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Banana Bread Muffins

Banana Bread Muffin

So, I’m literally obsessed and have an addiction to these Banana Bread Muffins.

In fact, I think it is safe to say that my whole family does.

I made these yesterday.  The recipe made 48 mini muffins and today, at 6:00pm.  They are literally all gone.

My poor family…… We have no self control.


These are actually a great after school treat, but unfortunately, my kids do not understand the idea of moderation.  Else they would have had these several days after school.  Maybe we need to work on that concept.



These are really great as a traveling alternative to grabbing fast food.  We tend to go out of town early in the morning and this involves us buying breakfast on the way a lot.

With the Holidays coming up quickly and people going out of town, why not make these the day before and pack them to go?


I promise they will go FAST!

Check out the video below that I made for these yummy little muffins!

Happy Baking!



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Cinnamon Twists

Pickmonkey Cinnamon Twists

When I was growing up, both my mom and grandma took us to a grocery store called, The Fresh Market.  To my knowledge, they are across the United States, so I’m sure you are probably familiar with it.

Apart from having organic food items, they had and still do have an  AMAZING Bakery!

Well,  it was considered AMAZING to a little child growing up.

We all had our favorite things we loved and pretty soon those things became something we couldn’t live without when we would go to there.  At least that is what we would tell anyone who took us, in hopes we could sweet talk them into buying something for us.

We weren’t spoiled, right?

I remember my sister’s favorite were the Chocolate Eclairs.  Mine were whatever Sugary Confection looked good that day…… (I never have met a baked good I didn’t like).  AND…….My brother’s were the Cinnamon Twists!  (Which also, eventually,  became my favorite as well)

Well, when my brother and I moved away from Raleigh, we moved to an area that didn’t have a Fresh Market.  Well, at least not initially.

Within a few years of living here, they actually, to our surprise, built one, not too far from our house!  I was literally in heaven!  Nothing will get this girl more excited than when a new awesome grocery store hits town!  The first thing on my list to buy there were going to be……. you guessed it,


However, that wouldn’t happen.  🙁

I went to the store and didn’t see them.  After asking an employee where they were, he told me that I must have been a Fresh Market customer for a LONG time, because they stopped making them years ago.??????????

WHAT?!?!?! , I thought?

I guess I hadn’t gone that often when I still lived in Raleigh, because I reckon I would have known this!?!?

They had some “other version ” of them now.  But Y’all!!!!  Let me just tell you…….

“Other Versions” just don’t cut it when you want the REAL VERSION of something.  Not when you grew up having One Version of it and One Version only.  Uh uh!

So, long story short…..  (TOO LATE!)

I decided to make my “OWN VERSION”!

So, I hope you like them.

Here is what I did:


I took one sheet of Puff Pastry.  I used Pepperidge Farm’s, but use whatever brand you like.  I only had one sheet, so the recipe will be based off that.  If using 2 sheets, and I definitely recommend doing that, because you will want MORE!……. just double the rest of the ingredients.


Lightly dust a counter surface with flour so that you can work with the pastry sheet and it will not stick to the counter.  *You honestly don’t need much.


Mine came lined with sheets of parchment paper, so I thought it would be a great idea to use this as a “ruler” of some sort or at least something that would give me a straight edge to cut the strips with.  Using a pizza cutter,


I cut several strips of the puff pastry.  Make sure to cut an even amount, as you will twist two together.  *NOTE:  I would go back and cut the strips thinner next time.  They don’t have to bake as long when they are thinner.  However, these did just fine and tasted great!


Then, I took a very small amount of milk and brushed it lightly on the strips to act as a “glue” for the cinnamon and sugar.


I mixed together 1 teaspoon of cinnamon with a 1/4 cup of sugar.


I heavily sprinkled the cinnamon and sugar mixture over all of the strips.  Then, I turned them over and did the exact same thing to the other sides.


Time to TWIST!  Take two strips and cross them at the top, pinching together.  Taking both strips, I twisted them all the way down and pinched them again at the bottom to seal.


This is what they look like when twisted.  Then, I cut them in half and made sure all the ends were pinched together as well.


Smaller cut strips getting ready to go into the oven on 400 degrees for 12-15 minutes.  (*Thinner ones will be less)


And VOILA!  Make sure to let them cool completely.  As they cool, they will become stiffer and will in turn have this “crunch” to them that is simply DIVINE!  That is exactly the way they used to be at The Fresh Market too!  🙂

I have to say that I was proud of myself.  I surprised my brother with a few and I really hope he liked them!  If he didn’t he can give them back because I know a few peeps around these parts that will gobble them up!


When the kids came home from school, they devoured them.  Even my oldest, who is not a big sweet person (not sure she is really my kid……)  LOVED THEM!

Then, both her and her sister decided that they would go best with Apple Cider.  If you haven’t seen my Cider Recipe, you can check it out here.

Until next time…….



Recipe:  Cinnamon Twists

– Flour for dusting

– 1 Frozen Puff Pastry Sheet, thawed

– 1 Teaspoon Cinnamon

– 1/4 Cup Granulated Sugar

– Small amount of milk for brushing Pastry



– Take a small amount of Flour and lightly dust a counter or cutting board surface.  Take Puff Pastry sheet, and lie flat on lightly dusted surface.

– Using a pizza cutter or knife and straight edge, cut strips in puff pastry sheet, remembering to do an even number for twisting purposes.  Cutting thinner strips may work better.  However, wider ones work just as well.  Line strips on working surface.

– Meanwhile, in a small bowl, combine the Cinnamon and Sugar.

– Using a pastry brush, lightly brush surface of pastry sheets with milk.

– Heavily dust each strip with Cinnamon/Sugar mixture.  Flip strips over and repeat on other side.

– Carefully, take two strips and criss-cross strips on one edge.  Proceed to wrap strips around each other and secure other end just like the beginning.

– Lay strip down on cut in half, remembering to pinch the cut edges together so that they will hold their shapes.  Repeat steps with remaining strips.

– Lay strips on a baking sheet and bake for 12-15 minutes until puffy and golden brown.  Sprinkle with additional Cinnamon/Sugar mixture if you wish.

– Allow the strips to cool completely.  *If you do this, they will become crispier and fantastic!  If you eat them to soon, they will not be as crispy!


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Spiced Apple Cider

Spiced Apple Cider

Oh!  How I loooooooove Apple Cider.  I’ll drink it cold or hot, but there is just something about a cool crisp Fall day and a cup of Warm Spiced Apple Cider.

I think I’m getting a little excited for Downton Abbey to come back on because I thought to myself, “Why not fancy it up a bit and put it in a tea cup?”

I know I know!  Downton Abbey isn’t coming back on for quite a while still, but a girl can dream, right?

Well, if you fancy yourself some fancied up Warm Spiced Apple Cider, why not have a go at this easy recipe?  When I say easy, I mean SUPER easy!

Here is what you need to do:


Take a teaspoon of pre-packaged mulling spices and add it to a saucepan.  A new Fresh Market opened up here the other day (Insert: Angels Singing).  I bought it there, but you can easily pick this up at any grocery store.


That is also where I picked up the Apple Cider, but again, you can get Apple Cider anywhere.


Add 1 cup of  the cider to the mulling spices and wisk together.

Simmer the cider on low in the saucepan for 10 – 15 minutes.


Take any cup and add a cinnamon stick to it.


Add warm cider to cup and enjoy!

NOTE:  This recipe is good for an individual cup of cider.  However, lots of mulling spice packages (including the one I bought) have directions for making larger quantities.


This would be great for any day, but especially good on those chilly ones!  Also great for little sore throats………  or BIG ones for that matter!  😉




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Ghoulishly Good For You Smoothie

I love smoothies!  They are yummy and sweet and best of all, GOOD FOR YOU!

Goulishly Good For You, that is!  *Pretty sure that’s a word?


You can use any kind of blender, but recently, I bought a Blendtec and I haven’t regretted it for one second!

This thing makes a mean smoothie, amongst other things.

It literally makes it as smooth as the ones you would buy in the store.  Most people wouldn’t care about that, but I have never been able to get that consistency until now.  🙂

Here is what I did:


I took a couple handfuls of fresh spinach, 1 kiwi, 1/2 cup fresh blueberries, 1 apple (sliced into wedges), 1 whole banana (peeled of course), and 1 1/2 cups water.


Then I tossed all the ingredients into the blender, secured the lid and pressed the smoothie button.  *For a regular blender, just blend until completely smooth.

I should also mention that I like my smoothies more on the thinner side so that they are easier to drink.  If you prefer yours on the thicker side, I would use a little less water.  You could also add some ice cubes to the smoothie as well to have a thicker consistency.



In the end, you are left with a great energy boosting drink that has loads of fiber and vitamins.


Did I mention that my children would probably sell me to the highest bidder for one of these drinks?  They love it!

They have absolutely no idea that it is so good for them.

I promise that you can’t taste the spinach.  They always have to ask me if I put spinach in it.  😉



It’s a good thing that they can’t taste everything in the smoothies.  It would just be too awkward to explain things after the neighbor’s cat went missing…….

Mooooohaahaahaahaahaa!  (*Evil Laugh)


Yeah, Z didn’t get it either.  Guess I’ll have to work on my jokes.



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