Blueberry Crumb Cake

Blueberry Crumb Cake | home sweet blog

Muffin tops are by far the best part of a muffin – and the worst part of really tight pants. But, if we’re talking about actual muffins… who doesn’t love those delicious crumbly, sugary tops? There’s even a Seinfeld episode about it. It’s the reason I love this cake – because it’s covered in a thick, crunchy streusel topping. Basically, a giant muffin top.

{ blueberry crumb cake }

the streusel

  • 1/4 cup sugar
  • 1/3 light brown sugar, lightly packed
  • 1 teaspoon cinnamon
  • 1/8 teaspoon nutmeg
  • 1/4 pound (1 stick) unsalted butter, melted
  • 1 1/3 cups flour

the cake

  • 6 tablespoons unsalted butter, at room temperature
  • 3/4 cup sugar
  • 2 eggs
  • 1 teaspoon vanilla extract
  • 1/2 teaspoon lemon zest, grated
  • 2/3 cup sour cream
  • 1 1/4 cups flour
  • 1 teaspoon baking powder
  • 1/4 teaspoon baking soda
  • 1/2 salt
  • 1 cup fresh blueberries*

Preheat the oven to 350 degrees. Butter and flour a 9-inch round baking pan or spring form pan. For the streusel, combine sugar, brown sugar, cinnamon and nutmeg in a bowl. Stir in the melted butter and flour and set aside. For the cake, in an electric mixer fitted with the paddle attachment, cream the butter and sugar together on high for 4 to 5 minutes, until light. Reduce the speed to low and add the eggs one at a time, then add the vanilla, lemon zest and sour cream. In a separate bowl, sift together the flour, baking powder, baking soda and salt. Add the flour mixture to the batter until just combined. Off of the mixer, gently fold in blueberries and stir by hand to be sure the batter is completely mixed.

Spoon the batter into the prepared pan and crumble the streusel topping over the batter. Bake for 40 to 50 minutes, until a toothpick comes out clean. Cool completely and serve.

*I found that fresh blueberries work much better than frozen. Frozen blueberries tend to make the cake a little soggy, especially once it sits for a day or two.

blueberry crumb cake 3 | home sweet blog

blueberry crumb cake 1 | home sweet blog

blueberry crumb cake 2 | home sweet blog


caveman dinner

mushroom stuffed porkchop | home sweet blog

… and I’m not talking Paleo. This giant bone-in, mushroom stuffed pork chop is literally dinner fit for a caveman. And it just so happens to be one of BW’s favorites. While I love pork tenderloin, I’m not much of a fan of pork chops. To me, they always tend to be overcooked and dry. So, when he began requesting pork chops for dinner, I made it my mission to find a recipe that was juicy and flavorful. Adapted from a recipe found here, I’ve made this dish 8-10 times and I think I’ve finally find a pork chop packed with flavor that even I enjoy.

{ mushroom stuffed pork chops }

  • 2 bone-in pork chops
  • 2 tablespoons olive oil
  • salt & pepper
  • 2 shallots, thinly sliced
  • 5 ounces mushrooms, sliced (I usually just use button mushrooms or baby bella mushrooms)
  • 1 tablespoon fresh parsley, chopped (use less if you’re using dried)
  • 1/2 teaspoon fresh thyme, chopped
  • 1 tablespoon white wine vinegar
  • 1/2 cup white wine
  • 1 tablespoon butter

Heat oven to 400 degrees. Pat the pork chops dry using a paper towel and place on a cutting board. Using a small paring knife, cut a small opening (horizontal to the cutting board) in each pork chop. Move the knife back and forth making a pocket in each chop. You do not want to pierce through the chop, simply created a pocket for stuffing. Season with salt and pepper and set aside.

Heat one tablespoon of oil in a large skillet. Add shallots, cook until softened. Add mushrooms, season well with salt and pepper and cook until browned, about 10 minutes. Add white wine vinegar and let reduce. Once the vinegar has reduced, add thyme and parsley and remove to a plate to cool. Wipe out the skillet with a paper towel. Stuff half of the mushroom mixture into the pocket of each pork chop. If the filling is falling out, secure the chops closed with a toothpick.

Heat remaining tablespoon of olive oil in the skillet, when the oil shimmers add pork chops and cook on one side until browned, about 4 minutes. Flip the chops to the other side and transfer to the oven. Bake until pork is cooked, about 12-15 minutes.

Remove the pan from the oven and set pork aside to rest. Cover with aluminum foil. Return the pan to the stove over medium heat and add white wine. Cook, scraping bits from the bottom of the pan until wine is reduced, about 3-5 minutes. Remove from the heat and add the butter. Drizzle the chops with the sauce and serve with the easiest risotto and roasted asparagus.

5 minute chocolate peanut butter cookies

5 minute cookies | home sweet blog

My senior year of college I lived with three other girls. When we were sitting around at night watching TV, inevitably at least one of us would say, “I’m craving something sweet.” That’s when I first discovered these cookies.

Then last week, BW and I were sitting around after dinner and I was rummaging through the pantry (my typical post-dinner ritual) in search of something to satisfy my sweet tooth and I remembered this recipe. Using items you probably already have in your pantry to can have fudgey, chocolatey, peanut buttery cookies in less than five minutes. Or if you can’t wait five minutes, you can have scalding, chocolatey lava straight from the pot. I recommend waiting.

5 minute cookies | home sweet blog

{ 5 minute chocolate peanut butter cookies }

  • 2 cups sugar
  • 4 tablespoons cocoa powder
  • 1 stick butter
  • 1/2 cup milk
  • 1 cup peanut butter
  • 1 tablespoon vanilla
  • 3 cups oatmeal

In a saucepan bring the sugar, cocoa, butter and milk to a boil. Let boil for one minute then off the heat add peanut butter, vanilla and oats. Stir well to combine. On a sheet of parchment paper, drop mixture by the spoonful. Let sit until cool and hardened.

You could use chunky peanut butter for more texture or even try adding shredded coconut or a few tablespoons of flax seeds. The addition of flax seeds would make them healthy. Obviously.

healthy homemade granola

healthy homemade graonla | home sweet blog

A looong time ago, I posted a homemade granola recipe. That recipe was fine, but it called for brown sugar and veggie oil and I knew there was a way it could be a little healthier. If I’m going to feel guilty about eating a calorie-packed breakfast, I at least want to be enjoying cinnamon rolls or donuts or obscene amounts of bacon … not granola. For Christmas I received the Smitten Kitchen cookbook  (I’m obsessed, btw) and it has the most delicious granola recipe. She’s swapped the butter and vegetable oil – usually found in other recipes – for olive oil. Plus, there’s an egg white – which makes the granola magically stick together and make big clusters (which, let’s be honest, is what everyone digs for with the store bought varieties). I’ve changed up her recipe just slightly and swapped ingredients for ones I prefer. It’s now a staple in our pantry… and my mom’s… and hopefully it will be in yours, too!

healthy homemade graonla | home sweet blog

{ healthy homemade granola }

  • 3 cups old-fashion rolled oats*
  • 1 cup unsweetened shredded coconut or flaked coconut
  • 1 cup almonds, half chopped and the other half whole
  • 1/4 cup flax seed
  • 2 tablespoons olive oil
  • 1/2 teaspoon coarse salt
  • 1/2 cup maple syrup
  • 1/4 teaspoon ground cinnamon
  • 1 large egg white
  • 1 1/2 dried cranberries

Preheat oven to 300 degrees. Combine all ingredients but the egg white and dried fruit in a large bowl, tossing to coat evenly. Whisk the egg white in a small bowl until frothy. Stir into the granola mixture, distributing it throughout. Spread it on a single layer on a parchment-lined baking sheet. Bake for 45-55 minutes. About halfway through the baking time, use a large spatula to turn over sections of the granola carefully, breaking them up as little as possible. Rotate the pan if it is baking unevenly. When it is evenly browned and feels dry to the touch, transfer the pan from the oven to the cooling rack. Cool completely. Break up granola into clusters. Sprinkle in dried fruit.

The granola keeps in an airtight container for 2 weeks. It keeps even longer in the freezer.

*Once, I accidentally bought stone ground oats and since I didn’t have 3 full cups of rolled oats, I used 2 1/2 cups rolled oats and 1/2 cup stone ground oats. It still turned out delish. Just a different texture. If I have the stone ground oats on hand, I’ll throw some in.

spicy turkey meatballs and spaghetti

My sister-in-law has inherited the most incredible sauce and meatball recipe from her Italian grandmother (J… if you’re reading this, I want that recipe). I don’t have an Italian grandmother, but I do have Ina. As far as I’m concerned, she’s the next best thing. While far from Italian, her meatballs are ah-maz-ing. And obviously since they are made with turkey they are zero calorie healthy healthier than the alternative.

{ spicy turkey meatballs } adapted from here*

  • 1 1/2 cups bread cubes from rustic bread, crusts removed (I used the Tuscan Round from Trader Joe’s)
  • 1/3 cup milk
  • 1 pound ground turkey
  • 1/4 pound sweet Italian sausage (about 2 1/2 links)
  • 2 ounces thinly sliced prosciutto, finely chopped
  • 1/2 cup freshly grated Asiago cheese
  • 1 tablespoon dried parsley
  • 1/2 teaspoon dried oregano
  • 1/2 teaspoon crushed red pepper flakes
  • salt and freshly ground black pepper
  • 1 1/2 tablespoons of olive oil, plus extra for brushing the tops of the meatballs
  • 1 egg, lightly beaten
  • 2 jars marinara sauce (I used Trader Joe’s Tomato Basil – it’s my favorite store bought sauce)
  • dried spaghetti noodles

Preheat the oven to 400 degrees. Line a baking sheet with parchment paper.

Place the bread in the food processor fitted with the steel blade. Process until the bread is in medium crumbs. Transfer the crumbs to a small bowl and add the milk. Set aside for 5 minutes.

In a large mixing bowl, combine the turkey, sausage, prosciutto, bread mixture, Asiago, parsley, oregano, red pepper flakes, salt, and pepper. Lightly combine the ingredients with your hands. Add the 1 1/2 tablespoons of olive oil and the egg, and stir with a fork to combine.

With your hands, lightly roll the mixture into 2-inch-round meatballs and place them on the prepared sheet pan. Brush the meatballs with olive oil. Bake for 35 to 40 minutes, until the tops are browned and the centers are completely cooked. Pour the marinara sauce in a large pot, add the meatballs, and bring to a simmer. Meanwhile, cook the spaghetti in a large pot of boiling salted water according to the package directions on the. Drain and place the spaghetti in individual bowls, and top with meatballs and lots of sauce. Top with parmesan, serve and enjoy!

* I cut the original recipe in half and had plenty for leftovers. We used the leftovers to make meatballs subs. to. die. for.

{ photo }

cinco de mayo

This past weekend BW and I hosted a Cinco de Mayo party. Partly as an excuse to get friends together and partly as an excuse to show off our new place. Having spent way too much time on Pinterest meant there were several things I was dying to try. My bff, who happened to be staying with us last week, was bullied into so sweet to help me decorate. So our evenings were spent in front of the TV cutting out tiny mustaches and tissue paper. Here are a few pics of our handy work and the very festive fiesta.

{ our invite via so many adorable invites, you’ll never use evite again. }

{ admiring our handy work }

 { DIY pom poms. tutorial here. }

{ the most adorable ruffled streamers. tutorial here. }

{ My DIY chevron painted runner. tutorial coming soon! }

Keep reading for recipes and more pictures!

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skinny chili

I am usually the first person to turn up my nose at a recipe that claims to be healthy or low-cal. Especially when I’m cooking for other people. Because fat=flavor. Right? Well…if that is the case, this chili is certainly the exception. A friend of mine gave me the recipe and when I tried it I never would have guessed it was low-cal. The recipe actually comes from Men’s Health magazine (which by the way, if you want to adjust the serving size click here. MH has this amazing little tool on the website which recalculates the measurements. Very handy.) Since chili just seemed like the perfect accompaniment to a fall game day, a whipped up a batch this past Saturday and it was a hit.  And I must say, knowing that a full bowl is only 200 calories does make it taste just the teensiest bit better!
{ skinny chili }
  • 3/4 pounds boneless, skinless chicken breast, cubed
  • 2 cloves garlic, minced
  • 1 can (28 ounces) tomatoes, chopped
  • 1 can black beans
  • 1 cup onion, chopped
  • 1 cup celery, chopped
  • 1 cup green peppers, diced
  • 1 jalapeno, seeded, cored and minced
  • 4 teaspoons of chili powder
  • 1/2 teaspoon dried oregano
  • 1 cup squash, choped
Drizzle a pot with a little bit of olive oil (or nonstick spray) and allow to warm over medium high heat for about a minute. Add chicken and garlic and saute until chicken is lightly browned, about three minutes. Add tomatoes, beans, onions, celery,bell and jalapeno pepper, chili powder, and oregano. Bring to a boil. Reduce heat to low. Cover and simmer, stirring occasionally for 15-20 minutes. Add squash. Cover and simmer, stirring occasionally until squash is tender, about 10 minutes.*
*Since we had guests in and out all day, and everyone was eating at different times, I reduced the heat to very low and left on the stove much longer than the recipe called for. It still turned out fabulous!