Orange Bran Muffins with Raisins

Looking back at all of the muffin recipes I have posted I was shocked that there was no bran muffins there!!  Like really…everyone needs to have a healthy Bran Muffin recipe. So I went searching in my notes for my go-to recipe for bran muffins.  This time I spiced it up a bit and the family thought they were delicious- didn’t tell them they were healthy too! For the fat in this recipe I decided to try olive oil instead of canola and with all of the spices you can’t distinguish the olive flavour, but because olive oil is so much better health wise you should try it.


Of course adding a big slab of butter on these delicious muffins sort of negates that goodness, but one does have to splurge sometimes.  Instead of butter you could top them with marmalade which would pair perfectly with all of the orange flavour in the muffins. These Orange Bran Muffins with Raisins freeze really well and are perfect for making ahead for those breakfasts on the go especially now that the mornings are so dark and cold. Zap them in the microwave for a few seconds and it’s like they just came out of the oven.


Also you can switch up the dried fruit in this Orange Bran Muffin and substitute dried cranberries or even chopped dates would go well with the orange and spices. This recipe uses Natural Wheat Bran which is the flaky bran that you usually find near the oatmeal in the grocery store, not bran cereal.

So I hope you try these deliciously healthy muffins!

Orange Bran Muffins with Raisins
Prep time
Cook time
Total time
Serves: 12
  • 1½ cups natural wheat bran
  • 1 1 /2 cups all-purpose flour
  • 2 tsp cinnamon
  • ¾ tsp baking powder
  • ¾ tsp baking soda
  • ½ tsp salt
  • ½ tsp ginger
  • 12 tsp nutmeg
  • ¾ cup sultana raisins
  • zest of a large orange
  • ½ cup apple sauce
  • ⅓ cup granulate sugar
  • ¼ cup olive oil
  • 2 eggs
  • ½ cup orange juice
  • ½ cup milk
  • ¼ cup molasses
  1. Preheat oven to 400℉.
  2. Line a 12 cup muffin pan with paper liners or grease the cups well.
  3. Whisk together the wheat bran, flour, cinnamon, baking powder, baking soda, salt, ginger and nutmeg.
  4. In a large bowl combine the orange zest, apple sauce, sugar, oil, eggs, orange juice, milk and molasses. Beat with a whisk until well combined.
  5. Add in the dry ingredients and the raisins. Stir gently with a spatula just until there is no dry streaks left.
  6. Divide between the 12 muffin cups. The cups will be full.
  7. Bake 20 min or until the tops are firm to the touch.
  8. Let rest in pan 10 minutes, then remove to a cooling rack to cool.


This entry was posted in Muffins.

Pumpkin Apple Loaf with Crumble Topping

The calendar says that today is the first day of Fall, but the thermometer says it is 26ºC! Record breaking temperatures here for the next few days – finally summer has arrived! But the pumpkins are in the grocery stores so that means baking must include roasted pumpkin. Pumpkin Apple Loaf with Crumble Topping has 3 healthy ingredients in it – pumpkin, banana and apple so indulge yourself.

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This entry was posted in Bread.

Apple Brownie with Maple Frosting

Autumn is here…at least the apples are here! The colours are just starting to turn and all of the fall harvest is starting to appear at the farmers market. With all of the different varieties of apples out there you really have to try every apple recipe you can get your hands on. This recipe for Apple Brownie with Maple Frosting is just the one to bring out all of those fall flavours. For this brownie I used MacIntosh apples, but any tart apple would work just fine.


One of the steps that will add a little prep time to this recipe is the fact that the apples are partially cooked first in a little butter.  This sweetens the apples and adds even more deliciousness to the brownie. What does save some time is that the rest of the batter is mixed in the same pan you cooked the apples in! Sure saves on dishes! The amazing scent from the brownie baking will warm up your kitchen and put you in that fall mode. If it is still warm enough to have the windows open your neighbours might be knocking on the door too. No one will be able to resist the smell of baking apples and cinnamon.


Now the maple frosting on these apple brownies is the same maple frosting I used on the Apple Slab Cake. There is no sense in trying to use something different when this maple goodness matches perfectly with apples. You will be tempted to put the maple frosting on just about anything – don’t say I didn’t warn you!

This apple season I hope you try this Apple Brownie with Maple Frosting – your family and friends will really appreciate it.

Apple Brownies with Maple Frosting
Prep time
Cook time
Total time
Serves: 20 slices
  • ¾ cup butter + 1tbsp butter
  • 2 large apples, peeled and chopped
  • ½ tsp cinnamon
  • ½ cup packed brown sugar
  • ½ cup granulated sugar
  • ½ cup maple syrup
  • 2 eggs- beaten slightly
  • 2 tsp vanilla
  • 2 cups all-purpose flour
  • 1 tsp baking powder
  • ½ tsp salt
  • ¼ tsp baking soda
  • Fudge Frosting -click on link
  1. Preheat oven to 350℉.
  2. Line a 9 x 13 pan with parchment paper.
  3. In a medium sized saucepan melt the 1 tbsp of butter on med-low heat. Add in the chopped apple and cook for about 5-6 minutes, just until the apples are fragrant and starting to soften.
  4. Transfer the apples to a small bowl and set aside.
  5. To the same saucepan add the remaining butter and cinnamon and return to the heat. Stir until melted scraping up any little bits of apple on the bottom of the pan.
  6. Remove from the heat and stir in the sugars and maple syrup. Stir in the beaten eggs and vanilla.
  7. In a separate bowl whisk together the flour, baking powder, salt and baking soda.
  8. Add the dry ingredients to the butter mixture. Stir until the flour is all combined and then add in the cooked apples.
  9. Transfer to the prepared pan and bake 25-30 minutes or until the top is just golden.
  10. Place the pan on a cooling rack to cool.
  11. Once cool - frost with the Fudge Frosting.


This entry was posted in Bars.

Baked Cheesecake with Blackberry Sauce

Sometimes a craving just hits you over the head. That’s what happened last weekend – I needed a slice of cheesecake. The fact that I also needed to make a birthday cake for two of my friends who both share the same birthday was a good reason to indulge.  So Baked Cheesecake with Blackberry Sauce happened. This recipe for baked cheesecake isn’t all that difficult compared to some baked cheesecake recipes.  It is the secret ingredient of yogurt that lightens the cheesecake and adds a bit of tang to the flavour.

Now first of all I want to apologize for the quality of the pictures! I forgot my camera at home and had to use my phone and the lighting wasn’t the best. But I think you can still appreciate the lightness and height of this yummy dessert.

I took my husband picking wild blackberries for the sauce. Now that was an experience. His arms were bleeding by the end – he shouldn’t have worn a t-shirt – long sleeves and pants are a requirement for this job. If you’ve never had the opportunity to pick wild black berries you can’t imaging how prickly and cruel these vines are.  The thorns stick to you and will rip your skin.  BUT the berries – they are so delicious it is worth the pain. Adorning the cheesecake with this blackberry sauce was the perfect way to set off the amazing flavour of the berries.

If you love cheesecake but have never made a baked one before – this is the recipe you need to try. Believe me – it’s worth it.  Let me know how you like it!

Baked Cheesecake with Blackberry Sauce
Prep time
Cook time
Total time
Serves: 12 servings
  • Crust
  • 2½ cups graham cracker crumbs
  • ⅓ cup butter, melted
  • 1 tablespoon sugar
  • Filling
  • 3 (8 oz) packages regular cream cheese
  • 1¼ cups granulated sugar
  • 4 large eggs
  • 4 teaspoons lemon juice
  • 1tbsp vanilla extract
  • a pinch of salt
  • 3 cups plain full-fat yogurt (regular or greek)
  • Sauce
  • 2 cups of blackberries
  • ¼ cup of sugar
  • 1 tbsp water
  • 2 tsp of lemon juice
  • 1 tsp of cornstarch
  1. Preheat the oven to 325 degrees F and lightly grease a 10″ Springform pan.
  2. Crust:
  3. In a medium bowl, combine graham cracker crumbs, melted butter and sugar. Press into the prepared pan and up the sides about 1 inch. Bake for 15 minutes or until just fragrant and turning golden. Remove from oven and reduce the oven temp to 275 degrees F.
  4. Filling:
  5. Meanwhile, in the bowl of a stand mixer beat cream cheese until smooth. Add sugar, eggs, lemon juice, vanilla and salt and beat on low speed until smooth and very well combined. Scrape down the sides of the bowl often. Add the yogurt and beat on low until just combined.
  6. Pour into baked crust and smooth the top. Bake at 275 degrees F for about 2 hours or until the outer 2 inches are set but the centre is still wobbly.
  7. Turn off the oven and let sit in the oven with the door closed for another hour. Remove from the oven and let cool to room temperature and then chill in the fridge completely.
  8. Sauce:
  9. While cake is baking make the sauce. In a small saucepan, combine the sugar, water and blackberries on medium heat. Stir until the berries start to release their juices. In a small bowl dissolve the cornstarch in the lemon juice. Once the berries have softened and are at a simmer, add in the cornstarch mixture. Continue cooking on low heat until thickened slightly, about 2-3 minutes. Remove from heat and transfer to a mason jar. Let cool at room temperature and then refrigerate.
  10. When ready to serve, release the cake from the ring of the pan. Slice and drizzle with the berry sauce.


This entry was posted in Cakes.

Blackberry Raspberry Ice Cream

The humid hot days of August are the perfect reason to make some luscious home-made ice cream. The combination of home-made vanilla ice cream and home-made blackberry raspberry jam creates an amazing flavour. This idea for Blackberry Raspberry Ice Cream sprang from an abundance of blackberries this year in our area. I have never seen the blackberries this huge and so many of them. Plus I had a craving for home-made ice cream so the stars had aligned in my kitchen.


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Blueberry Zucchini Crumb Bars

Blueberry Zucchini Crumb Bars are the magical meeting of two worlds – fruit and vegetable! When the zucchini is cooked with lemon juice in this recipe it magically transforms into bits of apple. I’m not kidding you – everyone will swear that it is apple in with the blueberries, but you will know it really is zucchini. So it is the perfect backdrop for all of those zucchinis that are soon to show up dropped on your doorstep by the neighbourhood garden fairies.

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This entry was posted in Bars.

Summer Salad with Feta

SUMMER! Finally the garden’s bounty is starting to ripen – the most rewarding time of the year. With so many veggies waiting to be eaten this recipe lets you chop and throw it all together to make a most delicious salad. Summer Salad with Feta has just the right amount of crunch with creamy feta cheese and then the salt of the olives. That just means a bowl of YUM! The yellow and orange peppers are a perfect match for the sweet fresh cucumber and grape tomatoes.


This salad is really a Greek salad except for one ingredient- fresh corn!  When there is a few left-over cobs of corn after a bbq, this is the salad to make.  The corn makes the salad as it adds so much sweetness and even more crunch. You could even add some shredded chicken to the list of ingredients and this salad could easily be a main course. It keeps well refrigerated so you will have lunch for the next day if there are any left-overs, but I doubt it. Don’t forget to pick up a fresh baguette to sop up all of those lovely juices and olive oil.


Enjoy the fresh veggies while we have them – summer doesn’t last long here in the north so we eat as many fresh dishes as we can during the short season. All of those vitamins and fibre are healthy as well as amazingly delicious!

Summer Salad with Feta
Prep time
Total time
Serves: 6 servings
  • 1 orange pepper
  • 1 yellow pepper
  • 1 english cucumber
  • 1 pint of grape tomatoes
  • ½ cup of Kalamata olives, sliced
  • ½ cup of crumbled feta cheese
  • 3 cobs of corn, steamed
  • ¼ cup of olive oil
  • 3 tbsp white wine vinegar
  • ½ tsp oregano
  • salt and pepper to taste
  1. Chop the peppers and cucumbers into small pieces. Slice the grape tomatoes in half.
  2. Cut the kernels off of the cooked cobs.
  3. Combine the chopped peppers, cucumbers, tomatoes and corn in a large bowl.
  4. Add in the crumbled cheese, olive oil, vinegar and oregano.
  5. Toss salad well. Cover with plastic wrap and refrigerate at least 30 minutes before serving.
  6. Season with salt and pepper before serving.


Brown Butter Pecan Cookies

Lately I have had a bit of an obsession with Browned Butter so I have been experimenting with substituting it in some of my favourite recipes. This cookie recipe for Brown Butter Pecan Cookies turned out divine if I do say so myself. The spices the butter is simmered in lend a dept of flavour to the dough plus the crunch of the pecans and toffee bits combines to make a really good cookie.

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This entry was posted in Cookies.

Sponge Cake with Vanilla Whipped Cream and Strawberries

If you are looking for the perfect dessert to celebrate Canada’s 150th this is the one- Sponge Cake with Vanilla Whipped Cream and Strawberries!  Delicious sponge cake, layered with vanilla whipped cream and fresh Ontario strawberries – dessert doesn’t get much better than this. Did I mention it is red and white?  Canada’s colours showcased in a delicious cake that you can make ahead. White- vanilla whipped cream which is a stabilized cream meaning it will keep it’s form for at least 24 hours and up to 48 hours. Of course it is cream which means you have to keep it refrigerated.  Strawberries – finally fresh Ontario strawberries to make up the red colour in this decadent cake.  Nothing tastes better than fresh local berries. These ones weren’t really local, just Ontario, but we will have local ones for July 1st I am sure. I will definitely be stopping at Emiry’s Berry Farm in Massey to get my load of berries for the long weekend!

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This entry was posted in Cakes.

Rhubarb Strawberry Crisp

Rhubarb = Spring, at least in my world it does. Spring also means lilacs which are one of my favourite flowers- the other being lavender. Funny how my two favourite flowers are both purple – not sure what that means! Back to the rhubarb. Rhubarb has to be one of those flavours that you either love or hate and thank goodness everyone in my life loves it because this time of year everything is coming up rhubarb. My rhubarb plant is a sunny protected area of the garden and it just explodes once the warm sun warms up the earth. Before you know it there is enough rhubarb to feed an army.

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