Lemon Ricotta Poppyseed Muffins

Happy Fourth! The best way to start a day filled with lots of quality family time and kitchen prep is to eat a solid breakfast. These lemon ricotta poppyseed muffins give you a little sweetness and tangy, zesty freshness on the go; just one muffin is substantial enough to get you going in the morning or to stave off your pangs of hunger before the grill’s ready in the afternoon. The ricotta is essential to its crumbly, scone-like texture and the light lemon flavor of each bite is bright and refreshing.

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Weekend Waffles with Fresh Strawberries and Honey

Waffles hold such a place in my heart. I made these with my mom on the last day of winter break, the last day of denying the existence of the upcoming quarter, and the last day of languid conversations and peaceful television-watching. I hadn’t made them in a long time, so the crunch of the waffle, perfectly paired with strawberries was delightful. Though this breakfast was only a weekend ago, now that I am immersed in my schoolwork, these pictures feel like they came from a faraway dream. It’s a dream that I’m yearning to revisit. It’s a dream of home.

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Chocolate and Vanilla Pinwheels

The last time I made cookies of this type, I think I kinda sucked. Sure, they were quite delicious, but I knew they weren’t supposed to look dry and lopsided. Thanks to the Internet, I could try another recipe, one that a live person could vouch for. (Take that, Mrs. Field’s!) Now, if you have ever wanted to make these cookies, but the prospect of dividing the dough perfectly evenly kind of freaks you out, and you don’t have a kitchen scale (like me) keep reading.

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Banana Chocolate Chip Cupcakes with Chocolate Frosting

I bet lots of people have New Year’s Resolutions to eat more healthy foods, like fruit. Let me tell you that it would be so much easier to eat fruit if it always came in cupcake form! These cupcakes, though they don’t look all puffy and perfect (likely due to my choice to use baking powder instead of baking soda… oops!), they are packed with all the right flavors. The key is the pairing of the mellow sweetness of banana and the rich, chocolatey punch of the fudge-like frosting.

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Golden Cupcakes with Lemon Frosting

Sometimes we just need a reliable cupcake recipe. One that just works, without fussing and worrying. I’m thinking that this recipe from Crazy about Cupcakes just might be the go-to cupcake recipe for me. She calls them golden cupcakes, but taste just like good, traditional yellow cake cupcakes. They are deserving of their elevated name though, because they just puff up so nicely and uniformly and are a breeze to make. These cupcakes taste a bit like lemonade and birthday cake, totally inappropriate considering this season of spicy, festive flavors. But sometimes you just want a private little celebration in the kitchen, without involving Santa and the Christmas sprinkles. And that’s okay!

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