Sorta Blueberry Banana Muffins

These sweet snacks are muffin-ISH. Sort of muffins. You know how some recipes claim you’ll never know the difference between their end product and that of a famous bakery or coffee chain? I’m not claiming that here. Let’s face it: these are basically gluten-free, non-fat, no sugar treats. Personally, I think these muffins are pretty tasty but they do not have a cake-like crumb to them as most flour, egg, and oil containing ones do. Nevertheless, their moist texture goes nicely with the blueberries, sweet bananas, and especially the lemon zest. Don’t skip the lemon zest!

Hope you enjoy these Sorta Muffins as a healthy alternative to the Real Thing as much as I do. 

3 ripe bananas
1/4c apple sauce
1/2c egg whites
1t lemon zest
1/2t vanilla
1/4c sweetener of choice (sugar, stevia, truvia, etc. – but not liquid sweetener)
1c oats
1/2c oat flour
1.5t baking powder
1/4t baking soda
1/8t salt
1c frozen or fresh blueberries


Heat oven to 350 and put cupcake papers in 1 muffin tin (or grease muffin tin).
Mash bananas in a bowl. Add apple sauce, egg whites, lemon zest, vanilla, and sweetener. Stir to combine.
In a separate bowl combine oats, oat flour, baking powder, baking soda, and salt. Mix. Then add to the banana mixture and stir till just combined. Add blueberries and fold in.
Fill 12 muffins cups almost to the top and bake for approximately 17 minutes or until the top springs back when touched. Let cool. Enjoy!



Pretzel Rolls. Finally.

Pretzel Rolls 

We have a bakery near our church that we like to frequent for one reason:  pretzel rolls.   Not quite a pretzel and not quite a roll, these soft bread-like treats are perfect for breakfast, snacks, or even as a bun for a gourmet burger.  But at nearly a dollar per roll, there had to be a better way to have these in larger quantities.  

I tried a variety of recipes – of which none came close to a real pretzel roll.  After many attempts, I came up with the one below.  Finally.

Pretzel Rolls


Pretzels/pretzel rolls 



Pretzel Rolls
Yields 16
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Prep Time
30 min
Cook Time
15 min
Total Time
1 hr 45 min
Prep Time
30 min
Cook Time
15 min
Total Time
1 hr 45 min
For the dough
  1. 6 tablespoons butter, melted
  2. 1.5 cups very warm tap water
  3. 1 pkg yeast
  4. 2 tablespoons brown sugar
  5. 4.5 cups flour
  6. 2 teaspoons salt
  7. Pot of water
  8. 2/3 cup baking soda
For the egg wash
  1. 1 egg
  2. 2 tablespoons water
  3. Coarse salt
  1. In a mixer with dough hook attached, add the butter, water, yeast and brown sugar. Mix and let sit for 5 minutes.
  2. Add the flour and salt to the yeast mixture. Turn on mixer and knead for 3 minutes.
  3. Remove dough from mixer,shape into a ball and put into a greased bowl. Cover and let rise 1 hour in a warm location.
  4. Boil a large pot of water with the 2/3 cups baking soda. This is the step that makes a pretzel roll pretzel-y! Remove dough to a working surface and divide into 16 small pieces,trying to shape each into a ball. With a serrated knife,cut an “X”in the top of each roll.
  5. Boil rolls a few at a time for 30 seconds. Drain with a slotted spoon to remove and place on cookie sheets lined with parchment and also sprayed with non-stick cooking spray. (Or just grease your sheets very,very well)
  6. Bake in a 425 oven for 6 minutes. Remove from oven and brush rolls with an egg wash (1 beaten egg and 2T water) and top with coarse salt. Return to oven and bake till browned nicely all over,about 6-8 minutes more.
  7. If you eat them hot they will be doughy. Self control. Wait till they are mostly cool and then dig in!
  1. Experiment with different shapes if you want!
Adapted from kevin {&} amanda
Adapted from kevin {&} amanda
The Excellent Wife

White Chocolate ~ Cranberry Blondies

Just made these delicious little dessert treats &   I *love* them!   There is a hint of cinnamon (really, just a dash) among the sweet white chocolate taste ~ balanced nicely with the sweet/tart cranberries.

Get the original recipe here, at Taste of Home.


  • 3/4 cup butter, cubed
  • 1-1/2 cups packed light brown sugar
  • 2 eggs
  • 3/4 teaspoon Spice Islands® pure vanilla extract
  • 2-1/4 cups all-purpose flour
  • 1-1/2 teaspoons baking powder
  • 1/4 teaspoon salt
  • 1/8 teaspoon ground cinnamon
  • 1/2 cup dried cranberries
  • 6 ounces white baking chocolate, coarsely chopped

  • 1 package (8 ounces) cream cheese, softened
  • 1 cup confectioners’ sugar
  • 1 tablespoon grated orange peel, optional
  • 6 ounces white baking chocolate, melted
  • 1/2 cup dried cranberries, chopped


  • In a microwave, melt butter; stir in brown sugar. Transfer to a large bowl; cool to room temperature. Beat in eggs and vanilla. Combine the flour, baking powder, salt and cinnamon; gradually add to butter mixture. Stir in cranberries and chopped chocolate (batter will be thick).
  • Spread into a greased 13-in. x 9-in. baking dish. Bake at 350° for 18-21 minutes or until a toothpick inserted near the center comes out clean (do not overbake). Cool on a wire rack.
  • For frosting, in a large bowl, beat the cream cheese, confectioners’ sugar and orange peel if desired until blended. Gradually add half of the melted white chocolate; beat until blended. Frost brownies. Sprinkle with cranberries. Drizzle with remaining melted white chocolate. Cut into bars. Store in the refrigerator. Yield: 2-1/2 dozen.



Packaging Homemade Vanilla

Remember my post a few weeks back on how to make your own vanilla extract?  Well, Heather, the creator of the lovely WhipperBerry site has the prettiest packaging idea {including free printable labels}.    There’s still time if you haven’t begun making vanilla for the holidays, but you’d better hop to it!


Look around at various sites for more packaging ideas,  such as this one from the Italian Dish.


And here

And here

And here

Or here with recycled bottles and white marker