when words fail, s’mores work wonders


Do you ever feel like your days begin one way and end another?? Maybe like this –

  

I have worked like a crazy person around here to bring you all fabulous new things. I believe I have succeeded – and there are more on the horizon. A week from now we will have a new address to meet at (www.feedingbliss.com). It is a waiting game now while all of my data here gets moved there. I don’t know what is worse – moving years of blogging or changing your name with the banks… at this moment I think it’s dead even.

I’ve mentioned my shop before, but now there is a special tab on this webpage for you to browse through my goods, or you could just click here. You will find muffins, cookies, granola, and gift kits, and some beautiful eco-friendly tote bags.

Do you ever feel like a certain treat could say everything you can’t? Or maybe it just reaffirms something, a bond between two people? During this time of year it seems to be s’mores. Eaten over an open flame (or a sink if your stove is freshly cleaned). We needed that yesterday, that wordless conversation. We had used all our words. S’mores make you feel young and carefree and decadent. S’mores, to me, are an inside joke, something very special.

In our house, s’mores require a warm marshmallow (slightly crispy at the edges), melted chocolate and low-fat graham crackers. First, we load up the skewers with fluffy white clouds.   Next, we place the chocolate on the cracker and microwave (if possible) for 20-30 seconds. We really like the chocolate to be melty while the marshmallow is crisp-gooey. The rest is easy assembly. Load that cracker sandwich with the marshmallow and squish. 


Apple Muffins


Now that the wedding has come and gone we get to delve back into our to-do list. The fun one that has things like update recipes and make macaroons on it… Not the one riddled with obligatory tasks like making table numbers. We are looking forward to fun and to relaxing. After all isn’t that what being newlyweds is all about?? Anyways, over the past few years I have adjusted this recipe from the original I was taught and the original one I posted here. This is where we are today.

Apple Muffins

  • 1 stick butter, melted and cooled
  • 4 ounces unsweetened applesauce
  • 2 cups granulated sugar
  • 3 eggs
  • 2 teaspoons vanilla extract
  • 1 cup all-purpose flour
  • 2 cups whole wheat flour
  • 1 1/2 teaspoons baking soda
  • 1/2 teaspoon salt
  • 1 teaspoon cinnamon
  • 1/4 teaspoon nutmeg
  • 4 small Granny Smith apples, cored and diced into 1/4″ pieces
  1. Preheat oven to 350 degrees. Line muffin trays with papers and spray papers with nonstick spray.
  2. In a medium-sized bowl sift together flour, baking soda, salt, cinnamon and nutmeg. Set aside.
  3. Cream together butter, sugar, applesauce, eggs and vanilla extract mixing until light,  airy and well-combined                   
  4. Add dry ingredients to wet in thirds and mix at a gradual speed – you don’t want to over-mix or make a mess. Mix the first two thirds then wait.   
  5. Add the diced apples to the remaining flour and stir to evenly coat the apples; add to muffin batter and fold to incorporate.
  6. Fill muffin cups 2/3 full with batter.
  7. If you are making mini-muffins, cook them for 18 minutes rotating halfway through. For larger muffins you will need 25 minutes, again rotate the pan halfway through cook time.
  8. Let cool in pan 5 minutes before removing to cooling rack to cool completely.
  9. These guys are delicious with yogurt, coffee, or by themselves.


not always as planned


Saturday I had this great idea to make these mini pizzas. It didn’t work the way I wanted and was totally discouraged. I’m going to share what I did anyways, just to show you dinner doesn’t always have to follow your plan for it to be balanced and delicious.

Here’s where I went wrong: I didn’t look up the recipe. Because I didn’t look it up, my measurements were off. I used 2 pounds of dough, with the intention of freezing at least half of my yield for the week after the wedding. I knew I wouldn’t be up for cooking the first couple days we were home – actually I probably won’t be up for grocery shopping, the cooking is easy. I have the hardest time with pizza dough. I canNOT get it to stretch out and form a nice thin crust. Never have been. I have found ways to make it work like par baking the crust so it doesn’t rise so much and won’t be gooey after we add toppings. So Saturday I knew the general idea of the recipe, put dough in muffin pans, top with goodies and bake. But my normal issue arose and I couldn’t get them flat. So I decided to just cut up the dough in 14 standard muffins and 10 mini muffins. I poked them with a fork so they wouldn’t puff too much and baked them for 10 minutes at 350. Meanwhile I chopped up some turkey meatballs. When the muffins were nearly finished (still a little doughy in the middle) I put them on a rack to cool.

Then a few hours later when it was time for dinner I preheat the oven to 350 and sliced the pizza dough muffins in half like a hamburger. Next was the assembly line. The muffin halves were lined up on a baking sheet lined with aluminum foil. Each half got a dollop of tomato sauce, a sprinkling of meatball and then fresh grated parmesan and pecorino. They went back in the oven for 10 minutes until crispy and warmed through. We served it with a large salad. Not as intended, but still delicious.

We have the muffins left over and so when I am ready to use again I will defrost the night before then when it’s time for dinner I can get these guys ready in about 15 minutes.

Oh and we have a dog now… Unless his owner claims him before the wedding.
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Chili and bowling


Have you ever been to a bowling tournament? Me either. In fact I would have bet money that I wouldn’t be caught dead at one of these. But here I am. Supporting my future hubby. He made it to the regionals and if he does well here he moves on to the next round in Las Vegas.
Do you have any preconceived notions of bowlers? I did. And for the most part they are dead on. There is still the cliche elderly woman rolling around her O2, the Ron Jeremy lookalike and the man who I swear is still playing Risk on Friday night. Some people don’t fit the mold though. Like the frat guys and the soccer moms. Quite the sight.
Carver did very well, we haven’t heard where he placed but when we left he had the second highest score.
On our way out I scarfed down about 1/2 cup of turkey chili with a dollop of light sour cream and a diet coke. I knew I’d be hungry before we made it home and didn’t want to eat the bowling alley nachos so I stashed a bottle of water and an energy bar in my purse. 3 hours later I was grateful for thinking ahead.

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I missed yoga


For the past few weeks I have been in a fog. I have no idea what I was doing or what I already did. I just can’t seem to remember. I’m late all the time and distracted and few things are making me feel better. I tried to make it to yoga everyday this past week and failed. Partly because I made excuses and partly because work was overtaking things. Oh and we had a rental dog this week. Who wants to do ANYTHING when there is a dog at home to play with?

I was so excited this morning. I had a wedding call with my dad, I started a load of laundry. The house was relatively clean. I was going to yoga. I got my spirits up while driving thinking class would be empty as it is a holiday. I’m not sure if class was empty but the parking lot seemed empty. As I walked up to the door with my mat and bag I noticed the class was finishing the standing postures. Hmm that’s awesome. That means class started at 8AM, not 830AM like I thought. That’s what I mean. ALL week it’s been like that. By the by, it’s written in my agenda that class starts at 8…

After I drove all the way to the studio I decided I should just go home and have some breakfast. Carver was at work so I snuggled up on the couch with my bowl of cereal and consoled myself with some television.

 I am a fan of mixing cereals. It seems more exciting that way. Today I mixed 1/4 cup Post Great Grains, 1/4 cup Quaker Corn Bran Crunch, and 1/4 cup Whole Grain Total. Perfectly crunchy with 1/3 cup of milk and a big glass of water.

Since we spoke last I have had tomatoes grow in on my plant and some beautiful flowers have begun to adorn the front of the house.

     

Also we had a lot of yummy food over the past couple weeks.

                 


Thanksgiving


How was your Thanksgiving?? Ours was pretty good. My work scheduled enabled me to have an extended break which was nice. By Sunday though I desperately needed to get out of the house. I spent most of Thursday cooking which was nice. We managed to do just enough so it felt like Turkey Day but not so much that it was overwhelming. On our menu:

  • Sausage Stuffing with Fruit
  • Roasted Brussels Sprouts
  • Apple Crumb Pie
  • Turkey Breast – nothing too special here just herb butter (rosemary & thyme) and lots of basting (every 10 minutes for the last 45 minutes). 5 pounds went for about 2.25 hours total (30 minutes at 425 and the remaining at 350).
  • Gravy – store bought (trader joe’s)
  • Mashed Potatoes – done by my mother in law; basically your standard recipe but we added in some garlic-parmesan olive oil
  • Pumpkin Chocolate Tart – made by my mother in law and we adapted it from these two #1 and #2

We really enjoyed each of these treats. Some were proven to be excellent breakfast choices while others delicious standalone lunches.

Carver and I really enjoy the turkey-stuffing combo. In fact we often have it outside of that fourth Thursday of November. I think it is safe to say that we will make it again in our new house this January.

Meanwhile enjoy some other photos of our holiday.

           

      


Pumpkin Donut Muffins


These fabulous muffins came up last year. I believe I originally saw them in the November 2010 EDF. I knew instantly that these would be a huge hit. I made them last year as Thanksgiving day breakfast and they lasted a few days beyond that for snacks. This year I made them again – twice. Once for Carver’s breakfasts last week and again last week (5AM on Wednesday before work…) for my coworkers. Here is the original recipe.

Pumpkin Donut Muffins

Yields 12 muffins

Muffins

  • 5 tablespoons unsalted butter, room temperature
  • ¼ cup unsweetened applesauce
  • 3 cups whole wheat flour
  • 2 ½ teaspoons baking powder
  • ¼ teaspoon baking soda
  • 1 teaspoon salt
  • ½ teaspoon ground nutmeg
  • ¼ teaspoon ground allspice
  • ½ teaspoon ground cinnamon
  • 1/3 cup low-fat buttermilk
  • 15 ounces canned pumpkin
  • ¾ cup brown sugar
  • ½ cup egg substitute

Topping

  • ½ cup sugar
  • 2 teaspoons ground cinnamon
  • 1/8 teaspoon ground nutmeg
  • 3 tablespoons unsalted butter, melted

1. Preheat oven to 350. Line a muffin tin with papers and spray papers with nonstick spray.

2. Sift dry ingredients together in to a medium bowl or on to parchment paper.

In a small bowl whisk together pumpkin and buttermilk. Set wet and dry aside.

3. In a separate bowl beat butter, brown sugar and applesauce together until light and fluffy. Mix in egg substitute gradually scraping down bowl regularly.

4. Put mixer on low and add wet and dry ingredients to butter/sugar mix. Alternate flour and pumpkin; add the flour in thirds and the pumpkin in halves.

5. Spoon batter in to muffin cup – they should be about 2/3 full.

6. Bake muffins for about 30 minutes, rotating baking sheet halfway through cook time. Let muffins cool 10 minutes in the pan.

7. Assemble the topping. Combine cinnamon, sugar and nutmeg in a small bowl and transfer the melted butter to a separate small bowl.

8. After muffins have cooled for 10 minutes, dunk the top of each muffin in butter then dunk top in cinnamon sugar mix. Transfer to wire rack to finish cooling. I would put paper or baking sheet underneath the cooling rack to catch any stray sugar.

These will last 4 days in an airtight container at room temperature. They also will freeze very well; they last 3 months in an airtight freezer bag.