Tag Archives: Baking

Healthy(ish) Banana Muffins

A few months ago when we were at my parent’s house, my mom had made some banana muffins. They were delicious. We couldn’t stop eating them! She sent me home with the recipe and I made them for the first time a couple weeks ago. Being on Weight Watchers, I had to calculate the points and they were 3.8 pts each. Too many points, especially since I couldn’t eat just one! So I adjusted the recipe a bit this week and made them again, and they are now 2.5 points each. I took out some of the sugar and oil, and made them a little smaller. But still perfectly delicious. This recipe makes 24 muffins.

(Please excuse my bad photo... We were eating them so quickly I almost missed the opportunity to take one!)

(Please excuse my bad photo… We were eating them so quickly I almost missed the opportunity to take one!)

These could also be made healthier by using different oil, different flour, adding proteins… But I’m just not into all that, yet.

Banana Muffins

  • 1/3 cup brown sugar
  • 1/2 cup white sugar
  • 1/4 oil
  • 4 oz. unsweetened applesauce (the amount in one of the little containers)
  • 2 eggs
  • 1 tsp. vanilla
  • 2 cups flour
  • 1 tsp. baking soda
  • 2 mashed bananas
  1. Preheat oven to 350 degrees. Place baking cups in pan or spray muffin pan.
  2. Beat oil and sugars well.
  3. Add applesauce, eggs, and vanilla.
  4. Add flour and baking soda. Mix well.
  5. Stir in bananas.
  6. Fill muffin tins 1/2 full. Bake about 15 minutes, until brown on top and toothpick comes out clean.

 

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M&M Chocolate Oat Bars

I saw this dessert on Pinterest and was so excited to make it. It’s basically oatmeal cookies with fudge in between, topped with M&Ms. It seemed sort of like a fall dessert, though as the recipe points out, you can just change the M&M’s out to make it themed for any holiday and time of the year!

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M&M Chocolate Oat BarsLil’ Luna

  • 1 1/2 cups oats
  • 1 1/2 cups flour
  • 1 cup brown sugar
  • 1 tsp. salt
  • 1 cup butter, melted
  • 1 14 oz. can sweetened condensed milk
  • 1 bag milk chocolate chips
  • 2 TBSP butter, softened
  • 1 cup M&Ms (For the fall version, I bought a “large” size bag and picked out the red, yellow, orange, and brown. Then you get to eat the rest!)
  1. Preheat oven to 350.
  2. In a large bowl, mix oats, flour, brown sugar, salt and 1 cup softened butter with a spoon. Remove 1 cup and set aside.
  3. Press remaining mixture into the bottom of a greased 9×13 pan.
  4. In a small pot, melt condensed milk, chocolate chips and 2 tablespoons of butter over low-medium heat. Stir constantly until chips are melted and all is mixed well.
  5. Pour chocolate chip mixture over the bottom layer and spread evenly. Sprinkle leftover cup of oat mixture over the chocolate.
  6. Top with M&Ms and bake for 20-25 minutes. Let cool completely before cutting, if you can! (I couldn’t wait!)

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Pumpkin Cinnamon Rolls

One morning a couple weeks ago, the Pioneer Woman posted a recipe for Pumpkin Cinnamon Rolls. That combines like three of my most favorite things: Pioneer Woman, pumpkin, and cinnamon rolls. I HAD to make them. And I did, that very night. Well that night and into the next morning since it took me four hours to make them. But maybe that was just me. And they were WELL WORTH THE TIME. Lots of cinnamony, pumpkiny, cream cheesy goodness.

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It may have also taken me four hours because around 11:30, in the middle of making them, I discovered A SNAKE on our living room floor. Michael was already asleep and so I screamed and screamed until he woke up and came into the living room very confused. It was a harmless snake… BUT STILL. NOT OK to be in the house. I was freaking out, but did get close enough for a picture (because who was going to believe me without proof??). Michael did pick it up and take it outside unharmed (but I think maybe slightly traumatized by my screaming). (Side note: Our house is really nice and in a nice area, it is not normal for creatures to come in!).

Proof.

Proof.

So back to the cinnamon rolls… they took a long time to make, but it was a fun challenge. I had never made any kind of “sweet rolls” before and it’s about time to learn! I definitely need to perfect my rolling technique, but I’m sure I will be making these a lot more, and also plan on trying her regular cinnamon rolls around Christmas.

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Ready to be rolled up!

This recipe made four pans of rolls, so I sent some to work with Michael. One of his co-workers loved them so much that he paid me to bake him some for a Halloween party! My first baked good sale. Very exciting.

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The recipe is pretty detailed and Ree gives such excellent directions and pictures on her web site so I am going to direct you there for the recipe. Her pictures are very necessary the first time you make these.

I hope you make them and let me know what you think!

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It’s Fall Y’all

Fall is the best. The weather starts getting cooler, the leaves change colors, football is in season, a fresh school year. Everything just seems better in the fall. I so enjoy decorating my house and making it all festive and fall-like. I think I decorate more for fall than I do for Christmas! One of my favorite parts of fall is PUMPKIN. I’m a huge Starbucks Pumpkin Spice Latte fan (though I don’t allow myself one until it’s cold outside…) and I love baking with pumpkin. I guess I could do that year round, but then it wouldn’t be special.

So far I have made three different pumpkin recipes- cake, cookies, and a layered dessert. (I had to make the cookies twice because I forgot to take pictures the first time… oops?…)

Pumpkin Spice Cake. Now I know this recipe is all over Pinterest, but my mom taught me to make it long before Pinterest was around. It’s so simple. Two ingredients. A box of spice cake mix and a can of pumpkin.

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Mix together (I also like to add a bit of pumpkin pie spice to amp up the flavor some), put in a 9×13 pan, and bake according to box directions. No oil, eggs, water- just those two ingredients! I then frost mine with cream cheese icing, but that’s up to you. So easy, and so delicious.

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[Random story about this cake… our honeymoon took place over Thanksgiving. We spent that day in our cabin in the mountains cooking and eating a Thaknsgiving feast. We made this cake, and between the two of us, we ate it all in less than 24 hours…]

Pumpkin Spiced Oatmeal Cookies- from Skinnytaste 

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  • 1 cup flour
  • 2 cups oats
  • 1 tsp baking powder
  • 1/2 tsp baking soda
  • 1/2 tsp salt
  • 1/2 tsp cinnamon
  • 2 tsp pumpkin pie spice
  • 2 Tbsp butter
  • 1/2 cup sugar
  • 1/2 cup brown sugar
  • 1 egg
  • 6 Tbsp canned pumpkin
  • 2 tsp vanilla
  1. Preheat oven to 350 degrees. Spray cookie sheets or cover with parchment paper
  2. Whisk together the flour, oats, baking powder, baking soda, salt, pumpkin pie spice, and cinnamon.
  3. In a mixer, cream the butter and sugars, then add the egg, pumpkin, and vanilla. Mix well.
  4. Stir in the flour/oat mixture until just combined.
  5. Drop by Tablespoons (or however big/small you want them!) onto cookie sheet. Bake 10-12 minutes.
  6. Prepare for amazing, moist, pumpkin deliciousness!

Layered Pumpkin Dessert- from Kraft

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  • 25 Nabisco Ginger Snaps, finely crushed (about 1 and one-third cups) (I couldn’t find Nabisco brand…)
  • 1/4 cup butter, melted
  • 16 oz (2 packages) cream cheese, softened
  • 1/2 cup sugar
  • 1.5 cups canned pumpkin
  • 1/2 tsp cinnamon
  • 1/4 tsp nutmeg
  • 2 eggs
  • 2 packages (3.4 oz each) Instant Vanilla pudding
  • 2 cups cold milk
  • 1 tub (8 oz) Cool Whip topping, thawed
  • 1/2 cup chopped pecans
  1. Preheat oven to 350 degrees
  2. Mix cookie crumbs and butter; press into 9×13 pan. Bake 10 minutes.
  3. Beat cream cheese and sugar until well blended. Add pumpkin and spices, mix well. Add eggs, one at a time, beating on low until just blended. Pour over crust and bake for 30 minutes. Let cool for 1 hour.
  4. Beat pudding mixes and milk with whisk for 2 minutes. Stir in 1 cup of Cool Whip. Spread over dessert.
  5. Cover with remaining Cool Whip
  6. Refrigerate for 3 hours or until firm. Sprinkle with pecans before serving.

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Fourth of July Flag Cake!

The 4th of July is one of my favorite holidays, second only to Christmas. I love the fireworks, the food, the patriotism. The only thing that would make it better would be if it wasn’t in the hot summertime! (I strongly dislike summer…).

This year we went to my in-laws house because they live outside of city limits so we can do fireworks! And fireworks are a key part of the 4th for me. Some friends came over as well, and we brought our dog Oliver. It was a great gathering!

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Oliver with his patriotic bow tie my mom made him

My husband grilled hamburgers and hot dogs and we had all the great stuff that goes along with those. But I was most excited about the cake I had made. I am an avid Pinterest “pinner” so you’ll be seeing lots of Pinterest things. I had seen this flag cake on there and thought it was so neat, and right away decided I wanted to attempt it. I followed the instructions from The Exclusively Weddings Blog

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It was a lot of work but SO worth it in the end. I worked for several hours baking the cakes the night of the 3rd, and then spent several hours cutting, piecing together, and decorating on the 4th. I am so proud of how it turned out thought and it has given me some great ideas for future cakes I want to try.

I hope that everyone had a happy and safe 4th!

See Related Posts:

Fall Desserts

John Deere Cake

M&M Oat Bars

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