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Category Archives: Bread

Very Berry Strawberry Muffins

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Strawberry Muffins

I’m not bluffin’ with my (strawberry) muffin(s) — these muffins are delicious! I am not surprised by that fact since the recipe comes from America’s Test Kitchen. Those guys are amazing … I truly don’t think I have ever had a bad outcome using one of their recipes.

I am in a strawberry mood with the season being in full swing. That’s code for watch out for more strawberry recipes like strawberry syrup, strawberry cupcakes, and chocolate covered strawberries. For me strawberry season means it is finally spring even though it does not feel exactly springy today in Virginia. It’s beginning to feel like summer. That’s Virginia for you.

I’m excited for what’s to come and is it just me or is this year just flying? I love that the days are longer and I am hoping to get outside to use my hula hoop.   I also would like to do a day trip around town with my camera.  There are a few things that I want to share with my readers about this city called Richmond before I leave it.  It’s been real, Richmond. I am just excited!!!   I want to introduce a drinks feature to the blog.   I got plans and it’s time to dust them off and start doing and not just looking.

OH, my most fave news of all is that I will be a volunteer at Eat Write Retreat this weekend! While working the events I hope to store some much needed knowledge on making my blog a better blog. This is a great opportunity for me and I hope to share a recap or two in the coming weeks.

Until Next Time,

Very Berry Strawberry Muffins
Adapted from ATK Best Blueberry Muffins

Makes 12 Muffins

Streusel Topping
1 cup brown sugar
1 cup all purpose flour
1/2 cup canola or vege oil
1/4 teaspoon salt

2 cups diced strawberries, fresh
1 1/8 cups plus 1 teaspoon granulated sugar
2 1/2 cups all purpose flour
2 1/2 teaspoons baking powder
1 tablespoon salt
2 large eggs
4 tablespoons of butter, melted and cooled.
1/4 cup vegetable oil
3/4 cup sour cream
1/4 cup milk
1 1/2 teaspoons vanilla extract

Streusel Topping:
In a small bowl mix brown sugar, flour, salt with oil until it resembles a rough crumb. Set aside.


Insert muffin liners into muffin pan or spray muffin pan with nonstick cooking spray. Adjust oven rack to the upper middle position and preheat oven to 425 F.

In a small saucepan add 1 cup strawberries and 1 teaspoon sugar to a simmer over medium high heat. Stirring frequently while mashing the berries. Cook berries until they proceed to breakdown and mixture is thickened. The berry liquid should also reduce to approximately 1/4 cup (about 6 minutes). Remove from heat and pour into a small heat proof bowl to cool to room temperature (10 to 15 minutes).

Sift together flour, baking powder, and salt together into a large bowl and set aside. In a mixing bowl add remaining sugar and eggs, whisking together until incorporated, should be light yellow in color; don’t over mix. Begin to add melted butter and oil in slowly, whisking into the sugar/egg mixture. Once combined begin to whisk in sour cream, milk, and vanilla extract until combined. Using a mixing spoon or rubber spatula fold in sifted dry ingredients and remaining strawberries. DON’T OVERMIX, fold until combined. Batter will not be smooth. This is not cake batter.

Scoop muffin mixture into the muffin pan using a 3 Tablespoon scooper or ice cream scoop. Top wet mix with one teaspoon strawberry reduction. Using a wooden skewer, toothpick, or chopstick swirl the strawberry reduction in a figure 8 movement. Top with 1 teaspoon of streusel.

Bake muffins for approximately 17 to 19 minutes. Be sure to rotate the muffin tin halfway through baking. Remove from oven and allow muffins to cool for 5 minutes in the tin. Remove from tin and let muffins cool for an additional 5 to 7 minutes and serve.

{Sponsored Post} The Sleepy American Sandwich

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The Sleepy American Sandwich| Licious Food

Pin a Meal. Give a Meal. Throughout April until May 1, Land O Lakes® will donate $1 to Feed America every time someone pins or repins a Land O Lakes recipe on Pinterest. That’s eight meals for a hungry family when you pin a recipe—and eight more every time anyone else repins it. Giving goes viral. Find your favorite Grilled Cheese recipe to pin on Land O Lakes®

It’s Grilled Cheese month, ya’ll!

I am honored to be participating in the Land O Lakes®  #CheeseChatter, 30 Days of Grilled Cheese, for the month of April!

What is it about grilled cheese that is a total comfort? It’s like PB &  J, it soothes the rough edges from my soul. It makes me hum in delight. It’s bread, cheese, and butter. The ooze of cheese as you take your first bite. I am dancing in my chair right now just thinking about it.

So it’s my turn to give my twist on the grilled cheese sandwich. I truly think it has been twisted in every way possible but I am all for giving it the ole college try. So I did.

FUN FACT: Land O Lakes® Deli American Cheese is smooth and delicious, with a melt-in-your-mouth creaminess that makes burgers, sandwiches and snacks irresistible. And of course, it’s a delicious cheese to have on hand when making a classic grilled cheese sandwich during National Grilled Cheese Month.

The Sleepy American?  Yes, the Sleepy American.  Turkey is known to cause sleepiness and since the cheese is American … the Sleepy American was born.

The Sleepy American is the combination of Land O Lakes American cheese, turkey, bacon, oven baked tomatoes drizzled with balsamic and sea salt sandwiched between the thick Texas Toast bread. My “butter” of choice is a honey butter spread to give just a hint of sweetness. As Fergie (of the Black Eye Peas, and not the Duchess) would say, “tasty Tasty!”    This is a great sandwich for when you have those left overs during the holidays.   Or you can simply go to the deli and while picking up Land O Lakes cheese why not get sliced turkey breast, too.

FUN FACT: Did you know Land O Lakes® Cheese is a fave among families? Well it is. You can find America’s favorite cheese is sliced fresh at the deli counter, just how you like it, at a wide variety of grocery retailers and independent delis, primarily on the East Coast. If you are in a rush be sure to look for the pre-sliced packages near your favorite grocers deli section.

So next time you are thinking about making the best dang grill cheese sandwich EVER or that AMAZING cheeseburger; try the top-quality Land O Lakes cheese products located at a deli near you. Land O Lakes® has been producing farm to table products for over 90 years. I totally sound like a commercial there yet it really is the truth – I own it.

Don’t forget if you are a pin-a-holic that if you pin this recipe or any other of the great recipes from 30 Days of Grilled Cheese on Kitchen Play that you will be helping to Feed America. Use that pinning for good and not evil.

Until Next Time,

*Disclosure: This post was sponsored by Land O’Lakes as part of the Kitchen Play Sidecar series. All opinions given are my own.

The Sleepy American Sandwich 
“A Licious Food Original”
Yields: One delicious sandwich that you will not want to share.

2 slices of Texas toast bread
2 slices of Land O Lakes American Cheese
3 strips of bacon, cooked
2 ounces of turkey breast, sliced
4 slices of oven roasted tomatoes

Oven Roasted Tomatoes
Preheat oven to 250 F. On a parchment lined baking sheet place sliced tomatoes.  Drizzle tomatoes with balsamic vinegar and coarse sea salt.  Bake anywhere from 1-1/2 to 2 hours.  Tomatoes should look shriveled with caramelization on the balsamic vinegar.  Cool and set aside.  You can make the tomatoes a day ahead if you prefer.

Sandwich Assembly 
Heat frying pan/skillet to a medium heat. Butter one side of each slice of bread. On the unbuttered side of bread place one slice of Land O Lakes American Cheese; add bacon, turkey, oven roasted tomatoes, and finally another piece of American Cheese.   Top with an additional bread slice, buttered side up.

Cook each side until nicely browned (to your liking); approximately 3 to 5 minutes on each side.

Remove from the heat, plate, slice in half and serve with your favorite side dish.

Lemon Blueberry Bread

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Lemon Blueberry Bread

I was applying for a scholarship back in the day (which was a Wednesday) and I remember one of the essay questions had asked me what was my long term goal?

I knew. I KNEW! My little 18 year old heart was definite in it’s answer … owning a Bed & Breakfast. It would combine all the things that I loved along with the knowledge I was going to obtain at college for hotel/restaurant management.

Funny how your goals change – I currently don’t have a clue what my goals are … isn’t that a kick in the head!

However, if I were to have a B&B then this Lemon Blueberry Bread would be served.

I love having “dessert” for breakfast – I love dessert period, exclamation point.

This is what you would call a quick bread – to me it’s like a large muffin (I’m not bluffin’) that you share.

The tanginess of the lemon comes through in every bite thanks to the lemon juice, lemon yogurt, and lemon peel that is used in the recipe. The plump blueberries with it’s mild sweetness complements; it gives you a break from the acidity that is lemon. This bread is also dense yet moist. It’s a great contradictory food to break your fast with or have featured during brunch.


Lemon Blueberry Bread
Adapted from King Arthur Flour’s Lemon Bread

6 Tablespoons unsalted butter, softened
1 cup granulated sugar
2 large eggs, room temperature
1/4 cup fresh lemon juice
3/4 cup lemon yogurt ( I used Chobani Lemon Greek Yogurt)
1 teaspoon lemon rind, grated
2 cups All-Purpose Flour
1 teaspoon baking powder
1/2 teaspoon salt
1 cup blueberries, fresh or thawed

1/4 cup lemon juice, fresh
1/2 cup granulated sugar


Preheat oven to 350°F.

In a large bowl cream butter and sugar until combined. Beat in one egg at at time into creamed mixture. In a separate bowl whisk together the yogurt, lemon juice, and grated lemon rind and set aside. Sift together the remaining dry ingredients; flour, baking powder, and salt and set aside. Add 1/4 dry and 1/4 wet ingredients to the creamed items until fully incorporated. Gently fold in blueberries into batter. In a large (8 1/2 inch x 4 1/2 inch) greased loaf pan add batter and bake for approximately 50-60 minutes.

While bread is baking make your lemon glaze. In a bowl whisk together lemon juice and sugar until sugar has dissolved, set aside.

Once bread has completed baking and is still hot poke with holes using your poker du jour (I like to use a wooden kabob skewer) through out the bread. Then spoon the lemon glaze over the bread and allow it to soak into it. Let the bread cool for approximately 15-20 minutes before removing it from the pan and slicing to serve.

Makes 1 loaf.

Sweet Potato Bread

Sweet Potato Bread

A few weekends ago the age old question of – “What should I make?” struck me.  After perusing through my cabinets and with holiday season upon us … I decided to make a Sweet Potato Bread.  Of course, I could have gone with the ever popular Pumpkin Bread. Since, I don’t like Pumpkin anything, I nixed that idea.

It seems that Pumpkin and Butternut Squash are the most popular items for autumn. I don’t care for either. Picky eater table of one!

I love Sweet Potatoes — okay I love Sweet Potato Pie and Candied Sweet Potatoes. I chose to see this bread making experiment as a challenge – step out my comfortable box and try something different.

It’s great to stretch one’s boundaries from time to time. It’s even better when it’s a success.

This particular Sweet Potato Bread is more like a sweet/spicy bread with undertones of Sweet Potato.  Moist like the Banana Bread and finished off with a crumb topping.   Dare I say if you were doing homemade gifts this would be a great gift to give!

This year I am going to do homemade/ quasi homemade gifts for my family, except for my youngest nephew – I don’t have a way of making a homemade or even semi-homemade iPod.

I hope you will also enjoy this recipe as much as my office guinea pigs did!

Sweet Potato Bread
Adapted from My Kitchen Café’s Buttermilk Banana Bread
½ cup butter or margarine, softened
1 ½ cups granulated sugar
2 eggs
1 ¼ cup baked & mashed sweet potatoes or 1 large sweet potato baked and mashed
4 tablespoons buttermilk
½ teaspoon of vanilla bean paste
1 tablespoon of robust molasses
½ teaspoon of cinnamon
¼ teaspoon of nutmeg
Pinch of ground cloves
½ teaspoon of allspice
¼ teaspoon of ground ginger
1 ¾ cups of all purpose flour
1 teaspoon of baking powder
¼ teaspoon of salt
1/8 teaspoon of baking soda

Preheat oven to 350F degrees.

Sift together flour, baking powder, salt and baking soda in a bowl and set aside.

In a bowl cream butter and sugar together; add eggs one at a time until incorporated.  Add in the following: mashed sweet potatoes, buttermilk, vanilla bean paste, molasses, cinnamon, nutmeg, cloves, allspice, and ginger; mix all together.

Add the dry sifted ingredients into the wet mixture; mix until combined.

Pour mixture into a large greased loaf pan (9 ¼ x 5 ¼ inch) and bake for 55 -60 minutes.

Let cool for approximately an hour before serving.

Note: You can top the batter before baking with either an evenly coating of brown sugar or a crumb topping for some extra razzle dazzle!

Until next time!

Mom Approved Cinnamon Rolls

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Imagine a house filled with smells of yeasty bread, cinnamon, and the creamy sweetness of cream cheese icing … that was my house last week and I had to restrain myself from eating all the cinnamon rolls that were made!

Cinnamon Rolls 2

When I was growing up I remember my Mom making cinnamon rolls for my sister and me. While making rolls for dinner she would make additional dough to make cinnamon rolls as a treat. What a treat it was!

We did not have much- but what we had was good enough. My Mom and Grandma are great inspirations in nurturing my love of cooking and I am very thankful for that.

Cinnamon Rolls 3

I decided to finally dig out my bread machine; that I earned through a points reward system at my job. I pretty much up gave up bread baking for the last year or two since every time I tried it ended in major mondo disaster – I am talking dough not even rising or when baked it resembled a deadly weapon. However, I was bored and thinking what I could do for my next blog entry and my unpacked bread machine was looking at me daring me- challenging me to use it. Who am I to back away from a challenge? So with that thought I checked my pantry and frig to make sure I had everything I needed to get down to baking Cinnamon Rolls!

I used a combination of recipes located on one of my favorite recipe finding websites – All Recipes!
Sweet Dinner Rolls and Clone of a Cinnabon and made it my own with a few adaptations.

Cinnamon Rolls 4

The Dough

1/2 cup warm water (110 degrees F/45 degrees C)

1/2 cup warm milk

1 egg, beatened

1 teaspoon of vanilla bean paste*

1/3 cup butter, softened

1/3 cup white sugar

1 teaspoon salt

3 3/4 cups bread flour

1 (.25 ounce) package active dry yeast

1/4 cup butter, softened

The Cinnamon Portion

¾ cup brown sugar, packed

2 tablespoons ground cinnamon

¼ t nutmeg

¾ cup soaked raisins**

1/3 cup butter, softened

The Icing

6 ounces of cream cheese,softened

1/2 cup butter, softened

3 cups confectioners’ sugar

2 teaspoon lemon juice

1 teaspoon vanilla bean paste *

1/4 teaspoon salt

Directions: Using your bread machine add ingredients as instructed. Typically it is wet to dry with creating a well in the flour to add the yeast. Set the bread machine on the dough only setting.

After the dough cycle has completed empty out onto a floured surface and let rest for 10-15 minutes. While dough is resting blend together brown sugar, cinnamon, and nutmeg.

Using a rolling pin shape into a rectangular shape. Spread dough with softened butter, add cinnamon mixture, and soaked raisins to the dough. Roll dough from either left to right or right to left; whichever makes you happy. Cut rolled dough into 12 pieces; cut dough in half; cut half dough into threes; cut threes into six and repeat. Place cut pieces of dough into a 9×13 greased pan. Cover with kitchen towel and let proof in a warm spot for approximately 1 hour.

Preheat your oven to 400 degrees and bake cinnamon rolls for about 15-17 minutes. While rolls are baking make your cream cheese icing by creaming your cream cheese and butter. Add confectioners sugar slowly until mixed. Finish icing by adding vanilla bean paste, lemon juice, and salt and mixing until incorporated.

After rolls have cooled add icing and serve!

* Vanilla Bean Paste is simply my preference. Since buying some last year; I am hooked! If a recipe calls for Vanilla Extract; I use Vanilla Bean Paste.

**Soaked Raisins; I like to add plumped raisins to any recipes that call for the sun dried treat. So by adding hot water until raisins are covered in water and letting them rest for approximately 10-15 minutes; I have soaked raisins. You can also get crazy and add a touch of alcohol to the soaking process.

Cinnamon Rolls 6

The best part of this baking process is getting my Mom’s seal of approval. My Mom is gifted when it comes to cooking and yes critical (I like to think I get it naturally) so I am always trepidatious when presenting something I made to her. She bestowed to me her highest honor; “They might be better than mine” honor! Must say it made me quite happy that she enjoyed them and I hope you will enjoy them as well!

Happy Eatings!

Banana Cuckoo Crackers

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I had an “Oprah Moment” when thinking about my next post. It was going to be (in my Oprah voice) CARAMEL BANANA BRRRRRRREAD! Well, what’s that saying about best laid plans? The bread looked beautiful but taste wise it was flat. It had no depth, no balance. It was too sweet. It is missing some things, but unfortunately I didn’t have time to recreate and try to fix all the wrongs and I didn’t want to flake on writing a post this Sunday. So today’s post is nothing but a pretty picture (I think) and a promise to repost when I have a recipe worth sharing!

Live. Love. Laugh.