Strawberry Banana Muffins


My latest banana-inspired recipe also has fresh strawberries in it–the perfect muffin for summer! They’re so moist and full of delicious chunks of fresh strawberries. I love how the sprinkling of coarse sugar gives these muffin tops a little sparkle and … Continue reading

Carrot Cake Muffins from The Slim Down South Cookbook and a Giveaway!


85da3980e121e8d97d9341993c7a3c00I mentioned a few posts ago that I’d be having another giveaway for a cookbook with healthy recipes, and here it is! It’s a Southern Living cookbook–they always have such great recipes!–and it’s called The Slim Down South Cookbook. I had a chance to review it, and the publisher is also providing a giveaway copy for one of you! See the end of the post for details on how to win this giveaway!

This cookbook is written by registered dietitian and award-winning journalist Carolyn O’Neil and includes nutritious versions of Southern-style favorites for breakfast, lunch, dinner, and desserts. You’ll also find lots of great full-color photos of most of the recipes, like these…


…which will inspire you to start making some healthy, appetizing food!

The book begins with a chapter called “A Healthy Southern Plate” which includes some great healthy lifestyle tips along with a 14-Day SLIM Eating Plan. You’ll find additional healthy tips in the other chapters, too, which have recipes for every meal, along with desserts and snacks. Calorie and nutrition information is included with every recipe.

Some of the great-sounding foods you can make include:

  • English Muffin French Toast
  • Zucchini-Onion Frittata
  • Baked Cheese Grits
  • Peach-and-Tomato Gazpacho
  • Salmon and Vegetable Salad
  • Crunchy Pecan Slaw
  • Chicken and Mini Waffles
  • Texas Caviar Rice and Beans
  • Mocha-Pecan Mud Pie
  • Lime-Raspberry Bites

I thought I’d try something from the chapter on breakfast food called “Rise and Shine!” These Carrot Cake Muffins sounded really good and I love trying new muffin recipes! I thought they came out great–crushed pineapple gives them a great moistness, and there are lots of healthy shredded carrots in them, too! It’s nice to start the day with something tasty as well as healthy! :)

CARROT CAKE MUFFINS from The Slim Down South Cookbook

Makes 18 muffins

  • 1 3/4 cups all-purpose flour
  • 3/4 cup sugar
  • 2 teaspoons baking soda
  • 1/2 teaspoon table salt
  • 1 1/2 teaspoons ground cinnamon
  • 1/4 cup vegetable oil (I used light olive oil instead)
  • 1 Tablespoon vanilla extract
  • 2 (8-ounce) cans crushed pineapple in juice, drained
  • 2 large eggs
  • 2 cups shredded carrots (you can use the pre-shredded carrots to save time if you want)
  • Paper baking cups
  • Cooking spray

Preheat oven to 350˚F. Combine first 5 ingredients in a large bowl; make a well in center of mixture.

Whisk together oil and next 3 ingredients; add to flour mixture, stirring just until moistened. Fold in carrots. Place paper baking cups in 18 muffins cups, and coat with cooking spray; spoon batter into cups, filling two-thirds full.

Bake at 350˚F for 22 to 25 minutes or until a wooden pick inserted in center comes out clean. Cool in pans on wire racks 10 minutes; remove from pans to wire racks. Serve warm or at room temperature.

Based on 18 muffins: Serving Size 1 muffin Calories 128 Fat 3.8g (sat 0.5, mono 1.6g, poly 1.5g) Protein 2.1g Carb 21.5g Fiber 0.9g Chol 21mg Iron 0.8mg Sodium 223 mg Calc 11mg

I must have filled my muffin cups a little fuller, because I ended up with 17 muffins instead of 18. But I liked how full and rounded they turned out, so I’d probably do that again. My baking time was 22 minutes. I was out of cooking spray, so I filled my paper liners without spraying them and that worked out fine–the muffins just stuck slightly to the liners.

85da3980e121e8d97d9341993c7a3c00THE GIVEAWAY IS NOW CLOSED! Congratulations to Cathy, whose comment #22 was chosen via as the winner!

Now for the Giveaway…if you’d like to enter to win a copy of The Slim Down South Cookbook, leave a comment on this blog post between now and Wednesday, January 29, at 10 p.m. (CST)–the random drawing will be made from the comments on this post only! The winner will be chosen randomly via and announced on Thursday evening, January 30. Winner will be notified via email (if winner does not respond in 3 days, I’ll do another drawing). Giveaway limited to readers in the Continental U.S. and Canada.

First entry: Leave a comment on this post–it would be great to hear what your favorite Southern dish is-even if it’s not that healthy! :)

Bonus entry: If you are a new or existing follower or subscriber, you can leave one extra comment telling me the way (or ways) you are following.

Note: If your comment doesn’t show up right away, it just means I need to click on it to approve it before it’s visible–I do this because of spam comments that sometimes come through!

Loaded Sweet Potato Muffins


I came up with this recipe when I couldn’t find quite what I was looking for anywhere else. I had to make several batches of these muffins before they came out the way I wanted, but it was worth it! These are really yummy muffins made with canned sweet potatoes and “loaded” with dried cranberries, mini chocolate chips, and finely chopped pecans. They’re a real treat for breakfast, brunch, or snack time.

These Loaded Sweet Potato Muffins are great to make all year round, but I’m going to keep these in mind for Thanksgiving time, too…since I usually make alot of things with sweet potatoes and cranberries that time of year.


You’ll end up with 19-20 muffins when you make this…about 1 1/2 dozen. Here’s the recipe…enjoy!


Makes 19-20 muffins

  • 1 (15-ounce) can sweet potatoes, drained and mashed (about 1 1/4 cups)
  • 1 cup brown sugar, packed
  • 1/2 cup butter, softened
  • 3 eggs
  • 1/2 teaspoon vanilla
  • 2 1/2 cups flour
  • 1 teaspoon baking soda
  • 1/2 teaspoon baking powder
  • 1/2 teaspoon salt
  • 1 teaspoon cinnamon
  • 1/2 teaspoon nutmeg
  • 1/2 cup milk
  • 1/2 cup dried cranberries (or substitute raisins)
  • 1/2  to 2/3 cup mini semi-sweet chocolate chips
  • 1/2 cup finely chopped pecans

Preheat oven to 350 degrees. Line 2 muffin tins with paper liners (the second tin will only need 7 or 8 liners).

In large bowl, add mashed sweet potatoes, brown sugar, and softened butter; blend until smooth. Add eggs and vanilla and blend well.

In medium bowl, mix flour, baking soda, baking powder, salt, cinnamon, and nutmeg, blending well. Add these dry ingredients to the sweet potato mixture in the large bowl.

Add milk to sweet potato and flour mixture, stirring until blended (don’t overmix), then fold in the cranberries, mini chocolate chips, and chopped pecans.

Fill the lined muffin cups 3/4 full. Bake at 350 degrees for 18 to 20 minutes or until toothpick inserted in center comes out clean. Serve warm.

Enjoy these muffins loaded with lots of yummy things inside!


Do you like making muffins? What’s your favorite flavor?

Cranberry Sauce Muffins with Cranberry Sauce Glaze


Last week I posted a recipe for Cranberry-Pecan Cream Cheese Spread…well, here’s another really good recipe that you can use your extra cranberry sauce in. These Cranberry Sauce Muffins are sweetened with some brown sugar and whole berry cranberry sauce–the berries in the sauce are a nice addition to the muffins! Plus, the muffins have some oats in them, too, so they’re both healthy and tasty! I found this recipe at SeriousEats.comI changed it very slightly and added my own Cranberry Sauce Glaze. The muffins are great with or without the glaze, so if you’re watching your calories, just leave the glaze off. They taste great right out of the oven, spread with a little butter or Cranberry–Pecan Cream Cheese Spread. The original recipe didn’t say how many muffins it was supposed to make, but I ended up with 16. I filled my muffin cups a little fuller than I should have, so if you fill the cups 3/4 full like the directions say, you’ll probably end up with 17 or 18.

CRANBERRY SAUCE MUFFINS (adapted from Serious Eats)

Makes 16-18 muffins

  • 1 1/2 cups unbleached flour
  • 1 cup oats (I used quick-cooking oats, but you can use the old-fashioned oats, too)
  • 1/3 cup brown sugar
  • 1/4 teaspoon cinnamon
  • 1 Tablespoon baking powder
  • 1/2 teaspoon baking soda
  • 1/2 teaspoon salt
  • 1/2 cup milk
  • 1/3 cup canola oil
  • 1 1/2 cups Whole Berry Cranberry Sauce (I used the Ocean Spray® brand)
  • 1 egg

Preheat oven to 400 degrees. Line muffin tins with paper baking cups.

In large bowl, combine flour, oats, brown sugar, cinnamon, baking powder, baking soda, and salt; mix well. In medium bowl, combine milk, oil, cranberry sauce and egg; blend well. Fold this mixture into dry ingredients at all once and stir until dry ingredients are moistened.

Fill muffin cups about 3/4 full. Bake 20 to 22 minutes, or until toothpick inserted in center comes out clean. You can eat these warm right out of the oven…spread with a little butter or Cranberry-Pecan Cream Cheese Spread. Or, let the muffins cool completely and top them with this glaze…



  • 1 cup powdered sugar
  • 1 1/2 Tablespoons milk or half and half
  • 1 Tablespoon Whole Berry Cranberry Sauce
  • chopped pecans for sprinkling over glaze

In small bowl, mix powdered sugar and milk (or half and half) together, blending well. Stir in the cranberry sauce and blend well. Drizzle over cooled muffins, then sprinkle with pecans if desired. Let glaze set and then serve.

Linked to Foodie Friday.

Sour Cream Coffee Cake Muffins


This recipe gives you the best of both worlds…the yummy taste of a moist cinnamon streusel-topped coffee cake, drizzled with glaze and sprinkled with chopped pecans…all in an easy-to-eat muffin! It’s the perfect thing for breakfast or brunch (with a hot cup of coffee, of course). If you’re not a morning person, it makes getting out of bed a little easier knowing you have a delicious muffin to look forward to! :)  I found the recipe at and made a few changes to it. This recipe makes 6 jumbo muffins or 12 regular-size muffins.

SOUR CREAM COFFEE CAKE MUFFINS by NancyCreative, adapted from

Makes 6 jumbo or 12 regular-size muffins


  • 3 teaspoons butter, softened
  • 1  cup packed brown sugar
  • 1 cup chopped pecans
  • 2-3 teaspoons cinnamon


  • 1 cup granulated sugar
  • 1/4 cup butter, softened
  • 2 eggs (or 1/2 cup egg substitute)
  • 1 cup sour cream (regular or light)
  • 2 tablespoons milk or half and half
  • 1 teaspoon vanilla
  • 1 3/4 cups all-purpose flour
  • 1 teaspoon baking powder
  • 1/2 teaspoon baking soda
  • 1/2 teaspoon salt


  • 6 tablespoons powdered sugar
  • 3 teaspoons orange juice
  • additional chopped pecans for garnish

Preheat oven to 375 degrees.

FOR STREUSEL, in small bowl, combine butter, brown sugar, chopped pecans, and cinnamon; set aside.

FOR BATTER, place granulated sugar and softened butter in large bowl; mix until well-blended. Add eggs or egg substitute and blend well. Beat in sour cream, milk, and vanilla.

Combine flour, baking powder, baking soda, and salt in another large bowl, stirring well with a whisk. Make a well in center of mixture and add sour cream mixture. Stir just until combined.

Place 6 jumbo paper muffin liners in a jumbo muffin pan or 12 regular-size liners in a standard muffin pan. Fill cups half full with batter. Sprinkle batter evenly with some of the streusel mixture (don’t use any more than half of the streusel; you’ll need the rest for the topping). Top muffins with remaining batter, then sprinkle with more streusel. Bake at 375 degrees for 22-25 minutes for jumbo muffins and 12-15 minutes for regular-size muffins, or until a wooden toothpick inserted in center comes out clean. Let muffins cool a few minutes, then place on a wire rack. Cool 10 more minutes.

FOR GLAZE, combine powdered sugar and orange juice in a small bowl, stirring until smooth. Drizzle glaze over muffins, and sprinkle with additional chopped pecans, if desired.

Then grab a cup of coffee and enjoy one of your muffins! :)

Linked to Sunday Showcase, Sundae Scoop, Potluck Sunday, Foodie Friday, I’m Lovin’ It! Friday, Sweet Tooth Friday, Sweets for a Saturday.

Corn Dog Muffins and Clothespins

Corn dogs and clothespins are both kind of nostalgic. And before I had a chance to post the recipe for some Corn Dog Muffins I had made, a friend and I found some quaint old wooden clothespins at an antique store in Eureka Springs this past weekend…so I just had to post a picture of those, too!

I’m not sure what I’m going to do with these, but they brought back memories of my mom hanging out the laundry in our backyard with her wooden clothespins, and seeing the clothes drying in the summer breeze and sunshine. It seems like eons ago now. These clothespins almost seem kind of primitive in today’s world with all our high-tech gadgets. How fast things change!

Now back to the Corn Dog Muffins…

You might be asking, “Why Corn Dog Muffins?” Well, for some reason, corn dogs remind me of fall. I think it’s because they’re often sold at the craft shows and fairs that happen so often this time of year. So I had corn dogs on my mind! I had seen some recipes for corn dog muffins, so I thought I’d give them a try.

I tried making these a few times. The first time, I made them with a cornbread batter that had cheese and honey in it, but those stuck to my paper muffin liners really badly and you couldn’t even taste the cheese in the muffins. So I tried another batter and omitted the cheese…and I like the taste of these muffins much better. The batter is actually a cornbread recipe I found on and I added in some Hillshire Farm® Lit’l Smokies® sausages instead of hot dogs…but you could use hot dogs instead if you want. These muffins would be good for breakfast or brunch or even for a snack, and this recipe makes about 17 muffins.

CORN DOG MUFFINS by NancyCreative, adapted from

  • 1/2 cup butter, melted
  • 2/3 cup sugar
  • 2 eggs
  • 1 cup buttermilk
  • 1/2 teaspoon baking soda
  • 1 cup yellow cornmeal
  • 1 cup flour
  • 1/2 teaspoon salt
  • 1 (14-oz.) package Lit’l Smokies® sausages, divided (set aside 17 sausage links, 1 for each muffin. (Note: if you want to use hot dogs instead, chop up enough hot dogs into small chunks to fill up 2 to 2 1/2 cups)

Preheat oven to 375 degrees. Line muffin pans with paper liners. In medium bowl, combine melted butter and sugar. Add eggs and beat until well-blended. Add buttermilk, blending well. Then stir in baking soda, cornmeal, flour, and salt and mix until well-blended. Set aside 17 of the Lit’l Smokies® sausages; chop the remaining sausages into small chunks and mix into the cornbread batter. Fill muffin cups almost 3/4 full with batter, then add a Lit’l Smokies® link on top of each one (Note: if you don’t want quite so much sausage in your muffins, just use the one unchopped sausage link and place on the top of each cup of muffin batter; you’ll probably get about 14 muffins if you do this). If using chopped hot dogs, mix your small chunks into the batter and fill each muffin cup 3/4 full; you won’t need to put anything on top. Bake at 375 degrees for 15 minutes. Let cool about 5 minutes and remove from pan. Serve warm.

Here’s what the muffins will look like before you put them in the oven…

I was hoping the little sausages would stay at the top as they baked, but they sunk into the batter. But it does make a nice surprise when you bite into the muffin and find the tasty sausage link and chopped bits of sausage inside!

These are best served warm!

Linked to Sunday Showcase, Potluck Sunday, Motivate Me Monday, Tempt My Tummy Tuesday, Tuesdays at the Table, Tasty Tuesday, Show and Tell, We Did It! Wednesday, Make It Yours Day, Strut Your Stuff, Favorite Things Friday, Frugalicious Friday, I’m Lovin’ It Friday, Favorite Things Saturday.

Blueberry Streusel Muffins

This is such a yummy blueberry muffin! I adapted the recipe from one I found in an older cookbook I have, The Great American Baking Book. These muffins have nice rounded tops and a sweet, crunchy streusel topping. And there are lots of juicy blueberries in them, too! I think these muffins are just as good as any bakery muffin. This recipe makes 6 jumbo muffins. If you want to make 12 regular muffins, decrease the baking time by about 5-10 minutes.


  • 4 Tbsp. butter, softened
  • 3/4 cup sugar
  • 1 egg at room temperature
  • 1/2 cup half & half
  • 1 tsp. vanilla extract
  • 2 cups flour
  • 2 tsp. baking powder
  • 1/2 tsp. salt
  • 1 1/2 – 1 2/3 cups fresh or frozen blueberries


  • 1/2 cup sugar
  • 1/3 cup flour
  • 1/2 tsp. ground cinnamon
  • 3 1/2  to 4 Tablespoons butter, cut in pieces

Preheat oven to 375 degrees. Line a 6-cup jumbo muffin pan with paper liners (or a 12-cup regular muffin pan). In large bowl, cream butter and sugar until light and fluffy. Add the egg, mixing well, and then add the half & half and vanilla, mixing until well-blended. In medium bowl, combine flour, baking powder, and salt, and stir just enough to blend the dry ingredients. Add half of this flour mixture to the egg mixture and mix well; then add the other half and mix well (the batter will be pretty thick). Fold in the blueberries and distribute evenly in batter. You’ll have to do this slowly and gently if you’re using fresh blueberries, because the batter is thick and you don’t want to mash up all the blueberries when you’re stirring them in. Spoon the batter into the 6 jumbo muffin cups (or 12 regular muffin cups); distribute batter evenly among cups (each cup should be about 3/4 full).

Now you’ll need to make the streusel topping. In a medium bowl, add sugar, flour, cinnamon, and butter, cut into pieces. Use a pastry blender (or fork, if you don’t have a pastry blender) to cut in the butter with the dry ingredients until the mixture resembles coarse crumbs. Sprinkle this streusel mixture over the top of each muffin cup, dividing the streusel evenly among the muffins.

Bake the jumbo muffins at 375 degrees for 30 minutes, or until toothpick inserted in center of muffins comes out clean (bake regular size muffins for 20-25 minutes). NOTE: if using frozen blueberries, you may need to bake a few minutes longer. Cool in pan 5-10 minutes; then remove from pan and cool completely on wire rack, or eat them while they’re warm–either way, they’re really good! :)

NOTE: You can also make this as a coffee cake, in a 9-inch square baking pan. Follow the same directions for making the batter and streusel…if you love blueberries, you can add up to 2 cups to the batter if you want. Grease your pan, fill with batter and top with streusel and bake at 375 degrees until a toothpick inserted in center comes out clean–about 45 minutes.

Linked to Sunday Showcase Party, Potluck Sunday, Sundae Scoop, Toot Your Horn Tuesday, Tasty Tuesday, Cupcake Tuesday.

Raspberry–Cream Cheese Muffins

I have a raspberry bush in my yard. It didn’t do too well this year, but I managed to collect a whopping 3 cups of raspberries from it! I decided to use most of them to try out this recipe, and ate the rest. :) This recipe is adapted from one I saw at Cooking Light. The cream cheese and berries make it a deliciously moist muffin, and I decided to add a glaze to give it a little more sweetness. But they are good without the glaze, too, so you can make them either way. This recipe makes 16 regular–size muffins.

RASPBERRY–CREAM CHEESE MUFFINS (adapted from Cooking Light)

  • 2/3 cup (5 ounces) light or regular cream cheese, softened
  • 1/3 cup butter, softened
  • 1 1/2 cups sugar
  • 2 tsp. vanilla extract
  • 2 large eggs
  • 2 cups unbleached all-purpose flour
  • 1 tsp. baking powder
  • 1/4 tsp. baking soda
  • 1/2 tsp. salt
  • 1/2 cup low-fat or regular buttermilk
  • 2 cups fresh or frozen raspberries
  • 1/4 cup finely chopped walnuts or pecans

Preheat oven to 350 degrees. Line regular–size muffin/cupcake pans with paper liners (since this recipe makes 16, you could line 8 cups in each pan for even baking). In large bowl, combine softened cream cheese and butter; blend well. Add sugar and mix until fluffy. Add vanilla and eggs, and mix well.

In another bowl, combine flour, baking powder, baking soda, and salt; blend together. Add these dry ingredients to the egg mixture and blend well. Then add in the buttermilk, mixing well. Gently fold in the raspberries and nuts. Spoon batter into paper liners, about 3/4 full. Bake at 350 degrees for 25 minutes, or until a wooden toothpick inserted in center of each muffin comes out clean. Cool a few minutes, then remove muffins from pans and cool completely on wire rack.

Now you can add the glaze if you like…


  • 1 cup powdered sugar
  • 2 Tbsp. milk or half & half

Mix the powdered sugar and milk together, blending well. Drizzle lightly over each muffin. If you want, you can sprinkle additional chopped nuts over the glaze.

This is a great recipe for raspberries, and perfect for serving at breakfast or brunch. Or even afternoon tea.

I’m sure hoping my raspberry bush will do better next year!


Find more recipes at Tasty Tuesday, Tuesday at the Table, Tempt My Tummy Tuesday, and Cupcake Tuesday.

Orange–Honey Muffins

This is adapted from a recipe in a book called Greetings from Knit Cafe by Susan Mischer, which is actually a knitting book. It can never hurt to have a tasty muffin recipe in a knitting book. :)

I heard this was a good recipe, so I tried it out and made a few minor changes. I added some orange extract to the batter for extra orange flavor and I turned the icing recipe into a glaze and sprinkled granola on top. The muffins have oatmeal in them, so I thought a granola topping would be a nice touch. I was really happy with how they turned out–they have a good orange flavor and are nice and moist. Plus, they’re healthy with all those oats in the batter and topping. What more could you ask for?

This recipe makes 12 regular size muffins or 6 jumbo muffins.


  • 2 cups all-purpose flour (I used unbleached flour)
  • 1/2 cup old-fashioned oats
  • 1 tsp. baking powder
  • 1/2 tsp. salt
  • 1 cup brown sugar
  • 2 large eggs
  • 2/3 cup orange juice
  • zest of 1 large orange
  • 1/2 tsp. pure orange extract
  • 1/4 cup honey
  • 5 1/2 Tbsp. butter, melted


  • 1 cup powdered sugar
  • 1 1/2 Tbsp. orange juice
  • 1/3–1/2 cup granola cereal for topping

Preheat oven to 350 degrees. Line a 12-cup regular size muffin pan or 6-cup jumbo muffin pan with paper liners. Combine flour, oats, baking powder, salt, and brown sugar in large bowl; stir until blended. Add eggs, orange juice, orange zest, orange extract, honey, and melted butter; stir just until mixed.

Spoon batter into the muffin cups, distributing batter evenly in cups, and bake 20–25 minutes for regular size muffins, or 25-30 minutes for jumbo muffins (or until toothpick inserted in center of muffins comes out clean). Let muffins cool 5-10 minutes and remove from pan.

For the glaze, combine powdered sugar and orange juice and blend well. Drizzle over cooled muffins, then sprinkle with granola topping.

Find more cupcake and muffin recipes at Cupcake Tuesday.