Ready, Set, Weekend with Simply Beautiful Eating

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DK Publishing filed a missing persons report on me this past month. Yep. I haven’t had a chance to review their books since my mom’s fall but guess what? I’M SO HAPPY TO BE BACK!!

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They sent me a darling little book called CUPCAKES & MINI CAKES. It’s so adorbs it kinda reminds me of a book Barbie would buy to bake stuff for Ken. Right?

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And just look at the cover! It’s pink (my fave) and striped. Best of all, it’s loaded with over 100 recipes for little cakes, bars and cake pops.

I flipped through it and even though I was dying to make one of their cupcakes recipes, I opted for a muffin one instead. Most likely because over the past  month I have been baking cupcakes by the double dozen for the staff on the D3 Wing in the hospital. If I walked in empty handed (without sweets) they actually gave me a “stink eye”. Oh how I loved the day when I helped my mom escape from that place!

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Since I have been a bit tight for time lately, I chose one of the simplest recipes I could find in the book so that I could finally do this review.

Apple Muffins.

But wait.

Do these look like apple muffins to you?

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No.

Why?

It’s like this.

I had all the ingredients EXCEPT the apples.   Hang on a sec…..I think you know me by now. I love to improvise SO I threw in strawberries instead. Oh, and I also added some shredded coconut to the mix because why not? My mom always taught me that a “little of this” and a “little of that” makes the perfect recipe.

Then I thought to myself. SELF? Why not throw in some bran into the mix too. Bran is healthy and besides, if I’m going to fool around with the recipe why not add in a little extra fibre?

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So here you have it. The base of this recipe is on page 62 of the book. The rest came from my head. And lately my head has been full of so many things it’s a miracle these actually came out great.

Did you also notice I had to add in a cool butter recipe for these muffins? Well, ya. I made that up in my head too. Blueberry infused butter is a much needed accompaniment to take the yumminess of these muffins to a level 10. Oh ya.

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I know you are going to love this little cute pink book. There are so many recipes I still need to try. I’m specifically eyeing the granola bars.  This book is super easy to follow, beautifully written, tried and true.

CUPCAKES & MINI CAKES will not disappoint.

STRAWBERRY COCONUT BRAN MUFFINS WITH BLUEBERRY INFUSED BUTTER -1 cup fresh strawberries, washed and chopped into chunks -2 tsp fresh lemon juice -¼ cup turbinado sugar -1¼ cups all purpose flour -¾ cup whole wheat flour -¼ cup bran -4 tsp baking powder -1 tbsp ground mixed spice -½ tsp salt -½ cup pecans, chopped -¼ cup shredded coconut -1 cup milk -¼ cup oil, I used avocado -1 egg, beaten -1 teaspoon vanilla extract

1) Preheat oven to 400F. Line 12 muffin cups with paper baking cups and set aside. 2) Place strawberries in a bowl, add the lemon juice and toss. Add ¼ cup of the sugar and set aside. 3) Sift the flours, baking powder, spice, and salt into the large bowl. Add in bran. Stir in remaining sugar, coconut and pecans, then make a well in the centre of the dry ingredients. 4) Beat together the milk, oil, egg and vanilla then add in the strawberries. Add the wet ingredients into the centre of the dry ingredients, and mix together lightly to make a lumpy batter. Try not to overmix, you want LUMPS.

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5) Spoon mixture into the prepared muffin cups about ¾ full. Optional to top each muffin with a slice of strawberry and an additional sprinkle of sugar and coconut. That's what I did and they did turn out pretty darn stunning dontcha think? 6) Bake for 20-25 minutes, or until tops are nice and brown. Test with toothpick for doneness. Cool on wire rack, serve warm or cooled.

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BLUEBERRY INFUSED BUTTER -1 stick softened butter -¼ cup blueberry jam or preserves

1) Blend the softened butter well with the blueberry jam. Roll in plastic wrap and chill until firm. 2) Serve with muffins while they are still warm. 3) This is the only way to live. Not joking.

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