Omg pumpkin

So I’ve made it this far into the season and haven’t done a pumpkin post. If you were hoping I would avoid pumpkin altogether well sorry, I have failed. I made something pumpkin and it was delicious; probably the most delicious muffins I have ever made. So introducing pumpkin-cream cheese muffins. 

Below I have inserted a step by step chronicle of how I made these muffins.

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First I started out with some great ingredients, whole wheat flour, pumpkin puree and walnuts (no, I’m not sponsored by Kroger). Not pictured is al the delicious stuff like brown sugar and cream cheese.

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Here are a couple pictures of the muffin dough mixing and the cream cheese filling.  IMG_5646

I started out by spraying my silicone muffin cups then dropping a few walnuts in the bottom of each cup.

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I layered walnuts, dough, cream cheese filling, more dough and then yummy butter-sugar topping (pictured below).

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And let me tell you, these were absolutely delicious warm and fresh out of the oven. I’m not even going to freeze any because I know these will be gone in just a few days.

Whats your favorite pumpkin recipe and/or most creative recipe???

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Been gone far too long

Well, I can’t believe it has been so long since my last post! Don’t worry, we have been keeping busy and I have quite a few treats to post about soon! 

It’s finally decided to become Fall in Texas so I can’t wait to break out the pumpkin and try some new recipes! As were moving into holiday season, I’ve started to think about ways I can revise the good, ol delicious recipes to more healthy, not-so-fattening recipes. So I thought I would share some good substitutions for common baking ingredients to make our treats just a little better for you. 

Now I do want to add a disclaimer here; you will need to practice with these substitutions and play around with your recipe until you find the perfect substitution for you. Some will work better than others in certain recipes. 

Oils/Butter – there are a few different substitutes for oil you can use depending on your recipe and what health benefits you are wanting to achieve. Avocado, prune puree, apple sauce and bananas are great all natural alternatives that can be used in baking.  However, these may impact the flavor of you recipe so be careful with quantities. You may want to just try substituting half of the butter for one of these options. Greek yogurt can be another option that may not impact the flavor quite as much.

Sugar – Now I will be honest here, I’m not a fan of substituting anything else for sugar in my recipes because..well..sugar is great. If you want to try a substitute apple sauce can be great for sweetness but consistency can be an issue if this is a major ingredient in your recipe. You can also just try halving the amount of sugar called for and increase added flavoring (vanilla, spices, etc).

AP Flour – Now my initial thought here is just go with whole wheat flour but that may not always have the best consistency and/or may not work for those who are gluten intolerant. You may also be able to find whole wheat pastry flour which can be good for those “softer” recipes like cakes. If you want to be adventurous, you can always try black beans as a flour substitute.

Eggs – Now eggs in general are healthy. But there are various reasons you may want to cut back on eggs; cholesterol being one. Easy swap is to use two egg whites in place of a whole, large egg. If you want to be adventurous, try ground chia seeds. You have to grind them to a meal like consistency then mix with just enough water to create a gooey egg like mixture. Then you’re ready to put them in your baked goods! – I would not try this as a substitute for your Sunday morning omelette, just FYI.

These are the main ingredients I will swap out to make my recipes healthier but I would love to hear what other ideas are out there! Let me know in the comments 🙂 

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Getting creative with leftovers

Well the babes and I went to my mom’s house this weekend and she had a couple bags of frozen strawberries she wasn’t going to use for anything so I looked up some recipes and decided to try some strawberry muffins.

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I let the strawberries defrost in the fridge then it was pretty easy to whip up some eggs and sugar then fold in the strawberries and the rest of the ingredients.

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It magically turned into a lovely pink color so I scooped it into my silicone baking molds and threw them in the oven.

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Half way through baking, a sprinkled some brown sugar on top for a nice crumbly topping.  These were great for a nice Sunday morning with hot coffee and a little butter. Because the recipe made more than the two of us could eat in one sitting (we practiced a little self control), I froze the rest. Now I can pop out one or two in the morning, heat them up in the microwave and I have a quick and easy delicious breakfast! IMG_5086

What are some creative recipes you have tried with leftovers?

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And its getting a little bit colder

So were in September and a cold front has rolled in…which for Texas means its about 90 degrees. Anyways, its colder than it was last week so naturally, it seemed like a good idea for some oatmeal cookies. And because chocolate makes life better, I added some chocolate chips.

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Here are all the ingredients. I used whole wheat flour because I’m healthy, duh.

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Mix that butter & sugars. Add the rest. Stir in the chico chips and you’re done.

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So my husband and I had a debate about how to bake the cookies. He likes flat, smashed cookies and I prefer fluffy, cookie mounds. So we made half of each and I still like mine better. I forgot to take a picture of my awesome cookie dough scoop that makes my lovely little cookie mounds but if you like that type of cookie, buy one from pampered chef. They’re fabulous.

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Confessions of a chocoholic

I have a confession…and its probably not a surprise. I’m addicted to chocolate. Like for real. I don’t think I go a day without something chocolate…not a single day. I don’t drink regular coffee, I drink mocha. I had vanilla yogurt yesterday with chocolate chips in it.

I. love. chocolate. 

So obviously today I’m making double chocolate chip cookies.

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Flour, eggs, sugar, butter, and instant espresso powder (it makes the cookies delicious). Ya know, all the regular stuff. 

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Throw all the “wet” ingredients and sugars into the mixer and sift all the “dry” ingredients together. 

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One other thing I’m obsessed with is pink. Thats also probably not surprising. But yummmm that cookie dough looks scrumptious mixed together. 

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I got so excited about the cookies when they were done that I forgot to take a finished picture; so you will just have to use your imagination 🙂

Trust me they were really freakin’ good. 

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Doggie Popsicles

So my little girl, Rory, loves ice cubes. She goes nuts anytime she hears the ice maker. So I decided to try some homemade dog popsicles. I googled some recipes and found one using plain yogurt, peanut butter and blueberries. Simple as that AND I already had all the ingredients; because no way was I going to the store. 

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So I got out a cute silicone baking mold any trusty Ninja. I threw everything in the Ninja and mix it all up until it became a beautiful purple mush. Then I scooped it in the mold and popped it in the freezer overnight. 

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Of course, the next day I had to let me little baby test them out. They popped right out of the mold and looked adorbs. 

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FYI, she loved it and now ignores regular ice cubes. Even, my picky little boy Blue gave them a chance and scarfed it down (he’s camera shy). So now I just popped them all out, put them in a tupperware and left them in the freezer for later. My babes are spoiled. 

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I did want to mention that plain yogurt, all natural peanut butter and frozen/fresh blueberries are all healthy for your pups but if you are ever not sure; you’re probably better safe than sorry and do your research! 

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So I went a little overboard with the decorating…

So I decided to practice some decorating today and for that I needed some good ole sugar cookies! I have a fabulous family recipe that we have been using for years so I gathered my ingredients and got to mixing!

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First, I whip up the butter and sugars. 

 
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Then I sift the flour; I am a big fan of sifting flour (mostly for cakes, breads and muffins) because it breaks apart the flour particles which allows more of the fat to mix with the flour prior to mixing with the water. Why would you want that to happen? Basically, for lighter, fluffier baked goods; not always necessary for cookies but whatever, it makes me feel fancy.

For more info about sifting go here, http://www.craftsy.com/article/sift-happens

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Well, sifting doesn’t help you get the flour into the mixing bowl any neater. Once I get that all mixed up evenly, I wrap it up and pop it in the freezer to chill for a few hours. 

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Now its time to roll it out and cut them up! Check out the new cookie cutters, I love them. Side note, I really do wish I had my mom’s old marble rolling pin instead of this plastic one…way more work to roll stuff out using plastic. At least I got my arm workout in 😉 

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In the oven they go! 

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I really should learn how to halve recipes. Why do I need all of these cookies?! Well at least I got some practice with my decorating & using the flood icing technique. They weren’t for any particular occasion so I played around with some different ideas…..yea I just used my initials a lot. I would love to see your decorated cookies so please share 🙂 

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Sneak preview, I just whipped up some dog-friendly frozen treats so look out for my next post! 

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