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Morning Glory Muffins – a new favorite!

Morning Glory Muffins!

I am so excited about this recipe I could burst! I found this on Pinterest and couldn’t wait to try them. They are healthy, filling, loaded with fiber and so delish! One thing that I love the most about these muffins (other than the fabulous taste) is that they freeze very well so I literally bagged them in separate ZipLock bags and popped them in the freezer and every morning since then when I get out of bed I take one out and leave it to thaw for a few minutes while I’m getting dressed, stick it in the microwave for 20 seconds and have a wholesome, healthy and delicious breakfast all ready for me! Here is the recipe, I promise you will love it:

Morning Glory Muffins

Ingredients:

2 1/4 cups unbleached all-purpose flour

1 1/4 cups sugar

1 tbsp ground cinnamon

2 tsp baking soda

1/2 tsp salt

1/2 cup shredded, sweetened coconut

3/4 cup raisins (or dried cranberries)

1 large apple, peeled and grated

1 cup (8oz) crushed pineapple, drained

2 cups carrots, peeled and grated

1/2 cup coarsely chopped walnuts or pecans

3 large eggs

1 cup vegetable oil

1 tsp vanilla extract

Prep!

Directions: Place a rack in the lower third of the oven and preheat to 350 degrees F. In a large bowl, whisk together the flour, sugar, cinnamon, baking soda and salt. Add the coconut, raisins, apple, pineapple, carrots, and nuts. Stir to combine. In a separate bowl, whisk the eggs with the oil and vanilla. Pour into the bowl with the dry ingredients and blend well. Spoon the batter into muffin tins lined with cupcake wrappers/muffin cups, filling each to the brim. Bake for 35 minutes or until a toothpick inserted into the middle comes out clean. Cool muffins in the pan for 10 minutes, then turn out onto a rack to finish cooling.

Muffins in the freezer!

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What we ate….

Yesterday I was overcome with what I like to call “Foodie Fever”. I could not stop thinking about what to cook and how to make it interesting. Due to having most of the ingredients in my cupboards already, I went with a bolognese sauce (with a twist of course). To my usual meat sauce (ground beef, onion, tomatoes, garlic, spaghetti sauce etc) I added a little heavy cream and some Italian sausage. It made all the difference, I will definitely do that again! The Italian sausage meant that I had to season it a lot less than normal. To make it even more interesting I used lasagne noodles instead of the usual spaghetti or penne etc. I cooked them as usual and then after I drained the excess water I chopped them up into fairly large, rough chunks. It was good! I also had some leftover “Tuscan herb” bread that I smothered with melted butter, garlic and a mix of Italian cheese and grilled in the oven.

Homemade Chocolat Chaud

Last night I tried a new recipe that I found on Pinterest for hot drinking chocolate. Let’s talk about rich and indulgent! It turned out so well and I even added a dollop freshly hand-whipped cream to top it off! Here is the recipe:

4 oz bittersweet chocolate, chopped (I used Ghirardelli)

1/4 cup hot water

2 tbsp unsweetened natural cocoa powder (Hershey’s is what I used)

1 and 2/3 cup whole milk

1/3 cup heavy whipping cream

2 tsp vanilla extract

1/4 tsp salt

Directions: Melt the chocolate in a double boiler over medium to low heat. I thought we had a little stainless steel bowl to put over the pan but my sweet husband (ahem) decided to give it to the dogs a little while ago so I ended up just using a microwave-safe cereal bowl over the saucepan and it worked! Remove the bowl from the pan and stir the melted chocolate until smooth. Whisk in the hot water to blend. In another bowl, stir the cocoa powder to break up any lumps, then mix in a few tablespoons of the milk to make a smooth paste. Add the rest of the liquids and the salt, mix thoroughly. Next, whisk the milk and cocoa mixture into the melted chocolate and pour back into your saucepan (pour out the excess water first though!). Stir on low until heated through. I hand-whisked some of the leftover heavy cream and placed a generous dollop on top of each serving.

This is such a rich, indulgent late night comfort – Chris and I loved it. If I was going to make this again I would definitely half the recipe for just two people. It was so rich that this could easily have served 4. Maybe one to make when we have guests as an easy dessert?

5 Things I’m Grateful For This Week

[it feels good to be doing this again!]

1. I’m so thankful for new opportunities. There’s always something more that God has for you, there’s no limit to the amount of blessings and excitement and new prospects He can choose to pour out on you.

2. Incredibly thankful for my loving husband who works so hard and serves God and His church so well. I can’t believe I’m the one who gets to serve and lead by his side – I’m not worthy! Just another example of God’s grace and His unfailing ability to erase the past and create new beginnings.

3. Grateful for an incredible group of college students who Chris and I have the privilege of leading, serving and teaching. They teach me new things constantly – about ministry, about leadership and American culture! Love you guys.

4. I am a self-confessed foodie, so it’s only fair that I feel incredibly thankful for food…I guess it’s the Greek coming out in me – but seriously, I’m so thankful for the ability to get creative with cooking! Perhaps I will post some recipes one day…

5. Grateful to see people around me actively following God’s calling on their lives, even when it means sacrifice and some degree of oppression as a result. I am continuously inspired by the people around me who are so active in serving God – whether it’s down the street from where they live or thousands of miles away.

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