Tuesday, November 20, 2012

Applesauce Oatmeal Muffins

Do you ever have those days where you have to make something for a brunch and you don't have any ingredients?  That's where this recipe came from.  Sometimes you just have to do what you can with what you have!

This recipe has a simple list of ingredients, things that I almost always have around my kitchen.  And these are delicious and *almost* healthy!  I used my square muffin pan for the first time, I really love the shape!

These are perfect to keep on hand for breakfast, or an afternoon snack!  Let's get these going!

Applesauce Oatmeal Muffins
Adapated from Eat Your Heart Out
Makes 18 muffins.

1 cup sugar
1/2 cup melted butter
2 eggs
1 cup applesauce
3 tablespoons heavy cream
1 teaspoon baking soda
1 1/4 cup whole wheat flour
1 cup rolled oats
1/4 cup vanilla sugar for topping

Preheat oven to 325.

In a medium sized bowl whisk together sugar, melted butter and eggs until smooth and a light shade of yellow.

Add the applesauce and heavy cream and mix well.  Make sure to scrape your bowl and get everything well mixed.

Next, add the baking soda, flour and oats.  Mix until all the oats are coated with the wet mixture and the flour is thoroughly mixed in.

Scoop into a greased muffin tin, filling each cup about 2/3 of the way full (you don't have to use a square tin, round muffins are great too!)

Bake for 20-25 minutes or until a toothpick inserted into the middle comes out clean.

When the muffins come out of the oven, allow to cool for about 5 minutes, removed from pan and dust with vanilla sugar.




Tuesday, November 13, 2012

10 Things I've Learned About Adulthood

This is a summary of a little journal entry I did.  I attended my last ever college class just under a year ago and it's been almost 6 months since I left my parents house.  I got a nice little crash course in being an adult (and clearly my 6 months of "adulthood" make me an expert...NOT) and these are someone of things I was forced to learn.

This has nothing to do with baking, but this is totally real life.  These are the tiny lessons that people don't always teach you.  The important parts of life.

1. First and foremost...PAY YOUR BILLS.  Pay day=pay bills day, even if that means paying them almost two weeks early.  It's better to be early than to be late.  If you pay everything you can right away, then you know how much money you have left to play with, it's a win-win, trust me.

2. Save some money.  You don't  have you go crazy but any little bit helps, try just 10 dollars a paycheck, maybe 10 percent.  The best way to do this is direct deposit, you'll hardly even notice that it's happening until you have a nice little stash of money...at least until your car breaks down that is (but that's why you've been doing this!)

3. Splurge.  In contrast to lesson number 2, sometimes you just have to splurge, pull a little bit out of savings, get that tattoo you've been wanting for four years, make a cheesecake (those get pricey), travel.  Do something that is memorable, something that's an experience, it's ok to splurge if it's something good!

4. Sometimes the answer can only be (fill in your stress eating food here).  Mine is French fries.  Just got in a fight with the family?  French fries.  12 hour work day? French fries.  It's unhealthy and it's not something I should do all the time, but sometimes it just has to happen.

5. Deal with stress.  Stress is inevitable.  You will face stress when you are living on your own.  You may only have 5 dollars in your bank account 4 days before payday, that sucks.  You might not always love your job, you and roommate might fight.  You no longer have papers to frantically write but there is a whole other sleuth of stress.  Learn to deal with it (and not just with French fries).  Go for a jog, take a kickboxing class, spend a night reading at a coffee shop, do something new.  Find a healthy way to deal with stress otherwise things could end badly for you (I REALLY need to work on this one).

6. Don't put up with people who treat you like poo.  If your boss doesn't appreciate you, start looking for a new job.  If your friend hasn't called you in 3 months and you keep trying to make plans with them and they keep canceling, maybe you should stop calling.  Know your worth and spend valuable time with people who appreciate that, people who desire to KNOW you.  You're worth a lot, don't let anyone tell you otherwise!

7.  Along those lines, never forget that you're beautiful.  You are, you're gorgeous.  Don't be afraid to dress up, throw on some heels, do something fancy with your hair and rock your gorgeousness.  Don't let the haters get you down, not everyone will think you're hot...they don't have you, you are so rock it.

8. Read books.  Remember all those books you didn't read in high school (or was that just me?)  Read them, it'll make you sound smart, or I guess maybe just make you smarter (people say that right?)  Join a book club, some of your friends might give you a hard time about it, but you're awesome so don't let them get you down.  Don't forget to read young adult fiction too!  I mean, you need to stay up with the times, right?  Also, hello awesome stories, strong characters and quick reads!

9. Travel!  You're young and have few responsibilities (ok a job is a big responsibility but you can figure it out).  Travel now, treat yourself to a graduation getaway, it's only going to get more complicated as you get older (kids will certainly complicated things, or so I've been told) so do what you can now!  It's SO worth it!

10. Be young, because you are.  Don't let the quote "youth is wasted on the young" be true in your life.  Sometimes it's important to take a sick day and spend it at a coffee shop flirting with a cute barista or going on a day trip to a nearby city.  Be young, have adventures, stay up too late.

Thursday, November 8, 2012

Gone With the Wind

Do you ever have those days that you wish you could just be "gone with the wind."  I've been having a lot of those days recently.  It's building character and in the long run I know it will be good for me, but sometimes it would be nice if I could just run away.

Katie from Lemon Jitters gave us Denver/Boulder bloggers some lovely paper packs this weekend and there were these amazing little pinwheels in them, which was perfect for my mood.  So made my bad mood better by making a Smash book page out of it!

I LOVE the pinwheels.  They worked so perfectly and I love how they added a little bit of 3D to my page.  Katie also gave us these adorable little wooden pieces, so I made my little car look like it was driving off into the sunset!

I scattered some confetti on the second page and cut out my own pinwheel to really drive home the idea of "wind."  I really love how it looks!  I pretty much just poured it onto the glue so it's very random which is PERFECT!

This was a nice little bit of escapism, which I think we all need sometimes.  It took me out of my grumpy state of mind and into a wonderful world of creating and being able to go with the wind.  It was freeing and just what I needed!  I highly encourage art journaling if you've never done it, so fun!



Tuesday, November 6, 2012

Thoughts on Change

So here's the deal, I don't hate change, change is good.  Moving out of my parents house was good, it was a good change.  Changing positions at work was a good change (hard, but hard doesn't have to mean bad).

However, while that's all fine and dandy, I have a really hard time changing in other ways, like diet and exercise (oh, and spending money).

You see what happens is I always get so excited, I'm going to change EVERYTHING, and I do, and then I fail.  Which is why my new moto is 

And you know why?  Because if I stop eating hamburgers, french fries, ice cream, desserts in general, chips, etc all at once, then I'm going to end up having a HUGE binge after a month or so.  After that binge I will remember that I'm a failure and then give up.  Same goes for working out, I'll do a great job  going five days a week and then miss one day and quit. (On another note, same goes for money, I can't just stop spending, cause then I'll go on a spree, and that's never good).

Small changes, opting for the salad instead of the fries, not as a rule but as a CHOICE.  Doing yoga in my room at 11 at night because I just had to do SOMETHING, a choice, not a rule.

Obviously the end goal is change, healthier eating, more exercise, but I can't do it all at once, I will fail, it's just what happens to me.

Small changes, big results, I can do this!



Monday, November 5, 2012

Happy Monday!

How was your weekend lovlies?

I had a busy Saturday and a nice, lazy Sunday.  Also, I totally put a deposit on getting a tattoo!  My appointment is the day before Thanksgiving, I'm so nervously excited!

My good friend and I spent half the day Saturday in Golden, CO.  I'd never been to Golden so it was really fun to wander around and check out a new tiny town.  We stopped at the tattoo shop that I'm going to (I have a friend who got his tattoos done there, it's a Christian tattoo studio, which is why it's worth driving to Golden for.)  We grabbed some pretty decent panini's (mine was way better than hers).  We also stopped at this ice cream/candy shop that makes their own little candies!
Look how cute!  I always love candy shops and their little displays :)  The caramel truffle that I had was DELICIOUS.

After getting home from Golden, I got myself "all dolled up" to head up to a Denver/Boulder blogger meet up in Boulder!  I never have a good excuse to go hang out in Boulder, so I was excited, that and I got to me so many fabulous women!

Driving into Boulder, Colorado really knows how to do the sky right.

The meet up was super fun, I was so nervous all day about hanging out with this large group of people that I'd never met, what if they didn't like me, what if I didn't fit in, what if I was under/over dressed. Turns out that none of that mattered.  These girls were great and we all laughed and ate and crafted together.  Kim was so sweet and did such a wonderful job organizing this night.

This is the scarf I made at the meet up.

All of us working together.

We got great little swag bags with treats from Yellow Heart Art, Capow, Lemon Jitters, Bow and Arrow Art, Snow Drift Designs and Fabricate.

It was such a fun night and I can't wait until the next one.  Here is a list of the lovely ladies that I met on Saturday.

Liz - Dance to the RadioKatie - Lemon JittersLizzy - Lizzy PancakesKim - Oh, Sweet Joy!Allie - Meadow RueAnne F. - Anne Franklin DesignsRebecca - ManzanitaMeghan - Pocketful of PrettyErin - Art Social BlogAshley - Bow & Arrow Art Elaine - 365 days of ColoradoAnne T. - Anne the Adventurer



Friday, November 2, 2012

Oh How I Love Baking

What do Monday night, Tuesday night and Wednesday night all have in common?  I baked, I baked delicious things that are so bad for you!  I love it so much I can't even get over it!  So what did I make? Well I already showed you my Rice Krispie treat platter, but here they are again.

I also made some "festive" Halloween goodies. (By festive I of course simply mean chocolate with orange frosting, hey people I used food coloring, I NEVER use food coloring.)

And then to top it all off, I made this.

It's my grandma's brownie recipe topped with a peppermint buttercream and peppermint ganache.  I mean my grandma's brownies are the best, but this pushed them just a bit over the top!  Are you wanting the recipe yet?  Ok here we go (I guess I can share this family tradition :))

1 stick butter
1/4 cup cocoa
1 cup sugar
2 eggs
1 cup flour

That's it people, only 7 ingredients (really five if you ignore the vanilla and salt).  And, putting it together is just as easy!

Preheat oven to 375.  Grease a pie plate of 8x8 baking dish.

In a medium sauce pan, melt the butter.  When the butter is melted stir in the cocoa.  

Remove from heat and add in the sugar making sure to stir well.  Add in the eggs, one at a time, mixing well after each addition (usually I ignore the one at a time rule, but in this situation it's totally necessary, remember this mixture is hot people!)

And in vanilla and salt to taste.  Add half of the flour and mix well.  Add the last of the flour and stir until combined (this will be thick).

Pour the batter into your baking dish of choice.  Bake for 20-25 minutes or until a toothpick inserted into the center comes out clean.  Let cool.

Peppermint Buttercream
1 stick room temperature butter
1 tablespoon peppermint schnapps (or 1 teaspoon peppermint extract)
2 cups powdered sugar 

Beat the butter with a mixer until light and fluffy (about 2 minutes).  Add the peppermint schnapps and mix to combine.  Slowly add the powdered sugar, about 1/2 cup at a time until the mixture reaches a stable consistency.

Spread on top of the cooled brownies.

Peppermint Ganache 
1/4 cup heavy cream
1 tablespoon peppermint schnapps (or 1 teaspoon peppermint extract)
8 oz. dark chocolate, chopped into small pieces.

In a small sauce pan heat the cream and schnapps to just below boiling point.  Remove from the heat and add in the chocolate, stir until melted (if you need to put it back on the heat for a bit do so, just keep stirring).  

Pour on top of the buttercream and smooth all the way to the edges.  

Refrigerate overnight to solidify the ganache.  Slice into squares or wedges and enjoy!



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