Peanut Butter Banana Blender Muffins

Happy Monday, and happy “I took all my photos on my phone” day…sorry about the lack of prettiness!

Super easy and super clean, these little muffins will probably become your go to when you want a little baked good. It’s as easy as blending a few ingredients, throwing in any extras you want to have, and baking them up!

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Peanut Butter Banana Blender Muffins

Ingredients

2 eggs
1 cup natural peanut butter
2 very ripe bananas
1/2 teaspoon baking soda
1 teaspoon vanilla
optional mix-ins: chocolate chips, nuts, coconut, raisins, dried fruit
optional topping: equal parts oats, unsweetened coconut, and brown sugar

Directions

1. Preheat oven to 350 degrees. Spray mini-muffin tin with cooking spray.

2. Blend all ingredients together, and then stir in any extras you’d like. Divvy the batter up among your muffin tins. It should fill about 36 of them. If you want to add a topping, just sprinkle a little on each one and gently press down.

3. Bake for 10-12 minutes, until cooked through. Enjoy!

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Mushroom and Spinach Quiche

AKA Super Easy Quiche that you can fill with any ingredients you want! YAY!

This weekend, a couple of my girlfriends gathered for a bunch at a friend’s house. Let’s just say we were there for about five hours, and it was glorious, girly time. And my hands-down favorite brunchy food is quiche (well really, anything with eggs, but quiche definitely covers that). There are a million recipes out there, so I kind of just made one up, and I’d say it turned out quite nice.

First off, I pretty much ALWAYS use a store-bought crust. They are delicious, and let’s be real…no one cares. I recommend a frozen deep-dish pie crust…you know, the kind you buy that’s already in the foil tin, and usually you have to buy two which means WOOPS more quiche next weekend please!!

Anyway, here you go. You can always substitute any meat or veggie you want, but I was really happy with the flavor on this one…enjoy!

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Mushroom and Spinach Quiche

Ingredients

  • 4 eggs
  • 1 cup milk (I use skim, but I suppose higher fat might be even more delicious)
  • 1 medium sweet onion, diced
  • 1 10 oz package frozen spinach, thawed and squeezed
  • 1 8oz package of sliced baby bella mushrooms
  • CHEESE. Optional, and the amount/type is totally adjustable.
  • salt, pepper, garlic powder, and any other seasonings you are partial to. Thyme would be good, but I did not have any on hand.
  • Olive oil

Directions

1. Preheat oven to 350 degrees. Saute onion in olive oil until it begins to brown and become slightly translucent. Add mushrooms, and cook for a few more minutes until they begin to brown as well. Add in spinach and mix well. Take off heat and let it cool off a bit.

2. In a medium bowl, combine eggs, milk, and seasonings: Beat well. Also add in about 2-4 oz of cheese. I had a bit of feta left in my fridge, so I threw that in with a little shredded cheddar.

3. Stir about 1/2 of your onion, mushroom, and spinach mixture into your eggs. Pour this into your pie crust, and then slowly add as much of the remaining vegetable mixture as you can. You may have a little left over, but I think it’s more important to get all the eggs in there.

4. Bake for about 40 minutes before checking it. It will likely still jiggle a little in the middle. Add a sprinkle of cheese across the top, and bake another 10 minutes, or until the middle no longer jiggles. I also recommend placing your quiche onto a sheet tray, since you’ll likely get a little overflow, and you don’t want to bother cleaning your oven later!

5. Let rest at least 20 minutes. You can serve at room temperature, or even cold. I’m a fan of warm/room temperature…To each his own!

Enjoy BRUNCH!! Because mimosas.

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Coconut Ginger Balls

Once in a while, I get a hankering for something strange. Lately, it’s been coconut and ginger. Plus, I’m always wanting something sweet around the house that is still pretty “clean.” Trust me, I can do a number on some cookies or cake, but I always feel 100000x guilty afterward. So to me, this recipe is the perfect little something-sweet-and-guilt-free.

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Adapted from Every Last Bite, this recipe seriously took me like, five minutes to whip up. I made them into tiny little balls so I feel like I have more of them… I think these would be delicious spread on an apple, graham crackers, or just popped in your mouth after dinner. Or for breakfast. Or whenever. Enjoy!

Coconut Ginger Balls (makes about 1 dozen)

Ingredients

8 medjool dates, pitted
3/4 cup unsweetened coconut, shredded
2 tablespoons walnut pieces
2 tablespoons fresh ginger
1/2 tablespoon honey (optional – the dates are pretty sweet already!)

Directions

1. Put dates in food processor and pulse for about a minute, until a paste is formed.

2. Add in the rest of your ingredients and blend until combined. A soft, sticky dough will form. You may need to scrape the sides a time or two.

3. Form into tablespoon-ish sized balls. You may want to wet your hands just a little so it doesn’t stick. Keep in the refrigerator for a week, or in the freezer for up to a month.

 

Easter is Coming!

I know it was JUST St. Patrick’s Day, but next week is Easter! While Easter is absolutely THE most important holiday in the Christian faith, I’m not going to get too into that today. You’re welcome. Instead, I’m going to highlight a few of my favorite springtime crafts and treats from Easters Past.

And so, without further ado…

I like to call this one, “Ode to that one time that Carli and I weren’t married yet and she didn’t have three baby girls yet and we spent a whole weekend crafting and baking and making marshmallows…”

I also don’t have a ton of Easter decor around my house – maybe when we are a little more settled down for the long haul I can buy some of this and this – but I make due! Last year I made this wreath, and bought some cheap but sparkly Easter eggs to brighten things up.

In lieu of an Easter basket for my hubby (he doesn’t eat a lot of candy, anyway), I filled each egg with a reason I love him. Call it a grown up version, I guess!

OKAY let’s talk about food… Breakfast is my favorite, and I’ve shared some of my favorite brunch items before. But my favorite FAVORITE FAVORITE treat, in general, are scones. I don’t know why, I just love them. I love their texture. I love how well they dip into coffee. I just love those little suckers. And here are my favorites, made for Easter a few years back with my roomie: Maple Scones. Happy Easter, Jesus is Risen, INDEED.

Then let’s talk about Easter 2011. This was my first holiday with the family that would later become known as my IN-LAWS. They are amazing, and of course, I really REALLY wanted to impress. How does one impress one’s future possible in-laws? One makes this cake, that’s how!!

And then finally, for Easter 2013, at which point my now-hubster and I were engaged, so now I like really REALLY want to make sure everyone likes me, I made salted caramel brownie parfaits. I think if they weren’t sure yet that I should be marrying their son/nephew/brother/uncle, they were sure then…

Can I get an AMEN? I know that Dennis the Obese Mini-Dachshund told us all that food is NOT love, and I understand that’s very true when it comes to loving your pet-child, but I’m here to tell you that when it comes to winning over future in-laws, FOOD IS LOVE.

Weekend in Review

This was one of those weekends that managed to strike JUST the right balance of fun, productivity, and relaxation. They are rare, but OH how I love them.

Pre-weekend, I presented at a small conference on Friday here in Columbus. Lots of schools from across the state were represented, and we ended the day in a “networking” happy hour. A great start to the weekend, if you ask me.

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Friday night included a nice dinner out to celebrate the end of a crazy week, followed by TV and early bed time. Yep, I’m a dork but IT WAS AWESOME.

I got up early Saturday, knocked out a 3.5 mile run (a big deal for me), as I’m training to do a 10K in early May. The hubs and I went to breakfast, I finally used a groupon to Krema and got a ton of nut butters, and a few other miscellaneous errands. Then I did a bunch of random reorganizing and throwing away of old crafty things and home decorations. Downsize, downsize, downsize.

There might have been a nap, and then some basketball watching with friends. A healthy dinner at home, red crinkle cookies, and an Ohio State loss in basketball, but NATIONAL CHAMPIONSHIP in wrestling. Holla!

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Sunday brought CBS Sunday Morning, coffee, church, lunch, groceries…and since it’s basically spring, I freshened up our living room a little with some new green/grey/blue/yellow potpourri and candles. You like? What did you do this weekend?

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My Favorite Every Day Smoothie

I’ve posted about a few of my favorite protein shakes, but I really do have one go-to that’s my favorite. My base is ALWAYS frozen banana (either a half or whole one), almond milk, and protein powder. Beyond that, the options are endless. But here is my FAVORITE daily one…

And it happens to be green-ish! Just one day after St. Patrick’s. SORRY FOR THE BAD PHOTO. I was trying to get out the door!

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Ingredients:

1/2 banana

1/4 cup blueberries

1 cup spinach

2 slices of pineapple

1 serving protein powder

1 cup plain, unsweetened almond milk (or milk of choice)

Directions:

1. Prep first four items in advance by slicing, bagging, and freezing. I make several baggies at once.

2. Combine frozen ingredients with your favorite vanilla or chocolate protein powder plus almond milk.

All of the Green Things

Happy St. Patrick’s Day!

We had a little shindig over the weekend to celebrate both an early St. Patrick’s Day and the fact that my hubster, and most of his grad school pals, completed their comprehensive exams last week. A HUGE ACCOMPLISHMENT. Now they just have ot pass all their classes, and they will be good to go!

And in the spirit of St. P’s, I attempted to make as many green-colored foods and drinks as I could. And so I give you, a few of my favorite simple foods with a green twist…

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Green Champagne

A quick tip on green champagne…We put our food color right into the bottle, BUT here’s the thing. I have Americolor food coloring, which is really made to color icings and cakes and cookies and things. It’s more of a paste than a liquid. I recommend using the good ol’ cheap grocery store stuff. The Americolor dropped into the bottle in a few clumps, and with the first pour, looked like the photo above. But by the end of the night, it was completely dark emerald green – the clump of food color had slowly dissolved with all the bubbles!! It was kind of a fun experiment, but seriously. Use the cheap, watery stuff…

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Crinkle Cake Cookies

These cookies are SO GOOD. And I love them because you can make so many varieties.

Ingredients:

1 box cake mix (I used french vanilla)
2 eggs
6 tablespoons of butter, melted
1/2 cup powdered sugar mixed with 1 tablespoon cornstarch

Directions:

Preheat oven to 350 degrees. Mix together cake mix, eggs, and butter. Add food coloring (if you want! Or you can use colored cake. Or anything you want…endless options!). Form into balls and roll in powdered sugar mixture. Coat them good!! Place on baking sheet and cook for 8 minutes. YUM. Add extracts for yummy flavors, too.

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Skinny Taste Spinach and Artichoke Dip

What did we do before skinny taste? I seriously LOVE this spinach and artichoke dip. Made it exactly to recipe, and it is AMAZING. Check out the recipe!!

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Turkey and Zucchini Roll Ups

Couldn’t be easier. Use an apple peeler to make some ribbons of zucchini. Wrap a slice of zucchini, a slice of turkey, a dab of mustard, and a pinch of broccoli slaw all up together, and secure with a toothpick. Healthy! Easy! Green!!

Baked Brie has ALWAYS been my go to party recipe. I made it here and here and used brie another way here. But I haven’t switched it up much over the years. I was in the mood for a good baked brie, and thought long and hard about how to make it St. Patrick’s themed. And then I realized: Green Pepper Jelly! Delicious and green. Also, green apples and pears served for dipping (and wheat thins, but they aren’t pretty or green). I even added a little shamrock on top. OH HEY.

Baked Brie with a shamrock :)

Baked Brie with a shamrock :)

Baked Brie with Green Pepper Jelly

Baked Brie with Green Pepper Jelly