Monday, September 12, 2011

Colorado, Muffins, and Rocks....

View from Imogene Pass
Haunted House on Imogene Pass
A few weeks ago I had the opportunity to visit my sister in Grand Junction, Colorado. During my trip, we visited Ouray, a small tourist town set at the base of the majestic Rocky Mountains. We traveled on four-wheelers across Imogene Pass and visited many of the abandoned mines in the area. We took a few moments to collect pyrite and quartz in the old tailing piles and we hiked to a waterfall or two. The ride was amazing and terrifying all at the same time. The road climbed above 13000 feet and the area was unbelievably rugged. We stopped to view many amazing sights and even passed a haunted house or two. Most importantly, I was able to spend some much needed time with my dad and my sister. of my most memorable hours on that trip was a visit to a local bakery near Clifton, Colorado. This little shop sold the most AMAZING muffins I have ever had the pleasure of eating. They served decadent flavors such as Boston cream pie, key lime pie, New York cheesecake  and chocolate cheesecake. My favorite was the Cinnamon cheesecake. I ate muffins until I was ill, but I enjoyed every minute of it. Since then I have been busy attempting to create my own Cinnamon Cheesecake muffins and after several failed attempts and an oven fire, I have finally perfected the recipe. Best of's EASY!! Those of you who know me understand that I am a cook of little consequence and any short cuts I can take....I take! Here it doesn't nearly compare to the bakery, but it's a pretty close replica....
Flowers along Imogene Pass


1 box of Betty Crocker Cinnamon Streusel Muffin and Quick Bread Mix
12 cupcake liners
3/4 Cup Milk
1/4 Cup Vegetable Oil
2 Eggs

1 8oz package Cream Cheese
1 tsp Vanilla
1/4 Cup Sugar
2 TB Sour Cream

Directions: Pre-heat oven to 425 degrees

1. Follow instructions on the box and prepare muffin batter.
2. Set Cinnamon Streusel topping aside
3. Beat Cream Cheese, Vanilla, Sugar, and Sour Cream until fluffy
4. Prepare muffin pan (makes 12) with liners
5. Using an ice cream scoop, place muffin batter in muffin cups
6. Spoon 1 to 2 TBS cream cheese mixture into the middle of each batter-filled cup (the mixture will be thick)
7. Sprinkle Streusel crumb topping on top of each muffin
8. Bake in oven for 16-21 minutes
9. Let cool and enjoy
* Keep left overs refrigerated
*Written by Mandi Slack, Author of The Alias...available on Amazon kindle for $3.99 or a bookstore near you.

Imogene Pass

Water Fall on Imogene Pass

Old mining ruins along Imogene Pass

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