Blueberry Banana Muffins

Made with whole wheat flour and packed full of fruit, these Blueberry Banana Muffins are the perfect breakfast for mornings on the go!

Made with whole wheat flour and packed full of fruit, these Blueberry Banana Muffins are the perfect breakfast for mornings on the go!

These Blueberry Banana Muffins were an impromptu breakfast Monday morning, simply because I had some super-ripe bananas hanging out on my kitchen counter.  Quite honestly, I often let bananas turn spotted and brown just so I can make baked goods with ‘em.  You know banana baked goods are my favorite, right?

I also had a plethora of blueberries in my fridge, so I decided to combine the two in a quick and easy breakfast muffin.

Made with whole wheat flour and packed full of fruit, these Blueberry Banana Muffins are the perfect breakfast for mornings on the go!

While I love, love, love breakfast muffins, the prep work in some recipes is more than I want to deal with in the mornings.  You know those recipes – the ones that use every bowl and measuring cup in your kitchen, and take longer to mix up than they do to bake?

This recipe is not that one.

Seriously, these babies came together in just a few minutes – no mixer required – perfect for those mornings when you want a sweet bread for breakfast but don’t have a ton of time.

Made with whole wheat flour and packed full of fruit, these Blueberry Banana Muffins are the perfect breakfast for mornings on the go!

I used half white flour and half whole wheat flour in this recipe.  I personally don’t like using ALL whole wheat flour in my baked goods – the texture comes out a little too tough and dry for my taste.  I also used buttermilk in this recipe, since I had some leftover from making my blueberry cheesecake ice cream, but any milk you have on hand will do.

I also used a ton of cinnamon and vanilla, because those are two of my favorite baking ingredients. ;-)

Made with whole wheat flour and packed full of fruit, these Blueberry Banana Muffins are the perfect breakfast for mornings on the go!

The next time you need a quick and easy muffin, give this one a try!  We scarfed them down in no time flat.  If you don’t eat them all right away (?), these freeze just fine.  Enjoy!

Blueberry Banana Muffins

Blueberry Banana Muffins

Ingredients

  • 1 cup all-purpose flour
  • 1 cup whole wheat flour
  • 1/3 cup brown sugar
  • 1 teaspoon ground cinnamon
  • 2 teaspoons baking powder
  • 1 teaspoon baking soda
  • 1 1/2 cups mashed banana (about 3 large bananas)
  • 2 eggs
  • 1/4 cup buttermilk (or regular milk, almond milk, coconut milk, soy milk, etc.)
  • 1 teaspoon vanilla extract
  • 1 1/4 cups fresh or unthawed frozen blueberries, divided

Instructions

  1. Preheat oven to 350 degrees F. Lightly grease a 12 cup muffin pan.
  2. In a large bowl, mix the flour, brown sugar, cinnamon, baking powder, and baking soda. In a separate bowl, mix the bananas, egg whites, milk and vanilla extract.
  3. Mix the banana mixture into the flour mixture until just combined - do not overmix. Carefully fold in the blueberries. Spoon the batter into the prepared muffin pan.
  4. Bake 16 to 18 minutes at 350, or until a toothpick inserted in the center of a muffin comes out clean.

adapted from All Recipes

http://kitchenmeetsgirl.com/blueberry-banana-muffins/

XO, Ashley

 

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Jamaican Banana Bread

Bring the tropical flavors of banana, coconut, and lime to your kitchen with this Jamaican Banana Bread!  Even though the ingredient list is long, this recipe is easy to make and soooo worth it!

Bring the tropical flavors of banana, coconut, and lime to your kitchen with this Jamaican Banana Bread!  Even though the ingredient list is long, this recipe is easy to make and soooo worth it!

You know I’m a sucker for banana bread.  I could pretty much eat it for every meal of the day and be a happy camper.  If you search for banana bread recipes on my site, you’ll probably find close to a dozen, because I can’t stop trying different versions.

For a person who doesn’t care all that much for bananas in their original form, I’m all about banana bread.

Bring the tropical flavors of banana, coconut, and lime to your kitchen with this Jamaican Banana Bread!  Even though the ingredient list is long, this recipe is easy to make and soooo worth it!

 This recipe is very similar to an older {less well-photographed but my absolute FAVORITE banana bread of all time} recipe on my blog, and just about as good.  I’m hard-pressed to turn any banana bread down, especially one that combines the flavors of lime, coconut, and rum.

You should definitely give this one a try – especially since it’s a Cooking Light recipe, which means it’s basically health food, right? ;-)

Bring the tropical flavors of banana, coconut, and lime to your kitchen with this Jamaican Banana Bread!  Even though the ingredient list is long, this recipe is easy to make and soooo worth it!

Jamaican Banana Bread

Jamaican Banana Bread

Ingredients

  • 2 tablespoons butter, softened
  • 2 tablespoons cream cheese, softened
  • 1 cup sugar
  • 1 large egg
  • 2 cups all-purpose flour
  • 2 teaspoons baking powder
  • 1/2 teaspoon baking soda
  • 1/8 teaspoon salt
  • 1 cup mashed ripe banana
  • 1/2 cup fat-free milk
  • 2 tablespoons dark rum or 1/4 teaspoon imitation rum extract
  • 1/2 teaspoon grated lime rind
  • 2 teaspoons lime juice
  • 1 teaspoon vanilla extract
  • 1/4 cup flaked sweetened coconut
  • 1/4 cup packed brown sugar
  • 2 teaspoons butter
  • 2 teaspoons fresh lime juice
  • 2 teaspoons dark rum or 1/8 teaspoon imitation rum extract
  • 2 tablespoons chopped pecans, toasted
  • 2 tablespoons flaked sweetened coconut

Instructions

  1. Preheat oven to 375°. Spray an 8 x 4-inch loaf pan with cooking spray; set aside.
  2. Combine 2 tablespoons softened butter and cream cheese in a large bowl and beat with a mixer on medium speed until well combined. Add 1 cup of sugar; beat well. Add 1 egg; beat well.
  3. Place flour, baking powder, baking soda and salt in a large bowl and whisk to combine. Combine banana, milk, dark rum, grated lime rind and juice, and vanilla; stir. Add flour mixture and banana mixture alternately to butter mixture. Stir in 1/4 cup coconut.
  4. Pour into prepared pan and bake at 375 for 50 to 60 minutes or until a toothpick inserted in the center comes out clean. Cool in pan for 10 minutes. Remove from pan to wire rack and cool slightly.
  5. Combine brown sugar and 2 teaspoons each butter, lime juice, and rum in a saucepan; bring to a simmer. Cook 1 minute; stirring constantly. Remove from heat. Stir in 2 tablespoons each pecans and coconut; spoon over loaf.
http://kitchenmeetsgirl.com/jamaican-banana-bread/

Bring the tropical flavors of banana, coconut, and lime to your kitchen with this Jamaican Banana Bread!  Even though the ingredient list is long, this recipe is easy to make and soooo worth it!

XO, Ashley

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35 Creative Cinnamon Rolls

35 Creative Cinnamon Rolls Roundup

With the two major brunch holidays just around the corner, we wanted to make sure you had plenty of delicious menu options & you just can’t have a good brunch without warm, delicious cinnamon rolls. So we went searching & found 35 of the most creative cinnamon rolls out there! From cookies to potatoes and everything in between, these definitely aren’t your ‘from a tube’ breakfast treat!

 

35 Creative Cinnamon Rolls



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Thin Mint Protein Shake

This Thin Mint Protein Shake comes in at under 250 calories, contains a whopping 38 grams of protein, and is only 6 Weight Watchers Points Plus per serving!

This Thin Mint Protein Shake comes in at under 250 calories, contains a whopping 38 grams of protein, and is only 6 Weight Watchers Points Plus per serving!

 I know, I’ve been a little MIA lately.  I spent a good portion of February with a cold/flu, which is the third time since October I’ve had the same junk.  And as I spent my days sucking on throat drops, downing hot tea, and generally feeling miserable, I came to a conclusion: I need to spend a bit more time taking care of me.  Between work, Doodle’s karate schedule, the blog, and trying to fit in all of the other stuff I have to do (i.e.: laundry, groceries, trying to tame the havoc left behind by a 6-year old boy, sleeping on occasion), there wasn’t much time left over for me.  And like most women, I tend to put my own needs at the bottom of the list.

And then I realized – I can’t take care of anyone else if I’m not taking care of myself first.

I’m not going to bore you with the details, but I decided one of the things I need to do for me is to make some changes to my eating habits – not an easy prospect when you’re a food blogger.  Don’t worry, I’m not going to totally change the focus of my blog, but I am going to share some of my “healthier” recipes with you here and there – if only so that I’m not tempted to eat so many cakes and brownies during photo shoots. ;-)

And because I am a long-time Weight Watchers participant, I’m going to do my best to calculate points to go along with some of the recipes I share.

This Thin Mint Protein Shake comes in at under 250 calories, contains a whopping 38 grams of protein, and is only 6 Weight Watchers Points Plus per serving!

I always, always, always eat breakfast (typically oatmeal), but it doesn’t always ever keep me full all morning.  As a result, I end up snacking on other stuff (junk) until lunchtime – and when you work a sedentary job, that’s not a good combination.  Lately, I’ve been mixing up protein shakes in the morning.  I used to think protein powder was primarily for weightlifters, but I’ve found a scoop in my morning smoothies really does helps keep me full.  I’ve been trying some various flavor combinations, and right now, this Thin Mint version is at the top of my list.

Thin Mint Protein Shake

Thin Mint Protein Shake

Ingredients

  • 1/2 cup nonfat plain Greek yogurt
  • 1 scoop vanilla protein powder
  • 2 tablespoons sugar-free chocolate pudding mix
  • 1/8 teaspoon mint extract
  • 1/2 cup water
  • ice cubes - I like my shakes thick, so I use 10-12; adjust to your preference

Instructions

  1. Combine all ingredients in blender and pulse until desired consistency is reached.
http://kitchenmeetsgirl.com/thin-mint-protein-shake/

Note: calorie count and points plus values do not include whipped cream or cookies.

NutritionLabel

Disclaimer: I am not a nutritionist; these nutrition facts are based on my best estimates based on the products I used in creating this recipe. Since I’m currently counting points on Weight Watchers, I’m calculating this information for my personal use. Nutrient values are estimates only. Variations may occur due to product availability and food preparation. Nutrition may vary based on methods of preparation, origin and freshness of ingredients, etc.  This site is not a substitute for the services of a trained health professional.  The nutritional information above is for informational purposes only. 

XO, Ashley

 

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Bakery-Style Lemon Poppyseed Muffins

Don’t hit the bakery when you can make your own muffins just as easily!  These Bakery-Style Lemon Poppyseed Muffins have a crisp crust, with the inside perfectly tender and soft.   To get a big, rounded top, make sure you fill your tins all the way to the top, and use the baking tips outlined below.

Don't hit the bakery when you can make your own muffins just as easily!  These Bakery-Style Lemon Poppyseed Muffins have a crisp crust, with the inside perfectly tender and soft.

According to the National Weather Service, it’s been the 9th coldest start to February in Wichita history.  I’ve been wearing long underwear under my jeans on a daily basis – even while at home.  I’m so over winter by now, I can’t even tell you.

So when the temperatures warmed up to the 50′s over the weekend, I couldn’t stop myself from breaking out the lemons.

After weeks of sub-zero windchills, temperatures in the 50′s seem like a heat wave – almost like spring!

Don't hit the bakery when you can make your own muffins just as easily!  These Bakery-Style Lemon Poppyseed Muffins have a crisp crust, with the inside perfectly tender and soft.

And spring screams lemon to me. ;-)

I’m also a sucker for breakfast muffins on the weekend, so the result here was obvious: my favorite bakery-style lemon poppyseed muffins.  These also happen to be the Tall Boy’s favorite muffin, so it was a win-win around here for breakfast.

Don't hit the bakery when you can make your own muffins just as easily!  These Bakery-Style Lemon Poppyseed Muffins have a crisp crust, with the inside perfectly tender and soft.

Make sure to read the recipe instructions all the way through before beginning these muffins. Sally’s best-ever muffin tip directs you to begin baking your muffins at 425 degrees – baking for just 5 minutes. Then, lower your oven temperature to 375 degrees for the remainder of your baking time.

It’s like muffin magic!

Lemon Poppyseed Muffins

Lemon Poppyseed Muffins

Ingredients

  • 3 cups all-purpose flour
  • 3 tablespoons poppy seeds
  • 1 tablespoon baking powder
  • 1/2 teaspoon baking soda
  • 1/2 teaspoon salt
  • 10 tablespoons unsalted butter, softened
  • 1 cup light brown sugar, packed
  • 1 tablespoon grated lemon zest
  • 2 large eggs
  • 1 1/2 cups plain low-fat yogurt
  • For the drizzle:
  • 1 cup powdered sugar
  • 1 to 2 tablespoons lemon juice

Instructions

  1. Adjust oven rack to lower-middle position and preheat oven to 425. Spray a muffin tin with non-stick spray or line with cupcakes liners and set aside. Mix flour, poppy seeds, baking powder, baking soda, and salt in a medium bowl.
  2. In the bowl of a stand mixer, beat sugar, butter, and lemon zest on medium speed until light and fluffy. Add eggs, one at a time, beating until combined. Reduce speed to low and add dry ingredients in two installments, alternating with 3 additions of yogurt. DO NOT OVER MIX, or your muffins will turn out hard and tough.
  3. Divide batter evenly among muffin cups. Don't be afraid to fill them all the way to the top!
  4. Bake for 5 minutes at 425, and then lower oven temperature to 375. Bake another 15 to 18 minutes, or until muffins are golden brown and a toothpick inserted in the center comes out clean.
  5. Remove muffins from tin to wire rack and allow to cool for 5 minutes. Meanwhile, combine powdered sugar and lemon juice in a small bowl. Drizzle over cooled muffins.

recipe from Cook's Illustrated, baking tips from Sally's Baking Addiction

http://kitchenmeetsgirl.com/lemon-poppyseed-muffins/

XO, Ashley

 

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Homemade Baking Mix

Skip the box mixes and keep this Homemade Baking Mix on hand instead.  With this basic baking mix you can make quick, tasty homemade biscuits in minutes—or use it in any recipe that calls for biscuit mix.

Skip the box mixes and keep this Homemade Baking Mix on hand instead.  With this basic baking mix you can make quick, tasty homemade biscuits in minutes—or use it in any recipe that calls for biscuit mix.

So, last weekend I wanted to make a coffee cake…more specifically, this coffee cake:

{recipe coming soon!}

cherry-coffe-cake---close

…but I didn’t have any Bisquick or boxed baking mix on hand.  Since it’s not something I use often, and because it takes up valuable space in my small pantry, I usually avoid recipes that require it.  But making your own mix is just about as easy as scooping out of a store-bought box, and you know exactly what that ingredient list contains!

Most likely, you already have all of these ingredients at home.  The great thing is that you may use this mix to make biscuits, pancakes, or any recipe that calls for baking mix.  And now the Tall Boy is thrilled I’m keeping this on hand, so he can have biscuits and gravy a little more often!

Skip the box mixes and keep this Homemade Baking Mix on hand instead.  With this basic baking mix you can make quick, tasty homemade biscuits in minutes—or use it in any recipe that calls for biscuit mix.

Homemade Baking Mix

makes 6 cups

Homemade Baking Mix

Ingredients

  • 5 cups flour
  • 1/4 cup baking powder
  • 2 tablespoons sugar
  • 1 teaspoon salt
  • 1 cup (16 tablespoons) butter or margarine

Instructions

  1. Combine flour, baking powder, sugar and salt in a large bowl. Cut in butter until mixture is crumbly.
  2. Refrigerate in an airtight container for up to 6 weeks. You may freeze it for longer storage.
  3. To make Biscuits:
  4. Mix together 1/3 cup of milk for every 1 cup of mix. Drop onto ungreased cookie sheets and bake at 450 degrees for 10-12 min.
  5. 1 cup of mix will yield about 6 biscuits.
http://kitchenmeetsgirl.com/homemade-baking-mix/

XO, Ashley

 

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Homemade Whole Wheat Pizza

This Homemade Whole Wheat Pizza Crust is my family’s favorite: it has a great nutty flavor, and bakes up soft and chewy – better than anything at any pizzeria!

This Homemade Whole Wheat Pizza Crust is my family's favorite: it has a great nutty flavor, and bakes up soft and chewy - better than anything at any pizzeria!

Last week when I shared the recipe for my favorite pizza sauce, many of you said you were interested in my whole wheat pizza crust as well.  Today, I’m sharing with you how I make my family’s favorite crust.  It does take a little time, but the finished product is SO worth it.  You can’t get pizza like this in any pizzeria around, and we love the fact that we can all make and top our own pizzas.

This Homemade Whole Wheat Pizza Crust is my family's favorite: it has a great nutty flavor, and bakes up soft and chewy - better than anything at any pizzeria!

Making pizza from scratch isn’t a quick process, but it’s not difficult.  There is actually very little hands-on time; you’ll spend most of your time allowing the dough to rise and/or rest.  We like to make our homemade pizzas on Sundays, since we’re often around the house doing laundry and watching sports.

Lazy Sundays = my favorite.

Whole wheat dough can be a little tricky – it can often bake up heavy and dense.  This recipe has the perfect amount of whole wheat flour for my family’s taste – it comes out perfectly soft and chewy, with just the right amount of nutty flavor.

Freezing Instructions: this recipe makes enough dough for two 12-inch pizzas.  If you wish to make just one pizza, you may freeze half.  Prepare as directed, through step 3.  Place one dough ball in a gallon-sized Ziploc bag and seal.  You may freeze the dough for up to 2 months.  When ready to use, thaw at room temperature for 2 to 3 hours prior to using.

Homemade Whole Wheat Pizza

2 12-inch pizza crusts

Homemade Whole Wheat Pizza

Ingredients

  • 2 1/4 cups all-purpose flour
  • 1 1/3 cups whole wheat flour
  • 2 1/2 teaspoons quick-rise yeast
  • 2 teaspoons salt (I use either Kosher salt, garlic salt, or a mixture of the two)
  • 1 teaspoon sugar
  • 1 1/4 cups warm water (about 110 degrees), plus extra if needed
  • 2 tablespoons olive oil, plus extra for brushing crust prior to baking
  • Kosher salt and ground black pepper

Instructions

  1. In a large mixing bowl or the bowl of a stand mixer fitting with the dough hook, combine your flours, yeast, salt and sugar. With the mixer running, slowly add in the water and the olive oil in a steady stream until the dough comes together in a rough mass. If you do not have a stand mixer, you may combine the ingredients together by hand with a wooden spoon or large rubber spatula. If your dough does not form into a ball, add 1 or 2 teaspoons of water and mix again. Let the dough rest for 5 to 10 minutes, then mix again until the dough is tacky to the touch, but not sticky.
  2. Transfer your dough to a lightly floured surface (I use a baking mat) and form into a smooth ball. Place the dough into a lightly oiled bowl and toss to coat. Cover the dough with a clean kitchen towel and allow to rise until doubled in size in a warm spot, about 1 1/2 hours. You may speed this process up by bringing your oven to 200 degrees, turning it off, and placing the dough inside with the oven opened just slightly.
  3. After the dough has risen, turn it out onto a floured work surface and punch it down. Divide your dough into 2 equal pieces and shape each piece into a smooth ball. Cover the dough and allow it to rest for 10 minutes.
  4. Place baking stone in your oven and preheat to 500 degrees. Please read in my tips below why I prefer to use a baking stone. If you do not have one, you may use a baking sheet or a pizza pan. If using a baking sheet/pizza pan, grease your pan and set it aside.
  5. If using a pizza stone, lightly dust your pizza peel with flour or cornmeal. Coat your hands lightly with olive oil. Shape the dough directly on the peel (or pizza pan, if using) by pressing the dough outward with your palms and fingers. The edges should be slightly thicker than the center. If you have difficulty shaping your dough, or if it becomes too elastic and shrinks back, cover it with a clean towel and allow it to rest for 15 more minutes. This allows the gluten in the dough to relax so that the dough is more workable.
  6. After you shape your dough, cover it and allow it to rise for 15 minutes. This step is important because this second rise allows your dough to develop some volume so that it does not bake up dense and heavy!
  7. Next, lightly brush your crust with a bit of olive oil. I sometimes like to sprinkle my dough with a bit of extra kosher salt and pepper to help bring out the flavors of the crust.
  8. Add you favorite pizza sauce and toppings. Using a pizza peel, slide the pizza onto your baking stone and bake for 8 to 10 minutes, or until the crust is lightly browned. If using a pizza pan, you may need to bake it a bit longer, about 15 minutes total.
  9. Remove from oven, slice pizza, and serve!

recipe from Pizza and Other Savory Pies

http://kitchenmeetsgirl.com/homemade-whole-wheat-pizza/

I’ve shared a photo tutorial with you below, with some of the tips and tricks I use when baking this dough.

In a large mixing bowl or the bowl of a stand mixer fitting with the dough hook, combine your flours, yeast, salt and sugar. With the mixer running, slowly add in the water and the olive oil in a steady stream until the dough comes together in a rough mass. If you do not have a stand mixer, you may combine the ingredients together by hand with a wooden spoon or large rubber spatula. If your dough does not form into a ball, add 1 or 2 teaspoons of water and mix again. Let the dough rest for 5 to 10 minutes, then mix again until the dough is tacky to the touch, but not sticky.

This Homemade Whole Wheat Pizza Crust is my family's favorite: it has a great nutty flavor, and bakes up soft and chewy - better than anything at any pizzeria!

Transfer your dough to a lightly floured surface (I use a baking mat) and form into a smooth ball.

This Homemade Whole Wheat Pizza Crust is my family's favorite: it has a great nutty flavor, and bakes up soft and chewy - better than anything at any pizzeria!

Place the dough into a lightly oiled bowl and toss to coat. Cover the dough with a clean kitchen towel and allow to rise in a warm spot until doubled in size, about 1 1/2 hours. You may speed this process up by bringing your oven to 200 degrees, turning it off, and placing the dough inside with the oven opened just slightly.

This Homemade Whole Wheat Pizza Crust is my family's favorite: it has a great nutty flavor, and bakes up soft and chewy - better than anything at any pizzeria!

After about 1 1/2 hours, your dough will have doubled in size and should look similar to this:

This Homemade Whole Wheat Pizza Crust is my family's favorite: it has a great nutty flavor, and bakes up soft and chewy - better than anything at any pizzeria!

After the dough has risen, turn it out onto a floured work surface and punch it down, like so:

This Homemade Whole Wheat Pizza Crust is my family's favorite: it has a great nutty flavor, and bakes up soft and chewy - better than anything at any pizzeria!

Divide your dough into 2 equal pieces and shape each piece into a smooth ball.  Cover the dough and allow it to rest for 10 minutes.  I’ve provided freezing instructions below if you are making only one crust.

This Homemade Whole Wheat Pizza Crust is my family's favorite: it has a great nutty flavor, and bakes up soft and chewy - better than anything at any pizzeria!

Place baking stone in your oven and preheat to 500 degrees.  I prefer using a pizza stone because it mimics the intense heat of a brick oven.  Most commercial pizza ovens reach temperatures in excess of 700 degrees, so the pizza stone will help absorb and retain heat.  Pizza stones are available in many locations: I purchased mine at Bed Bath and Beyond for around $15.

If you do not have a pizza stone, you may use a baking sheet or a pizza pan. If using a baking sheet/pizza pan, grease your pan and set it aside.

If using a pizza stone, lightly dust your pizza peel with flour or cornmeal. Coat your hands lightly with olive oil. Shape the dough directly on the peel (or pizza pan, if using) by pressing the dough outward with your palms and fingers. The edges should be slightly thicker than the center. If you have difficulty shaping your dough, or if it becomes too elastic and shrinks back, cover it with a clean towel and allow it to rest for 15 more minutes. This allows the gluten in the dough to relax so that the dough is more workable.

This Homemade Whole Wheat Pizza Crust is my family's favorite: it has a great nutty flavor, and bakes up soft and chewy - better than anything at any pizzeria!

After you shape your dough, cover it and allow it to rise for 15 minutes. This step is important because this second rise allows your dough to develop some volume so that it does not bake up dense and heavy!

Next, lightly brush your crust with a bit of olive oil. I sometimes like to sprinkle my dough with a bit of extra kosher salt and pepper to help bring out the flavors of the crust.

This Homemade Whole Wheat Pizza Crust is my family's favorite: it has a great nutty flavor, and bakes up soft and chewy - better than anything at any pizzeria!
Add your favorite pizza sauce and toppings. This Simple Tomato Sauce is our favorite.

simple-tomato-sauce-3

Using a pizza peel, slide the pizza onto your baking stone and bake for 8 to 10 minutes, or until the crust is lightly browned. If using a pizza pan, you may need to bake it a bit longer, about 15 minutes total.

This Homemade Whole Wheat Pizza Crust is my family's favorite: it has a great nutty flavor, and bakes up soft and chewy - better than anything at any pizzeria!
Remove from oven, slice pizza, and serve!

This Homemade Whole Wheat Pizza Crust is my family's favorite: it has a great nutty flavor, and bakes up soft and chewy - better than anything at any pizzeria!

XO, Ashley

 

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30-Minute Dinner Rolls

Did you know you can make dinner rolls – yeast ones, at that – in just 30 minutes?  It’s true!  These 30-Minute Dinner Rolls are so easy to make you’ll never go store-bought again.

Did you know you can make dinner rolls - yeast ones, at that - in just 30 minutes?  It's true!  These 30-Minute Dinner Rolls are so easy to make you'll never go store-bought again.

The truth is, I’m a bread-a-holic.  There’s not much else in life I love more than the smell of fresh baked bread.  And with these 30-Minute Dinner Rolls, now I can have it every day if I want to.

Actually, I’m not sure that’s a good thing, considering I could eat the entire dozen all on my own.

Fortunately, Doodle and the Tall Boy loved these as much as I did, so it was more like a fight to the finish.

Did you know you can make dinner rolls - yeast ones, at that - in just 30 minutes?  It's true!  These 30-Minute Dinner Rolls are so easy to make you'll never go store-bought again.

I found this recipe over at Real Mom Kitchen, and I knew I had to give it a try.  Fresh baked dinner rolls in just 30 minutes, start to finish?  Sign me up!

I was a little hesitant before baking these – 2 tablespoons of yeast seemed like a lot – but the finished rolls did not taste overly yeasty.  They were light and fluffy and perfect.

Did you know you can make dinner rolls - yeast ones, at that - in just 30 minutes?  It's true!  These 30-Minute Dinner Rolls are so easy to make you'll never go store-bought again.

Technically, I suppose these rolls take a little longer than 30 minutes start to finish, but not by much.  And any homemade yeast bread that requires little effort on my part is a winner in my book.

Did you know you can make dinner rolls - yeast ones, at that - in just 30 minutes?  It's true!  These 30-Minute Dinner Rolls are so easy to make you'll never go store-bought again.

Quick, easy, and delicious!  My guys have already requested that I make these again {and again}.

So skip the bagged rolls at your grocer and make these instead.  You can have fresh baked bread in the time that it takes you to prepare the rest of your meal!

Did you know you can make dinner rolls - yeast ones, at that - in just 30 minutes?  It's true!  These 30-Minute Dinner Rolls are so easy to make you'll never go store-bought again.

30-Minute Dinner Rolls

makes 12 rolls

30-Minute Dinner Rolls

Ingredients

  • 1 cup plus 2 tablespoons warm water
  • 1/3 cup oil
  • 2 tablespoons active dry yeast
  • 1/4 cup sugar
  • 1/2 teaspoon salt
  • 1 egg
  • 3 1/2 cups flour (either bread flour or all-purpose will work)

Instructions

  1. Preheat oven to 400 degrees.
  2. In the bowl of your stand mixer, combine the warm water, oil, yeast, and sugar. Allow the mixture to rest for 15 minutes.
  3. Mix 2 cups of the flour, the salt, and the egg into the yeast mixture using a dough hook. Add the remaining 1 1/2 cups flour 1/2 cup at a time.
  4. Shape dough into 12 balls and place in a 9x13 pan. Let dough rest for 10 minutes.
  5. Bake for 10 minutes or until tops are just golden brown.

recipe from Real Mom Kitchen

http://kitchenmeetsgirl.com/30-minute-dinner-rolls/

XO, Ashley

 

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Skinny Double Chocolate Muffins

These Skinny Double Chocolate Muffins are chock full of flavor, but with a few easy substitutes, you don’t have to feel guilty eating them!

These Skinny Double Chocolate Muffins are chock full of flavor, but with a few easy substitutes, you don't have to feel guilty eating them!

Thanks to Dorothy at Crazy for Crust, I’m getting together with some of my best blogger friends today to host an online baby shower for our good friend Stephanie. Stephanie blogs over at Back for Seconds, and aside from being a fabulous cook, she’s simply one of the most beautiful people you’ll ever meet {both inside and outside}.

If you don’t know Stephanie, you need to hop on over to her internet space and check it out for an hour or three.  And make sure to look at her recipe for 2-Ingredient Kit Kat Bars, because that’s just way cool {and dangerous, especially if you have a sweet tooth like I do}.

Anywhoo, Stephanie just had the cutest new little baby boy {with three kiddos already at home}, so we thought it would be mega awesome to hire her a personal chef and housekeeper for the next month.  And then we calculated the cost and decided to just do this instead. ;-)

These Skinny Double Chocolate Muffins are chock full of flavor, but with a few easy substitutes, you don't have to feel guilty eating them!

As a busy mom myself, I know how hard it is to get a semi-healthy breakfast in the mornings {or ever??}, and I also know that sometimes all you want is to stuff your face with chocolate.  So I’ve got both covered with these Skinny Double Chocolate Muffins.

These Skinny Double Chocolate Muffins are chock full of flavor, but with a few easy substitutes, you don't have to feel guilty eating them!

Skinny is probably a misnomer here, but I’m of the mindset that making some modifications for healthier baking and not overindulging on a regular basis means that I can eat one of these muffins without feeling super guilty about it.  Made with part whole-wheat flour, bananas, applesauce, and egg whites, these are a breakfast muffin I can get behind.  Pair one {or two} with some fresh fruit, and you have an easy on-the-go breakfast.

Congratulations on your new sweet little miracle, Stephanie.  Give him snuggles from me!

Skinny Double Chocolate Muffins

Skinny Double Chocolate Muffins

Ingredients

  • 3 1/2 ripe bananas, mashed
  • 1/4 cup unsweetened applesauce
  • 3/4 cup all-purpose flour
  • 1/2 cup whole-wheat flour
  • 1/4 cup unsweetened cocoa powder
  • 3/4 teaspoon baking soda
  • 1/4 teaspoon salt
  • 1/2 teaspoon cinnamon
  • 1/3 cup sugar
  • 2 large egg whites
  • 1/2 teaspoon vanilla extract
  • 3/4 to 1 cup chocolate chips, divided

Instructions

  1. Preheat oven to 375. Line a muffin tin with 12 liners or spray with cooking spray.
  2. Combine flour, cocoa powder, baking soda, salt and cinnamon in a medium bowl and stir to combine with a wire whisk. Set aside.
  3. In a large mixing bowl, combine sugar, egg whites, bananas, applesauce and vanilla and beat at medium speed until thick.
  4. Add flour mixture to banana mixture and mix on low speed until just combined. Do not overmix your batter or your muffins will come out tough. Fold in 1/2 cup of the chocolate chips.
  5. Pour batter into muffin tins. If desired, sprinkle the remaining 1/4 cup to 1/2 cup of chocolate chips on the tops. Bake for 18 to 20 minutes at 375.
  6. Keep refrigerated. May be frozen for up to 1 month.
http://kitchenmeetsgirl.com/skinny-double-chocolate-muffins-2/

Also, make sure to check out all of the other baby shower treats!

Pimiento Cheese Spread by Laura’s Baking Talent
Sweet and Sour Pulled Chicken by Kathy’s Kitchen Table
Skinny Chocolate Chip Cannoli Dip by Frugal Foodie Mama
Funfetti Pudding Cookies by Crazy for Crust
Blueberry Boy Bait by Pint Sized Baker
Strawberry Butter Streusel Muffins by Chocolate, Chocolate, and More
White Chocolate Reese’s Brownies by Inside BruCrew Life
Blueberry Coffee Cake by Heather’s French Press
Skinny Banana Nutella Dip with Star Pie Crust Dippers by Wine & Glue
Celebrating with Star Cookies by Created by Diane
Lemon Meringue Cookie Cups by Mom on Timeout
Skinny Blueberry Cheesecake Bites by Yummy Healthy Easy
Skinny Chocolate Muffins by Kitchen Meets Girl
Flourless Chocolate Cake by Plaid and Paisley Kitchen

XO, Ashley

 

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Berry Power Smoothie

Thank you to Weight Watchers for getting my new year started off right. Though I was compensated for my time and commitment, all views, positive and negative, are my own.

Filled with fruit, Greek yogurt, and a bit of flaxseed, this berry power smoothie is a #simplestart to a new you!

So…2014.  Canyouevenbelieveit?

If you’re like a lot of other folks, the beginning of a new year sparks a desire to make some healthy changes to your eating habits.  Let me just say this: having a baby post age-30 + writing a food blog = the skinny jeans are not happening.

And I’m not so much as concerned about the skinny jeans as I am about maintaining healthy eating habits and setting a good example for raising a healthy child.  But for me?  It’s really, really hard.  I have a terrible habit of ripping open a bag of tortilla chips after work in the early evening and just going to town.  Willpower when it comes to food is not my forté.

I’ve been a long-time member of Weight Watchers – and not primarily because I have a lot of weight to lose.  But when Doodle was about two years old, I realized my personal health was taking a backseat to my mommy duties.  I was too tired, too stressed, too focused on everything else in my life to take time for me.

And that wasn’t good for anyone.

So I took charge of my life again, and signed up for Weight Watchers.  I lost weight, yes, but more importantly, I felt better about myself.  Healthier.  Stronger.  Happier.  In control.

And then…I started blogging.  My snacks of fresh berries and veggies with hummus slowly became replaced with bites of cheesecake cookies and chocolate banana bread during photo shoots.  My jeans got a little tighter.  I felt tired and sluggish, and I knew I needed to make some changes – again.  So when I saw Weight Watchers had a new Simple Start plan to get into the swing of things, it was just the push I needed.

Filled with fruit, Greek yogurt, and a bit of flaxseed, this berry power smoothie is a #simplestart to a new you!

The goal of Simple Start is to get you in the habit of eating good-for-you foods. During the first two weeks of this plan, you don’t have to worry about portion size.  All you have to do is choose meals and snacks from the lists provided, and eat ‘em. ;-)

Weight Watchers even created a shopping list to help you navigate the grocery store aisles. The meals have swap options and flavor boosts, and there are plenty of options for vegetarians.  Yep, it’s really that easy.

Filled with fruit, Greek yogurt, and a bit of flaxseed, this berry power smoothie is a #simplestart to a new you!

Not only that, but on the Simple Start plan, you get 7 point-plus per day to spend on indulgences.  That includes chocolate, peanut butter, and/or wine.  I don’t know about you, but it’s the times that I’m too strict or deprive myself that I have a hard time staying on track.  Knowing that I have a daily treat to look forward to really helps keep me motivated.

Filled with fruit, Greek yogurt, and a bit of flaxseed, this berry power smoothie is a #simplestart to a new you! While this smoothie isn’t specific to the Simple Start plan (I’ll talk about specifics in a later post), it is one of my favorite snacks when I’ve tracked points in the past.  Loaded with fresh fruit, Greek yogurt, coconut milk, and a bit of ground flaxseed, you don’t have to feel guilty about indulging!

Tell me: what are your tips for maintaining a healthy diet?

Berry Power Smoothie

Berry Power Smoothie

Ingredients

  • 1 banana, sliced and frozen
  • 1/2 cup Greek yogurt
  • 1/4 cup light coconut milk
  • 1 cup mixed berries (I used strawberries, raspberries, and blackberries)
  • 1 teaspoon flaxseed
  • 1 large handful fresh spinach, optional

Instructions

  1. In a blender, combine banana, yogurt and milk and process until smooth. Add in remaining fruit, flaxseed, and spinach (if using), and blend until desired consistency is reached.
http://kitchenmeetsgirl.com/berry-power-smoothie/

XO, Ashley

 

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