Hi Cookers with Willis! I’m Amanda – most recently you may have heard of me from bridal events, or if you’re a fan of the campfire bake. I have been overwhelmed with wedding planning, so I have been looking for ways to buy myself extra time each day. Jesse (my wonderful fiancé) requested I bake muffins since they’re his favorite, so I thought I would share my recipe with you all as well!

These muffins are NOT going to taste like the muffins you get at Starbucks or Panera or really any other chain coffeehouse/breakfast place. Those are more like cupcakes without frosting. These are not very sweet and they’re more crumbly. So basically, everything I’ve come to love out of a good “pair with coffee” breakfast baked good.

Don’t be fooled by the name – despite there being fruit, this recipe does not automatically qualify as “healthy.” In fact, it’s probably as far as possible from healthy, but it’s delicious! I gathered this recipe from one of the innkeepers at Walnut Hill Bed & Breakfast from when my mother and I recently took a trip up to the Laurel Highlands in Pennsylvania. We spent the Fourth of July weekend looking at three Frank Lloyd Wright properties (including his famous Fallingwater) and stayed at this lovely B&B. Of course we got a delicious home-cooked breakfast both mornings, but this trifle was really a hit for the two of us. I don’t usually ask my hosts at B&B’s for recipes, rather just choosing to enjoy, but this was one of the better trifles I’ve ever had. You can imagine how shocked I was to discover how easy it was to make – it only involves three ingredients!

Well these were a huge hit. I took these to dinner with my neighbors Paul and Alexis, and they were gone within a day, between the three of us. I found the recipe because I wanted to bake something to take over at the very last minute and my requirements were that I had everything in the cupboards and that they baked quickly. I had this one pinned on Pinterest and after frantically searching through multiple recipes hoping to find “the one,” I came across these. BOOM. I had found it. I’m so glad I finally tried it too – you cannot get a dessert recipe much simpler than this one. It’s essentially making one giant chocolate chip cookie, cutting it up, and sharing it with your friends. I highly recommend trying it and that you start keeping chocolate chips in your cupboard, in case of baking emergencies like this one!

I came up with this recipe and I am so proud of myself! I think the most wonderful thing about experimenting with making a recipe, is when it actually turns out to be a success. That’s never guaranteed, especially if you’ve got one in mind but have never even consulted a recipe before making it. With this recipe, I knew I’d need to make a tried-and-true pizza dough, because I’m just not cool enough to come up with one on my own. But otherwise, I figured with a little knowledge from here and there, I was armed and capable to pull together the toppings and that I would *hopefully* be successful.

What a busy weekend it was! I was up in all parts of Northern Virginia this weekend to celebrate my best friends bridal shower, which took us from Reston to Purcellville to Leebsurg and back. We had a lovely time celebrating her upcoming nuptials with her FMIL, MOB and other family and friends. I fell in love with her FMIL’s dog, Rocky, and everyone should consider it just short of a miracle that the dog did not come home with me. After all the festivities, we went and got German food (my biffle is a huge Germany person, especially after studying abroad in Berlin) and she exposed me to the Donner Box. Genius creation and something worth driving all the way back up to Leesburg, for. Or you know, going to Germany to try.

We decided a couple weeks ago that we were going to run another half marathon. Let me show you the thought process:
Will: “I’ve been running pretty regularly this summer.”
Megan: “That’s nice.”
Will: “You should get back into it.”
Megan: “Yes.”
Will: “We should register for a race!”
Megan: “Okay, sounds great!”
Will: “Let’s do another half – that’d be great motivation.”
Megan: “Sure, why not?”

What a busy week it’s been and for no particular reason! I’m excited to announce that our new World Market finally opened in Williamsburg, which I of course, am thrilled about! I’ve already been twice and am debating a third trip before heading off to celebrate Amanda’s first bridal shower this weekend! This is simultaneously a very happy store opening for me, but very sad for my wallet. The new store is laid out so nicely and it’s just as cute as can be. As I texted Will today, I think every Prius in Williamsburg came out for the grand opening weekend! I just love their decor, kitchen items, gift cards/wrapping/notecards, etc. It’s just the best!

I’m not doing a great job so far, but I am still toying with the idea of becoming vegetarian. This recipe was one that I found on Vegetarian Times, which was linked from a yoga website. I saw this on the front page and thought it sounded good and that I’d give it a shot. And while it was not the most amazing recipe I’ve ever made, I definitely did enjoy it and the amount of food I made lasted for days. The recipe said it made four servings and I definitely used all eight tortillas that came in the bag, before finally running out of food. I feel like if Will was around, this recipe would’ve ended up being closer to its original serving size, but alas, I guess my portion quantities are a bit…off. It didn’t matter too much though, because I found another creative use for the ingredients…read on to find out!

To quote my best friend, who walked in my apartment while I was baking these, “it smells really good in here.” Yup, that’s because these cookies are quite the little treat. The first time I made them, they tasted pretty good but looked hideous. Crumbly, dryish, little messes – what I typically expect when checking out a gluten-free dessert recipe. But I didn’t give up after the first try – I knew that with the ingredient list, they were supposed to be tasty. So for round two, I was much more diligent than usual about putting the butter out to soften about 30 minutes before I needed it. The day was warm, so it took no time at all to naturally soften. I think this made all the difference in the world between the first and second attempts! Having baked for years, I know better than to quick-soften the butter in the microwave, but sometimes a girl forgets to set her butter out, you know? Don’t be fooled – the food blog doesn’t mean we know/do everything perfectly! This is one of my biggest issues baking and this recipe finally hit home why it’s so important to pay attention to the details when baking!

Simple, straightforward and summer. That’s what I think of as I share this recipe with you all! This is one of those recipes I’m talking about when I recommend preparing your lunch for the week. It’s light and fresh, without being overly complicated to pack, once you’ve made it. Just throw a portion in a Tupperware or Pyrex container and you’re good to go. With this particular recipe, I would recommend packing something else in your lunch, as I did not find it incredibly sustaining on longer days. But a supplement of almonds and snap peas (or something along those lines) helped fill out this quinoa salad. This is such a basic recipe that you can use to inspire other quinoa summer veggie lunch salads – the options are truly endless. But if you’re not feeling creative and want to make a straightforward recipe, then this is one for you!