Mini Pumpkin Spice Muffins

img_5186It’s fall ya’ll!!! and pumpkin season…yahoo!  

There are many things as a family we love this time of year but I got so excited when Sophie, my oldest daughter, told me her “tastebuds” love pumpkin muffins :) because so do mine.

These mini pumpkin muffins are the perfect amount of spice with a soft cream cheese glaze on top and can be served for breakfast or sneak them in a lunch box for an afternoon surprise.

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Mini Pumpkin Spice Muffins
Yields 36
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Ingredients
  1. 1 1/2 cups sugar
  2. 1/2 cup vegetable oil
  3. 2 eggs
  4. 1/3 cup water
  5. 7 ounces pumpkin puree
  6. 2 tsp ground cinnamon
  7. 1 tsp ground ginger
  8. 1/2 tsp allspice
  9. 1 3/4 cups all purpose flour
  10. 1 tsp baking soda
  11. 1/4 tsp baking powder
  12. 1/2 tsp salt
Instructions
  1. In a large mixing bowl combine sugar, oil and eggs; beat until smooth
  2. Add water to egg mixture
  3. Add in pumpkin puree, ginger, cinnamon and allspice
  4. Combine flour, baking soda, baking powder and salt in a bowl
  5. Add dry ingredients to the pumpkin mixture and mix until combined
  6. Scoop batter into mini muffin pans filled 3/4 high
  7. Bake at 350 degrees F for 10-12 minutes or until toothpick comes out clean
  8. Allow the muffins to cool in pan before removing
  9. Once the muffins are cool, remove from the pan and dip in cream cheese glaze
  10. Optional* Dust the top of the muffins with cinnamon and garnish with pumpkin seeds
  11. Serve or store in an airtight container
Cream Cheese Glaze
Ingredients
  1. 4 ounces cream cheese, softened
  2. 1/2 cup powdered sugar
  3. 4 Tbsp milk, plus more if needed
Directions
  1. In a bowl with paddle attachment, beat cream cheese on high speed until smooth
  2. Add powdered sugar and beat until combined
  3. Slowly add milk and mix until smooth
  4. If glaze is to thick to drizzle or dip the muffins, add more milk 1 Tbsp at a time.
INK foods : In Nanny's Kitchen http://inkfoods.com/

Chocolate Spice Banana Bread

img_5068Fall is officially here and although I am ready to jump all over every pumpkin recipe, I know I have a lot of time for that.  I am loving the weather starting to change (just slightly here in Dallas) and the idea of fun fall flavors.  

Since banana bread is a family favorite and one of the easiest recipes to make, I decided to add chocolate and spices to welcome the new season.  

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Chocolate Spice Banana Bread
Yields 1
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Ingredients
  1. 1 1/4 cups all purpose flour
  2. 1/4 cup cocoa powder
  3. 1/2 tsp baking soda
  4. 2 tsp cinnamon
  5. 1 tsp ginger
  6. 1 cup light brown sugar
  7. 1/2 tsp salt
  8. 2 eggs
  9. 3/4 cup vegetable oil
  10. 1 tsp vanilla extract
  11. 1 cup banana, mashed
  12. 1/2 cup chocolate chips
Instructions
  1. sift dry ingredients into a mixing bowl
  2. whisk in eggs, oil, extract and mashed bananas until fully combined
  3. gently stir in chocolate chips
  4. pour into greased loaf pan
  5. bake at 350 degrees F for 45-55 minutes
INK foods : In Nanny's Kitchen http://inkfoods.com/

Quick Breads

IMG_4624Any recipe with the name bread in it can seem intimidating but if you are in the mood to be adventurous with flavors and impress your family and friends, try a quick bread. Quick breads are just what they seem, two mixtures coming together, dry ingredients and liquid ingredients and sometimes adding an acidic element like yogurt, buttermilk or sour cream. There is no yeast, no waiting with time but so much wonderful flavor. Quick breads with coffee in the morning, served with fresh whipped cream and berries in the evening or flavored with cheese and herbs for a dinner side dish makes for a very versatile recipe and one that is used most out of my recipe box.IMG_4600IMG_4648IMG_4677

Blueberry Oatmeal Loaf
Yields 1
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Oatmeal Topping
  1. 1/2 Cup Oatmeal
  2. 1/4 Cup All Purpose Flour
  3. 2 Tbsp Granulated Sugar
  4. 2 Tbsp Light Brown Sugar
  5. 1 tsp Cinnamon
  6. 5 Tbsp Unsalted Butter, Melted
  7. 1/2 tsp Vanilla Extract
Blueberry Loaf
  1. 1 Large Orange, Zest and Juiced
  2. 2/3 Cup Vegetable Oil
  3. 1/2 Cup Whole Milk
  4. 2 Eggs
  5. 2 1/4 Cup All Purpose Flour
  6. 1 Cup Light Brown Sugar
  7. 1 Tbsp Baking Powder
  8. 1/4 tsp Salt
  9. 1 Cup Fresh Blueberries
Instructions
  1. Preheat oven to 350 degrees and spray a 9x5 loaf pan
  2. Prepare the oatmeal topping
  3. Combine oatmeal, flour, both sugar and cinnamon
  4. Slowly add in melted butter and vanilla extract while stirring to cream a crumble; Set aside
  5. Zest and juice orange to measure 1/3 cup and whisk together with oil, milk and eggs
  6. Combine the flour, brown sugar, baking powder, and salt together
  7. Add the liquid to the dry ingredients and whisk until combined
  8. Fold in the blueberries
  9. Pour Batter into prepared loaf pan and sprinkle with oatmeal topping
  10. Bake for 45-55 minutes or until toothpick comes out clean
INK foods : In Nanny's Kitchen http://inkfoods.com/
IMG_4659

Raspberry Lemon Loaf
Yields 1
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Ingredients
  1. 2 Cups All Purpose Flour
  2. 1 tsp Baking Powder
  3. 1 tsp Baking Soda
  4. 1/2 tsp Salt
  5. 1/2 Cup Unsalted Butter, Softened
  6. 1 Cup Sugar
  7. Zest of 1 Lemon
  8. 2 Eggs
  9. 3 Tbsp Yogurt, Plain
  10. 1 Cup Fresh Raspberries, Crushed
  11. *Lemon Glaze (see below)
Instructions
  1. Preheat the oven to 350 degrees F and spray a 9x5 inch loaf pan
  2. In a bowl, whisk together the flour, baking powder, baking soda and salt
  3. In a mixing bowl, attached with paddle attachment, cream the butter, sugar and lemon zest until fluffy
  4. Beat in eggs and scrape down sides after each egg
  5. Mix in flour and yogurt until fully combined
  6. Remove the bowl from mixer and fold in the crushed raspberries
  7. Spread the batter into the prepared loaf pan
  8. Bake for 50-60 minutes or until center comes out clean
  9. Allow the bread to cool in the pan for 30 minutes
  10. Once the bread is cooled, remove from the pan make the *lemon glaze and drizzle over the top of the raspberry loaf
  11. Serve or store in an airtight container
Notes
  1. *Lemon Glaze
  2. 1 Cups Powdered Sugar
  3. 2-3 Tablespoons Fresh Lemon Juice
  4. Place powdered sugar in a medium bowl and stir in lemon juice
  5. Glaze should be thick but able to be drizzled over bread
INK foods : In Nanny's Kitchen http://inkfoods.com/
IMG_4671

Cream Cheese Coffee Crumb Loaf
Yields 1
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Crumb Topping
  1. 3/4 Cups All Purpose Flour
  2. 1/3 Cup Light Brown Sugar
  3. 1/2 tsp Cinnamon
  4. 1/4 tsp Baking Powder
  5. 1/4 tsp Salt
  6. 6 Tbsp Unsalted Butter, Cubed
Cream Cheese Filling
  1. 4 ounce Cream Cheese
  2. 1/4 Cup Granulated Sugar
  3. 1 Egg
Coffee Cake
  1. 8 Tbsp Unsalted Butter
  2. 3/4 Cup Granulated Sugar
  3. 1 Tsp Vanilla Extract
  4. 1 Egg
  5. 2 Cups All Purpose Flour
  6. 1 Tbsp Baking Powder
  7. 1/2 tsp Salt
  8. 2/3 Cup Whole Milk
Crumb Topping
  1. Whisk together the flour, light brown sugar, cinnamon, baking powder and salt
  2. Cut the butter into the flour mixture until it is fully combined and large crumbles of dough form
  3. Refrigerate until ready to use
Cream Cheese Filling
  1. In a mixing bowl, beat together the cream cheese and sugar until completely smooth
  2. Add the egg and continue beating until fluffy
  3. Refrigerate until ready to use
Coffee Cake
  1. Preheat the oven to 350 degrees F and spray a 9x5 loaf pan
  2. Cream the butter, sugar and vanilla extract until light and fluffy
  3. Add the egg and beat until smooth
  4. In a bowl, whisk together the flour, baking powder and salt and slowly incorporate the flour mixture in with the butter alternating with milk
  5. Beat until fully combined
  6. Spread half the batter into prepared loaf pan and then spread the cream cheese mixture in the middle finishing with the rest of the cake batter
  7. Sprinkle the crumble topping evenly over the batter
  8. Bake for 45-55 minutes or until a toothpick comes out clean
  9. Allow the bread to cool completely before removing it from the loaf pan
  10. Enjoy or store in an air tight container
INK foods : In Nanny's Kitchen http://inkfoods.com/
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Ice Cream Floats with Brio Ice Cream

brio 4Ok, let’s be honest…Ice Cream is one of the most beloved desserts and frozen treats!  Although there is not much better than a scoop of ice cream topped with sprinkles and chocolate sauce, I might be as in love with ice cream floats.  This frozen drink has become a new favorite of mine and maybe because it has been one of the best ways to cool off this summer.  brio 1brio 2brio 3

The wonderful thing about an ice cream float is there really is no recipe to follow!  Pick your favorite flavor ice cream and start creating from there.  I got my inspiration from the wonderful flavors of Brio Ice Cream.  They have six amazing flavors that will make for the best scoop or added to any dessert.  I chose the more classic flavors to add to my floats and they were delicious!  

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Strawberry & Cream Ice Cream Float
2 Tbsp Strawberry Syrup (homemade or store-bought)
3 Scoops Madagascar Vanilla Brio Ice Cream
Vanilla Cream Gourmet Soda

Directions:
Add strawberry syrup to glass + 3 scoops of ice cream and top off with soda

brio 5Dark Chocolate Cherry Ice Cream Float
4 Fresh Cherries, Muddled
3 Scoops Dark Chocolate Brio Ice Cream
Dark Cherry Gourmet Soda

Directions: 
Muddle cherries at the bottom of glass, add 3 scoops of ice cream and top off with soda

brio 7Root Beer Caramel Ice Cream Float
2 Tbsp Caramel Sauce (Homemade or Store Bought) 
3 Scoops Vanilla Caramel Brio Ice Cream
Root Beer Gourmet Soda 

Directions:
Add caramel sauce to the bottom of the glass + 3 scoops of ice cream and top with soda

brio 4

There are several of brands of ice cream and flavors that I love and keep in my rotation, but I have recently discovered Brio Ice Cream and will make a permanent place in my freezer and is the perfect addition to my gourmet Ice Cream floats.  Brio Ice Cream was founded by the original creators of Earth’s Best Baby Food and many years later they wanted to reinvent ice cream giving us less guilt and more healthy benefits. The ice cream is packaged in individual 3.6 ounce cups or 14 ounce containers.   All of Brio’s ice cream flavors are made with whole organic milk and loaded with calcium, protein, antioxidants and probiotics.  There are no artificial sweeteners or flavors added to any of the products.

As we strive for added nutrients to our daily diet, we won’t feel as guilty ending our day on a sweet note!!

Brio Ice Cream can be found throughout the country…click here to find a store near you!

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Back to School Lunch Box Must Haves

lunch boxSummers are made up of late nights, no routine and a lot of tiresome fun and it is not always easy getting back into the school routine.  For me early mornings are the hardest part.  Getting everyone up, dressed, fed a healthy and nutritious breakfast, lunches packed and out the door.  

As important as breakfast is for ourselves and our kids, so is the lunch we pack to fuel the rest of their day.  The lunch box routine does not have to be intimidating or stressful when you have an organized refrigerator of simple and healthy options.  In my family, we love a classic sandwich but I always like to change it up so everyday lunches don’t look the same.  

Lunch Box Menu Options:

Turkey & cheese skewers
Sweet potato chips
Grapes
Edamame

PBJ Roll Ups
Apple slices
Carrots and ranch
Pretzel sticks

Salami and crackers
Mozzarella balls
Cucumbers and tomatoes
Dried fruit mix

Pasta salad
Sugar snap peas
Strawberries with yogurt dip
Popcorn 

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Frozen Hot Chocolate

hc 3While we are soaring through the hottest part of summer, there is only one way to stay cool; frozen treats after a long day of outdoor play and back yard barbecues. Frozen hot chocolate has become a family favorite and it’s rich chocolate, not overly sweet and frothy flavor brings us back to the comfort of the hot chocolate we love during the winter months. Blend the frozen hot chocolate to be extra smooth before pouring into a large mug and top with fresh whipped cream, toasted marshmallows and crumbled graham crackers. hc

Frozen Hot Chocolate
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Ingredients
  1. 6 ounce Semi Sweet Chocolate Chips
  2. 2 Tbsp Cocoa Powder
  3. 4 Tbsp Powdered Sugar
  4. 3 Cups Whole Milk
  5. 5 Cups Ice
Optional Toppings
  1. Whipped Cream
  2. Toasted Marshmallows
  3. Graham Cracker Crumbs
Instructions
  1. Melt chocolate in a bowl over a double boiler, stirring constantly
  2. Once chocolate is completely melted, add in cocoa powder and powdered sugar, whisk until completely combined
  3. Add in 1 1/2 cups of milk to chocolate mixture and whisk until smooth
  4. Remove the chocolate mixture from the heat and allow it to cool completely
  5. Add Ice, the remaining 1 1/2 cups of milk and chocolate mixture into a blender and blend to remove all chunks of ice and it becomes very frothy
Pour frozen hot chocolate into a glass or mug and top with fresh whipped cream, toasted marshmallows and graham cracker crumbs
  6. Serve immediately!
INK foods : In Nanny's Kitchen http://inkfoods.com/
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Roasted Banana Split Ice Cream Sandwich

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Summer is upon us and until I had kids I never realized the importance of keeping busy, cooling off and chilling out.  There is a fine balance between keeping our kids active and boredom.  The stage of life my girls are in is quite confusing, you sign them up for every camp out there and when they are home two seconds, they want to know what’s next, but what I have slowly figured out is that a little home time is really what they need. They don’t need their every day filled to the brim with no time to run around outside in the sprinklers, play old fashion board games and just enjoy a moment of quite reading and craft time.  These moments seem the most calm and the ones I tend to enjoy most with them.

Both of my girls love helping in the kitchen, which is wonderful and messy all in one, but I am thankful for their interest in cooking and baking.  As the heat kicks in, it is hard to focus on anything else but ice cream and we have loved creating this frozen treat smashed between two of our favorite cookies, brownies, graham crackers or really anything that goes with our favorite ice cream flavor at the time.

Roasted banana split ice cream sandwich is one of our favorites and it is perfect for a dinner party, backyard barbecue or just a quiet night at home. Set out all the topping you would need and let your guests create their own. Making homemade ice cream sandwiches is the perfect project for you and your kids but these old fashion frozen treats are also making a comeback and can be found at some of our favorite bakeries, ice cream shops and restaurants.IMG_4507IMG_4512

Roasted Banana Split Ice Cream Sandwiches
Yields 12
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Chocolate Cookie
  1. 2 Cups All Purpose Flour
  2. 1/2 Cup Cocoa Powder
  3. 1/4 tsp Salt
  4. 1 Cup (2 sticks) Butter, Unsalted
  5. 1 1/2 Cups Powdered Sugar
  6. 2 Egg Yolks
  7. 1 tsp Vanilla Extract
Roasted Banana Ice Cream
  1. 3 Bananas
  2. 2 Cups Heavy Cream
  3. 1 Cup Whole Milk
  4. 1 Cup Granulated Sugar
  5. 5 Egg Yolks
  6. 1 vanilla bean, split
Chocolate Cookie
  1. Preheat oven to 350 degrees F
  2. Combine flour, cocoa powder and salt and set aside
  3. In a large mixing bowl, cream together butter and powdered sugar and mix until smooth
  4. Add in eggs yolks and vanilla extract and mix until combined
  5. Scrape down butter mixture and slowly add dry ingredients until dough has come together
  6. Remove the dough from the mixing bowl, shape into a rectangle, cover with plastic wrap and refrigerate for approximately 1 hour or until chilled
  7. Roll the chocolate dough to 1/4 inch thick and cut into 3 inch squares and place on parchment lined sheet pan
  8. Using a skewer, poke nine evenly spaced holes into each cookie before baking
  9. Bake for 15 minutes at 350 degrees F
  10. Allow the cookies to cool completely before assembling
Roasted Banana Ice Cream
  1. Preheat oven to 325 degrees F
  2. Place 3 unpeeled banana on a parchment lined sheet pan and roast until skin is completely black, approximately 20 minutes
  3. Allow the bananas to cool completely, peel, mash and set aside
  4. In a bowl, whisk together the egg yolks and half of the sugar
  5. In a saucepan combine heavy cream, milk, 1/2 of sugar and vanilla bean
  6. Once it comes to a simmer, slowly whisk 1/2 of the milk mixture into egg yolk mixture
  7. Add the egg yolk mixture back into the saucepan, stirring constantly for 1 minute
  8. Add the mashed bananas into custard and cook for 3-4 minutes or until custard becomes thick and coats the back of a wood spoon
  9. Using an immersion blender, pulse mixture until smooth
  10. Strain mixture into a large bowl to remove any cooked eggs or banana pieces
  11. Cover custard and refrigerate until cold
  12. Once the mixture is cold, make the ice cream according to your ice cream machine instructions.
  13. Spread the frozen ice cream into a 9x9 inch parchment lined pan, cover and freeze overnight
  14. Remove the molded ice cream from the pan and cut into 3 inch squares
  15. Assemble Ice Cream Sandwiches and freeze until ready to serve
  16. Serve with optional toppings or enjoy on their own!
Notes
  1. Toppings: (optional)
  2. Fresh Whipped Cream
  3. Maraschino Cherries
  4. Chopped Pecan
  5. Toasted Coconut
  6. Chocolate Sauce
INK foods : In Nanny's Kitchen http://inkfoods.com/
Where to find the best Ice Cream Sandwiches in Dallas:

Liz, owner of Joy Macarons has taken her famous French Macaron and sandwiches them with homemade ice cream for the most amazing Ice Cream Sammy’s. The combinations are endless with flavors like Thai Tea, Guava/Coconut, Butter Pecan and Cereal Milk but why not try them all.  

A new ice cream shop coming to Dallas, Milk Cream, has put a twist on the traditional ice cream sandwich and instead stuffs their ice cream in a dense doughnut like bun. You will be able to indulge in these milky buns this summer on Ross Ave.  Milk Cream is estimated to open July 23rd.

Equipment Needed:
Ice Cream Machine
Immersion Blender
Square Fluted Cookie Cutters

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Profiteroles…Fancy Up Your Ice Cream!

cream puff 4

Happy July!  It is crazy how fast this summer is going, but it has been a fun and busy one.  Trying to keep the girls entertained and cool has been the main focus and July is going to only get hotter.  With warm temperatures, the only thing we can turn to is ice cream and I am thankful it is National Ice Cream month so we have an excuse to eat it every day!  Profiteroles are a simple way to fancy up my go to homemade classic ice cream or dairy free coconut ice cream recipes.

A classic French dessert that might seem intimidating to make will surprise you with it’s simplicity and ease for a light summer dessert. Pâte à Choux is the dough that creates this airy and crisp shell often filled with your favorite ice cream or custard and garnished with powdered sugar, a decadent chocolate sauce (dairy free option) or fresh fruit. Bite size, full of ice cream and fresh fruit, profiteroles will win over your guests heart and keep you cool during the summer heat.

cream puff 2cream puff 3cream puff 6

Classic Profiteroles
Yields 24
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Ingredients
  1. Pâte à Choux
  2. 1 cup Water
  3. 1/2 cup Butter, Unsalted
  4. 1/4 tsp Salt
  5. 1 1/2 cups All Purpose Flour
  6. 4 Eggs
Filling/Garnish
  1. Vanilla Bean Ice Cream or Flavor of your choice
  2. Fresh Strawberries, sliced
Instructions
  1. Heat water, butter and salt in a medium sauce pan and bring to a boil
  2. Once the butter is completely melted, reduce the heat and add in the flour
  3. Whisk until the flour and butter mixture come to a paste form and pulls away from the sides of the pan
  4. Take the mixture off of the heat and pour dough into a mixer with paddle attachment
  5. Mix on medium speed for 2 minutes to release the steam from the dough
  6. Slowly add the eggs, one by one and beat until the dough is smooth and all ingredients are fully combined
  7. Pipe or scoop into 2” round balls
  8. Egg wash the top of dough
  9. Bake at 425 degrees F for 10 minutes and reduce to 375 degrees F for approx. 15 minutes or until profiteroles are a light golden brown
  10. Allow the profiteroles to cool completely before filling
  11. Cut profiteroles in half and add one scoop of vanilla bean ice cream and fresh cut strawberries
  12. Garnish with powdered sugar
  13. Serve immediately
INK foods : In Nanny's Kitchen http://inkfoods.com/
Must have kitchen gadgets:

 Ice Cream Maker,

Ice Cream Scoop,

Piping Bags,

Silpat

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