Cinnamon Sweet Potato Muffins with Dark Chocolate Chips and a Cinnamon Topping

It was a really busy week….filled with both some very difficult things and some very wonderful things. Things which kept me out of the kitchen and away from the craft room.

But in the midst of what happened to be a very good day today, though full from 7:30 am until 9:00 pm tonight, I found an hour to bake something for Fiesta Friday! I literally had just enough time to get these muffins done before I needed to walk out the door again. This girl just couldn’t miss out on the party!

When my friend and I walked in the door tonight, I loved the smell that greeted our noses. It smelled like Fall. It smelled like cinnamon. It smelled like sweet potatoes.

I had no idea how this recipe was going to work out…as usual, I was making it up as I went along. 🙂 Let’s just say this: my sweet potato-hating-hubby really, really liked them. My friend really liked them. And I really liked them!

Will you like them too?! I sure hope so, because I am bringing plenty to the party! 🙂

Cinnamon Sweet Potato Muffins with Dark Chocolate Chips and a Cinnamon Topping

  • Servings: 14 Muffins
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*Created by Lori at

Ingredients for Muffin:

  • 2 1/2 cups almond flour
  • 2 eggs
  • 1 cup cooked, mashed sweet potato
  • 1/2 cup honey
  • 2 tbsp cinnamon
  • 1/2 tbsp pure vanilla extract
  • 1/4 tsp salt
  • 1/2 tsp baking soda

Ingredients for Topping:

  • 1 tbsp cinnamon
  • 1 tbsp honey
  • 2 tbsp grapeseed oil


  • Preheat the oven to 325 degrees.
  • Cook 1 Medium sized sweet potato. You can just do this in the microwave for 5-7 minutes. Take out the insides, mashing them well.
  • Mix all the dry ingredients for the muffin batter in one bowl, and the wet ingredients in another. Then combine all of them together, mixing well.
  • Line a muffin pan with papers, or grease it well.
  • Pour the batter into each slot, 3/4 of the way full.
  • Combine the honey, grapeseed oil, and cinnamon for the topping.
  • When this is made, pour some over each muffin.
  • Bake for 20- 25 minutes.

Angie at The Novice Gardener has made Fridays all the more fun for all of us! Thank you for that Angie! And to your co-hosts for the week…thank you as well! You are appreciated!

Please come join the party! Click on the badge below! 

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Lemon Sour Dough French Toast with Homemade Strawberry Syrup

I LOVE french toast! There is something about the smell of it cooking on a Saturday morning…still in your pj’s, coming down the stairs with your slippers on, a cozy blanket welcoming you as you wait for this delicious treat. For some reason it makes me smile. It brings out the kid in me. It makes me think of family.

I thought it would be fun the other day to add a little twist to our normal recipe…some fresh lemon, along with some homemade syrup. The combination of lemon and strawberry…wonderful!

This french toast was delicious! And I will honestly say that even without the lemon, I love this recipe more than any other I have ever had.

So to my Fiesta Friday family…stay in your pj’s, curl up with a fleece blanket, smell the aroma of the french toast cooking, and enjoy a big plate!

Lemon Sour Dough French Toast with Homemade Strawberry Syrup

*Created by Lori at

Ingredients for French Toast:

  • 6-8 pieces Sour Dough Bread (This is a low-glycemic bread. Use a gluten free bread if needed)
  • 4 Eggs
  • Almond Milk
  • Honey
  • Pure Vanilla Extract
  • 1 Lemon for Fresh Lemon Juice

Ingredients for Syrup:

  • Strawberries
  • Honey


  • Combine the strawberries with the amount of honey you want in a food processor to make the syrup.
  • Combine eggs, almond milk, honey, vanilla, and lemon juice in a mixing bowl.
  • Grease a frying pan.
  • Dip each piece of bread into the egg mixture, covering both sides.
  • Cook on each side until slightly browned.
  • Serve on plates, adding butter if desired, along with the syrup.

A BIG thank you, as always, to Angie at The Novice Gardener and her co-hosts this week! 

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3-D Decoupaged Owl Welcome sign

My plan? To bring something yummy for all of our voracious Fiesta Friday appetites! 😀 What is actually happening? I am bringing something for your eyes instead.

Remember those cute little owls I painted and decoupaged the other day? I told you I wasn’t quite finished with them. 🙂

Would you believe this all started with a plain ole’ piece of cardboard? I have several more like it that I can’t wait to do something with. My mom is really catching onto my creative side. When we first spotted these sturdy pieces when we were unpacking, we both had the exact same idea…something for me to create on! 🙂

So, “create” is exactly what I have done!

I took all the scrapbook papers I had used on the owls and made polka dots from them for the letters. I wanted everything to come together really well. 

I loved using this little owl for the “O” in welcome!

One piece of large scrapbook paper wasn’t enough to cover the entire board, thus the fun blue strip. Something not quite fitting right is just a great excuse for me to get all the more creative! 😀 

This fun “Welcome” sign was inspired from these pillows below on this awesome bench in our mudroom. I used the colors from the pillows to pick out what scrapbook paper and color paint I would use. 

So now when you walk in from the garage, this welcome sign (in our owl themed mudroom) will greet you! Whether you come in the front or use the garage, you can’t get by without seeing some fun owl-themed decor that I have created. 🙂

3-D Decoupaged Owl Welcome Sign

*Lori at


  • Decoupaged/painted wooden owls
  • Hard, thick piece of cardboard
  • Mod Podge
  • Scrapbook paper to match the owls
  • Scissors
  • Hole punch
  • Paint brush for Mod Podge
  • Drop cloth or old sheet
  • Paint color of your choice
  • Paint brush for paint


  • Lay out the drop cloth/sheet. This will be your work station.
  • Once you have picked out the background color for your welcome sign, cover the cardboard with a thin layer of Mod Podge and lay the paper flat, smoothing it out.
  • If it doesn’t cover the entire thing, then use another piece of paper of the same color and follow the same step as above on the cardboard you have left.
  • In order for the line to not show, pick out a fun and contrasting scrapbook paper to make a strip out of. Once you have cut the strip, put a thin layer of the Mod Podge onto the seam between the two papers and lay the strip down, making sure it is smooth.
  • After this has all dried for a few minutes, you want to flip the cardboard over and curve the excess paper over the sides, gluing them down by doing the same thing as you did above. You will need to fold at the corners to make them tuck down smoothly with the Mod Podge.
  • Flip the sign back over and figure out where you want to place your owls. Once you have that decided, put one of the owls where you want the “o” to go in “welcome” and paint the word around it. Let dry.
  • Before you Mod Podge any of the owls to the sign (including the one in the word), paint a couple layers of Mod Podge onto the entire front side. This will seal it really well for you. Remember, the owls have already been sealed. Let dry between applications.
  • Once the sign is dry, decoupage all the owls to the sign, one at a time. To do this, just put a layer of the Mod Podge onto the back and firmly stick it where you want it to go. Let them dry before hanging the sign up.

I hope seeing this sign I made will get some of your creative juices flowing as you snack on all the wonderful food! And I do know it will be wonderful! Always look forward to seeing what each and every one of you bring!

As always, a FF post would not be complete without a big shout out to Angie and her co-hosts! Thanks!!

Food, crafts, pictures, music….come bring something to the party! All are invited!


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Vanilla Cherry Chocolate Chip Muffins with a Cherry Sauce

I have always loved the combination of fruit and chocolate. When I was a child and was given a box of chocolates, I would take a bite of each one and set it back if it wasn’t filled with the taste of orange or raspberry or cherry. Looking back, I am sure hoping those boxes of chocolate were mine alone or else someone got a fun surprise when they opened the box and saw that they all had a bite out of them. Reminds me of Goldilocks and the Three Bears….except it would go something like this, “Someone’s been eating my chocolates!” 😉

From the mouth of my mom when she tasted these: mmmmmm, mmmmmm, mmmmmm, mmmmmm. That does a girl’s heart good when someone moans their delight the entire time they are eating! 🙂

She said, “All’s I can say is WOW!! That was the most scrumptious breakfast I’ve ever had!”

When I asked her if she would ever guess that these are gluten free or don’t have refined sugar in them, she said, “It never would have crossed my mind.”

The final words from my mom, “I am saving the rest for lunch!” 🙂

How could I not bring something my mom loved so much to Fiesta Friday?! Of course I had to make an extra batch for you all, because mom won’t let me give away the rest of hers! 😉

Vanilla Cherry Chocolate Chip Muffins with a Cherry Sauce

  • Servings: 12 muffins
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*Created by Lori @ Creating Beauty in the Kitchen 


  • 2 3/4 cups almond flour
  • 3 eggs
  • 1/4 tsp salt
  • 1/2 tsp baking soda
  • 1 tsp pure vanilla extract
  • 1/2 cup honey + 1/4 for the sauce
  • 1/2 cup almond milk
  • 10 fresh red cherries + 11 for the sauce
  • 1 cup dark chocolate chips


  • Preheat oven to 325 degrees.
  • Wash and chop up the cherries.
  • Mix the dry ingredients in one bowl, and the wet ingredients in another. Combine the two, mixing well.
  • Add in the cherries and chocolate chips.
  • Use liners or grease a muffin pan.
  • Pour the batter 3/4 of the way full in each slot.
  • To make sauce, blend the 11 cherries with 1/4 cup honey (I ended up with extra sauce).
  • Pour sauce over the top of each muffin.
  • Cook for 25 minutes.

Happy Fiesta Friday Friends! Can you believe it is already Angie’s 30th?!! Wow! Speaking of the lovely Angie, I hope you know how grateful we are for you! And to your co-hosts….the party wouldn’t be the same without you!

Come join the fun…all are welcome…foodies, crafters, photographers, writers, etc……just click on the icon below.


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Owl Themed Decoupage

I decided to add a crafts page to my blog: “Crafting Beauty in the Rest of the Home.” Because, like I wrote on that page, I believe we were made to create beauty….and for me, that beauty begins in our home. I have learned to love creating beauty in the kitchen, and now I am crafting beauty into each nook and cranny of our first home. Come along for the journey!

I have done crafting for years, but decoupage?! Let’s just say that I tried it one time about 4 or 5 years ago and the project didn’t survive. 🙂 So you can imagine my hesitation to ever try it again. In fact, I was pretty convinced I never would. Then I got these letters that spelled “Hope” a year ago. I knew I wanted to decoupage them. But they sat there. And sat there. And sat there.

Until we bought our first home and I went into super gear and did nothing but decoupage for days. I had Mod Podge all over me. As a couple of you saw on instagram, I am just as messy in the craft room as I am in the kitchen! 🙂 I love owls! and I also love bold colors and fun patterns! That was the inspiration for all that you will see below. I knew I would be using it all together as decor, so I made sure they all complimented one another.

I painted this tray a dark brown and then I decoupaged the inside  of it.

I just loved how these came out!

This is a canvas board that is completely decoupaged. It actually started out just as practice…I didn’t really ever consider that it would work out and I would end up loving it. My favorite part is the border I decoupaged on it that is the same pattern I used in some of the other things.

I went shopping around my house, looking for things to decoupage. Hehehe. I was on a roll. and that’s when I found this little black box that I got for free years ago and never use. It is amazing what adding some flare to something can do! Now I love this box! And notice the little pin I made to match at the top of the chalkboard. That is actually a magnet that I decoupaged! 🙂

Now that we have moved into our new home, I have the perfect place for all of this….the entryway! As a side note, do you see this awesome antique icebox that the realtor left for us?! It is so much fun! I love the character of it!

So when people walk in our home, this is what they are greeted with. This is what my mom saw when she walked into our house for the first time…

My mom flew in to help hubby and I get settled! This is a huge sacrifice, because my mom takes care of my dad full-time…this is a sacrifice for both of them and we feel so grateful and so loved! She has been helping me unpack, organize, and is painting a couple of rooms for us! It has been such a blessing! Plus, we don’t see her often enough since she lives so far away…this is such a treat! ❤ my mom!

I actually have the majority of our kitchen unpacked, and I can in fact cook in there now! I actually made something that I planned to bring to Fiesta Friday, but hey, why not bring some crafts this week for you to enjoy while you are munching on all that awesome food! 😀

So, Happy Fiesta Friday friends!!

So grateful to Angie at The Novice Gardener who so graciously hosts us every week, along with her co-hosts who make the party all the more fun!

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A House For Fiesta Friday

What could I possibly bring to Fiesta Friday when all of my cookware is packed?! Don’t laugh too hard, but I literally made a PBJ with my fingers today! Okay, I guess I will show you the picture of it…. 😀

So what am I bringing?! Well, I am bringing our new house of course! 😀 These two kiddos are first time home buyers, and we feel so blessed by the house the Lord has provided for us! Here we are when we were given the keys yesterday!

Here we are at our new front door!
Lots and lots of boxes! So grateful for friends who have helped! Had a friend pack with me until past 11:00 tonight! (Thanks Jamie!!)



And here is our new home…. ❤️ it!!!


Happy Fiesta Friday Friends! I will be MIA a bit….need to finish packing before our move on Saturday! Thank you Angie and the co-hosts….always grateful for you!




Almond Honey Muffins for Fiesta Friday

I have definitely missed all of you here, but it has been great to have 2 weeks of vacation spent with my hubby! It didn’t work out exactly as planned….my sweet hubby spent much of the first week really sick and then the weather made our plans a no-go.  This week though, we got to be out in the woods, camping, reading, talking, swimming, and just relaxing. Here are some pics of our time together….

Today we are back from camping and it is already Fiesta Friday again! And when I thought of what to bring, my mind quickly went to muffins. Have you noticed how many muffin recipes I have created already?…..ya, I like me some muffins! 🙂  As much as I like them though, for some reason it has been quite a while since I have come up with a new recipe for one. So, it is about time right?! 🙂 To check out my other muffin recipes go HERE.

For all of you this week, I decided to just create a simple but delicious recipe- no frills, but tons of taste! In fact, these are so moist and delicious that they may be my new favorite! I absolutely loved them!! ❤

My fellow party goers, make sure to grab one of these before they are all gone! I hope you will love them as much as I do! Breakfast, snack, dessert….go ahead and dig in regardless of the time of day! 🙂

Almond Honey Muffins

  • Servings: 12 Muffins
  • Print

*Created by Lori at Creating Beauty in the Kitchen


  • 2 3/4 cups almond flour
  • 3 eggs
  • 1/4 tsp salt
  • 1/2 tsp baking soda
  • 2 tbsp pure almond extract
  • 1/2 cup honey
  • 1/2 cup coconut milk


  • Preheat the oven to 325 degrees.
  • Mix all the dry ingredients in one bowl, and the wet ingredients in another. Then combine all of them together, mixing well.
  • Line a muffin pan with papers, or grease it well.
  • Pour the batter into each slot, halfway full.
  • Make a little hole in each one and pour a little bit of honey into it.
  • Now pour more batter to cover the honey, leaving the batter 2/3 of the way to the top.
  • Bake for 25 minutes.

A BIG thank you to  Angie at The Novice Gardener and her co-hosts for making Fiesta Friday happen each and every week!! And now I am off to enjoy the last few days of vacation with my hubby! ❤




Mixed Berry Semifreddo

*Please Note: This was a pre-scheduled post, as my hubby and I are enjoying some much needed rest and relaxation for a couple of weeks. Please do stop by and comment…just know that I won’t be able to reply for a while. I appreciate you all!*

Semifreddo? Have you ever heard of it? I hadn’t until I saw THIS version of it from one of my fellow foodie bloggers, Julia at Swirls and Spice.  I knew as soon as I saw it that I just had to make this wonderful sweet treat myself! You know how I love my sweets! Eating low-glycemic & using no refined sugars doesn’t stop this girl! It just gives me a challenge…a challenge I am always happy to embark on! 🙂

So to my fellow party goers at Fiesta Friday, I am bringing this smooth, creamy, icy, and fresh mixed berry semifreddo.

I did some research on this dessert, since I knew nothing about it,  and found these interesting facts:

  • It means “half-cold” in Italian
  • It is a partially frozen Italian dessert
  • You often see it in cake form
  • Once they have been frozen, you can flip them upside down and get them out of their container, and serve that way, which looks really neat.

One of my favorite things I came across was this statement made in a Canadian online newspaper. The person said that semifreddo is “simple elegance at its best, with the emphasis on simple.” Ah, I love that, and couldn’t agree more! Although if I showed you the mess in my kitchen you might not agree with the simple part. Actually, the more I think about it, the more I am questioning it myself. 🙂 Here, let me show you…

Ya, that didn’t feel so simple! 🙂 And would you believe that this was just a little bit of the mess? Of course you would! And if not, just ask Jhuls, Justine, or Patty! 🙂 I really, really try not to be a messy cook…honestly… but these things just sort of happen to me….over and over and over again. Seriously! Tonight alone, I spilled this yumminess all over, I stepped on some raspberries and smeared the juice all over the floor, I got egg yolk all over the counter, when I picked my phone up I realized it had been laying in honey (ugh!), several times I stirred the berry curd right over into the burner, my pan began to overflow and pour all over the stove as I scrambled to find a larger one, and I turned the hand mixer on in mid air! Yep, cream all over me and the kitchen…not for the first time, as you all know. 🙂

Yes, I might definitely disagree with the simple part. 🙂

Mixed Berry Semifreddo

*Created by Lori at Creating Beauty in the Kitchen from the inspiration of THIS recipe at Swirls and Spice.


  • 2 1/2 cups mixed berries (I used blueberries, strawberries, blackberries, and raspberries)
  • 1 1/2 cups honey + more for Homemade whipped cream
  • 4 egg yolks
  • Pure vanilla extract
  • 1 can refrigerated coconut milk


  • Separate 4 egg yolks from their whites and put into a large food processor.
  • Add the fruit and 1 1/2 cups honey and blend until pureed.
  • Because there will be a lot of seeds in your puree, use a strainer with very tiny holes to get as much of them out as possible.
  • In a large saucepan, cook the puree on about medium low, stirring often. I did this for about 15-17 minutes. It thickens as you go. I read that it is important that you don’t let it boil though, so watch out for that. Mine started too, and I think that changed it a bit.
  • After the allotted time, take it off the stove and stir for a few more minutes, letting it continue to thicken.
  • Let cool to room temperature.
  • While cooling, make the homemade whipping cream. Combine the thick, refrigerated coconut milk with honey and some vanilla.
  • When the puree has cooled to room temperature, gently fold it into your whipped cream.
  • Put it in whatever container you would like (if you plan on flipping it over and want it to be a certain shape, the container you use is important.)
  • Put a lid or plastic wrap on it and let freeze for at least 3 hours before serving.
  • When ready to serve, turn container upside down and run hot water over it until the semifreddo seems ready to easily pop out of the container.
  • Once you pop it out, serve with fresh berries.

I loved the way this turned out! So creamy and yummy! Hope the rest of you at FF enjoy it as well!

Grateful to all of you…I am continuing to learn so much from you all! Also thankful for Angie at The Novice Gardener and her co-hosts for this awesome weekly gathering! And thankful to my friend, Jhuls, who is linking me up to the party this week while I am away from the computer! ❤



Cinnamon Almond Chocolate Pudding Pops – FF Guest Post! :-D

I love Fiesta Friday! Who doesn’t?! But I love THIS Fiesta Friday even more because I am bringing these lovely pudding pops on behalf of the beloved Jhuls @ The Not So Creative Cook. So many of you know her, so you know exactly why I call her “beloved.” For those of you who have yet to meet this lovely lady, please go visit her…she is great!

By the way, think of the title of her blog in an ironic sort of way….definitely not literally, because Jhuls IS creative! 🙂 In addition to her creative cooking, she has such a kind heart and reaches out to newbies in the blogosphere. I love that about her!

So, go check out the recipe (and more pics) of these delicious “Cinnamon Almond Chocolate Pudding Pops” that Jhuls and I are bringing to the party! And I do mean delicious!!

Happy Fiesta Friday! And a big thank you, as always, to Angie @ The Novice Gardener and our co-hosts!



Strawberry Lemonade and Basil Fruit Roll-ups

Growing up, I absolutely loved fruit roll-ups! Especially the “fruit by the foot” kind, because there was more to eat of course! 🙂 So, homemade fruit roll-ups with real fruit and no refined sugar?! Yes please!!

I have four people to thank for this wonderful treat that I made: The first three are Aditi and Nikhil at Confused Bawarchis & Sonal at Simply Vegetarian for opening my eyes to the fact that these actually can be made….at home….with good ingredients! 🙂

And finally, I must say thanks to Little Sprouts Kitchen for encouraging me to be brave enough to try strawberry and basil together! I did it! I did it! And I absolutely love it!

The word my hubby used to describe these roll-ups? “Excellent!” I will definitely take that! 😀 These were amazing….hard to stop eating! 🙂 And wouldn’t they make cute little treats at a shower or something? Or how about at a party? Fiesta Friday to be exact. 😀


Strawberry Lemonade and Basil Fruit Roll-Ups

*Adapted and Inspired from  Confused Bawarchis and Simply Vegetarian by Lori at Creating Beauty in the Kitchen


  • 10-12 strawberries
  • 1 1/2 lemons
  • 2 large pieces of fresh basil
  • 1/3 cup honey


  • Preheat the oven to 170 degrees (I ended up moving it up to 200 degrees for about the last hour, because mine seemed to be taking longer.)
  • Wash and puree the strawberries.
  • Cut one lemon in half and squeeze the fresh juice into the pureed strawberries.
  • Cut another lemon in half and peel the skin off. Throw the half of the lemon in with the strawberry puree.
  • Add the honey and 2 large pieces of fresh basil, and mix until everything is pureed along with the strawberries.
  • Cover a baking sheet with some parchment paper.
  • Pour the pureed fruit mixture out onto the paper as evenly as you can.
  • Let bake for 6 hours.
  • Take out of oven and let cool. Once cooled, you can use kitchen shears to cut them into the size and length you would like.
  • Roll them up and tie to hold them closed.
  • When you are ready to eat them they should easily peel off the paper.

Looks like there are 4 people heading up the party this week: Thanks Angie, Selma, Indu, and Hilda! All of you ladies are always so fun to interact with! Thanks for keeping the party going!

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