April 26, 2012

Peanut Butter and Jelly Streusel Muffins

Peanut Butter and Jelly Streusel Muffins

I’ve been making an effort to eat breakfast every morning. This is pretty difficult for several reasons: I’m not a morning person and even pouring a bowl of cereal can be too much to handle some days. Also, I’m just not very hungry in the mornings. A cup of coffee is more than enough to fill me up. For these reasons I have to cheat by making myself a “dessert” in the mornings. Basically, something that’s so good, I can’t pass it up. Since they can be made ahead of time, muffins are usually my go-to treat. I’ve made a lot of muffins in my time and they usually fall under delicious but unhealthy or healthy but dry and/or boring. With these peanut butter muffins I feel like I finally found the perfect compromise of healthy but still delicious.

These muffins are packed to gills with nutritious ingredients. They’re made with whole wheat flour and oats and they don’t have any processed sugar (though if you don’t have maple sugar you can use white sugar instead). The recipe doesn’t contain eggs, so the muffins can be made dairy-free with soy …

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September 27, 2012

Mexican Chocolate Pound Cake with Dulce De Leche

Mexican Chocolate Pound Cake

I know last week I was all about being healthy, but this week…well, sometimes you just need chocolate! This is my go-to recipe for such times. This is my “It’s Saturday night and I need something sweet and chocolatey or I’m gonna lose it” cake. Since time is of the essence in these situations, this recipe is perfect because it’s so easy. It only takes about 15 minutes to whip up and 30 minutes to bake. Plus there’s none of that “let it cool completely” nonsense. It tastes just as good warm from the oven than it does at room temperature the next day.

A little cinnamon and coffee are added to this chocolate pound cake to give it a nice kick. Since it’s so moist and flavorful on it’s own you don’t really need frosting. That said, if you wanted to slather a slice with some Dulce de Leche, Caramel Sauce or Nutella you would not be wrong. I’ve tried this cake with all three and It. Is. Awesome. Nutella is my usual choice since I can just pull it out …

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August 1, 2008

Classic Pot Roast

Pot Roast

I just rediscovered pot roast and I really like it. See what happened was, at some point in my childhood I decided I didn’t like beef. I don’t know why. There’s no rhyme or reason when you’re a kid, you just decide things like that. I wasn’t a vegetarian and it’s not like I never ate beef (I’d never turn down a hamburger), but I just refused to eat most dishes made with beef.

Slowly, I’ve been adding more beef back into my life. I like steak and I use ground beef for a lot of dishes. When I saw this recipe, it made me remember that my mom used to make Pot Roast all the time and I liked it. So why did I stop eating it? I guess maybe I thought it would be too complicated to make, but it’s really not. It’s quite easy to put together and then you just let it cook for a few hours. My mom made hers in a crockpot; I don’t have one, but it seems just as easy on the stove. I guess Pot Roast …

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October 19, 2011

Apple Pie Cream Cheese Muffins

Apple Pie Cream Cheese Muffins

Recipe inspiration can come from some funny places. I decided to make these muffins after buying some cute red cupcake liners from Target. I just knew I had to put something with apple in them (and it helped that I had basket full of apples waiting for me at home). I promise I’ll move on to something else besides apples after this, but I had to share this recipe because I was so happy with how these muffins turned out.

It’s a little hard to tell from the pictures what exactly these muffins are since many of the components are a similar color, so let me just describe it for you: it all starts with a graham cracker crust on the bottom (like a little pie!), the muffin is a spiced applesauce cake with a cinnamon cream cheese center and it’s all topped with caramelized apples. Basically, I was torn between making a pie or cake, so I decided to combine them!

July 14, 2008

Easy Enchiladas

Simmer

Mexican and Italian are my favorite kinds of food. While I have a pretty good handle on cooking Italian food, I’ve always thought Mexican food to be beyond my reach. Until I found this recipe. Now, if you are looking for totally authentic Mexican food, then you need to be going to your nearest Mexican restaurant, because this recipe won’t be anywhere near as good as the food you get from there. But this recipe is easy and relatively low fat and despite those things it still very much fulfills my Mexican food cravings. It’s gotten to be a staple in my house and whereas we used to go out for Mexican regularly, we’re now more likely to stay in and have this instead, which is definitely better for our bank account and our diets.

October 25, 2012

Apple, Pear & Quince Brown Betty

Apple, Pear & Quince Brown Betty

You know that saying, “An apple a day keeps the doctor away?” Of course you do, everyone does, but I wonder how many people actually eat an apple every day? After eating poorly and—not surprisingly—feeling crappy all summer I’ve been making an effort to get my diet back on track and eating an apple every day was the first thing I decided to do. But not just apples, I’ve been making sure I have at least one fruit or vegetable with every meal. That includes dessert, too, which is where this wonderful Brown Betty comes in.

A Brown Betty is a dessert that’s similar to a crisp but instead of just having the awesome streusel-y part on the top you get several layers of it. Crisps are already one of my favorite desserts so a layered version is even better! Like a crisp, a brown betty is very simple and doesn’t take long to make. I’ve seen lots of variations but generally they consist of fruit and some kind of bread or cookie crumbs. I was inspired by …

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September 14, 2010

Pumpkin-Cinnamon Streusel Buns

Pumpkin-Cinnamon Streusal Buns

So I know the actual first day of Fall isn’t for a few weeks, but as far as I’m concerned Labor Day is the end of summer. After that it’s Fall. Even when it’s still 90 degrees outside. A year ago Brandon had just gotten a job here and we were preparing to make the move from Florida to Virginia. I cannot tell you how much happier I am in Virginia and the main reason for that is because of Fall (and Winter, Spring and even Summer). There are actual seasons here! Maybe I’m strange for being so affected by the weather, but I found the static-ness of Florida’s temperature and landscape to be utterly depressing (I probably would’ve felt differently if we had lived closer to the ocean, which I love, but unfortunately we were right in the middle of the state). Since I wasn’t here this time last year it’s nice to go out and see the beginnings of Fall; leaves are already starting to change color and fall off. In short, I’m really excited about Fall. Probably more excited than …

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November 6, 2009

Tandoori Chicken Tenders

Tandoori Chicken Tenders

I’m always looking for new and interesting things to do with chicken. For years, practically the only thing I cooked was chicken with some lemon pepper on it. As you can imagine, I have no desire to make (or eat) boring lemon pepper chicken anymore. So when I saw this recipe, I definitely wanted to try it and I’m glad I did because I know this is going to be a new staple in our house. It’s really easy and fast to make. It’s low fat and it results in a moist, tender and flavorful chicken. That’s everything I could ever want in a dinner.

The initial recipe says to use chicken breasts, but the second time I made these I only had tenderloins and I thought they were still really good (and even faster to make because the cooking time is only about 12 minutes). If you have picky kids that would look at yellow chicken in disgust, making tenderloins instead might make them a bit more palatable.

I was initially worried that it would taste too ginger-y, but it really didn’t. In fact, I thought the flavor was pretty tame. So in my second attempt I added some more spices and flavors that I found from similar chicken recipes, which helped amp up the flavor. Also, this recipe benefits from some marinating to make the flavors even deeper, but if you don’t have the time, it still tastes great.

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