{twd} lemon poppyseed muffins

I have an awesome neighbor. Okay, sometimes he says things like “I don’t know how you make it sometimes, Wendy”. Gee, thanks.  Other than that he is a pretty cool guy. I think he sees me as the daughter he never had. When I had trouble edging my lawn, he said he would do it. Week after week, I would mow my lawn and he would edge it.  In November, I went on vacation for 3 weeks. He said he would mow my lawn while I was gone. I returned home to a beautiful manicured lawn.

As thanks I decided to bake him and his family a basket of mini-muffins. For some reason, I decided to bake all the muffins I had not yet baked out of Dorie Greenspan’s Baking…From My Home to Yours. I took a basket to work and I walked a basket across the street to my neighbor. I also froze some of each. These, my friends, are the ones I took out of my freezer when I discovered this week’s Tuesdays with Dorie selection was the very popular (with neighbors and co-workers) Lemon Poppyseed Muffins.

Thanks to Betsy of A Cup of Sweetness for hosting this week. For the recipe, visit her BLOG or buy the BOOK.

(By the way, I have not mowed my lawn since late October. Love my neighbor.)

{sms} Pear, Blue Cheese, and Walnut Muffins

Yes, this is an actual post. You are not hallucinating. I’ve been busy living life and  having an awesome summer.  It’s a weak excuse for not posting. I’ve been baking along with the the various weekly baking groups. I have internet and a new computer at home. I’ve been lazy with taking pictures and writing posts.

I’m recommitting to Pink Stripes. I feeling disconnected to the the food blogging world and I miss my blogging friends.

With that note, I’ll move along and tell you about this week’s Sweet Melissa Sundays recipe: Bosc Pear, Blue Cheese, and Walnut Muffins. Rather than sweet, these are savory muffins. I adore the combination of pears and blue cheese. I also like walnuts. Trader Joes did not have bosc pears so I subbed bartlett pears. I liked the muffins. I think they would be great with manchego instead of blue cheese because manchego also pears (hee! Okay, pairs) well with pears.

I probably won’t make them again because I would rather eat blue cheese and pears on their own with out all the mumbo jumbo of the other muffin ingredients.

Thanks to Andrea of Nummy Kitchen for hosting this week’s selection. For the recipe visit her blog or buy the book.

{sms} a sweet melissa catch up

I’ve been baking most of the Sweet Melissa Sundays recipes but haven’t had time to write about them. The purpose of this post is just to catch up a bit. (I will admit, though, I did not bake the Coconut Custard Pie nor the Pumpkin Bread Pudding with Caramel Rum-Raisin Sauce).

Peanut Butter Truffles

Butterscotch Pralines

Orange-Blueberry Mini-Muffins with Pecan Crumble

Sweet Potato Bread with Cinnamon-Orange-Rum Glaze (love boozy desserts!)

{twd} mini walnut mocha marbled muffins

For some crazy reason, even though this is a bundt cake recipe, I decided to make mini-muffins. And even though mini-muffins are small and cute, it’s a lot less time consuming to make a bundt cake.  I mean, with a cake, you just make the batter and dump in the pan. What does that take 10 seconds? Even with marbling it doesn’t take much longer.

So yeah, I made mini-muffins. I used my mini-scooper and layered the vanilla and mocha batters. I swirled the best I could. I guessed on the time needed to bake (I think it baked them for 25 minutes).

Anyway. Here they are. Another iPhone picture.

Thanks to Erin of When in Doubt…Leave it at 350 for picking the Mocha-Walnut Marbled Bundt Cake for this week’s Tuesdays with Dorie. For the recipe, visit her blog or buy the book.

my sweet vegan

The day before I left on vacation I was contacted by the publisher of My Sweet Vegan asking if I would like to review the book. I practically squealed my answer. Hannah Kaminsky, the wonderfully gifted blogger, wrote the book and I’m a big fan of her blog–BitterSweet. Of course I would review her cookbook!

Often times when you read a cookbook review on a blog, the blogger has tried a bunch of the recipes and has gorgeous photos to match. I’m more of a real-time blogger–I tend to make something and post it soon after. I don’t have a back log of posts waiting for publication. For one, I’m not that organized and my life is a bit too chaotic. Secondly, I’m not a note-taker and if I don’t write about it right away I will forget about it.  Sometimes I’ll make something and take pictures of it and never write about it. So it goes.  {/paraphrase Vonnegut}

Anyway, starting today and throughout 2010 I will bake from My Sweet Vegan and write about it. Often times when I buy a new cookbook and can’t decide which recipe to make first, I make the very first recipe listed. I’ve made a bunch of first recipes. :P Anyway the first recipe from Hannah’s book is:  Better Banana Nut Muffins.

Do they live up to their name? Heck, yeah! The muffins were a huge hit at work. So much so that someone who very rarely ventures into my office came in to tell me how much he liked them. What makes them better? The banana flavor is intense. It shines, it screams it’s presence. These are not wallflower banana muffins. Where does the flavor come from? In addition to the usual mashed ripe bananas, the recipe calls for dehydrated bananas. Genius! Never in a million years would I have thought of that.

I can’t wait to try some of the other recipes:

  • Graham Flour Fig Scones
  • Butterscotch Blondies
  • Maple Pistachio Crèmes
  • Peanut Butter Bombs
  • Chai “Cheese”cake
  • Root Beer Float Cupcakes
  • Wasabi Chocolate Cupcakes
  • Green Tea Tiramisu
  • Plus a bunch more!

If you haven’t checked out Hannah’s blog, BitterSweet, please do. Not only are the recipes killer and creative, but she has mad photo skillz. Also, buy her book: My Sweet Vegan.