Blueberry Crumb Coffee Cake with Honey Lemon Glaze

I was hungry for blueberry crumb muffins

I was hungry for a cinnamon coffee cake.

What happens when you have that craving? You combine them and make an incredibly delicious blueberry crumb coffee cake!

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I have been in heaven every time I have a piece. And it’s even better when you pop in the microwave and warm it for just a few seconds.

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This would be a great breakfast cake when you have over night guests.  Or for a  brunch, or just yourself!

I had a bag of frozen blueberries that I wanted to use up. I’ve been on a mission to use everything in my freezer before it’s too late! The bag of mango’s didn’t make it though, they were freezer burnt!

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Anyway, they worked well. I thawed them first, then drained and coated them with flout before tossing them in the batter.

The crumb topping was enormous! If you don’t want that much you could easily cut the recipe in half.

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The honey lemon drizzle was a spur of the moment decision, I had just a small amount of honey remaining in the container. And I had a lemon that desperately needed to be used.

And the cake batter was just a basic coffee cake recipe, super easy and delicious.

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Here is what I did for the cake:

First I sprayed an 8 x 8 glass pan, lined the pan with parchment paper and sprayed again. You don’t need to use the parchment, you can just use the greased pan.

As I mentioned, I thawed and drained the berries then coated them with flour.

Into my mixer I creamed together ½ cup (1 stick) very softened butter and ¾ cup sugar. Then I added 1 large egg, ½ cup milk, baking soda and salt. Once that is blended I added 2 cups of flour, one cup at a time, stopping to scrape the bowl in between each addition. Just a quick note about the milk, I used what I had on hand which is 1%, I know a lot of recipes call for whole but the 1% worked!

I then removed the bowl from the stand and gently folded in the blueberries. Once the berries are evenly distributed through the batter, pour into the prepared pan.

To make the crump topping I used ½ cup (1 stick) softened butter cut into pieces, 1 cup light brown sugar, 1 cup flour, 1 teaspoon cinnamon. Cut the butter in with the flour and sugar until crumbly, sprinkle over cake batter.

I baked the cake at 350 for about an hour. My oven is gas and after 2 years I still can’t get the hang of it. It runs about 25 degree’s hotter than what I want so I really have to watch it. I also have a double oven; the top oven is small, and the bottom is larger but not as large as a standard oven. It’s large enough to roast a turkey. I love it, and it’s convenient for me because it’s just me. BUT, baking in the smaller oven can be a challenge. SO, in your oven you might want to start checking the cake around 40-45 minutes.

The cake is done when a cake tester comes out clean. Then just lift the cake out of the pan and onto a cooling rack or a cutting board to cool.

To make the glaze I just used the juice of one lemon, ½ teaspoon of vanilla, about 1 tablespoon of honey and I just stirred in the confectioners’ sugar until I got the consistency that I wanted. Sorry, I didn’t measure, I just flew by the seat of my yoga pants!!! I added the glaze when the cake was just warm.

This cake is delicious and best when served warm and fresh from the oven. But is still quite yummy the next day, warmed for a few seconds in the microwave.

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Here is the recipe, I haven’t figured out how to add the option to print the recipe yet, but I’m trying!

BLUEBERRY CRUMB COFFEE CAKE with HONEY LEMON GLAZE

For the cake:

½ cup very soft butter

¾ cup sugar

1 cup milk

1 large egg

2 tsp baking powder

½ tsp salt

2 cups flour

About 2 cups of blueberries

Cream together the butter and sugar. Add the milk, egg, baking powder and salt. Then add the flour, one cup at a time, scraping the in between. Pour into a greased 8×8 pan.

For the topping:

1 cup light brown sugar

1 cup flour

1 tsp cinnamon

½ cup (1 stick) soft butter cut into pieces

Cut together until you have a crumbles, sprinkle in top of cake batter.

For the glaze:

The juice of one lemon

½ tsp vanilla

1 T honey

Confectioners sugar, still in about 1 tablespoon at a time until you get the consistency you want. I may have used about ¾ cup.

Live well friends!

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Holiday Meal Planner

Can you believe it is almost the end of October?! We will be planning holiday meals in no time!

I like to prepare a much as I can before the meal. You know those holiday Hallmark movies where the family is together in the kitchen on Thanksgiving and Christmas. Each of them is preparing something. One person is making the pumpkin pie, another is preparing the turkey to roast, someone is peeling the potatoes. Yea well it doesn’t work like that in my family and I’m betting it doesn’t in yours either.

Don’t get me wrong, I do have some help getting things ready to serve but for one thing, my kitchen isn’t that big AND I do not have enough ovens for multiple things to bake at one time!

So I thought I would come up with a planner, to help me, and to help you. We all lead busy lives and some of you may be awesome at throwing a big sit down holiday dinner in a flash, but I am not. I need to and like to prepare ahead of time, so here goes:

HOLIDAY MEAL PLANNER

2-3 Weeks Before

  • Plan your menu. If you’re thinking of serving new dishes, practice cooking them prior to your dinner so you and your guests won’t be disappointed.
  • If you are going with the traditional turkey, decide if you are purchasing a frozen or fresh bird, place your order if necessary.
  • Inventory your plates, utensils, glassware and serving dishes. Start shopping if you need to replenish!
  • What linens are you planning to use? Make sure you have enough tablecloths, napkins, and placemats. Launder and iron now.
  • Will you need extra tables and chairs? Whether you are renting, borrowing or buying new, start now.
  • Most importantly (other than the turkey!), make yourself lists. Write down EVERYTHING! Your menu, wine/drinks, things to do, things to buy, you will be thankful you did!

One Week Before

  • If you have not done so already, prepare your grocery list. Then rewrite in the location order of your market or in the order as: produce, canned items, bakery, bread, pantry items, and so on.
  • Clean out your kitchen before you grocery shop. Make sure your pantry and fridge are free of any unused leftovers or outdated products. Wipe down the shelves in the fridge.
  • Inventory your spices and herbs, discard out dated or old containers.
  • Clean your house and decorate if you have not already done so. Eliminate clutter and if your family likes to play games, make sure they are ready to go.
  • Make a plan for your cooking preparations. Use a calendar if you like or just make a list.

Sunday Before

  • If you have purchased a frozen bird, and depending on the size, you may need to put in the fridge so it can start to thaw. Never leave the turkey thaw on the counter!
  • The recipe for my Turkey Rub is here.

Monday and Tuesday before

  • Shop for your groceries.
  • Tie up any loose ends from above that you have not yet completed.
  • Make the cranberry sauce. My recipe is here.
  • If you are cutting up and cubing your own stuffing, do that now.
  • I like to chop up any vegetables that I need on Tuesday. Whether it be the onion and celery for the stuffing and turkey, or veggies for my family to snack on as an appetizer.
  • I work full time and usually cannot take off the day before so I like to make my pies and cakes Tuesday evening when I get home from work.  My pumpkin Pie recipe is here. And my Pumpkin Pie Ice Cream recipe is here.

Wednesday Before

  • If you have not done so already, bake your desserts. Store in a cool place or refrigerate.
  • Prepare any appetizers that can be made ahead, cover and refrigerate. My Three Cheese Roasted Red Pepper Dip is here.
  • If your vegetables are not chopped and ready to go, do that now.
  • If you are cooking a fresh turkey, pick it up from the market.
  • Prepare any side dishes ahead that you can. I make my mashed potatoes now, place them in a large casserole dish, dot with butter and cover with foil.
  • If you are making your mashed potatoes tomorrow, peel and cut them now, place them in a bowl of water, cover and refrigerate.
  • Set up any extra table and chairs, set the table, place any table décor out now.
  • If you are planning to use a cooler for bottled water or beer and extra wine bottles, do that now and sit outside in a safe place.
  • If you’re planning on hot chocolate by a fire pit, my recipe is here. Or my Hot Cider Float recipe is here.
  • Inventory your lists and make sure you are on track!
  • Take a hot bath, pour yourself a drink and relax with a good book!

THE BIG DAY!

  • Prepare your stuffing and turkey and get them in the oven.
  • Reheat your sides.
  • Prepare the gravy.
  • Don’t forget ask for help getting things on the table!
  • And you are done! Enjoy your day and your guests and have a wonderful time!

I wish you the Happiest and Loveliest Thanksgiving and Christmas!

PS: And remember, your holiday will not be perfect! Don’t worry if something doesn’t work out as planned, laugh about it! I can’t tell you how many rolls I have burned because I put them in the oven last and forgot to set the timer!!

Mojito’s and Mint Tea

I love when my herbs are growing and blooming!  But I REALLY love it with the mint has come in!

Last year I planted mint in a large pot, and it did very well.  It came back beautifully this spring.  But I had to plant another pot this year because I love it so much!

I have made my usual mint tea twice this spring and now I make mojito’s!!

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You can check out my recipe for the mint tea recipe here Fresh Mint Tea.  Although I plan to use some green tea bags the next time I make it, green tea is so healthy for us and I’m trying to incorporate more of it in my diet.

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For the mojito, first I made a simple syrup by using 1/2 cup sugar and 1/2 cup water. Bring the water to a light boil, stirring until the sugar is melted.  Remove from heat and add about 5 large mint leaves to the syrup to “steep” while it cools.

I cut a lime in half, set half of it aside and the other half I quartered and squeezed the lime juice into my glass with about 10 mint leaves.  Muddle to break up the leaves, for just about a minute.  Then I added the lime quarters that I squeezed the  juice from and muddled them for a few seconds.  Fill glass with ice.

After the simple syrup was cool, I added 2 ozs to my glass.  Then 2-3 ozs of white rum and topped off the glass with seltzer water.
Add a lime slice to the rim of the glass and float a sprig of mint on top as well.

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Mint Mojito

 

  • 15 mint leaves, more for a more minty taste
  • 1/2 cup sugar
  • 1/2 cup water
  • 2-3 ozs white rum
  • 1 lime
  • seltzer water

Make a simple syrup with the sugar and water by placing in a small sauce pan and bring to a light boil, stirring to melt the sugar.  When the sugar is melted stir in 5 mint leaves and set aside to cool.

Cut a lime in half; take half the lime and quarter it, squeeze juice into glass. Add 10 mint leaves and muddle.  Add the squeezed lime quarters and muddle lightly again.  I added another half of a slice of lime to the glass and to the rim.

Fill glass with ice, add the rum and mint infused simple syrup.  Top with a splash of seltzer water.

Live well friends and have a minty summer!  Be sure to follow me on Facebook for daily babbling and rambling!

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White Bean and Kale Soup

I wanted to make soup and I wanted something different than what I usually make, so I went through my pantry to see what I had on hand.

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I found the beans, broth, tomatoes and potatoes (in the freezer), the only thing I decided I needed and didn’t have was the kale.

So I started with getting the beans a quick start and headed to the store for kale.

When the beans were ready I put them in my soup pot along with  frozen diced potatoes, covered them with a carton of chicken broth and brought it to a simmer. I added salt, pepper, onion powder, a few red pepper flakes and some turmeric.

I’ve been trying to add turmeric to quite a lot of my foods, its so healthy for you!

When the potatoes were tender I added diced fire roasted tomatoes, a little more broth, chopped kale and left that simmer for about 15 minutes and it was done!

I don’t usually eat a lot but I devoured a full bowl of this soup!!

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White Bean and Kale Soup

Half a bag of small white beans, about 8 oz

2 cups diced frozen potatoes

1 32 oz carton chicken broth, plus more if you want to thin the soup as it cooks

1 cup fire roasted diced tomatoes, I use canned

About 1 big handful of chopped kale

Salt & Pepper to taste

A few red pepper flakes

1/2 tsp onion powder

1/2 tsp turmeric, optional

Soak beans, drain and place in soup pot along with the potatoes, pour in the broth and bring to a light simmer.  Add spices, cover and let simmer until potatoes are tender. Stir often.

Add tomatoes and kale, let the soup simmer lightly for another 10-15 minutes.  Add more broth as you prefer to keep soup from getting too thick.

If you make this soup I hope you love it as much as I do!!

Live well!

 

Christmas Home Tour 2015

I must be crazy to want to do a Christmas Home Tour this year!  I am so nervous to show you my home but yet I am also excited to share my cozy little place with you!

I have admired so many Christmas home tours on blogs, the homes are gorgeous!  And I love the all the different styles of decorating, rustic, country, traditional, contemporary.  It’s all so beautiful!

I want to warn you that I have been in my home for less than a year.  I still don’t have things the way I want them.  I need to paint, and there are still a few pieces of furniture that I am looking for and I still need curtains.  My house certainly does not look like it is worthy of a home tour, but I love my home and I love decorating for Christmas.  I just want to share my little corner of the world, a little place that warms my heart and welcomes all the family and friends that I have!!

I have been planning my Christmas décor for months!    Let me tell you how I started….

I have lots of family heirlooms that have been carefully packed away.  I have quite a few antiques that I have collected over the years.  And, I just have a lot of STUFF!  So I have been trying to be creative in using so many of the pieces to decorate.

The first thing I did was to start with an empty slate, I emptied all table tops and counters.  Then I set out what I wanted to use from my collections, and unpacked all the Christmas décor I had packed away.

I used old and new together in the décor, but I tried keep all the silver pieces together, and all the gold together.  That said, I do like silver and gold decorations together, and I love a light blue thrown in with it, maybe next year….

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I keep at least one framed photo of my kids, grandkids and my parents on display.  My parents have passed on and I need to keep a picture of them out not only all the time BUT most definitely at Christmas. I have so many wonderful fond memories of my childhood Christmases, even though they are always in my heart, I still want their photo for all to see.

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Some of the Christmas balls are new, some are hand-made mercury glass, and some are from my very first tree when I became a single mom… so many years ago!  Here’s a close up of the handmade mercury glass.

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My Dad used to set up a platform train set when I was very small.  He was very detailed using black thread for telephone wire, he used mirror for ice on a pond, and there were train cars that actually functioned as if it were a real train.  The engine even blew smoke!  But sadly, Dad got rid of everything except a few of the trains.  But one of the things that I really loved were the little bottle brush trees!!  I can’t help myself!!

So I bought a few to set on my craft table.. Warms my heart when I look at them as it reminds me of that train platform so many years ago!

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I thought decorating the kitchen for Christmas would be difficult and I would just go light on the decor, but it turned out to be easier than I thought AND I was able to use some of the heirlooms!

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This cabinet I installed after I moved in, but I still haven’t decided on the type of counter tile I want, so I covered the plywood base with the shiny red cloth.

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Even the sink area has a little sugared faux fruit for decor.

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This corner is where I do all my cooking, and today, baking!  I left a few cookies our for visitors, and a little basket for tangerines and apples.

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I also set out the  makings for hot cocoa, the grandkids will love this!

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So, that’s it for now.  I didn’t get my nativity scene up yet, I’ll share that with you soon.

Merry Christmas friends!

Minestrone, Quick and Easy!

It’s that time of year when the weather turns cooler, that we turn towards a hot bowl of soup.

Today I had a craving for minestrone.


This soup is so easy and does not take long at all!

I started by heating olive oil in my soup pot, and tossing in onion and garlic.  Saute until slightly tender.

Then I poured in chicken stock, tomato sauce, and diced tomatoes with the juice.  Next in the pot is the orzo.  Salt and pepper, and a little sugar and stirred it all together.

Brought the soup to a simmer and reduced the heat to slowly cook the orzo.  Then I added cayenne pepper, turmeric, onion powder.

When the orzo was just about finished I added pinto beans, I like to rinse and drain the beans.  And just before serving  I tore up some spinach and tossed it in too!  Stir to heat the beans and spinach and serve.

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Serve each bowl topped with grated Parmesan, a delicious glass of wine and a slice of hot buttered and crusty bread!

3 T Olive Oil

1 medium onion, chopped and diced

1 clove garlic, chopped finely

32 oz carton of Chicken Stock

8 oz can of Tomato Sauce

15 oz can of Fire Roasted Diced Tomatoes

15 oz can Pinto Beans, rinsed and drained

1/2 cup Orzo

Dash each of Onion Powder, Turemic and Cayenne Pepper

Salt and Pepper to taste

1 tsp sugar

About 1 cup of torn spinach, more if you’d like!

Heat olive oil in your soup pot, add the onion and garlic, sautee until slightly tender. Pour in the chicken stock, diced tomatoes and the tomato sauce.  Bring to a light boil and reduce the heat to a light simmer.  Add the orzo, and spices including salt and pepper to taste, add sugar.  Stirring often.  When the orzo is just about done, add the beans and torn spinach.

Total cooking time is around 30 minutes.  Cheers friends, live well!
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A housecleaning schedule??

I have read, with excited interest, various pins on Pinterest regarding a cleaning schedule.

Monday do this, Tuesday do that.  I have even given it a try, it never works for me. It makes complete sense to block out time each day to do a few household chores. If we have a schedule, we will stick to it and chores will get done right?

Yea well not for me. I’ll get an invitation to dinner, or I’ll be too tired, or something…

I sit down Sunday evening with my planner and notebook and make a list of things that didn’t get done on the weekend and everything that needs done for the week. I love crossing off chores as they’re completed through the week.

Yea I still have an evening after work where I’m too tired or I meet someone for dinner but I just pick one thing from my list that needs done, finish that small chore and cross it off!!

Towards the end of the week, I usually have a small panic attach after reading over my list, and then I’ll start highlighting the most important chores. It’s my way of giving myself the evil eye and a warning that I better get moving or else!!!

And by Friday if I still have items on my list, which by the way…..I always do, I just save it for the weekend.

Now, I’m single living with just my pup, that does not shed by the way, I don’t have small children that live with me but I do have grandchildren. So yea it’s a little easier for me to keep things tidy.

Life is way to short to worry about cleaning that doesn’t get done! There are friends and family to hang out with, hobbies to enjoy, dogs to walk, yanno?  I still love a clean spotless house, my house is picked up and neat but it might not pass the white glove test…..and that’s okay with me.

If those cleaning schedules work for you, that’s great!  I’m envious that those planners work for you and wish they did for me.

Live healthy and happy!!!  Follow me on my Facebook , click on the link on the sidebar, you can also follow me on Instagram at kims_pictures.