Posts Tagged ‘Maine’

All my life I have been living in a box.


It was safe. It was comfortable. I got out of bed in the morning. I drank my coffee. Ate some breakfast. And normally did close to the same thing almost every day. It was routine. It was safe.

And then I fell in love.

With Baking. And it helped me break out of that comfort zone.

I have made cheesecake.

Homemade Apple Pie with a Double Crust.

And created a whoopie pie filling I love (finally!).

Baking has opened doors for me and helped me be more creative. It has given me passion and also a distraction during these uncertain times.

What inspires you?

What makes you feel alive?

A Beautiful Sunset right before a storm?

Nature’s majestic but mighty beauty?

Or… being surrounded by wonderful people who inspire and strengthen you?

Sorry, no recipe this time around! Just a little inspiration to start off your weekend. I am going to be baking for most of it. 2nd Monthly Taste Testing begins on6pm this Sunday! I am going to be creating Pumpkin Cheesecake Cupcakes, Caramel Apple Cupcakes, Pumpkin Chocolate Chip Cookies, Apple Crisp Pie. Which recipe would you like to see first?

Have a wonderful weekend everyone! Next post… Monday! Promise it won’t be so late (Oh and all pictures above were taken by me or the fiance and taken in the beautiful landscape of Maine).


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Hi World,it’s been awhile. How you feeling? Sorry I have been in hiding for a bit. The past week has been a bit stressful and I finally got to take a trip away from it all. At least for a little bit. But the stress has kept me from baking and experimenting and so on that front I really have nothing new to share. I will probably be making cupcakes sometime tomorrow… most likely in the morning before the humidity gets too bad (it just wears me out!). The whole past week was definitely a learning lesson. One that I wish was required for all people to take a course in. I believe college would be a lot more useful if they had classes on how to deal with losing a loved one, attorneys and the law, making the right medical decisions for a loved one/family member. Because making these choices and trying to be all responsible, at the age of 21…where you were still hoping to get financial advice and support from your Dad at least 10 years down the road and suddenly, it is becoming more and more clear that he may not even know what year it is in a few weeks to a  month…forget financial advice, those good fatherly talks, the wisdom to make the right choice…You’re on your own and that fact scares the daylights out of me. I am now in a position where I would go to him and ask him what would be best…and he would tell me in his cryptic way where he would direct me in the right path but in a way that would be totally my choice… but at least he gave a guideline. I am suddenly in the dark without a guide.

For all you parents out there, please, please, please for the sake of your family, have some idea or something written down saying that if you are ever a vegetable and your diagnosis is not good, what you would want from your family. Would you want to be put on a machine even if it was just going to prolong your comatose state but you wouldn’t even be aware? Seriously, what would you want? Right now, I am in the position to make these choices should the problems arise and I do not know what is the best decision. So please, I know it is morbid and weird to write about the what ifs, but you are really doing the family a huge favor. Do not wait last minute. Just write something down and stick it in a file.

So that is just part of the stresses I have been dealing with…but I do not want this to become a ranting/venting blog…but it provides the back drop. Because the main point is that life can be crappy/stressful/painful/depressing/etc, but you can not let those emotions rule your life. When you do, then… it is like telling the dark side they won! And they lied.. and didn’t have cookies. And now you are just stuck in a rut feeling all those terrible things and cookie-less. But if you appreciate the light side of things, then guess what? You have the option of always having a cookie.

Or in my case, cupcakes. Besides the stress, I also had an amazing week since I just celebrated by 3rd anniversary of being together with my fiance. We went on a great vacation for 3 days to a place called Boothbay Harbor in Maine, and it was absolutely incredible. I love the ocean… and someday, I hope to live by it. We also went whale watching! And it was such a treat… we saw Finback Whales which happen to be the second largest whales… ever. As well as a Minke whale, harbor porpoises, seals and a basking shark. We had a traditional clambake that we had to travel to an island by boat to get, but it was absolutely worth it… as we watched the sun set behind and over the water while chomping down on 2 big lobsters, a bowl of clams, a baked potato, an onion, a boiled egg, corn on the cob and to top it all off…blueberry cake for dessert. Yum.

It was nice to just get away. All my problems would be waiting back at home, but for the weekend, I could be someone who had no problems. Just someone enjoying the beautiful weather and being the love of my life.

Life is always going to throw curveballs. It is going to knock you down to your knees and beg for the misfortune to be placed on someone else (seriously, not a good thing to do because the karma bug will bite you… but we all do it). But you have to look towards the light and reach out… Sometimes you have to take a mental vacation and just leave your problems at the door. They will be there when you get back, and you feel more energized to deal with them once you center yourself.

Next post I promise, there will be baked goods (since my love got me the big book of cupcakes from betty crocker for our anniversary!). Until then, do something nice for yourself. You deserve it!

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I am on my way on completing one of my baking goals: using fresh and local ingredients in my baked goods. Instead of buying Strawberries from the grocery store, Kevin and I decided to buy from a local farmer that had set up a stand. The strawberries were a little bit smaller since they had not been injected with any huge growing compounds, but they were absolutely delicious. I knew I really wanted to make muffins since the banana ones had come out so perfect. I searched the internet to try to get ideas, but all the recipes I came across had some sort of criticism and it was making me nervous to try out any of them. I decided that I was finally going to take bits and pieces of each recipe that I liked and create my own — and I am so glad that I did!


Look at those beautiful muffins!My recipe created 18 of these wonderful creations. They are also topped with some brown sugar crumble. It took me two tries to get the crumble exactly how I want it. The secret for me was to have the butter be melty, but not completely melted. Fork it through the brown sugar, flour, and cinnamon until it is course…

Then you take the brown sugar crumble and just put it over the batter in the cupcake tins. For muffins, I find it best to fill the cups about 3/4 of the way full or even a bit more so you get a nice rounded top of the muffin (I really love muffin tops!)

Look at that beautiful pink dough! The strawberries were super juicy. Then you just pop them into the oven for about 20 minutes at 375 degrees F.

And wha-la. You have muffins as seen at the top of this post! They went fast. I gave them to friends and family, and they made a nice snack when traveling for a wedding. My life has been pretty this week and that is why I have been so late in posting. Next post will be coming soon… I will be discussing my experience at visiting my first Farmer’s market, my anniversary present that Kevin got me, and how road trips help you escape from stress — at least for a little bit!

Strawberry Muffins

2 cups of Flour

1 1/2 cups of Sugar

1 teaspoon baking powder

1 teaspoon baking soda

1 teaspoon vanilla

2 eggs

1 cup of milk (I used whole milk for mine)

2 cups of strawberries

1/2 cup butter, melted

mini chocolate chips, optional (I am a chocolaholic! And I just love the combination of Strawberries and chocolate).


1 cup of brown sugar

2 tablespoons of flour

1 teaspoon of cinnamon

1/2 cup of butter, soften (and slightly melty)

Preheat Oven to 375 degrees F

1. In a small bowl or on a sheet of wax paper, mix flour, baking powder, and baking soda together (shifting it around with a spoon is what works best for me).

2. In a large mixing bowl, mix the sugar and melted butter. Add the vanilla, eggs and milk until well stirred. Be careful as to not over beat.

3. Add the dry (flour, baking powder, and baking soda) ingredients slowly to the wet ingredients until moist. (Best to do this slowly and not dump in the ingredients all at once)

4. Add the strawberries and mini chocolate chips (which are optional but tasty!). Do not be too rough with the strawberries, but enough to get the juices to spread through the batter. (The batter should turn slightly pink!)

5. In another bowl, mix the ingredients for the crumble using a fork. Make sure the butter is well mixed.

6. Line the cups with muffin/cupcake liners or grease the tin very good. Fill cups with batter and put a little bit of the crumble over each one.

7. Bake for 20 minutes in preheated oven. Let cool for 5 minutes in tray before putting them on a cooling rack (or in my case, my counter lined with wax paper. Anyone want to get me a cooling rack?)

Then they are ready to eat!Yields 18 muffins! So they are best shared!



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