just a smidgen

Sweet Potato ‘n Five~Spice Muffins

5 Star  fg3

The thing about the lake..

 Mabel 9

is that you can stay there long enough that you know when it’s time to head back home

 and not drive your parents too crazy..

{ this is my Dad, Mom and cuz Marilee }

Dad, Mom and my cuz, Marilee xx

The signs are all there:

you’ve rested enough,

played enough,

My cuz on the paddleboard..

{ My cuz on the paddleboard. }

wandered through Farmer’s Markets and..

Mabel 7

{ Dad and Marilee }

Mabel Lake 1 

been lulled by the lake’s shoreline waves, just enough,

bumbled with the bees a bit..

Mabel Lake 4

Then hugged through and through and loved to bits..


Mom and my cuz

{ Mom and my cuz. }

enough to know you’ve been rejuvenated..

Mabel 3 

…and just enough that you know you’ll look forward to next year’s lake escape.

But next summer we just might have to rent our own cabin,
so we don’t keep my mom and dad up all night with our giggles!


This is a recipe from my favorite summer cookbook..

That will Make You

Despite optimistically holding the book cover up next to our faces to see if we glowed as much as Gwyneth Paltrow,
we’re still not convinced any recipe can live up to that promise.

But I can promise you these are yummy and you’ll probably FEEL GREAT after eating one.. or maybe two.. or three..

{ I suspect Gwyneth only eats one.. from what I can see, anyway. }

 Sweet Potato + Five-Spice Muffins

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I know, please don’t hold it against me..

but they will remind you of everything that’s wonderful about the fall..

 5 Star 7

with that prescient nip in the air,

the tuck of the napkin will bring..

5 Star  fg3

 cinnamon, nutmeg, and, well,

everything spicy autumn for you to the table.

5 Star 9 

So don’t hold it against me..
just make a batch and hold them against your lips instead..

They’re just a wee flirty kiss of fall on your lips before the summer’s end.

5 Spice 3


Sweet Potato ‘n Five~Spice Muffins
Cook time
Total time
  • 1 large sweet potato
  • 1/2 cup extra virgin olive oil
  • 1/2 cup unsweetened almond milk
  • 3/4 cup good-quality maple syrup or xylitol, plus 2 extra tablespoons for brushing the muffins
  • 1 teaspoon pure vanilla extract
  • 2 cups gluten-free flour (if the flour doesn’t include xanthan gum, add 1 teaspoon)
  • 2 teaspoons baking powder
  • 2 teaspoons baking soda
  • 1 1/2 tablespoons Chinese five-spice powder
  • 1/2 teaspoon fine sea salt
  1. Preheat the oven to 400°F. Prick the sweet potato a few times with a paring knife or fork. Bake until soft (when a paring knife can cut through with zero resistance), about 1 hour. Set the sweet potato aside until it’s completely cool.
  2. Peel the sweet potato, discard the skin and mash the flesh in a mixing bowl with a fork. Whisk the olive oil, almond milk, maple syrup or xylitol, and vanilla into the sweet potato. In a separate bowl, whisk together the flour, baking powder, baking soda, five-spice powder and salt. Fold the dry ingredients into the wet ingredients.
  3. Line a 12-cup muffin tin with paper or silpat liners and evenly distribute the muffin batter among the cups.
  4. Bake at 400°F for 20 to 25 minutes, or until a toothpick comes out clean, brushing the tops with extra maple syrup during the last 5 minutes of baking. Let the muffins cool before serving.

Here's the thing, make your sweet potatoes for dinner the night before and use one that's leftover.. it will save you time.
Also, I experimented with a new gluten-free flour called Cup4Cup. It's an outstanding product that works just like flour and doesn't require any additional ingredients. However, I found the cost quite prohibitive, $20-25 for one small bag!
I used maple syrup, not xylitol and I used 1% milk instead of almond milk with excellent results.
I have a hot convection oven so mine were baked at 375C.

By Gwyneth Paltrow
Adapted from It's All Good


I’ve so much catching up to do.. I’ll swing round to see you all this weekend!!

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