Lemon Crusted Blueberry Muffins

These beauties are INCREDIBLE!! I've never had much luck with homemade muffins - they usually turn out dry and like little bricks! These, however, are so moist and wonderful! This recipe makes an incredible muffin base recipe - can't wait to see what else I can come up with it! :)


Lemon Crusted Blueberry Muffins

Lemon Sugar Topping:
1/3 Cup Sugar
Zest from One Lemon

2 Cups Frozen Blueberries (or fresh)
1 1/8 Cups plus 1 Tsp Sugar
2 1/2 Cups All-Purpose Flour
2 1/2 Tsp Baking Powder
1 Tsp Salt
2 Large Eggs
4 Tbsp Butter, melted and cooled slightly
1/4 Cup Oil (vegetable or canola)
1 Cup Buttermilk
1 1/2 Tsp Vanilla Extract


Stir together sugar and lemon zest - set aside.


Adjust oven rack to middle position and preheat oven to 375 degrees. Spray a standard (24 cup) muffin tin with cooking spray. Rinse one cup frozen berries under cold water - spread on double layer of paper towels to dry well. Bring remaining one cup berries and 1 tsp sugar to simmer in a small saucepan over medium heat. Cook, mashing berries with a spoon several times and stirring frequently until the berries have broken down and the mixture is thickened and reduced to about 1/3 cup (about 6-8 minutes). Transfer to a small bowl and cool to room temperature - about 10-15 minutes.

Whisk the flour, baking powder, and salt together in a large bowl. Toss the berries that have dried on the paper towels in with the flour mixture. Whisk remaining 1 1/8 cups sugar and eggs together in medium bowl until thick. Slowly whisk in the butter and oil until combined - add in buttermilk and vanilla until combined. Using a rubber spatula, fold egg mixture into flour mixture until just moistened. The batter will be lumpy with a few dry spots of flour - don't over mix (this is the key to moist and tender muffins).

Using ice cream scoop or large spoon - divide the batter equally into muffin tin (batter should fill cups). Spoon a teaspoonful of cooked berry mixture into the center of each muffin batter. Using a skewer (or chopstick), gently swirl the berry filling into the batter (using a figure-eight motion). Sprinkle lemon sugar evenly over the muffin batter.

Bake until the top of the muffins are golden and just firm - about 17-18 minutes. Cool muffins for 5 minutes, then transfer to wire rack and cool for an additional 5 minutes before serving.


Baked Fudge

The Pioneer Woman does it again with this, we go together like butter and cream because I think we both use it just as much! lol  If you're looking for a simple, yummy, scrumptious, knock your socks off dessert to serve some guests or just a treat to devour on the couch in your jammies, this is it!


Baked Fudge

2 Eggs
1 Cup Sugar
2 Heaping Tbsp Cocoa
2 Tbsp Flour
1/2 Cup Butter, melted
1 Tsp Vanilla

Preheat oven to 350 degrees.  Beat eggs until light in color.  Beat in sugar until just combined.  Add cocoa, flour, butter and vanilla gently until well-combined.  Pour batter into 4 large ramekins or 8x8 baking dish.  Set into another pan filled about 1/2 way with water (known as a "water bath").  Bake 40-50 minutes until the crust is crispy and the batter is just starting to set.  If you put a toothpick in it, it'll come out "dirty," but the batter won't be runny.  If you have second thoughts when you pull it out, just put it in for another 10 minutes.

Serve with sweetened whip cream or ice-cream if desired.  :)


Buttermilk Fried Chicken

Before the recipe, I had never fried chicken in my life.  KFC or my hometown's Dairyland were my go-to places when I felt the urge to have some fried chicken because fried chicken just isn't a last minute, whip up a batch kind of meal!  I love what buttermilk seems to do for any kind of recipe, so when I came across this it got put on the weeks menu pretty promptly.  We were not disappointed at all...the skin got beautifully crispy and yummy!


Buttermilk Fried Chicken

1 Fryer Chicken (2 1/2-3 lbs), cut up
1 Cup Buttermilk
1 Cup Flour
1 1/2 Tsp Salt
1/2 Tsp Pepper
Vegetable Oil for Frying

Place chicken in a large flat dish or you can use a large ziploc (you'll lay it flat while it marinates).  Pour buttermilk over chicken, cover, and refrigerate for 1 hour.  Combine flour, salt, and pepper in a large ziploc.  Drain chicken pieces; toss, one at a time in flour mixture.  Shake off excess and placed on wax paper for 15 minutes to "dry."

Heat 1/8-1/4" oil in a large skillet (I had to use 2, my biggest wasn't big enough); brown chicken on all sides.  Cover and simmer, turning occasionally, for 40-45 minutes, or until juices run clear and chicken is tender.  Uncover and cook 5 minutes longer.  Remove chicken onto paper towels to get rid of excess oil.



These really are MONSTER cookies!!  Peanut butter, oatmeal, m&m' could you go wrong?!  This makes a HUGE batch of cookies - so get out the biggest bowl you have and then find a bigger one because you're going to need it!  This recipe can easily be halved or even quartered for a more manageable bowl of dough.  I often give up on using a spoon to stir this and use my (clean) hands to mix.  These also freeze really well for a quick treat at a later date. :)


Monster Cookies

12 Eggs
2 lb Brown Sugar
4 Cups White Sugar
1 Tbsp Vanilla
1 Tbsp Corn Syrup
1 lb Butter, softened (do not substitute with margarine)
3 lb Peanut Butter
8 Tsp Baking Soda
18 Cups Raw Oatmeal
1 lb Chocolate Chips
1 lb M&M's

Preheat oven to 350 degrees.  In large bowl, dish pan, kitchen sink (kidding...eww) mix all the ingredients in the order given.  Drop on cookie sheet with an ice-cream scoop, flattening top slightly.  Bake for 12 minutes until edges are just starting to brown - do not over bake, they'll look a little doughy coming out, but will firm up as they cool.  Cool on pan for 4-6 minutes before transferring to cooling rack to finish.

Note:  One cup of oatmeal equals about 3 ounces - so, you're going to need more than just one 42 ounce canister for the full recipe.  Peanuts and raisins can also be added if desired.

Here's an adjusted recipe for a smaller batch...

Monster Cookies

2/3 Cup Butter, softened (do not substitute with margarine)
1 1/2 Cups Brown Sugar
1 1/3 Cups White Sugar
4 Eggs
1 Tsp Vanilla
1 Tsp Corn Syrup
1 lb Peanut Butter
3 Tsp Baking Soda
6 Cups Raw Oatmeal
1 Cup Chocolate Chips
1 Medium Bag of M&M's

Preheat oven to 350 degrees.  In large bowl, mix all the ingredients in the order given.  Drop on cookie sheet with an ice-cream scoop, flattening top slightly.  Bake for 12 minutes until edges are just starting to brown - do not over bake, they'll look a little doughy coming out, but will firm up as they cool.  Cool on pan for 4-6 minutes before transferring to cooling rack to finish.


Hard-Boiled Eggs

With Easter only a day away and many of you probably prepping to dye a bunch of eggs - I thought I'd share my steps to achieve the "perfect" boiled egg.  Awhile back I discovered this method in my searches to stop demolishing eggs when I tried to peel them.

In a sauce-pan, cover the eggs with cold water - just to the very top of the eggs.  Cook on high until they reach a medium-rapid boil - immediately set your timer at 9 minutes and turn the burner down to medium/high.  When the timer goes off, immediately remove eggs from heat and run cold water over them.  While running cold water over them, you can rock the pot back and forth, letting the eggs hit the sides, to loosen the egg from the shell (I skipped this step for my eggs I was going to dye to keep from cracking the shells).  Leave the eggs in cool pan, covered in water on counter for a hour or so.  Drain water and peel.

Pretty aren't they?!  Enjoy!

Tip:  use "old" eggs (usually around a week-old), as they seem to peel better.