Grandma’s Raisin Bran Muffins


The exact origins of this recipe is a mystery to me.  My grandmother has been making these raisin bran muffins for as long as I can remember, so to me, they are Grandma’s muffins.  Now, if you work for Kellogg or if this recipe happens to belong to you.. thank you for lending it to my grandmother for all these years.

Now that she no longer makes them on her own I have decided to make sure my grandmother and grandfather can still have their raisin bran muffins on occasion for breakfast and am now making them myself.

These muffins are sweet enough to be a mid afternoon snack if you are scared away by the 1 1/2 cups of sugar!

Grandma’s Raisin Bran Muffins


2 1/2 cups flour

1 1/2 cups sugar

2 1/2 tsp baking soda (yes, baking soda not baking powder)

1 tsp. salt

3 cups raisin bran cereal

2 cups buttermilk (I used a cup of 2% milk and a cup of plain yogurt, works just as well!)

1/2 cup vegetable oil (Once again you can probably substitute the oil with apple sauce but since these muffins were for my grandparents I thought I would skip “exotic” substitutions and stick to the recipe.

2 large eggs


The recipe makes 18 muffins (which freeze well)

Preheat oven to 425 degrees.  Line muffin cups with liners.

Stir flour, sugar, baking soda and salt in large bowl.  Mix in the raisin bran cereal.  Whisk buttermilk, oil and eggs in bowl to blend.  Mix wet ingredients into dry ingredients.  Like any other muffin recipe, do not over mix.  Just walk away..even if you feel the urge to give it one more stir.

The muffins will look a little pale but don’t worry, they will come out a lovely, honey gold color.

Spoon 1/3 cup batter into each muffin cup.  IMG_3804 *guest appearance - the awesome Pike’s Place Market mug I bought in Seattle when I went to visit my sister!*

Bake about 20 minutes.

IMG_3817 I wonder if this recipe would work with other types of cereal.  I’m sure it would work with corn flakes and dried apricots or cut up apples, might be worth a try!


Thanks Grandma!


Really Moist and Chewy Granola Bars


When you think of granola you usually think hard and dry.  Well, it’s a new world out there because I have found a recipe for a moist, slightly sweet, chewy, delicious granola bar.  This recipe can be as nutty or fruity as you like, depending on your taste or your mood and can be “store bought” sweet or less so if you want to pretend to be a little more healthy.

Apples and granola bars are a staple for me –the perfect mid-day snack! They are full of healthy ingredients but taste like a treat!  Since they tend to be surprisingly expensive for what they are, I thought I would try and make my own.  Turns out they are so easy to make I might never buy another box again!  This recipe is so versatile I can change the nuts and fruits and make a new kind of bar each and every time.


Really Moist and Chewy Granola Bars

Adapted from King Arthur Flour


1 2/3 cups quick rolled oats

1/2 cup granulated sugar (You can use up to 3/4 cup if you want it to be sweeter- I didn’t in this recipe)

1/3 cup of oat flour (I put oats in a coffee grinder and made my own flour.  For just a 1/3 of a cup I’m not sure why you would want to buy a whole new kind of flour)

1/2 tsp salt

1/4 tsp cinnamon

3 cups of dried fruits/nuts (this is where you can get creative.  For this recipe I used roasted almonds, walnuts, dried apricots, dried cranberries and golden raisins)

1/3 cup of almond butter (you can also use peanut butter but I’m sure the taste of the granola bars would change  A LOT if you did – I used almond butter)

1 tsp vanilla extract

6 tbs of melted butter

1/4 cup honey

2 tbs light corn syrup (I wasn’t crazy about using corn syrup.  I’m sure there is a more organic/natural sweetener I can use.  Maybe just more honey?)

1 tbs water



These might just be the easiest baking directions. 

Preheat oven to 350 degrees.  Grease a 9x13 pan.  Cover the pan with parchment paper making sure to cut it too long so it hangs off the sides.  Grease the parchment paper too.

Mix together the dry ingredients, nuts and fruits

IMG_3784 Mix together the wet ingredients

IMG_3783 Mix dry and wet ingredients together

IMG_3785 Pat beautiful and colorful mixture into the pan

IMG_3787 Doesn’t that just look delicious?

Bake for about 30-40 minutes.  Mine definitely took 40.  They are going to look like they aren’t done – a little like seriously under baked oatmeal cookies that melted into one big cookie- but do not fear.  They are done! Take them out of the oven and put the pan on a cooling rack for 15 minutes.  Since the parchment paper is sticking out on the sides you can easily pick up the large “bar” and let it finish cooling out of the pan.

Once they are cool use a serrated knife or a chef’s knife to cut them into the sizes you want! 

Wrap them individually in plastic wrap or put them in tupperware.  After my caramel experiment I wasn’t really ready to individually wrap anything, so tupperware it was! 

IMG_3788 Granola and orange juice for a quick breakfast!



Mushroom Adventures – One month


To those of you who were on the edge of their seats just WAITING to see what was going to happen with my mushrooms- I’m sorry I haven't posted in a while!  Work was a little more intense then usual this week, but I’m back!

Just because I wasn’t filling you all in on my little mushroom-adventures doesn’t mean they haven’t been growing!  As of today I have enough portabella and white button mushrooms to make a great mushroom risotto or sauté some with vegetables.  I can’t wait.  (This time, if you don’t hear from me in over a week you should get concerned.. maybe the mushrooms weren’t edible afterall…..ugh)

IMG_3798 IMG_3793 IMG_3794 IMG_3795 IMG_3796 IMG_3797  I’m calling this “crop#1”

The box says they are supposed to keep coming back for a couple months. I already see little baby white button mushrooms so I believe them!

Mushroom recipe suggestions welcome!  I have a feeling I’ll need some inspiration.  I’ll make your recipe and post it on the blog!

Today is the first almost-warm-giving-you-the-feeling-that-spring-might-actually-come-one-day Saturday in D.C. so I’m signing off for the day to go out and enjoy it!

Today: Spending the day with my friend Beth and then going out to my friend Joe’s new Italian restaurant in Leesburg, VA Palio of Leesburg