Heart’s Desire


Rich & moist, chocolate banana muffins with dried cherries and bittersweet chocolate.

Heart’s Desire Muffins

Makes 5

3/4 c. all-purpose flour

1/2 c. granulated white sugar

1/4 c. natural cocoa

1 1/4 t. baking powder

1 t. ground cinnamon

1/4 t. baking soda

3/4 c. mashed overripe banana

1/4 c. unsalted butter, melted

1/4 c. buttermilk

1/2 c. dried cherries

1 1/2 oz. fine bittersweet chocolate, broken into small pieces

2 T. confectioner’s sugar, stirred together with a pinch of cinnamon.

Cinnamon gumdrops, optional, or desired garnish

Paper heart-shaped muffin molds*

  1. Preheat oven to 400 degrees F.
  2. In a large bowl, whisk together flour, granulated sugar, cocoa, baking powder, cinnamon and baking soda. Set aside.
  3. In a medium bowl, beat together banana, butter, and buttermilk.
  4. Stir wet ingredients into dry ingredients until no dry spots show. Fold in cherries and broken chocolate.
  5. Spoon batter into muffin molds. Smooth tops with the back of a spoon.
  6. Bake for about 22 minutes or until muffins are firm to the touch.
  7. Sift confectioner’s sugar blend over muffins. Garnish, if desired. Serve (either in paper molds or removed from them.)
  • Available through Wilton and speciality baking supply companies.


May your heart be full  of happiness this Valentine’s Day!


Gallery Page

In honor of Valentine’s Day, I just published a gallery of photos from some of the weddings that we have had the honor of hosting at The Morning Star. Unfortunately, I don’t have photos from all of the weddings, but I hope that you enjoy the images that we do have. Since most of our weddings are garden weddings, the gallery includes lots of garden photos.


Valentines’ Mocha

A special after-dinner coffee made with dark chocolate and chocolate vodka. Don’t forget to dip your strawberry in the whipped cream before drinking! Happy Valentine’s Day!


Valentines’ Mocha (serves 2)

1 c. fresh-brewed, good decaf coffee

1 oz. dark chocolate

1 oz. chocolate vodka

1 T. dark brown sugar

1/4 c. heavy cream

2 large, ripe strawberries (cleaned and stemmed)

cinnamon sugar

1. Place coffee, chocolate, vodka and dark brown sugar in a small saucepan over medium heat. Stir occasionally until chocolate and brown sugar are melted and blended into the coffee.

2. Meanwhile, whip cream until it holds soft peaks.

3. Pour coffee into two glass coffee mugs. Garnish mugs with strawberries. Top with whipped cream and cinnamon sugar. Serve immediately. Enjoy!

Happy Valentine’s Day with Raspberry Muffins

We’ve been having Valentine’s Day themed breakfast specials all week long at The Morning Star. One of the items that I served this morning was Raspberry Buttermilk Muffins. We also had Nutella French Toast and Bagels with Fresh Strawberry Cream Cheese today in addition to our regular menu. It was a very festive breakfast this morning as it has been all week!

Valentine’s Raspberry Buttermilk Muffins

(makes 10 – 12)

2 c. all-purpose flour

1 c. granulated white sugar, plus extra for topping

1 T. baking powder

8 T. unsalted butter, melted

1 c. low fat buttermilk

2 large eggs

2 t. orange extract

2 c. frozen raspberries

(1) Preheat oven to 400 degrees F.  Prepare 12 standard muffin cups or 10 eight-ounce ramekins with butter and flour or baking spray.

(2) In a large bowl, whisk together flour, 1 c. sugar and baking powder. Set aside.

(3) Whisk together butter, buttermilk, eggs and orange extract. Stir mixture into dry ingredients. Fold in raspberries.

(4) Divide batter into prepared muffin cups or ramekins. Using the back of a spoon, shape each cup of batter into a light mound. Sprinkle batter with granulated white sugar. If using ramekins, place them on two baking sheets before putting in the oven. Bake muffins for 15 to 20 minutes or until done. Muffins are firm to the touch when done.

Enjoy! Happy Valentine’s Day!