Monthly Archives: November 2012

Banana Nut Muffins

Apparently… today is my day. My car is long overdue for an oil change… and I’ve been putting it off and putting it off. I almost went for one yesterday, but ran short of time and decided I was going to do it tomorrow. I ended up going to a work event today… and lo and behold… I won one! YAY ME!

On another note, I’m happy about what I accomplished in the kitchen this weekend too. I made delicious carrot muffins. I made these lovely banana nut muffins. And I’ve got a batch of chili in the slow cooker right now (recipe to follow!).

And tomorrow, I will be making one of my favorite suppers of all… sweet and sour ribs! Mmm mmm!

But for now…. here is the recipe for muffins #2: Banana Nut

2 cups all purpose flour (I used half whole wheat and half white)

1/2 cup lightly packed brown super

1/4 cup white sugar

2 tsp baking soda

1 tsp cinnamon

1/4 tsp nutmeg

1/4 cup applesauce

2/3 cup milk

1 egg (lightly beaten)

2 tsp vanilla

2 small ripe bananas (mashed)

Chopped mixed nuts (optional) – I used a small handful of pecans and almonds

Mix dry ingredients in one bowl, and wet in another. Make a well in the center of the dry ingredients. Pour wet ingredients in well. Mix until just moistened. Make 12 muffins. Bake a 350 degrees for 18-22 minutes.

Mine were done in 18 minutes. They weren’t dry, but they weren’t super moist. However, as I was typing this… I realized I may have missed the egg (I’m really on a roll today! Forgot the raisins in my carrot muffins too!). I can’t be 100% sure… but I really can’t remember putting an egg in!

So… I’m not a pro! At least not yet 🙂 And definitely never been much of a baker. But… they taste good, and that’s what counts!


Carrot Muffins

Alright… I’ve been absent a while. Just REALLY busy! Which is nice. I went out and did things Tuesday-Friday every night… which is A LOT for me. I’m usually more of a homebody. Having said that, I have a busy couple days planned in my kitchen, so a few posts should be coming this way. I was going to make these muffins today, but ended up getting bored last night and started.

These muffins turned out SUPER delicious!

1.5 cups all purpose flour (white or whole wheat. I used half & half)

1 tsp each baking powder & baking soda

2 tsp cinnamon

1/2 tsp nutmeg

1/2 tsp ground ginger

3/4 cup packed brown sugar

1 egg, lightly beaten

3 tbsp oil

1 tbsp vanilla

1/2 cup milk

1 can crushed pineapple, drained well

1.5 cups grated carrots

1/2 cup raisins

Preheat oven to 350 degrees. Mix flour, baking powder, baking soda, sugar, and spices in a large bowl. In a separate bowl mix egg, oil, vanilla and milk. In a third bowl mix carrot, pineapple and raisins. Pour liquid mix over carrot mixture. Toss to coat. Make a well in the center of the dry ingredients. Fold carrot mixture into the center. Stir until just moist.

Divide into 12 muffin cups and bake for 20-25 minutes.

Now… in all fairness… I completely forgot the raisins. I baked mine for a full 25 minutes, and they were still VERY moist.

So… enjoy! I’m going to make the next ones now… Banana nut muffins! Mmm….

Trying To Find The Will…..

One of the things I struggle with most… is exercise. Not gonna lie… my lifestyle has been pretty sedentary for… well ever. And I’ve never been particularly thin. Over the years my weight has fluctuated a fair bit. Through the beginning of high school I would have considered myself “chubby”. After a pregnancy, I was definitely overweight. In the years since I have more or less bounced back between the two points.

For the first time in years, I’m finally feeling like it’s really time to start doing something about it. But it’s SOO hard to get started. I bought a gym membership two weeks ago, and I’ve only managed to drag myself there a couple times (and by a couple times… I mean once). I don’t know what’s holding me back. Is it fear? Is it walking into the unknown, in front of people, and doing my thing? Is it trying to figure out what exactly what “my thing” is? I get up with the best intentions every day… but it’s so easy to make excuses.

And then I wonder… is it just me? Or does everyone struggle with this? Even those who work out regularly… and have been doing it for years. Is it still a battle to make yourself do it?

I’m tired of the battle and it hasn’t even really started. So discouraging.

Mexican Chicken Tortilla Soup

As I previously mentioned, it gets pretty cold in Saskatchewan. Unfortunately, we’ve already got snow, and it doesn’t appear to be going anywhere. So, I decided another soup was in order. I wanted something that would go good with my southwestern salad. So, I figured some similar flavors would be good! When it comes to soup, I don’t measure very precisely…. I just go with my gut.

A lot of people make their own tortillas/tortilla strips. I wasn’t feeling that ambitious yesterday, so I just used some multigrain tostitos. Cut me some slack… I was at the airport at 4am two days in a row! 😀

Mexican Chicken Tortilla Soup

1 tbsp EVOO
1-2 small jalapeno pepper, seeds & ribs removed, finely diced
3 garlic cloves, minced
2/3 of a Spanish onion (I diced one third, and left the other third in long strips)
1 liter chicken broth
1 large can diced tomatoes
2-3 tbsp tomato paste
1 tbsp chili powder
1 tsp cumin
Salt & Pepper to taste
1 tsp McCormick Chipotle Chili Pepper (though… I wish I’d used more)
1 cup frozen corn kernels
2 cups cooked shredded chicken

Heat oil in large stock pot. Add garlic, onions and jalapeno. Saute 3-4 minutes, until soft. Add chicken broth, diced tomatoes (including liquid), tomato paste, and spices.  Simmer for 10 minutes. Add shredded chicken and corn. Simmer for another 5-7 minutes.

Serve hot with diced green onion, avocado, shredded cheese, sour cream and your favorite tortilla chips. Don’t be afraid to douse the avocado in some lime juice too! Tastes great and keeps the avocado from turning brown, if you’re not using it all right away!