Monday, January 16, 2012

Carrot Apple Muffins much?

So I figured out why I have a weight problem......I eat to much. I know, rocket science right? Go figure. Lately I've been on a semi health kick (so lets just forget about the the girlscout cookies I just bought....Okay?).

Maybe my train of thought is similar to slamming my head against a brick wall but, if I think that if I encourage my kids to eat healthy, that might rub off on other words, maybe that metaphorical brick wall will actually shatter. After all, I do have a pretty hard head. (My stylist tells me so, so it must me true.)

My only saving grace when it comes to overeating is that I go to the gym and I eat at home almost all the time. Actually, to keep it serious for a split second, I do try to eat obsession with food does have a positive side effect. Most of the things I eat tend to be on the less processed side of things. I cook at home not just because I want to eat healthier but because it's cheaper and really, it creeps me out to eat out all the time......after all, do I really know whats going in my food when a perfect stranger is making it? Do I really know if they washed their hands before they left the bathroom? What are the health and safety standards in Germany? When food is made under a different agenda (out of profit margins instead of "love") the ingredients can magically change.

Before I left Sacramento we were planting veggies and fruit in the back yard and I was contemplating having a couple of chickens, maybe I bat house set up, and a bee hive in the back. Yeah, my husband who is in the environmental business thinks I'm an absolute granola-crunching-tree-hugging-nut-case but, still he must endure all of my deep thoughts (Through better or worse right?).

Readers may notice I am not perfect with my ideals.... In fact, if a reader is on some witch hunt for hypocrites he can stop right here.....I am one. I go out to eat and I do enjoy junk food. But, it's because I'm not perfect. I guess the point is that I'm striving for it (perfection). That's the point of it all right? -'Every effort is a success, even if you don't see the results'

So let me not stray entirely from my title and get all preachy which, I tend to do sometimes....making the average reader nauseated.

Carrot Apple Muffins.

Our family loves blueberry muffins on weekend mornings. I like them too. I can freeze them and then nuke them later in the microwave during the week. Despite our muffin love affair, these little delicious boogers are made with sugar and white flour. The only redeeming quality is that they are made with blueberries and not chocolate chips. (That's like telling myself that I can have 2 lunches because I did an hour on the elliptical....completely justifiable right?) To switch things up I found and touched up a recipe to make my own. Carrot Apple Muffins. These are pretty darn yummy. My recipe calls for apple sauce but I'd imagine grated apple with a dash of lemon zest could possibly make a tasty alternative. I'll have to try it out and possibly update.

Makes 12 muffins

  • 1 1/4 cups whole wheat flour
  • 1/4 cup sugar
  • 1 teaspoon ground cinnamon
  • 1/2 tsp. baking powder
  • 1/2 tsp. baking soda
  • 1/4 tsp. salt
  • 1 cup packed finely grated carrots (about 2 med. size carrots grated)
  • 1/2 cup applesauce (preferably unsweetened but any kind will do)
  • 2 large eggs
  • 1/4 cup vanilla unsweetened almond milk (again with the almond milk she says! Oy vey!)
  • 1/4 cup canola oil

  1. Preheat oven to 450F (230C)
  2. Spray muffin with non-stick cooking spray or line cups with papers
  3. In a med/large bowl combine dry ingredients
  4. In a med/small bowl combine wet ingredients (this includes the apple and carrot)
  5. Pour wet ingredients in with dry ingredients and combine
  6. Spoon batter into muffin tin cups
  7. Bake for about 20 (do the toothpick test)
  8. Let them cook for as many minutes as you can stand and then serve with butter/margerine or plane.
I tried them with margarine and I say "barf" but my husband liked them better this way. So to each their own I guess. (what a weirdo.... Love you hon!)

Labels: , ,

Saturday, January 14, 2012


To quote the president: "Yes we can!".....make popcorn in the microwave without buying special microwave popcorn. Maybe I should have stamped "sucker" on the top of my forehead but it really didn't occur to me that I could do this. I thought that the white-little-skinny-old man had some magical patented component in their paper bag that could make popcorn in the microwave. I mean, it's really convincing especially since the bag has to be placed "just right" ('THIS END UP') or it will explode my microwave...... right? So, imagine my amazement when all of my core beliefs about microwave popcorn where just thrown out the window?! That's right, a plane brown paper lunch bag and some popcorn kernels are all you need. (and of course your choice seasoning). It took a little trial and error the original recipe I found called for 1/2 cup kernels. I really did end up with popcorn exploded all over my microwave. Just not enough room in the bag for all of that. I also tried the butter flavor in a bottle. Stupid me looked at the label after purchasing....120 calories per Tbsp. vs. 102 calories in Tbsp. of butter....unless a person has IBS I say, "BUTTER IS BETTER"

Yes, I could purchase my own popcorn popper but, honestly, I'm too cheap for that. So far this has been my favorite combo. I'd very much like to try something different and lower in calories. A few weeks ago I tried lime and salt flavor. Not something I created just bought a box of it. (Again with the white-skinny-old-guy brand)So flippin' yummy.

I'd like to try something like this on my own. Again, a 1/4 cup kernels is about 200 calories plus butter.....that's over 300 calories....dieticians help me out here! Somehow I need to get the calories down. 1/4 cup kernels after it's been popped fits in my ramen bowl. It's a good snack and I think the size is right for one person. Maybe I'm wrong but any less than this and I'm gonna be reaching for something more to eat.

Brown lunch bag
1/4 cup popcorn kernels
1 Tbsp. butter
1/8 tsp popcorn salt

  • Watch these guys carefully because it will burn quick!
  • Place kernels in paper bag and fold paper bag several times. Don't staple the bag. (Metal & Microwaves don't mix!).
  • Place the bag standing up in the microwave.
  • At my microwave set at 900W, it takes about one minute and twenty seconds. Again, listen to it and find out what works with your microwave.
  • Melt butter for 15-20 seconds in the microwave after popcorn is popped.
  • Open bag of popcorn, drizzle with butter, close bag again and shake up.
  • Open bag, sprinkle with salt close bag and shake up again.
  • Pour in to a bowl for aesthetics and enjoy.

Labels: , , ,

My Favorite Smoothie

......So far anyway. I have to say that smoothies are not really my favorite to make. I can't really seem to simplify the process. Pull out the blender, pull out the transformer (that, by the way weighs about 20 pounds), put ingredients in, blend, take apart blender and clean. YUCK. Too many bloomin' steps. I like smoothies when I can buy them... not make them. But in Germany, I am far, far, far away from my favorite smoothie joint (I'll give you a hint, it rhymes with Mamba Moose).

One of my husband's favorite flavors from this joint is a smoothie with peanut butter. It's pretty good however, it is freaking loaded with girth and calories. Usually after a person drinks this concoction, one feels as though they have a brick in their stomach.

After a little research and experimentation, I've created my own easy concoction that fits the bill. No, it doesn't taste exactly like the magical drink in the Styrofoam cup... however, like I said, it fits the bill and it's easy to make and I don't end up with lumps in my smoothie (do not like lumpy smoothies... a little bit of an oxymoron right?)

Whoever hasn't tried almond milk is missing out. Truly. It has a history. It's not just some new fandangled thing that has made it's way to the shelves. It's low in sugar and calories, and it's fabulous for baking too. It's now been voted in as a must for our weekend pancakes because my family has concluded it taste better than regular milk pancakes. I like it in my cereal but my kids don't. I tried to get my toddler on it but he was too far gone into the depths of moo juice. No worries though, I don't hate milk... just excited about being able to replace it from time to time in certain things.

Another thing I love, love, love about this is that it's vegan, raw, and parve... so, go ahead and have a smoothie and a "HN" hot dog, la'chaim!

My children don't like this recipe. My husband and I both enjoy this one A LOT. My eldest doesn't like bananas and my other one... well he doesn't even really like milkshakes (a strange, strange individual). Try it with your kids though, if they are the normal types... and see if they enjoy it.

The only complication in this recipe is that the bananas need to be sliced and frozen solid. I've done it with room temp bananas and I don't like the texture and temperature of it. What I've done in the past few years is just slice up my brown bananas and freeze them. One more thing to do with over-ripe bananas besides making banana bread.

So, here goes:

1 1/2 cup unsweetened vanilla almond milk
3 Tbsp. almond butter (regular peanut butter works in a pinch)
2 Bananas that have been sliced and frozen

Place all ingredients in your blender and liquify. Apparently this is two servings (p'shaw right)... I will sometimes enjoy this for lunch when I'm in a hurry.

Labels: , , , , , ,