crumb coffee cake

Hey everyone, I hope you're having a fine summer. I was watching my new guilty pleasure, Rush, on USA Network, and saw a back-to-school commercial. Wham, bam, kick to the gut. I felt as though my summer was dwindling to a close.

Now, I know for some of you (North Carolina people, I think?) you're already in session, and for many of you, school starts at the end of August. Here in NJ, it's always been after Labor Day, so yes, I want still want to think that I have nearly a whole month of vacation left! That said, my kids are at a two week sleep away camp, so talk to me after they're home for two weeks, and you know that school can't start soon enough.

But I'm not here to rail against vacation and back-to-school angst, I'm here to talk about this yummy coffee cake! I love the crumb to cake ratio (heavy on the crumb), the flavors are simple and straightforward, the texture moist and firm.

You can find the recipe over at kimchi MOM, where I'm guest blogging today. She is not just a friend in the blogosphere, but a friend in real life (you'll read why.) While you're there, take a look around her site; she has some amazing, delicious recipes you'll be inspired to try. (I'm partial to her Indian Style Roasted Cauliflower.)


taco seasoning mix

I never ever thought to make my own taco seasoning mix until The Daughter earmarked a recipe in the Food Network magazine. It was wonderfully simple, quick to throw together, and I'm guessing, cheaper than the packaged kind from the supermarket. If not less expensive, at least healthier. Once you make your own, you'll never buy a pack again!

Of course, I can't find that particular recipe in that particular edition from a few particular years ago... so I've been using the most popularly reviewed one on allrecipes.com.

Here is my variation—

Taco Seasoning Mix
adapted from Allrecipes.com

1tablespoon chili powder
½ teaspoon garlic powder
½ teaspoon onion powder
¼ teaspoon crushed red pepper flakes
¼ teaspoon dried oregano
½ teaspoon smoked paprika
1½ teaspoons ground cumin
1 teaspoon salt
1 teaspoon black pepper
¼ teaspoon ground fennel (optional, some of The Family preferred it without this spice)
2 teaspoons cornstarch

In a small bowl, mix together all the ingredients. Store in an airtight container.

Mix 3 tablespoons of the taco seasoning and ½ cup water with 1 pound browned ground beef. Simmer until combined.


gluten-free almond butter cookies

I had one compelling thought as I was taking these photos. Brown cookies do not make great photos. You will just have to trust me that these cookies taste better than they look.


morning glory muffins

Are you one of those who combines different cereals for breakfast? I definitely am. I got hooked decades ago in college. With the cafeteria's huge selection, I mixed away. I haven't stopped since. (This morning it was Kashi GoLean Crunch with Peanut Butter Captain Crunch. I mix high/low, healthy/unhealthy. I need balance in my life.)

I appreciate variety, and that's why I'm drawn to these muffins. You could call these Everything-but-the-kitchen-sink and be very close to the truth. The more stir-ins, the merrier.



I like cornbread. I really do. But my baking relationship with cornbread is complicated. We have issues.
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