Cinna-mmmmm-mon Muffins

Cinna-mmmmm-mon Muffins

On a trip to Penzey’s Spices, I idly picked up the catalog as I purchased my delicious shallot salt. As Bill drove us back home, I was perusing the listings and recipes when I stumbled across this muffin recipe. Since Bill is a HUGE fan of cinnamon, we both love muffins, and it looked super-simple, I decided to make muffins for dinner that night.

Since then I have not been able to stop making these muffins! Bill took them to school of the first day, I made them this weekend for a lacrosse coaches meeting, and I think we’ve had them for breakfast every other weekend for a few months now.

It’s basically a one-bowl recipe, no mixer required, and I have all the ingredients on hand in my pantry just by default. Try them, and let me know if your family loves them too!

Cinna-mmmmm-mon Muffins

  • 1 cup and 2 Tbsp. flour, separated (all-purpose or whole wheat)
  • ¼ cup and 2 Tbsp. sugar, separated
  • 3 tsp. baking powder
  • ½ tsp. salt
  • 3 Tbsp. oil
  • 1 egg, beaten
  • 1 tsp. vanilla extract
  • 1 cup milk
  • 1 cup oats (any kind will work)
  • 1 tsp. cinnamon
  • 1 tsp. butter, melted
  1. Preheat oven to 425°.
  2. In a large bowl, mix together the 1 cup flour, ¼ sugar, baking powder and salt.
  3. Add the oil, egg, vanilla, and milk. Stir only until moistened.
  4. Gently stir in the oats.
  5. In a small bowl, combine the 2 Tbsp. flour, 2 Tbsp. sugar, cinnamon and melted butter. S
  6. Fill greased or lined muffin cups 2/3 full.
  7. Sprinkle each muffin with topping.
  8. Bake for 15 minutes until puffy and golden brown.

based on recipe from Penzey’s Spices


Lovely and Liquor-ish: Bourbon Bacon Chocolate Chip Cookies

Lovely and Liquor-ish: Bourbon Bacon Chocolate Chip Cookies

Friends! We’re back in the world of recipes, and I’m bringing you a boozy doozy 🙂


Bill’s dungeon-master-ing a group of fellow teachers on an adventure once a week, so I’m having college D&D flashbacks. Since the fellas can’t meet at our apartment (they’re allergic to the Finnmonster), I’m trying to be a good DM’s-wife/hostess by sending some snacks along with my boy to their meetings.


This week, I was stocked up on cooked turkey bacon from a recent household addition (did you know it’s so much better for you than normal bacon? and still tasty?), and had been in a bourbon mood, because that’s the sort of girl I am. Bourbon, bacon and chocolate go together that peanut butter and jelly, so my obvious choice was to make some delicious ‘adult’ cookies for my full-grown nerds to enjoy 😉


This is based on my very favorite chocolate chip cookie recipe, with just a hint of bourbon-y goodness and some salty bacon to take it to the next level 🙂

Bourbon Bacon Chocolate Chip Cookies

  • 1¾ cups all-purpose flour
  • ½ teaspoon salt
  • 1 teaspoon baking soda
  • ½ cup butter, softened
  • ¼ cup packed light brown sugar
  • ¼ cup packed dark brown sugar
  • ⅓ cup granulated sugar
  • 1 large egg
  • 1 teaspoon vanilla extract
  • 1 teaspoon almond extract
  • 2 Tablespoons bourbon (or more, to taste)
  • ½ cup mini chocolate chips
  • 4 slices of crispy, cooked bacon (or turkey bacon), diced
  1. Preheat the oven to 350◦ F.
  2. Cream the butter and sugars together until creamy and smooth. Add in the egg, extracts, and bourbon.
  3. In medium bowl, whisk the flour, salt, and baking soda together. Slowly mix the flour into the butter mixture, until combined.
  4. Turn the mixer to low and slowly add in chocolate chips and diced bacon
  5. Roll dough into Tablespoon-sized balls. Place on baking sheet and slightly flatten with the palm of your hand.
  6. Bake for 12 minutes or until cookies are golden brown and set. Remove from the oven and let cool on baking sheet for two minutes.




Spice It Up a Little: Taco Burgers

Spice It Up a Little: Taco Burgers

Mmm, who doesn’t love a good cheeseburger? We’re not going to rest with cheddar on beef, though, let’s make in a little spicy, up the cheese factor and put a Mexican twist on this classic! This stuffed and studded burger is packed with flavor and spices.

Taco Burgers from Mancktastic!

To impart that Mexican spice, we combine crunchy corn chips with taco seasoning and mix it throughout the ground beef for our burgers. Rather than just laying cheese atop the patties, we also stuff them with what my grocery store calls “Fiesta cheese”. And, for a final layer of flavor, we crust the patties with additional taco seasoning.

Taco Burgers from Mancktastic!

You’d be surprised how much flavor plain ol’ corn chips can add to a simple burger, but it gives a distinct earthy flavor that is a natural counterpart to the beef. Corn is a traditional flavor for Mexican cuisine, so it’s a fine pairing. The cheese cuts through the saltiness of the chips and seasoning for a well-balanced dish.

Taco Burgers from Mancktastic!

Taco Burgers

  • 1 pound ground beef (I used 96/4)
  • 1 cup corn chips
  • 1 egg
  • 1 cup Mexican cheese chunks
  • ¼ cup taco seasoning, divided
  • 4 slices colby jack cheese
  1. Crush corn chips by pulsing them in a food processor. Add 2 Tablespoons of taco seasoning to the work bowl and combine.
  2. In a medium bowl, mix spiced corn chip crumbs, ground beef, and egg, until well combined.
  3. Shape ground beef mixture into 8 equal balls. Place ¼ cup cheese chunks in between 2 balls and combine into a patty. Form 3 more patties using same method.
  4. Pour the remaining taco seasoning on a plate. Place each patty on the seasoning, press to adhere, flip and repeat.
  5. Heat a grill pan over medium-high heat and grill 7-8 minutes on each side. For the last minute of grilling, lay a slice of colby jack on each patty.
  6. Serve with salsa and tortillas.

Taco Burgers from Mancktastic!

Easy-Peasy Fried Noodles

Easy-Peasy Fried Noodles

Happy Friday, everyone! I hope that your workday ends quickly, but your weekend is as long as you need it be : ) Today, I’m pleased to share one of my own recipe creations: a simple dish from Bill and I’s early days of dating when we had much more love than money. You can think of Easy-Peasy Fried Noodles as the lovechild of Fried Rice and Chow Mein, a tasty, saucy dish that’s both fool-proof and easy to customize for your family’s tastes!

Easy-Peasy Fried Noodles from Mancktastic!

We start with a large skillet over medium heat and about a Tablespoon sesame oil. The sesame oil adds a great, savory flavor to the whole dish while making your kitchen smell amazing! You can also use wok oil, which has a rich garlicky flavor, with in combination with or as a replacement for the sesame oil. As the oil heats up in the skillet, mince 2 cloves of fresh garlic and a 1″ piece of fresh ginger. Add the minced pieces to the skillet and sauté for 1-2 minutes, or until softened and fragrant. Once your garlic and ginger are softened, add the cooked spaghetti noodles to the pan and toss to coat with oil. Cook, stirring every 30 seconds or so, for 2-3 minutes. Add frozen peas to the skillet and cook for an additional minute. At this point you can also add other veggies of your choice or pre-cooked meats like chicken tenders or shrimp.

Easy-Peasy Fried Noodles from Mancktastic!

Now is when we add the fun bits to the dish! First, crack an egg right in the middle of the pan and quickly stir throughout the noodles so they all get coated as the egg cooks. Then, add ¼ cup each of low-sodium soy sauce and oyster sauce to the pan and stir to coat the noodles once again. This combination of sauces gives you a deep, savory and sweet flavor that has a great earthy note as well. Cook this mixture all together for 1 minute or until nice and sizzly-sounding. Remove from the heat and serve immediately. You can top with sesame seeds, chopped scallions or additional sauce.

Easy-Peasy Fried Noodles from Mancktastic!

Easy-Peasy Fried Noodles

  • 8 ounces spaghetti noodles, cooked and drained
  • 1 Tablespoon sesame oil
  • 2 cloves of garlic, minced
  • 1″ piece of ginger, minced or grated
  • 1 cup frozen peas
  • 1 egg
  • ¼ cup low-sodium soy sauce
  • ¼ cup oyster sauce
  1. Heat 1 Tablespoon of sesame oil in a large skillet on medium heat. When oil is heated, add garlic and ginger to the skillet and cook until softened and fragrant.
  2. Add cooked spaghetti noodles to the pan and toss to coat well with oil. Cook for 2-3 minutes, stirring occasionally, then add frozen peas to the skillet and cook for an additional minute.
  3. Crack an egg into the skillet and quickly stir through the noodles, tossing until the egg is thoroughly cooked.
  4. Add ¼ cup each of low-sodium soy sauce and oyster sauce to the pan and stir to coat the noodles. Cook this mixture for 1 minute, or until nice and sizzly-sounding. Remove from the heat and serve immediately.

Easy-Peasy Fried Noodles from Mancktastic!

Cinnamon Sugary Delights: My Classic Snickerdoodles

Cinnamon Sugary Delights: My Classic Snickerdoodles

Last week, with fingertips covered in cinnamon-sugar and an oven full of cookies, I found myself reflecting on how tied together recipes and memories can be. Cherry cream cheese pie will always take me back to hurried pie making at my parents’ house and sesame chicken reminds me of Bill and I’s courtship. Snickerdoodles send me right back to college though; to my first apartment, to friends clustered around couches and hanging out in the green room…

One of my first big starts into culinary-dom in college was when my friends figured out that I knew how to make the Holy Grail of cookies: the Snickerdoodle. Sure, I made dinner for my friends at least once a week and kept them stuffed with every variation of dessert, but the ‘Doodles were what they always seemed to circle back to.


I’m not sure why, but they were all under the impression that somehow the Snickerdoodle was a magic cookie, produced only by restaurants and stores, never to see the light of a kitchen. I’ve never encountered a single person who doesn’t like a ‘Doodle, but no one seems to have ever made them. It’s a shame because they’re a simple and delightful cookie!

I remember one ‘dinner party’ my senior year of college: after a simple (and cheap) chicken, veggie and pasta dish for dinner, we watched Stardust in my tiny ‘loft’ apartment while I whipped up the ‘Doodle dough and let them do the cinnamon-sugar honors before baking. I felt like a little Momma, letting the kids “help” with dessert on a special occasion. There was such a happy sense of community attached to the whole evening that it gave Snickerdoodles a whole new importance to me. I didn’t have a fancy mixer or many groceries, my kitchen was basically a hallway, but I had an apartment full of friends enjoying something we’d baked together. 🙂

At least some of the folks I made the ‘doodles for.
Bef, Bert, Me and Goo 🙂

I included Snickerdoodles in my graphic design capstone project, a cookbook called “The Collegiate Kitchen Companion” with tips for young folks starting with their first dorm ‘kitchen’, going through apartment cooking, impressing their significant other with a fancy dinner, and breaking in their first ‘real’ kitchen after graduation. It seemed fitting that this cookie would be part of the summation and proclamation of all I had learned and designed.

What you’ll need:

The streak of appreciation continued when Bill found out that I was a practitioner of the hidden Snickerdoodle arts. He’s a huge cinnamon fan, so of course he loves these soft, sweet cookies with their delicious cinnamon-sugar coating. I try to keep them as a bit of a special cookie since they’re so memory-full for me, but I’m always glad when the occasion calls for them.



  • 1½ cups flour
  • 1 teaspoon cream of tartar
  • ½ teaspoon baking soda
  • ¾ cup sugar
  • ½ butter, softened
  • 1 egg
  • ½ teaspoon vanilla extract
  • 1 teaspoon cinnamon
  • ⅛ cup sugar
  1. Preheat oven to 375° F.
  2. Combine flour, cream of tartar and baking soda in a medium bowl, set aside.
  3. Cream together butter and ¾ cup sugar until light and fluffy, 2-3 minutes. Add the egg, then the vanilla extract, and beat until well-combined.
  4. Reduce mixer speed to low, then slowly add the flour mixture. mix until a cohesive dough forms.
  5. Combine cinnamon and ⅛ cup sugar in a small bowl. Roll dough into 1-inch balls, then coat with the cinnamon-sugar mixture, and place on cookie sheet (about 1 inch apart).
  6. Bake cookies until they’re crinkled and set, about 12 minutes. Allow them to rest for 1-2 minutes before removing from the cookie sheet.


Lean and Savory: Potsticker Burgers with Asian Slaw

Lean and Savory: Potsticker Burgers with Asian Slaw

First of all, did you notice that I did a little redesigning around the ol’ bloggy? As you may or may not know, I’m a graphic designer in real life so I really enjoy futzing around with the look of Mancktastic! It’s certainly not a finalized design, but I hope you’re enjoying the fresh fonts and more reading area : )

Now, on to dinner! Who doesn’t love the delicious filling of a potsticker? Delicious pork, savory sauces, and the delightful crunch of vegetables, all in a nice little packet for you to enjoy. This dish takes all of the great taste of potstickers and makes them leaner (and meaner) by forming them into a patty atop a tasty, fresh Asian slaw! This way, you get the delicious flavors of potstickers and their yummy sauces without the added hassle and carbohydrates of the wrappers.


Potsticker Burgers are a cinch to throw together and customize for your family. While Bill and I use cabbage slaw in this yummy dinner, you could use coleslaw mix for a wider range of veggies and color. You could also use turkey or chicken in place of, or in addition to, the ground pork of the burgers.


Potsticker Burgers with Asian Slaw

  • 3 Tablespoons soy sauce
  • 3 Tablespoons rice vinegar
  • 1 Tablespoon water
  • ½ teaspoon sesame oil
  • ½ teaspoon garlic, minced
  • ½ teaspoon ginger, minced
  • 4 cups shredded cabbage
  • 1 pound ground pork
  • 1 egg
  • 2 Tablespoons soy sauce
  • 2 teaspoons garlic, minced
  • 1 teaspoon ginger, minced
  • 1 ½ cups shredded cabbage
  1. In a large bowl, mix together 3 Tablespoons soy sauce, rice wine vinegar, water, sesame oil, ½ teaspoon minced garlic, ½ teaspoon minced ginger and 4 cups shredded cabbage. Set this mixture aside.
  2. Heat a grill or grill pan over medium heat.
  3. Combine ground pork, egg, 2 Tablespoons soy sauce, 2 teaspoons minced garlic, 1 teaspoon minced ginger and 1½ cups shredded cabbage in a large bowl. Shape this mixture into 4 equal patties.
  4. Grill each patty for 4-5 minutes per side, or until pork is no longer pink in the middle.
  5. Divide the slaw among bowls, then top each with a burger.

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Click here to download a PDF of this recipe!

Based on a recipe from Iowa Girl Eats

Mini BL(S)T Couscous Cups!

Mini BL(S)T Couscous Cups!

I made these bacon-spinach-tomato couscous cups for dinner last night, and they were a hit! The recipe is based on Iowa Girl Eats Mini BLT Quinoa Cups, adapted to fit Manckwhite tastes and pantry contents. These little suckers are savory and delicious; they take a little work between frying bacon, making couscous and baking the whole shebang, but I think they’re worth it : )

Also, make sure to check out the whole Iowa Girl Eats blog and recipe repertoire! She has wonderful healthy (and not so healthy) recipes that are easy to make, adapt and enjoy. Kristin’s Friday Favorites are a great resource for food, travel and fashion eye candy, too.

Mini BLT Couscous Cups (makes 30 mini cups)

  • 1 box couscous mix (we got ours from HEB), prepared to box directions
  • 2 eggs
  • 3 egg whites
  • 1/2 cup frozen chopped spinach, thawed and squeezed completely dry
  • 1 cup shredded cheddar cheese
  • 6-8 slices of bacon
  • 1/2 cup quartered cherry tomatoes
  • 2 Tablespoons grated parmesan cheese
  1. Preheat oven to 350 degrees.
  2. Prepare couscous to box directions and set aside.
  3. Fry or bake bacon until very crispy. Crumble into bits and set aside.
  4. Combine eggs, egg whites, spinach, cheeses, bacon, and tomatoes in a large bowl. Add couscous and stir well to combine.
  5. Spray 2 mini-muffin tins with nonstick spray, then fill each cup to the top with the mixture, smoothing the top with the back of a spoon.
  6. Bake for 15-17 minutes, or until golden brown on top.
  7. Let cool 5 minutes, then pop out with a butter knife. Cool completely on a cooling rack. Store in the refrigerator, or freeze then reheat by microwaving for 30 seconds.


The combination of eggs,cheese and bacon makes the taste of these cups is a little quiche-y, which means they are great for brunch OR dinner. I’m having our leftovers for lunch today (and probably tomorrow as well).

Download a PDF of this recipe!