posts may contain Amazon affiliate links, which earn me a small commission when you buy (but doesn't cost you anything extra). Occasionally I receive free products and/or run sponsored posts—this will always be stated clearly in the post. Thank you for supporting this blog.

This website contains some quotations, excerpts, and screen clips from copyrighted material. These uses fall well within the copyright doctrine of "Fair Use".
Monday, February 6, 2017

Apple Cinnamon Stuffing Muffins | Lift And Separate

Apple Cinnamon Stuffing Muffins
Apple Cinnamon Stuffing Muffins
Welcome to the TLC Book Tours stop for the first novel by Marilyn Simon Rothstein, Lift And Separate! With a title like "Lift And Separate" and a cover filled with bras, you might guess that this book contains a bit of humor—you'd be correct! The story is actually a look into the life of 50-something Marcy Hammer, whose husband of 33 years seems to be going through a mid-life crisis, in the worst way possible.

Harvey Hammer is in the (family) business of bras, and can correctly guess any woman he meets bra size at a glance. As if that weren't uncomfortable enough, he cheats on his wife and mother of his three grown children with a fitting model.

Although she's great at the non-profit work she does, she feels like her whole world is crumbling...she loves being a mother, and she loves being Harvey's wife. She talks herself into working through the pain, and makes a plan to forgive Harvey and take him back. That all changes when they find out that the fitting model is pregnant.
Apple Cinnamon Stuffing Muffins
In the midst of all that's going on, Marcy's mother falls from a step stool and breaks both of her ankles. While in the hospital, tests also reveal that her mom has cancer. At the hospital, Marcy becomes friends with Candy, who is there visiting her dad. The two bond instantly and become fast friends, but that friendship is challenged when the most unlikely of things not only connects the two women, but divides them.

With the help of her long-time best friend Dana, a ton of food (seriously, this novel is a food-lovers dream), and even more humor, Marcy makes it through the mess. Not only is she is able to reconnect with that Marcy that she was before she met Harvey so many years ago, before she was a mom, before she was in her late-fifties, she's also able to use the shit storm around her as a new beginning.

I really, really enjoyed this book. I think that any woman who has been married for a good amount of years and has braved that crazy thing we call marriage (intact, or not) will appreciate it. Oh, and as I mentioned, it's packed to the gills with food, and while I don't think it was meant to be a "foodie novel", it could definitely be considered one.
Apple Cinnamon Stuffing Muffins inspired by Lift And Separate
I considered a whole bunch of recipes to make that would represent Lift And Separate, but in the end, chose one that represented home and comfort to Marcy, her mom's cinnamon-apple stuffing.

"What did I know? And what did he know? He knew brassieres. Move into the house and invite your friends. I'll bring my cinnamon-apple stuffing and a nice roasted turkey."

Now, I contemplated whether the stuffing was bread stuffing or an actual chunky cinnamon-spiced chunky fruit type of dish, but wound up going with the bread variety. I mean, she served it with a roasted turkey. And while I wasn't feeling up to roasting an entire turkey again so soon after the holidays, I did make a couple of turkey tenderloins to go along with the stuffing. And since I scaled the turkey down, I also scaled the stuffing down into portion-sized stuffing muffins.

You can definitely put this in a small dish, or actually stuff something with it, but I love the way that eat portion gets a golden, crisp outside with a soft center when you cook stuffing/dressing in a muffin tin. Pure comfort food.

Lift And Separate

Lift And Separate

author: Marilyn Simon Rothstein
publisher: Lake Union Publishing (December 1, 2016)
genre: Literature & Fiction, Women's Fiction, Romance, Romantic Comedy

soft cover:304 pages

"foodie" read: Not officially, but I'd still say yes because there is a TON of food on the pages.

opening sentence: Three days after my husband left me, I stood in the master bathroom with my best friend, Dana.

teaser: Marcy Hammer’s life has been turned upside down. Her husband, the head of a global brassiere empire, didn’t think twice about leaving her after thirty-three years of marriage for a 32DD lingerie model. Now Harvey the Home-Wrecker is missing in action, but Marcy’s through thinking about what a cliché he is. What she needs now is a party-size bag of potato chips, a good support system, and a new dress.

Striking out on her own is difficult at first, but Marcy manages to find traces of humor in her heartbreak. Even while devastated by Harvey’s departure, she still has her indomitable spirit and her self-respect. She has no intention of falling apart, either, even when her adult children drop a few bombshells of their own and she discovers a secret about her new, once-in-a-lifetime friend. Life may be full of setbacks, but by lifting herself up by her own lacy straps, Marcy just may be able to handle them all.

about the author: For more than twenty-five years, Marilyn Simon Rothstein owned an advertising agency in Connecticut. She grew up in New York City, earned a degree in journalism from New York University, began her writing career at Seventeen magazine, and married a man she met in an elevator.
Marilyn Simon Rothstein

Lift And Separate is her debut novel.

recipe inspired by the book: Apple Cinnamon Stuffing Muffins

I received a complimentary copy of this book in exchange for my honest review.

yield: serves 6print recipe
Apple Cinnamon Stuffing Muffins

Apple Cinnamon Stuffing Muffins

prep time: 20 MINScook time: 30 MINStotal time: 50 mins
Individual servings of stuffing (aka "stuffins") are great for portion control or small holiday gatherings! This can also be made in a large pan or stuffed inside a bird or pork.


  • 4 ounces whole grain seeded bread
  • 1/4 cup amaretto (or turkey stock)
  • 1/4 cup dried apples and yellow raisins (mixed)
  • 6 slices bacon
  • 3 tablespoons bacon grease, butter, or olive oil
  • 1 cup diced apple (~1 medium apple)
  • 1/2 cup diced onion
  • 1 teaspoon ground cinnamon
  • 1/4 cup almonds, toasted & chopped
  • 1 tablespoons pepitas, toasted
  • 2 tablespoons chopped fresh herbs (parsley, tarragon, chives, sage, thyme, etc)
  • 1/2 teaspoon ground white pepper
  • 1 cup turkey stock (or chicken stock/broth)
  • 1 large egg, lightly beaten


  1. Cut the bread into 1/2-inch cubes (you should have about 4 cups). Lay them out on a baking sheet overnight to dry out, or put into a 275° F oven to dry for about 25 minutes, shaking and stirring a couple of times.
  2. Place dried apples, yellow raisins, and amaretto in a small bowl and microwave for 30 seconds. Let sit while you prepare everything else.
  3. Chop the bacon and cook it in a small skillet until just crisp. Lift out and set on a paper towel-lined plate. Discard all but 3 tablespoons of the bacon fat from the skillet.
  4. Set the skillet back over medium heat (you can use butter or oil here if you're using leftover bacon). Add the apple and onions, saute until just tender, ~5 minutes. Stir in cinnamon and cook for 30 seconds longer; remove from heat
  5. Preheat oven to 325° F.
  6. Lift the plumped fruit out of the amaretto (no need to squeeze - discard the remaining amaretto in your mouth) and combine with bread cubes, apple and onion mixture, bacon, almonds, pepitas, herbs and white pepper in a large bowl. Gently toss with the broth and the egg. Season with salt (use less to none if you used bacon grease).
  7. Apple Cinnamon Stuffing ready to bake into muffins
  8. Grease 6 compartments of a muffin tin with some softened butter and divide stuffing mixture evenly among them (It's possible you'll get 7, depending on the size of your muffin tin). Slide into oven and bake until golden and crusty on the outside, ~30 minutes (the inside will be soft and moist).
  9. As soon as the stuffins come out of the oven, run a thin-bladed knife around the edges. Use a large spoon to help you pull them out in one piece. Serve warm alongside roast turkey, chicken, or pork.
  1. This recipe doubles easily to serve 12.
  2. Don't want to make individual portions? No problem! Simply butter a small baking dish and add the mixture to it. Bake for about 45 minutes, or until golden and crusty on the top and edges.
  3. You can also stuff this into a turkey, chicken, or other bird, or stuff a pork loin with it. Be sure that the temperature inside (measured with an instant-read thermometer), reaches at least the temperature that the meat you are cooking is supposed to reach.
Created using The Recipes Generator

If these sound good, you might also want to check out these Multi-Grain Bread, Pecan, and Dried Fruit Stuffins. They go well alongside turkey and one (or more) of these side dishes: Brown Butter Garam Masala Mashed Sweet Potatoes, Roasted Spiced Applesauce, Creamed Pearl Onions w/ Bacon and Brandy, or Spiced Red Wine Cranberry Sauce. Or check out more delicious Thanksgiving recipe ideas!

Did you enjoy this? Receive new posts in your inbox!

Click here to sign up for to have new posts delivered straight to your inbox.

Did you make my recipe or try something that I recommended?

I want to hear about it! Please let me know by snapping a photo and sharing it on my Facebook page or upload it and tag me on Twitter or Instagram using hashtag #allroadsleadtothekitchen in the caption (I will only be able to see it if your account is public).

Comment Policy

I love getting comments! If you have a question about a recipe, an article, or a recommendation, please leave a comment below the individual post. I read all of the comments and will make every effort to respond in a timely manner to your questions. Spam will be removed.