Saturday, July 21, 2012

Blackberry Blueberry Bran Muffins

This weekend I made some super delish, super healthy, from-scratch bran muffins. We had some fresh blackberries and blueberries from our local farmers market that I added to the batter. The result was a moist muffin bursting with berry goodness. Wheat bran can be difficult to find. I buy it at Sprouts or Central Market and most organic grocery stores (and some Krogers) will carry it in the bulk food section. I scooped three cups in a bag, and it only cost 27 cents :-). Frugal and Yummy! You could substitute other fruits for the berries...I am sure strawberries or peaches would be tasty too. if you want to freeze these for a quick breakfast later in the week, simply put each cooled muffin in a ziploc bag in the freezer. When you are ready to eat them, take them out of the freezer and microwave for 30-45 seconds.

Enjoy dear friends! And remember that you are prayed for and precious to the heart of God!

Psalm 139:17-18

"How precious are your thoughts about me, O God. They cannot be numbered! I can’t even count them; they outnumber the grains of sand! And when I wake up,you are still with me!"

Blackberry Blueberry Bran Muffins

1 1/2 cups wheat bran (found in the bulk food aisle)
1 cup buttermilk
1 egg
1/2 cup vegetable or canola oil
1 teaspoon vanilla
1 cup self rising flour
1 cup light brown sugar
1/2 cup blackberries (fresh or frozen)
1/2 cup blueberries (fresh or frozen)
Preheat oven to 375 degrees F. Place muffin liners in pans or spray generously with cooking spray. In large mixing bowl, stir together bran and buttermilk. Add in egg, oil, brown sugar, and vanilla. Stir well to combine. Add in flour, blackberries, and blueberries. Stir well until completely moist. Using an ice cream scooper, fill muffin cups 2/3 of the way full with batter. Bake at 375 for 20-25 minutes, or until golden. Makes 15 regular size muffins or 8 jumbo muffins.

Friday, July 13, 2012

Almond Joy Banana Bread

My husband LOVES Almond Joy Candy Bars, so when I recently saw this recipe on one of my favorite baking blogs, I knew I had to make it ASAP.  I made it yesterday, and shared it with new friends who declared it to be as yummy as it sounds. I was able to get 2 large 9 inch loaves and two mini loaves out of the recipe. Several people commented that it looks like a Smurf fell into the batter (because of the blue almond joy pieces candies). But, I can  promise you that no smurfs were harmed in the making of this delcious treat.

The only changes that I made to the original recipe was using 2 instead of 4 bananas and making multiple loaves instead of one loaf and 28 muffins like the blog suggested. The result was still fabulous. The recipe with my changes is posted below or you can view the original recipe post here:

Blessings and JOY to you my friends!! In Christ there is JOY and ABUNDANT LIFE!

John 10:10

"I have come that they may have life, and have it to the full. "

Almond Joy Banana Bread

  • 3/4 c. butter, room temperature
  • 1 (8 oz.) cream cheese, softened
  • 3/4 c. sugar
  • 3/4 c. brown sugar
  • 2 very ripe bananas
  • 2 eggs
  • 1 tsp. vanilla
  • 1 tsp. baking powder
  • 1/2 tsp. baking soda
  • 1/2 tsp. salt
  • 3 c. flour
  • 1 1/4 c. coconut, divided
  • 1/2 c. chopped almonds
  • 1/2 c. miniature chocolate chips
  • 1 c. Almond Joy pieces candies
  • In a bowl, sift together the baking powder, baking soda, salt, and flour. Set aside. In a large mixing bowl, cream the butter, cream cheese, and sugars until creamy. Add the eggs, banana, and vanilla. Slowly add the flour mixture until all is incorporated. Stir in the miniature chips, candies, almonds, and 1 c. coconut.
  • Grease an 8 1/2 by 5 pan and fill 3/4 full. Sprinkle with the extra 1/4 c. coconut. Bake at 350* for 1 hour. Reduce heat to 325* and bake an extra 10 minutes. Cool on a wire rack for 10-15 minutes before releasing from the pan. Cool completely before cutting. Keep covered.
  • Note: Bake the extra batter in muffin liners for 28 minutes.

Our Russian Adoption Update....

We have recently updated our Adoption Blog. You can follow our journey there and find opportunities to support our family through prayer and the purchase of t-shirts and coffee. On the side bar of this blog, there are links to our online T-shirt Fundraising Store and our online Coffee Store.

Our precious Emma already lives in our hearts, and our family is excited about welcoming her into our home. You can follow along with that journey by reading here:

The links to our fundraising stores can be found:


Blessings and Love from our Family! We cherish every prayer and show of support!

Tuesday, July 3, 2012

Happy Fourth of July!! Try the Blueberriest Muffins Ever!

My parents are flying in tomorrow to help us celebrate Bella's 1st birthday. My Dad absolutely adores blueberry muffins, and I typically make him a big batch of my famous Blueberry Cream Streusel Muffins:

However, I saw this muffin recipe posted on the "Today's Housewife" blog and decided to give it a try. These muffins are delish and a bit lighter and definitely bluer and filled with more blueberries than my recipe. We love both recipes, and we will let my Dad be the deciding vote on which is his favorite :-). I posted the recipe below or you can see the original posting here:

You are prayed for and loved lavishly by your Heavenly Father! Have a Happy Fourth of July rejoicing in the freedom we have in Christ!

Galatians 5:1 "So Christ has truly set us free!"


Blueberriest Muffins

Makes: 24 muffins

3 cups all-purpose flour
1 cup sugar
2 teaspoons baking powder
½ teaspoon salt
1 teaspoon ground cinnamon
8 tablespoons (1 stick) unsalted butter, melted
3 large eggs
¾ cup milk
Grated zest and juice of 1 lemon
2½ cups fresh or frozen blueberries 

1. Preheat the oven to 375 degrees.
2. Line 12 large muffin cups with paper liners and spray the top part of the pan lightly with vegetable oil spray.
3. Combine or sift together the flour, sugar, baking powder, salt and cinnamon in a large bowl.
4. Whisk together the butter, eggs, milk, lemon zest, and lemon juice in a separate bowl until well combined.
5. Place 1 cup of the blueberries in the bowl of a food processor fitted with the metal blade and pulse several times until coarsely chopped. Stir the chopped berries into the egg mixture.
6. Add the egg mixture to the flour mixture and stir just until the dry ingredients are moist and blended. Do not overmix. Fold in the remaining whole blueberries.
7. Scoop the batter into the prepared muffin pan with a large ice cream scoop (⅓-cup scoop). The batter will come to the top of the paper liner or pan.
8. Bake 25 to 30 minutes, until lightly golden brown and a toothpick inserted in the center of a muffin comes out clean.
9. Remove from the oven and cool for 5 minutes. Turn the muffins out of the pan and serve immediately.

Monday, July 2, 2012

All Natural Cocoa Almond Granola

I have made her yummy whole wheat peanut butter pancakes and now this spectacular granola. This was a super easy recipe, and the granola is a great breakfast or snack because it is full of heart-healthy ingredients like almonds, cocoa, and honey. I made a double batch and plan to share with friends and neighbors. You can eat a bowl of this for breakfast, sprinkle some on your yogurt and fruit in the morning, or top your ice cream with some for dessert. Enjoy my friends!!

You are prayed for daily and loved completely by your Heavenly Father!! He sings and dances over you in love!

Zephaniah 3:17
"For the Lord your God is living among you.
He is a mighty savior.
He will take delight in you with gladness.
With his love, he will calm all your fears.
    He will rejoice over you with joyful songs.”

Cocoa Almond Granola    

(from the Joy the Baker Cookbook)


4 cups old-fashioned oats
1 cup raw whole almonds
1 cup sweetened shredded coconut
1 1/2 tsp ground cinnamon
2 Tbsp unsweetened cocoa powder
1/2 tsp salt
1/2 cup granulated sugar
1/4 cup honey
1/3 cup vegetable oil
2 Tbsp butter
2 tsp pure vanilla extract


Place racks in the center and upper third of the oven and preheat to 350 degrees F. Line 2 baking sheets with parchment paper and set aside. In a large bowl, toss together oats, almonds, coconut, cinnamon, cocoa powder and salt. Set aside. In a medium saucepan combine sugar, honey, oil and butter. Stir over medium heat until sugar dissolves and mixture begins to bubble. Remove from heat and stir in vanilla.   Pour the warm sugar mixture over the oat mixture and toss with a wooden spoon. Toss until all of the oats and almond bits are at least moistened by the sugar mixture. Spoon mixture onto prepared baking sheets and place in the oven. Bake granola for 30 minutes, removing from the oven to toss and stir 2 to 3 times during baking. Granola is done when it is toasted around the edges and fragrant. Remove from the oven and cool completely. Store in an airtight container, at room temperature, for up to 2 weeks.