chocolate chip wheat muffins

Peanut Butter Choco-Wheat Muffins

Doesn’t have the same ring to it as say, EVOO, does it? PBWW stands for Peanut Butter Chocolate Chip Whole Wheat Muffins, or for short…muffins. The easiest foods to tote along on a road trip seem to always be loaded with carbs. I know that carbohydrates themselves are not bad guys, but when they are all you eat, you just end up feeling like a spacey, bloated bagel (who is still hungry for more). I was happy to find this recipe, which uses all whole wheat, has minimal sugar and a bit of protein to boot. I hate that saying, “to boot”. I’m sorry for using it.

Attention grammarophiles: I know that the period almost always goes on the inside of quotation marks. I did some extensive research on that sentence and found that placing the period on the outside of the quotations is correct in this instance. For the rest of the world that doesn’t care, I’m sorry for my nerdness.

Back to the muffins at hand. Here is what the creator of the recipe says about the benefits of these puppies.

Peanut butter * a great source of manganese, Vitamin E, tryptophan (calming!), niacin, folate, and copper! Peanuts also contain lots of healthy monounsaturated fats and antioxidants! They have been linked to a reduced risk of cardiovascular disease and have been shown to significantly lower your chances of getting colorectal cancer. Whole wheat flour * ffiiibbbeerrr! And B vitamins!

Whole Wheat or Bust 

chocolate chip wheat muffins

These muffins are not super sweet, but they are a nice change from the typical cake-like muffin in the fact that they fill you up and leave you satisfied. Normally, I could keep popping muffins like popcorn, but the whole wheat and the fat from the PB really do a good job and holding my hunger over.

Peanut Butter Chocolate Chip Wheat Muffins
 
Prep time
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Author:
Recipe type: Baked Good
Serves: 12
Ingredients
  • Dry ingredients:
  • 2¼ cups whole wheat flour
  • ¼ cup sugar plus 2 tbsps
  • 1 tsp baking powder
  • a dash of salt
  • Wet ingredients:
  • ¾ cup milk
  • 1 egg
  • ¼ cup crunchy peanut butter plus 2 tbsps (I used creamy, but crunchy would be fun)
  • as much water as needed to thoroughly mix (I added the water to the mix of wet/dry and used about ¾ cup)
Instructions
  1. Preheat the oven to 350. Mix wet and dry ingredients in separate bowls. I used an immersion blender in the wet bowl to break up the peanut butter.Once you’ve mixed the wet and dry, add around ½ cup chocolate chips (more or less, depending on taste) Pour the wet over the dry and mix with as few swoops as possible. Bake for 25-30 minutes, until they pass the toothpick test.
 

Now just for fun, I wanted to throw in a picture from Dallas’ first Lil’ Baseball (that’s the name of it) practice. It is so fun to watch him grow up. Gotta go take care of my kids now. Max is running around with dry erase markers (three of them), all without caps, some on his face. Dallas is watching an especially scary episode of My Little Pony Friendship is Magic. 

Avocado – Turkey – Apple

I’ll start by mentioning that the e-mealz worked well for night one. Especially the whipped cream with fruit, the real stuff blows cans and Cool Whip out of the water.

Today’s food is an avocado, turkey and apple sandwich. While I guess you could eat this for lunch, this is one of my favorite breakfast meals. I’m not huge on eggs in the morning (if you hear me ask for eggs and ham, watch out…it means I’m pregnant.) The constant struggle for a protein filled breakfasts sans eggs is a big one! Most of the time, peanut butter is my morning protein of choice, because it is fast!

When I have an extra minute, and an avocado on hand, I will make this tasty treat! This sandwich is best on toasted bread (whole wheat) and with a few sprinkles of salt added to the smashed up avocado. I love my handy little mandolin for slicing my apples nice and thin. They are pretty cheap, grab one for your kitchen if you don’t already own  one!

I’m not sure what else to tell you about this sandwich, I’m thinking you can probably figure out how to make it if you can read the title. So, I’ll talk about something else now.

avocado turkey apple

I stayed up past midnight watching a stupid Lifetime movie last night. They always drag me in. The worst part is they always leave you pretty unsatisfied, you know exactly what is going to happen. What is their power over women? I love/hate that station! Do you watch Dowtown Abby? I’d love to start that show. I’m really only hooked on Once Upon a Time, a silly show on CMT called Sweet Home Alabama and the awful Desperate Housewives. I need some good quality cable shows! What do you suggest?

Did you know?

Hey, did you know that rump roast isn’t really a pig’s rump? It’s the shoulder! I just learned that today.

Did you know that Garnier’s dandruff shampoo will clean a dirty bathtub just as well as Head & Shoulders? (And way better than Comet).

Did you know that every seven years you are scheduled to have a “transitional” year? 7,14,21,28,35,42,49…(Don’t ask me who scheduled that).

That’s all I’ve got. You probably know anything else I could throw at you. You are smart, I can tell. Hope you make it back tomorrow for another road friendly food topic. Happy Tuesday!

If Two Cookies Had A Baby

I just made some really yummy cookies and have no idea what to call them! The best way I can describe the taste is to say that this cookie tastes like the baby of a Pecan Sandie and a Samoa (Girl Scout cookie, not actual Samoan). The cookie is adapted from Maria Emmerich’s blog, which holds a recipe for homemade Keebler Fudge Stripe Cookies. I wavered from her suggestions and used raw cane sugar, instead of 3 different sugar substitutes. I also skipped the chocolate drizzle over the top and poured small ramekins of fudge for cookie dipping.

These cookies are gluten free and can be egg free if you wish. They aren’t just for the gluten sensitive though, they are seriously fantastic. I just ate four. Yes, four. I don’t want to talk about it anymore.

Sandie-Moas
 
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Author:
Recipe type: Cookie
Serves: 12
Ingredients
  • 1½ cup blanched almond flour
  • ½ cup coconut flour
  • 1 tsp aluminum free baking powder
  • 1 cup coconut oil
  • 1 cup sugar
  • 1 egg
  • 1 tsp Celtic sea salt
Instructions
  1. Preheat the oven to 325 degrees F. In a medium bowl, cream the oil and sugar (add in egg if using). Cream for a few minutes until very fluffy. In a separate bowl mix together the almond flour, coconut flour, baking powder, and salt. Slowly add in the dry ingredients to the wet and mix until smooth.
  2. In between 2 pieces of parchment (greased parchment), roll the dough out into ¼ in thick dough. Roll dough into balls and press into cookie shape.
  3. Place cookies about 2 inches apart. Bake in preheated oven for 17-20 minutes or until golden around the edges. Cool completely on the baking sheet before removing from cookie sheet.

Maria’s Blog

Oscars 2012: The Artist

Movie Fuel is back with his list of the top 5 movies of 2011 (just in time for the Oscar nominations). Movies & Munchies will spend the next few weeks focusing on Oscar nominated films and some food to go along with! Before I introduce you to today’s recipe, let’s hear from Mr. Movie Fuel, shall we? Here are his top five movies of 2011:

5. Tree of Life

Starring: Brad Pitt, Sean Penn and Jessica Chastain

Directed by Terence Malick

Tree of Life tries really hard to make you hate it.  Between the origin of life clips, the spinning world of the main characters adult life, to the lack of any coherent dialogue (it’s like watching a movie with Best of Classical blasting through your iPod ear buds), it doesn’t take long before you are asking yourself, “what is this I’m watching?”  If you can sit through the entirety, the film as a whole is well worth it and will stick with you for a long time after.  Often compared to Stanley Kubrick’s 2001: A Space Odyssey, the film primarily follows a family in 1940’s and 50’s middle America. A father (Pitt) broken by the world internalizes his bitterness and believes you can only benefit in life by taking control of everything around you and a mother with a passion for God and her children who believes in letting life take its course and having faith.  Nature vs. Grace is not only represented by the parents of a young man finding his way through life, but also through flashes of moving images demonstrating scientific and spiritual analogies all in an effort to answer the question: what is the meaning of life?  It’s not light fare obviously, but is well done and leaves you relating in some way to almost every character in the film.

4. Bridesmaids

Starring Kristen Wiig, Maya Rudolph and Melissa McCarthy

Directed by Paul Feig (produced by Judd Apatow)

Let’s call it what it is, a girls version of The Hangover.  But, just like the difference between men and women, this version is more personal and vulnerable in its story telling.  It is bold and raunchy, but with a sense of humanity and heart.  Kristen Wiig steals the show here as a can’t-do-right bridesmaid who could use a hug.  There are very few stars who do physical comedy well and even fewer actresses, but Wiig certainly has a bright future after strutting her stuff in this film. If you’re looking for a laugh out loud comedy, this is your movie.  If you’re looking for something to watch on a date, this is your movie.  If you love toilet humor, this is your movie.  Bridesmaids has something for everyone (with a strong stomach).

3. X-Men: First Class

Starring: James McAvoy, Jennifer Lawrence and Michael Fassbender

Directed by: Matthew Vaughn

For those of you who have never heard of director Matthew Vaughn…join the club!  With only a few films under his belt (including 2010’s Kick Ass!), he convinced me and so many others that the X-Men franchise, which was thought to be dead, can be resurrected with quality filmmaking and an interesting story.  Set over several decades, starting in the 1940’s and spanning through the 1960’s, the film tells the origin story of how the X-Men (super powered loners) came to be, while slyly  infusing some of our own human history into the tale along the way.  With solid acting all around and enough humor and action to keep even the non-comic book fan interested, X-Men: First Class won’t leave you unsatisfied.

2. Crazy Stupid Love

Starring: Steve Carrel, Ryan Gosling and Emma Stone

Directed by: Glen Ficarra

As the tagline describes it: “This is Crazy.  This is Stupid.  This is Love.”  Love is all those things; never completely understood but desired and enjoyed just the same.  While the story centers around a man down on his luck who meets a new friend that picks him up, the true theme here is about confidence.  Every character is rich in the way they support the story and every character ebbs and flows with how convinced they are that they know how to define love and take control of it.  As you put the pieces together, discovering what is going to happen next, you come to realize that you really like every character in the film.  Sharply written and full of surprises, the beauty of Crazy Stupid Love is that the film demonstrates that love is not always happy and joyous, it can also be boring and painful, but even with that, is the best thing in the whole world.  Painting a realistic picture of the challenges faced in life and relationships through a comedy writers eyes, reminds us that we’re not alone and that love is about going through things together and enjoying every moment.  There are very few true romantic comedies made that can pick you up and provide a quick getaway, so it is that much more refreshing that a movie like this would come along and sweep you off your feet.

1. Girl with the Dragon Tattoo

Starring: Daniel Craig and Rooney Mara

Directed by David Fincher

On occasion a performance will supersede the quality of a film and even be so good that the viewer is blinded by any flaws that may exist outside of that performance.  Rooney Mara as Lisbeth Salander (the now infamous literary character) has such a subtle power as a fierce hacker with an equally soft innocence that you believe she truly exists (I was shocked to find out this was the same actress who played the girl who dumps Mark Zuckerberg in Social Network?).  While the performance is incredible, the other pieces of the film do a lot to keep pace.  Director David Fincher (Fight Club, Seven, Curious Case of Benjamin Button and The Social Network )does masterful work building the intensity of well written script.  The story centers on a journalist (Craig) researching a decade’s long mystery of a lost heiress on an island in Sweden.  While the film explores some very harsh themes, it is the overlaying idea of redemption that draws you in and sticks with you days after you’ve seen the Girl with the Dragon Tattoo.

Notable films I still haven’t seen: The ArtistThe DescendantsMoney Ball, and The Help

While I was tempted to make some X-Men food (Wolverine Waffles?), I decided to opt for my favorite film of last year, The Artist. Yes, it is a silent film (with music), it is in black and white and stars only a couple of recognizable faces, but it is fantastic! It is one of those, you have to see it for yourself movies. Thanks Stephanie, for getting me out of the house to see it!

Jy and I put on our first Oscar party back in 2003 and served a crazy array of movie themed food. Chicago Chili is all I can seem to remember. Now that we have kids, we set the dvr and hope for the best! There will come a day when we host another Academy Award party, that day will probably be far, far away.

The first Oscar food of the series is a healthy-ish one. It works well with the movie The Artist, as it is a white dessert with a bit of black on top. Ready for it? It’s Probiotic Pudding. No, stay with me! Listen, there seems to be a new reason each week to eat loads of crap. While I love the Oscars, it is hardly worthy of Easter brunch calories. PLUS, this is a dessert you can make more often, now that you know it ain’t so bad for ya.

I took Mark Bittman’s recipe for vanilla pudding and swapped out the main ingredient, whole milk (or half-and-half) for a low-fat, probiotic filled Kefir! I also left out the butter. (FYI: I’m too mad at Paula Deen to continue butter love. More on that another time). The pudding tastes like a tart frozen yogurt, with a touch of sweetness. It’s really worth trying!

 

Probiotic Pudding
 
Prep time
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Author:
Recipe type: Dessert
Cuisine: Healthy
Serves: 4
Ingredients
  • 2 cups low fat, plain Kefir (you could try flavored too)
  • ½ cup milk
  • ⅔ cup sugar
  • 1 tsp vanilla
  • 3 T. cornstarch
  • pinch of salt
  • chocolate shavings (unsweetened is fine too)
Instructions
  1. Put 2 cups of Kefir, sugar and salt into a medium saucepot over medium heat. Cook until mixture begins to steam or looks like it may start to boil (don’t let it).
  2. Combine cornstarch and milk in a bowl and blend lumps away. Add mixture to pot, cook, stirring occasionally, until mixture starts to thicken and barely reaches a boil, about 5 minutes. Immediately reduce heat to low and stir for 5 minutes or so until thick. Stir in vanilla.
  3. Pour into 1 quart dish or 4 to 6 small bowls. Cover with plastic wrap to avoid skin forming on top (or don’t cover if you like the skin). Keeps for a day in the fridge. Whisk to remove lumps if needed.
Add chocolate shavings to the top for the black and white effect.

To see more nominated films and their paired up foods, visit the main FoFo Oscar page!

Road Trip Series: Kettle Corn & Smoothies

Please excuse my two day absence. I won’t lie, I was playing hooky. I totally hate that it is spelled that way, I prefer hookie. Hooky looks too much like “hooking,” which I definitely wasn’t doing. Anyway, I needed a boost of energy and here I am, energized and ready to blab your ear (well, eyes) off again!

So, I talk about my friend Lisa all the time. Lisa as in Lisa’s Apple Cake Lisa.

Lisa is so rad.

Guess what my friend brought to a park playdate last week? Kettle corn! Not a left over sack from the farmer’s market, not a bag of Orville Old Man kettle corn, but the real stuff. What makes Lisa extra rad, is that she had emailed out the super simple kettle corn instructions by the time we were home from playing.

Now, I should say that I think my mother would kill me extra dead if I let my kids eat popcorn in their carseats. Let me take a second and share information that my mother would want me to tell you about (if you don’t already know).

The top ten foods that children choke on are:

  1. hot dogs
  2. peanuts
  3. carrot
  4. boned chicken
  5. candy
  6. meat
  7. popcorn
  8. fish with bones
  9. sunflower seeds
  10. apples

-NY Times

So, please don’t piss off my mother. Is “piss off” profane? Kettle corn is easy to bring on a road trip, but not for letting your kids eat while you have your eyes on the road, mkay?


Kettle Corn
 
Prep time
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Author:
Recipe type: Snacks
Serves: 4
Ingredients
  • Lisa's Kettle Corn
  • ¼ cup canola oil
  • ¼ cup sugar
  • ½ cup popcorn kernels
  • salt
Instructions
  1. Heat oil in a large pot, over medium heat. Stir in sugar and then popcorn. Put the lid on the pot and give it (the pot, not the lid) a few shakes, back and forth over the burner until you hear some kernels pop. Remember the Jiffy Pop pans? Shake like that. Then add in some salt (to taste) and pop that corn in your belly!

Don’t let the kernels over-cook (I let mine go a minute too long). Dang it, Tina!

This item is sold out 🙁

I’m sorry, but is there really anything funnier that you can think of than Napoleon yelling, “Tina, you fat lard, come and get your dinner!”

As for the smoothie, I have a new and most favorite combination. The measurements are not specific, nor do they need to be. It’s just the fabulous flavor combo of:
  • strawberries
  • mango
  • orange juice concentrate
  • protein powder
  • honey
  • flax or chia seeds

I add water to thin the smoothie out a bit, but it is just a no-fail combo, I promise! Once again, I would suggest packing a cooler with some large Mason jars full of smoothie. You could give them some good shakes before drinking (don’t forget to pack straws). The fruit and protein powder are a great balance to the carb-o-licious popcorn.

Thanks for giving me a couple days off. I mostly felt crummy from eating too much sugar. I know, I know, do I even read my own blog? Stop with the sugar already! But I’m back and ready for mo’!