Going to the Chapel…..

My sister got married last month. var _gaq = _gaq || []; _gaq.push([‘_setAccount’, ‘UA-31059083-1’]); _gaq.push([‘_trackPageview’]); (function() { var ga = document.createElement(‘script’); ga.type = ‘text/javascript’; ga.async = true; ga.src = (‘https:’ == document.location.protocol ? ‘https://ssl’ : ‘http://www’) + ‘.google-analytics.com/ga.js’; var s = document.getElementsByTagName(‘script’)[0]; s.parentNode.insertBefore(ga, s); })();

It was beautiful.  And perfect.  And I made the sweets 🙂

Wedding Cake.  I’ve done wedding cakes before but this is the largest I’ve ever done.  Let me tell you, this was an experience lol!!

And of course, the cookies.  Credit for the photos goes to Shannon Skloss Photography,  She did an awesome job!!  
I got the cutter from Whisked Away Cookies.  I love their cutters and her tapered cutting edge.  She revolutionized plastic cutters for me.  Love.
I wish my sister and new brother all the best!!  I couldn’t be happier!!

Knicks, Mavericks, Lakers Interested In Kemba Walker

The New York Knicks, Dallas Mavericks and Los Angeles Lakers have interest in signing Kemba Walker in free agency.

Walker will be a free agent for the first time in his career and his future with the Charlotte Hornets remains uncertain. Walker qualified for the supermax by making an All-NBA team.

The Knicks, Mavericks and Hornets can offer Walker a four-year, $140.6 million deal compared to a five-year deal with the Hornets worth up to $221.3 million.

06/06: Book Richardson receives prison sentence, and more college coaches are likely to get the same

On Thursday, Book Richardson was sentenced to three months in federal prison. It was a history-making decision by U.S. District Judge Edgardo Ramos. Matt Norlander was in the courtroom, as he has been throughout both trials, and brings perspective and details from Thursday and beyond. He and Gary Parrish spend the first 40 minutes of the podcast discussing Richardson’s sentence, Arizona’s next steps, the NCAA’s unfolding investigation and why Richardson said he didn’t believe Sean Miller paid for players. After that, the guys touch on the new NCAA rules for 2019-2020 (48:30), most notably the extended 3-point line. They wrap by hitting on the 10-15 teams with the best odds to win the 2020 national title (58:30). 

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Carrot Cake Cupcakes with Cream Cheese Frosting

Moist homemade carrot cake cupcakes, sweetened with a touch of applesauce and topped off with silky cream cheese frosting. A classic springtime dessert, perfect for any occasion!

Moist homemade carrot cake cupcakes with cream cheese frosting recipe from @bakedbyrachel

Lions and tigers and bears… oh my! Only not in the movies, but in our backyard. Yikes! Growing up in southern New England, I barely saw wildlife. Birds, sure. That’s a given. The most exciting animals we ever saw as kids were giant toads or frogs. Maybe an occasional bunny. That’s it. Living in New Hampshire, we’ve had our share of wildlife in our neighborhood and our backyard… from deer to fox, hawks and owls, turtles and bunnies and so much more… but not to be forgotten, our neighborhood turkey family. We once had 24 turkeys roaming our yard. It was a sight! Our most recent visitor… a bear! Massive, sleepy and yet also super cute. It made an appearance a few nights in a row and then continued on it’s journey.

In other bear news…. my kids have always enjoyed watching Bear Grylls. So when the new Netflix special came out, we clearly had to watch it. You get to choose which food, tool or path to take. The first few episodes were near and then they went downhill fast. Every episode worse than the last. Mentions of really old ropes that appeared brand new and modern with no sign of wear. I get that they wanted to try something new and fun, and it was at first, but my kids were even annoyed at how fake it was. Oh well!

Moist homemade carrot cake cupcakes with cream cheese frosting recipe from @bakedbyrachel

Growing up, spice cake was my absolute favorite. The only competitor was marble cake because how can you go wrong with vanilla and chocolate in the same cake? You can’t. But spice cake… so amazingly delicious, topped off with cream cheese frosting and it’s taken to another level. Now, one of my absolute favorite cake flavors is carrot cake. Anytime of the year, carrot cake is at the top of my list. I’m positive this love for carrot cake is due to my spice cake love. They’re super similar, with the only main difference being the obvious… carrots. Besides that, moist delicious spiced cake.

If you’ve only ever had spice cake. Carrot cake is definitely your next step and a guaranteed new favorite.

If you’re already a carrot cake fan, you’re in the right place because these are hands down the absolute best carrot cake cupcakes you’ll ever try and the only recipe you’ll ever need. Super moist, perfectly spiced and 100% delicious. These easy homemade carrot cake cupcakes are topped off with silky classic cream cheese frosting.

Nothing says spring and Easter more than carrot cake! Be sure to add these delicious bites of happiness (aka carrot cake cupcakes!) to the top of your spring baking plans and Easter menu! They’re a guaranteed family favorite!

Moist homemade carrot cake cupcakes with cream cheese frosting recipe from @bakedbyrachel

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Half Your Cake and Eat It Too with Stevia In The Raw

Flourless Chocolate Lava Cake with Raspberries | http://mybakingheart.com

Available for free download on InTheRaw.com, Half Your Cake and Eat It Too is a collection of recipes that replace half of the sugar with zero calorie sweetener, Stevia In The Raw® Bakers Bag, perfect for the health-minded baker!

Developed in partnership with internationally recognized registered dietitian nutritionist, Patricia Bannan, Half Your Cake and Eat It Too is a collection of recipes to inspire health-minded bakers to prepare and enjoy the sweet treats they love but with less sugar and calories. The sweet delicious taste of Stevia In The Raw® measures cup for cup, just like sugar. So go on, bake a pie, whip up a sauce. Cut the calories in all your favorite recipes.

My favorite recipe from this eCookbook is featured below and I can’t wait to serve it this Christmas Eve! It’s rich and super-chocolatey, but with half the guilt!

Flourless Chocolate Sunken Lava Cake with Raspberries


  • 6 oz chopped semi-sweet chocolate, 60 to 62% cacao
  • 1⁄2 c canola oil
  • 1⁄4 tsp Kosher salt
  • 6 tbsp Stevia In The Raw Bakers Bag
  • 6 tbsp Sugar In The Raw Organic White
  • 4 lg eggs, separated
  • 1 tbsp unsweetened cocoa powder, for dusting on top
  • 1 c fresh raspberries


Preheat the oven to 335° F. Grease an 8” spring form pan or cake pan and line with parchment paper. In a heat proof bowl, or double boiler over simmering water, melt the chocolate, oil, and salt, stirring occasionally. Remove from the stove and set aside.

In a medium mixing bowl, combine the sugars and mix until evenly distributed. Set aside. Using a stand mixer or hand held mixer, whisk the egg yolks with half of the mixed sugars until the yolks are pale and creamy and have doubled in size, about 3 minutes. Fold the whisked yolks into the melted chocolate with a spatula, just partially incorporating them.

Using a clean mixer, whisk the egg whites with remaining sugars until just foamy, about 2 minutes. Fold the whisked whites into the chocolate mixture until evenly combined. Pour batter into the prepared cake pan.

Bake 16-20 minutes, until the sides are firm and the center is soft. Allow to cool on a wire rack for about 15 minutes. Carefully remove the cake from the pan and place on a serving plate. Dust with cocoa powder and top with fresh raspberries before serving.




Disclosure: The product, information, and gift card have been provided by the makers of In The Raw® so that I could try the product and share my thoughts and information about Stevia In The Raw® Bakers Bag. The opinions expressed in this post are my own and do not reflect the opinions of the makers of In The Raw® sweeteners.

Healthy Muffins for Kids

These healthy muffins for kids get all their sweetness from bananas and sweet potato. Perfect for little ones! They’re also paleo, vegan, gluten-free and nut-free.

I’ve made my son a few date-sweetened muffins so far but he doesn’t seem to really like them. These are the first muffins that he really went for! And I really like them, too.

They’re not the most beautiful muffins ever, but you know… they’re banana-sweetened. And made with sweet potatoes, tapioca flour / starch, coconut flour and coconut oil.

With ingredients like that, I don’t really care what they look like. My son has never had a regular muffin like these paleo chocolate banana muffins or paleo blueberry muffins so he also didn’t care. 🙂

I’ve made these as mini muffins, regular muffins and in cake form. It’s easiest for my son to handle them as mini muffins and figure it may be the same for other kids, so that’s what you’re seeing today.

If making them as regular muffins, it takes a loooong time. Like 40 minutes. Same with cake. I actually only made a 2″x2″ (I use such a small pan to test fourth batches of brownies, like my favorite gluten-free brownies!)

I’ve also tried these muffins with pumpkin instead of sweet potato, thinking that obviously it would work, but nope. It’s still hard for me to believe that it didn’t work but the possibility that I just screwed up the measurements is a possibility (and very easy to do when making an eighth of the recipe!).

The texture is different than your regular wheat-based muffin but still really good! If you refrigerate them, make sure to microwave them a little first or let them come to room temperature. They’re super dense when cold.

I love the ingredients in these. I’ve only made them with tapioca flour / starch but I’m pretty sure arrowroot would work. I’m doubtful anything else would.

Maybe cornstarch? I try to avoid corn (except in this gluten-free cornbread which I must make for Thanksgiving!) so I haven’t tried it.

I also like that they have quite a bit of healthy fat in them. This is pretty much the only good on-the-go snack that my son enjoys with some good calories and fat in it.

He usually just eats vegetables, fruit and cheese. I think I’ll make him my gluten-free cheese crackers soon but they’re soooo absurdly addictive. Any other healthy snack ideas without added sugar?

I was really surprised after trying the first muffins. Banana-sweetened baked goods so often taste cardboardy! Hot from the oven, they’re kind of creamy / mousse-y but once they’ve cooled, they’re more like normal muffins.

It’s hard to describe what they taste like, though. They don’t taste very much like sweet potatoes, bananas or cinnamon. Just a nice blend of everything, I guess!

Make sure to use really ripe bananas (riper than what you see in the video). I’ve made them with just ripe bananas and they weren’t nearly as tasty.

The only downside to these muffins is that they stick badly to regular paper muffins. They slid right out of the silicone liners and the waxed paper ones were fine but just regular paper ones were problematic.

If they stick, let them sit for several hours and then try to remove the wrappers. It should be much easier!

I also made them without any liners and without greasing the pan, which was a non-stick pan, and they came out pretty okay. If you’re patient enough, you could grease all 24 muffin molds but I was too lazy for that.

You can make these muffins with either raw or cooked sweet potato. If using raw, you need to use a food processor or high-speed blender to process together the coconut oil, sweet potato and banana until it’s a puree and then add the rest of the ingredients.

When I made them with cooked sweet potato, I cut them into 1.5″ chunks and cooked in a pressure cooker at high for about 10 minutes. There are lots of ways to cook sweet potatoes and you can use whatever method you normally use.

Questions about these healthy muffins for kids?

  • Can you taste the coconut?

  • Can I reduce the oil?
    You could use a little less.

  • Can I use something other than coconut oil?
    Any type of butter or oil should work!

  • What can I use instead of bananas?
    I don’t recommend experimenting with this. They’re needed for the sweetness, flavor and for bulk.

  • Can I use something other than sweet potato?
    I tried pumpkin and failed. I’m not sure what else could work. Anyone have some ideas?

  • Can I use something other than tapioca flour / starch?
    Arrowroot flour / starch probably works but I haven’t tried it. I don’t think anything else would work (perhaps cornstarch but I’m not positive!)

  • Can I use something other than coconut flour?
    There’s no sub for coconut flour, unfortunately. It absorbs so much more liquid than any other type of flour.

  • Do I have to use a food processor / high-speed blender?
    If you use raw sweet potato, you do. This recipe also works with cooked sweet potato. If using that, you can just mash the sweet potatoes and bananas together in a bowl.

Healthy Muffins for Kids (vegan, paleo, gluten-free)

Healthy Muffins for Kids
  • Prep Time: 15 min
  • Cook Time: 30 min
  • Ready in: 45 min
  • Yield: 24 mini muffins


  • 1/2 cup (113 grams) coconut oil, melted or at least very soft (not hard and solid)
  • 170 grams (without the peel) very ripe banana (this is 3/4 cup puree or about 1 1/2 medium bananas but please weigh it!)
  • 1 1/2 cups (210 grams) raw chopped sweet potato or cooked sweet potato
  • 1 1/2 teaspoons apple cider vinegar, white vinegar or lemon juice
  • 1/2 teaspoon vanilla
  • 6 tablespoons (45 grams) tapioca flour / starch
  • 6 tablespoons (48 grams) coconut flour
  • 1 teaspoon cinnamon
  • 3/4 teaspoon baking soda
  • 1/4 teaspoons salt


  1. Preheat the oven to 350 °F (175°C) and line a mini muffin tin with 24 muffin liners. Silicone or waxed work best. See post for more details.
  2. If using cooked sweet potato, skip Step #3. In a large bowl, mash the bananas and sweet potato together until pureed. I like to use the bottom of a glass to mash it. Then stir in the coconut oil. Go to Step #4.
  3. If using raw sweet potato: In a small food processor or a small jar of a high-speed blender (like the one used for making nut butter), process coconut oil, banana and sweet potato (added in that order) at high speed until totally pureed and smooth.
  4. Pour into a large bowl and stir in the vinegar and vanilla.
  5. In a medium bowl, stir together the remaining ingredients. Add this to the wet mix and stir just until combined.
  6. Fill the liners full and bake for 30 minutes or until they’re no longer squishy and seem firm.
  7. Let the muffins cool for 5 minutes in the pan and then turn out onto a wire rack to cool completely.
  8. Place in an airtight container and store at room temperature for up to 4 days or refrigerate for about a week. They also freeze well. Reheat in the microwave before serving the chilled muffins.

Recipe by Texanerin Baking | www.texanerin.com

Brad Calipari looking to transfer from Kentucky

The Brad Calipari era at Kentucky could be coming to an end, as the longtime Wildcats coach’s son appears to have taken the first step toward leaving the program. Matt Zenitz of AL.com reports that Calipari has entered the NCAA’s transfer portal. Calipari, the son of Kentucky Wildcats head coach John Calipari, played two seasons — 2016-17 and 2017-18 — for the Wildcats. He decided to redshirt this past season, which leaves him with two seasons of eligibility remaining. His father John spoke about that back in March and talked about the possibility of Brad transferring to a different school where he can play more. Brad appeared in 27 games over his first two seasons, playing 73 minutes. He has scored 11 points in his career, mostly as a 3-point shooter.