Pizza Soup with Parmesan Dippers – I Am No Longer a Californian

IMG_0197The first half of my life I was a Californian.  And now I am not…

The kids and I took off to Southern California.  We were itchin’ for some warmth, sand and sea.  Four days into our trip my husband lets me know that there was a good steady snow fall back at home and he was in the house with a fire.  I was sitting at Ventura Pier when I was told this news.

So I sat there.

Looked around a bit.

Felt the sun kissing my shoulders.

Watched my two sons completely enveloped by the sea, sand and surf.

Hearing the gulls above me vying for my Cheetos and I thought to myself…

I want to be home.

In the mountains.

As snow falls.

Tucked, cozily in my home.

A fire raging inside our stone hearth.

A good book on my lap.

The boys playing a board game.

A steaming cup of tea at arms reach.

Soup on the stove top and bread baking.

I realized then that I am no longer a Californian.  I no longer prefer the sea over the mountains.  I no longer see California as I once had.

I love my family and my friends in California,

but I also love my family and friends in Colorado.

After five years, Colorado is now what I consider to be my home.

Our home.

Our first full day back I decided to play in the kitchen as snow fell.

There was a fire in our hearth.

I was baking home-made pizza dough.

Soup on the stove top

Kids playing checkers.

A good book awaiting me.

A steaming cup of oolong.

This soup recipe is versatile to the extreme!  Make it vegetarian with all of your favorite vegetables.  I made mine this way only because it was what I had in the kitchen and I was not wanting to get in my car.  In fact I took out of the freezer a pound of pork sausage and some leftover home-made pizza sauce as well as some home-made chicken stock.  It was a great way to make room in the freezer for my next big shopping.

I wish I had pepperoni and mushrooms… but that’s okay.  This soup came out so full of flavor, it makes my mouth water just thinking about it.  Take some short cuts by using store-bought pizza dough, pizza sauce and chicken broth or stock.

A perfect warm, tasty, healthy, quick meal.  Happy cooking friends.


Pizza Soup


3 tablespoons olive oil, divided


My home-made pizza dough rising next to the warmth of the simmering soup = heaven.

1 lb of pork sausage

1 medium to large onion (white, yellow or red), small chop

4 garlic cloves, finely chopped

2 teaspoons dried oregano

2 teaspoons dried basil

2 teaspoons dried thyme

1 teaspoon garlic salt

1/4 teaspoon dried chili’s (or more if you like spicier)

1 cup pre-made pizza sauce

4 cups chicken broth or stock

1 can diced tomatoes


  1. Heat 1 tablespoon olive oil in a 4 quart braiser pan.  Add sausage.  While browning, break up to smaller bits.  Once cooked through, remove from pan onto a paper towel-lined plate.  Let rest.
  2. Heat remaining 2 tablespoons of oil and add chopped onion and garlic.  Saute until translucent.  Add oregano, basil, thyme, salt and chili’s.  Saute for a few minutes.  Add remaining ingredients.  Add sausage.  Bring to a boil and then reduce heat to low.  Allow soup to simmer for 20-30 minutes.

When serving, top with some shredded mozzarella and/or parmesan cheese.  Add some more dried chili’s.

Parmesan Pizza Dippers

I used very specific ingredients.  Allow yourself to play if you don’t have the ingredients I had.  Use regular olive oil and salt and pepper, then add shredded parmesan cheese.


Pizza dough (store-bought or home-made)

Trader Joe’s Organic Garlic Olive Oil

Savory Spice Shop’s Parmesan Pesto Sprinkle


  1. Preheat oven to 450 degrees.
  2. Using a rolling-pin (or your hands if you really want to have fun), roll dough into a rustic circle (aka imperfect circle).
  3. Gently lay dough on a pizza stone or jelly roll pan lined with parchment.  Brush a light layer of olive oil, sprinkle with spices.
  4. Prick dough all over with a fork.
  5. Bake for about 10 minutes.

Oh my. Yes please. And thank you.


Lemon Poppy Seed Muffins – Eazy Peezy Lemon Squeezy

I just wolfed down two.

I just wolfed down two.

My in-laws, accompanied by a slew of gloriously wrapped Christmas gifts, sent us a ton of their perfect lemons.  I mean perfect.  Not only are they perfectly juicy, the rind perfect for zesting and the flavor tart – but they scrub those dang lemons until they shine!  I receive a box full of individually wrapped lemons ready for the baking, cooking and flavor for my water.  There is nothing more refreshing and perfectly ripened than that of a California lemon.


My youngest and I were feigning a home-made muffin.  We hadn’t made any in several months.  So after we dropped the older brother off at school – we came right home and began our lemon poppy seed adventure.  This is a super easy from-scratch recipe as well as extremely versatile.  Swap out the poppy seeds for a blueberry lemon muffin.  Or capture the holiday spirit with some cranberries and lemon.  But please, do keep that lemon in there.  It is the very essence of these muffins!

Just a little tip: Make sure and zest the lemons prior to juicing them.  Makes for an easier process 😉

You know….your kiddos are probably home from school for two whole weeks…  This would be a fun recipe to make with the kids.  My 4-year-old nearly made these by himself.  The measuring is great, the different textures is fun and the result is fabulous. Nothing like some good quality time with the kiddos ~ working together to accomplish a nutritious snack.  And based on current conditions (a beautiful snow) having the oven on will help with making the house, not only cozy – but smelling delicious.

Happy baking friends and kiddies!


1 3/4 cups unbleached flour

3/4 cup sugar

1 teaspoon baking powder

3/4 teaspoon baking soda

1/4 teaspoon salt

2 lemons worth of zest

1 tablespoon poppy seeds

1 cup plain or vanilla yogurt

1 egg

1/3 cup of melted butter

Juice from 2 lemons


  1. Preheat oven to 400 degrees.  Spray a nonstick muffin tin with cooking spray.  Set aside.
  2. In a large bowl, mix together the first 7 ingredients.
  3. In an electric mixing bowl, mix the yogurt, egg, butter and lemon juice until smooth.
  4. Add the dry mixture into the egg mixture in three different additions.  Making sure it is all incorporated after each addition.
  5. Place into prepared muffin tin and bake for 18 minutes.
  6. Makes a dozen muffins.
A perfectly wonderful fluffy texture.

A perfectly wonderful fluffy texture.  And check out how shiny those lemons are!

High Altitude Adjustment

  • Increase flour to 2 cups
  • Decrease baking powder to 3/4 teaspoon
  • Decrease baking soda to 1/2 teaspoon


  • Egg shell
  • Lemon rinds, seeds


  • Butter wrapper
  • Yogurt container/lid


  • There should be nothing leftover.  If you have yogurt leftover – it is a fabulous foundation for a smoothie.

Buttermilk Drop Biscuits with Sausage Gravy

Father's Day means...

Father’s Day means… with the kids...

…fishing with the kids…

...quality, family time...

…quality, family time…

...glancing from afar at smiling, happy faces...

…glancing from afar at smiling, happy faces…

...just having a fabulous day.

…just having a fabulous day.

I use to make this breakfast for my husband back when it was just he and I.  Most every weekend I’d get some biscuits going, sausage gravy and scrambled eggs with cheddar cheese on top.  He has asked me in recent years how come I don’t do this anymore?  Just a little 3 letter word in plural form….


And I see now why I have not attempted this meal.  See, this meal and all its components need to be prepared and cooked concurrently with the rest of the components.  You do not stop.  My dog had to stay way back because my feet were nonstop.  I felt like maybe this is what Denny’s short order cooks feel like….just quick.  Something always going.  Something always needing to be done.  It’s exhausting.  Then add….

Hey Mom!  I’m hungry…

Hey Mom!  Can I get something to drink?

Hey Mom….um…….I forget.

Hey Mom, I don’t know what to do….

And when it is all made, no matter how I have seasoned every part, this happens:

003Pepper attack.

Um….sweetie, want some eggs with that pepper?

Eh.  What are you going to do?  Nada, it’s Father’s Day for gods sake.  Time to celebrate this man I just made a plate for him to pepper all over.  The man for whom I could not have chosen a better father for our children.  A man, for whom works endlessly to make ALL of our dreams come true.  A man, for whom I have fallen in love with for the gazillionth time.

My boys are lucky, quite possibly the luckiest.

Happy Father’s Day to a man I am so very proud to be married to.  Pepper the whole goddamn house if you want babe, it’s your day.



1 3/4 cups all-purpose unbleached flour

2 teaspoons baking powder

1/2 teaspoon baking soda

1/2 teaspoon salt

6 tablespoons chilled unsalted butter

1 cup buttermilk


1 small box of Farmer John Sausage

1/2 cup flour

1/2 teaspoon salt

1/2 teaspoon pepper

2-3 cups milk



  1. Preheat oven to 400 degrees.  Whisk together first 4 ingredients.
  2. Using a pastry blender or two butter knives, cut in butter until the size of small peas.
  3. Make a well in the center and add buttermilk all at once.
  4. Stir just until dough comes away from the sides of the bowl.
  5. Drop 1/4 cup sized dough from a spoon onto an ungreased baking sheet.
  6. Bake 10-15 minutes.


  1. Cut up sausages as best you can.  Add to a smaller sized skillet and cook, breaking up into smaller pieces.
  2. Once sausage is cooked through and fat is rendered, add flour.  Mix very well.  Heat for another minute.
  3. Add 2 cups of milk and seasonings.  Bring to a boil.
  4. Once boiling, stir.  If the consistency is too thick, add more milk until the consistency is of your liking.
  5. Serve while very hot over buttermilk biscuits.

High Altitude Adjustment

  • Decrease baking powder to 1 1/2 teaspoons
  • Decrease baking soda to 1/4 teaspoon


  • Nada


  • Sausage box


  • Nothin’, all of this goodness will be inhaled!

Coconut-Carrot Morning Glory Muffins and Creamsicle Breakfast Smoothie – Mornin’ Sunshine

coconut muffins

I heard someone speak the other day about how when they wake up in the morning they have a hard time getting “out of their head” long enough to figure out what to do for the day.  I sat and wondered what that must feel like.  Yeah, no-not for this girl right here.  My day is BOOM!  Starts instantly with my 4-year-old walking into my room in his birthday suit asking if he should put on shorts or pants.  And then once I “come to” I realize that my 2-year-old is yelling “Mama!  Where are you!?  Mama!”.  So, hmmmm….getting out of my head is not an issue.  I kind of like it (don’t get me wrong, I’d LOVE to sleep in) but moving and not thinking are good things.  At least for this girl right here.  So after I orchestrate a clothing assembly with my sons we rush down for breakfast.  I’m going to be honest here, most mornings, especially if it is a school morning, my boys eat cold cereal.  I offer them waffles, pancakes, eggs, toast, etc…but no.  These boys LOVE their cereal.  And it’s not like they get sugary kinds.  Not at all actually.  They just love cereal.  And it is quick.  So I usually cut up an apple or strawberries or have them peel their own tangerines.  My Dad always taught me that the first thing in your mouth in the mornings should be fruit.  Period.  I’m  not sure of the reasoning as I just said “okay” and my Dad would be happy to hear that is now a rule in my home with my kiddos.  So anyways, breakfast is simple and basic.  Until I received my Eating Well Magazine this month….

These two recipes (along with many more in this issue) blew my mind.  All of the ingredients are easy to find, inexpensive and delicious!  What an amazingly healthy breakfast for my sons and I.  I made these muffins on a Sunday night and individually wrapped them in plastic wrap and left them on my counter top at room temperature.  I removed the plastic wrap and toasted them in our toaster oven for a few minutes just to warm them up in the morning.  The smoothie is just as easy to prepare than scrambling eggs or even pouring a bowl of cereal, and way better for you!

I used King Arthur white whole wheat flour.  I seemed to have had a hard time finding unsweetened shredded coconut.  I could only find sweetened at the grocery stores up here so I went to my natural grocers and they had some.  I tell you this only to give you an idea where to get it if you are having a hard time finding unsweetened like I did.

I hope you make these as they are a wonderful delight in your mouth first thing in the morning.  Gave me great energy and kept me full for a long time.  Good morning sunshine….

Coconut-Carrot Morning Glory Muffins

These carrot-flecked, whole-grain morning glory muffins can be made ahead for breakfast or a snack so you can hit the ground running on a busy morning. Add a nonfat latte and your day will be off to a healthy start. Or make this coconut-carrot morning glory muffin recipe for a special brunch. Look for coconut oil, in jars or tubs, near other cooking oils in large supermarkets, in the natural-foods section, or in natural-foods stores.


1 cup whole-wheat or white whole-wheat flour
1/2 cup old-fashioned rolled oats, plus 2 tablespoons for garnish
2 teaspoons baking powder
2 teaspoons ground cinnamon
1/2 teaspoon salt
1/4 teaspoon ground allspice
2 large eggs
1 cup unsweetened applesauce
1/3 cup honey
2 teaspoons vanilla extract
1/4 cup coconut oil, melted if necessary
2 cups shredded carrots
1/2 cup unsweetened shredded coconut, plus 2 tablespoons for garnish
1/2 cup raisins


  1. Preheat oven to 350°F. Coat a 12-cup muffin tin with cooking spray.
  2. Whisk whole-wheat flour, 1/2 cup oats, baking powder, cinnamon, salt and allspice in a medium bowl.
  3. Whisk eggs, applesauce, honey and vanilla in a large bowl. Whisk in coconut oil. Gently stir in the flour mixture just until moistened. Fold in carrots, 1/2 cup coconut and raisins.
  4. Divide the batter among the muffin cups. Sprinkle with the remaining 2 tablespoons each oats and coconut.
  5. Bake the muffins until they spring back when lightly touched and a toothpick inserted in the center comes out with only moist crumbs attached, 30 to 35 minutes. Let stand in the pan for 10 minutes before turning out onto a wire rack. Serve warm or at room temperature.

High Altitude Adjustment

  • Increase flour to 1 1/4 cup (if you find the mixture to be too dry, add a tablespoon or two more of the unsweetened applesauce, just to dampen the mixture a bit)
  • Decrease baking powder to 1 3/4 teaspoon


  • Egg shells and carrot trimmings


  • Any used containers such as spice containers/lids, applesauce jar/lid, raisin and coconut bag


  • Plastic bags carrots came in

Creamsicle Breakfast Smoothie

Though it tastes like those iconic vanilla-and-orange popsicles, this creamsicle breakfast smoothie recipe is a balanced breakfast with carbohydrates, protein and, thanks to the addition of coconut water, essential electrolytes. Coconut water serves up more than 10 percent of your daily dose of potassium—an electrolyte you lose through sweat—in every cup, making it a great hydrator for light workouts. Plus, this creamy orange-mango smoothie only contains about 30 mg of sodium per cup, whereas sports drinks usually deliver about 110 mg of sodium per cup.



1 cup cold pure coconut water, without added sugar or flavor
1 cup nonfat vanilla Greek yogurt
1 cup frozen or fresh mango chunks
3 tablespoons frozen orange juice concentrate
2 cups ice


  1. Blend coconut water, yogurt, mango, orange juice concentrate and ice in a blender until smooth.

High Altitude Adjustment

  • None


  • Mango trimmings


  • Coconut water container, vanilla container/lid, frozen mango bag, orange juice concentrate container

Pumpkin Muffins and Wildwood Memories

I have always been a good sleeper.  Always.  I can just crawl into bed, turn off my mind and drift off to a peaceful slumber for the duration of the night.  Of course I wake if I hear my children calling for me or crying, otherwise I can sleep.  That is not the case lately.  I am able to fall asleep initially but then somewhere around 3 or 4 I am awake for the rest of the night.  And I mean awake awake.  Like eyes wide open and brain going a mile a minute.

Last night my thoughts roamed all the way back into my childhood.  I don’t have many memories of my childhood, not to say it was bad I just don’t remember much.  What I did remember was the neighborhood I grew up in.  Isn’t it funny how when we are kids the places where we grew up may seem “lame”.  Looking back I grew up in a bitchin’ neighborhood!  We had a house at the end of the cul-de-sac, biggest lot in the area (3/4 acre) a swimming pool and fruit trees.  TONS of fruit trees.  We had apricots, plums, figs, pineapple guavas (if you have yet to try these, they are my favorite all time fruit, just bite off the top and squeeze all the goods in your mouth, heaven), nectarines, oranges, lemons, bananas and avocados.  Us kids were in charge of picking up the rotted fruit from the ground with plastic bags over our hands.  Gross.  My siblings and I would wake up ever summer morning, throw our swimsuits on and go out by the pool.  Soon enough our neighborhood friends would be over and we would be having a blast.

Our neighbors were spectacular.  One house in particular was an elementary school teacher named Mary-Lou.  She knew I was obsessed with teaching, playing school all the time.  I would hand out flyers to all the neighborhood moms asking if I could teach their kids after school in my tree house.  I mean, I was set up, I had a chalk board, dry erase board and a map of the United States.  On good days Mary-Lou would bring me stacks of papers to grade!  I was in seventh heaven.  I would have my stack of “good job, excellent, well done” stickers on one side of me, a stack of papers to grade on the other and a wonderful, beautiful red pen for grading in my tight little grip.  While most of my friends were playing Barbies or riding their bikes I was the nerd on her front porch grading spelling tests and math worksheets at age 7.  And I loved every second.

Mary-Lou’s mom was named Bucky.  She was an elderly lady with nothing but pure joy in her eyes and a heart full of love.  We loved her.  I remember my Dad telling us to give Bucky hugs every time we see her because she may not be around much longer.  So every time I would see her, I would put down my bike or red pen, run over to her and hug her.  I loved her and my Dad was right, she did pass a short time later.  I was always grateful I had listened to my father and was able to get a bunch of hugs in.

I guess I write all of this because I don’t want to wake up this morning at 3am and think about it.  I needed to get it out and share it with the few people who read this blog.  I want to sleep tonight.  Fingers crossed!

Here is an amazing recipe I cut out of my Eating Well magazine in 2006.  I loved them and make them every Fall.  Happy memories, and happy baking.


2 1/4 cups all-purpose flour

2 t pumpkin spice

1 1/2 t baking soda

1 t ground ginger

1/4 t salt

1 cup golden raisins

1 cup packed brown sugar

1 cup canned pumpkin

1/3 cup buttermilk

1/3 cup vegetable oil

1/4 cup molasses

1 t vanilla extract

2 large eggs

cooking spray

2 T granulated sugar


  1. Preheat oven to 400 degrees.
  2. Lightly spoon flour into dry measuring cups; level with a knife.  Combine flour, pumpkin pie spice, baking soda, ginger and salt in a medium bowl, stirring well with a whisk.  Stir in raisins; make a well in center of mixture.  Combine brown sugar, canned pumpkin, buttermilk, canola oil, molasses, vanilla extract and eggs, stirring well with a whisk.  Add sugar mixture to flour mixture, stir just until moist.
  3. Spoon batter into 18 muffin cups coated with cooking spray.  Bake for 15 minutes or until a wooden pick inserted in center comes out clean.  Remove muffins from pans immediately; cool no wire rack.

High Altitude Adjustment

  • Increase flour to 2 1/2 cups
  • Decrease baking soda to 1 teaspoon


  • Egg shells


  • Pumpkin can/lid, any other container you have used the end of


  • Leftover pumpkin from the can may be used to make pumpkin pancakes the next morning!

My sister and I in our back yard

Banana Chocolate Chip Bread

Since my husband and his buddies will be staying at a hotel this weekend I can get a sense of what that is going to entail.  Let me be more specific, two of his buddies from high school, and him will be staying at a hotel by themselves.  No wives and/or kids to hinder any amount of fun they want to have.  I’m happy for them, truly.  I think we all need that time away from our families and get quality time in with our old friends.  I also know how my husband and his friends are when they are in that mode.  Drinks are only the beginning.  I won’t go into the festivities.  I probably don’t even know what all goes on.  What I do know is that they will want to take advantage of every minute, no second of the morning to recover before they go on to do some hard-core Karate training.  They’ll probably miss the complimentary continental breakfast the hotel offers.  I am sending them a loaf of banana chocolate chip bread.  It will be hearty, it will soak up and remnants of liquor and it will give them the “go power” to start their day.

I have played with this recipe.  It started out as a recipe from my Better Homes and Gardens cookbook but I have little by little made it my own.  Feel free to leave out the chocolate chips if you want a healthier bread, also feel free to replace some or all of the flour with whole wheat flour.  You can even add a cup of chopped walnuts if you prefer.  High altitude adjustments are below.  There are a few….  Happy baking!


1 1/2 cup all-purpose, unbleached flour (or whole wheat)

1 1/2 t baking powder

1/4 t baking soda

1/8 t salt

1 egg

3-4 over-ripe mashed bananas

3/4 cups sugar

1/4 cup vegetable oil

1/2 cup chocolate chips


  1. Preheat oven to 350 degrees.  Grease the sides and bottom of an 8x4x2 inch loaf pan with butter, set aside.
  2. In a medium mixing bowl combine the flour, baking powder, baking soda, cinnamon and salt.  Make a well in the center of the dry mixture, set aside.
  3. In another bowl combine the egg, bananas, sugar and cooking oil.  Add egg mixture all at once into the dry mixtures well.  Stir batter until just moistened, do not over-mix.
  4. Fold in chocolate chips.
  5. Spoon batter into the prepared pan and bake for about 50-55 minutes or until a toothpick comes out clean when inserted into the center of the bread.  Cool in pan on a wire rack for 10 minutes.  Remove loaf from pan; cool on rack.  Wrap and store overnight before slicing.

High Altitude Adjustment

  • Bake at 325 degrees
  • Add a piece of parchment paper to the bottom of the loaf pan and then grease the top of the paper
  • Increase flour to 2 cups
  • Decrease baking powder to 1 teaspoon
  • Decrease baking soda to 1/8 teaspoon
  • Decrease sugar 3/4 cups less 3 tablespoons
  • Bake for 55-60 minutes, or until inserted toothpick comes out clean


  • Banana peels, egg-shell


  • Chocolate chip bag, vegetable oil container, spice containers, anything you used the end of.


  • None

Buttermilk Granola Muffins

I just received my beloved Eating Well magazine.  I basically tear that whole thing up taking out all of the recipes.  I love it, love it, love it!  They were talking about using whole white wheat flour as opposed to regular white flour.  Try substituting, etc.  I actually entered a contest using my Lemon Blueberry Whole Wheat muffin recipe you can find on this blog.

My oldest son who is 4 goes to preschool 4 mornings a week.  His school asks the parents to each bring a snack and drink in at the beginning of each month.  I usually bring the norm, string cheese, organic juice, etc.  After reading obsessively through my Eating Well magazine I know exactly what I am going to bring for the month of October.  These fantastic muffins.  I love that it uses King Arthur whole wheat flour and I love baking with buttermilk.  It has less fat than cream and milk and it makes everything that much more moist.  And it kind of reminds me of old-fashioned cooking.  The best part is that my mother-in-law makes the best home-made granola and sends it to us in gallon bags that I keep in the freezer.  So there you go…  And just to be honest, I actually don’t have King Arthur White Whole Wheat flour but I do have King Arthur Whole Wheat flour that I am hoping will work just as well.

Thank you Eating Well Magazine and King Arthur Flour!  Happy baking!


2 cups King Arthur White Whole Wheat Flour or Premium Whole Wheat Flour

1 cup brown sugar

3/4 t salt

1 t baking powder

1/2 t baking soda

3/4 t ground cinnamon, optional

1 cup prepared granola

1 t vanilla extra

1/3 cup vegetable oil

1 1/2 cups buttermilk

3/4 cup prepared granola for topping


  1. Preheat the oven to 400°F. Lightly grease the cups of a standard muffin pan; or line with paper baking cups, and grease the paper cups.
  2. Whisk together all of the dry ingredients, including the granola.
  3. In a separate bowl, whisk together the vanilla, vegetable oil, and buttermilk.
  4. Pour the liquid ingredients into the dry ingredients, stirring just to combine.
  5. Spoon the batter into the prepared muffin cups, filling them nearly full. A slightly heaped muffin scoop of batter is the right amount.
  6. Sprinkle the tops of the muffins with additional granola, if desired.
  7.  Bake the muffins for 16 to 18 minutes, until a toothpick inserted into the middle of one of the center muffins comes out clean.
  8. Remove the muffins from the oven, and after 5 minutes (or when they’re cool enough to handle) transfer them to a rack to cool. Serve warm, or at room temperature. Store leftovers loosely wrapped at room temperature.

Yield: 12 muffins

Nutrition information

Serving Size:89g Servings Per Batch: 12 servings Amount Per Serving: Calories: 269 Calories from Fat: 90 Total Fat: 10g Saturated Fat: 1g Trans Fat: 0g. Cholesterol: 2mg Sodium: 278mg Total Carbohydrate: 40g Dietary Fiber: 3g Sugars: 23g Protein: 5g

High Altitude Adjustment

  • Increase flour by 3 tablespoons
  • Decrease baking powder and soda by 1/4 teaspoon (3/4 t baking powder, 1/4 t baking soda)
  • Add an extra tablespoon or so of buttermilk if mixture is too dry


  • None – boohoo


  • Washed out buttermilk carton, if you are at the end of any spice container, flour bag, extract bottle


  • I am guessing that the muffins can be individually wrapped and frozen and taken out when needed if it is just you…

Lemon and Blueberry Muffins-Whole Wheat Flour Style

I am not sure what it is with my kiddos lately.  They don’t want anything for breakfast but cereal.  And it’s not like I’m feeding them this sugared up cereal.  I try to coax them into some fresh warm waffles, pancakes, toad-in-a-whole or even just some scrambled eggs.  Nothing.  So I decided to make them some muffins one ambitious morning.   I have been on a kick baking with whole wheat flour and what I can come up with that my husband will still like.  He’s the white Wonder bread kind of guy.  So I decided to experiment with muffins.  I had seen a muffin recipe one time that used yogurt in the muffins.  So I started with a bag of King Arthur’s whole wheat flour and some yogurt.  I love how the yogurt gives that extra punch of moistness and makes these muffins so creamy and lemony.  They came out so fluffy, sweet and delicious.  Just on some side notes.  I like to fold in my berries with the flour mixture just because I feel when the berries are coated lightly with flour they will stay put and not all sink to the bottom of the muffin.  Speaking of those berries, I do prefer to use real whole blueberries because I love that burst of flavor when you bite into a muffin.  Yummo.   I always bake and cook with unbleached flour.   Not sure what this bleaching business is all about but it sounds gross.  Also, I always cook and bake with Kosher salt.  My Grandma gave me that suggestion.  I said with baking!?  The salt granules are so coarse, and she said “trust me”.  I always do.  Grandma knows best (her cooking/baking proves it).  And I have been baking with Kosher salt ever since.  I love it.  If you happen to have another berry in the fridge, or if organic raspberries or blackberries are on sale as opposed to blueberries go ahead and use those, I would just omit the lemon zest and use sour cream as opposed to the lemon yogurt.  That seems to pair well with just blueberries.  Also, if it is cheaper, as it often is, you can use a frozen bag of organic blueberries.  In fact that would be optimal with high elevation bakers.  Since the excess juice will help balance out the extra flour we need to use.  If you are a sea level friend who wants to use a frozen bag of berries, just thaw them in a colander so all the juices can drain.  You don’t need that extra juice.  And one last suggestion, I don’t use the paper cups that go into the muffin tin.  I think it’s a waste of paper and I feel the muffins look so beautifully rustic when they are baked without them.  But you choose.  If you do not use the paper cups, just grease the muffin pan with some butter or nonstick spray.  Happy baking!

PS-My husband didn’t even know I had used whole-wheat flour…..


2 cups whole-wheat flour (such as King Arthur’s whole wheat flour)

1 cup sugar

1/2 t baking powder

1/2 t baking soda

1/2 t salt

Zest of 1 large lemon

2 cups fresh or frozen blueberries

2 eggs, slightly beaten

1 cup lemon yogurt

1/2 vegetable oil

1/2 t vanilla extract


Preheat oven to 400 degrees.  Grease 1 dozen muffin tin with butter.  In a large bowl, combine first 6 ingredients.  Then delicately fold in the blueberries.  Combine the last 4 ingredients in a smaller bowl, mix well.  Stir wet ingredients into dry ingredients just until moistened.  Don’t over mix.

Fill greased muffin tin almost to the top (I like my muffins big).  Bake for 18-22 minutes or until a toothpick comes out clean.  Cool for 5 minutes before removing from the pan to a wire rack.  Using a fork to delicately disengage muffin tops from the pan.

High Altitude Adjustments

  • 2 1/4 cups whole-wheat flour
  • If using frozen fruit do not thaw and drain juices, you’ll need that extra juice
  • If you are using fresh blueberries, at the very end add about 2 T apple juice to help even out the extra flour
  • Mine came out a bit too dark at 20 minutes, check muffins at around 17 minutes
  • Omit baking powder, just use a nice rounded 1/2 t of baking soda


  • Zested lemon, slice up and use in your water that day


  • Used up and rinsed out yogurt or sour cream container/lid, frozen berry bag


  • Egg shells