An Artful Mind – Recipe: Caramel Banana Muffins

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My nieces have a beautiful playscape in their backyard.  For Mother’s Day, they decided to paint it, and they invited my littles to help.

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It was an exercise in patience because they started out with a plan, about 10 different colors, and very small paint brushes.  Grand things, however, always start off very small.

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After an hour or two of painting and not being able to see much progress, we took a lunch break.

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Aunt Darla returned with more paint, larger brushes, and a bigger plan.  Artwork does not just happen. It starts with an image, and that image is redesigned in our minds until it is just right.

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My oldest niece is more artistic than she realizes.  She painted the birds on the playscape. She did not sketch them first or copy them from a picture.  It was a design in her mind that she transferred to the playscape.

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Watching it all unfold out my backdoor was beautiful.

I will admit, there were moments when I wondered if my sister had lost her mind.  When I saw all of the colors, I certainly did not have the vision in my head that she had in hers.  Being artistic is a gift. My sister and my nieces have that gift.

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Their vision turned out perfectly perfect.

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I love it when food turns out equally as perfect.  When I saw Robyn’s recipe for Salted Caramel Banana Nut Muffins, I totally understood what she meant when she talked about waking up wanting something and heading into the kitchen to make it.   She had a vision and made it into a reality.  That reality jumped into my world when I saw the pictures one morning and knew that I needed those muffins in my life immediately.  When I realized that I did not have caramels, I panicked for a second, but then I decided that I could make my favorite Caramel Sauce and substitute it.  The result was an amazingly delicious, moist muffin that totally hit the spot.  Yes, all visions start off small before they turn into something grand.

Caramel Banana Muffins

Caramel Banana Muffins

Ingredients

Caramel Sauce

1 pound dark brown sugar (about 2 cups packed brown sugar)

2 sticks unsalted butter

1 14-ounce can sweetened condensed milk

2/3 cup dark corn syrup

1/3 cup pure maple syrup

1 1/2 teaspoons vanilla extract

1 teaspoon molasses

1/4 teaspoon salt

Banana Muffins

2 cups all-purpose flour

1 teaspoon baking powder

1/4 teaspoon baking soda

1/4 teaspoon salt

3 overly ripened bananas

1 cup sugar

2 eggs

1/2 cup melted butter

1 teaspoon vanilla

1 cup walnuts, optional

Instructions

    Preparing the Caramel Sauce
  1. Combine first 8 ingredients in heavy 2 1/2-quart nonstick saucepan.
  2. Stir over medium-low heat until sugar dissolves, about 15 minutes.
  3. Increase heat to medium-high; cook caramel at rolling boil, stirring constantly but slowly with clean spatula and occasionally brushing/scraping down sides of pan, about 12 minutes.
  4. Pour caramel into a bowl.
  5. Preparing the Muffins
  6. Preheat oven to 350 degrees.
  7. Place cupcake liners into 12 muffin tins.
  8. In a large bowl, mix together the flour, baking powder, baking soda, and salt. Set aside.
  9. In a mixing bowl, cream together bananas and sugar until smooth, about 3 minutes.
  10. Add eggs one at a time until creamy. Then, add melted butter and vanilla, incorporating completely.
  11. Slowly add in dry ingredients just until combined, being careful not to over mix.
  12. Fill each muffin tin three-fourths full. With the back of a spoon, make a small indention into the center of the batter.
  13. Spoon one teaspoon of salted caramel into the indention of the muffin batter.
  14. Bake for 15-20 minutes.
  15. Remove from oven and allow to cool for about 3 minutes before removing from muffin tins. Break open the first muffin to taste test it before biting into it in order to prevent any burns with the hot caramel sauce.
http://cookingformykids.com/2012/05/17/an-artful-mind-recipe-caramel-banana-muffins/

Recipe barely adapted from Add a Pinch’s Salted Caramel Banana Nut Muffins, using Our Best Bites’ Caramel Apple Sauce recipe.

Weekend Things – Recipe: Cinnamon Streusel Muffins

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We had such a beautiful, fun, busy weekend.  I do not always like busy.  But, this weekend, it was a good thing.

1.  My mother came to town Friday afternoon, and she made it in time for pizza and movie night.  There was only one problem.  My pizza dough did not turn out, and I did not know it until I opened the bread maker.  So, we tossed the dough, refrigerated the pizza sauce and toppings, and placed an order to have pizza delivered.  It was not as good, but it salvaged pizza night for us.

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We watched The Adventures of Tintin.  It was very cute.  I am not sure what I liked more….watching the movie or watching Ethan act out the movie along the way.  When it comes to movies, he does not miss a thing.  Gabriel and Summer do not, either.  Ethan is just much, much more animated about it.

2.  We had early morning soccer on Saturday.  On days that start with an 8 am soccer game, my insomnia comes in handy.  I was able to have egg and goat cheese taquitos and cinnamon streusel muffins made by the times Sean and Gabriel left at 7:20.

My Mother, Summer, Ethan, and I quickly ate and then jumped in the van to get to the fields.  It was a bit chilly when we arrived, but it turned into a beautiful morning.  Ethan had fun sitting by Nonna and playing on the iPad,

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Summer had fun playing with her friends,

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and I had fun getting to watch the game with both eyes, for a change, since my mom was there to help keep extra eyes on the littles.

3.  After soccer, my mother and I went to watch my oldest niece play volleyball while Sean took over all parenting and uncle duties by entertaining the littles and my youngest niece.  My niece’s team made it to the championship game and came in 2nd overall in the tournament.  It was so much fun to watch her play a sport that she loves.

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4.  My daddy arrived after the volleyball tournament, and he and my mother kept the littles while Sean and I went shopping for more landscaping and gardening supplies.

When we returned, we mulched, planted flowers, and started our garden.  Gardening is new to me, so I am crossing my fingers that it actually produces.

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5.  Sunday arrived in the blink of an eye.  We did a little shopping – Skylanders for Gabriel, Easter treats for next weekend, craft supplies for Summer’s birthday, and a special surprise for me – a new camera.  I am so excited to start learning how to use it.

6. We finished off Sunday with a little game of H-O-R-S-E.  In the absence of a basketball hoop, Sean and Gabriel improvised using a big ball box and different balls.  Proof once again that having fun and making memories is all in what you make of it, and, most of the time, it is all about just pure, simple, fun family time.

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7.  And, I also did some fun cooking this weekend, too.

I made this delicious Taco Soup.

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This Angel Food Cake.

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These Caramel Fudge Brownies.

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And, as I mentioned earlier, I made some delicious Cinnamon Streusel Muffins Saturday morning.  I was craving these Cinnamon Streusel Pancakes by Two Peas & Their Pod, but I knew that we needed something that we could eat on the go.  So, I married my muffin recipe to her streusel recipe, and the two lived happily ever after.

Cinnamon Streusel Muffins

Cinnamon Streusel Muffins

Ingredients

Muffins

1/2 cup unsalted butter

1 cup sour cream

1 teaspoon vanilla

1 egg

1 1/2 cups flour

1/3 cup sugar

1 1/2 teaspoons baking powder

1/4 teaspoon baking soda

1/4 teaspoon salt

Cinnamon Streusel Topping

1/2 cup all-purpose flour

1/2 cup brown sugar, packed

1 teaspoon ground cinnamon

6 tablespoons cold unsalted butter, cut into chunks

Instructions

    Preparing the Cinnamon Streusel
  1. In a medium bowl, combine flour, brown sugar, cinnamon, and butter.
  2. Mix together with your hands until you have a crumbly mixture.
  3. Set aside.
  4. Preparing the Muffins
  5. Preheat oven to 375.
  6. Line muffin tin with cupcake liners.
  7. Melt the butter in the microwave.
  8. Whisk in the egg, vanilla, and sour cream.
  9. In a separate bowl, mix together the sugar, salt, baking soda, baking powder, and flour.
  10. Pour the butter mixture into the flour mixture, and stir to combine.
  11. Using a cookie scoop, place a small scoop of muffin mix in each of the 12 liners.
  12. Top with about 1 tablespoon of the cinnamon streusel mixture.
  13. Add another small scoop of the muffin mixture.
  14. Sprinkle with another tablespoon of the cinnamon streusel mixture.
  15. Bake for 15-20 minutes.
  16. Remove from oven and cool in tins.
http://cookingformykids.com/2012/04/02/weekend-things-recipe-cinnamon-streusel-muffins/

Have a great week!

I linked up at the following:

Add a Pinch for Mingle Monday

Everyday Mom’s Meal for Sunday Supper

Talking Dollars and Cents for Muffin Monday

Delightfully Dowling for Mangia Mondays

Jam Hands for Recipe Sharing Monday

 

Back to Reality – Recipe: Peanut Butter Muffins

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I loved every single second of Spring Break.  We had fun up until the last minute…even doing yard work and starting our first garden was fun.  It was all about just being together. Photobucket Photobucket Photobucket The littles really got into St. Patrick’s Day this year, too. Photobucket They came into my room with their little pinchers saying, “Momma, you better get on your green unless you want to be pinched.”  Note to self: buy green pajamas for next year. Photobucket And, they got a real kick out of the green chocolate chip pancakes and green smoothie. Photobucket It was a fun day, and I was glad that it came at the end of spring break, after our week of fun.  It was just a nice way to top it all off. Photobucket Photobucket Now I sit here this morning missing my boys terribly, I am trying to hold on to what I texted Gabriel last night, as he was struggling with leaving me today.  “You are always with me, even when we are not  together.  You are a part of me.”  That is true…but I sure do miss their smiling faces this morning. Yesterday, as I was starting to prepare for today, I made these Peanut Butter Muffins  that I had found at American Family via Pinterest.  They are low in sugar, have protein, and are a good easy breakfast or snack.  It made me feel better to know that the boys would have something homemade for their snack today.  I know that they will think of me and smile when they open their snack container.  They are always with me…and I am always with them, too.

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Back to Reality – Recipe: Peanut Butter Muffins

Back to Reality – Recipe: Peanut Butter Muffins

Ingredients

2 cups all-purpose flour

1/4 cup sugar

2 tablespoons baking powder

1/2 teaspoon salt

1/3 cup peanut butter (crunchy or smooth

1 cup whole milk

1 egg, beaten

3 tablespoons canola oil

Instructions

  1. Preheat oven to 350° F.
  2. Place cupcake liners into muffin tins.
  3. Combine the flour, sugar, baking powder, and salt in a large mixing bowl.
  4. Add the peanut butter and combine until it has reached a coarse, crumbly texture.
  5. Stir in the milk, egg, and butter.
  6. Fill each muffin cup about ¾ full with batter.
  7. Bake 15 minutes or until light golden brown.
  8. Cool on a wire rack.
http://cookingformykids.com/2012/03/19/back-to-reality-recipe-peanut-butter-muffins/

Enjoy!  And, have a great week!

I linked up at the following:

Add a Pinch for Mingle Monday

A Southern Fairytale