BHG Delish Dish

Stirring Up Ideas In The Kitchen

produce-packed carrot cake muffins

Baking on the weekend is one of my favorite things to do with my daughter. It’s a fun and easy activity, often without the need for any special equipment or skills. Sure, it can be messy and she almost always wants to eat the batter, but we get the added benefit of getting to eat what we create. And this recipe for Produce-Packed Carrot Cake Muffins is a favorite for both flavor and nutrition. We love to bake these mid-morning and then enjoy them warm out of the oven for our snack. They are a really yummy way to get in some fruits and veggies in a delicious package!

muffins cooling in tin

We started with this recipe for Mini Blue Corn Carrot Cake Cupcakes and made a few simple changes to customize them for our liking. Here’s what we did:

  • Swapped in yellow cornmeal for blue.
  • Used half shredded carrots and half shredded apple.
  • Reduced the sugar to 1/2 cup.
  • Used 1/2 cup whole milk yogurt instead of the oil.
  • Omitted the applesauce and walnuts.
  • Baked in a standard size muffin tin for 24-26 minutes.

The resulting muffins are slightly crunchy from the cornmeal, yet super moist from the carrots, apples, and yogurt. They are plenty sweet on their own and are delicious both warm and cold the next day out of the fridge. I love that they have both fruits and veggies in the mix (which my 3-year-old didn’t even seem to notice!)

Produce-Packed Muffins for Kids

I let the batch cool—well at least the ones that we didn’t immediately eat!—and stashed half into a zip top freezer bag in the freezer with plans to eat them while taking care of a newborn in a few weeks. I guess we’ll see if they last that long! Try these produce-packed muffins plain or topped with a little nut butter for an easy breakfast or snack for yourself and your little ones.

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I am very excited it is finally Spring! And I am celebrating the arrival with these Spring Flower Cupcakes. These cupcakes will be perfect for a lovely gift this Mother’s Day. Nothing like a bouquet of cupcakes to replace the usual flowers. Well, to be honest, I would be bringing these and flowers to my mother-in-law, because who doesn’t like flowers too? Especially ones you can eat!

For these pretty Spring Flower Cupcakes, I started with a classic Spring flavor; lavender. I loved these lavender-honey cupcakes from BHG.com but wanted to have fun with the decorations so I adapted the recipe. I used the cupcake recipe but not the buttercream. For the cupcakes, I enhanced the lavender flavor by soaking the lavender flowers in the milk. This brings out the floral in the flower more and makes these cupcakes delightful!

For the frosting, I used a whipped vanilla bean frosting from my recipe archives. Find the recipe here. It’s great for any vanilla cupcake but even better to decorate with. It holds up great to coloring and pipes well. Just see how well it turned out with these hydrangeas, roses, chrysanthemum (look alike!) and carnations.

Find the directions in the notes below on how to make each of these flowers as well as links to the recipes. I hope this Mother’s Day, you will brighten up the day of your favorite women with these Spring flower cupcakes!

Notes:

  • For the cupcake recipe, I followed THIS recipe. Except, I soaked the dried lavender flowers in the milk for about 30 minutes.
  • For the frosting, I used a batch of THISwhipped vanilla bean frosting.
    • Divide the frosting into different parts and color using gel coloring. The thick gel paste does not thin out the frosting. I used teal, blue, violet, pink and yellow for the flowers shown above. But feel free to use colors of your choice.
  • To decorate the cupcakes:
    • Hydrangea: I used Wilton Tip 2D and a mix of blue and white frosting.
    • Carnations: I used Wilton Tip 104 to make the petals
    • Roses: Again, I used Wilton Tip 1M
    • Chrysanthemum: A look alike for the most part. I used Wilton Tip 59 but I would suggest using Tip 79 if you can as the petals will be bigger.
  • If you have any question, feel free to ask them in the comments below.

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Though it feels like Eggs Benedict Day is more of a weekly brunch time observance, we’re not skimping on celebrating one of our breakfast favorites. To show our love of all things hollandaise-covered, we’ve rounded up modern twists and inventive takes on the classic dish, so you can keep the festivities going all year long (as it should be).

1. We’re all about killing two birds with one stone, and this Portobello Mushroom-topped Asparagus and Goat Cheese Benny from Gourmande in the Kitchen helps you get your veggie fix with a side of coffee. Win-Win!

2. This southern-inspired Cajun Eggs Benedict from Life As A Strawberry spices things up with a cayenne pepper hollandaise sauce, andouille sausage and a decadent chive and cheddar beer biscuit.
3. What’s better than waking up to Eggs Benedict that’s ready to be served in a moment’s notice? This Overnight Eggs Benedict Casserole from The Recipe Critic is bound to become your new BFF. You’re welcome!
4. Sweet and creamy come together to make this  Corn Cake Eggs Benedict with Avocado Hollandaise from How Sweet It Is, and it’s lick-your-plate good. We know, we know, we know—don’t mess with a perfectly good hollandaise, but just try it. Please?
5. We think waffles are always a great idea, which is why we’re going totally nuts over this Arugula Eggs Benedict with Herbed Waffles.  This butter-y garlic-filled dish from Kumquat Blog is no doubt a showstopper.
6. They say everything’s bigger in Texas, and this Tex Mex Eggs Benedict is certainly holding that statement in high regard. We’re talking a smorgasbord recipe by Edible Perspective that’s filled with potatoes, black beans, corn and avocado lime hollandaise. Can it get any better? If you’re gluten-free, then yes, dreams really do come true.
7. Rounding out our list is a healthier recipe from Girl Versus Dough.  The Kale and Tomato Benny features a lighter mayo/mustard “hollandaise” and whole-grain bread. But while you’re skipping out on calories, you’re definitely not missing out on flavor. Kale brings plenty of crisp to the dish that a traditional Florentine version with spinach wouldn’t do. Well, maybe that’s the bacon.

Refreshing vodka cocktail with blood orange sparkling juice

I love a light refreshing cocktail. It’s perfect for the warming weather as we spend more days outdoors. Light cocktails are also great for the rare lazy afternoons spent lounging at home. This blood Orange Spritzer is perfect for a Sunday afternoon, laying on a daybed while reading your favorite magazines. It’s a cousin to the stronger Blood Orange Bourbon except this recipe is made with vodka and a sparkling juice with a little kick.

Refreshing vodka cocktail with blood orange sparkling juice

Ingredients (for one serving)

  • 1.5 oz of vodka
  • Fresh lemon juice
  • 2-3 dashes of aromatic bitters
  • Sparkling blood orange juice or soda
  • Slice of blood orange for garnish

Start by pouring vodka over ice cubes or use a cocktail shaker to chill the vodka. For this cocktail I like to use a higher end vodka, so that there is less of a burn from the alcohol. Next squeeze lemon juice into the glass, I split half a lemon between two servings. Aromatic bitters adds a wonderful flavor for any citrus fruit cocktail.

Refreshing vodka cocktail with blood orange sparkling juice

Refreshing vodka cocktail with blood orange sparkling juice

I used a sparkling blood orange juice that’s infused with jalapeno and lime. The spice definitely makes a delicious improvement to the spritzer. If using a plain blood orange sparkling soda try adding a little cayenne pepper, like a teeny tiny pinch. Last, stir the ingredients together and enjoy!

This cocktail is great for backyard picnics, bbqs and as a specialty cocktail at special events. It takes only a few ingredients and it is very quick to make. The spritzer can be made in bulk and served out of a pitcher, drink dispenser or punch bowl. Perfect for the hostess that wants more time with her guests!

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We’re nuts about pecans. Pun intended. There’s way more to pecans than classic pie. See for yourself why our favorite nut deserves a day of celebration!

Think past pie. This gooey Pecan Cobbler from Call Me PMC is rich, decadent, and totally splurge-worthy.

Here’s a fruit salad that’s perfect for spring. I can’t wait to make this Strawberry Pecan Pretzel Salad from The Gunny Sack.

The only thing better than a big party cheese ball? These adorable Pimento Cheese and Bacon Mini Cheese Ball Bites from Five Heart Home. They’re rolled in toasted pecans for crunch!

These sweet-tart Pecan-Crusted Mojito Bars are one of my favorite Better Homes and Gardens recipes. They’re perfect for picnics and potlucks!

Jazz up plain pasta salad with bacon and of course, pecans! This Broccoli, Grape, and Pasta Salad from Spicy Southern Kitchen does just that!

Looking for a kid-friendly dinner idea? Try these delicious Baked Pecan Crusted Chicken Fingers from Sally’s Baking Addiction. She even includes a make-ahead tip for busy weeknights!

How about celebrating the day with a killer cocktail? Bethcakes whipped up a sweet two-ingredient cocktail called The Southern Lady. Cheers!

Happy National Pecan Day!


Hello BHG! My name is Jonathan Melendez from The Candid Appetite blog. My blog is a recipe site photographed step-by-step that focuses on making cooking and baking easier for those who love to cook but need a helping hand in the kitchen. I graduated with a degree in photography, so my site is very much photo based. I find that cooking and baking is a very visual learning experience, so I like to make sure people have images to guide them through a recipe. I’m so excited to make these marshmallow treats!

When I was a kid my favorite ice cream flavor was always Neapolitan. It was the best of all three worlds. I didn’t have to choose between vanilla, chocolate and strawberry ice cream because I’d get all three in one ice cream flavor. Talk about a kid’s dream come true! While browsing through the Better Homes and Gardens site, I came across these Neapolitan Marshmallow Treats and I was instantly hooked. I’ve since made them several times and have they’ve always been a hit. I’ve made a few changes here and there each time I’ve made them, and I think they just keep getting better and better (which I didn’t think was at all possible!)

These bars start just like regular rice cereal marshmallow treats, so you want to melt the butter, and mini marshmallows with some vanilla and marshmallow fluff. That just makes them even better. Mix together with the plain rice cereal until evenly combined and then transfer to a rectangular 9 by 13-inch that has been lined with parchment or foil and greased with cooking spray. This will ensure that the treats come out from the pan without sticking. Press out into an evenly layer and then set off to the side. Then in the same pot, melt more butter, more mini marshmallows and even more marshmallow fluff.

Mix in the chocolate rice cereal and, this is where I changed the recipe a bit from the original, add in about a cup or a cup and a half of dark chocolate chips. Any chocolate chips you have on hand will do though. Once mixed, pour over the vanilla layer and press down with wet hands into an even layer.

Then you’re going to do the same process, just one more time, but this round we’re going to melt butter, strawberry marshmallows, strawberry jam and marshmallow fluff. To get that bright pink color, I added a few drops of red food coloring, but if you’re not a fan of food coloring, you can definitely just leave it out. To change the recipe a little further, I added dried cherries, but if you can find dried strawberries, those would be even better!

Press the strawberry layer onto the chocolate and then place a piece of wax paper and a baking sheet on top and weigh it down with a few cans or cast iron skillet. This will ensure that the layers stay together. Allow to set for at least 1 hour. Remove the bars from the baking pan and then cut into squares.

I’ve found that these are a definite crowd pleaser and they always get people talking because of the three flavors included in one treat! You’ll for sure want to keep some for yourself hidden away, so that people don’t eat them all!

The changes I made to the original recipe Neapolitan Marshmallow Treats are:

  • Add an additional teaspoon of vanilla extract to the vanilla layer.
  • Add 1 to 1 1/2 cups dark chocolate chips, roughly chopped, to the chocolate layer.
  • Add 3/4 dried cherries or dried strawberries to the strawberry layer.


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