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Archive for February, 2012

Believe me, the Muffin Man does not exist. However, the Muffin Woman is definitely alive and kicking…or maybe cooking? Wow, sorry about that one. When did I turn into my mother and how do I stop the bad jokes!?

I tried to be better. I was in a weight loss competition with some colleagues at work and was doing really well. I had cut out all desserts and sweets and junk during the week, only allowing myself to indulge on the weekends. I even lost 4 pounds, just 1 pound shy of my goal.

But then the muffin cravings started up. See I normally eat a muffin for breakfast. Every day. Ever since the mid-90’s. We’re basically talking decades here…

Knowing that cutting the muffins out would help with the weight loss, I had converted to 2 pieces of toast for breakfast. It was great for a while, one piece with jam, one piece with peanut butter and honey. I had this down, the routine was set, the toaster was ready, heck, I was even ready…for the month that this lasted.

And then came the post about zucchini muffins, and now a post on orange chocolate chip muffins. Let’s not even start talking about all of my other favourite flavours. Like these. Or those. No wait, for sure these. Okay fine, you caught me, all of the flavours are my favourite flavour…

Seriously though these are really good. Sure they taste a bit like cake, sure I always eat them with jam, sure they aren’t the most waist friendly things I’ve ever had. What’s really important though is that these will a) make you more friends and b) make the morning that much brighter.

Just make them already.

Orange Chocolate Chip Muffins

1/2 cup butter             1 cup sugar

2 eggs                         1/2 cup sour cream

1/2 cup orange juice    Grated orange rind

2 cups flour                 1 tsp baking powder

1/2 tsp baking soda      Chocolate chips

Preheat oven to 400F.

Cream butter and sugar together until light and fluffy.

Beat in eggs one at a time.

Add sour cream, orange rind and orange juice, mix well.

Combine flour, baking powder and baking soda. Fold into the creamed mixture.

Add chocolate chips and blend.

Bake for 18-22 minutes.

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No Bake Granola Bars

Granola bars. Pivotal to anyone’s existence.

Elementary school recess was probably the best creation ever. What could be better than digging in the sand, swinging on the monkey bars and swings, playing California kick ball, making routines on the bike rack bars…holy walking down memory lane here.

What else was the best? Recess snacks. Um hello Dunkaroos, Soda-licious, Fruit Roll-Up, Fruit by the Foot, Teddy Grahams, bags of chips, freezies, mini Oreos…and I wonder why my fat years hit from grades 4 to 7.

Come high school everything changed. Recess was for talking to friends in the hallways, walking to the next class and last second meetings. Those sugary sweets were also replaced by the granola bar. Very mature of me, I was a high school student after all.

Now that I’m back in high school I figured it was time to resurrect the recess granola bar. But this time the granola bars are home-made, which is probably the best thing ever because I can make whatever I want.

This week it was all about the peanut butter, chocolate chips and butterscotch chips. Maybe not the healthiest choice but there’s always next week which will probably be filled with craisins and almonds. So excited about this; endless combinations, endless opportunities.

 

Yes I am going to town on this one.

No Bake Granola Bars

Adapted from LaurensLatest

1/4 cup butter               1/4 cup honey
1/3 cup brown sugar      1/4 cup peanut butter
2 cups oats                    1 cup crispy rice cereal
1/2 tsp vanilla

2 tbsp mini chocolate chips + 2 tbsp butterscotch chips (or whatever fillings you want)

In a large bowl, stir oats and rice cereal together. Set aside.

In a small pot, melt butter, honey, peanut butter and brown sugar together over medium high heat until it comes to a bubble. Reduce the heat and cook 2 minutes.

Pour in vanilla and stir.

Pour over dry ingredients and mix well to moisten all ingredients.

Pour into lightly greased small jelly roll pan and press out to be about 3/4 inch in thickness. Be sure to press them down so they stick together.

Sprinkle with mini chocolate chips and butterscotch chips. Press down lightly.

Cool on a countertop to room temperature for two hours or until the chocolate chips are set before cutting into bars. Store at room temperature.

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I’m not really all about variation. When I figure out what I like I stick with it.

Running shoes? Yes I buy the same New Balance shoes every year. Listening to country music and nothing else? Guilty as charged, although I am trying to branch out. But only a little bit. Eating sushi? California, yam tempura or dynamite roll every. single. time. Only using the treadmill at the gym? I’m sorry, what the heck is an elliptical and why is it taking up precious space?

I mean really, why would you mess with a good thing?

The same can be said for breakfast around here. Homemade muffins. Every. Single. Week…for the past 15 or so years. Yeah, that’s definitely a sign that I’m a fan.

These muffins are a constant in the freezer. Sure they sound a bit different, but they are delicious. And they taste healthy, which means that they must be good for me.

Instead of the typical and familiar carrot muffin, zucchini takes centre stage this time and pairs extremely well with raisins or blueberries. That’s why we alternate around here…one week it’s the raisins, and the next week, what a surprise when the blueberries arrive.

Clearly this was a blueberry week. Because sometimes life needs a little bit of spicing up.

 

 

 

 

 

Zucchini Spice Muffins

1 1/2 cups flour        1 cup sugar

2 1/4 tsp cinnamon  1/2 tsp nutmeg

1 tsp baking soda      3/4 tsp baking powder

1/2 tsp salt               2 eggs

1/2 cup oil                2 cups shredded zucchini

1/2 cup raisins or blueberries

Preheat oven to 375F.

Combine flour, sugar, spices, baking powder, baking soda and salt.

In another bowl beat eggs and oil until light. Stir in zucchini.

Add liquid ingredients to the dry ingredients. Stir until just moistened.

Stir in the raisins or blueberries.

Divide into muffin tins and bake 25-30 minutes.

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