Sunday, January 29, 2012

Donut Muffins

Taylor likes normal donuts, Megan likes Dunkin' Donuts. No one ever wants the same thing. I'm not sure how I got so lucky, but I finally found something they both like! They have been asking me to make these every weekend. I think they are much, much better with just the cinnamon.  I've tried several different chocolate icings.  The one to the left is Taylor's favorite (and in the recipe below) the one in the picture below is much prettier though and is more of a glaze.

Donut Muffins
1 cup sugar
1/2 cup butter, melted
1/2 tsp ground nutmeg
1 cup milk
2 tsp baking powder
2 cups all-purpose flour

For topping:
1/4 cup butter, melted
1/2 cup sugar
1 tsp cinnamon

Preheat your oven to 375 degrees and grease a muffin pan (I used a mini bundt cake pan). Mix up the cup sugar, butter and nutmeg in a large bowl. Add in the milk, baking powder and flour until just combined. Fill muffin tins about 3/4 full and bake for 15-20 minutes.

During baking get your cinnamon-sugar topping mixed up. Melt 1/4 cup butter in a small bowl and then in a separate bowl mix together the cinnamon and sugar. When the muffins are done, remove them from the pan. Dip the tops in the melter butter and then roll the entire muffin in the cinnamon-sugar mixture. Let cool. (I like to double the topping mixture to allow more room for dipping but it's not really necessary)

Can also dip in chocolate. I think they are much better with the cinnamon mixture but my daughter prefers the chocolate.


1 stick butter
1/2 c. cocoa
1/3 c. milk
1 lb. powdered sugar
1 tbsp. vanilla

Melt butter, add cocoa and boil 1 minute. Add vanilla.  Add sugar (slowly) and beat until smooth. Spread while warm.

264 calories without the toppings.

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Today's Leopard Find: Leopard Trash Bags!  from Buy.com

Breakfast Frittatas - 140 calories

These were super easy to make. Also worked well keeping them in the refrigerator and popping them in the microwave for about 25 seconds.

Baked in individual muffin cups so everyone can personalize the mix-ins they like.

4 large eggs
1/4 cup half-and-half
1/2 teaspoon salt
Assorted mix-ins (such as shredded cheese, diced vegetables, and cooked and chopped bacon, ham, or sausage)
Grated Parmesan cheese (optional)
The calories are based on the ingredients I used (diced ham, spinach & cheddar cheese) I put the spinach in the food processor and used about 1/2 Tbs of spinach, 1/2 Tbs of ham and a Tbs of cheese

Heat your oven to 350ยบ F and coat a 6-cup muffin pan with nonstick cooking spray.
Whisk together the eggs, half-and-half, and salt in a medium bowl, then evenly distribute the egg mixture among the muffin cups.
Add about 2 tablespoons of mix-ins to each cup, then sprinkle on a bit of Parmesan cheese, if you like.
Bake the frittatas until they are puffy and the edges are golden brown, about 20 to 25 minutes. (If necessary, run a butter knife around the edge of each one to loosen them before removing them from the pan.) Makes 6 mini frittatas about 140 calories each.

S'mores Bar Cookies

S'mores are the girls all time favorite dessert. Even their 9 year old friend just told me she needs the recipe. They are delicious and even better when they are warmed slightly in the microwave.

1/2 cup butter, room temperature
1/4 cup brown sugar
1/2 cup sugar
1 large egg
1 tsp vanilla extract
1 1/3 cups all purpose flour
3/4 cup graham cracker crumbs
1 tsp baking powder
1/4 tsp salt
2 Giant size (4.4oz) Hershey's milk chocolate bars (not the smaller ones labeled King Size)
1 1/2 cups marshmallow creme/fluff (not melted marshmallows)

Preheat oven to 350°F. Grease an 8-inch square baking pan.
In a large bowl, cream together butter and sugar until light. Beat in egg and vanilla. In a small bowl, whisk together flour, graham cracker crumbs, baking powder and salt. Add to butter mixture and mix at a low speed until combined.
Divide dough in half and press half of dough into an even layer on the bottom of the prepared pan. Place chocolate bars over dough. 2 Hershey’s bars should fit perfectly side by side, but break the chocolate (if necessary) to get it to fit in a single layer no more than 1/4 inch thick. Spread chocolate with marshmallow creme or fluff. Place remaining dough in a single layer on top of the fluff (most easily achieved by flattening the dough into small shingles and laying them together).
Bake for 30 to 35 minutes, until lightly browned. Cool completely before cutting into bars.

Makes 16 cookie bars - 265 calories

Crockpot Italian Chicken

Sorry for the not so great and very yellow picture but you'll get the idea. Even my pickiest daughter loves this one.

4 Chicken Breasts
1 Packet Zesty Italian Dressing Seasoning8 oz Fat Free Cream Cheese (softened)2 cans Low Sodium Cream of Chicken Soup16 oz Pasta
Combine all ingredients except pasta in crock pot. Cook on low for 4 hours. If sauce is too thick, add a little milk. Serve over pasta.

8 servings - 360 calories

Grocery Gadget App

For those of you with iphones...I have a new favorite app. Grocery Gadget. There are 3 versions (one is free, basic is $.99 and the one I have was $3.99) - I'm not sure what the difference in them is but I love mine. It has a pre-existing list of items plus it saves any that you enter manually or scan. The scanning option is awesome! You can categorize your list alphabetically or by category. The best feature of it is that you can email it to your grocery shopper (if you are lucky enough to have one like I do).

Saturday, January 28, 2012

Leopard Baking Cups

Look what I found at Michaels! Now I just need to find muffins to make. Kind of like finding clothes to go with my new boots.

French SIlk Pie

This might just be one of the best pies ever! I really planned to focus on healthy meals and desserts but for now let's just start with this one... I'll skip calculating the calories on this one too. We'll start that next time.


4 ounces, weight Unsweetened Baking Chocolate
1 cup Salted Butter, Softened
1-1/2 cup Sugar
1 teaspoon Vanilla Extract
4 whole Eggs
1 pint of whipping cream (whipped for topping)
1 package Baked Pie Shell

In small microwave safe bowl melt 4 ounces of unsweetened baking chocolate until melted (about 45 seconds on high - I had to do 2 more 15 second intervals to melt it enough to stir. Just be careful not to burn it). Set aside to cool.
In a large bowl with an electric mixer beat 1 cup (2 sticks) of regular (salted) butter and 1 ½ cups of white sugar until fluffy (about 1 to 2 minutes). When melted chocolate is cooled, drizzle it over the butter/sugar mixture. Add 1 teaspoon of vanilla extract. Beat the mixture thoroughly until combined (on a Kitchen Aid mixer, you will be using the whisk attachment).
Turn your mixer to a medium speed and over a period of 15 to 20 minutes add in the four eggs, one at a time, leaving about 5 minutes between each egg addition. Once the pie filling is well mixed, pour it into the baked pie shell. Smooth out the pie filling and place pie in the refrigerator to chill for a minimum of two hours. (I prefer overnight)
Layer with whipped cream and garnish with chocolate chips or chocolate curls.

My First Blog

After many requests and many question & answer emails on Facebook, I have finally decided to start a blog. I just recently started making time to cook, which came as quite a shock to my loved ones. It might have had something to do with me finding a place to use my leopard dishwashing gloves and leopard apron.... But after many weeks I found that I actually love it!