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Banana Peanut Butter Oatmeal Muffins

Comments (0) | Wednesday, February 12, 2014


I had fully anticipated posting this recipe and calling it the best muffin ever... in the entire world. That is until I asked my husband what he thought of them.  My husband (who will devour a peanut butter and banana sandwich happily) who replied "um... they were ok..." And he was met with a stunned silence.

"OK?! Just OK?! I thought they were AMAZING!!" I half shouted, slightly offended.

"I just wasn't a fan of the peanut butter I guess..." he replied honestly.  It took me some time to remind myself that you win some, you lose some.  But usually the ones I "lose" are recipes that we mutually agree were just not that good.  So before you run out and whip up a batch of these puppies you need to first be a self described fan of peanut butter and banana.  And even then you need to know that they *apparently* don't stand up to the toughest of PB&B critics.  But hey, whatever... more for me...

I will admit that they were best right out of the oven. I waited a full 2 minutes, wafting the air around the muffins, trying to cool them just enough to devour one.  They're still good the next day but be warned that they take on the consistency of banana bread that has rested overnight, that slightly moist stickiness.  Didn't stop me from devouring another one (or three.)  But then to rid myself of the temptation I tossed the rest into a ziplock bag and put them in the freezer for later consumption.

I got the original recipe here at Annie's Eats (I only wish I could blog like her!) but made a couple alterations to my own taste.

Peanut Butter Banana Oatmeal Muffins
(yield about 16 muffins)

1 cup all purpose flour
1/2 cup whole wheat flour (or white whole wheat)
1 cup old fashioned oats (OK to substitute with quick oats or use a combination)
1 tsp. baking powder
1/2 tsp. baking soda
1/2 tsp. salt
2 heaping tablespoons unsweetened applesauce
3/4 cup brown sugar
2 large eggs
1 cup mashed ripe banana (about 3 medium)
6 tbsp. creamy peanut butter
1 cup low fat buttermilk

Preheat oven to 350 degrees.  Spray muffin pan with nonstick cooking spray or line with paper liners.  In a medium mixing bowl combine flours, oats, baking powder, baking soda and salt.  Stir with a whisk to blend. In another bowl mix applesauce, brown sugar, eggs, banana, peanut butter and buttermilk.  Whisk together until smooth.  Pour wet ingredients into dry ingredients and stir just until combined.  Divide the batter between the prepared muffin cups (I baked a dozen first, then used the same pan to bake 4 more.) Bake 20-23 minutes or until a toothpick inserted in the center comes out clean.  Cool in pans 5 minutes then remove to a wire rack to cool completely (or however long you can wait until you have to devour one!)


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Banana Quinoa Waffles

Comments (0) | Saturday, March 9, 2013


The photo was taken as an afterthought, before I devoured them and thought to myself, "I might want to post this recipe on the blog."  I almost resigned to taking a photo of my children's plates as their servings were quickly disappearing... proof that these were seriously delicious!

I've been trying to incorporate different whole grains into our diet in various ways.  I tried out a turkey bulgar dinner one night and it was a HUGE success (recipe will be posted soon, I promise... I've been trying to archive my recipes and get caught up... a daunting task...)  But then I have to admit that all of them haven't made the "keeper" pile.  The morning I placed a bowl of warm whole wheat couscous made with vanilla almond milk, orange zest and dried cranberries in front of Brendan for breakfast he ate a few bites and asked with mild disgust "why are we eating couscous for breakfast?" In all honesty it was really kind of weird.  So I tossed that one.

But this one?  It's a keeper.  The look on Brendan's face when he took his first bite was priceless... as I've always said, he's my best critic... I'll type up the recipe as it was written but here are the changes that I made.  Keep in mind, it's best to cook the quinoa the night before and let it cool in the fridge. You may want to check it while it's cooking... by about 8 minutes mine was running out of water and on the verge of sticking to the pan, good thing I checked... I added a bit more water and it turned out fine.  I did not have any white whole wheat flour so I split it 1 1/3 all purpose, 1/3 whole wheat... it could have been split with more whole wheat and still be OK.  I cut the butter down to 1 tablespoon and I don't think it made a difference in taste.  Also... I've made pancake recipes that have called for beating the egg whites separately and folding them into the batter.  I've made them omitting that step and adding the whole eggs to the batter and feel that it didn't make much of a difference in taste or texture.  With these I actually beat the whites separately but I'll try it without that step next time.  The recipe says it makes 10 waffles but with my traditional waffle maker I ended up with about 16 of the ones shown above.  Yes, we will be having leftovers and freezing extras.  Especially since Daddy wasn't here to eat any.

Banana Quinoa Waffles
1/2 cup water
1/4 cup quinoa
1 2/3 cups white whole wheat flour
2 tablespoons brown sugar
1 teaspoon baking powder
1/4 teaspoon salt
1 cup mashed ripe bananas (about 2 medium)
3 eggs, separated
3 tablespoons butter, melted
1 1/2 cups fat free milk

In a small saucepan, bring the water to a boil.  Stir in quinoa.  Reduce heat, cover and simmer 10-12 minutes or until tender and liquid is absorbed.  Remove from heat.  Transfer to a small bowl and chill 1-2 hours or overnight.

Preheat waffle iron according to manufacturer's directions.  In a large bowl, combine flour, brown sugar, baking powder, and salt.  In a medium bowl, combine quinoa, bananas, egg yolks, butter and milk.  Stir into flour mixture.

In another bowl, beat egg whites until stiff.  Fold them into batter.  Cook batter in waffle iron according to manufacturer's directions.  Top with syrup and fresh fruit.

*Recipe courtesy of Parents magazine*


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Peanut Butter Dip

Comments (0) | Monday, March 4, 2013


I ran across this recipe in a Family Circle magazine and decided to try it out as a healthy after school snack for the kids.  And while Aubrey was, for some reason, slightly turned off by it (she is my picky eater after all...) Brendan declared it his new favorite snack and ate what Aubrey wouldn't.

I dipped a few apple and celery slices myself and have to admit that it was really pretty tasty.

Peanut Butter Dip
6 oz. low-fat vanilla yogurt
1/2 cup reduced fat peanut butter
1/3 cup raisins
1/2 teaspoon cinnamon
2 ribs celery trimmed and cut
2 apples cored and sliced
2 cups small pretzels (we omitted the pretzels to keep it slightly healthier but they would have tasted great!)

In a small serving bowl mix together yogurt, peanut butter, cinnamon and raisins.  Serve with apples, celery and pretzels.


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Turkey Bulgur Skillet

Comments (0) | Thursday, January 10, 2013

I hate winter evenings.  I'm not an expert photographer.  I don't even aspire to be one.  But I at least like to TRY to get a good looking photo of the recipes that I post.  The winter evenings leave me with no natural light to speak of and so most photos come out looking slightly unappealing with a yellowish-orange tint to them.  I suppose that means I'll just have to talk this recipe up because you seriously have to try it and I promise you will LOVE it.  I questioned it slightly when I pulled out the recipe. I've never actually cooked bulgur before.  But the recipe was part of a "try new whole grains in your diet" article and I figured... "sure, why not?"

When I called the kids to the table for dinner I wished I had been able to record their reactions.  Brendan (who rarely complains about dinner) sat down and looked at his plate skeptically saying "what IS this?" as Aubrey said "I don't WANT this... I don't LIKE it!" throwing herself to the ground.  I reeled them back in saying "you haven't even tasted it yet... if you take a few bites then I'll get out some tortilla chips and you can eat it with those."  The word "chips" got their attention and they took their first tentative bites.

Brendan's eyes lit up "Mommy, it's so GOOD!" and Aubrey exclaimed "I like it!" and though they momentarily forgot about the promise of chips, I brought them out anyway... I like to keep my word.  The tastes were amazing (and a tortilla chip or two to clean the plate adds a nice touch.)  So don't be turned off by the name or the look because as Brendan has told me time and time again "even if it doesn't look good... it doesn't mean it won't TASTE good!"

Turkey Bulgar Skillet

8 oz lean ground turkey
1 small onion, chopped
1 garlic clove, minced
1 (16 oz) can kidney beans, rinsed and drained
1 (14.5 oz) can diced tomatoes with mild green chilies
1 1/2 cups water
1/2 cup frozen corn (I used a whole can, drained, since I didn't have any frozen)
1 Tbsp. chili powder
1 tsp. ground cumin
1/4 tsp. pepper
1/4 tsp. salt
1 cup uncooked bulgur (I found this in the whole foods/bulk section of Fred Meyer for cheap!)

Topping: 1/2 cup plain greek yogurt or sour cream mixed with 1 Tbsp chopped green onion and 1 Tbsp minced fresh cilantro

In a large nonstick skillet coated in cooking spray, cook turkey and onion over medium heat until meat is no longer pink.  Add garlic; cook 1 minute longer.

Stir in the beans, tomatoes, water, corn chili powder, cumin, pepper and salt.  Bring to a boil.  Stir in bulgur. Reduce heat; cover and simmer for 13-18 minutes or until bulgur is tender.

Remove from heat; let stand 5 minutes.  Fluff with a fork.  Serve on plates or in bowls with a spoonful of "topping" and some tortilla chips.

Original recipe courtesy of taste of home healthy cooking


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Walnut Crusted Apple Pie

Comments (0) | Wednesday, December 26, 2012

My Christmas dinner was a disaster.

I may be exaggerating.  Maybe not quite a disaster.  But it did leave me crying into my hands at the table, quietly sobbing "I'm sorry, it's so bad" to my family.  My poor husband knew just how to respond and patted my shoulder lovingly with a "it's really not that bad honey..." But when it all came down to it, when asked if he'd eat any leftovers he hesitated for a long while before saying sweetly, "no... I don't think so." And that's when I knew it had been a huge flop.  A 9 lb ham in the trash... Not for my lack of skill or trying.  I cooked all afternoon!  But I'll spare you the details of the slimy ham I purchased from Albertson's and get down to the fact that dessert saved the day.

Not the prettiest looking pie, I couldn't get the crust to come together like a pastry crust should.  It was crumbly and hard to handle and I ended up just smashing the edges together in an effort to "seal" the two crusts.  No decorative crimping here... sorry folks.  And for this reason alone I figured the dessert would likely follow in the footsteps of the disastrous dinner.  But no, this thing was amazing... and even better on days 2 and 3!

Walnut Crusted Apple Pie

1 lb fuji apples peeled, cored and thinly sliced
1 lb golden delicious apples, peeled, cored and thinly sliced
1/4 cup packed brown sugar
1/4 cup granulated sugar
2 tablespoons all purpose flour
2 tablespoons lemon juice
1/4 teaspoon salt
1/4 teaspoon cinnamon
1/2 cup coarsely chopped walnuts
6.75 ounces all purpose flour (about 1 1/2 cups)
3 tablespoons packed brown sugar
1/4 teaspoon salt
5 tablespoons cold butter cut into pieces
3 tablespoons ice cold vodka (or water)
Cooking spray
1 tablespoon milk
1 egg yolk

Combine first 8 ingredients (through cinnamon).  Toss to coat.

Place nuts in a food processor; process until finely ground.  Weigh or lightly spoon flour into dry measuring cups; level with a knife.  Add flour, 3 T brown sugar and 1/4 t salt to food processor; pulse 5 times.  Add butter and pulse until mixture resembles a coarse meal (about 6-8 times.) Turn processor on and slowly add vodka through food chute processing just until combined (do not form a ball.)  Turn dough out onto a lightly floured surface and knead 3-4 times.  Divide into 2 equal portions.  Flatten each portion into a 4 inch circle on plastic wrap.  Chill 30 minutes.

Preheat oven to 425.

Unwrap and place 1 dough piece onto plastic wrap.  Cover with 2 overlapping pieces of plastic wrap.  Roll dough, still covered, into a 10-inch circle.  Place into a 9-inch pie plate coated with cooking spray. Spoon apple mixture into crust.  Follow same rolling instructions for second dough piece, rolling into a 12-inch circle.  Place over apple mixture and press edges of crusts together.  Fold under and flute.  Cut slits in top of dough to allow steam to escape.

Combine milk and egg yolk, stirring with a whisk.  Gently brush top of dough with egg mixture.  Place pie plate on a foil lined baking sheet (or on one of these amazing pie drip catchers from Williams Sonoma that my step mom bought me!) Bake at 425 in lower third of the oven for 20 minutes.  Shield edges of pie crust with foil.  Reduce oven temperature to 350 (do not remove pie from oven) and bake an additional 30 minutes or until browned.  Cool on a wire rack.

Original recipe courtesy of Cooking Light


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Chicken and Wild Rice Casserole

Comments (0) | Thursday, December 13, 2012


I find it extremely difficult to take "good" or pretty photos of casseroles, especially once they're dished onto the plate.  Of course, my food photography is novice at best anyway... but I always want the presentation to at least look appealing!  Rest assured that while this looks like a pile of goop, it was incredibly delicious and so convenient to pull out of the freezer on a busy weeknight. A flavorful "comfort food" kind of meal. I promise to try and get a better photo next time I make it...

I used an entire rotisserie chicken, pulled from the carcass and shredded (I love how appealing that sounds... sorry...) and I divided the whole thing between 2 large square foil pans to freeze for later (this was on a "freezer meal" prep day.)  The recipe makes 10-12 servings itself so, unless you plan to feed a crowd, I would divide it.  It was plenty for us to have for 2 nights worth of dinner.

Chicken and Wild Rice Casserole 
1 (2.25-oz) package sliced almonds
2 (6.2-oz) boxes fast cooking long grain and wild rice mix (I used 3 boxes of Rice-a-Roni brand)
2 tablespoons butter
4 celery ribs, chopped
5 cups chopped cooked chicken
2 cans cream of mushroom soup
1 cup sour cream
2 (8 oz) cans water chestnuts, drained and chopped
1 cup milk
1/2 teaspoon salt (could be omitted, there is plenty of flavor without)
1/2 teaspoon pepper
4 cups shredded cheddar cheese divided (I think I used about 3, total)
2 cups soft fresh breadcrumbs

Prepare rice mixes according to package directions.

Meanwhile, melt butter in a medium skillet over medium heat. Add celery and onions.  Saute 10 minutes or until tender.  In a large bowl mix together celery/onion mixture, chicken, next 6 ingredients and 3 cups of the cheese.  Spoon mixture into a lightly greased large baking dish or 2 smaller (11x7) baking dishes.

To make tonight: Bake at 350 for 35 minutes.  Top with remaining cheese and almonds and bake an additional 5 minutes.

To freeze and make later: cover with plastic wrap, place cheese and almonds in a resealable freezer bag, place on top of plastic wrap and cover dish with foil.  Label, date and freeze.  Thaw and cook as directed above. OR Remove from freezer and let stand at room temperature 1 hour.  Bake, COVERED, at 350 for 30 minutes.  Uncover and bake an additional 55-75 minutes or until thoroughly heated. Top with cheese and almonds and heat 5 minutes longer.


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Walnut and Rosemary Oven Fried Chicken

Comments (0) | Monday, December 10, 2012


My husband never complains about what I make for dinner (except on the rare occasion that I've made soup... he's not a big "soup for dinner" kind of guy.)  So I occasionally have to ask him what he thinks of my new recipes and can usually gauge how much he really likes them by his genuine responses.  One of the ways I know I've found a good recipe is when he tells me, without prompting,  "this is great honey!" as he finishes every last bite.

The flavors in this recipe prompted just such a response and I couldn't have agreed more.  A quick and easy weeknight meal, I paired it with a baked potato and steamed veggies.

Walnut and Rosemary Oven-Fried Chicken
1/4 cup low fat buttermilk
2 tablespoons Dijon mustard
4 chicken cutlets (or 4 small 6 oz breasts pounded slightly)
1/3 cup panko bread crumbs
1/3 cup finely chopped walnuts
2 tablespoons grated fresh Parmigiano- Reggiano cheese
3/4 teaspoon minced fresh rosemary
1/4 teaspoon kosher salt
1/4 teaspoon black pepper

Preheat oven to 425.

Combine buttermilk and mustard in a shallow dish, stirring with a whisk.  Add chicken to buttermilk mixture, turning to coat.

Heat a medium skillet over medium-high heat.  Add panko to pan; cook 3 minutes or until golden, stirring frequently.  Combine panko, nuts and next 4 ingredients in a shallow dish.  Remove chicken from buttermilk mixture; discard buttermilk mixture.  Dredge chicken in panko mixture.

Arrange a wire rack on a large baking sheet; coat rack with cooking spray.  Arrange chicken on rack; coat chicken with cooking spray (or spray lightly with olive oil.)  Bake at 425 for 13 minutes or until chicken is done.

Calories: 292, Fat: 9.6g, Sat: 1.6g, Protein: 42.7g, Carb: 6.8g, Fiber: 0.9g

*Courtesy of Cooking Light*


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