Whole Wheat Chocolate Chip Banana Bread Muffins

I find that whenever I buy fresh fruit it never gets eaten and ends up in the garbage. When I stop buying fruit I get asked why I never buy it. UGH! Long behold I found myself making banana bread muffins with bananas that were too ripe to eat. It’s been a while since I baked and it was nice to have fresh muffins in the apartment to grab for breakfast or a snack.

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ingredients:

  • 2 cups whole wheat flour
  • 3/4 tsp baking soda
  • 1/2 tsp salt
  • 1 cup sugar
  • 1/4 cup butter, softened
  • 2 large eggs
  • 1 1/2 cups mashed ripe banana (about 3 bananas)
  • 1/3 cup light sour cream
  • 1 tsp vanilla extract
  • 1/2 cup semi sweet chocolate chips

directions:

Preheat oven to 350 degrees

In a large bowl, combine all ingredients together. Beat well with electric mixer. Side note: I’m not much of a baker and I don’t have patience to cream the butter and then sugar together and take all the correct steps mix the wet ingredients first and then add the dry ingredients slowly. I just dump everything into the bowl and mix. I am aware this is incorrect but to be honest, the muffins came out great. So… mix as you please!

Spoon the batter evenly into muffin tins. I like to fill the batter all the way to the top of each muffin tin to make big muffins!

Bake for 20-22 minutes or until the muffins are golden brown. You will know they are almost done when your kitchen starts to smell amazing.

Allow the muffins to cool for at least 10 minutes before enjoying.

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Dutch Apple Pie Recipe

It’s my favorite time of year… FALL!  I went apple picking over the weekend and got about 10lbs of apples. There’s something about going to the apple orchard and picking the apples yourself. It’s like a feeling of accomplishment. So, I went to the apple orchard, picked the apples with my own bare hands, and made 3 dutch apple pies. Talk about domestic! Actually, I had to do something to entertain myself while J was watching football alllllllll day on Sunday. He just can’t get enough. Right now, it’s all about his fantasy team. Woof.

My sister Samantha coincidentally went apple picking as well so we combined our apples to make the pies. We were like a little tag team. Samantha peeled the apples and I chopped them. We had a little assembly line going. Thank goodness for Samantha because making an apple pie is a lot of work. I don’t know what I would have done without her! Our Mom gave us her recipe for dutch apple pie and the recipe itself is pretty simple. The only annoying part is preparing the apples. P.S. This is my Mom’s recipe, thanks Mom!

 Dutch Apple Pie

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For the crust:

The apples are difficult enough. I purchased pre-made pie crust from the refrigerated section of the grocery store. I used Pillsbury pie crust that comes in a long red box. All you need to do is unroll the crust, mold it to your pie pan, and poke small holes with a fork throughout the pie crust.

IMG_8517 Bake at 350 degrees for 10-12 minutes.

For the filling:

25 apples cored and chopped

2 tbsp flour

3/4 cup sugar

1 tsp cinnamon

Peel, core, and chop the apples into 1/2-1 inch pieces. Sprinkle lemon juice over the chopped apples so they don’t turn brown. Put the chopped apples into a pot and boil for 10-12 minutes until tender. Drain well and transfer into a mixing bowl. Add the flour, sugar, and cinnamon to the apples. Gently mix together making sure the apples are fully coated. Don’t mix too much or the apples will become soggy. Pour the apples into the cooked pie crust.

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For the topping:

2/3 cup flour

1/3 cup butter

1/2 brown sugar

Combine the flour and brown sugar. Cut the butter into small pieces and add to the flour and sugar mixture. With clean hands, mix the butter into the mixture so the butter looks like small peas.

IMG_8518 Sprinkle over the apple mixture.

Bake at 350 degrees for 1 hour. Put a baking sheet underneath so the pie doesn’t make a mess in the oven.

Serve warm with a scoop of vanilla ice cream. YUM!!!!!!!

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Trim Healthy Pancakes

These pancakes are a miracle. I am such a breakfast person and I freakin love pancakes. When I was in jr high and high school my Dad would always make me pancakes on the weekends (with chocolate chips, obvi) until I eventually learned how to handle the griddle on my own. My friend passed along this recipe and I was so excited to try it on Sunday morning when I woke up CRAVING pancakes. These seriously taste like IHOP. I still can’t believe they’re healthy and so easy to make.

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Trim Healthy Pancakes

ingredients:

  • 1 cup organic rolled oats (not instant, quick or steel cut)
  • 1 cup egg whites (I buy organic egg whites in the carton. Whole Foods sell them for the cheapest, but any kind will do)
  • 1 cup low fat or full fat cottage cheese
  • 2 teaspoons non-aluminum baking powder
  • pinch of good healthy sea salt 
  • splash of vanilla extract
  • optional: a small amount of  sweetener (I use a bit of stevia. 

directions:

  • Place oats in a blender and blend until it becomes a powdery flour
  • add the egg whites, cottage cheese, baking powder and rest of ingredients
  • Blend until it becomes a batter

cakesIf you have an electric griddle, heat to medium heat, or use a non stick frying pan. I use a good quality unrefined organic coconut oil (so good for you!) to coat the pan. Pour the batter into whatever size pancakes you want.

I put bananas inside mine and sprinkled them with chocolate chips when they were still hot so they got all gooey and melty. YUM!

Tip: When I make pancakes I add the toppings to the while they are cooking on the griddle right before I flip them over. I don’t like to put them in the actual batter in case I want to make another kind. When they are finished I stack them on top of each other and put the chocolate chips in between each pancake so the heat makes them melt.

Grilled Shrimp Salad

I’ve been abusing my grill.
DSCN2869And I just can’t help myself. I love going to the grocery store and finding new/different things I can sizzle on the grill. I got to a point where I thought I could grill anything, but that’s definitely not the case. I’ve been on a grilled salmon kick so I decided to go out of my comfort zone and grill some shrimp. I stopped by Plum Market yesterday in Old Town, which JUST opened. Obviously when a new grocery store opens I have to shop there immediately. Anyways, they had pre made shrimp skewers at the fish counter, so I got one with a garlic marinade and the other with a blackened spice rub. YUM!

During the week I like to use as many short cuts as possible to save me time in the kitchen. Taking advantage of pre made items always helps which is why I also stopped by the salad bar and got some cooked quinoa. When I got home all I needed to do was throw the shrimp and veggies on the grill and assemble the salad. This took me no longer than 20 minutes to make.

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Grilled Shrimp Salad with Quinoa

for the salad:

  • 4 cups arugula
  • 1 cup sliced pepeprs
  • 1/2 cup sliced onions
  • 1 cup cooked quinoa
  • 10 shrimp, threaded onto skewers (5 shrimp per skewer)

for the dressing: 

  • 1 tablespoon honey
  • 1 tablespoon digon mustard
  • juice of 1 lemon, divided
  • 2 tablespoons olive oil
  • salt & pepper to taste

Preheat grill to high heat, I use a gas grill but a grill pan works just as well. Coat grill rack with cooking spray. Grill shrimp 2 minutes on each side or until they are light pink in color. Remove shrimp from grill, set aside.

Coat peppers and onions with 1 tbsp olive oil, salt, & pepper. Place in a grill basket and grill until tender and lightly brown, about 8-10 minutes. If you don’t own a grill basket you can wrap the veggies in a foil pack and place on the grill.

Assemble the salad in layers starting with the arugula, then the quinoa, peppers & onions, and the shrimp last. You can remove the shrimp from the skewers if you would like, but I think it looks prettier to keep them on it. Optional: garnish with fresh chopped parsley.

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Arugula, Apple & Avocado Salad

aaa salad I like to call it triple A salad, it’s more fun that way. This was created on a whim when I was making dinner and needed something green. I turned to google and searched for arugula salad and found this recipe. I didin’t follow the recipe exactly, I just threw the ingredients in a bowl and hoped for the best. I’m not sure if it’s because I’m lazy or confident but I kind of find it fun. Does anyone else do that?

Arugula, Apple, & Avocado Salad

makes 2 generous servings

for the dressing: 
1 tablespoon honey mustard
juice of 1 lemon, divided
2 tablespoons olive oil

for the salad:
1 apple, chopped
1 avocado, chopped
5 oz. arugula
3 tablespoons sunflower seeds

In a small bowl, whisk together honey mustard, lemon juice, olive oil. Chop apples and squeeze a small amount of lemon juice on top and toss to prevent discoloration. In a large bowl, add the arugula, avocado, apples, sunflower seeds, and pour dressing on top. Season with salt & pepper.

DSCN2862 This light, summer salad is simple to make and uses ingredients that your probably already have on hand. It’s sweet, spicy, and crunchy which makes this salad a new favorite of mine. I also felt really cool making my own dressing- which I never really do!

 

Chicken Sausage Egg White Frittata

fitttI’ve been posting a lot of frittata recipes lately because it’s J’s favorite. He loves the combination of egg whites with greens, cheese, and some kind of protein. Isn’t my man so healthy?! This frittata is very filling, if you make this for two you will definitely have leftovers.

Chicken Sausage Egg White Frittata 

ingredients:

  • 1-16oz carton of egg whites
  • 1 cup fresh spinach
  • 2 chicken sausage links (I used TJ’s brand)
  • 1/2 cup low fat mozzarella cheese

directions:

1. Preheat oven to 400°F.

2. In a heavy, ovenproof 10-inch skillet, heat oil for 30 seconds. Add sausage and cook for 2 minutes, until lightly browned.

3. In a medium bowl, combine egg whites, sausage, spinach, cheese, and salt & pepper to taste. Pour into baking dish with non stick cooking spray.

4. Bake for 25 minutes until golden brown and you can see the cheese oozing out. Optional: Broil the last 2 minutes of cooking.

DSCN2833You can make this ahead of time, cut it in quarters, and eat it all week. This makes a perfect breakfast, lunch, dinner or snack. It’s delicious hot or cold!

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Sauteed Snow Peas

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Snow peas are a delicious and easy vegetable to prepare. When I’m sick of typical green veggies (broccoli, asparagus, spinach, ect) I go for either snow peas or sugar snap peas. They are kind of sweet and adapt to any flavor you add to them. All I did was saute and add a little soy sauce.

DSCN2822Sauteed Snow Peas 

ingredients:

  • 1 package of snow peas (pre washed)
  • 2 tbsp olive oil
  • salt & pepper to taste
  • 2 tbsp soy sauce

directions:

Heat olive oil in a wok or non-stick skillet on medium to high heat. Add the snow peas, salt, and pepper. Saute for about 4-5 minutes until the snow peas are crisp and tender. You don’t want to over cook them or they will start to open up and get soggy.

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There you go! A simple side dish perfect for any occasion. This also makes great leftovers. I like to put them on my salads or add them to stir fry the next day.

Shortcut Chopped Salad

Leave it to the Whole Foods salad bar to help me make an awesome chopped salad.

DSCN2793 The reason why I call this a shortcut chopped salad is because I didn’t have the time or the energy to buy all of the vegetables individually and do the peeling & chopping myself. I went to the Whole Foods salad bar and filled up on the toppings I wanted for my salad… broccoli, peas, corn, feta, peppers, onions, edemame, and shredded carrots.

DSCN2785 Pre-washed romaine hearts.

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Lettuce is the only thing I like to chop myself. There is something about fresh romaine hearts that adds an entire new level to a salad. Getting them from the salad bar grosses me out for some reason.

I also got a roticerie chicken and an avocado.

DSCN2790 The rest was a piece of cake! I chopped up the chicken into bite size pieces and same with the avocado. From there, I put all of the veggies and chicken into my salad bowl and served it with a couple of dressings on the side. My two favorite dressings are Briana’s Saucy Ginger Mandarin and Trader Joe’s Light Champagne Vinaigrette.

This makes for awesome leftovers just made sure you put the dressing on the side so the salad doesn’t get soggy.

What would you put in your own chopped salad?

Tiramisu Brownies

As a K-cup brand ambassador I received a recipe from Keurig/Green Mountain Coffee for Tiramisu Brownies. I love Tiramisu! It is one of my favorite deserts and every time I go to an Italian restaurant I have to order it. These brownies are absolutely delicious and taste like the real deal without the custard. If you are a tiramisu fan, this is the recipe for you! I personally enjoyed these brownies with a cup of Italian Roast coffee from Brista Prima Coffeehouse. It made me feel like I was back in Italy!

Side note: Use the code BARISTA8153 to receive 15% off storewide at GreenMountainCoffee.com, and free shipping on orders containing at least one K-Cup® pack of Barista Prima CoffeehouseThe code is valid now through May 31st and cannot be combined with any other keycode discount.

 Tiramisu Brownies

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 Ingredients:

  • 12 oz chocolate chips (dark chocolate is great with this recipe)
  • 1 c butter, softened
  • 1 c sugar
  • 4 whole eggs
  • 4 egg whites
  • 1 c cake flour
  • coffee extract to taste
  • 8 oz mascarpone cheese, room temperature
  • 8 oz cream cheese, room temperature
  • 1/4 c sugar
  • 4 egg whites
  • 2 tsp vanilla extract
  • 1 package soft ladyfingers
  • 1 c of Barista Prima Italian Roast (or a strong coffee)
  • 2 T Dark Rum
  • Optional: Mint extract, nuts, Raspberry preserves.

Directions:

In a large bowl, melt the chocolate.  Stir until smooth and leave it to cool.  Heat the oven to 350.  Line a 13″ x 9″ baking pan with parchment paper.  Add chocolate to a mixing bowl with paddle attachment on.  Beat in the butter followed by 1 cup of sugar and the 4 eggs and 4 egg whites.  Add the coffee extract, then the flour.  Mix on low until just combined.  Pour the batter into the prepared baking pan, reserving 1 cup of batter for the top.

Lay the lady fingers upside down on top of the batter and push down slightly.  Combine the hot coffee and dark rum. Using a pastry brush, carefully brush the Barista Prima Coffee and rum mixture over the lady fingers until they are saturated.

In another bowl, combine the mascarpone cheese, cream cheese, 1/4 c sugar, 4 egg whites and vanilla extract.  Spread the topping over the ladyfingers.  Place dollops of brownie batter on top and swirl lightly with a toothpick or knife.

Bake for 45-50 minutes or until center is almost set and brownies begin to pull away from sides of the pan.  Cool completely in the pan before slicing.

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Homemade Crock Pot Chicken Soup

This is the 3rd chicken soup recipe I’ve posted on my blog and I think it’s the best one I’ve ever made. DSCN2759 I honestly think I perfected how to make chicken soup in the crock pot. It tastes just as good as my mothers. I really think I nailed this one! This time around, I used no recipe and made it up as I went. Homemade chicken soup is very easy to make, you just need to have the time and patience. The best part about the crock pot is that I don’t have to attend to it. So, I decided to do some laundry while the soup was cooking…just saying.

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Ingredients:

Directions:

Place everything in the crock pot except the noodles. Make sure the chicken is on the bottom. Cover and cook on high for 4-6 hours. Remove chicken, bay leaf, thyme, and garlic. Dice the chicken into cubes (or you can shred) and return to broth. Cook for another 30 minutes on high. You can cook the noodles with the broth but I find that the noodles get soggy. I like to cook them separately, that’s how my Mom does it! When serving, place a small handful of noodles on the bottom of the bowl then add the soup.

DSCN2761 This is easy, light, and healthy. Perfect for a rainy day or when your boyfriend isn’t feeling good.  😀

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