Tag Archives: blueberry

No-Bake Summer Berry Cheesecake Brownie Pie Thing

no-bake blueberry brownie cheesecake pie

My interests have shifted over time. For example, when I was very young I remember telling some judgy adult I wanted to be a doctor. That velleity only lasted a few minutes, but I also wanted to be a ballerina and an actress (thank goodness that didn’t last!) and later, a documentary filmmaker under the deep blue sea, a poet, a novelist, a singer-songwriter, a nail artist, a real artist, and others.

Mixed up in all this, as well as the confusion of going to college and thinking I was cured of all body-image and food-related thought traps, it makes sense that I often forget I like to make recipes. I only did this one yesterday because I was suffering an extreme terror over having to meet a friend today and having to make sure I got enough exercise… After doing some yoga, I made up this random recipe for a no-bake brownie cheesecake that just happened to turn out post-able, if not magazine-photogenic. Of course, my interests nowadays lean farther away from baking and more towards marine conservation…


Above: “Pserudobiceros gloriosus (flatworm) on Polycarpa aurata (Seasquirt)” by Nick Hobgood (see bottom of page for full credits)

I was thinking of titling this post “Berry Turbellarian Brownie Cheesecake,” or “Chilled Flatworm Brownie Delight,” in reference to how utterly flat this layered dessert turned out (food often reminds me of marine animals.) But despite the delightful colors of some turbellarians (free-swimming as opposed to parasitic flatworms) I didn’t think that would be a great title for a recipe (after all, I don’t want to encourage people to take flatworms out of their natural habitat in order to enjoy them in dessert recipes!) So here is the flatworm-free Summer Berry Brownie Cheesecake, which I made in the shape of a square field but which might work out better in a smaller container so as to make the layers thicker and easier to cut and eat (and photograph.) Enjoy!

No-Bake Summer Berry Brownie Cheesecake

*Note: I recommend doubling the whole recipe so it makes a thicker layer of brownie, or you could put it in a smaller pan/container)

blueberry chocolate brownie cheesecake no bake



  • 1/2 cup pure cocoa powder
  • 1 tbs white sugar (or use your favorite type of granulated sweetener; this is just all I had in the house at the moment)
  • 5 tbs milk
  • 2 squares of a solid, dark chocolate bar (I used the store brand “Signature Select” 72% cacao dark chocolate with almonds and blueberry)


  • 1 container Chobani Pure Raspberry “Flip” whole milk Greek yogurt (or your favorite thick Greek yogurt, preferably the type where the yogurt and fruit sauce are given separately)
  • 1/4 cup granulated sugar (of your choice)
  • 1 Laughing Cow light creamy swiss cheese triangle
  • 1 cup fresh, washed blueberries


Line a brownie pan, bread pan, or a gaggle of muffin cups with aluminum foil.

In a medium bowl, combine cocoa powder, 1 tbs sugar and milk.

Melt one square of chocolate and mix the melted chocolate into the brownie batter.

In another medium bowl, combine just the yogurt (not the fruit-syrupy stuff) with 1/4 cup sugar and 1 Laughing Cow Creamy Swiss cheese triangle. Mix gently with a spoon; try to blend the cheese into the yogurt instead of chopping it into isolated cheesy morsels.

Knead the brownie dough/batter/stuff until it is thick and mostly contingent (it will never stick together). As best you can, press it onto the foil in your pan like a holey crust.

Break the remaining square of chocolate into little chunks and sprinkle them to fill the holes between brownie batter splotches.

Pour the yogurt cheesecake mixture over the brownie crust. Use a spoon to gently spread it evenly.

Drizzle the fruit syrup over the yogurt and gently mix it in with a spoon.

Distribute the blueberries evenly on top.

Refrigerate overnight and enjoy cool.

brownie blueberry raspberry cheesecake no bake

Full image credit for flatworm image:

“Pserudobiceros gloriosus (flatworm) on Polycarpa aurata (Seasquirt).” By Nhobgood Nick Hobgood (Own work) [CC BY-SA 3.0 (http://creativecommons.org/licenses/by-sa/3.0) or GFDL (http://www.gnu.org/copyleft/fdl.html)], via Wikimedia Commons. https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/GNU_Free_Documentation_License

Blueberry Yogurt Pancakes

blueberry yogurt pancakes with peanut butter

Recently, my family went on an excursion to the Cabrillo Marine Aquarium in San Pedro. For a building that looks small on the outside, that place sure packs a lot of information into all its exhibits and I recommend it to all ocean enthusiasts!

Cabrillo Marine Aquarium

The most exciting part of the trip, however, were the nearby tide pools which we explored after the aquarium. Perched on a rock, gazing down at little hermit crabs rushing about and watching the tide roll in and out, I felt very connected to nature.

tide pools near Cabrillo Marine Aquarium

Sunburns are red, the ocean is blue, and these blueberry pancakes have blue color too!

Sorry for that terrible rhyme. I just couldn’t resist.

And you won’t be able to resist these fluffy, buttery pancakes (which contain no butter and are packed with protein.) Use your favorite flavor of Greek yogurt – I used lemon, but the flavor didn’t really come out. Maybe adding some lemon zest would help?

Overall, these pancakes make a great way to start your day. Enjoy!

Blueberry Yogurt Pancakes

based on recipe from everydaybelle.com

Serves 1-2

blueberry Greek yogurt pancakes with peanut butter


pancake batter

  • 5.3 oz Greek yogurt – I used lemon flavor; you couldn’t really taste it
  • 1 egg
  • scant 1/2 cup all purpose flour (or experiment with your favorite flour)
  • 1 tsp baking soda
  • 1 cup fresh blueberries


  • 1 tbs peanut butter


Pour yogurt into a medium bowl. Beat in egg. Add flour and baking soda. Mix well. Batter will be lumpy. Stir in blueberries.

Spray a nonstick pan with cooking spray.

Pour batter into pan and cook over medium heat. When batter is very bubbly, flip the pancakes. When they are brown on both sides, remove from heat and place on serving plate.

Good morning!

blueberry pancake greek yogurt

“Caramelized” Banana Berry Breakfast Bowl

Santa Monica Pier

I’m about to go off to college in a new state. I realized the other day that now was the best time to appreciate my hometown, Santa Monica. We all tend to take our home town for granted, but I know mine has a lot to offer. So when I visited the pier recently, I took my camera along to capture every moment.

view from Santa Monica Pier

I kind of felt like a tourist, taking pictures of everything. But that was my way of experiencing my city in its full glory.

view off Santa Monica Pier

Another thing I’ll miss about being home is being able to cook more often than I expect to in college. To fully enjoy my current kitchen privileges, I made this dish this morning for breakfast.

breakfast caramelized banana berry craisin bowl

Bananas and berries go together like a match made in heaven. This easy cheat to a “caramelized” banana pairs it with blueberry Greek yogurt, fresh strawberries, and dried cranberries for a fruity fiesta! Enjoy this balanced breakfast of fiber, protein and just the right dose of sweetness.

“Caramelized” Banana Berry Breakfast Bowl

serves one


  • 1 large banana
  • 1 tbs honey
  • 6-8 fresh strawberries
  • one container of Greek blueberry yogurt
  • one single-serving box of Craisins


Freeze yogurt until it has a soft frozen consistency (about 30 minutes.)

Wash and cut up strawberries. Arrange in serving bowl.

Spray a medium pan with nonstick cooking spray. Cut banana into two to three pieces, and place on pan.

Turn heat to medium. Drizzle honey over banana pieces. Turn over when slightly browned, and brown the other side.

Remove from heat. Place banana in serving bowl. Scoop frozen yogurt on top, and sprinkle with Craisins.


caramelized banana berry breakfast yogurt bowl

Aromatic Oatmeal

Most foods give off a smell, especially when they’re warm. Sometimes the smell is a bit repugnant (case in point: sophisticated cheese.) Oftentimes it is beckoning, tempting. And occasionally, it is absolutely irresistible!

That last was the case for the delicious, quick blueberry hazelnut chocolate chip oatmeal I made this morning. As I boiled the water with the oats, cinnamon, and guilt-free Truvia natural sweetener (I used their baking blend variety which contains some sugar but is lower in sugars and calories than refined sugar), a lovely smell began wafting towards my nose. And when I mixed in luscious fresh blueberries, crunchy hazelnuts, and a swirl of melted chocolate chips, I knew I was on to something. This oatmeal smelled so delicious it was almost a shame to eat it all up!

blueberry hazelnut chocolate chip oatmeal

But eat it I did, knowing that this was not only a tasty breakfast but also a healthy one. With a good portion of fiber and some vital nutrients from the blueberries, as well as a lower sugar content than instant oatmeal due to the Truvia, this makes a great carb portion of a balanced breakfast, possibly to be combined with some eggs, nut butter on fruit, or yogurt for protein. I might also suggest adding some more spices, like nutmeg or ginger, so it is even more aromatic.

Blueberry Hazelnut Chocolate Chip Oatmeal

serves one

oatmeal blueberry chocolate hazelnut with truvia


  • 1/2 cup quick cooking rolled oats
  • 1 tbs Truvia baking blend
  • small dash cinnamon
  • 1 cup warm water
  • 1/2 cup fresh, washed blueberries
  • 1 tbs chopped hazelnuts
  • 10-15 semisweet chocolate chips


Pour oats, Truvia, and cinnamon into a pot on stove. Mix. Add water. Heat to medium and cook for about a minute or until oats are bubbling and water is absorbed.

Pour oatmeal into serving bowl. Mix in blueberries, hazelnuts, and chocolate chips.

Let cool a minute and enjoy warm. But first, just take in that magical smell… mmmm!

You Might Also Like:

Whole Wheat Chocolate Blueberry Hazelnut Hamentashen

IMG_4471close up chocolate whole wheat blueberry hazelnut hamentashen

Hidden Treasures

Often the best, most interesting and wonderful things in life are also the hardest to find. True friends and soul mates are hard to find; likewise, buried treasure, and exotic species are quite elusive, and can avoid discovery for generations. But as hard as these entities are to allocate, they are all the more valuable once found.

Recently I read about the po’ouli bird, a species likely related to a honeycreeper that was first discovered by University of Hawaii students in 1973. Here’s a pic:

po'ouli bird

The po’ouli is structurally dissimilar to any other living bird species, and nests in the rainforest in trees with a name so hard to pronounce I won’t even try, (though I’m sure it sounds beautiful in the native language) and dines on pesky creepy-crawlies such as spiders (go, po’ouli birds!) When it was discovered, the species was already endangered. Despite efforts to conserve and regrow the existing population, it continued to dwindle until there were only three known individuals alive in 1997. Desperate attempts to get these lonely survivors to produce offspring were made, but to no avail.

Today, there are only two males left, and the chances of expanding the population using tissue samples or some other artificial method are slim, as no females are left. Due to habitat loss, disease, loss of prey species, and other factors likely highly influenced by humans, the po’ouli bird is now practically extinct. This rare and beautiful creature has been like a fleeting dream fluttering across the stage of human knowledge between its discovery so late and its disappearance too soon.

po'ouli bird in tree

I imagine it was very exciting for those University of Hawaii students to come upon an undiscovered species quietly existing in the heart of the forest right by their school. All life is a treasure, but a scientific and historical treasure indeed was the discovery of this understated bird. And to let the population dwindle to a measly few individuals keeping the species of po’ouli alive, hanging on by a thread to the earth as it turns away, led by the rope of human ignorance, this sad occurrence is akin to a pirate’s lifetime of gold and jewels being devoured by a black sea wave and buried under thousands of leagues of murky scum. A treasure, first unknown, then under-appreciated, now lost if we do not act at once. The most valuable treasure is the one that is taken for granted until it is gone.


Now, onto a cheerier discussion of a much different type of elusive treasure…the legendary perfect crumb muffin! You know, that delicious-yet-super-fattening muffin with the brown sugar/cinnamon crumble on top that fills your mouth with sugar and brightens your whole day yet simultaneously causes you to feel extremely guilty for eating the soft, moist baked treat covered in sinful streusel? I have tried several times to make a healthier version of crumb-topped baked goods at home, but I can never get it just right the way they do in bakeries…either the crumbs roll right off the muffin, or they sink into the batter while baking heretofore losing the delightful texture of grainy crumbly bits. They just don’t want to stay put on top of the muffin!!! As you might imagine, these repeated failures have frustrated me to the point that I’ve vowed to myself never to try and make a crumb muffin again, lest I suffer the annoyance of misbehaving crumb topping on yet another occasion. Yet the inexplicable call of the crumb muffin beckons me to the kitchen, over and over throughout the years, armed with a new recipe or technique, somehow sure this time will be different, this time I will conquer the great and terrible crumb muffin and pull something magical out of the oven. This time the crumbs will neither sink into the batter, nor roll away.

Needless to say, this different, special day has not arrived yet. But like a scientist whiling away his life searching for a new species, like a pirate traversing the world ocean in search of mythical treasure, I have some sort of irrepressible urge to continue trying, until the day I prevail. Or the day my oven breaks, whichever comes first. That’s what drove me to make these crumb muffins last week. An image of banana blueberry muffins with that impossible, magical cinnamon crumble topping popped into my head, and I simply could not get rid of it. The only thing to do was bake the muffins, and hope that this time would be different. I mixed up the batter with banana, blueberry, steel-cut oats, tart yogurt and cream cheese, and other good stuff. I popped them in the oven, took them out around halfway through the baking process to gingerly adorn each one with a sprinkling of my crumble topping, placed them back in the oven, then crossed my fingers and hoped for the best. Maybe this batch would be my perfect crumb muffins, my treasure.

When the timer shrieked I whisked the muffins out of the oven and saw at once that treasure…these were not. At least, in terms of looks. The all-important crumble wasn’t looking so crumb-y: it had sunken a bit into the center of each muffin, making them look more like little depressed volcanoes than chipper crumb muffins. Glumly I snapped a few pictures on the off-chance they’d taste all right, though I already knew they weren’t the treasure muffins I was hoping for.

banana blueberry crumb muffin steel cut oats

As it turned out, they tasted marvelous! The tart flavor of the yogurt and cream cheese came through only faintly, I was hoping for a bit more tart flavor, but they still tasted great, mostly like delicious banana, flavorful blueberries, nourishing whole grains and oats, and a nice, melty layer of sugar and spice on top. My mom said they tasted “healthy, but that’s not necessarily a bad thing.” Maybe I’m used to things tasting “healthy,” but personally I prefer the hearty texture of a homemade healthy muffin to a light, buttery bakery one made heavy with guilt. When served warm, with the not-so-“crumb”-y topping rolling down the sides and melting in your mouth, these muffins are the perfect breakfast treat! Even if they don’t look perfect, they are a true treasure for the tastebuds. And a treasure in terms of nutrition as well: the batter is packed with real fruit and whole grains, and they are low in fat and calories – one filling muffin is less than 200! Since they have steel cut oats and whole wheat pastry flour, instead of just finely ground white flour, their glycemic index is lower than that of many traditionally-baked muffins.

blueberry banana crumb muffins

The take-away? Looks aren’t everything. Look carefully at your trash and you may find treasure where you least expect it. Protect your treasure well, whether it be in the form of gold, endangered animals, or a muffin on your plate that you don’t want anyone to steal!

Here’s the recipe I used. If you know a better technique for baking perfect crumb muffins, please do let me know in the comments!

Banana Blueberry Crumb Muffins

Based on recipe from babylovingmama.com

Makes 12 regular size muffins

blueberry banana cinnamon sugar crumb muffin


muffin batter

  • 1 cup whole wheat pastry flour
  • 1/2 cup dry steel cut oats
  • 1 tsp baking powder
  • 1 tsp baking soda
  • 1/2 tsp salt
  • dash cinnamon
  • 2 large bananas
  • 1 egg (I used 3 tbs Lucerne brand egg substitute)
  • 2 tbs organic light agave syrup
  • 2 Laughing Cow brand Smooth Sensations cinnamon cream cheese spread
  • 1 Chobani brand  strawberry banana flavored 2% milkfat Greek yogurt (or use your favorite brand of lowfat or nonfat Greek yogurt.)
  • 3 tbs skim milk
  • 1 1/2 cups blueberries

“crumb” topping

  • 1/3 cup brown sugar
  • 2 tbs whole wheat pastry flour
  • pinch cinnamon
  • 1 tbs Earth Balance Whipped Buttery Spread (or use original; we just happened to have whipped in the house)
  • 1/2 tsp organic light agave syrup
  • 1 to 2 tsp water


Preheat oven to 375 Fahrenheit. Line a regular-sized muffin tin with 12 paper liners, or spray with nonstick spray.

For Muffins: In a large bowl, combine the flour, steel cut oats, baking powder, baking soda, salt and cinnamon. Mix.

Place the bananas in another large bowl, and mash them a bit with a fork. Then add the egg substitute, 2 tbs agave, and 2 Laughing Cow cheese wedges. Combine using an electric mixer until all the ingredients are pretty well incorporated (my mixture was still somewhat lumpy.)

Pour wet mixture into dry. Add the yogurt and 3 tbs skim milk. Stir just until combined. Add blueberries and mix gently.

Pour muffin batter evenly into muffin cups, filling each 3/4 full or more (these muffins are pretty big but don’t rise too much during baking.) Bake for about ten minutes before you add the crumb topping, and 6-8 minutes after (16-18 minutes total.)

For Crumb Topping: In a small bowl, combine brown sugar, 2 tbs whole wheat pastry flour, and cinnamon. Toss mixture. Cut in 1 tbs Earth Balance in little pieces. Mix with your fingers until mixture becomes crumbly. (Mine was way too dry so I added an extra 1/2 tsp agave and a few drops of water, which gave it more of a crumbly texture, so do this if needed.)

After muffins have baked at 375 Fahrenheit for 10 minutes, remove from oven and sprinkle the crumb topping evenly on top of each muffin. Return to oven for another 6-8 minutes or until a cake tester comes out clean.

Serve these muffins warm to those people you treasure in your life!

banana blueberry crumb muffins

Po’ouli bird photo credits: (in order of appearance)



Cartoon muffin pic from:


Berry Cheesecake Smoothie With Frosted Toast Crunch

blueberry strawberry frosted toast crunch cheesecake smoothie

Let’s admit it: sometimes eating healthy can be a bit of a drag. You have to make some sacrifices to take care of your body, which can be hard for people. I actually tend to prefer healthy foods over unhealthy foods most of the time: for example, I’ll willingly choose yogurt raisins over m’n’ms any day. But sometimes arranging my meals and buying healthy products feels like it conflicts with my ability to enjoy what I eat.

Take yesterday evening, for example: I was at Whole Foods with my mom getting dinner to go, and I’d planned to also buy something to use as filling for the single serve crepe I was planning. I went to the jams and jellies aisle and scanned the items for something that looked good. It’s Whole Foods so that makes everything there automatically healthy, right? Nope. Not at all. Sure, there may be less artificial ingredients, but I picked up quite a few items that had no real nutritional benefits. Maple syrup: too many calories, no positive nutrients. Jelly: too sugary. So if you would otherwise be eating maple syrup or jelly from the supermarket, with all the fake ingredients and additives, and are considering a Whole Foods product as an alternative the lesser of two evils is the Whole Foods product because it is organic. But I wanted to have something that was actually good for me, so I chose pumpkin butter. My crepe ended up tasting good. But that frustrating experience in Whole Foods left me with a need to rebel…

So I did, in a small but effective way, with this cheesecake smoothie. I added 1/2 cup of Frosted Toast Crunch, regardless of all the artificial flavors in it. And the smoothie was great! It tasted just like a delicious blueberry strawberry cheesecake with a crunchy cinnamon crust. And I don’t have to feel too bad about the Frosted Toast Crunch cereal: after all, it has whole grains! 🙂

That’s really a lot of what this blog is about: finding a way to balance healthy eating with happy eating. Enjoy!

Berry Cheesecake Smoothie with Frosted Toast Crunch

frosted toast crunch berry cheesecake smoothie


  • 1 banana
  • 4 or so fresh strawberries
  • 1/2 cup milk
  • 1 blueberry Greek yogurt
  • 2 Laughing Cow brand creamy swiss cheese wedges
  • 1 tsp vanilla
  • dash cinnamon
  • 5-6 ice cubes
  • 1/2 cup Frosted Toast Crunch cereal


Blend all ingredients except cereal for a couple minutes. Add some of the cereal and blend a few seconds. Pour into a large glass. Top with remaining cereal.

Healthy Hamentashen

I made some Hamentashen tonight and I am so proud! Doesn’t it look delicious?

IMG_4470whole wheat hamentashen chocolate hazelnut blueberry

IMG_4471close up chocolate whole wheat blueberry hazelnut hamentashen

Hamentashen is a cookie traditionally eaten by Jewish people for the holiday of Purim, which is coming up on the 23rd and 24th of February. I made some early Hamentashen this evening, though – I just couldn’t resist a whole wheat recipe I found!

While I was making these cookies, my parents and my brother were watching T.V. on the other side of the house. But they smelled something chocolatey baking, and quickly migrated into the kitchen for a taste. EVERYONE thought these were double chocolate at first glance: I must admit they do look like chocolate cookies with chocolate filling.

whole wheat chocolate blueberry hazelnut hamentashenActually, they are much more sophisticated than simply chocolate all over. The dough is chocolate. the filling is St. Dalfour’s Wild Blueberry jam, and there are chocolate chips and chopped hazelnuts scattered throughout each cookie. I’ve always thought the doughy part of Hamentashens surrounding the filling was too boring, so I tried to add mix-ins to make that part more worth eating.

When I disclosed that they contained blueberry, I expected my little brother to back out and not even taste the cookies. But he split one with my mom, eating a piece she skillfully broke off that did not have any filling. He and my mom both said it was good. So did my dad.

I thought they were amazing, if I do say so myself. Even better than I’d hoped, soft, rich, chocolatey, the blueberry filling lending fruity sweetness and more excitement. The crunchy hazelnuts and melty chocolate chips were a stimulating addition to each bite. Of course, any baked item is at its greatest potential straight out of the oven.

baked chocolate blueberry hazelnut hamentashen

I would be interested to try making whole wheat Hamentashen again, and experiment with different fillings.

hazelnuts, blueberries, and chocolate chips

Here is my recipe. Feel free to try it, maybe use a different filling or different mix-ins if you would like to experiment.

hamentashen chocolate whole wheat hazelnut blueberry

Chocolate Fruit Cookie Dough Smoothie

chocolate cookie dough fruit smoothie

Our home is currently being invaded by ants. I don’t know why they think it’s ant season now, but they’re marching dutifully throughout all the rooms in our house. My parents use 409 spray liberally to dispose of the tiny creatures. I don’t normally kill ants or any other bug, although I’m creeped out by finding creepy-crawlies in my home. It’s just my policy to not kill living animals, as a rule. I did, at the suggestion of my mom, spray and kill one ant this morning, however. My heart went out to the poor thing… I’m just too soft to kill ants! I let the other two I’d seen skitter away. Sometimes I think it’s unfair that we humans decide certain animals are gross or inconvenient to our comfortable lives, so we shamelessly kill them. But at the same time, ants are vermin, they’d eat all our food and crawl all over us (eugggh!) if we just let them go about their business in our homes. They really should, for their own sake and ours, just stick to gathering what they can find outside. That way no one gets hurt/feels guilty.

This morning I found solace from the ant situation in the form of a cold, chocolatey smoothie. The texture of this smoothie was perfect, not too thick or thin. The taste was perfect and intricate, mostly chocolate with a layer of fruit underneath, and of course some cookie dough to add to the interest level. YES it had chocolate cookie dough in it and YES I had it in the morning. The cookie dough is vegan so that makes it healthy, right? 🙂

But seriously, this smoothie has so many health benefits to it I didn’t have to feel guilty adding the cookie dough. The almondmilk delivers vitamins, minerals, calcium, even an extra gram of fiber for good measure. And the greek frozen yogurt is of course a source of protein. The cookie dough isn’t unhealthy, it just doesn’t exactly add much in the way of health benefits.

So what are you waiting for? Go ahead and indulge in this

Chocolate Fruit Cookie Dough Smoothie

chocolate fruit cookie dough smoothie


  • 1 banana
  • 10 grapes
  • 1 single serve container Silk brand dark chocolate flavor almondmilk
  • 1 Yasso brand blueberry Greek frozen yogurt bar (I do not recommend eating this plain; it’s kind of tasteless in my opinion. But in the smoothie it was great!)
  • 1/4 cup Eat Pastry brand chocoholic chip vegan cookie dough


Place banana, grapes, almondmilk, and frozen yogurt bar in blender. (The frozen yogurt bar was kind of hard for me to get off the stick; I had to use a knife and eventually my fingers to pry that stubborn wooden stick out of the bar. It may pay off to thaw the bar for one minute before trying to get the stick out, I suppose.) Blend these ingredients for a minute or so. Then add the cookie dough in several clumps. Blend for one or two seconds, then stop blending immediately and Pour smoothie into desired glass. (I used a mug.)


Cookie dough fruit and chocolate smoothie

Come to think of it, this is a smoothie those ants would probably like. It’s got sweet chocolate and fruit. I bet they’re jealous. Eat your heart out, ants! (Well, drink your heart out.)

Mediocre Muffins

I don’t like to be mediocre. I get all A’s in school, I practice violin until I get it right, and I color in all my drawings (yes, I do draw as a hobby) until there are no annoying little white spaces. The same concept applies to my baking: I don’t want anything I bake to be just okay, so-so. I want all who are lucky enough to taste my baked goods to practically faint in amazement, I want to be able to blog about some muffins I made that were sublime, not just sort of acceptable. Unfortunately, I cannot tell a lie: these muffins fall into the latter category.

mediocre muffin: orange blueberry flavor

I’m not sure what it is about them, there’s just something that isn’t quite five-star quality about these muffins. Maybe they could be more interesting? I threw in some oatmeal when I mixed up the batter, but maybe I should have added more because it’s barely noticeable in the texture. The flavor is pretty good, the texture is soft and moist… my mom thinks they don’t taste quite right because I used Truvia. But she loved my whole wheat cookies and pumpkin brownie cheesecake thingy, which both included Truvia. Maybe combining the Truvia with chocolate masks the “strangeness” of it? I have to say, I think it does something to the flavor of these orange blueberry muffins. They are sweet, but maybe not sweet enough.

Truvia natural sweetener packet

I was very frustrated that these muffins are just mediocre, because I actually tried to make the recipe twice. That’s right, folks: America’s most fanatical never-do-the-same-thing-again baker has retried a recipe on the same day that it flopped! The first time I made this yesterday I used solely Truvia and no real sugar, so it was not sweet at all. In addition, since I replaced the orange juice called for in the original recipe with more docile mango juice the mango flavor was not detectable and the muffins kind of had no flavor. So I used orange juice the second time, added some real sugar along with the Truvia… and my result was sort of better than before. But still only mediocre.

I’m going to post my recipe, just in the hopes that someone can come up with an idea of how to make this okay recipe stellar. If anyone out there has an idea, and/or tries themselves to make this recipe differently and gets a different result, please feel free to post the changes made in the comments.

Mediocre Muffin Recipe for Blueberry Orange Muffins

Makes 12 regular-sized muffins

mediocre muffin: blueberry orange


  • 1 cup whole wheat flour
  • 1/2 cup all-purpose flour
  • 1 1/2 tsp baking powder
  • 1/2 tsp baking soda
  • 1/2 tsp salt
  • 16 packets Truvia natural sweetener
  • 1/2 cup brown sugar
  • 1 packet Open Nature brand Vanilla Almond flavor instant oatmeal
  • 1 Chobani brand Greek yogurt, Blood Orange flavor
  • 1 tbsp orange zest (called for in original recipe. I did not use this.)
  • 1/2 cup orange juice
  • 2 eggs (I used 1/4 cup Egg beaters and one egg, since that was all the egg matter we had in the house.)
  • 2 tsp vanilla extract
  • 1/2 cup skim milk
  • 3/4 cup fresh blueberries


Preheat oven to 375 degrees Fahrenheit. Grease a muffin tin with cooking spray.

In a large bowl, combine all dry ingredients and mix. Add wet ingredients and mix well, but do not overmix. Batter will seem wet and thin (at least, it was like that when I did this.) Fold in blueberries.

Spoon batter into prepared muffin tin, trying not to splash it all over the place like I did 🙂 Bake in the preheated oven for 15-20 minutes.

Don’t you just hate when you put a lot of time into baking something, have your hopes rise up and up as the warm oven fills the house with a delicious aroma, and then feel your hopes crash to the floor again as you take a bite and it doesn’t taste as awesome as it smells? My baked stuff always smells so good… but the scent is often deceiving.

Again, if anyone has any ideas, please leave a comment!

Etrange et Insolite

Ici tout est bizarre !


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