Cinnamon Streusal Muffins, Baking Basics and Beyond GIVEAWAY, and Texting with Love. . . .

Nana just got an iPhone.
She loves it.
I love it.

She has a Words with Friends Game (similar to scrabble) going on with EVERY member of my family. Except Phoebe, and as soon as Feebs gets an iPod touch, I’m sure she’ll oblige.

I told her, “Mommy, I’m really busy, I don’t have a lot of time to play games, but I’ll try.”
And it took me like two weeks but, now I’m in and I’m loving it.

Also, she sends the funniest texts.
Whenever she types, “Oh, boy!” It comes out “Ho Boy!”, which makes me chuckle every. single. time.

She sends texts early in the morning that say, “Good morning love. I hope you have a wonderful day.”  And then I really do have a wonderful day, and I think its no coincedence.

She also sends texts that are undecipherable, and I have to call her on the phone to figure out what the heck she is talking about.

But the best. . .the very best thing is when she texts the kids. They are the most loving texts ever. This is a series of texts between my mom and my 5 year old, Soledad.  The first is when Soledad was sick, and my mother was checking in on her. It starts out with a message from Soledad to tell Nana how she was feeling.

Soledad:  I am fileg betr (feeling better). Loce (look) at the happy pikchr (picture)
love Soledad

Nana: What a good way to start the day. Seeing my sweet Soledad. Love Nana.

– – – – – – – – –

Soledad: Nana i had a basketball gam my tem wun.  it wus 13 to 15.  the tem that Had 15 wus my tem. the other tem loess (loses)

Nana: Soli, I’m so glad your team won. Wish I could have been there.

Soledad: Nana i love you so so so so so moch. I love you as a sret apple (sweet apple)

– – – – – – – –

Soledad:  I love you so so so so so so so so so so so so so so
So so moch. i love you as a sret apple and a sret buttrfly (a sweet apple and a sweet butterfly -that’s a lot of love)

love Soledad

Nana:   Hi Pumpkin. love you so much. I am so proud of you. You make me so so happy.
Love Nana
– – – – – – – –
Nana: Soli, I hope your Valentine’s Day is filled with lots of fun. I wish I could be with you. Love Nana.
Soledad: Hi Nana. I love you so moch. I have softball practis today. i hop you codov cam (can come) Love Soledad

Soledad: Do you like Lucky?
– – – – – – – – –
[Soledad requesting the game Words With Friends ]
Soledad:  Wat are you playeg (what are you playing) with bella? can i play Nana.
Nana: Yes Soledad. Tell your mother so she can put it on your Ipod.
Soledad: tell me the trooth bella!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!

             Nana I mant to sen that to bella.

Nana: OK

Soledad:  But I dowt (don’t ) have the gam. can you git it four me nana?

Nana: OK Soledad (*Nana then calls me 20 times on the phone until I download the app to Soledad’s phone*)

Soledad:  I have it nana. i will play.  Wan it is lotid Nana (When it is loaded)

Nana:  Thanks

Soledad: It is your trn Nana (she is telling my mom it is her turn to play in words for friends. . .totally not necessary)

Nana: it is your turn Soli.

Soledad: Are you dan (done) Nana!!!!!!!

Soledad: Are you playeg (playing) it is your trn nan

Soledad:  Your name ment to be spelt like this Nana.

Soledad: I hsvt to go to the stir (i have to go to the store) i cant play

Nana: We’ll play later.

Soledad: Nana it is your turn make a word.  ia m tiyrd of wateg. (I am tired of waiting)  Bo ho ho bo ho ho!!!!!!!!!! If you don’t make a word I’m not playing.

Nana: Soledad. I was at work but I am at home now. Do you want to play words?

– – – – – – – – – – –

If it weren’t for technology none of that would have happened.
My mother lives in Dallas.
And we live in Houston.
I think technology is a beautiful thing.


Some say technology removes us from our lives.
And maybe it does, for some.
But, I think it can also bring us back to the basics.
To the simple art of love, and being together.

Basics like playing games.
Board games. Only electronically.
Talking. Only typing and texting.

And sharing a snack.
Like this one.

Cinnamon Streusal Muffins.
It comes from the cookbook, Baking Basics and Beyond by Pat Sinclair.
I would make one for each and every one of you, coupled with hot tea and napkin if I could.
But since I can’t, I’m just gonna take this picture, and post this recipe and hope that you’ll make it and think of me, and share it with those that you love.

Ho Boy!
I got so carried away with of this love and technology, that I forgot to tell you I want to give one of these cookbooks to YOU!

To say, embrace techonology, but still eat.
Still cook.
Still bake.
Still go the traditional, basic, tried and true way.
Just do it better. Or different.
But just do it.

Want Baking Basics and Beyond?
Here’s How to Enter:

Just answer the following question in the Comments section of this post:

“What is your favorite techie gadget? And. . .how does it help keep you connected to ‘The Basics’ of life? ”

One entry per person, please. You can tell me more than one gadget, but I’m only gonna count it once. You tricky little trickster you.

The Baking Basics and Beyond GIVEAWAY will end February 28, 2012 at midnight CST. Winners will be announced on Wednesday, February 29th, 2011. Entrants limited to US and Canada. They will be chosen randomly using

Good Luck!


And the winner is. . .. . .

Oh my, how I love muffins!  And, my iPhone…I guess that would be as techie as I get!  And, I have to say it, I’m obsessed with Facebook, and getting a peek into my friends and family’s lives that I don’t get to see as often as I would like! 
Love the texts…so sweet!  My 7 year old and his Nana text too 😉

Ashlee please contact [email protected] in the next 48 hours to claim your prize.
– – – – – – – – – –   – – – – – – –

And NOW FOR THE RECIPE!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!

Cinnamon Streusel Muffins
This recipe comes from Baking Basics and Beyond by Pat Sinclair and is reprinted with permission from Baking Basics and Beyond, Second Edition, by Pat Sinclair, Agate Surrey, December 2011.
I should also say, this is and EXCELLENT Cookbook with over 100 recipes and tons of great tips geared to help the novice and anyone looking to improve their baking skills 🙂

One of the reasons muffins are so popular is because they are quick and easy to make and full of flavor. Adding the liquid all at once to the dry ingredients actually is called the “muffin method” and makes muffins that are light and tender with an even texture inside.  Serve these muffins warm from the oven with apple butter to enhance the spicy cinnamon flavor.

Makes 12 Muffins

Streusal Topping

 1/4 cup all purpose flour
1/4 cup firmly packed brown sugar
1 teaspoon cinnamon
3 tablespoons cold butter


2 cups all purpose flour
1/2 cup sugar
1/4 cup firmly packed brown sugar
1 tablespoon baking powder
1 teaspoon cinnamon
1/2 teaspon salt
3/4 cup milk
1/2 cup butter, melted
1 teaspoon vanilla
1 egg, beaten

Heat oven to 400 F (200 C) with oven rack in middle. Lightly spray 12 cups in a standard muffin pan with nonstick cooking spray.

Streusel Topping

Combine flour, brown sugar, and cinnamon in a small bowl. Cut in butter with a pastry blender until mixture resembles coarse crumbs with some pea-sized pieces.


Combine flour, sugar, brown sugar, baking powder, cinnamon, and salt in a large bowl.  Make a well in center of the flour by pushing ingredients out toward sides of bowl.

Combine milk, melted butter, vanilla, and egg in a medium bowl. Pour milk mixture into the flour mixture, and stir only until the flour is moistened even though the batter is not smooth.  Scrape down sides of bowl.

Divide batter into prepared muffin cups, filling them about 2/3 full. Sprinkle about 1 tablespoon (15ml) of streusel over each muffin.

Bake 18 to 20 minutes or until golden brown and a toothpick inserted in the center of a couple of muffins comes out dry. Cool slightly and remove from the pan.

Run a small metal spatula around edge of each muffin to loosen it, and lift gently from the pan. Serve muffins warm with butter or jam.

Baker’s Note:  For muffins, I prefer spraying the muffin cups instead of using paperliners because      muffins usually stick to the paper.                                                                                                
Secret to Success: Muffins are at their best served warm from the oven. Any uneaten muffins can be wrapped and stored at room temperature. I reheat them in the microwave before serving.                 

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