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Homemade Granola

22 Sep

Homemade Granola

Hey y’all! So, it’s been a while since my last post. A loooooong while. Let’s not dwell on that, though.

Homemade Granola

How has everyone been? I’m sure you’ve still been cooking/baking/eating without my posts, but maybe it’s been a leetle bit harder without ideas from me.

Homemade Granola

Here’s a recipe for homemade granola that I’ve made countless times in the past few months. It’s easy, fast, and healthy. Plus, it’s a whole lot cheaper than buying granola, so it’s budget-friendly, too. You can swap out the nuts for whatever you have on hand or add dried fruit or change up the spices. I’ve tweaked this recipe based on my taste preferences and what I normally have on hand.

Homemade Granola

I love to eat this with vanilla Greek yogurt and sliced, fresh strawberries or even just with milk, and it satisfies my cereal cravings.

Homemade Granola


Pineapple Orange Banana Smoothie

24 Jun

Pineapple Orange Banana Smoothie

In case you’re wondering, I moved a few weeks ago, hence the lag in new posts.

I love and hate moving to a new place. I love it because everything feels new and fresh and exciting. I hate it because it’s scary and hard and after you move into your new place, you look at all your old stuff and feel the same. But, I love it more than I hate it, so we’re good.

I’ve been cooking and baking a ton since moving, but I have yet to figure out the best place to take pictures of my food because of my new kitchen layout. My new kitchen is great because it has a gas stove, granite countertops, and last but not least, a skylight. Yes, you heard that right. A SKYLIGHT. My kitchen has an incredible amount of natural light, which I’m loving, but I was so used to my old kitchen setup, that I’ve been dragging my feet on finding the perfect position to take my blog pictures. (This is also to say, cut me some slack on my pictures for a while.)

Pineapple Orange Banana Smoothie

Here’s a smoothie recipe to give you a quick boost.

Pineapple Orange Banana Smoothie

Combine all ingredients in the blender.

Pineapple Orange Banana Smoothie

Process until smooth, and slurp with a straw (required). (more…)

Sour Cream Coffee Cake

20 Feb

Coffee Cake

Did you ever have adventures at grandma’s house? When I was a kid, my grandma’s house seemed like a magical place full of mystery and adventure. Going down to the basement was like visiting a 1920s’ speakeasy. Going up to the attic, trying on all those old dresses felt like fashion shopping in France. Piggyback rides on her massive German Shepherd were like riding a grand horse. Playing with the cousins upstairs was top-secret spy business. We usually stayed out of trouble.


There was this one time at my grandma’s house that we tried to stuff me down the laundry chute. All in all, it was a terrible idea. At the time, we thought it was a great idea. And it had to be me to go down the chute because I was the smallest cousin. “Like riding a really exciting slide,” they convinced me. Luckily for me, we got caught in the act of stuffing me in. I probably wouldn’t have survived three flights of a dead drop. But it was exciting. Another adventure at grandma’s house.

Coffee cake screams grandma’s house to me. Fragrant cinnamon and moist crumb cake. Definitely grandma’s house.

This recipe comes from the Joy the Baker Cookbook. A welcome addition to anyone’s recipe library has got to be coffee cake. Any excuse to eat cake for breakfast, right?

Coffee Cake

Stir together your crumb topping. Set aside for now.

Coffee Cake

Stir together your yummy cinnamon filling layer. Set aside.

Coffee Cake

Mix together your butter, sugar, brown sugar, vanilla, and eggs.

Coffee Cake

Combine the flour, baking powder, and salt.

Coffee Cake

Prepare your sour cream and milk combo. Whisk ’em real good.

Coffee Cake

Add the flour mixture in 3 additions, alternating with the sour cream mixture in 2 additions.

Coffee Cake

Spread half of the cake batter on the bottom of the pan, and sprinkle evenly with the cinnamon filling layer.

Coffee Cake

Spread the rest of the cake batter evenly on top of the cinnamon filling layer.

Coffee Cake

Make a few swirls with a knife.

Coffee Cake

Top with the crumb topping and bake for 55 to 60 minutes until golden brown and crackly.

Coffee CakeLet rest for 20 to 30 minutes before slicing and serving. (more…)

Chocolate Peanut Butter Banana Green Smoothie

13 Feb

Chocolate Peanut Butter Banana Green Smoothie

When’s the last time you got in trouble? I don’t think about getting in trouble much because, hey, I’m an adult, and adults don’t get in trouble, right? Wrong.

Last week while visiting San Francisco, I rode the famous cable cars. I sat on the outside seat so I could get a good look at the city as we drove by and so I could occasionally stand up and hang off the side of the car just like in the movies. While I was sitting down, I casually slung my arm over the back of the wooden seat. The cable car conductor/driver/operator was not having that. He yelled at me to move my arm and waggled his finger at me like I was a naughty kid. I’m pretty sure I was blushing out of embarrassment. But did I learn my lesson? A few minutes later, without thinking, my arm was right back around the back of the seat in a comfortable position. This time, I didn’t get a verbal warning. The conductor swatted my arm off the seat. He actually hit me! I was less embarrassed and more baffled. I just got smacked by a stranger. It was bizarre and weird and a little funny. Mostly bizarre, though.

I prefer not to get in trouble.

If you don’t want to get in trouble this Valentine’s day, try making a delicious homemade breakfast for your loved ones. How about the easiest one there is? I don’t know too many people who turn their noses up to smoothies.

Ever since my husband watched a few documentaries on obesity and unhealthy living, he’s finally come to the conclusion that vegetables are good for you. (Shocking!) Smoothies are a great place to hide healthy veggies. Your kids (and/or spouse) will think it’s a dessert-like snack, but it’s also sneakily good for them. I promise you can’t taste the green veggies at all in this recipe. It tastes like a pure treat!

Chocolate Peanut Butter Banana Green Smoothie

Load all ingredients in your blender.

Chocolate Peanut Butter Banana Green Smoothie

The greens will take up a lot of room…do not fear!

Chocolate Peanut Butter Banana Green Smoothie

Blend until completely smooth.

Chocolate Peanut Butter Banana Green Smoothie

Serve immediately and drink with a straw (duh!).  (more…)

Pumpkin Maple Doughnuts

23 Jan

pumpkin, maple, doughnuts

Last week was our big first snow of winter. We got a good 6″ worth. I even got to work from home. It was awesome.

Naturally after a few hours’ worth of accumulation, my husband and I went out to build a massive snowman. We started at one end of the field (yes, we happen to live by a field) and rolled a perfectly round ball of snow the whole way down to the other end, until it was a huge, lopsided, dirt-covered snow boulder. It was a true team effort to make this beast of a snowman. He ended up being over 6′ 2″ (using my husband as a measuring stick). We were pretty darn proud of ourselves.

Not to mention we had jolly good fun. Our walk back to our house resulted in a smash-your-face-in-the-snow all-out fight. It’s amazing how fast the childlike competitiveness rushed back to me after lobbing a few innocent snowballs at each other.

Being a kid was pretty great, wasn’t it? One of my all-time favorite treats used to be doughnuts (“used to be” a.k.a. “still are”). Every time we’d buy doughnuts, I beg my mom to let me buy three. I remember thinking that was a good amount to fill my belly. Nowadays, that makes me feel a little sick to think about, but, alas, those were the days.

This Christmas I got a doughnut pan. I was more than excited to play with my new toy. I found a delicious-looking recipe and went to town. These doughnuts are extraordinarily moist and disarmingly simple. But they’re doughnuts! So impressive! I love that they’re not fried. See? I can be healthy sometimes.

Wet ingredients; step 1.

Stir together your first 3 ingredients.

step 2; dry ingredients

Add the dry ingredients all at once, and mix just until combined. Do not overmix.

fill doughnut pan

Evenly fill the doughnut pan, smoothing the top of the batter.

out of the oven, cooling, wire tester

Bake for 15 minutes, or until a wire tester comes out clean. Let the doughnuts cool for a few minutes in the pan before removing to a wire rack to cool completely.

glaze, cinnamon

Stir up the glaze.

glaze, doughnuts, setting

Dip just the tops of the doughnuts in. Return to the wire rack until the glaze is set. (more…)

Banana Crumb Muffins

17 Oct

Freshman year, first semester of college, every single day, I walked the same, exact route from my dorm to my classes and back again. For some reason, I was too frightened/lazy/unsure to try another path. (Well, I am directionally challenged. But, alas.)

To elucidate this even further, the only reason I knew that route in the first place was because that’s the way I followed some hall-mates my very first day on campus.

Right now, you’re probably thinking I’m really pathetic. But LISTEN! Here’s one of my theories: We are creatures of habit and comfort. Sometimes we try something for the first time, and it fits the bill, so we never think to deviate from that first attempt.

So what? you ask.

Well, second semester came, and I had classes in different buildings and locations, and I couldn’t just follow the same crowd of freshman to my usual classes down my usual path. So I looked at some campus maps and learned how to walk another way to campus. And it was equally satisfying. Maybe even more so because I tried something new.

Wow, Adrianne, you’re getting all philosophical on us today. Well…I do have an ulterior motive. You probably make the same, exact banana muffin or banana bread recipe every single time. And that works for you. And that’s OK, but it’s not enough. Branch out, try THIS recipe. It’s new and different and equally satisfying. Maybe even more so.

These banana muffins are special because you don’t mash the bananas like usual. You slice them into thin, little pieces and gently fold them into your soft and pillowy, thick and rich batter. Then you top them with a professional-looking crumb. Perfection.

Butter your pan nice and good.

Combine the ingredients for the crumb topping.

Rub the mixture between your fingertips until it becomes crumbly.

Stir together all the dry ingredients and part of the wet ingredients. Then combine the dry ingredients and the sour cream in alternating additions.

Now the batter should be thick and pillowy.

Slice those ‘naners. Then fold them ’em right in the batter.

Fill your muffin tins, evenly dividing the batter. They will be quite full.

Sprinkle with crumb topping, then bake them until golden brown on top. Gobble gobble. (more…)

Lemon-Blueberry Breakfast Cake

30 May

I guess I don’t like to read anymore. This is a thought that crosses my mind every few months.

Those of you who know me well may be saying, What? Yeah, right. You were an English major, for goodness’ sake.

Well, that last part is true. But the question do I still like to read? really does pop up in my head. It only happens after I finish a book and then don’t pick up another one for a while. Time passes, and I start getting sucked in to watching addictive quality TV shows like The Bachelorette (I am neither admitting nor denying that I watch shows like that—I am merely providing an example),  and I start thinking about how much easier it is to sit in front of my TV screen than it is to find a good book to read. Reading can be so hard.

But, alas, I eventually pick up another book thanks to a friend’s recommendation/best-seller list/or another worthy source. And then I embarrassedly recoil at my previous questioning of reading. I love to read. I really do.

Books are good. And so is lemon-blueberry breakfast cake—as you are soon to discover.

This cake is oh-so-moist thanks to the buttermilk. And the fresh blueberries’ blues and purples look so pretty after they burst during baking. Perhaps this cake was originally meant for breakfast, but I tell you, it makes a delightful all-day snack (or dessert for that matter).

Your batter will be thick and soft before you add your blueberries.

Toss those blueberries in flour. Give ’em a good shake or two.

Fold in your blueberries like so.

Sprinkle that cinnamon and sugar all over.

Bake 35 to 40 minutes until golden brown. Let cool for as long as you can stand it, then go for it. (more…)

Mother’s Day Cinnamon Rolls

12 May

This is me and my mom circa 1993. Honestly, she hasn’t aged a day. (She’ll tell you otherwise, but it’s simply not true.) She still has that radiant smile and silky, luminous dark hair. She still listens to me talk for hours on end. She still rubs my temples when I have a headache, and she still brings me ginger ale and a piece of buttered toast when I have a tummy ache. She still loves to take care of me, and I still love to let her.

If I were at home this year for Mother’s Day, you’d better believe I’d be up at 5 a.m. to make these cinnamon rolls for my mom. They are her favorite, and she always begs me to make some when I’m visiting. Instead, I made them for myself, and I’m torturing her with the pictures. (That’s almost as satisfying, right?)

Let’s make these in honor of our moms this year. You’ll feel all warm and fuzzy when you’re eating them.

Sprinkle yeast into warm water. Let it get all foamy.

Whisk to dissolve the yeast.

In another bowl, combine the butter, pudding mix, milk, egg, sugar, and salt. Then add the yeast mixture.

Mix in 2 cups of flour.

Knead with the dough hook and form into a ball.

Let rise until doubled.

Roll it out into a big rectangle.

Spread with butter and sprinkle with cinnamon and sugar.

Roll it up like a jelly roll.

Cut into 16 pieces.

Let them rise in the pan, and bake.

Meanwhile, whip up some light cream cheese frosting.

Spread it all over the gooey rolls. Eat your heart out. (more…)

Quiche Lorraine

8 May

Have you ever heard that lucky people are lucky mostly because they believe they’re lucky? According to my own statistical studies, this is 100 percent true.

Yesterday Ryan and I were taking an evening walk. (Awww, you’re so cute and romantic!) All of a sudden, Ryan jumped away from me and squatted beside the path, peering into some bushes. (I was sure he found a snake, spider, or other creature with which to scare me.) But, alas! He found an old $20 bill! Just sitting there patiently waiting for a lucky person to spot it.

Now according to my studies, people who believe they’re unlucky never would’ve spotted the money because they’re already so sure that nothing lucky will happen to them.

Summary: Get lucky!

You happen to be in luck today. I know you were wondering what to make with that flaky pie crust recipe I gave you last weekend. Here’s one of my favorite dishes that uses it.

This quiche is silky smooth (thanks, Swiss cheese!) and very tasty. (more…)

Blueberry Muffins

20 Apr

I remember a time back when I was a wee lass that I turned my nose up to blueberry muffins. I’d complain and complain, then finally concede to eating one, but only if allowed to pick the blueberry shards out one by one to avoid eating them or their tartly sweet little juices. What a foolish girl I was. But now, oh, how my tune has changed. There can’t be anything more comforting than smelling fresh blueberry muffins baking in the early morning hours. If the only kind of blueberry muffins you’re used to eating are the ones from the box, then you’re in for a real treat with these moist, dense, crumb-topped, blueberry-filled muffins.

Don’t these look like little works of art? They are so beautiful. And not much harder than a box mix to boot! (more…)