Chocolate Cinnamon Donut Muffins

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The Spring time fever has definitely got a hold on me lately. The forsythias, daffodils and tulips started blooming mid-February, and ever since, I’ve been antsier than ever before. I’ve been craving change and am focusing my energy in a million different directions. …

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Pumpkin Cinnamon Rolls with Vanilla Bean Rum Frosting

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Sometimes there aren’t many things in life that can beat how wonderful cinnamon rolls are. Regardless of the somewhat tedious process, they always end up being worth the effort. I like to space out my cinnamon roll efforts to recharge my dough-rising patience, but when it’s all over with, I think, well that wasn’t so bad.

Now that I have one of those “life-changing” power machines, I don’t have much of an excuse to put together some dough. To be honest, I haven’t used my KitchenAid much. This was about the 6th or 7th time I’d used it in a year and a half. Terrible, I know. I’m ashamed to admit it. The first few things I mixed up weren’t all that impressive, and I much preferred my electric hand mixer instead. But for this, I gave it another chance… with the dough hook. And my goodness, it is life changing. I stood there gasping in awe. The twists and turns and punching of the dough was quite a magical experience I was able to witness right before my eyes. Much more graceful than my sticky dough covered hands trying to knead the yeast, flour and sugar together. It was gorgeous, and came together so smoothly. Miss KitchenAid, I will never doubt your mixing capabilities ever again.

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Baked Apple Cider Donuts with Maple Whiskey Glaze

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It’s no lie that Portland is a donut town. We are completely spoiled with choices of where we can get our donut fix- Voodoo, Pip’s Original, Blue Star, Tonalli’sHeavenly’s, and my personal favorite, Coco Donuts. As a child, going to the donut shop was one of those few and far between special occasions, but it was usually always a sweet-treat breakfast substitute and consisted of a dozen glazed donut holes (my absolute favorite) and a small carton of milk. Second choice was a maple bar. And every now and then, chocolate sprinkles. I’d have to say those were my top three donuts to turn to. Now? Holy cow. Never in my wildest dreams did I ever think I would land in a town so spoiled with donut choices. There are even rosewater and lavender glazed donuts, Himalayan sea salt with chocolate hazelnut drizzle, blueberry basil bourbon…you could eat donuts for breakfast, lunch and dinner (I’ve tried it once before… key word = once). It’s kind of like you have to love donuts in order to live here. If you don’t, something is wrong with you.

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Rosemary-Polenta Pumpkin Coffeecake

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For those of you that may not be aware, pumpkin and rosemary are two of my favorite things on the planet earth. I’ll come up with any excuse to use them in whatever I can, at any given moment. Rosemary is one of those things that I debate buying every time I’m at the grocery store, because I must have it on hand at all times, but nearly every block of Portland has at least one rosemary bush that is too plentiful to not be picked. One of the main reasons I look forward to eventually owning my own home is so that I can grow an herb garden and never have to worry about it. Rosemary shortage is never a good thing.

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Simple Banana Bread

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I go in phases with bananas. I’ve always loved them (hand me a scoop of banana honey ice cream any day and I’ll love you forever… my #1 childhood ice cream), but don’t always buy them. Sometimes I have the patience for them to ripen, and sometimes I don’t. Or, I’ll miss the (banana) boat and they’re ripen too far. In any such case, bananas are always the great back-up fruit that hardly ever goes to waste. Too mushy with too many black spots? For me, it’s usually A) freeze them for future smoothies, and/or B) make banana bread!

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