Hello all and happy mid-summer! I’m back from two weeks in northern New England – first in coastal Maine, and then lakeside in Western Maine. Super relaxing with bits of fun here and there fit in.

A hike up Bald Rock Trail in Camden, Maine led to some beautiful views:
Bald Rock Mountain -- Juggling With JuliaLater in the week, the stars aligned and all five of us got out in kayaks for a turn around Highland Lake (and I believe this is my husband’s first ever selfie. Well done, honey!)
Kayaking on Highland Lake -- Juggling With JuliaNow we’re back home and enjoying summertime fun with the pool, and plenty of friends and family. Of all the visitors we’ve had so far, just one has been unwelcome – Lyme disease. Woe was me. While I  didn’t intend to set aside the blog these past few weeks, the need to take it easy prevailed. I still can’t decide whether it was the disease, or the treatment, that had me more down-and-out. All I can say is being unwell is THE PITS. However, I’m happy to report I’m back in top form and will soon enough be back to taking my good health for granted LOL :)

Whole Grain Peanut Butter and Jelly Muffins -- Juggling With Julia Whole Grain Peanut Butter and Jelly Muffins -- Juggling With JuliaToday I’m sharing one of the few new recipes I played around with during those dark times :) Baking always makes me happier, and PB&J is definitely a comfort food! So, with a fantastic homemade jelly on hand from my mother-in-law’s pantry, I went old school with whole grain peanut butter and jelly muffins.

I made these twice, fiddling with the amounts of whole wheat flour and sugar after the first batch seemed more like a peanut butter ‘biscuit’ than a muffin (I still liked them a lot. The minions – not so much). In the second batch I substituted half the whole wheat flour for all-purpose flour, and boosted up the brown sugar by a couple of tablespoons. Sweeter, lighter, and consumed with gusto by all. Sweet success!

Recipe notes:
* I used natural peanut butter. If you’re using conventional peanut butter (i.e., Skippy), the final product will be sweeter than my version, which was mildly sweet.
*Our favorite jelly is a spiced strawberry, but absolutely any kind will work here.
* I baked at 425 degrees Fahrenheit for 5 minutes, then turned down the oven to 350 degrees for the remainder of the cooking time. I believe this makes the muffins ‘puff up’ more and makes a nice dome.
* I used about 2 teaspoons of jelly per muffin, then added a dollop of batter on top of the jelly. This is not mandatory, but I do believe it helps keep the jelly in place while it’s baking.
Whole Grain Peanut Butter and Jelly Muffins -- Juggling With JuliaWhole Grain Peanut Butter and Jelly Muffins
Makes 10-12

Prep time: 15 minutes     Bake time: 15-18 minutes

1 cup whole wheat flour
1 cup all-purpose flour
1/4 cup plus 2 tablespoons brown sugar (packed)
2 and 1/2 teaspoons baking powder
1/2 teaspoon salt
1 egg, beaten
2/3 cup natural peanut butter
1 cup non fat milk
2 tablespoons butter, melted
Jam or jelly (any flavor), enough for 2 teaspoons per muffin
Nonstick spray

Preheat the oven to 425 degrees Fahrenheit. Prepare a 12-cup muffin tin with nonstick spray.

In a medium bowl, stir together the flours, brown sugar, baking powder, and salt. In a separate bowl, combine the egg, peanut butter, milk, and melted butter. Add that mixture all at once into the flour mixture, and stir just until all the dry ingredients are incorporated.

Fill each muffin cup about 2/3 full. (Make sure you set aside a little bit of batter to add on top of each muffin after you add the jelly.) Make a small well in the center of each muffin, and add about 2 teaspoons of jelly. Top each muffin with a dollop of batter.

Bake at 425 for 5 minutes, then (without opening the oven door), lower the temperature to 350 degrees. Continue baking an additional 10-13 minutes. The muffins are done when a toothpick inserted in the center comes out clean.





Coffee on the Porch

by Julia Robarts on July 5, 2015

in Food tours, Healthy Lifestyle, Travel

Coffee on the Porch visit -- Juggling With JuliaI swoon at the smell of freshly brewing coffee. I love to put my face right into a bag of freshly roasted beans and breathe it in. I love coffee ice cream, mocha drinks (like my beloved-yet-expensive ‘adult chocolate milk’ at Starbucks), and meat rubs with robust  coffee flavors (like my favorite barbecued pork tenderloin recipe).

And, yet, I’ve been just an occasional coffee drinker most of my adult life.

Last week, however, was a game changer. We were treated to a visit with our favorite coffee roasters, Dan and Judy, of  Coffee on the Porch – Camden, Maine. (Alright, fine, I don’t know any other roasters. They’re still my faves :))

If you know me at all, you know I love a good food tour, whether it’s learning about beer production, maple syrup making, or raising dairy cows. This was so much more, as Dan and Judy welcomed us into their home like old friends. Over delicious cups of freshly roasted and brewed coffee (two of their varieties – Blueberry Mountain and Antigua Express), we gabbed about our families, our jobs, coffee drinking, and eventually their business. Then, they took us on a little tour of their operation.

First stop, the roasting area…Coffee on the Porch visit -- Juggling With Julia
…the storage and packing areas…
Coffee on the Porch visit -- Juggling With JuliaCoffee on the Porch visit -- Juggling With Julia…and their merchandising space…
Coffee on the Porch - Juggling With JuliaDan even gave us a demonstration, roasting a batch of beans just for us. Our minivan has smelled deliciously of dark, rich Costa Rican coffee ever since.

We had a great morning visiting the Coffee on the Porch – Camden, Maine headquarters. If you are a coffee-lover, check out their many varieties, and definitely check out their Facebook page, where Dan often posts what roast he is drinking that day, along with gorgeous pics of their coastal Maine area.


Coffee on the Porch visit -- Juggling With JuliaCoffee on the Porch visit -- Juggling With Julia Coffee on the Porch visit -- Juggling With Julia



Brown Rice and Edamame Salad with Lime Vinaigrette

June 24, 2015 Salads/Sides
Brown Rice and Edamame with Lime Vinaigrette -- Juggling With Julia

Hello, friends, and I apologize for the 6-week hiatus! I will not bore you with the details of the exciting life I lead, which has repeatedly pulled me away from the kitchen (and, therefore, the blog). Suffice it to say that the final weeks of school have me on the run. If you don’t live […]

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Lemony Hummus Dressing on Chopped Salad

May 10, 2015 Salads/Sides
Lemony Hummus Dressing on Chopped Salad -- Juggling With Julia

Happy Mother’s Day to all you fantastic mums out there!! I hope you had as wonderful a day as I did, with all the things and people you love. Maybe it was special time with your own mom or other special women in your life. A fun day with your kids — or without your kids :)  A delicious meal at […]

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Oatmeal Butternut Pancakes with Browned Buttered Nuts

May 6, 2015 Breakfast/Brunch
Photo courtesy Meal Makeover Moms

Photo courtesy of Meal Makeover Moms Oatmeal Butternut Pancakes with Browned Buttered Nuts. Goat cheese and real maple syrup. Such a dreamy, creamy, flavorful way to eat pancakes. For sure, I never would have thought to put all these ingredients together on my own. Who was the genius, then, behind this stack of stupendousness? Maria […]

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Maple Blueberry Overnight Oats (and all about Maple Sugaring)

April 12, 2015 Breakfast/Brunch
Maple Blueberry Overnight Oats -- Juggling With Julia

Maple Blueberry Overnight Oats – a sweet and easy breakfast treat reminiscent of Swiss muesli — is brought to you thanks to my husband’s new-found interest in the maple syrup industry. After reading up on New England maple sugaring practices, he decided we ought to tour a local operation. Though it’s hard for a lifelong […]

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7 Quick and Healthy Recipes for Busy People

March 29, 2015 Chili/Soup/Stew
7 Quick & Healthy Recipes for Busy People -- Juggling With Julia

If ‘busy’  is a disease, then I’ve got it bad. I try not to overload our lives. (Really, I do.) But it seems that the minute I push one low priority ‘thing’ to the curb, another more obviously important priority shows up at the door. With luggage. I know you get it. We’re ALL busy! […]

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Whole Grain Irish Soda Bread

March 22, 2015 Breads/Quick Breads
Whole Grain Irish Soda Bread -- Juggling With Julia

So excited to share this easy, yummy Whole Grain Irish Soda Bread recipe with you today! I’ve made it twice in the past week (once with raisins, once without). It’s a fantastic recipe that requires no special talents and appears hard to foul up. That’s the hallmark of a great recipe, if you ask me […]

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How One Little Cheese Slice Rocked the Nutrition World

March 18, 2015 Hobbies
Repeal the Seal

Did you hear the story of how one little, bitty ‘cheese’ slice crumbled the credibility of a nutrition organization 75,000 dietitians strong? No? Well, I’m going to tell you and then I’m going to ask you to sign this petition which aims to get this whole mess fixed up. In case you haven’t heard about […]

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Coconut Banana Bread with Nutella Swirl

March 12, 2015 Breads/Quick Breads
Coconut Banana Bread with Nutella Swirl - Juggling With Julia

My favorite banana bread recipe, a sweet, delicate loaf with the tiniest bit of a crisp on the edges, just got an upgrade. Coconut flakes add a hint of coconut flavor, and the Nutella swirl – well, really, there’s no need to explain the echelon of excellence that brings. If this banana bread was your […]

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