Pumpkin Chocolate Chip Muffins

Tis’ the season for Pumpkin, and I looooove pumpkin! I found this recipe on Skinny Taste and decided to substitute the nuts for  chocolate chips. Besides, everything tastes better with chocolate. The first time I made these muffins I accidentally added baking powder instead of baking soda. The muffins didn’t rise leaving them heavy and dense. I made them again with baking soda and got them just right! They are light, fluffy, and have the perfect balance of flavors. Mmmmmmmmm!

 Pumpkin Chocolate Chip Muffins

Adapted from Skinny Taste

 Ingredients:

  • 1/2 cup white whole wheat flour
  • 3/4 cups unbleached all purpose flour
  • 3/4 cup raw sugar
  • 1 tsp baking soda
  • 2 tsp pumpkin pie spice
  • 1/4 tsp nutmeg
  • 1/4 tsp cinnamon
  • 1/4 tsp salt
  • 1 1/2 cups canned pumpkin (not pumpkin pie filling)
  • 2 tbsp vegetable oil
  • 2 large egg whites
  • 1 1/2 tsp vanilla extract
  • baking spray
  • 1/2 cup mini chocolate chips

Directions:

Preheat your oven to 350°. Line a muffin tin with paper liners (optional) and spray muffin tins with non stick cooking spray.

In a medium bowl, combine flours, sugar, baking soda, pumpkin spice, nutmeg, cinnamon, and salt with a wire whisk. Set aside.

In a large bowl mix pumpkin puree, oil, egg whites and vanilla; beat at medium speed until thick. Scrape down sides of the bowl.

Add flour mixture to the wet mixture, then blend at low speed until combined; do not over mix. Since I don’t own a mixer (sad, I know), I did this by hand. If you own a mixer it would be best to use it to get the egg whites light and fluffy. The muffins still came out great when I mixed the ingredients by hand. Once all the ingredients are combined, fold in mini chocolate chips.

Pour batter into prepared muffin tin and bake for 24 – 26 minutes, or until a toothpick inserted in the center comes out clean.

Let them cool at least 15 minutes before serving. It’s tough to wait that long, but just do it!

These were devoured in less than 24 hours.

Chocolate Chip & Toffee Blondie Bars

I apologize in advanced for posting this unhealthy recipe.

But these blondies are soooooo easy to make and they were a hit when I made them for my baby cousin’s baby shower a couple of weeks ago. Best thing of all, they are from a box mix- I just added some extra love with toffee bits. The chocolate chips came with the blondie mix.

I always like to keep box mixes on hand, you never know when you’ll need it… and who likes store bought deserts? Not me! Even though these blondies aren’t made from scratch, I still took the effort to make and assemble them. To me, that means way more then going to the store and picking up some brownies no matter how good they are.

Chocolate Chip & Toffee Blondie Bars

Made from Trader Joe’s Blondie Bar Baking Mix 

ingredients: 

  • 1 box Trader Joe’s Blondie Bar Baking Mix
  • 1 stick of butter, unsalted
  • 1 egg
  • 1/2 cup Heath toffee bits (optional)

directions: 

Melt the butter in the microwave for 1-2 minutes until melted. Beat the egg and add to the blondie mix with the melted butter. Mix well. Add the toffee bits. Spray a 9×13 brownie pan with non stick cooking spray. Press the batter evenly into the pan, bake at 350 degrees for 18-22 minutes. Make sure to keep an eye on them since all ovens are different.

I like mine to be a little under baked so they are gooey on the inside and chewy on the outside. YUM!

Cake Batter Rice Crispy Treats

I found this recipe on How Sweet It Is– she is so creative, I don’t know how she comes up with her recipes but I love them! I made these for my friends BBQ last weekend and they were a hit. They look like normal rice crispy treats with sprinkles but when you take a bite out of them you will become an addict. The secret is a ¼ cup of yellow cake mix, it really makes a difference! This is great desert item to bring to any party, picnic, or event.

This is also a great recipe of your gluten free or have friends that are. These treats taste like cake and have the gooeyness from the marshmallows and the crunchy texture from the rice crispys. The sprinkles make them look like funfetti too!

Cake Batter Rice Crispy Treats

ingredients:

  • 3 tablespoons butter
  • 1 10-ounce bag of mini marshmallows
  • 1/4 cup yellow cake mix
  • 6 cups rice krispies cereal
  • 1 1.75-ounce container of sprinkles
directions:
Melt butter in a large saucepan over low heat and add marshmallows. Stir until they begin to melt, adding in cake mix one spoonful at a time so its combined. This will help the cake mix completely dissolve.
Stir in cereal so it is completely coated with marshmallow mixture. Sprinkle in half of the sprinkles and mix. Press into a baking dish (any size) and top with remaining sprinkles. Let sit for about 30 minutes before cutting. I find running a knife under hot water helps to cut them.
Have a great weekend!

Power Protein Smoothie

As many of you know I love Kimberly Snyder’s Beauty Detox Solution book. One of the things I’ve never tried is chia seeds which she highly recommends. I was at Trader Joe’s last weekend and I asked if they carried chia seeds. They looked at me and said “like the chia pet?” I laughed and realized they do not carry them. I headed over to whole foods and found them there.

Kimberly has a number of smoothie recipes that include chia seeds. I made her power protein smoothie and it was delicious!

Ingredients (one 24-ounce serving):

  • 2 cups unsweetened almond milk
  • 1/4 cup hemp or brown rice protein powder
  • 1-2 Tbs. chia seeds
  • 1/2 frozen acai smoothie packet (found in the frozen section at whole foods)
  • Liquid stevia to sweeten
  • ½ tsp. cinnamon
  • ½ tsp. vanilla extract

Directions:

Add the almond milk and/or water to the blender first, then the other ingredients. Blend until smooth.

“Chia seeds have a high level of soluble and insoluble fiber, and swell up to 15 times their size when mixed with liquids to create a filling gel that provides long-burning fuel as it cleanses your digestive system. Because they are so nutrient-dense and filling, chia seeds can help reduce cravings and keep you on track with your diet.” – Kimberly Snyder.

So if you miss behave this weekend, no worries… make one of these babies and you’ll be back on track in no time :)

Happy Weekend!

PFR= Pretty Freakin’ Ridiculous

Some of you may remember disaster bars, I like to call these ridiculous bars. As I was making these delicious treats I said to myself “these are pretty freakin’ ridiculous!” I can’t take the credit, my friend B gave me the recipe. All I did was follow it and take some pictures along the way.

I made these ridiculous bars for my brother Brett who turned 20 yesterday. My baby bro is growing up so fast! I know he’s been studying his butt off at the library so I sent him these bars for his birthday and a little something he can enjoy while studying.

Ridiculous Bars

ingredients:

  • 1 roll of chocolate chip cookie dough
  • 1 10oz pkg peanut butter chips
  • 1 10oz pkg mini chocolate chips
  • 1 1/2 cups of HEATH bits
  • 2 cups mini marshmallows
  • paper baking cups

directions:

Heat oven to 350 degrees. Flatten the cookie dough so it covers the bottom of a 9×13 pyrex dish. Bake for 10 minutes. Remove from oven and top the cookie cough with the HEATH bits, peanut butter chips, and mini chocolate chips- make sure you use the entire bag of each topping. Layer the mini marshmallows so they cover the entire dish. Bake for 23 minutes or until the marshmallows turn a golden color.

  Make sure you let the bars cool for at least 2 hours before cutting into them. They are very rich and gooey!

 I like to place each bar in paper baking cups. This helps eliminate a mess when people are eating them and they also look pretty. I am so excited for my brother to get his birthday package, he is going to love this treat!

 Have a great day!

chocolate covered toffee matzo

It’s not too late to try this delight. I found this on pinterest and it was a great stumble upon. I always like to contribute to holiday dinners so when Jan said she needed a desert I decided to make something that’s not normally at our family sedar. Jan loved it cold straight out of the freezer!

 Chocolate Covered Toffee Matzo

 ingredients:

  • 4 sheets unsalted matzo
  • 1 cup packed brown sugar
  • 1 stick butter
  • 1 tsp sea salt
  • 1/2 cup of semi sweet chocolate chips
directions:

Preheat the oven to 325 degrees. Place the matzo on a baking sheet lined with foil. In a large saucepan melt the butter and brown sugar on medium heat stirring constantly. Once the mixture reaches a boil and thickens, remove from heat and pour over the matzo spreading an even layer with a spatula.

Place the pan in the oven for about 10 minutes until the toffee is fully melted and has a shiny coat. Remove pan from the oven and immediately sprinkle the matzo with the chocolate chips making sure there is an even layer.  Let sit for five minutes, then spread the now-melted chocolate evenly with a spatula. Sprinkle with sea salt.

Let the matzo cool completely at room temperature. I let the chocolate and toffee set in the freezer. Once the toffee and chocolate hardens break into smaller pieces and enjoy!

Fatass Friday

I guess I should tell you what I’ve been up to the past few days.

I’ve been dog sitting my parent’s chocolate lab Chloe. I actually grew up with her. We got her as a puppy when I was 14 and we’ve been BFF ever since. My siblings think Chloe likes them the best, but we all know I’m her favorite.

just chillin with my girlfriend

I’ve been spoiling her rotten with a day at the spa (aka Petco), long walks, and giving her all the cookies she wants, although last time she stayed with me Jan told me she got fatter. I just love to spoil my Chloe!

Speaking of fat, look what I found…

 Trader Joe’s LAVA CAKES!

360 calories per cake

ooey gooey chocolatey goodness

Then it was time to whip out the vanilla ice cream = dangerous.

This is a very easy desert to have on hand. All you need to do is pop it in the microwave for 45 seconds and you have a warm chocolate molten cake. Texas boy and I shared one last week and it was amazingly good!

An Ode to Trader Joe’s!

I will be picking a winner for my beauty giveaway this afternoon, stay tuned!

  Have a fab weekend!

 

Rainbow Tie Dye Cupcakes

Good morning, hope everyone had a nice weekend! Although I am 25 years old I still love tie dye. In honor of my friend Sarah’s birthday I made rainbow tie dye cupcakes with the help from my friend Whitney. 
As much as I wish I made this concept up, I got the recipe from Can You Stay For Dinner.
Of course I put my own twist on this recipe.
And since I’m such a special baker, I ran out of frosting and had to finish frosting the cakes with another kind…they still look pretty right?
Rainbow Tie Dye Cupcakes
Ingredients: 
  • 1 box of store bought white cake mix (I used Funfetti)
  • food coloring (red, yellow, green, & blue)
  • rainbow sprinkles (whatever kind you like)
  • cupcake liners
  • white or vanilla frosting
  • 1 box of toothpicks
Directions:
Prepare the cake mix according to the box directions, divide the batter into four separate bowls. 
Tint each bowl with a few drops of food coloring and stir until the color is incorporated into the batter. 
Drop spoonfuls of each colored batter into the cupcake liners in the order of red, yellow, green, then blue.
When all the liners are filled use a tooth pick to swirl the batter a few times. Use a different toothpick for each cupcake to keep the colors clean and don’t swirl too much or your cakes will turn brown.
Bake them according to the directions on the box.
Frosting:
Once the cupcakes have cooled, pile them high with vanilla icing.  I used store bought whipped cream frosting. To get the fancy look, I put the icing in a zip lock bag and cut a hole in the corner of it. This way I was able to easily pipe the frosting and give it a professional look. It takes a lot of practice to get it right!
This is a great way to turn ordinary cupcakes into something fun and of course a way to bring back the days of junior high when tie dye was cool. I still think it is :-)
Have a great day!

Frozen Yogurt Combos for this Summer

Back in the good old days aka a year ago, frozen yogurt shops would appropriately portion your order and stingily add toppings to your yogurt for you. Now that self serve frozen yogurt shops are popping up all over the city, it’s easy to go overboard with serving sizes and toppings.

Don’t get me wrong, self serve fro yo shops are my biggest weakness. Every time I walk by and frozen yogurt shop I have to walk in. My favorite spot, Forever Yogurt.

Here are some delicious 200 calorie and under combos you can try next time you’re craving a sweet treat.

Blueberry crumble:
1/2 cup of tart nonfat frozen yogurt
1 scoop of blueberries
1/2 scoop of granola

Chocolate covered strawberry:
1/2 cup of nonfat tart frozen yogurt
1 scoop of strawberries
1/2 scoop of dark chocolate chips

Fake out choc-a-holic:
1/2 cup of chocolate nonfat frozen yogurt
such as Forever Yogurt’s Classic Chocolate
1/2 scoop of carob chips
1/2 scoop of chocolate sprinkles


Rainbow Mango:
1/2 cup of tart nonfat frozen yogurt
1 scoop of mango
1/2 scoop of rainbow sprinkles

Birthday Cake Remix:
1/2 cup of any cake flavored fat free frozen yogurt (ie: cake batter, red velvet, angel food cake, ect)
such as Forever Yogurt’s Angel Food Cake flavor
1/2 scoop of rainbow sprinkles
8 pieces of mochi

Other Tips:
*Portion control is key. 1/2 a cup of frozen yogurt is about the size of your fist.
*Stay away from fruit in the sugary syrup.

Have a great day!

SWEET New Product Finds!

Good morning, Happy Tuesday! I haven’t done a product post in a while so I am excited to write about some new sweet finds that I have stumbled upon at various grocery stores. I love new food products, especially ones that are low calorie! I hope you enjoy this new list….
Banana chocolate chunk protein power muffins from Trader Joe’s They are super filling and I love the chocolate chunks.
At only 130 calories per muffin this makes the perfect breakfast.
Skinny Cow Dreamy Clusters
Yes, my dream came true. Skinny Cow came out with candy! 120 calories for the entire package…happiness
I also tried their chocolate peanut butter bar that’s 110 calories absolutely delicious and the perfect afternoon treat.Speaking of Skinny Cow, you must try these cookies and cream truffle bars all I have to say is YUMMMM
Fiber One chocolate peanut butter brownies what could be better than a chocolate and peanut butter brownie for 90 calories?!?

Chobani Kids honey-nana yogurt One of my favorite finds recommend by my friend Joree. This yogurt is great for breakfast or a mid-day snack. These cute kid friendly portions are 100 calories and have the perfect balance of flavors. Joree adds vanilla almond granola to it to add some crunch.
What is your favorite low calorie sweet treat?
Have a great day!

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