Tag Archives: Muffins

Giveaway Boxes: Revealed!

17 Aug

SO there’s been quite a delay in me sharing the contents of the two giveaway boxes. There was this wedding thing in the middle of the summer (BEST DAY EVER) that took a BIT of attention, but now I’m back and excited to share the wonderful boxes that went on their way to Seattle, Washington and Johnston, Iowa!

The fun thing was, both winners picked different food items so I got to make two very unique, but very delicious boxes. Hearing their excitement when the box was received and how the treats inside went over, was my favorite part. THAT is why these giveaways are so great. Nothing is more fun for me than getting to cook/bake for other people. It’s the BEST! Am I right?!?

So both winners received recipe cards of the items in their box (each received three items) and they also received two fun, colorful spatulas. Because of COURSE, that is the cooking portion of this blog AND who doesn’t need/want more spatulas?!? 🙂

Box #1 winner was Todd, a dental student in Seattle, WA. He picked the following:

  • Muffin/Cupcake: A new, not-yet-on-the-blog item! Delicious Blueberry Oatmeal Muffins that I’m excited to share with you guys in a future post. They turned out very moist, gorgeous with the purple/blue berries and definitely a keeper that I’ll be making again for my husband (<— new favorite word) and myself.
  • Snack: Spicy Caramel Popcorn featured in this post
  • Cookies: Snickerdoodles featured in this post

Had a great day of baking while we watched baseball in the background. Is there anything better than baking and baseball?! Nope. Really don’t think there is.

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They got all packaged up and sent off to Todd!

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Next up was Teresa, a married mom of the cutest little guy you’ve ever seen. She and her husband, Josh came up with their box contents:

  • Muffin/Cupcake: The healthy twist on Chocolate Muffins featured in this post
  • Snack: Spicy Chipotle Rosemary Nuts featured in this post
  • Cookies: A great new challenge and one of my new favorites! Teresa and her husband Josh requested something red velvet and I found a great recipe from one of the blogs I read frequently that fit the bill. Really think you guys will love them as much I did, taste testing! Red Velvet Chocolate Chip Cookies will be coming soon to a post near you. These were chewy, had lots of flavor and mini chocolate chips ensured that every bite had some chocolate.

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IMG_5988Overall, definitely was great fun to send these off AND it was the perfect way to decompress after the wedding preparations that took up most of my free time in May and June and be in my happy place in the kitchen. I have LOTS of recipes all primed and ready to share with you guys so please do stay tuned! Luke and I have really enjoyed experimenting this summer in the new apartment kitchen and I have so many wonderful things to blog about.

Before you know it, we’ll do another one of these giveaways so keep your eyes on the posts for some delectable new treats, libations and maybe a few crafty projects too before we dive into another giveaway.

Off to draft my Fantasy Football team…simple goal is to beat my husband. 🙂

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Chocolate Muffins (with a Healthy Spin)

4 Aug

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A few facts to preface this post. Fact #1: I thoroughly enjoy chocolate. Fact #2: I thoroughly enjoy muffins, cakes, cookies etc. However, maybe like some of you, Fact #3, my metabolism no longer allows me to consume these items as much as I’d like without some consequences. Which…is unfortunate.

Thus – I was on Pinterest one day trying to find some healthier (note not healthy…health-IER) recipes and found this little gem. There’s no flour involved – there’s applesauce and plain greek yogurt that help to keep the muffins together AND keep them moist. I was intrigued enough to give these a try.

Also, Fact #4 – my boyfriend Luke has quite an affinity for baked goods that come from my kitchen. So like most treats I make, the plan was to make a big batch, have a few myself and then feed the rest to Luke. Muah hahaha.

(He has yet to complain so I think it’s a win-win situation for both of us.)

Thus, another episode of Thursday evening baking happened this last week and the resulting muffins were quite delicious. I highly recommend!

I will say I changed up the recipe a bit because of the ingredients I had available. I’ve linked to the recipe I based these off of (and the blog post about that recipe links to the original recipe too) above for those who want to try the full-on healthier version or you can follow what I used below. I trust both will work out nicely for you. And regardless, you end up with chocolate muffins. 🙂

Recipe makes about 24 small muffins or 12 larger muffins.

Ingredients:

  • 1 3/4 cup of oats
  • 3 egg whites
  • 3/4 cup cocoa powder (the recipe calls for unsweetened cocoa but I had cocoa powder on hand so that’s what I used)
  • 1/2 cup applesauce (the recipe calls for unsweetened but I used normal applesauce and they still turned out wonderfully)
  • 1 tsp vanilla extract
  • 1/2 cup plain Greek yogurt
  • 1/2 tsp cream of tartar (or 1-1/2 Tbsp. vinegar)
  • 1-1/2 tsp baking powder
  • 1-1/2 tsp baking soda
  • 1/4 tsp salt
  • 1 cup hot water
  • 1 cup sugar (the recipe calls for a healthy substitute like I cup of Splenda granular OR 1/4 cup + 2 Tbsp stevia but I had none of these options so plain white sugar it was for me)
  • 1/2 cup dark chocolate chips (or whatever other type of chips you’d like!) and an extra 1/4 cup for the muffin tops

How to Make:

Preheat your oven to 350 degrees and grab a blender (or a food processor) as you’ll need no mixer or beaters to clean in this recipe. I know, I know…I was puzzled by this too. But trust me – it works!

Now – if you want smaller muffins for a crowd, this makes 24 muffins (thus you’ll need 2 muffin pans). If you want larger muffins for a smaller crew (1 pan) this makes 12 muffins. I did line my muffin tins but this recipe has a tendency to stick a bit. If you’d these to appear aesthetically pleasing with wrappers off (for any reason) you may want to simply spray the pans with a little Pam. Otherwise, I’m sure those you feed these to will not mind a bit licking of crumbs from the wrapper. I doubt they’ll mind.

Now prepare for this next part…you’re going to mix…

…everything. Ok, not the chocolate chips quite yet, but everything else goes right into the blender.

Yup, you read that right. Everything. Into. The. Blender.

Here we go…

In go the oats…
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…then the egg whites…

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…and applesauce…(note my oat measuring was exceptionally neat and tidy)

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…and then the cocoa (I wasn’t worried that mine was a bit clumpy as the blender would be blending it all together anyway)…

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…and vanilla…

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…and the plain Greek yogurt…

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…and the cream of tartar…and baking powder…and baking soda…

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…and the salt (which I plain forgot to take a photo of, but believe me when I say…it’s in there!)…

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…and the cup of hot water (which causes this fun, little effect)…

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…and then finally, the sugar or your sugar substitute.

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Now blend that concoction until the mixture is smooth (not chunky on the bottom but the same consistency all the way through). I was a bit concerned as the batter seemed to be a bit thin at first. But keep blending until the oats, applesauce and yogurt are consistently blended and that will really help to thicken it up. Trust me!

Now pour into a medium-sized bowl and stir in the 1/2 cup of dark chocolate chips.

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Then, time to pour into the pans. (I was a wee bit messy at this part so if you have the same problem, just dab the batter spots off the pan with a paper towel. No biggie!)

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Now the muffins get baked for 10 minutes. Then, pull them out…

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…and drop a few of the chips on the top of each muffin. Add as many as you’d like! Most of mine had about 3-6 chips as dark chocolate chips are bit bigger than the normal chocolate chip.

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Now pop these guys back into the oven for an additional 3-6 minutes, or until a toothpick comes out clean. (I had to pop mine back in for about 8 additional minutes as they were still wet when I tested with a toothpick at 6 minutes. So watch these carefully and don’t worry if they take more than 3-6 minutes. It shouldn’t be TOO much more oven time.)

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Once the toothpick comes out clean from a the center of a few muffins, let them cool for a few minutes in the pan. Then place the muffins on a cooling rack or a cutting board to cool completely.

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I will share – these are delicious eaten while they’re still warm for the obvious melty-chocolate reason. But they’re also delectable eaten once fully cooled. I let them sit out to cool for a few hours and then kept them stored in Tupperware, separated into layers with some assistance from parchment paper.

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Feed these to your family, your friends, your significant other or spouse or maybe yourself for a snack. (I had a few snacks the night I made these…couldn’t…help…myself.) They’ll disappear REAL fast…

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Give these a try and let me know if they turn out as delicious for you as they did for me!

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Happy baking!

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