Brunch, Recipes, Sweets / May 23, 2017

Lemon Ricotta Muffins with Blueberries

Lemon Ricotta Muffins aren’t your typical boring blueberry muffins. These muffins have a pound cake like consistency – so thick and rich! In the recipe They’re perfect for brunch with your honey or a shower with the ladies. Who doesn’t like cake for breakfast?

It’s springtime and I’ve been obsessing over two things, lemons and ricotta. These ingredients are so versatile; I use them in pasta, baking, the list goes on! I love using ricotta in muffins because it creates a dense, smooth texture [the batter will be very thick like pound cake batter]. And the lemon glaze gives these a tangy, sweet bite!

These muffins are made with homemade whole milk ricotta. Follow this link to my recipe. You can definitely use store-bought ricotta but making your own is easier than you might think!

I used frozen blueberries in these Lemon Ricotta Muffins because that’s all I had on hand. By Saturday I run out of a lot of fresh produce so it’s time to hit the grocery store! You can use fresh or frozen blueberries, raspberries or strawberries, whatever you like best!

Skip a step and use a whisk to sift dry ingredients
*Here’s a tip* when combining dry ingredients, no need to sift, use a whisk instead!

Lemon Ricotta Muffin Batter Lemon Ricotta Muffins with Blueberries

These muffins would be perfect on their own but I’ve added a brown sugar crumble and lemon glaze for added deliciousness!

Enjoy these cake-like muffins with a cup of coffee or after dinner with a scoop of ice cream – I’m not here to judge. I hope you enjoy these Lemon Ricotta Muffins as much as I do! Happy baking!

Lemon Ricotta Muffins with Blueberries

Lemon Ricotta Muffins with Blueberries

Cook Time: 25 minutes

Total Time: 60 minutes

Yield: 12 muffins


For the muffins:
¾ cup whole-milk ricotta cheese
2 cups all-purpose flour
2 eggs
1 stick (1/2 cup) unsalted butter
¾ cup granulated sugar
1 cup of fresh or frozen blueberries
2 tablespoons milk
2 tablespoons corn starch
2 teaspoons baking powder
¼ teaspoon baking soda
Pinch of salt
½ teaspoon vanilla
Juice of one lemon (3 tablespoons)
For the glaze:
2 tablespoons lemon juice
¾ cup Confectioners sugar
For the crumble:
Zest of 1 lemon (1/2 teaspoon)
2 tablespoons unsalted butter (melted)
3 tablespoons brown sugar
½ cup all-purpose flour


1. Preheat oven to 350 degrees.
2. To prepare muffin pan, grease or line muffin pan with paper liners.
3. Using stand mixer, cream butter and granulated sugar on medium speed until fluffy.
4. Add ricotta, eggs, 3 tablespoons of lemon juice and vanilla to the mixer. Mix on medium speed until well combined.
5. In a separate bowl, combine dry ingredients including flour, baking soda, baking powder and salt. Stir with a whisk to ensure all ingredients are fully incorporated.
6. With the mixer on low speed, slowly incorporate dry ingredients into wet ingredients by adding only a quarter of the dry ingredients at a time. You may need to stop the mixer and scrape down the sides of the bowl. Once all the dry ingredients have been fully incorporated, take the mixing bowl off the stand.
7. In a separate bowl, toss blueberries in cornstarch. This will keep the blueberries from settling in the bottom of the muffin pan.
8. Gently fold the blueberries into the batter. It should take 10-15 big strokes to fully incorporate the berries.
9. Scoop approximately 3 tablespoons into each muffin cup. I like to use a large ice-cream scoop for this. Cups should be about ¾ full.
10. To prepare the crumble topping, combine melted butter, lemon zest, flour and brown sugar in a medium bowl. Topping will be dry and crumbled.
11. Spoon one teaspoon over the batter in each muffin cup.
12. Bake muffins at 350 degrees for 25 minutes or until a toothpick inserted in the middle comes out clean.
13. Allow the muffins to cool in the pan for 10 minutes before transferring to a wire rack.
14. While the muffins are cooling, prepare the lemon glaze by adding confectioners sugar and lemon juice in medium bowl. Glaze will be a thick milky consistency.
15. Once the muffins have cooled to room temperature, place the wire rack over a baking sheet and spoon one teaspoon of the glaze over top of each muffin. The baking sheet will catch the excess that runs off the muffins. Allow the glaze to dry and enjoy!


Lemon Ricotta Muffins with Blueberries

Recipes, Side Dishes / May 17, 2017

Summer Grilled Corn Salad

Memorial Day is right around the corner and nothing gets me in the mood for backyard barbecues quite like this grilled corn salad. There’s nothing sweeter than grilled corn on the cob but we’re taking this classic up a notch with jalapeño, cilantro, avocado and lime. This dish is full of Mexican flavors, but it can be paired with any grilled American favorite like NY Strip, hamburgers or even hot dogs!

Summer Grilled Corn Salad

It’s Summer Time at the Bungalow!

In Florida, spring feels a lot like summer and summer at my house means dinner on the grill! I can’t stand to be slaving over a hot stove all day. It’s so easy to utilize the grill for an entire meal, not only for meat, but for veggies too. Usually my fiancé does all the grillin’ in our house, he’s grown into quite the grill master these days. But on Sunday, he was set on watching The Players golf tournament so I took the reins. If I can grill steaks, chicken for a week’s worth of lunches AND make this corn salad – you totally can too!

Grilled Corn and Jalapeno for Summer Corn Salad

So Easy and Versatile

The reason this grilled corn salad is so easy is because you can throw in any veggies from the fridge or even that can of black beans from your cupboard. I bet grape tomatoes would be a fresh, yummy addition to this dish. Personally, I went with Mexican flavors because we are big fans in our household. I could eat tacos everyday if my waistline would allow it. Whatever veggies you decide to use for your dish, make sure you dice everything about the same size so each bite is consistent.

I hope you enjoy this recipe. Let me know if you try it and what additions you made! I can’t wait to see what you come up with.

Summer Grilled Corn Salad

Summer Grilled Corn Salad

Prep Time: 10 minutes

Cook Time: 15 minutes

Total Time: 30 minutes

Yield: 4 servings


4 ears of corn, shucked
1 large jalapeño
½ red bell pepper
½ cup diced red onion
1 avocado (diced)
¼ cup chopped cilantro
3 oz crumbled Queso fresco
Juice of ½ lime
2 tablespoons olive oil


1. First, lightly coat ears of corn, jalapeño and red bell pepper in olive oil. Season generously with salt and pepper.
2. Place corn and peppers on hot grill.
3. Grill peppers for 8 to 10 minutes until they blister and soften. Remove from grill and set aside.
4. Grill corn for 15 to 20 minutes, giving the cobs a quarter turn every 5 minutes. When all sides of the cob begin to char, pull from the grill and set aside.
5. Once the corn has cooled, stand the cob in a wide, shallow bowl or pan, holding it upright with a firm grip. Take a sharp chef's knife and slice down the cob, removing the kernels.
6. Once the peppers have cooled, carefully remove the stems and seeds. Dice the peppers and add to the corn. (I only use half a bell pepper because I think it provides a better-balanced flavor. I usually reserve the other half for another recipe).
7. Add diced red onion, avocado, cilantro, queso fresco and lime juice.
8. Stir to combine and enjoy!
9. Optional: top with cilantro and a wedge of lime.

This Grilled Summer Corn Salad is a fun Mexican twist on an American BBQ Classic!

Travel / May 5, 2017

Top Four MUST-EATS in New York City

Y’all, this Florida girl had never been to New York City so when I booked my flight to the Big Apple, I spent weeks mapping out my must-do must-eats list. First, I knew I had to hit the obvious: NYC pizza, donuts and street food. I’m drooling just thinking about it. Then, with a little research, I found some really fantastic local spots.

Here’s a tip, when you are mapping out all of your must-eats make sure to sort them by what area of town they’re in. That will help you plan your days accordingly. We walked nearly 10 miles each day so don’t focus too hard on the calorie count. Enjoy your vacation, people!

Wood-fired Pizza from Don Antonio

The first thing I do when traveling to a new city is check out Guy Fieri’s Diners, Drive-ins and Dives. This may sound cheesy, but I’ve had some of my best meals at the hole-in-the-wall restaurants that Guy visits on his show. That’s where I came across a killer pizza spot, Don Antonio. Located steps from bustling Times Square, Don Antonio by Starita is well-known for serving both lightly fried and delicious wood-fired Neapolitan pizzas.

Margarita Pizza from Don Antonio NYC
Pictured: Arancini and Margarita Pizza with Prosciutto and Mushrooms

When my fiancé and I arrived at the restaurant, they sat us immediately at one of the tiny little tables in the back by the kitchen. I watched in awe as the line cooks turned out pie after pie; I swear the same delivery guy came and went five times. This place is poppin’! We ordered the Arancini to start; Arancini is a rice ball that is coated in breadcrumbs and deep-fried. They were rich and delicious, flavored with salty Italian ham. I only wish we had a little marinara for dipping!

Between the two of us, my fiancé and I have a slight salty meat and cheese addiction so it was only fitting that we ordered the traditional margarita pizza with prosciutto and mushrooms. This smoky, wood-fired crust topped with salty prosciutto and earthy mushrooms has my mouth watering just thinking back. We should have ordered two. (Not really, it was plenty of food for two people)

Located on West 50th (at 8th Avenue), Don Antonio is just a short walk away from the action and crowds bustling through Times Square.

Artisan Doughnuts from Dough

Our hotel was located in Midtown Manhattan, a short walk from my favorite culinary destination in all of New York City, Urbanspace Vanderbilt. I have never visited a food hall before and boy did this place BLOW MY MIND! You mean I can get a bowl of pho and a chocolate mocha doughnut at the same place? GTFO

Obviously, my first breakfast in New York City had to consist of a doughnut and a good cup of coffee. When researching “the best doughnut in New York City”, I came across Dough. This bakery has so many unique flavors to choose from; my fiancé and I snagged a Mocha Almond Crunch and Café Au Lait. What can I say, we are a sucker for coffee flavored anything.

Mocha Almond Crunch and Café Au Lait Doughnuts
Pictured: Mocha Almond Crunch and Café Au Lait Doughnuts

Dough has multiple locations throughout Manhattan and Brooklyn and distributes their doughnuts to numerous third party vendors across the city. The location we visited was located at Urbanspace Vanderbilt in Midtown just steps away from Grand Central.

After breakfast, I swear I burned 2,000 calories walking through Central Park.

Crazy Shake from Black Tap

I know you have seen the newest trend in milkshake-ology… THE CRAZY SHAKE. Well Black Tap Craft Burgers and Beer is taking the milk shake to a completely new level, topping them with rock candy, ice cream sandwiches, cotton candy and much, much more. This place is super trendy and the service was fantastic!

We opted for the Sweet N’ Salty Crazy Shake, piled high with chocolate pretzels, peanut butter cups and chocolate candies. This was quite possibly most definitely the best milkshake I have ever had! Oh, and the burgers are good too. I had the Texan Burger (add avocado and a fried egg and they will have to hose you off in the back).

 Sweet N' Salty Crazy Shake
Pictured: Sweet N’ Salty Crazy Shake

Black Tap has four restaurants throughout Manhattan. We walked to the location in the Meat Packing District on W. 14th Street after a trip to Chelsea Market.

NYC Street Food

So pretty much anything you get from a street cart in New York City is going to be downright delicious. There is such a variety of foods to choose from like dirty water dogs, waffles, tacos, Banh Mi, and the list goes on. My personal favorite was the lamb gyro from a halal cart in Rockefeller Plaza. Well, to be completely honest, I got the chicken and rice platter and my fiancé got the lamb gyro. I always snag a couple bites of his.

lamb gyro from a halal cart
Pictured: Lamb Gyro from Halal Cart

We ordered the platter and gyro spicy with white sauce. I don’t know what they put in that white sauce, but it’s a godsend when your mouth is on fire. Okay, that’s a lie; it’s made with mayo.

Not only is this a cheap option for lunch, it is super filling. We actually opted for a light dinner because we were still full nearly 4 hours later!  If you like spicy, I highly recommend stopping by a halal cart.

There you have it! A newbie’s guide to eating in New York City! I’d love to hear more about your favorite bites for my next trip!

Kelsey Renee