Pancake Mini Muffins

I can already hear my mom- hey, this is MY idea! 😉 While she’s somewhat right, I pinned this recipe on Pinterest a while back, thinking I’d start making them when Jack started eating finger foods. Fast forward a bit 😁 and I finally got around to it one morning when I needed some breakfast inspiration. You can use this pancake recipe if you dig the homemade route, or you can use a pancake mix… No judgment here. 😉 This a great recipe for the kiddos too. They can help add ingredients with fairly minimal catastrophe! And you all know by now I’m a huge fan of make-ahead meals, so I love that you can whip up a big batch of these scrumptious little muffins, freeze however many you don’t eat, and pop ’em in the microwave another morning. Brilliant!  

Ingredients: 

  • 3 cups flour 
  • 1 tbsp baking powder
  • 3 tbsps sugar
  • 3/4 tsps salt
  • 2-1/2 cups milk
  • 1 tbsp white vinegar
  • 2 whole eggs 
  • 1 tbsp vanilla extract
  • 4 tbsps butter, melted

Optional:

  • Blueberries
  • Mini chocolate chips
  • Warm syrup for serving

Directions:

Preheat oven to 425 degrees Fahrenheit and spray cooking spray into mini muffin pan.  Coat each well generously so your muffins don’t stick.

 

Whisk together flour, baking powder, sugar, and salt in a mixing bowl. Set aside. Stir together the milk and vinegar in a large liquid measuring cup and let it sit for 1 minute. Whisk in eggs and vanilla. Combine dry ingredients and wet ingredients, then stir in melted butter. If batter is too thick, stir in a little milk. Fill each well about 2/3 full…  

 
Then, if using (and I highly recommend it!), drop a few blueberries or mini chocolate chips into a few wells.  

 

 Bake for 8 to 9 minutes, or until golden brown on top. Let sit in the pan for 1 to 2 minutes, then turn them out of the pan to cool. Use a butter knife to loosen the edges if needed. Repeat until batter is gone. Warm up your syrup, plate, and serve!  

 

This breakfast is Jack-approved.  

 

Recipe from The Pioneer Woman.  

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Strawberry Lemonade Cupcakes

Growing up, I never would have even tried a lemon dessert. If it ain’t chocolate, it ain’t dessert. Recently though, I can’t seem to get enough of the flavor combined with fruit! These strawberry lemonade cupcakes are my most recent flavor foray and and they were a big hit with the girls at work! These are great for summer time, and would be super cute incorporated into a lemonade stand-themed party. 

Ingredients:

For the cake:

  • 2 1/4 cups all-purpose flour
  • 1 1/2 tsp baking powder
  • 3/4 tsp salt
  • 2 tsp lemon zest
  • 12 tbsp unsalted butter, at room temperature
  • 1 1/2 cups sugar
  • 2 eggs
  • 3/4 cup milk
  • 2 cups fresh strawberries, chopped
  • Lemon juice for brushing (optional)

For the frosting: 

  • 1 cup fresh strawberries, roughly chopped
  • 12 oz. cream cheese, at room temperature
  • 18 tbsp unsalted butter, at room temperature
  • 2 2/3 cups confectioners’ sugar
  • 3 tsp lemon juice
  • 1 tsp vanilla extract

Directions:

Begin by preheating oven to 325 degrees Fahrenheit and lining cupcake tins with liners, about 21-22 for this recipe. Chop your strawberries and zest your lemon, then stop and admire your handwork while taking biiiiig whiffs of the delicious scent wafting from the bowls…  

 

Mm mm, yes.  In a medium mixing bowl, combine the flour, baking powder, salt and lemon zest. Whisk together and set aside. In the bowl of your stand mixer, beat the butter on medium speed until light and fluffy. Add the sugar and beat until well combined. Beat in the eggs one at time. Add half of the flour mixture to the bowl and beat on low speed until just incorporated. Add in the milk and mix until smooth. Add in the remaining flour mixture and mix on low speed until just blended. Fold in the fresh strawberries with a spatula. 

 
Fill each liner about 3/4 full and bake for 20-25 minutes, rotating tins halfway through baking. Allow to cool in the tins for 5 minutes, then transfer to a wire rack to cool completely. 
 

While your cupcakes are cooling, poke a few holes in the tops and drizzle with lemon juice if you want a nice kick of lemon flavor.  

 
Otherwise, move on to your frosting! Purée your strawberries and strain to remove seeds; set aside. In the bowl of your stand mixer, beat together the butter and cream cheese until fluffy. Add the confectioners’ sugar and beat again until smooth. Drizzle in the lemon juice and vanilla until incorporated. Finally, add the strawberry purée until you reach your desired texture and flavor (I added 6 or 7 tablespoons).  

 

Frost cooled cupcakes and enjoy! 😎

Recipe adapted slightly from Annie’s Eats.

Sun-dried Tomato, Kale, & Chicken Sausage Quinoa Bake

Ok guys, I don’t think it’s a secret… I love quinoa. And I love chicken sausage. While the combination of flavors in this dish aren’t necessarily something I’d salivate over, I found it intriguing enough to give it a try. And then I made it again a couple of days later! This bake is super flavorful but is also really light, so you don’t feel disgusting after a big ol bowl of it. Mark’s not a huge fan of kale, so next time I think I’ll try spinach in it’s place. I froze several batches for work lunches and it holds up beautifully. Plus it’s pretty healthy, so if you’re looking for a quick weeknight dinner or something you can make ahead and still feel good about eating, give this a try!

Ingredients:

  • 1 cup quinoa, uncooked
  • 2 cups chicken broth
  • ½ cup sun-dried tomatoes, julienne cut
  • 1 tbsp olive oil (I used the olive oil from the sun-dried tomato jar)
  • 2 stalks of kale, chopped into bite-sized pieces
  • 5 chicken sausages, fully cooked and sliced into coins (try Trader Joe’s fontina, spinach and garlic variety… Yum!)
  • 2 shallots, diced
  • salt and pepper to taste
  • 1 tsp garlic salt
  • Sprinkle of Italian cheese (optional)
Directions:
Preheat oven to 350 degrees Fahrenheit. In a 9×13 baking dish, add the quinoa and chicken broth, spreading evenly along the bottom.  

 

Spread the chopped kale over the top of the quinoa/broth mixture.  

 

Next, spread the sun-dried tomatoes and sprinkle the shallots on top of the kale. Drizzle on the olive oil.  

 

Season with some salt, pepper, and the garlic salt. Finally, layer the chicken sausage and top with sprinkling of cheese, if using.  

  

Pop the whole blessed pan into the oven for an hour, or until the quinoa is cooked.  

 

I failed to get a photo of my bowl because it was devoured by so quickly! Hope you enjoy and thanks for stopping by. 😋🍴

Recipe adapted slightly from Fit Foodie Finds.

Blueberry Green Tea Lemonade

The weather’s been warming up quite a bit around Indy… I mean, did we even get a spring? It seemed like we jumped straight from 30-40 degree temps to 80s overnight! One of my favorite parts about summer are the cool, refreshing drinks that go along with it. We’re big iced tea drinkers in this house, but obviously consuming huge quantities of it isn’t the greatest idea. On the other hand, nothing but water can get pretty boring pretty quickly. Enter this delightful little concoction! One of our favorite restaurants in town offered blueberry green tea lemonade as a special beverage option one afternoon at lunch and it was interesting enough for me to try it… Boy am I glad I did! I’ve yet to see it there again, so I decided to try my hand at my own version. Simple and refreshing; a little sweet and a little tart. Perfect for relaxing on a patio in the summertime! Make yourself a pitcher and enjoy. 

Ingredients:

  • 1 gallon of water, divided 
  • 6-8 Lipton Blueberry Acai Green tea bags
  • 1 packet light lemonade (or regular if you prefer!)  

Directions:

Put 2 quarts of the water on to boil. Once boiling, pour into a gallon-size pitcher and add tea bags. Steep tea for 2-5 minutes, depending on how strong you like your tea flavor. 

*Alternately, combine your 2 quarts of water and tea bags in the pitcher and set them in the sun for a few hours. Just depends on how patient you are!  

  
Once you’ve steeped your tea to your desired strength, add the last 2 quarts of water and lemonade packet.  

  

Give it a few stirs and refrigerate until ready to use. Garnish with blueberries if you wish. 

  
Original recipe inspired by 3 Sister’s Cafe in Indianapolis, Indiana.

French Toast Cupcakes with Maple Buttercream

Confession time (again): I don’t like French toast. I’m not sure what it is about it, but I’ve never been a huge fan. Same goes for maple syrup- 1 well-intentioned, syrup covered waffle from an aunt following a sleepover when I was about 7 or 8 years old ruined me for the sticky sweet condiment. When I found this recipe, however, I knew I’d have to give it a try. It’s one of those classic flavor combinations folks just seem to love. Let me tell you, the cupcake version did not disappoint! Vanilla cake full of fall spices topped with buttery brown sugar streusel, finished off with an air maple buttercream? Sure to please the French toast lover in your life. This cake is pretty sweet so you can leave off the dusting of confectioners’ sugar- I just liked the way it looked. 😊 Happy baking! 

Ingredients:

For the streusel:

  • 1/2 cup brown sugar, packed
  • 1 tbsp sugar
  • 1/2 cup all-purpose flour
  • 1/2 tsp cinnamon
  • 1/4 tsp salt
  • 5 tbsps cold unsalted butter, cut into chunks

For the cupcakes:

  • 3 cups all-purpose flour 
  • 2 cups sugar
  • 1 tbsp baking powder
  • 2 tsps cinnamon
  • 1/2 tsp nutmeg
  • 1 tsp salt
  • 2 sticks unsalted butter, softened but still cool
  • 1 cup sour cream or plain yogurt
  • 4 eggs, at room temperature
  • 1 tbsp vanilla extract

For the frosting:

  • 2 sticks unsalted butter, softened
  • 4 cups confectioners’ sugar, plus more for sprinkling if desired
  • 1 1/2 tsps vanilla
  • 1/2 tsp salt
  • 1/3 cup maple syrup 
  • 2 tbsps heavy cream

Directions:

Begin by preheating oven to 350 degrees Fahrenheit and lining cupcake tins with liners, about 24. First, make the streusel. In a large bowl, combine the brown sugar, sugar, flour, cinnamon, and salt. Mix the cold butter into the mixture by hand, squeezing the pieces in to mix it. Cover and refrigerate until ready to use. 

In the bowl of your stand mixer, whisk together the flour, sugar, baking powder, cinnamon, nutmeg, and salt. Add the butter, sour cream, eggs, and vanilla and mix well on medium-low speed, until the mixture is smooth, about 30 seconds.

Place three tablespoons of batter In each liner, then sprinkle with streusel. Bake for 20 minutes, turning your tin(s) halfway through baking. Transfer to cooling rack.  

 

(Wow, I was slacking on the photo taking for this recipe! 😁)

While your cupcakes are cooling, prepare the frosting. In a clean stand mixer bowl, beat the butter on high speed until light and fluffy (about 2 minutes). Slowly add the sugar, 1 cup at a time, until combined. Add the vanilla, salt, and syrup.  

 

Finally, add the heavy cream and beat on high until smooth and fluffy, or about 4 minutes. Pipe onto cooled cupcakes and sprinkle with additional confectioners’ sugar, if desired. 

  

Recipe adapted slightly from Bakingdom.