Chocolate Chip Muffins - Being Martha….

Back in baking action…took two weeks off, but I am back.  This is really the recipe for Blueberry Muffins on Page 37 of Martha Stewart’s Baking Handbook.  But, I didn’t have blueberries in the fridge this morning AND everything tastes good with chocolate chips, right?

Here’s the recipe on line if you want to make these.  I always start with this butter…I have tried many different kinds and this is my favorite; notice that it is unsalted butter.  TIP:  Always use unsalted butter, it will allow you to control the amount of salt that you want in the recipe.

My Favorite Butter….Unsalted Always

Another tip, make sure that the butter is at the temperature indicated in the recipe.  Many recipes indicate “room temperature.”  If you are like me, I usually don’t plan my baking well in advance.  So, I soften the butter slightly with ten seconds in the microwave.

Add One Egg at a Time

Fold in the chocolate chips to the recipe; be careful to not over mix.

Fold in the Chocolate Chips

I place the muffin batter into the muffin pan using a spoon.  I then use the offset spatula to smooth them down a bit and then add a dusting of sugar on top.

Sprinkle with a Little Sugar Just Before the Oven

Just perfect…right out of the oven.

Chocolate Chip Muffins … Just out of the Oven

These muffins are super easy to make and bake in less than 30 minutes.  They are best warm and gooey!

Chocolate Chip Muffins


Chocolate Chip Muffins

This is a simple and easy recipe that is also kid friendly.  Happy baking!  :)


Fall is Here!!!! Fall is Here!!!

Yes, my favorite time of the year is FINALLY here!  And, as usual, our sunny San Diego weather has continued into the 90′s for the last 6 weeks.  I know that we pay a lot of money to live here for the beautiful weather.  But, what does a girl need to do to get a little fall.  I sometimes wonder if I was born in the wrong state.  I would kill for some falling leaves, chilly mornings, a fire in the fire place…and lots of time to sew, quilt and bake!

WAKE UP!  That is not going to happen.  So, I will create my own little fall haven in my home.  You see, this is my favorite time of the year and it always seems to go by so fast.  If I could slow down the last four months of every year, take everything in and enjoy each moment I would love it.  But, I can’t…however, why can’t I still enjoy each moment?  hmmmm….let the fun begin!!!!

My favorite thing to do is to take the boxes out from garage and unpack everything onto the counter so I can see it all.  I have a mix of stuff from Target, Home Goods and then some specialty stores. Every once in a while I splurge on some more expensive things that will last a long time.

Halloween Decorating

I try very hard each year to go through my collection and get rid of anything that I do not LOVE to make room for my new treasures.  I try not to add any boxes…..”TRY” is the operative word here.  :-)

Halloween Decorating

One of my favorite things to do is to create a tablesscape on my dining room table.  It is always fun to see how it comes together…I like the detail and to play with different elements.  You can see how I layered placements to get a fun effect with the felt spiderweb shapes that I purchased from Target for $2.99.

Halloween Decorating - Dining Room Table Spooky

This year, I placed my Halloween tree at the center with my Patience Brewster ornaments; one of my favorite things.

Halloween Decorating - Dining Room Table Spooky

This year, I did splurge and buy those cool witches brew candle holders from Williams Sonoma.  They are a cute added detail.  You can purchase them here.

Halloween Decorating - Dining Room Table Spooky

Oh wait…I got one other thing from Williams Sonoma that I love as well.  These spider web place card holders that are super cute.  They come in a pack of four and can be found here.

Halloween Decorating - Dining Room Table Spooky

I also change out the placemats and napkins at the barstools.  I had an extra touch with a candle for each placesetting.

Halloween Decorating - Place Settings

I also add little touches here and there throughout the house.  Here is the sideboard that is in my hallway.  I add some pumpkins to the glass jars and a few little accessories.

Halloween Decorating - Sideboard

And, don’t forget the guest bathroom….I add some decoration to the mirror, change the towels and it starts to look really festive.

Halloween Decorating - Guest Bathroom

A few touches here and there.

Halloween Decorating - Guest Bathroom

This is the time of the year that I get to pull out the Jan Patek Halloween Quilt that I made that is always a hit.  I have had a hard time locating this pattern on line.  Sorry!  But, it is fun and whimsical.

Halloween Decorating - Quilt

Just some fun details of little things here and there that add some fall to the house.

Halloween / Fall Decorating - Little Details

And, for the mantle…one of my favorite areas to decorate.  I added some fall foliage to the vase on the right and some little fall accents here and there.

Halloween / Fall - Fireplace Mantle

A close up of the mantle…

Halloween / Fall - Fireplace Mantle

I am hoping that you fall is as good as I hope mine will be.  I have lots of things that I want to do and many of them involve creating.  This time of the year is always filled with fresh ideas and lots of warmth.  Here’s to some fall weather coming your way!


BEST Crumb Cake EVER - Being Martha

Okay…so this recipe rocks!  This is the best crumb cake recipe that I have ever tried.  It tastes great and makes a nice big pan of coffee cake that is perfect to share.  Let’s go!  This recipe can be found on page 56 of the Martha Stewart Baking Handbook.  I could not find the exact recipe on line so the recipe is at the end of this post OR you can go purchase the book!

First, the best part…make the crumb topping.  Okay, so I used my ancient food processor which has multiple problems.

Too small, it leaks flour dust out the side when in use and it doesn’t have a top cover….so, needless to say this part of this easy recipe was a bit painful.  But, besides that, make the crumb topping and set aside.  The recipe yields a lot and it is!  But, it tastes great with a big thick crumb topping on top!

Making the Crumb Topping

And, here is the coffee cake secrete ingredient….sour cream!  1 1/2 cups!

Secret Ingredient

Make the cake portion in a mixer and when ready spread in your floured baking pan.  Another time I get to used the large offset spatula… of the cool tools I like to use.

Offset Spatula Again…Must Have Tool

Then you spread the crumb topping (ALL OF IT) over the top of the cake mix.

TIP:  Don’t worry about the crumb topping looking perfect.  It will all melt together and look great once you put in in the oven.  And, who said baking was about perfection anyways!

Into the Oven

Oh my, it smells so good when it comes out of the oven…look at that heavenly brown sugar topping!

Best Crumb Topping

All ready to eat…this recipe is so easy!!!  Perfect for a family breakfast or to bring into the office.  I promise they will love it!

Coffee Anyone?

As always, I have to sneak one piece for taste testing…!

Coffee Cake Ready to Eat

This is a super easy and delicious recipe!  This is kid friendly and quick to make with great results!  Happy Baking!  :)


  • 10 tablespoons butter, softened
  • 2 & 1/2 cups all-purpose flour
  • 1 teaspoon baking powder
  • 1 teaspoon baking soda
  • 1/2 teaspoon salt
  • 1 cup sugar
  • 3 large eggs
  • 1 & 1/4 cups sour cream
  • 1 teaspoon vanilla extract
  • Crumb Topping
  • confectioners’ sugar (optional)
Preheat oven to 350 degrees. Butter a 9″x13″ pan and set aside.
Mix together flour, baking powder, baking soda, and salt. Set aside.
Beat butter and sugar on medium speed until light and fluffy. Add eggs, one at a time, mixing well after adding each one. Add vanilla. Add flour mixture and sour cream. Mix just until blended.
Spread batter evenly into pan. Top with crumb topping. Bake for 35 to 40 minutes or until done. Turn the pan once during baking. Cool on a wire rack. Dust with confectioners’ sugar.


  • 3 cups all-purpose flour
  • 1 cup packed light brown sugar
  • 1 tablespoon ground cinnamon
  • 1 & 1/2 teaspoons coarse salt
  • 1 & 3/4 cups unsalted butter, softened
Combine flour, sugar, cinnamon, and salt. Cut in the butter with a pastry blender or a fork. When well mixed, the mixture should form large, moist clumps.