Tuesday, August 28, 2012

Perfect Cupcakes for Back to School!

I bake.  I bake alot...

One of the reasons that I bake so much is that I like for the kiddos to have snacks to take to school in their lunch that isn't completely full of artificial ingredients.  When I bake something for them I generally know what they are eating.  But I have always had a problem when trying to send cakes or cupcakes with them to school.

Then it hit me!  All over Pinterest (follow me there) I kept seeing posts of Mason jar cupcakes.  Great idea but I didn't have any mason jars and wasn't going to go and buy some just to make cute cupcakes in. Then it hit me.  I can use the same idea using the cute little Mini Round Glad® Food Storage Containers!!!

Banana Cupcakes
Genius I say!  And the kids love them.  Lauren asks for them everyday!!!  They get to take cupcakes to school with no mess or worries about squishing and gooeying eveything up!!!

Simply make your cupcakes as you usually would in the oven using a cupcake tin (not these Glad® Food Storage Containers!!!) and once they are cooled remove the paper line and drop them into your Glad® Mini Round container.  Do not put the frosting on them until you have put them in the Glad® Mini Round.  Once they are in there then you can put the frosting on them using a pastry bag!

Be sure to attach a spoon to the Glad® Mini Round container so your kiddo will have something to eat it with at school.  A ribbon would have been really cute but an elastic band works just as well!

Banana Cupcakes (from Mom’s Who Think)


1/2 cup butter
1 1/2 cups sugar
2 large eggs, beaten
2 cups flour, sifted
1/2 tsp. of salt
1/4 tsp. baking powder
1/2 cup milk
1/4 tsp. vanilla
3/4 tsp. baking soda (add to pureed bananas)
3 pureed bananas, very ripe

Cream Cheese Frosting:

1/2 stick butter, softened
8 oz. cream cheese, softened
1 box powdered sugar (1 lb.)
2 tsp. vanilla extract

1. Preheat oven to 350 degrees. Line muffin cups (2-1/2 inches in diameter) with paper bake cups.
2. Cream butter, sugar and eggs. Sift flour several times, then add the salt and baking powder to the flour.
3. To the creamed butter mixture, add the milk and flour (alternating, beginning and ending with flour).
4. Add vanilla and mashed bananas (with the baking soda added to the bananas) to this mixture.
5. Fill cups 1/2 full with batter. Bake 20 to 23 minutes. Test with a toothpick for doneness. Cool completely. Peel off paper baking cups and place in Glad® Mini Rounds and frost

Frosting Directions:
1. Mix cream cheese and butter until smooth, add sugar and vanilla and blend well. Spoon into a piping bag with tip and frost cupcakes.

**If you have any really cool Back to School recipes, tips or ideas head on over to Glad's Facebook page for a chance to win a "Lunch Kit" for your kids entire class just by sharing!!!

I have partnered with The Glad Products Company through DailyBuzz Moms to help promote their Food Storage products. I have been compensated for my time commitment to review this product. However, my opinions are entirely my own and I have not been paid to publish positive comments. Thank you GLAD!

Thursday, August 16, 2012

Mediterranean Quinoa Salad

I keep trying to eat healthier.  I know I should but the cakes, cookies and candies just keep screaming my name.  I've gotten so bad that I even put frosting on muffins and cookies half the time right now.

But I was craving something that was good for me so I wanted to make this Orzo Mediterranean Salad and bought all the ingredients to do it (sort of).  When I went to make it for my lunch I found I was out of orzo.  Coulda sworn I saw some just the other day :-( But I did find some Quinoa...

Mediterranean Quinoa Salad


1 cup uncooked quinoa
1/2 cup zucchini , cubed ( I threw it in with the quinoa to cook in the last 5 minutes of cooking)
1/2 of a red pepper, chopped
1/2 cup black olives, pick your favorite, coarsely chopped
8 pieces of sundried tomatoes, finely chopped 
1/4 cup extra virgin olive oil  
2 tablespoons red wine vinegar (you could use white)
1/2 tsp. dried basil (or 1 tsp fresh, chopped)
1/2 tsp. kosher salt
1/2 tsp. black pepper
feta cheese, crumbled, to taste (I like ALOT!!!)


1. Cook  1 cup of quinoa in 2 cups of water for about 10-15 minutes or until cooked. Add the zucchini in the last 5 minutes of cooking.  Allow to cool.
2. Combine red, pepper, olives, sundried tomatoes, olive oil, vinegar, basil, salt and pepper in a large bowl.  Add cooked and cooled quinoa and stir well.  Stir in feta cheese and basil just before serving.

Thursday, August 9, 2012

Banana Walnut Muffins

I love a simple recipe.  I mean a recipe that doesn't require me to pull out any special equipment, hunt and gather any hard to find ingredients, and comes together quick and easy and still tastes delicious.  Especially now that the kids are back in school (YES, already!).  And that's actually how this recipe came together.  School lunches...

I found a half eaten banana in Lauren's lunch box last night.  Cut off the chewed end and saved it.  Then remembered that I had some others in the freezer and a bag of California Walnuts that was sent to me while I was away on vacation last month.  So this morning I gathered everything together and made these delicious little banana walnut muffins!

Fast, simple and delicious...

Banana Walnut Muffins (from Simply Recipes)


  • 3 or 4 ripe bananas, smashed
  • 1/3 cup melted butter
  • 3/4 cup sugar
  • 1 egg, beaten
  • 1 teaspoon vanilla
  • 1 Tbsp espresso or strong coffee (optional/I skipped this but would love to try it next time)
  • 1 teaspoon baking soda
  • Pinch of salt
  • 1 1/2 cup of flour
  • 1 cup chopped walnuts (toasted or raw)


1 Preheat the oven to 350°F. With a wooden spoon, mix butter into the mashed bananas in a large mixing bowl.

2 Mix in the sugar, egg, espresso (if using)  and vanilla.

3 Sprinkle the baking soda and salt over the mixture and mix in.

4 Add the flour, mix until it is just incorporated. Fold in the chopped walnuts.

5 Pour mixture into a prepared muffin tin. Bake for 25-30 minutes. Check for doneness with a toothpick inserted into the center of a muffin. If it comes out clean, it's done. Cool on a rack.

Yield: Makes 12 muffins.

***A big thanks and shout out to the folks at California Walnuts for supplying me with walnuts!!! Check out their website for some cool ideas and info.

Monday, August 6, 2012

So we were away for a while...

We hit the highway July 1st and didn't stop til July 28th...
4700 miles, time with family and friends, many shared meals, and countless rest area breaks.  Here's the month in photos...

Swimming with cousins at Grandma's house in PA...

 4th of July Fun...

Racing in Pittsburgh for the Stars N' Stripes National

More family in Toronto...

More BMX at Milton BMX in Canada...

Dinner at La Cantina in Toronto with friends old and new...

Onto Illinois and fun reconnecting with an old friend...

Onto the Midwest National in Rockford, IL...

Cottage life somewhere in Wisconsin...

Heading home with a quick pitstop at Derby City BMX in Louisville, KY...
And yes, I'd do it all again tomorrow!  Nothing in the world like a road trip with just me and my girls!!!