Red Velvet Cheesecake Swirl Brownies

These “brownies” were intense.  I suppose you could also call it a cheesecake…or a really dense red velvet cake-whatever floats your boat.  Although, I’m not sure these brownies would be floating on any boats.  They are dense, rich, and very moist.  I’m fairly certain they’d sink in water.  These were also really awesome because the swirled look makes them look very professional, despite being very easy to make.

Enjoy!

Cardamom Crumb Cake

Walking out of church one Sunday, Yolanda noticed a sign for a youth group bake sale fundraiser going on in the foyer.  Since she had not had breakfast and liked supporting the youth group, she wandered over to see what was for sale.

As she approached, a young girl sitting behind the table smiled.

“Hi Mrs.  Vizzini, how are you?”

Yolanda returned the smile, “Well, I’m pretty hungry, what have you got for sale?”

The girl (Natalie?  Yolanda was pretty sure her name was Natalie) said, “Well, we have 6 loaves of banana bread, 12 batches of chocolate chip cookies, and 3 pans of Rice Krispy treats”

Yoland frowned.  She wasn’t in the mood for cookies and Rice Krispy treats.  It was only 10 AM and no matter how hard she tried she couldn’t justify eating cookies for breakfast.  She loved bananas, but was allergic.

“Is there anything else? ” she asked, unexpectantly.

“Well,” Natalie replied, “Some lady dropped off that one cake over there.  I don’t know how to pronounce the name though.  Carmadon?  Carmbodon?”

Yolanda wandered over to the cake in question.  She read the label and immediately recognized “cardamom.”  She smiled.  She smiled.  She had spent 2 years in the Peace Corps, serving in New Delhi and had developed a fondness for the exotic spiciness of cardamom.

“I’ll take that!”  She exclaimed.

Natalie looked at her uncertainly.  “Are you sure?”

“Of course!  Cardamom is a wonderful spice.  I only wish I had the recipe for this cake.  I’ve never had a cake with cardamom.”

Natalie smiled, “Well, luckily the lady who brought this cake gave me this card with the recipe on it and told me to give it to the person who bought the cake!  Here you go!”

Yolanda took the small index card.  “Thank you!  Who was the lady who made this cake?”

Natalie frowned.  “I don’t know her name, all she said was that the cake was definitely not gluten free.”

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Gingerbread Muffins

Happy New Year!  I don’t really like the term “resolution” because once you “resolve” to do something I feel like you often set yourself up for failure.  Once you slip up on your diet or miss a day at the gym, you feel like a failure and give up entirely instead of readjusting and getting back on track.  Plus, you don’t have to wait until the new year to make changes in your life.  I think it’s better to just look forward to the year ahead and think about all of the good things you want to do.

One thing I want to do (continue doing, I should say) is…you guessed it…llama herding!  Just kidding (although llamas are cool)- I want to keep baking.  And, although Christmas is over I don’t think it’s too late to enjoy gingerbread.

I hope you like these muffins and that they keep you in the Christmas spirit!

Edit: I just realized that on December14th, 2014 I published a different gingerbread muffin recipe.  You should make both and decide which you like best. 😉