My 3-B Muffins…

No photos with this post. Just a quick little recipe that I made up. I whipped up a batch this afternoon, and I’ve gotta say, they’re FABULOUS!!! I call them my 3-B Muffins ’cause they include Bananas, Blueberries and Blackberries.

Jen’s 3-B muffins (Banana, Blueberry & Blackberry)


3 cups all-purpose flour

2 tsp baking powder

2 tsp baking soda

1 tsp salt

½ tsp cinnamon

6 large mashed bananas

2/3 cup melted butter

2 eggs

1 cup sugar

1 cup fresh black berries

1 cup fresh blueberries


Preheat the oven to 350 degrees F (175 degrees C).

Line muffin pan (recipe makes 16 muffins).

In large bowl, mix together the dry ingredients (except the sugar), and set aside.

In another bowl, mix together the wet ingredients (plus the sugar). Whisk until well combined.

Pour the wet ingredients into a well in the middle of the dry ingredients and mix just until everything is combined. The trick to tender muffins is not mixing the batter vigorously. Gently fold in the fruit and mix just to combine. Fill muffin cups and bake for 30 to 35 minutes until tester comes out clean and tops are golden brown.

gingersnap cookie dreams…

Never fails! I declare I’m cutting something out of my diet, and within a day, I’m baking with said ingredient in large quantities! So here it is, plain and simple: I’m a flour junky! Apparently I’m not alone, according to Wheat Belly, the book I just read, there are millions of us out there. So I’m cutting bread (and wicked bagels) out of my diet. And that’s why I’m baking gingersnap cookies, duh!

I used my The Back In The Day Bakery Cookbook, and I’ve got to say their gingersnaps are delicious. I’m having company over for dinner tomorrow night, so I doubled the recipe and I’m keeping the dough in the fridge to bake some right before they arrive. Mmmm…the house will smell like a gingersnap factory (I can’t help it, I used to be a realtor).

The Back in the Day Bakery Cookbook
And voila! The finished product. I cooked them a little longer than suggested, because I love a crunchy gingersnap. Mmmmmm.

gingersnap cookies

Thanksgiving, eh!

What’s one thing that goes perfectly with Thanksgiving? You got it. Low-fat Pumpkin flan!!

It has been one of the most amazing Canadian Thanksgiving weekends I can remember, weather wise. The sun has been loving us for some time now and doesn’t appear to be going anywhere soon (Watch. Now that I’ve said it, we’ll have non-stop torrential rain ’til April!!!!). I’m cooking the turkey dinner today, because half of my little family has been away visiting another part of the family, and we couldn’t all be together until this evening. Don’t worry. There’s no drama. Just couldn’t all be in the same place at the same time–we’re all speaking to each other LOL.

I spotted this light pumpkin flan recipe on and just had to give it a try. I’ve made some alterations, but I’ll tell you everything I did. It turned out quite well–yes, I ate the one I photographed, for breakfast!!!

Thanksgiving Pumpkin Flan

Thanksgiving Pumpkin Flan — the light version

I love pumpkin pie, but I don’t love the crust and I’m pretty sure it’s mutual, ’cause I always gain weight when I eat it!!! So this flan seemed like a good plan…I should charge extra for poetry.

Low-Fat Pumpkin Flan


  • 1 1/4 cups white sugar
  • 2 tablespoons water
  • 5 large eggs
  • 1 teaspoon ground cinnamon
  • 1/4 teaspoon salt
  • 1/8 teaspoon ground cloves
  • 1/8 teaspoon ground ginger
  • 1 pinch ground allspice
  • 1 pinch ground mace
  • 1/3 cup white sugar (The flan isn’t very sweet, so if you like sweet desserts, I’d add about 1/4 cup more sugar)
  • 1 (15 ounce) can pumpkin puree
  • 1 3/4 cups low-fat milk (I used 2 percent milk, not skim. The normal flan recipe calls for heavy cream)
  • 1 vanilla bean, split and seeds scraped out and reserved
  • 2 tablespoons hulled toasted pumpkin seeds (optional)


  1. Preheat the oven to 300 degrees F (150 degrees C).
  2. Set eight (5 1/2 ounce) ramekins into a large baking dish.
  3. Stir together 1 1/4 cups sugar and water in a saucepan over medium heat; cook and stir until dark amber, about 10 minutes. (watch it carefully)
  4. Quickly divide the caramel among the ramekins; set aside. (you’ll need to work quickly to swirl the caramel around the bottom of the ramekins)
  5. Whisk eggs, cinnamon, salt, cloves, ginger, allspice, mace, and 1/3 cup sugar (or more) together in a large bowl. Stir in pumpkin puree until smooth.
  6. Heat milk in a saucepan over medium-low heat until it starts to gently bubble and steam. Remove from heat.
  7. Place vanilla bean seeds and pod (I only had liquid vanilla available so I used 1 tsp) in milk. Allow to soak for 10 minutes. Slowly strain hot milk mixture into the egg mixture and whisk to form a thin custard.
  8. Divide the custard evenly among the ramekins, leaving about 1/4 inch at the top of each.
  9. Fill baking dish with hot water to reach halfway up the sides of the ramekins. Cover the baking dish with heavy-duty aluminum foil.
  10. Bake in the preheated oven until the flan is just set, 45 to 50 minutes.
  11. Remove ramekins from hot water to cool completely. Cover and refrigerate until cold, at least four hours. (it’s really best to leave it overnight in the fridge)
  12. Run a knife around the inside edge of each ramekin and place an overturned plate on top. Invert and release the flan. Garnish with light ice cream or whipped cream and serve.

This is the colour that the caramel should be. When it’s getting close to the colour, take it off the burner, because it will still keep cooking and can burn quickly. I’d ask someone to help you in the kitchen at this point to swirl the caramel after each pour:

Thanksgiving Pumpkin Flan

Thanksgiving Pumpkin Flan caramel

stuff a cookie in it…

You know how sometimes you’re giving a presentation on the joys of blogging, and you say something flippant, like…oh…I don’t know…maybe, “If you ever see me blogging about food and recipes, you’ll know I have writer’s block!!”?

And then you go home and think about it for a while, and you realize that you probably just insulted half of the attendees in the room and flipped the bird at one of the things that gives you great pleasure?

Was I drunk?

Do you want to know what the kicker is? I used to have a baking business called Sugar Drops, and I loved baking! Duh.

So, as a peace offering to all the food bloggers out there (and there are a frighteningly high number of you), here is my highly-coveted SUGARDROP’S CHARLIE BROWN COOKIES recipe. Ta Da (said in a pathetic eating-crow kinda voice). They’re Charlie Browns ’cause there are peanuts and chocolate in them…get it? I know. Brilliant, right?

Makes about 40 absolutely amazingly delicious peanut butter chocolate chunk cookies, if you like that sort of thing. They’re perfectly crunchy and chewy at the same time.

1 cup unsalted butter (if you even think about using margarine, I’m gonna come over there and smack you with my spatula) room temp

1 cup peanut butter chunky or smooth (I use KRAFT unsweetened unsalted ’cause it actually tastes like peanuts)

1 cup white sugar

1 cup brown sugar (packed)

2 eggs

1 tsp pure vanilla extract

2 cups flour

1 tsp baking soda

1/2 tsp salt

1/2 cup chocolate chips

1 cup unsalted roasted peanuts (shelled…duh)

5 ounces or more Bernard Callebaut milk chocolate (I use Callebaut ’cause it’s AWESOME. If you love something else, use it.) chopped into 1/2-inch chunks.

Preheat oven to 350 degrees. Line cookie sheet with parchment paper (You can use an ungreased pan if you don’t have parchment. For the love-of-Pete, go buy some parchment!).

In a mixer, cream together butter and peanut butter. Add sugars and mix well. Mix in eggs, one at a time. Add vanilla and mix.

Sift dry ingredients together and then add them to the butter and mix well. Fold in peanuts and chocolate by hand so they don’t get crushed.

Drop by spoonfuls onto pan about 2″ apart (they spread out), and pat down with a fork dipped in flour. Bake on the middle rack for approximately 15 minutes. Leave on the pan for a couple of minutes on top of the oven before removing to cool.

Bon Appetit!!!!

God bless you Sweet Paul…

Sweet Paul is an amazing online magazine. The styling and photography are to die for, and the recipes cause palate palpitations. I swear I can almost smell the wafts of coconut and lemon cake floating off the page. How can you tell I haven’t eaten breakfast yet?

I thought you might like to see what lies taunting me on page 54…Salted Caramel & Chocolate Cake. I could die happy!

I implore you to drop what you’re doing, whip up this cake, and invite me over immediately!!! I’ll even bring the Starbucks AND I’ll be your best friend FOREVER!!!! Hope my doctor isn’t reading this…

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