ice Cream

Nutella Cookies & Cream Ice Cream

As you can tell… I’m still not over my ring! I think that’s a good thing.  Once Matt proposed I thought it was only appropriate for me to make him ice cream.  That’s a fair trade off right?  I have made a few ice creams in my day and always try to make a healthy version of it.  Don’t get me wrong, making your own fro yo is great! But have you ever made full fat full delicious ice cream?  There is nothing like it.  This is a custard based ice cream and the nutella serves as our sugar and flavor.  I knew when I decided to make this that I had to buy some cones.  If you are going big you gotta go BIG.  With summer coming in hot… literally… I know we will all need lots of frozen treats.  I promise to make healthy treats too, but come on… NUTELLA ICE CREAM.  Nuff said.

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