Monkey Bread Cupcakes

Ingredients:

1 tube of biscuits

1/4 cup of butter

2 teaspoons of water

1/4 cup granulated sugar

2/3 cup of brown sugar (packed)

1 + 1/2 teaspoons of ground cinnamon

Directions:

Preheat the oven to 375 degrees. Place 6 to 8 cupcake cups in the cupcake pan. Spray the cupcake cups with cooking spray. Stir together the granulated sugar and cinnamon in a small bowl. Separate the dough into its 8 pieces and cut each biscuit into four sections. Roll the biscuits pieces in the cinnamon mixture and place 4 or 5 pieces in each cup depending on how many cupcakes you want to make. Heat the butter, brown sugar, and water in a small sauce pan, stirring constantly, until it boils. Cook for about 2 minutes or until the brown sugar is dissolved. Save about 2 or 3 tablespoons of the mixture to drizzle over the tops later. Pour the remaining mixture in the cupcake tins. Put the cupcakes in the oven for about 8 to 10 minutes or until golden brown. Drizzle the last of the sauce mixture over the cupcakes and serve.

I know what you are probably thinking. “I thought she was eating healthier now.” Well I am, but I had a break in the system. Everything in moderation right? It was okay. I worked it all off at tennis practice today. No worries. These cupcakes are just like regular monkey bread but they are in cupcake form. I like them because they are in a smaller portion and it is easier to stop eating because you think to yourself, “Oh, I better not eat anymore. I already had two cupcakes.” When I make regular monkey bread it is so hard to stop eating it. It just sits on the platter and calls your name. There is no stopping until the platter is cleaned off. It’s a real problem. That’s why these cupcakes are good. They help to cut back and that is always a good thing if you want to eat healthier. See, I told you it wasn’t that bad!

The Healthy Alternative

Over the winter I’ve realized that I have gained some weight. It’s not like I’m fat of anything but there is a little extra chub. I do not appreciate this extra chub. I want to get rid of it right now so I decided to do some more exercising. I don’t go to the gym or anything, I just do a few things at my house to help tone that extra chub. Exercising helps but the reason that the chub got there in the first place was mainly my choice of food. I eat a lot. It’s not a secret. I admit it. I actually love to eat because food is so good. It makes me happy, believe it or not. You see my problem. I love to eat and as a consequence to that I gain extra chub. Now I need to change what goes in my body and how much of it. Out with the old and in with the new. Out with the junk and in with the health. I’ve decided to share some of my healthy alternatives with you in the hopes that you will be inspired to eat healthier or maybe just be introduced to a new snack idea.

#1 Banana Dogs

These treats are perfect for snacks. They are large enough to hold you over until meal time and they contain three different food groups. All you need is a banana, peanut butter, and a whole wheat tortilla. Spread the peanut butter so that it covers one side of the tortilla. You can add as much or as little as you please. Next peal the banana and lay it on one side of the tortilla. Roll it up and you are ready to go. They only take a few minutes to make so you can whip it up quick and be on your way.

#2 Ants on a Log

You have probably already heard of this snack but it a good one. You can’t go wrong with a classic. Cut up some celery into 2 inch pieces and fill it with peanut butter. Place some raisins in top and then you’re done. I like this snack because it has peanut butter. Anything with peanut butter is pretty much great. I also like it because there are different food groups. The peanut butter gives you protein. The celery is your vegetable and the raisins are your fruit. It’s a dried up fruit but a fruit none the less.

#3 Deli Roll

This one is easy as well. Roll a piece of deli meat, whether it be turkey, ham, or roast beef, whatever is your favorite, a piece of low-fat cheese, and a piece of lettuce into a tube. That’s it. Now you have a simple version of a sub sandwich.

There are lots of other things that you could eat like nuts, yogurt, or fruit salad. These are just a few of my snack ideas to help you in your quest to loose chub just like me. So next time you reach for the potato chips, stop and think about these ideas. It could be the difference between losing the chub or not losing the chub. The choice is yours.

The Hummus and Pita Co.

Over Spring Break I went to New York City. I’ve wanted to go there for a very long time and I finally got the chance. I went to see Spiderman on Broadway, which was surprisingly good, and see the Artemis Quartet perform at Carnegie Hall. I got a bus tour of the city just to explore the different regions and see landmark buildings. When the bus got to Chelsea, we stopped for to get some lunch. Me and two others girls went to a place called The Hummus and Pita Co. When we got off the bus we looked around to see what restaurants were around and decided that one looked interesting to try. We walked into the building and the aroma was great. I can’t remember what it was but I can tell you it was nice and made me curious as to what this place was all about. The restaurant is set up like a Subway where you walk in and they make your food the way you want it right in front of you. You choose the type of meat you want to put in it and the type of wrap you want, such as a pita or a laffa. Then you get to fill it with the different things they have like Israeli cous cous, Mediterranean rice, or Moroccan beans. As the name of the restaurant implies, you can choose a type of hummus to add as well. You finish off your order by adding sauces and lettuce, tomato, etc. I ordered a pita with chicken, Moroccan beans, the original hummus (which is a family recipe), and feta cheese. I wasn’t sure how I was going to like it. I didn’t recall ever having feta cheese and the hummus I tried in the past wasn’t anything I cared for. After I paid and sat down I was very hungry and ready to give my creation a try. To my surprise, it was amazing. I mean AMAZING. It was the best thing I had tasted in a while and it was by far the best thing I ate while I was in New York City. When we decided to go there I was not expecting anything really great. I don’t really eat the type of food they serve so I didn’t know what to expect. When I saw the name I thought, “Well, I really like pita, but not hummus so much.” I never really expected that it would delicious, but oh my gosh it was. My friend and I googled the place after we left in hopes that it was a chain. It turned out that it was the only one. We were heart-broken but then we came to the conclusion that we had another reason to come back to New York. If you’re ever in New York City you need to stop in Chelsea and eat at The Hummus and Pita Co. You won’t regret it!

Chocolate Chip Cookie Dough Oreo Brownies

One day at lunch, one of the girls I sit with mentioned that she made what I’m going to refer to as Chocolate Chip Cookie Dough Oreo Brownies. The way she described the dessert was like music to my ears. I love all of those ingredients and I was trying to imagine what they would taste like all mixed together. I could only assume that they were delicious. The next day, she brought a piece in her snack lunch and gave me a small piece. It wasn’t a lot to go off of because it was such a small piece but I got the general idea and decided I needed to make and try them myself. I wasted no time in getting the ingredients and made them yesterday.

This recipe is very easy. Only a fool could mess it up. (sorry to those of you who make this and fail)

Ingredients:

1 package of Double Stuffed Oreos (or whatever kind you want to put in)

1 box of brownie mix

1 tube of cookie dough (you are going to need a large tube to fill the bottom of the pan)

Directions:

1. Preheat oven to 350 degrees.

2. Line the inside of a 13×9 pan with aluminum foil and spray with cooking spray.

3. Cover the bottom of the pan with cookie dough.

4. Lay Oreo cookies on top of the cookie dough leaving a little bit of space inbetween each cookie.

5. Follow the directions for mixing the brownie mix and pour over top of the cookie dough and Oreos making sure everythig is covered.

6. Put it in the oven for 40 minutes or until a toothpick can be poked in the brownies and come out cleanly. (I think mine took about 45 minutes)

When the brownies are finished you will have a delicious treat to bring to a party or keep all to yourself. I wouldn’t blame you if you kept they for yourself. They taste great. The brownie part is moist and the cookie dough is soft. The Oreos in the center are softer but they still have little crunch to them. Now what are you waiting for?!? Go make some!

Chicken Tortilla Soup

Yesterday mom made Chicken Tortilla soup for dinner and man was it delicious. If you like tacos and if you like soup then this will be perfect for you!! It is awesome. It’s a little spicy so I’m just warning those who don’t like spicy things. Frankly, I think that is crazy. I love spicy things which is partly why I like this soup. I also love that flavor of the broth. I don’t quite know what it is that I like but it is so good. I provided the recipe below so feel free to make it. In fact, I encourage it!! Please make it and enjoy! You won’t regret it.

ingredients:

  • 2 boneless, skinless chicken breasts
  • 2 cans Ro-Tel
  • 1 can of black beans, rinsed and drained
  • 1 can of kidney beans, rinsed and drained
  • 1 can of corn
  • 1 onion, chopped
  • 1 can of low-sodium chicken broth
  • 1-2 cups of water
  • 1 T. garlic powder*
  • 1 T. chile powder*
  • 1 T. ground cumin*
  • 1 T. dried cilantro*

* or use taco seasoning

Add tortilla chips, sour cream, or cheese to your bowl for extra flavoring.

Directions:

  • Put chopped onion, cans of beans, Ro-Tel, corn, chicken broth, water,and spices in a CrockPot and stir to mix.
  • put chicken breasts on top of the mixture and make sure they are at least partly submerged in liquid.
  • Cook on high for 6-7 hours or on low for 8-9 hours.
  • Before serving, remove the chicken breasts, shred it, and return it to the CrockPot.

You say ice cream. I say gelato?

Ice cream. It’s such a wonderful invention. I love eating ice cream. Wait a minute. Do I love ice cream? Or was that gelato? Oh gosh, what’s the difference?!? I’m sure lots of people have wondered about this. I don’t know what the difference is. If you are anything like me you can’t even tell the difference. And then there is soft serve and custard and frozen yogurt. What is with all these “different” things? They all taste delicious to me and frankly I can barely tell the difference. Now I’m curious about what the actual differences are. Let’s have a look shall we?

I’ll admit that I pretty much call all of the above frozen concoctions ice cream but I guess you could say that I am incorrect. Ice cream is made out of butterfat, nonfat milk solids, sugar and flavoring. Gelatin and gum are added to help make the smooth texture. The ingredients are whipped together in the freezer so it becomes filled with air to give its light, soft feel. Soft serve is basically the same th but with more air. I enjoy going to Cold Stone to get ice cream. They have some very tasty flavors such as Cake Batter. That one is my favorite. You also can’t go wrong with Blue Bunny’s Peanut Butter Panic.

Gelato is made from egg yolks, sugar, and milk. The mixture is heated and then cooled. It goes through this process and is then placed in the freezer where it is stirred to incorporate air and to give it its smooth texture. Gelato is more dense than ice cream. I haven’t had much gelato but I will say that Talenti has a delicious Caramel Cookie Crunch. I have some in the freezer right now and I’ve sort of hidden it so no one can have any besides me. I know that’s selfish but if only you knew what it tasted like……yum. There is one thing that I have noticed about gelato and that is the fact that it tastes more expensive. I don’t know how to explain what I actually mean by that, but it makes sense to me. Maybe you know what I’m getting at. It turns out that gelato is a little more expensive as well, but maybe that’s just those certain brands.

Frozen custard is very dense compared to the others. It has only about 20% air. It also contains 1.4% egg yolk,  10% milk fat, sugar, and cream. I love Culver’s frozen custard and there used to be a little custard shop that was very good as well but it closed. The was a sad day when I found out it was gone.

Hopefully that helped  you determine some differences between these frozen treats. Now I’m hungry from all this talking about ice cream and stuff. I think I’ll go sneak some of that gelato now. 🙂

Banana Chocolate Chip Continued

Last week I talked about a recipe that I found for Banana Chocolate Chip Doughnuts. Well today I finally made them and they turned out pretty good! It was my first time making doughnuts so I didn’t really know what to expect. The recipe, which you can get from this website, says to use a doughnut making pan. Instead of that I used a doughnut maker. It’s like a waffle iron with six little doughnut molds. The doughnuts only took about three minutes to bake so that was a plus. I also took the advice from the recipe and put the batter into a plastic bag, cut off the corner, and squeezed the batter out into the molds. This took a few doughnuts to master but I got the hang of it pretty quickly and I was cranking out doughnuts like a pro. Maybe not quite like a pro but you caught my drift. The doughnuts were coming pretty fast. Another thing I did differently from the recipe was not use the cinnamon sugar topping. I made some and found out that I actually like the doughnuts better with out it. That is just my opinion of course so you may love them with the topping. The choice is yours! Over all, my first doughnut making experience was a success.

Next up on my list of food to do’s: Chicken and Cream Cheese Taquitos AND Ham and Egg Crepe Squares! Keep your eyes peeled:)

Banana Chocolate Chip Doughnuts

I found another recipe while I was happily scrolling through all of the wonderful pictures on Pinterest. You have probably already guessed what this recipe is for from the title of this blog post. If you haven’t then you may be pretty slow in the head. LOL I’m sorry if I just offended you but you have to agree with me, right? I better clear this up before this gets confusing. The recipe is for Banana Chocolate Chip Doughnuts!! Yummy yummy in my tummy. I was so excited to find this recipe because I love all three of those things. Banana= good. Chocolate=Amazing. Doughnuts=delicious. And the recipe seems healthier than other doughnuts, but they are doughnuts all the same so I guess we will have to enjoy them in moderation. I can’t wait to make these and see how they turn out!

Recipe is from Janie’sKitchen.com

Ingrediants:

  • 1 cup Mashed Ripe Banana (Roughly 2 small bananas)
  • 1/2 cup Raw Cane Sugar
  • 1/2 cup Fat Free Greek Yogurt (I use 0% Fage)
  • 1/4  cup Unsalted Butter (Melted)
  • 2 Eggs (Room Temperature)
  • 1 teaspoon Pure Vanilla Extract
  • 2 cups Spelt White Flours (You can also use AP Flour)
  • 1 teaspoon Baking Powder
  • 1/2 teaspoon Baking Soda
  • 1/4 teaspoon Salt
  • 1 cup Chocolate Chips (I used 1/2 dark chocolate chips and 1/2 milk chocolate chips)

Topping:    Optional

  • 1/4 cup Raw Cane Sugar
  • 1 tablespoon Cinnamon

Instructions:

  • Preheat the oven to 325 degrees
  • Using an electric mixer with the whisk attachment, blend the mashed banana, sugar and yogurt.
  • Add melted butter, eggs, and vanilla. Mix together.
  • Add flour, baking power, baking soda, and salt to the batter and mix until just incorporated. Do not over mix.
  • Using a spatula, mix in the chocolate chips.
  • Scoop the batter into a zip lock bag and seal shut. Cut the bottom corner of one side of the ziplock bag to create a homemade piping bag.
  •  Grease your doughnut making pan and fill 3/4 of the way with batter.
  • Optional: coat doughnuts with cinnamon sugar topping
  • Bake for 12 to 15 minutes. Allow to cool before eating.

Monkey Bread!!

IF YOU HAVEN’T EVER HAD MONKEY BREAD, YOU NEED TO WRITE THIS RECIPE DOWN RIGHT NOW AND MAKE IT!!!! YOU ARE MISSING OUT!

Sorry about the capital letters, but I felt they were necessary to get your attention. Even if you have had Monkey Bread before you need this recipe.

You will need…

4 tubes of biscuits, quartered

1   1/3 cup of sugar

2 teaspoons of cinnamon

1/2 cups of butter

1 teaspoon of vanilla

Place quartered biscuits 2/3 cup of sugar and cinnamon in a plastic bag. Shake to coat the biscuits. place the biscuit pieces in a greased bundt pan. Cook the remaining 2/3 cup of sugar, butter, and vanilla to a boil then pour it over the biscuits. Bake 40 minutes at 350 degrees. Let it sit for 5 minutes and then invert it onto a platter.

Now eat up!! You’re not on a diet!!

WHY?!?

There is this question that I ask myself daily when I’m at school. That question happens to be “What’s for lunch?” Everyday I receive a text from a friend that tells me the answer to this very question. I open it in the hopes that there is at least one thing I want to eat. Some days I am satisfied, usually Monday, Tuesday, and Wednesday, because there is usually something that I like. Monday is pasta bar day, Tuesdays have some good meals in the main line, and Wednesday always has Pizza Hut. These days are good days in the cafeteria. I walk down to the lunch room knowing I will enjoy what I’m about to ingest. It’s Thursday and Friday that I worry about. There never seems to be anything that sounds good to my ear. On these days I always get the same thing and don’t really enjoy them such as Potato Bowl or Walking Taco. I eat these meals only because I’m hungry and can actually bring myself to let them be digested by my body. I’m probably being an ungrateful little brat and taking for granted the food that is available to me. Actually, scratched that, I AM being an ungrateful little brat but I just don’t understand why some of the meals have to be so unappealing. The chicken is always that processed fake chicken with the weird texture. Sometimes I don’t really notice it, but other times it’s so noticeable that I can’t even eat it. It makes me feel sick and I feel bad that I don’t eat it. I know that schools have to buy cheap food so they can make school lunches affordable but is real chicken really that expensive? If there was one thing that I could change about school lunches it would be the chicken. It needs to be real in my opinion. Real chicken rocks. Fake chicken just does not even compare.