Oatmeal Blueberry Muffins!

Hello!

Are you snowed in, too?

Bah. I’m so totally OVER this whole winter business.

We got about 3-4 inches of snow yesterday and last night. It was preceded by sleet. And the temperatures made a steady drop yesterday so there was no chance of the salt or sand doing any good. Can you say icy roads? Fun, right? Not!

But, the bonus is I got my first snow day from work!

Okay, I actually really like my job so it’s not like a breather – more like an opportunity to get some cleaning done during the middle of the week. More fun, right? ūüôā

Schools were closed too so Thing 2 was home until she had to go to work. McDonald’s apparently doesn’t give snow days.

But, the YMCA was open and we were finally able to get our membership cards and take advantage!

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We got a quick workout in (treadmill + planks FTW!) before she had to work and I had chores to do. ūüôā

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I started veggie chili in the crockpot, made a grocery run, done some dishes, some laundry, and some vacuuming.

I also watched a little Ink Masters. All work and no play‚Ķ.. ūüėČ

Cornbread is on deck to go with the chili and, per my norm (snow day + super cold outside = I must bake), I made Oatmeal Blueberry Muffins!

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I found a great recipe for oatmeal muffins and thought it would be fun to use the dried blueberries I just snagged at the store.

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I heart blueberries!

These muffins are super easy to make and definitely not blueberry muffin bombs packed with fat and loaded with sugar.

I found the original recipe at And Then We Saved and you KNOW I had to make a few tweaks. ūüôā

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I wouldn’t be me if I didn’t!

Feel free to make your own adjustments, if you want. Remember, recipes are mostly suggestions!

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Oatmeal Blueberry Muffins
makes 12 muffins

1 cup unsweetened vanilla almond milk
1 cup old-fashioned rolled oats
1 egg
1/4 cup coconut oil
1 cup white whole wheat flour
1/4 organic pure cane sugar
1 teaspoon baking soda
1 teaspoon ground cinnamon
1/2 teaspoon salt
2 tablespoons toasted wheat germ
1/2 to 3/4 cup dried blueberries

1. Preheat oven to 425 degrees. Spray muffin pan with nonstick spray or line with cupcake liners.

2. Combine milk and oats in a small bowl. Let stand 15 minutes.

3. In a large bowl, whisk egg and coconut oil. Add oatmeal mixture and stir to combine.

4. In another small bowl, sift together flour, sugar, baking powder, cinnamon, and salt. Stir in toasted wheat germ.

5. Add flour to oatmeal egg mixture and stir until just combined. Fold in blueberries.

6. Fill muffin cups about 2/3 full. Bake for 15-20 minutes until a toothpick/cake tester inserted into a muffin comes out clean. Remove from pan and cool on wire baking rack.

7. Gobble them down!

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Talk to me: What’s your favorite fruit? Muffins – love ’em or leave ’em?

– jennifer

Celebrate! It’s National Chocolate Cupcake Day!

Today is one of the Best. Days. Ever. ¬†It’s National¬†Chocolate Cupcake Day! ¬†Seriously, a whole day devoted to the chocolate cupcake?! ¬†HEAVEN!! ¬†Count me in! ¬†You know I’m hungry!

Have you ever wondered how the cupcake got its name? ¬†Honestly, me neither but it is pretty interesting! ¬†I did not know that the cupcake had such a history! ¬†All the way back in 1796, Amelia Simmons mentioned them in the first ever cookbook written by an American, “American Cookery.” ¬†She referred to them as “cake to be baked in small cups.” ¬†The name cupcake officially stuck with 1828 Eliza Leslie‘s cookbook “Receipts” and chefs starting baking the cakes in pottery cups. ¬†Their size closely resembled teacups so “cupcake” made perfect sense!

So, grab a cupcake – chocolate, of course! – peel back the foil or paper, and get down to business! ¬†Just don’t forget the napkins to wipe the frosting off your upper lip. ¬†You missed a spot. ¬†There, you got it. ūüôā

Chocolate Cupcakes

Cupcakes:
3/4 cup granulated sugar
5 tablespoons butter, softened
1 teaspoon vanilla
2 large eggs
1 cup all-purpose flour
1/4 cup unsweetened cocoa
1/2 teaspoon baking soda
1/4 teaspoon salt
1/2 cup fat-free milk

Frosting:
1 tablespoon butter
1/4 cup granulated sugar
3 tablespoons fat-free milk
1 ounce unsweetened chocolate, chopped
1 3/4 cups powdered sugar
1 teaspoon vanilla extract

1. Preheat oven to 350 degrees.

2. To prepare cupcakes, beat first 3 ingredients at medium speed of a mixer until well-blended (about 3 minutes). Add eggs, 1 at a time, beating well after each addition. Lightly spoon flour into a dry measuring cup and level with a knife. Combine flour, cocoa, baking soda, and salt, stirring well with a whisk. Add flour mixture to sugar mixture alternately with 1/2 cup milk, beginning and ending with flour mixture; mix after each addition.

3. Spoon the batter into 12 muffin cups lined with paper liners. Bake at 350 for 22 minutes or until cupcakes spring back easily when touched lightly in the center. Cool in pan 10 minutes on a wire rack, and remove from pan. Cool completely on wire rack.

4. To prepare frosting, melt 1 tablespoon butter in a small, heavy saucepan over low heat. Add 1/4 cup granulated sugar, 3 tablespoons milk, and chopped chocolate, stirring constantly. Remove from heat, and cool. Stir in the powdered sugar and 1 teaspoon vanilla. Spread frosting over cupcakes.

Yield: 1 dozen

Calories: 261 (28% from fat): Fat 8.2g (sat 4.8g, mono 2.4g, poly 0.4g); Protein 3.5g; Carbohydrate 44.5g; Fiber 0.3g; Cholesterol 53mg; Iron 1.1mg; Sodium 180mg; Calcium 32mg

Recipe adapted from Cooking Light

Pumpkin Chocolate Chip Cookies

Hooray! ¬†Today is the first official day of Fall! ¬†Thank goodness because, honestly, I’m a little tired of the Summer heat and humidity. ¬†Don’t get me wrong, Summer is great but Fall is my favorite season. ¬†Football is back, days become crisper and cooler, it’s sweater weather (YAY!), the leaves turn glorious colors, it’s camping season!, and baking becomes a really excellent way to warm up the house and make the place smell really, really good. ¬† And what better way to celebrate the beginning of the season than with a batch of delicious chocolate chip cookies? ¬†Of course, these aren’t your every day, average, run of the mill, yummy chocolate chip cookies. ¬†Oh no, these are Fall worthy, excellent, LIGHT, spectacularly delicious pumpkin chocolate chip cookies! ¬†Yep, pumpkin. ¬†Not a typo, not a mistake, not a bad idea but a fabulous and light addition to an old favorite. ¬†Seriously, the pumpkin takes the place of ¬†a large portion of the fat in a regular chocolate chip cookie and adds a whole new dimension of flavor. ¬†These cookies are basically floating on a chocolate pumpkin cloud. Where’d I find this recipe? ¬†Well, it was delivered to me. ¬†It comes direct from Maria’s Kitchen. ūüôā ¬†(Thanks, Maria!)

These cookies were super easy to make and are definitely super easy to eat – trust me, I’ve already eaten 4 of them. ¬†Hey, no judging! ¬†They are light and chocolately and pumpkin-y and … what are you waiting for? ¬†Go make some!

Pumpkin Chocolate Chip Cookies

1/2 cup butter or margarine, softened

1 1/2 cups sugar (or 3/4 cup Domino Light Sugar/Splenda blend)

1 egg

1 cup cooked or canned pumpkin

1 teaspoon vanilla

1 cup chocolate chips

2 1/2 cups all purpose flour

1 tsp baking powder

1 tsp baking soda

1/2 tsp salt

1 tsp nutmeg

1 tsp cinnamon

Cream butter and sugar together until light and fluffy.  Beat in egg, pumpkin, and vanilla.  In separate bowl, sift together flour, baking powder, baking soda, salt, nutmeg, and cinnamon.  Add to pumpkin mixture, mixing well.  Stir in chocolate chips.  Drop by rounded teaspoons onto well-greased cookie sheet.  Bake at 350 degrees for 15 minutes or until lightly browned.  Remove from cookie sheet while still warm and cool or wire racks.

Calories (based on recipe with Domino Light Sugar/Splenda blend):  83 calories; 4.og Fat (1.9g saturated); 10.4mg Cholesterol; 47.2mg Sodium; 12.9mg Potassium; 11.2g Carbs (4.9g sugar, .2g dietary fiber); 1.7g Protein