Pumpkin Muffins

I regularly make Whole Wheat Banana Muffins. They are healthy and delicious. We eat them for breakfast and can easily pack them in the lunchbox for school. But when the season of fall arrives I like to switch them up a bit and make Whole Wheat Pumpkin Muffins. We all love them just as much as the banana muffins and it gives us all the feelings of fall.

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Whole Wheat Pumpkin Muffins

Ingredients

  • 1/3 cup of coconut oil
  • 1/2 cup of honey
  • 2 eggs
  • 2 cups of pumpkin
  • 1/4 cup of almond milk
  • 1 tsp. baking soda
  • 1 tsp. vanilla extract
  • 1/2 tsp. of salt
  • 1/2 teaspoon of cinnamon(You can definitely use pumpkin pie spice mix instead if you prefer.)
  • 1 tsp. of sugar
  • 1 3/4 cups of white whole wheat flour
  • 1/3 cup of quick oats plus a little more for sprinkling on top.
  • 1 tsp. of cinnamon sugar to sprinkle on top.

Directions

  1. Preheat the oven to 325 degrees. Grease all 12 cups of your muffin tin or use paper liners.
  2. In a large bowl, beat the coconut oil and honey together with a whisk. Add the eggs and beat well. Mix in the pumpkin and almond milk, followed by the baking soda, vanilla extract, salt, cinnamon and sugar.
  3. Add the flour and oats to the bowl and mix.
  4. Divide the batter evenly between the muffin cups, filling each cup about two-thirds full. Sprinkle the tops of the muffins with a small amount of oats. Then sprinkle with cinnamon sugar. Bake muffins for 22 to 25 minutes, or until a toothpick inserted into the center of a muffin comes out clean.

If you love these, you’ll also love…

Smoothie Bowl

Acai Bowl

Make Ahead

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Apple Cake🍎

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I have been waiting to get my hands on my mom’s old cookbook. It was in storage for a couple of years while they got settled here in Florida. Now that I have it, I may not give it back.

The first recipe that caught my eye was Apple Cake. She has a couple of apple cake recipes she pulled from newspapers from the 80’s. The funny thing is I never had apple cake and certainly don’t remember her ever making it. When I asked her about it she said she used to have it when she was a kid. And it was one of her favorites. So of course I had to make it for her and give it a try myself.

Being in Florida we don’t really have an apple picking season, but if we did, now would be the perfect time to start picking and baking! I love the smell of baked apples and the taste is even better.

This cake was just how my mom remembered it and delicious. The cake was moist and layered with baked apples. This is a recipe we should all keep on file to welcome the season of fall. 🍎

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Apple Cake

Ingredients

  • 8 McIntosh apples, cored, peeled and thinly sliced
  • 6 tbsp. of sugar
  • 3 tsp. of cinnamon
  • 3 cups of flour, unsifted
  • 2 cups of sugar
  • 4 eggs
  • 2 1/2 tsp. of vanilla
  • 1 cup safflower oil
  • 3 tsp. of baking powder
  • Chopped walnuts

Directions

  1. Preheat oven to 350
  2. In a large bowl combine the apples, 6 tablespoons of sugar, and the cinnamon.
  3. In a separate bowl combine the flour, 2 cups of sugar, eggs, vanilla, oil and baking powder. Mix until well blended.
  4. Spread one-half of the batter into a large square or rectangle baking pan. (I baked mine in a round pan, but I recommend a large square or rectangle baking dish.  Therefore, in each bite you will get less cake and more apples.)
  5. Add one-half of the apple mixture to form a layer.
  6. Then spread the remaining batter on top of the apples.
  7. Arrange the remaining apples and juices on top.
  8. Sprinkle with the chopped walnuts.
  9. Bake in the oven for about 45 minutes. This cooking time may vary depending on your oven and the size of your pan. You will need to check the batter to make sure it is done. If it is not done, keep baking at 5 minute intervals until the cake tester or butter knife comes out clean.

Enjoy this most lovely fall dessert. This apple cake would be perfect paired with coffee or tea or served at brunch.

 

 

Kid-Friendly Breakfast Options

I feel the most important meal for kids is breakfast. They get rushed off in the morning and are expected to have energy and patience all day while they learn. That certainly can’t be done with a big bowl of sugary cereal or a cinnamon bun in the morning. Way back before I had kids, I was a teacher. I saw the difference between the kids that had a nutritious breakfast and the kids that did not. I taught kindergarten for a year and I used to get in trouble because I let them rest their heads on their desks in the afternoon. Most of them fell asleep. Poor babies needed a nap. Guess that’s why I’m not a teacher anymore. Lol.

But there are so many options for breakfast. It just might take a little time to make ahead each week.

I made a list of some of my favorite kid friendly breakfast items that will give your kids the energy they need to keep their brains on point all day. Most of these can be used for  lunch or snack as well!

  1. Eggs: When I eat an egg or two I am full for hours. It gives me energy and prevents me from snacking like I usually do.
    • Hard Boiled Eggs: I usually hard boil 6 at a time. These can be eaten with just salt and pepper. I love them dipped in mustard as well. That’s usually my mid morning snack while I’m rushing around. My son loves deviled eggs. Take the yolk out and mix with a little mayo, salt and pepper. Put the mixture back in the middle of the egg and sprinkle with paprika! Hard boiled eggs can also be used in salads or to make a quick and simple egg salad. I also love chopped egg and avocado. Chop one of each and stir together. Sprinkle with Trader Joe’s everything but the bagel seasoning and that is it!
    • Egg Muffins: My son Dominick has two for breakfast and sometimes two before bed. He’s growing and always hungry!
  2. Muffins: The muffins we buy at the store have some scary ingredients.
    • Whole Wheat Banana Muffins: These are filled with great ingredients and taste delicious! I have to hide them from my husband because he will eat the whole batch! My son Matthew has one as a snack in school and two for dessert.
    • Pumpkin Muffins: It does not have to be Halloween to enjoy pumpkin muffins! If bananas aren’t your thing, all you need is a can or two of pumpkin…
  3. Bring on the smoothies! I am a big fan of smoothies. I love that you can customize them with what you like. They can also be prepared in freezer bags and placed in the freezer. All you have to do is dump it in the blender and add your choice of water, milk or juice!
    • Triple Berry Smoothie: This is my go to smoothie that everyone in my family enjoys. I love that there is a big bunch of spinach in it!
    • I also make a very simple kid friendly smoothie some mornings that both of my boys love. No spinach, but a great big serving of fruit!
      • 1 cup of frozen strawberries
      • 1 frozen banana
      • 1 cup of watermelon
      • 1/4 cup to 1/2 cup of orange juice
    • Smoothie Bowl: If sometimes your kids need a little bit more crunch to their breakfast, you can make a smoothie bowl. We enjoy it with peanut butter and granola with some sliced bananas on top. Simple and delicious.
    • Strawberries and Cream: The perfect deconstructed smoothie for your picky eater.

 


  • Ok, so this one simple tool will assist you with all these healthy foods.  Egg Slicer 
  • And if you are in the market for a muffin pan, this would be perfect!
  • This Ninja Blender will make your life a lot easier when you start on your smoothie adventure!

***My posts contain affiliate links and I will be compensated if you make a purchase after clicking on my links.***

 

Whole Wheat Banana Muffins

I have two boys that are growing fast and are always hungry. I’m constantly looking for healthy snacks and meals to fill their bellies up so they stop eating! I found a healthy recipe for whole wheat banana muffins about a year ago (I can’t find the original recipe online, but it was great) and we got hooked. I made very little changes and they are perfect! If you buy muffins in the store, the ingredients are actually scary… These ingredients are simple and clean! I usually freeze them for the week and pull out a few each day. I  have one for breakfast with my smoothie or throw one in the kids lunch boxes. My son Matthew will pick one of these muffins for dessert over ice cream, believe it or not. I am not a baker and these come out perfect every time!

***My posts contains affiliate links and I will be compensated if you make a purchase after clicking on my links.***

Whole Wheat Banana Muffins

Ingredients

  • 1/3 cup of coconut oil
  • 1/2 cup of honey
  • 2 eggs
  • 3 mashed ripe bananas
  • 1/4 cup of almond milk(I use almond coconut milk)
  • 1 tsp. baking soda
  • 1 tsp. vanilla extract
  • 1/2 tsp. of salt
  • 1/2 teaspoon of cinnamon
  • 1 tsp. of sugar
  • 1 3/4 cups of white whole wheat flour
  • 1/3 cup of quick oats plus a little more for sprinkling on top.
  • A handful of chopped walnuts
  • A handful of semi-sweet chocolate chips
  • 1 tsp. of cinnamon sugar to sprinkle on top.

Directions

  1. Preheat the oven to 325 degrees.  Grease all 12 cups of your muffin tin or use paper liners.
  2. In a large bowl, beat the coconut oil and honey together with a whisk. Add the eggs and beat well. Mix in the mashed bananas and almond milk, followed by the baking soda, vanilla extract, salt, cinnamon and sugar.
  3. Add the flour and oats to the bowl and mix.  Throw in the walnuts and/or chocolate chips(tastes great with both).  Mix them in.
  4. Divide the batter evenly between the muffin cups, filling each cup about two-thirds full. Sprinkle the tops of the muffins with a small amount of oats.  Then sprinkle with cinnamon sugar.  Bake muffins for 22 to 25 minutes, or until a toothpick inserted into a muffin comes out clean.

Other healthy breakfast options…

Pumpkin Muffins

My Go To Smoothie

Tropical Delight

Dump Cake

Summer always makes me think of pie. Two of my favorites are, Sweet Cherry Pie and Strawberry Apple Pie. I was looking for inspiration on Pinterest one day and came across Dump Cakes. Don’t let the name discourage you from making this. Knowing that I can dump ingredients in a bowl, bake it and serve a delicious, sweet dessert makes me love it even more. I will be experimenting and trying every dump cake combo I can. Right now these are my two favorites that are perfect to bring to a friend’s house for a BBQ. 

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You can serve either of these with Cinnamon Whipped Cream and a scoop of vanilla ice cream for some extra goodness… 

Dump Cake

Strawberry Dump Cake

Ingredients

  • 1 box of white cake mix
  • 2 cans(21 oz. each) of strawberry pie filling. I used Duncan Hines Comstock Simply Strawberry Pie Filling.
  • ½ cup of melted butter(1 stick)

OR

Apple Dump Cake

Ingredients

  • 1 box of yellow cake mix
  • 2 cans(21 oz. each) of apple pie filling. 
  • ½ cup of melted butter(1 stick)

Directions

  1. Preheat oven to 350 degrees.
  2. Grease a 9 X 13 glass pan.
  3. Empty both cans of pie filling into the pan and spread evenly.
  4. In a medium bowl combine the cake mix and butter. 
  5. Stir and break up any chunks with a wooden spoon or fork.
  6. Pour the cake mix over the pie filling and spread out evenly.
  7. Bake for 30 minutes or until the pie filling is bubbly and the top is golden brown. 
  8. You can serve it warm or cold. I made it the day before, let it cool, and covered it in the fridge. I topped each piece with a scoop of whipped cream and vanilla ice cream!

If you like this recipe you will also enjoy:

Annie’s Crumb Cake

Old Fashioned Ice Cream Soda 🥤

Apple Cake🍎

 

Strawberries and Cream

As a kid I was a very picky eater. I didn’t really like much and tortured my poor parents. Breakfast was a challenge. My sisters always laugh that my mom would go in the fridge and ask me for an hour, “Do you want this, how about this?” Well, in the morning if I didn’t want anything else she would cut up strawberries and bananas and cover them in a bowl with half and half. And it was delicious.

So years go by and I never thought about strawberries and cream, until one day I went to my friend Mita’s house for a quick visit. When I walked in she handed me a bowl of strawberries and cream. I took a double take because that was such a different thing to serve, especially since my mom used to make it for me as a kid. But it was so comforting and yummy. If you guys have picky eaters out there, chop up some fruit and cover it with cream. My mom did it a little different than Mita(she covered hers with heavy cream and I think sprinkled it with sugar), and I use almond milk and add granola, but all ways it would be great!

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Strawberries and Cream

Ingredients

  • 1 carton of chopped strawberries
  • 3 bananas, sliced
  • almond milk, half and half, heavy cream or any milk you prefer
  • your favorite granola(I prefer peanut butter granola)
  • Sugar to taste(optional)

Directions

  1. Place chopped fruit in each small bowl.
  2. Sprinkle with a little sugar(optional).
  3. Top with granola.
  4. Add your favorite milk and enjoy!

Easter with The Stylist Effect

I met Amy(The Stylist Effect) years ago in Connecticut. We were both attending Central Connecticut and clicked right away. We were both a little crazy back then and Italian. So right there that meant we’d be spending a lot of time together. On the weekends we would either head back to her parent’s house for some homemade fettuccine alfredo or stick around school. If we stayed at school for the weekend we always made a trip to this amazing Italian bakery in Hartford called Mozzicato Bakery. We would go for one thing and one thing only… Their bakery style pizza was off the charts! We would get as many slices as they had available and eat them cold out of the box all weekend. We were two Italian girls missing mom’s cooking, so a girl has got to eat! Right?

All these years later we decided to collaborate on an Easter blog. So, when I was thinking of what recipe I should share I thought about our love for our Italian family and our love for food!

This is a recipe based off of my Grandma’s Ricotta Pie. Ricotta Pie is also known as Italian Cheesecake and is traditionally served on Easter. I didn’t change much from my Grandma’s original recipe except that I baked it in a pie crust, removed the lemon juice and added chocolate chips. 

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***My posts contain affiliate links and I will be compensated if you make a purchase after clicking on my links.***

Grandma's Ricotta Pie

Ingredients

  • 3 cups of ricotta
  • ½  cup of sugar
  • 2 cups of heavy cream
  • 2 tablespoons of flour
  • 3 eggs separated(yolk in one bowl and whites in another)
  • ½  cup of semi-sweet chocolate chips plus a handful more to sprinkle on towards the end
  • 1 store bought pie crust
  • Confectioners sugar to sprinkle on top in the end.

Directions

  1. Preheat oven to 300 degrees.
  2. Place the ricotta In a large bowl. Beat until it is creamy.
  3. Add the sugar and flour to the ricotta. Beat thoroughly.
  4. Beat the egg yolks until lemon colored. It will take a little while, but they will get lighter in color. Be patient. Fold them into the ricotta.
  5. Pour the heavy cream into a medium bowl and beat until stiff peaks form. You will basically be making whipped cream at this point.
  6. Fold the heavy cream into the ricotta.
  7. Beat the egg whites until stiff and fold into the ricotta.
  8. Fold in the chocolate chips.
  9. Place your pie crust into a pie dish.
  10. Pour the ricotta filling into the dish. Don’t overfill. You may have some filling leftover.
  11. Bake for one hour.
  12. Top with the handful of chocolate chips.
  13. Turn the oven off and leave in for one more hour.
  14. When it is done it should be firm. Not jiggly.
  15. Let cool and refrigerate. Sprinkle with lots of confectioners sugar. Serve cold.

Enjoy and Hoppy Easter 🐰

A perfect Easter meal for me would start with an appetizer of Stuffed Mushrooms and an Italian Salad. The main course would be Lasagna Rolls. Of course ending with Grandma’s Ricotta Pie. Figuring out what to cook is the easy part, but what to wear I need help with. That’s where Amy comes in. She makes every outfit look effortless and classy. You can find Amy on Instagram @amy_guzzi_. She chose the perfect Easter outfit for a beautiful Spring day… 

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To read more about Amy and her love for fashion click here