orange poppy seed muffins.

it was winter time. 2012. it was nick’s birthday and i had spent hours of my evening baking him orange poppy seed muffins with a sticky orange glaze, just the way his grandmother used to bake him the orange bread. only she had put the essence in by accident, thinking it was almond. they loved it & so it stuck. it’s one of his favorites still.



i had scoured sites to find a close match to her recipe because i was unable to find the exact copy. the recipe i did find, nick had said was the closest i would be able to come. he had fallen asleep once it got too late because the kitchen was a mess and he could see that it would still be hours yet before i was finally finished. he thought i was just making a birthday cake & was oblivious to what kind.



after carefully dipping each muffin in the bowl of sweet drizzle, rounding them all off in large circles in the air to stop the coating from dripping everywhere & setting them onto the wax paper. . . .i placed one muffin — the best looking muffin — on a small saucer and dug a candle inside. i [slipped into something more comfortable *can i say that on here? yeah, i can. it’s my blog.*], lit the candle and quietly headed up the stairs to wake him. i gave him the special muffin in bed and he thought they were the greatest. it’s one of my favorite memories we share.


this year i decided to make the muffins again, alongside the individual german chocolate cakes. i went searching for the recipe but must have deleted it before our family vacation when i entirely cleaned up my e-mail. AH! i literally gave myself a stomach ache worrying over losing the recipe. it was the best recipe. i freak out over things like this — food. and recipes. and baking. recipes are my life. eventually after hours of looking, i just decided to let it go and move on, begin searching for a new recipe that would hopefully be just as close to his grandmother’s. this one certainly wasn’t.


these muffins were very dense but i did love the orange flavor throughout. i trust most of the recipes on sally’s baking addiction — they’re typically fool-proof — and i had simply just replaced the lemon with orange [using the same amount of orange zest and freshly squeezed juice in place of the lemon in the recipe]. i did not at all care for the glaze as the icing sugar was really overpowering & made the orange come through as sort of bitter. however, the glaze came from a different site.


to show you all just how irresponsible i have been with saved recipes, i did not learn my lesson the first time when deleting the original orange poppy seed e-mail and likewise, nor did i save the recipe that i used for this glaze. o. m. g. it was just icing sugar, some almond extract, orange juice and perhaps that was it. sorry to whomever may have put that simple recipe together. . . .sorry i can no longer give you credit. i did list the recipe link used for the muffins below. xx.



recipe courtesy — sally’s baking addiction.

vegan sticky buns.

these are a must-bake.



they are from minimalist baker, have a small amount of ingredients & are completely vegan which is the greatest part of all.



a few of mine collapsed in the center of the pan during baking — but it didn’t take away from the taste at all. i also rolled my rectangle out oddly and wound up with 17 rolls instead of 10 or less. they were like mini-buns which was actually better!



i actually used equal parts organic spelt flour & whole-wheat organic pastry flour. i didn’t want to mess around with unbleached all-purpose at all. they turned out deliciously. although she mentions several different flour combinations for you to try in her recipe! so. . . .what i’m saying is — do you.


i’m keeping this one super short — as my schedule, with the egg retrieval & several other appointments all falling this week, is completely & utterly full and i am running on a very small amount of sleep. the recipe link is listed below! enjoy! xx.

recipe courtesy — minimalist baker.


banana pancakes, V | GF

these pancakes certainly aren’t very flattering in this photo but they are completely fantastic if you are wanting to eat breakfast a bit cleaner.


i follow the most incredible vegan, raw foodie on IG [papaya_sunshine] and nearly all of her recipes for fruit bowls, smoothies, drinks & baked goods are free from refined sugars, processed ingredients, preservatives & junk. many of them are plant-based and raw. i love them all. i’ve tried a few & wanted to share this one so that, not only can you try these scrumptious g’morning cakes, but you can go check out all of her things. the link to her IG is listed at the very bottom & you can find her specific recipes via posts on her page. i listed out her exact recipe for these particular cakes to make it easier since there is not a direct website to link to. this recipe is just as it appears on her IG feed. xx.

banana pancake recipe from paypaya_sunshine

1 cup of spelt flour ( all purpose gluten free works well too )

2 tsp of baking powder

1 banana

Pinch of cinnamon

1 teaspoon of vanilla extract

1 1/4 cup of almond milk

1-2 tbs of coconut sugar (optional)


In a bowl mash the banana as much as possible so that it’s runny, then add the vanilla and almond milk and mix well. Then add the dry ingredients and combine thoroughly until you have a batter. Heat the pan with a little coconut oil and add little dollops of the mixture to the pan. I use pancake rings because I’m rubbish at getting neat round stacks!! Wait until little bubbles start to form then flip the pancakes. For warm chocolate sauce simply warm together 2 tbs of coconut oil, 2 tbs of maple syrup and 2 tbs of raw cacao powder ( I get mine from superfoodiesuk ) over a low heat in a pan and mix well until you have a smooth chocolate consistency. Pour over pancakes and enjoy!

recipe courtesy — papaya_sunshine.


cinnamon swirl bread.

the day was absolutely filled. every time slot on the calendar and moment in between were [very gladly] sucked up by extracurricular activities, sporting events or classroom volunteer time. drop off at the school. grocery shopping in the morning. field trip in the early afternoon. pick up at the school. football game. ballet [which just so happened to also be parent’s night]. and then another pick up at the school. the last one of the day. phew. enough to send my head in a whirl wind of business. i realized that morning was the first time i had maybe sounded somewhat like a ‘housewife’ when i wrote to my sister frantically — ‘can’t hang out — today is field trip chaperone day — football game & then ballet (parent’s night) — AAHH! thank goodness i made a crock pot dinner this morning.’ wtf? that isn’t like me. i don’t sound like that. it just sort of spilled out. . . .’thank goodness for crock pots.’ whoa. who knew i’d be thankful for them? anyway — i had. i had made a crock pot dinner. red chili. and because of the business of the day, i did not have time to jot down everything i threw in my chili. thus no recipe for the chili. sorry. a lot of peppers and tomatoes and garlic and onion and whatever else i may have on hand that can go. however, last-minute i realized that everyone was going to want cinnamon rolls with their chili. i’m not sure if that’s a mid-west thing or a hillbilly thing or just a thing. a thing that happens all over. but i have met people who think it’s the absolute strangest combination in the world and i’ve met others who know exactly what i’m talking about and love the two together. i didn’t have time for cinnamon rolls. i just didn’t. but what i did have time for [or so i thought] were two giant loaves of homemade cinnamon swirl bread. **shouldhavejustgonewiththecinnamonrollsseriously**




have you ever made homemade bread? turns out. . . .it’s an all-day sort of endeavor. and i was a complete idiot. not only did everyone complain that there wasn’t ‘frosting like there is on cinnamon rolls’ but nobody got a slice of bread until about 9 o’clock – yes, pm. which happens to be way, way past our children’s bed times. earlier that day, sort of in between the bread ‘process’ i picked eva up from school, running — and covered from head to toe in flour. story of my life. i come up with grandiose plans at the very last-minute, with the best of intentions mind you — but i’m always scrambling around in a mad dash. it’s okay. because sometimes, that’s how the best things turn out to be. so here this is — the recipe is not mine. and the bread is delicious.



i would highly encourage anyone who makes this to follow her instructions at the way, way bottom of the recipe and halve the ingredients [making one loaf instead of two] unless you plan to feed an insane, starving army a whole lot of bread (or freeze a bit). it only keeps for four days. and in the days to follow the baking process, we wound up making some of ours into incredible french toast. xx


recipe courtesy of — honey & jam.

blackberry cobbler.

i don’t often make desserts to follow dinners.



mostly because i couldn’t ever find the time. between work & extracurricular activities and sports for the kids — dinners were difficult enough to manage on week nights.


however, now it’s blackberry season here in Colorado [woo hoo!!] & i wanted to see how this recipe would hold up.



it. was. delicious. like quite possibly the best dessert ever. ever-ever.



especially served piping hot out of the oven. the kids went absolutely mad over them & they can be very tough to please!


i am so thankful i came across this on one of the blogs i follow! i think i’ll forever store it to use again & again; it would be a fantastic dinner party dessert. you can find a link for this recipe [& the blog] below.


recipe courtesy of — the baking goddess.

cinnamon rolls.

the very same weekend that i decided to diligently start and finish the american flag, nick made homemade cinnamon rolls for breakfast.



i had been wanting to make homemade cinnamon rolls again [after my first attempt with pumpkin rolls in 2013] but asked him if he would be interested because all of my time was focused elsewhere on my craft project.



the only part i helped with was the drizzle at the very end. the kids assisted in the kitchen a tiny bit. . . .but them helping with baking|cooking usually means adding together a few ingredients quickly and then running off to delve into whatever else it is they may be doing that’s more important.


nick didn’t think the rolls turned out well & he was way too hard on himself after they were finished. . . .but the entire family loved them! we sort of devoured them.




classic buttery scones.

omg. omg. omg. HO — LEE — SHIT. this is the best recipe i have eeevvver used. hands down. i have never had anything turn out to be so delightful & wonderful in every single way.


these were incredible. they were light & fluffy, buttery, sweet, salty, moist, soft — everything all in one small scone. you have to, HAVE TO, HAAAVE TO try these. once again, this recipe is courtesy of jane from jane’s patisserie []. i have yet to come across one recipe on her blog that doesn’t turn out perfectly. she mentions in this entry that it’s so very important you do not over work the dough once you’ve tipped it out to finish mixing & begin cutting. i was extra delicate with the dough and only folded it a few times over to finish mixing. i really think this helped with the softness in the end so make sure you follow this tip!


i made these for mother’s day. we had planned to do afternoon tea at the boulder dushanbe teahouse but today turned out to be the second mother’s day in a row that we woke to the ground covered & trees heavily weighed down with pretty snow. instead of driving an hour to the teahouse, we decided to host. i have so many high-quality, tasty teas from san fran & different places. . . .there really wasn’t any reason to leave home. & with this [hopefullyonedayawardwinning] scones recipe in hand, i’m not sure i’ll ever visit anywhere for afternoon tea again. 🙂 i made lichee black [a dessert tea], blue people ginseng oolong, organic chai & chocolate puerh [which i made quite a large kettle of as i knew the chocolate would go quickly].


nick & i were floored when we tasted these.


i tried to explain to my family that i had made traditional english scones [which would not at all compare to the ruined scones they’ve tried in the states — overly full of processed chocolates, fruits, nuts & ALL completely overworked, tough & too dry to swallow without liquid to wash them down]. only. . . .here’s what happens in america when you make classic scones for your family. a couple of people get it. they enjoy the clotted cream and the jam and the whole bit.


the remaining people look at them and automatically think ‘KFC biscuits, what a delicacy!’ i’m fairly certain several people thought these were fast food biscuits sitting on a fancy platter. yeah. biscuits. nick & i laughed about it privately and didn’t say a word to them. i secretly felt embarrassed for those people.


i think my mum enjoyed herself [and the scones & tea] which is what mattered most.