L’shanah tova! Happy New Year Honey Cake!

This past weekend I celebrated Rosh Hashanah (Jewish new year) with Brett and his family. 

I love participating and learning about the holidays that Brett, his family, and so many of my nearest and dearest celebrate. My FAVORITE part of these holidays? The food and the family meals!

This weekend in particular, I was secretly hoping that Brett’s mom “Nancy Pants” would make matzo ball soup. She makes some delicious balls and is the reason I started eating this soup at all! She read my mind and made me matzo ball soup AND Brussel sprouts (another thing I didn’t know I liked until I tried Nancy’s)Image

Jealous? You should be. I’m feeling a little under the weather today and wish I had some of this in front of me instead of just a picture and RHONY 😦

I got the recipe though! and will blog it as soon

Anyways, while the family was at synagogue for (long) services I decided I would try to bake something for the occasion. I attempted a Honey Cake. Honey cake is something traditionally eaten on the Jewish New Year, as eating honey is supposed to encourage a sweet New Year (more so if paired with apples..next year honey AND apple cake!)

I made some improvisations on this cake using the ingredients I had on hand in an attempt not to bother a little hipster computer programmer and her puppy hard at work upstairs.



I used mostly whole wheat flour instead of white all purpose flour. I also nixed the ground cloves because I was too lazy to attempt grinding down the whole cloves I found in the Benowitz Kitchen (Marc I’m sorry if I ruined or misplaced anything!!!!) 

I’ve never had Honey cake before so I am a little unsure what it is supposed to taste like but mine was full of spices that remind me of fall, very moist, and crispy around the edges. 


Try this cake out! Even if you aren’t jewish! its easy!

Majestic and Moist Honey Cake
Adapted from Marcy Goldman’s Treasure of Jewish Holiday Baking via Smitten Kitchen


3 1/2 cups all-purpose flour (I used 1 cup all purpose flour and 2 1/2 whole wheat and didn’t taste a difference) 
1 teaspoon baking powder 
1 teaspoon baking soda
1/2 teaspoon kosher salt
4 teaspoons ground cinnamon
1/2 teaspoon ground cloves (I nixed this, still tasted good to me
1/2 teaspoon ground allspice
1 cup vegetable oil
1 cup honey
1 1/2 cups granulated sugar
1/2 cup brown sugar
3 large eggs at room temperature
1 teaspoon vanilla extract
1 cup warm coffee or strong tea
1/2 cup fresh orange juice
1/4 cup rye or whiskey
1/2 cup slivered or sliced or crushed almonds (optional)





Fits in three loaf pans, two 9-inch square or round cake pans, one 9 or 10 inch tube or bundt cake pan, or one 9 by 13 inch sheet cake. I made mine in two full-size loaf pans 

Preheat oven to 350°F. Generously grease pan(s) with non-stick cooking spray. For tube or angel food pans, line the bottom with lightly greased parchment paper, cut to fit.

  • In a large bowl, whisk together the flour, baking powder, baking soda, salt, cinnamon, cloves and allspice.
  • Make a well in the center, and add oil, honey, white sugar, brown sugars, eggs, vanilla, coffee or tea, orange juice and rye or whiskey, if using. (If you measure your oil before the honey, it will be easier to get all of the honey out.)


  • Using a strong wire whisk or in an electric mixer on slow speed, stir together well to make a thick, well-blended batter, making sure that no ingredients are stuck to the bottom.


Spoon batter into prepared pan(s). Sprinkle top of cake(s) evenly with almonds, if using. I put crushed almonds on one loaf and none on the other.  Place cake pan(s) on two baking sheets, stacked together (this will ensure the cakes bake properly with the bottom baking faster than the cake interior and top).

ImageBake until cake tests done, that is, it springs back when you gently touch the cake center. For angel and tube cake pans, this will take 60 to 75 minutes, loaf cakes, about 45 to 55 minutes. For sheet style cakes, baking time is 40 to 45 minutes.

Let cake stand fifteen minutes before removing from pan.



Enjoy the fall, and have a SWEET NEW YEAR






Summer Blueberries and Cilantro


First I want to start out by thanking everyone that reads this little old blog for being so supportive, kind, and most importantly for reading!

I was so excited to start blogging and baking again until I realized it is WAY too hot and humid in NYC to be eating heavy sweets. Not to mention I have a big post bar vacation coming up and I am trying (and failing) to be bikini ready in time!!

While at the store the other day I saw some beautiful blueberry muffins and thought that they would be perfect for my tried and true blueberry crumb muffins. And since muffins are breakfast, I can’t feel TOO bad about eating them. Right?

Brett says that I don’t like to repeat any recipes, however when its a good one I never switch. This is the best blueberry muffin recipe I’ve ever tried, and have stuck by it for almost 4 years! Try it. I promise you will love it. I love this recipe because it’s not too heavy, not too sweet, and the blueberries stay scattered in the batter instead of sinking to the bottom. I’m not a fan of fruit at the bottom muffins.

Tips for this recipe:

Don’t skimp on the blueberries or the crumb topping–they are the best part! Don’t over mix the batter–I mixed these muffins by hand

Blueberry Crumb Muffins adapted from Savory-Bites 

Ingredients (muffin):

  • 1 1/2 cups all-purpose flour
  • 1/2 cup white sugar
  • 1/2 teaspoon salt
  • 2 teaspoons baking powder
  • 1/4 cup vegetable oil
  • 1 egg
  • 1/3 cup milk
  • 1 cup fresh blueberries

Ingredients (Crumble):

  • 1/2 cup white sugar
  • 1/3 cup all-purpose flour
  • 1/4 cup butter, melted (in the microwave)
  • 1 1/2 teaspoons ground cinnamon


  • Preheat oven to 400 degrees F (200 degrees C). Grease muffin cups or line with muffin liners.
  • Combine dry ingredients:  flour,  sugar, salt and baking powder.
  • Place vegetable oil into a  measuring cup and add the egg and enough milk to fill the cup.

  • Mix this with flour mixture. Fold in blueberries.


  • To Make Crumb Topping: Mix together sugar, flour,  butter, and cinnamon. Mix with fork, and sprinkle over muffins before baking.

  • Fill muffin cups right to the top, and sprinkle with crumb topping mixture.

Bake for 20 to 25 minutes in the preheated oven, or until done.


YUM YUM YUM…and now the finished product…


AFTER I made muffins, it was time to make dinner!

This dinner was a Pinterest inspiration. I have to admit that I am slightly obsessed with Pinterest. I like to store my recipes there and get new ideas from other pinners. My one complaint is that I’ve tried several dinner recipes from the site that have turned out pretty bad 😦

Not this dinner though! I started with a Cilantro Lime Grilled chicken and decided to make a corn salsa that I often make, coupled with a copy cat Chipotle rice.

Warning: every element of this meal had Cilantro in it. Not on purpose. If you don’t like cilantro you probably should stop reading here.

Cilantro Lime Grilled Chicken adapted from My Recipes


  • 4 boned, skinned chicken breast halves (2 lb. total)
  • 1/4 cup lime juice
  • 1/2 cup chopped fresh cilantro
  • 6 cloves garlic, chopped
  • 1 tablespoon honey
  • 1 tablespoon olive oil
  • 1/2 teaspoon salt
  • 1/4 teaspoon pepper

1. Pound the chicken breasts to an even thickness (about 1/2 in.) and place in a shallow baking pan.
2. In a small bowl, mix lime juice, cilantro, garlic, honey, olive oil, salt, and pepper.


3. Pour over chicken and turn pieces to coat evenly. Cover and chill at least 30 minutes or overnight.

4. Lay chicken on a grill over medium heat or a grill pan like I did (you can hold your hand over the surface only 4 to 5 seconds) and cook, turning once, until no longer pink in the center, 4 to 6 minutes per side.


For my Corn Salsa I start with:

  • Chopped Cilantro
  • Chopped tomatoes
  • Chopped red onion
  • Lime juice


And Some Trader Joes Roasted Corn (SO GOOD I LOVE IT)


I heat up a tablespoon of olive oil and saute the roasted corn until warm (remember it is pre-cooked!) with a couple dash’s of paprika, salt and pepper


Once the corn is warmed up mix up the corn, onions, cilantro and tomatoes in a bowl with some lime juice. Add a little bit of lime juice at a time and keep tasting until its perfect and half the bowl is gone 😉



Finally I make regular white rice, making sure to rinse the rise before so that it’s not sticky and I mix with some cilantro, lime juice, salt and pepper

and Voila! a summer-ey, delicious, cilantro packed meal!


Back to life (and baking)

Hello!  Baking and Entering is back by somewhat popular demand. The five people that read this blog requested that I start blogging again 🙂

Since my last post I haven’t spent a lot of time in the kitchen, however I have graduated law school and survived taking the NY and NJ bar exams. In order to keep myself sane while studying I constantly made lists of all the things that I would do once I was set free from the library: get in shape (sitting for a few months straight does horrible things to ones body), regain a social life, be really nice to Brett ALL the time, read books for LEISURE (I attempted to read 50 Shades of Gray to find out what all the fuss was about…I am 50 pages in and I think I’ve had enough! Book recommendations please!!!),  find a job, bake and cook!

I haven’t done most of what’s on my list….I’m working on it!

Being unemployed right after the Bar exam is a blessing in disguise. I really need this break mentally, physically, and emotionally. However, I am coming to the realization that at some point I have to get a job 😦

Yesterday afternoon I needed a break from the job hunt and decided to hit the kitchen again.

In the past few months, the only thing I’ve baked are SNICKER-DOODLES. They are my greatest hit when it comes to cookies and luckily REALLY easy to make.

In trying to keep with the ever so popular cinnamon and sugar theme, I decided to make these French Breakfast Muffins for Brett.

SIDE NOTE: Over the past few months Brett has been a SAINT to me. He made me feel better when I was crying 150 times a day. He did my laundry so that I wouldn’t smell in the library. He went grocery shopping for me, bought me presents, and listened to my never ending whining.  I appreciate his encouragement and support during the bar exam and the past three years of law school. I am trying to make up for some of my crazy behavior right now–hence many baked goods for his belly! (and your’s, come over!!)


(adapted from Velvet Lava Cake)


  • 1/3 c. butter, melted
  • 1/2 c. sugar
  • 1 egg (preferably room temperature)
  • 1 1/2 c. all purpose flour
  • 1 1/2 tsp. baking powder
  • 1/2 tsp. salt
  • 1/4 tsp. nutmeg
  • 1/2 c. milk

Topping (option: cut topping in half if you only want to dip the top of the muffin in the butter/sugar mixture*)
1/2 c. sugar
1/2 c. butter, melted
1 tsp. cinnamon

Preheat oven to 350F.

  • In a medium-large bowl, sift together all dry ingredients.

  • Add wet ingredients

  • stir until combined. It’s okay if it’s lumpy.  Don’t over-mix!

  • Scoop batter into muffin tins that have sprayed with cooking spray.

  •  Bake for 20-25 minutes, or until they just start to turn a bit golden at the edges.

  • For the topping, mix sugar and cinnamon in a small bowl.

  • Place melted butter in another small bowl. Dip the warm muffins in melted butter (you can dip just the top, but it’s even BETTER to dip the whole muffin)

  • then dip/roll the muffin in cinnamon sugar.

ENJOY! I recommend having these with a breakfast cup of coffee.

Leigh’s famous amazing delicous chocolate chip cookies

I apologize for not baking and posting here as often as I had hoped this summer. The bottom line is: my kitchen gets REALLY hott…and I was out doing fun things that didn’t involve sweating in my nyc sized kitchen!

I do have some fun food pictures from this summer though!

Carrots at a VT farmer's market. Photo credits and thanks go to AKG

fresh produce at the VT farmers market. Photo credits and thanks go to AKG!

The beginnings of a fresh greek salad..

My attempt at Cajun spiced blackened tilapia, corn salsa, and Cilantro lime rice

Friday night home-made pizza with my boo

Brett’s aunt Leigh is one of my baking idols. She’s right up there with Cake Boss.  She makes beautiful and creative cakes, as well as the best chocolate chip cookies ever.

Below are just a SAMPLING of her amazing cakes…work’s of art!

Back to Aunt Leigh’s cookies…

Her cookies are totally different than mine. No matter how many times I try this I can’t get the taste and consistency to match hers.

This summer, some friends and I escaped Manhattan for beautiful Vermont. I thought it’d be nice to greet them after such a long drive with some warm chocolate chip cookies. That was the one and ONLY time I got my cookies to be as close as possible to Aunt Leigh’s. My friends all enjoyed them, especially TIM! (Tim appreciates food in a way that more people should!)

Tim had a fun birthday party recently. I wanted to bake him something special for his day….so I made him these chocolate chip cookies instead of baking him a cake. It was a good idea because his gf Annie had already gotten him this beautiful and delicious one:

this cake was from : http://www.twolittleredhens.com/ I HIGHLY recommend it

I tried to replicate the same steps I had made in Vermont, however they did not come out super thin like Aunt Leigh’s. Guess the VT cookies were a fluke. Aun Leigh told me that these cookies required beating the butter and sugars for a LONG TIME in order to get her consistency….doesn’t seem to work for me every time..but maybe I am still not beating them enough?! who knows.

These cookies are very yummy none the less. I like to add a little extra salt to compliment the chocolate. Big THANK YOU to Leigh for being my baking idol and lending me her recipe (adapted from Martha Stewart…another idol)

Chocolate Chip Cookies: Makes about 3 dozen (Leigh’s tips in Bold)

My List !

2 cups all-purpose flour

1 tsp baking soda

1 tsp salt ( I add in a little bit more than this) 

2 sticks (1 cup) unsalted butter, room temperature

1 cup granulated sugar

½ cup packed dark-brown sugar

2 tsp pure vanilla extract

1 large whole egg, plus 1 large egg white

12 ounces semisweet chocolate chips or chunks (about 2 cups)

Preheat the oven to 375 degrees, with racks in the upper and lower thirds.  Line two large baking sheets with parchment paper; set aside. (Yes, you have to bake these on parchment paper – wax paper or using nothing at all does not work.)

 In a medium bowl, whisk together the flour, baking soda and salt; set aside.  In the bowl of an electric mixer fitted with the paddle attachment, beat the butter and both sugars on medium speed until light and fluffy, about 3 minutes, scraping down the sides of the bowl as needed. (keep mixing the butter and sugars (more than the 3 minutes) and make sure they are really light and fluffy before you start adding the other ingredients.)

 Add the vanilla, whole egg and egg white.  Beat on low speed until well combined, scraping down the sides of the bowl as needed, about 1 minute.  Add flour mixture in two batches; mix until just combined.  Mix in chocolate.

I ran out of Godiva Chocolate chips for this recipe, so I chopped up a bar of German milk chocolate...turned out well!


Never skimp on chocolate..

Shape 2 heaping tablespoons of dough at a time into balls and place about 1½  inches apart on prepared baking sheets.  

Bake, rotating sheets halfway through, until cookies are golden brown, about 18 minutes.  (I do 6 minutes before rotating pans (top to bottom and front to back) then about another 5 for the top rack.  Then I move the bottom rack back to the top for about another minute or 2.  Watch them carefully, they quickly go from undone to overdone.  Better to take them out a minute early than leave them in too long.  I remove them from the baking sheet (still leaving them on the parchment to cool completely) immediately because otherwise they keep cooking.  Don’t try to remove them from the parchment until they’ve cooled otherwise, they become a big mess.)   Transfer parchment and cookies to a wire rack to cool completely.  Cookies can be kept in an airtight container at room temperature for up to 4 days.

Voila, you have the best chocolate chip cookie recipe I have ever tried. Thin or not…these always come out tasting really yummy. I don’t mind so much that I can’t get the same result as Leigh..mainly because it gives me a reason to experiment and….I like thick chocolate chip cookies (Brett likes them thinner!)

THANK YOU LEIGH!!! for letting my share your tips and recipe. And Super big happy birthday again to Tim-bo….thank you for appreciating my baking..and being my pal!


Happy Birthday Ashley Cake

Friday was my good pal Ashley’s birthday. I’m a strong believer in dessert, especially on one’s birthday. YOU NEED TO EAT CAKE ON YOUR BIRTHDAY!

I get Real Simple in the mail every month (thank you Brett! this was a great present!!!). The may edition had an easy breakdown of the two basic cake flavors: yellow and chocolate. Their recipe could be used for  layer cakes, sheet cakes, AND  cupcakes. They next give a a chocolate and vanilla frosting recipe, which can be made into different variations like lemon, caramel, and coffee frosting (I have to admit that I couldn’t bring myself to use their recipe because it called for FOUR sticks of butter for the vanilla frosting. No way jose). They then gave cake filling, and topping tips as well. Great article, pretty pictures..check it out!!

When I think if birthday cake, bright white frosting, and sprinkles always come to mind, so I made a chocolate cake using Real Simple’s recipe for Chocolate cake and vanilla frosting:

Chocolate Cake Recipe:


  • 1 cup (2 sticks) unsalted butter, at room temperature, plus more for the pan(s)
  • 3/4 cup unsweetened cocoa powder, spooned and leveled, plus more for the pan(s) (when making chocolate cake you want to dust with cocoa powder instead of flour to avoid getting white marks on your chocolate cake!)
  • 2 cups all-purpose flour, spooned and leveled
  • 1 teaspoon baking powder
  • 1 teaspoon baking soda
  • 1 teaspoon kosher salt
  • 1 1/2 cups sugar
  • 2 teaspoons pure vanilla extract
  • 3 large eggs, at room temperature
  • 1 1/2 cups whole milk


  1. Heat oven to 350°F. Butter the pan(s), line the bottoms with parchment, butter again, and dust with cocoa, tapping out the excess. (For cupcakes, there is no need for parchment or rebuttering.) In a medium bowl, whisk together the flour, cocoa, baking powder, baking soda, and salt; set aside
  2. Using an electric mixer, beat the butter and sugar on medium-high until fluffy, 2 to 3 minutes. Beat in the vanilla, then the eggs one at a time, scraping down the sides of the bowl as necessary.
  3. Reduce mixer speed to low. Add the flour mixture in 3 additions and the milk in 2 additions, beginning and ending with the flour mixture. Mix just until combined (do not overmix).
  4. Transfer the batter to the prepared pan(s) and bake until a toothpick inserted in the center comes out clean (see baking times, below). Cool the cake(s) in the pan(s) for 15 minutes, then turn out onto rack(s) to cool completely.
  5. Baking times: For two 8-inch rounds: 30 to 35 minutes. For two 9-inch rounds: 25 to 30 minutes. For one 9-by-13-inch rectangle: 35 to 40 minutes. For 24 cupcakes: 20 to 25 minutes.
I only have one baking round to make cakes like this. I was impatient and didn’t let my first layer cool enough and it split like this. 

I was a little more patient with the second layer.

While the cakes were cooling I made a simple frosting to frost the middle and outside of the cake with:


2 sticks butter, at room temperature
3 cups confectioners’ sugar
1 teaspoon salt
1 teaspoon vanilla extract
2 tablespoons whole milk

In a large bowl, or in the bowl of a stand mixer, combine butter, confectioners’ sugar, and salt. Beat on low speed until combined, about 2 minutes. Scrape the sides of the bowl with a spatula, then increase speed to medium high and beat until fluffy, about 3 minutes. Stop mixer, add the vanilla and milk, then continue beating 3 minutes on medium high on a stand mixer, or 5 minutes on a handheld mixer.

I then began frosting. Magazines and cooking shows make cake decorating seem so easy. It’s really not. Its frustrating, and requires a LOT O F PATIENCE.

 I tucked parchment paper under the cake so that it would catch any spills or sprinkles that fell off under the cake and frosted the bottom layer of the cake. I thought it would be fun to have vanilla and sprinkles on the inside, however due to the heat of my kitchen and my impatience with letting the cakes cool, the sprinkles and frosting on this layer turned chocolate. This layer of frosting tasted great, however I didn’t get the look I was going for.

Second layer:

It took a LOT of frosting to cover this cake and fill in the gaps in between the layers. I did it after a lot of spreading, filling, smoothing, etc. I took spoonfuls of sprinkles and put them around the edge of the cake. Warning: I got sprinkles ALL OVER MY APARTMENT doing this. The magazine told me to put sprinkles in the palms of my hand, but when I tried this I just ended up with a handful of frosting. If you know a better way to do this…let me know!

Heres the finished product before we sliced into it:

Then we sliced into it after singing ashley a very formal happy birthday song…

If your birthday is coming up and you have any requests ….let me know!!

Happy Memorial Day! Carrot Cake Whoopie Pies, and Carrot Raisin Muffins with Cinnamon Oat Topping

 I haven’t posted in a LONG time. This is mostly due to finals. I was underground studying from April 18th- May 16th. I would let you all know how I did this semester but I only have two grades  (good so far!) and am impatiently waiting on 3 more .  I had one day off that I hoped to devote partially to baking, however my apartment was disgusting and I can’t bake in my kitchen unless it is REALLY CLEAN (thanks for the OCD mom).

I started my work on the 18th, and have barely been home since. I’ve been taking long walks with my Bretty, reuniting with my best friend Tracey and hearing about her trip to Africa (most of her sentences begin with “when I was in Africa…” it’s cute), going to the movies, watching reality television with my girlfriends, and spending time with my mom.

While bored at home yesterday afternoon I started scouring the fridge for some baking inspiration. We had a lot of carrots so I started shredding them, thinking I’d make a carrot cake or something along those lines. I didn’t realize that I shredded WAY too many carrots until after the baking began.

While looking for recipies, I cam across a few for Carrot Cake Whoopie Pies. Since I loved the red velvet ones so much I decided to give these a try:

Recipe adapted from Gourmet:

NOTES: I don’t recommend using pre-shredded carrots. Freshly grated carrots have more moisture which I think is important to the cookie’s final texture. Chilling the dough before baking keeps the cookies from spreading too much in the oven.


3/4 cup golden raisins (2 1/2 ounces)
1 1/4 cups all-purpose flour
1 1/2 teaspoon cinnamon
1/2 teaspoon nutmeg
1/2 teaspoon baking soda
1/2 teaspoon salt
1 stick (1/2 cup) unsalted butter, softened
1/3 cup packed dark brown sugar
1/3 + 3 tablespoons cup granulated sugar
1 large egg
1/2 teaspoon vanilla
1 cup finely grated carrots (2 medium or 4 small)
1 cup walnuts (3 ounces), chopped


8 ounces cream cheese
4 tablespoons unsalted butter
1 1/2 cups powdered sugar
1 teaspoon vanilla


Place raisins in a small bowl and add enough hot water to cover. Set aside for 5-10 minutes, then drain thoroughly and pat dry.

In a small bowl, whisk together flour, spices, baking soda and salt.

In the bowl of an electric mixer, beat butter, sugars, egg and vanilla until smooth and fluffy, about 2 minutes. Mix in carrots, walnuts and raisins (drained!) on low speed.

 Kinda yucky looking but I promise it tastes and smells great!

Add flour mixture and beat just until combined. Set dough in refrigerator to chill for 15-30 minutes.

Preheat oven to 375°F. Line two baking sheets with Silpats or parchment paper (I don’t have Silpats, not yet at least and mommy dearest was out of parchment paper, I sprayed my cookie sheets with Baking PAM and that got the job done).

Working with one baking sheet at a time, drop 1 1/2 Tablespoons of dough per cookie onto baking sheet about 2 inches apart.

Bake each sheet separately, 13-15 minutes or until centers spring back to the touch. Cool on pan for 2 minutes, then transfer to a wire rack to cool completely.

To make the frosting, pulse cream cheese and butter in a food processor, scraping down sides with a spatula as needed, until smooth. Add powdered sugar and vanilla, and pulse until combined. (this was SOOO EASY, and delicious you can use it for anything that requires a cream cheese frosting)

If making ahead, store cookies at room temperature and frosting in refrigerator. ** I put the frosting in the fridge for 20ish minutes just so it would harden a bit and be easier to frost.  Frost cookies before serving.

As I said before, I shredded WAY too many carrots:

 I didn’t want to waste so I searched for another use for shredded carrots and I cam across a lot of breakfast carrot muffins. I improvised and combined a few recipies and came out with a really yummy muffin, everyone had these for breakfast  in my house this morning.

Carrot Raisin Muffins with Cinnamon Oat Topping

2 cups all-purpose flour
1 1/4 cups granulated sugar
1 cup raisins
1/2 chopped nuts (walnuts, pecans, optional)
2 tsp baking soda
1 1/2 tsp cinnamon
1/2 tsp nutmeg
1/2 tsp salt
2 1/2 cups grated carrots (peeled first)
3 eggs
1/2 cup vegetable oil
1/4 cup unsweetened applesauce

2 tablespoons butter (room temperature)
3 tablespoons rolled oats (quick cooking or regular)
2 tablespoons brown sugar
1/2 teaspoon cinnamon

1. Preheat oven to 350 degrees F. Line 12-cup muffin tin with paper liners and grease muffin pan lightly.

1. Combine flour, sugar, raisins, nuts, baking soda, cinnamon, nutmeg and salt in a large bowl. Stir well.

2. Add carrots, eggs and oil to dry ingredients all at once, stirring just until moistened.

3. For the topping, combine all ingredients in a bowl. Using your fingers, rub the butter and the other ingredients together until you get a crumbly mixture.
Fill the muffin batter into the muffin tin. Top each one with a tablespoon of the topping mixture.


4. Bake for 25-27 minutes until tops spring back when lightly touched.

Since I had a LOT of extra cream cheese frosting, and I hate to waste frosting, I frosted a couple of these muffins:

I have a lot of friends birthdays coming up so hopefully there will be some new baked treats up more frequently in the coming weeks!


Homemade Pizza!

There are two foods I love above all else:

# 1. Cookies (can you tell?) , and


I’m always in the mood for pizza. I love every kind. Brick oven, new york style, deep dish, margarita…YUM. Unfortunately, I can’t have pizza too often due to acid reflux– The tomato sauce kills me. But when I do  I usually opt for white pizza.

I have yet to try Artichoke pizza and really, really, really want to.  So if you want to take me out on a date for a slice, feel free…;) I’m a cheap date!

I can't wait to try this!!!!!!

When I really like something, I try to make it myself rather than always going out for it. Same goes for cookies, when I love a cookie I attempt to figure out a way to replicate it at home. Things are always more satisfying when you make them yourself! When I succeed it’s the best feeling, and this pizza recipe was a great example of that. I was really proud of it, and extremely full after eating it.

I searched the internet far and wide comparing and contrasting pizza dough recipes. There are a LOT of them out there. I chose Bon Appetit’s overnight pizza dough recipe because of its great reviews. I have to agree with them, this dough was great, although a little bit more time and labor intensive than other pizza dough’s. The dough gets its flavor from a “sponge” (a mixture of warm water, yeast, and flour that’s allowed to ferment). This sponge rests over night.

WARNING: this makes a LOT of dough. I was initially going to halve the recipe, but the reviewers recommended freezing the left over dough and all praised this dough for still being delicious post freezing.



  • 1 cup lukewarm water (110°F to 115°F)
  • 1 envelope active dry yeast, divided
  • 1 cup all purpose flour, divided


  • 1 1/2 cups lukewarm (110°F to 115°F) water
  • 2 teaspoons fine sea salt
  • 1 envelope active dry yeast
  • 6 cups (or more) all purpose flour
  • Olive oil
  • Yellow cornmeal (this is really cheap, and really made the pizza authentic tasting!)
  • Sauces and toppings of choice. I was planning on making sauce from scratch, but in the interest of actually doing my homework that day, I used bottled marinara sauce. I was nervous about doing this, but it was great!
  • I shredded Mozzerella cheese and kept this pizza simple by only topping this pizza with chopped basil/crushed garlic/olive oil mix.

Special equipment:

  • Pizza stone ( I’m not sure if you read this, but thank you for giving Brett a pizza stone Aunt Linda!! I loved using it, and Brett enjoyed eating it 😉

STEPS (it’s not that hard don’t be intimidated!) :

For sponge:
Place 1 cup lukewarm water in large bowl of mixer. Sprinkle 1 teaspoon yeast (reserve remaining yeast for dough) and 1/4 teaspoon flour over water. Let stand until yeast dissolves and mixture looks spongy, about 4 minutes. Add remaining flour and whisk until smooth; scrape down sides of bowl. Cover bowl with plastic wrap. Let sponge rest at room temperature in draft-free area overnight (about 12 hours; sponge will look bubbly).

For dough:
Add 1 1/2 cups lukewarm water, 2 teaspoons salt, 1 envelope yeast, and reserved remaining yeast to sponge, then add 6 cups flour, 1 cup at a time, beating with dough hook to blend after each addition. Continue to beat until dough is smooth, comes cleanly away from sides of bowl, and is only slightly sticky to touch, scraping down bowl occasionally, about 5 minutes. If dough is very sticky, beat in more flour, 1/4 cupful at a time (I didn’t need to use any more flour, these measurements were perfect) . Scrape dough onto floured surface; knead into smooth ball.

Brush inside of large bowl with oil. Add dough; turn to coat with oil. Cover bowl with plastic wrap; chill 6 hours, kneading dough down when doubled (after 2 hours).

About 1 1/2 hours before baking, dust 2 baking sheets with flour. Turn dough out onto floured surface. Knead gently; shape into 16-inch log. Cut into 8 equal pieces. Knead each piece into smooth ball. Arrange 4 balls of dough on each sheet. Cover loosely with kitchen towels and let rise until almost doubled, 1 to 11/4 hours.

If using pizza stone, place in oven. (be careful this pizza stone will get REALLY REALLY hott, I was really nervous being around it because it was radiating heat into my tiny kitchen.)

Preheat oven to 500 Deg;F for 45 minutes. Working with 1 dough ball at a time, dust dough with flour. Press into 5-inch round, then gently stretch and roll out to 9-inch round.** Instead I used three of my balls to make THICK rectangle the size of my pizza stone. I put each of the remaining balls of dough into ziploc bags in the freezer, and now have a lot of dough handy for the next time I want to make pizza!**

If using pizza stone, sprinkle pizza peel or rimless baking sheet with cornmeal. If not using pizza stone, sprinkle large baking sheet with cornmeal. Place dough round on cornmeal; brush lightly with oil. Top as desired.

Slide pizza onto stone or place pizza on baking sheet into oven.

Sliding the pizza onto the stone was not as easy as this made it seem. The dough was mushy and didn’t slide off as easily as I had hoped. My pretty toppings got all smushed around. Brett’s half of the pizza was supposed to have more sauce,  and mine less….that was a lost cause..

Anyways, after a lot of snapping and yelling on my behalf, Brett and I managed to get this onto the stone without burning ourselves… or killing each other… It was a miracle. (I promise I’m trying to work on my temper Brett, thanks for bearing with me!)

Bake pizza until sauce is bubbling and crust is crisp and brown, lifting edge of pizza to check underside, about 14 minutes.

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Try this ! 🙂  Or alternatively, come over for some pizza….I DO have a lot of dough to use.