Frozen Pineapple Banana Cups


The weather here today has been more like summer than the middle of spring, with 80 degree temperatures that make you thirsty for a cold glass of lemonade – or a frosty cup of this yummy treat.

These little frozen cups are sweet and tangy, with a tropical twist that will make you want to put your feet up and swing in a hammock all day long. They are super easy to make too – just throw everything in an electric ice cream maker, or stash it in a container in the freezer for a couple of hours.

Keep this recipe handy for this summer, you’ll be glad you did.

Frozen Pineapple Banana CupsFrozen-Banana-Pineapple-Cups-3-for-web
(adapted from Taste of Home)
(prep: 10 minutes; freezing time: 30 minutes; yield: 9-12 servings)
  • 3 cups water
  • 2 2/3 cups mashed ripe bananas (5 to 6 medium)
  • 1 cup sugar
  • 1 can (20-oz) crushed pineapple, undrained
  • 1 can (6-oz) frozen orange juice concentrate, thawed

Ice Cream Maker: Combine all of the ingredients in the container of your ice cream maker. Turn the machine on and let mix for 20-30 minutes.  Serve and enjoy! (Note: depending on the size of your container, you may need to make this in two batches.

Freezer method: In a 2 qt. freezer container, combine all of the ingredients. Mix well. Cover and freeze for 5 hours or overnight. Remove from the freezer 15 minutes before serving.

(Note: You can get away with using less sugar in this recipe, since the fruit contains enough sugar. I’ve made it with just 1/2 cup sugar before and it has been fine – just a little more tart.



Double Pumpkin Applesauce Muffins

Pumpkin-Applesauce-Muffins-1-for-webI picked up a new cookbook last week – not that I really needed one. Our local Borders store is closing, and everything has been marked down 70-90%.

I kind of felt like a vulture, rummaging through the shelves looking for a deal, while in the back of my mind I wondered about the jobs of the people who worked there.

I did find something to take home though – The Oprah Magazine Cookbook.  The bright shiny cover and beautifully photographed dishes drew me in, and as I fanned through the pages I knew I had to buy it.

Today I decided to make the Pumpkin Applesauce Muffins, and was happily dumping flour and spices into my butter mixture, when I realized that I had just thrown in the entire can of pumpkin puree – rather than the 1 cup it called for.

I had visions of dense, gooey muffins…not a desirable trait in a muffin. So I panicked and wondered if I should try to double the recipe to salvage it, then realized that this would call for another 4 eggs, 2 cups of sugar and whole stick of butter. At this point, I decided to bite the bullet and just go with it.

I mean, brownies were invented from a botched recipe right?

Well, my decision paid off, since these muffins turned out to be perfectly moist. No soggy dough bricks here. 

So that is how Oprah’s Pumpkin Applesauce muffins turned into my Double Pumpkin Applesauce Muffins. I will write the recipe as written in the cookbook, but if you’re feeling a little adventurous, don’t worry if you decide to use the entire can of pumpkin – in fact, I recommend it. Smile

Pumpkin Applesauce MuffinsPumpkin-Applesauce-Muffins-3-for-web

(recipe from The Oprah Magazine Cookbook)

(prep: 15 min; bake: 20 min; yield 21 full muffins)

1 1/2 tbsp butter, melted
3 1/3 cups all-purpose
2 tsp baking soda
1/2 tsp baking powder
2 tsp ground cinnamon
1/2 tsp ground cloves
1/2 tsp freshly grated nutmeg
1 tsp salt
1 stick unsalted butter, softened
2 cups sugar
4 large eggs
1 cup unsweetened applesauce
1 cup canned mashed pumpkin (or the whole can like I did!)
1 tsp vanilla extract
2/3 cup apple juice, cider, or orange juice (I used orange juice)
1 1/2 cups raisins (optional)

1. Preheat oven to 375F. Grease 12 half-cup muffin cups with melted butter. In a medium bowl, combine flour, baking soda, baking powder, cinnamon, cloves, nutmeg, and salt; set aside.

2. In a large mixing bowl, beat the butter and sugar until cream, 2-3 minutes. Beat in the eggs, applesauce, pumpkin, and vanilla until blended. Add the dry ingredient alternately with the juice, beginning and ending with the dry mixture. Mix until smooth, but don’t over mix. Gently fold in the raisins.

3. Spoon batter into prepared muffin cups, filling each cup all the way. The fuller you make your cup, the higher domed your muffin will be. Bake on center oven rack for 20-25 minutes, or until a toothpick comes out clean. Remove from oven and allow muffins to cool in the pan for several minutes. Turn muffins out onto a cooling rack. Sprinkled with powdered sugar if desired and serve warm or at room temperature. Repeat steps 1 through 3 with any remaining batter. If you don’t have enough batter to fill all 12 cups the second time around, just put a little water in any empty cups. Enjoy!

Cinnamon Bubble Buns


Are you feeling neglected? I think my kitchenaid mixer is.  My blogging neglect had a good reason though…I promise. I kinda-sorta got the itch to redecorate my kitchen at the last minute.  My house has very little light (a constant headache in my photo taking world); add to the mix the dark colors that my walls were painted, and you get the idea – dark and gloomy. I wanted bright and cheery. I wanted wake-you-up-make-you-feel-good-put-a-sparkle-in–your-smile colors.

So I embarked on a journey.  A journey filled with numerous trips to the paint store, a selection of what I thought was the perfect color, and a realization that is was NOT the perfect color.

This led to another trip to the paint store, another paint color selection, and repainting the walls – again. Did I mention my husband had the patience of a saint? Smile

My kitchen walls are finally done, and I love the final color. Now we’re tackling the living room today.  Don’t worry – I picked up THREE paint sample jars to make sure we (when I say we, I really mean my husband) get the color right the first time.

To reward my husband for his patience and hard work, I made these Cinnamon Bubble Buns for him this morning. A miniature version of monkey bread, made in muffin tins.  They are delicious and just the right size. Smile

Cinnamon Bubble BunsCinnamon-bubble-buns-7-for-web-edit
(Prep: 1 hour 45 min; Bake: 20 min; Yield: 12 buns)

For the dough:
  • 1 package active dry yeast (2 1/4 tsp)
  • 1/4 cup warm water
  • 3 tbsl unsalted butter, melted
  • 2/3 cup sour cream
  • 3 tbsp sugar
  • 1 large egg
  • 1 tsp vanilla extract
  • 2 1/2 cups all-purpose flour, plus more for kneading
  • 1/2 tsp salt
  • 1/4 tsp baking soda
For the cinnamon-sugar coating:
  • 2/3 cup packed light brown sugar
  • 2 tsp cinnamon
  • 6 tbsp unsalted butter, melted
For the vanilla glaze:
  • 1 1/4 cups powdered sugar
  • 1 tbsp unsalted butter, melted
  • 1 tbsp milk
  • 1 tsp vanilla extract
1. In a large mixing bowl, sprinkled the yeast over the water and let it stand until bubbly, 5 to 10 minutes. Stir in the butter, sour cream, sugar, egg, and vanilla.

2. Beat in 2 cups of the flour, the salt, and the baking soda until combined.

3. Add the remaining 1/2 cup flour and continue mixing until a smooth, soft dough forms.

4. Turn the dough out onto a lightly flour surface (keep your mixing bowl handy) and knead it until smooth, about 3 minutes.  As you knead, add more flour if the dough is sticky, no more than 2 tbsp though. Place the dough back in the mixing bowl and cover with plastic wrap. Let the dough rise in a warm place until doubled in size, about 1 hour.

5. Lightly grease a 12-cup muffin pan, then flour the cups and tap out the excess.

6. In a small bowl, blend the sugar and cinnamon for the coating. Place the melted butter in a small dish and set aside.

7. Gently punch down the dough to deflate it. Form it into a long cylinder and divide it into 12 equal portions. Using kitchen scissors or a sharp knife, divide each of the 12 portions into 6 equal pieces, then roll each piece into a ball.

Cinnamon-Bubble-Buns-1-for-web-Edit  Cinnamon-Bubble-buns-6-for-web-edit

8. To make a bun, dip six of the balls in melted butter (be generous with the butter), then roll them in the cinnamon-sugar mixture. Arrange five of the balls in the bottom of a muffin cup. With your fingertip, make a small well and press the sixth ball in the center. Repeat with the remaining dough balls. Loosely cover the buns with plastic wrap and let them rise in a warm place until they’re puffy and double in size, about 40 minutes. Preheat oven to 350F.

9. Bake the buns on the center rack until golden, about 20-22 minutes. Transfer the pan to a wire rack placed over a sheet of waxed paper or aluminum foil to cool for about 5 minutes. Now tilt the pan and gently tap it on the counter to release the buns. If needed, you can use a knife to release them from the pan. Place the buns on the wire rack.

Cinnamon-bubble-buns-9-for-web-edit  Cinnamon-bubble-buns-7-for-web-edit

10. In a small bowl, combine the ingredients for the glaze and stir until smooth. If the glaze is too thick, you can thin it out by adding 1 tsp water at a time. Brush each bun with the glaze. Serve immediately or at room temperature.

(adapted from Familiy Fun April 2011)

Eat and enjoy!  I’m off now to start painting the living room, oh yeah, and I’m going to buy my first sewing machine and attempt to tackle some kitchen window treatments…eeek Smile


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