Banana Pumpkin Muffins

banana pumpkin muffins

I want fall….like really really really want to FEEL fall. And I am trying. I have already started my daughter’s costume, Elsa of course, we already have one pumpkin and I have 2 halloween posts bakes and photographed. But the 100 degree weather along the coast and no a/c is NOT helping. We are melting over here.

pumpkin banana muffins

Yah sure it is easy to just head over to the beach, you say. But no it is not. Not after you hit the beaches this past weekend along with every other San Diegian only to be face slapped by not one but TWO waves. The waves were so big and hitting really close to shore. Even though I am a really good swimmer, I somehow got caught in a gigantic wave. My husband said that all he saw were my legs in the air and me doing a double cartwheel in the wave. Only to stand up and be taken down again. Can you say totally humiliated….yup, that’s how I felt.

fall breakfast muffins

So, in other words, Fall please hurry up. I am too embarrassed to go to the beach again for the next 10 years and we are melting. All I want is to wear a light sweater and be able to turn my oven on!!!! As soon as I am able to do so, I will be making these again. They were perfect for a quick breakfast on the go. Not overly sweet, they also made a great afternoon snack! Thanks for listening to my rant. I promise to be more positive once it is not sweltering hot!



Banana Pumpkin Muffins

Banana Pumpkin Muffins


  • 3 cups all-purpose flour
  • 2 teaspoons baking soda
  • 2 teaspoon baking powder
  • 1 teaspoon salt
  • 3 bananas, mashed
  • 1 cup pumpkin puree
  • 1 cup white sugar
  • 2 egg
  • 2/3 cup oil
  • 2/3 cup packed brown sugar
  • 4 tablespoons all-purpose flour
  • 1/2 teaspoon ground cinnamon
  • 2 tablespoons butter softened
  • 1/3 cup sliced almonds


  1. Preheat oven to 375 degrees. Line 2 muffin tins with cupcake liners.
  2. In a bowl combine flour, baking powder and soda, and salt. Mix together and set aside.
  3. Mash bananas and combine with pumpkin, sugar, eggs and oil. Mix well.
  4. Gradually add dry ingredients to the wet ingredients and mix until just combined.
  5. Fill each muffin tin 2/3 of the way full.
  6. In a separate bowl, combine brown sugar, flour, cinnamon and butter. Mix until small size crumbs form.
  7. Sprinkle a spoonful of topping on each unbaked muffin and top with a sprinkle of sliced almonds.
  8. Bake at 375 degrees for 18-20 minutes.

All American Apple Pie


I spent a lot of time with my grandparents growing up. In fact, it was there that I learned how to cook and acquired my love of food. My grandfather always had every fruit tree possible growing in his backyard. At the beginning of each season, we would go outside with our green basket and pick fruit from the tree that was currently producing.


With the fruit, we would always make a pie. Because pie, as grandfather always said, is the most simplistic dessert that really allows the fruit to shine. One of my favorite pies was the apple pie. Simple with a slight crunch, it always goes so perfectly with vanilla ice cream!


Although we only just moved into a home with a bunch of fruit trees, our apple tree is not so happy right now. It may take a year our two of my husband’s love to begin producing the way it should. I still want my children to have the same sort of memories that I have had so we went apple picking this past weekend. While checking my email, I came across an article about an apple pie recipe by Alex Van Buren rom Yahoo! Food that blew my mind. It was identical to my grandfather’s recipe and looked just like it! I was over the moon!!! I could seriously spend hours looking at Yahoo! Food….and never actually get to checking my email!


 With Yahoo! Food, you can pore over photos, surprising and sophisticated recipes, stories on the top food trends, the best cooking tools, new techniques, and everything you need to feel inspired.


Yahoo! Food has brought together an all-star team of editors, including Managing Editor Sarah McColl; former Bon Appetit senior web editor, Julia Bainbridge; Rachel Tepper who joined from Huffington Post Food; and Alex Van Buren, who has written for Bon Appetit, Gourmet, and Martha Stewart Living. Yahoo! Food is also partnering with some of the best publishers in the business to bring you their expertise and ideas, including Bon Appetit, Epicurious, Food52, Martha Stewart and more. It is seriously a great online resource for food trends, recipes, and articles. It is my go to spot for great reading!

All American Apple Pie


  • 1/4 cup all-purpose flour (spooned and leveled), plus more for rolling dough
  • 1 recipe (2 disks) Basic Pie Dough
  • 2 Tbsp. freshly squeezed lemon juice (from 1 lemon)
  • 4 lbs. (8 to 10) apples, such as Empire, Granny Smith, Gala, Cortland, Winesap, or a mix
  • 3/4 cup sugar
  • 1 tsp. ground cinnamon
  • 1/2 tsp. salt
  • 2 Tbsp. unsalted butter, cut into small pieces


  1. For the rest of the recipe, please visit Yahoo! Food

I was selected for this opportunity as a member of Clever Girls Collective and the content and opinions expressed here are all my own.

Peach Pie Bites

peach bites

A couple of months ago I attended a tour with the California Farm Water Coalition (read more about it here). Our first stop was to Wawona Frozen Foods. After the tour, we visited their adorable little retail store.

peach pie bites

They gave us a few samples of their products. One of these samples were their Peach Jewels, a bite size peach pie cookie. It was absolutely delicious and everyone in our group bought a package.  Sadly, these Jewels are not yet available for purchase outside of their store just yet.

mini peach pies

Luckily for you though I have recreated them!!! These little bites are just as delicious as the day I tried them at Wawona! This is the perfect little bite to capture summer. The peaches diced then cooked in a syrup then delicately placed into a buttery pie pillow where they are then wrapped up and cooked until golden. While cooking, the syrup slightly caramelizes under the bites making for a bit of a caramel crunch mixed with the peaches and crust.

bite sized peach pies

Make an extra batch and freeze them for cold winter evenings where all you want to think about is summer! Peach Pie Bites are delicious no matter what the season is!


Peach Pie Bites

Yield: Makes 2 dozen

Peach Pie Bites


    Peache Filling
  • 2 peaches, skin removed and finely chopped
  • 1 tablespoon sugar
  • 1/3 cup water
  • Pie Crust
  • 2 1/2 cups all purpose flour
  • 1/2 teaspoon salt
  • 16 tablespoons (2 sticks) very cold butter
  • 6 tablespoons ice cold water


  1. In a small sauce pan combine peaches, sugar and water.
  2. Cook on medium heat stirring occasionally until the water begins to reduce and becomes more like a syrup.
  3. Remove from heat, set a side and cool until cool enough to chill for 30 minutes.
  4. To make the pie crust, combine flour and salt.
  5. Cut butter into thin slices and add to flour. Combine flour and butter with a pastry cutter or two knives until flour is crumbly.
  6. Add in ice cold water and mix until all the flour has been incorporated.
  7. Form 1 to 2 inch balls.
  8. Flatten balls with hands or rolling pin in circles.
  9. Place a few chunks of cold peaches into the center of the round.
  10. Bring all of the sides together and pinch shut.
  11. Place on a parchment lined cookie sheet.
  12. Cut a small X on the top of the peach bite.
  13. Once you have formed all of your peach bites, freeze bites for 1 hour.
  14. To bake, preheat oven to 350 degrees.
  15. Before baking, baste each bite with egg wash and sprinkle with sugar.
  16. Bake at 350 degrees for 12-15 minutes or until golden brown.


Tuna Enchiladas #BumbleBeeB2S

albacore enchiladas

I don’t know about you but I welcomed back to school with open arms. However, it is somewhat bittersweet. With back to school also comes after school activities and sports which means little time in the evenings to prepare a hearty, healthy meal. I often find myself scrambling to figure something out for dinner which usually ends up with a phone call to the local pizza joint. This year however, I have vowed to become more prepared, and to start I have stocked up on Bumble Bee® Premium Light Tuna in Water. 

Tuna enchiladas

With only a few hours to get dinner on the table, homework and bath time done, it is hard to keep things running smoothly. This is why I love Bumble Bee® Premium Light Tuna in Water. Not only is it a delicious protein, but it is easy! Keep a few pouches or cans in your pantry for quick and easy lunches and dinners! 


When I was in Switzerland and Italy, I was introduced to tuna in a whole new light. Many Italians put tuna on their pizza and in their spaghetti sauce. You would be pleasantly surprised at how delicious it is!!! In fact, it makes a weekly appearance on our dinner table and is often requested by the kids!

tuna enchiladas 2

I figured that since I loved tuna in Italian dishes, it must be just as delicious incorporated into a Mexican dish. Boy was I right, my kids and husband scarfed this down like they had never had a dinner in their life! Tuna in enchiladas is fantastic!!! No need to defrost and pre-cook the chicken here, simply substitute with Bumble Bee® Premium Light Tuna in Water and you will have a healthy, delicious meal on the table in less than 30 minutes! That’s a win win in my book!

Check out the Bumble Bee® website for more delicious meals.

tuna enchiladas 3

Tuna Enchiladas

Tuna Enchiladas


  • 12 corn or flour tortillas
  • 2 cups red enchilada sauce
  • 15 ounces Bumble Bee® Premium Light Tuna in Water
  • 1/2 sour cream or greek yogurt
  • 1/4 green salsa
  • 1 cup shredded cheddar cheese
  • Shredded lettuce, sour cream, and avocado for garnish.


  1. Preheat oven to 350 degrees.
  2. In a bowl, combine tuna, sour cream or yogurt, and green salsa. Set aside.
  3. In a microwave safe plate warm tortillas for 1 minute.
  4. Carefully (they are hot) fill each tortilla with tuna filling and roll.
  5. Place rolls in a baking dish. Continue until dish is full.
  6. Cover rolls with enchilada sauce and cheddar cheese.
  7. Bake at 350 degrees for 20 minutes.
  8. Garnish with shredded lettuce, sour cream and avocado if desired.

I was selected for this opportunity as a member of Clever Girls Collective and the content and opinions expressed here are all my own.


Raspberry Mousse Lemon Cake

raspberry lemon cake 5

As the season begins to change, and the temperatures begin to drop (like 1 degree here in San Diego) I get more and more excited about fall.  I embrace seeing Halloween decorations in August and begin day dreaming about apple picking and carving pumpkins before Labor Day.

slice cake

However as much as I adore fall, leaving behind summer produce is bittersweet.  The days of ridiculously inexpensive berries are now dwindling, and we are no longer craving light and fresh summer salads for dinner (well I still am!)

raspberry lemon cake

So as my posts begin to change color, I thought that I would leave you with one last raspberry dessert of the season. Raspberry Mousse and Lemon Gelée cake. Quite the mouthful, but utterly delicious. The light and airy raspberry mousse has been a favorite of mine this year. Alone, it is the perfect palate cleanser, and combined with lemon, like my Lemoncello Raspberry Tiramisu, it knocks your socks off.

rasberry lemon cake

Make sure you make this one last time before the fresh berry prices go up. Then again, it could be made all year long using frozen Raspberries!!!!

raspberry lemon cake 3

Raspberry Lemon Gelée Cake

Raspberry Lemon Gelée Cake


    Lemon Cake
  • 2 sticks butter (softened)
  • 1 1/2 sugar
  • 1 teaspoon vanilla extract
  • 2 whole eggs, room temperature
  • 3 egg yolks, room temperature
  • 2 tablespoons lemon juice
  • 2 tablespoons grated lemon peel
  • 2 1/2 cups flour
  • 1/2 tsp baking powder
  • 1/2 tsp baking soda
  • 1 tsp salt
  • 1 cup buttermilk, room temperature
  • Raspberry Mousse
  • 3 tablespoons water
  • 2 1/4 teaspoons powdered gelatin
  • 2 cups fresh raspberries
  • 1/2 cup sugar
  • 2 cups heavy cream, very cold
  • Raspberry Gelée
  • 1 tablespoon clear gelatin powder
  • 1/3 cup water
  • 2 1/2 cups raspberries, fresh or frozen
  • 1/2 cup sugar
  • 1 1/2 teaspoons fresh lemon juice


  1. Preheat oven to 350 degrees.
  2. Grease 2 8 inch round pans.
  3. Make sure all your ingredients are room temperature.
  4. In a separate bowl, combine flour, salt, baking powder and soda and mix.
  5. In your mixer fitted with the paddle attachment, blend butter, sugar and vanilla lemon juice and lemon peel at medium speed until pale and fluffy.
  6. Add eggs, one at a time, scraping the bowl after each addition.
  7. Reduce speed to low and add a cup of flour followed by 1/3 of the buttermilk.
  8. Repeat this 3 times, until you have incorporated all the flour and buttermilk.
  9. Pour into pans evenly and bake about 20 minutes or until a knife is inserted and when remove is clean.
  10. Raspberry Mousse
  11. To make the raspberry mousse, puree berries in a blender until smooth.
  12. In a small bowl combine water and gelatin, set aside.
  13. Once smooth, pass through a fine mesh sieve to remove pulp. You should be left with around 1 cup of puree.
  14. In a medium sized pot, heat sugar and raspberry puree on medium heat.
  15. Once bubbled begin to form around the edge, add in gelatin mixture and stir until it has melted.
  16. Remove from heat and allow to cool until you can touch it, about 20 minutes.
  17. Once puree is at room temperature, beat heavy cream on high until stiff peaks form.
  18. Fold in whipped cream with raspberry puree.
  19. Assembly:
  20. Once cake has cooled, place 1 layer in a springform pan.
  21. Cover lemon cake with 1/2 of the raspberry mousse.
  22. Cover mousse with 2nd cake layer and repeat with mousse.
  23. Cover and refrigerate while making Gelée.
  24. Raspberry Gelée
  25. Purée raspberries until smooth
  26. Mix in water, sugar and lemon juice.
  27. Add gelée and pour over cake.
  28. Refrigerate for at least 2 hours.

12 Tips To Make You One Smart Cookie

kitchen hacks

This year my daughter and I are starting a Girl Scouts troop! I am so excited! I seriously cannot wait for graham cracker milk box gingerbread houses, Thanksgiving volunteering, and of course cookie sales!! I was always one of the top sellers in my troop because I had an uncle that would buy them for all his clients.

So many kids these days don’t really know where their food comes from. This will be a very important lesson in the troop. I want the girls to garden, learn fruit and vegetable seasons, and of course learn to cook. I also want to teach them, and you, how to become a “Smart Cookie” in the kitchen! To learn more about all the fun experiences girls and volunteers have at Girl Scouts, visit

 Here are twelve “Kitchen Hacks” that will either enhance your food or make your life easier! 

coffee mate

1. One of my favorite solves is Coffee-Mate® Girl Scouts® creamers because now I can enjoy all the delicious cookie taste, all year long! Flavors come in Girl Scouts® Caramel & Coconut flavor and Girl Scouts® Thin Mints® flavor, and are both equally delicious!

butter pasta

2. To make a delicious and creamy homemade spaghetti sauce, throw in 4 tablespoons of butter right before serving the sauce over the pasta. This makes the sauce smooth and decadent. 

3. Cook pasta 1 minute less than the package instructions and cook it the rest of the way in the pan with sauce.

shredded meat

4. To shred beef, chicken, or pork quickly, put slow cooked roast in your electric mixer fitted with the whisk attachment and turn it on slowly for about 30 seconds. Then voila- perfectly shredded meat! frozen tomato paste

5. The next time you open a can of tomato paste, don’t throw it away! Freeze extra tomato paste, pesto, or chicken broth in freezer ice cubes to avoid waste.

frozen meat

6. If your recipe requires thinly slices meat (think stir fry) freeze your meat for about 10-15 minutes before slicing. This makes it much easier to slice!


7. Store lettuce, herbs, and all other greens in a damp paper towel. This keeps the moisture in the greens and fresher for days.

cookie dough log

8. The next time you make cookie dough, make a double batch and freeze ½ batch in a log. Bring to room temperature and slice, bake, and serve. These logs will stay good frozen for up to 3 months.

cake flour

9. The next time a recipe calls for cake flour and you are out, make it yourself! Simply measure out 1 cup of all-purpose flour, and then remove 2 tablespoons of the flour. Replace with 2 tablespoons cornstarch. Sift flour and cornstarch together to create cake flour!


10. Homemade buttermilk is easier than you think. Substitute it in pancakes, muffins, waffles or any baked good! Pour milk into a 1 cup measure cup, leaving about 1/4 inch space to the top. Pour in 1 teaspoon of white vinegar. Gently stir and sit for about 3 minutes…then you have buttermilk!

brownie mix ins

11. The next time you make brownies or a cake and want to add some mix-ins, coat the mix-ins with a little flour. This will keep the mix-ins from sinking to the bottom of the pan!

bread in a bag

12. To keep cookies fresh for days, place in an airtight container or bag with a slice of bread. The bread will absorb all of the air in the bag and will become hard as rock, leaving the cookies as soft as the day you baked them.

For more fun tips, activities, or recipes visit Nestle® Coffee-mate®  on their Facebook, Twitter, and Instagram. You can also find more information about the Girl Scouts of the USA here.  Also, make sure to follow me and Nestle® Coffee-mate® on Pinterest as we pin a ton more Kitchen Hacks!

Do you have a favorite “Life Hack”? Would you like to win a $100 Visa gift card? Simply comment below with your favorite “Life Hack” and you will be entered to win!

Sweepstakes Rules:

 No duplicate comments.

You may receive (2) total entries by selecting from the following entry methods:

  1. Leave a comment in response to the sweepstakes prompt on this post
  2. Tweet (public message) about this promotion; including exactly the following unique term in your tweet message: “#SweepstakesEntry”; and leave the URL to that tweet in a comment on this post
  3. Blog about this promotion, including a disclosure that you are receiving a sweepstakes entry in exchange for writing the blog post, and leave the URL to that post in a comment on this post
  4. For those with no Twitter or blog, read the official rules to learn about an alternate form of entry.

This giveaway is open to US Residents age 18 or older. Winners will be selected via random draw, and will be notified by e-mail. The notification email will come directly from BlogHer via the sweeps@blogher email address. You will have 72 hours to respond; otherwise a new winner will be selected.

 The Official Rules are available here.

This sweepstakes runs from 8/26-9/30.

Be sure to visit the Coffee-mate brand page on where you can read other bloggers’ posts!


Brioche Buns

Brioche Buns

Have you ever heard of the saying, “Good things come to those who wait” or “It’s a blessing in disguise”? Well we experienced both of those this past month…twice. Once after making these Brioche Buns and again a couple of days before our family vacation (one that I had been planning for a year now). Right before we left, we found out that our rent was going to be raised an astronomical amount. Considering our place was already too small for our family of five, we decided that we would be moving. We had 60 days to find a place before our rent was increased. Well, the day before we left I found something on Craigslist. I didn’t have time to go and see it, so I sent my husband. He liked it and put in an application (along with 75 other people because rentals are in high demand right now). Well, out of the 75 we were picked!!!

brioche burger buns

What this meant was that we would have to cut off part of our trip in order to get home and move. With a little help from friends, we were able to pack everything up and complete the move in 3 days…and I was moving into a place that I had never seen! Luckily, after almost 13 years of marriage my husband knows me well and I love the place!

Teriyaki Burgers

So about the two sayings above, this move was both a blessing in disguise because we know have a much larger home and a huge huge huge yard. Although we are a bit on edge about the impending water bill, we have waited a long time for this and are over the moon!

You kind of have to think this was about this recipe. This may take a bit of time between the rises, but it is soooo worth the wait. Homemade Brioche Buns make one killer burger. If you are hosting or attending a party this weekend, make these the day before. The will for sure be the hit of the party!

I made them with some scrumptious teriyaki burgers that I will be posting on Thursday.

homemade brioche buns

Brioche Buns

Yield: makes 15-20 buns

Brioche Buns


  • 1/3 cup warm whole milk (100- 110 degrees F)
  • 2 1/4 teaspoons active dry yeast
  • 1 large egg
  • 2 cups unbleached all-purpose flour, separated
  • 1/3 cup sugar
  • 1 teaspoon kosher salt
  • 4 large eggs, lightly beaten, room temp
  • 1 1/2 cups unbleached all-purpose flour
  • 1 and 1/2 sticks of butter 12 tablespoons)unsalted butter, room temperature
  • 1 egg slightly beaten for basting
  • Sesame seeds


  1. In the bowl of your electric mixer, or a large bowl, combine warm milk and yeast and let sit for 5 minutes.
  2. Add egg, sugar, salt and ONE cup of flour to the yeast mixture and stir with a wooden spoon until combined.
  3. Sprinkle the remaining one cup of flour over the yeast mixture. Cove with a cloth and allow to rest in a dark corner of your kitchen for 40 minutes.
  4. When done, flour on the dough will looked crackled.
  5. Return your bowl to the mixer and fix with the dough hook (unless kneading by hand).
  6. Begin by kneading in one egg at a time, until you have added all four.
  7. Add the 1 and 1/2 cups of flour and knead on medium high speed until dough no longer sticks to the sides (this could be up to 15 minutes).
  8. Add butter and knead on medium high speed for another 5-10 minutes on or until smooth again.
  9. Place in a well greased bowl, cover and place in a dark spot in your kitchen for 1 hour or until it has doubled in size.
  10. Once doubled, punch down, and refrigerate covered, for 6 hours-overnight.
  11. Once chilled, begin to form the rolls.
  12. Cut dough into 15-20 equal pieces.
  13. Roll into balls and place on a lightly greased or lined cookie sheet spaced about 4 inches apart.
  14. Cover with a damp cloth and allow to double in size.
  15. Once doubled, preheat your oven to 375 degrees.
  16. Gently baste each bun with the beaten egg and sprinkle with sesame seeds.
  17. Bake at 375 degrees for 12-15 minutes or until golden.