Tag Archives: muffins

Worth Reading

I decided that I would make the Worth Reading posts into a weekly series as a way to share some of my favorite articles with you all. Watch out, this week’s list includes a lot of wordy pieces, but I think they tackle very real issues, so they are of course worth your time to read!

Remember, just click on the title to read the full article and click on the pictures for photo sources.

7 Ways to Earn More Respect and Influence as a Young Professional Woman

Working for an engineering company, I’m sure you can imagine that my workplace is a mostly male dominated environment. I’ve given a lot of thought as to how to present myself to my coworkers in a way that showed I was friendly with a sense of humor, but that I was also to be taken seriously. Holland (love that name!) offered up her tips on how to earn respect from your colleagues in a manner that lets them know you are neither a sex symbol nor a man eater. I’ve seen a lot women in the office bring in drama through gossip or catty attitudes. This sort of behavior only plays up to a stereotype of women. Don’t do it!

Fat Talkin’ Role Models

Kaity wrote a guest post over at Healthy Tipping Point earlier this week about how she was impacted by her mother’s own self-image issues. Sometimes a person may think that their own negative talk may not affect anyone else since they’re only talking about themselves; however, a negative attitude has an awful  habit of rubbing off on others around them, especially susceptible children. I know I looked toward my mother while growing up for guidance on how I should feel about food and my own body. So for any parents out there reading, or older brothers and sisters, think about the impression you’re leaving on someone before putting yourself down!

NASA – The Frontier is Everywhere

Alright, so this isn’t an article, but it’s still worth your time! I was a bit of a nerd growing up and had my own telescope and read sci-fi books (the Animorphs series, if anyone was curious). It was my dorkiness love for all things space related that drove me towards choosing an engineering major in college. This video perfectly captures my hopes and dreams for space exploration. We humans are capable of greatness. And if this doesn’t inspire you, I don’t know what will!

8 Ways to Practice and Improve Your Public Speaking Skills

Did I ever tell you that I was Salutatorian in high school and had to give a speech to over a thousand people? I was the very first person to get up and speak and my voice was so shaky and I lost my place at one point and had no choice but to look into the crowd with the frightened and lost look of a deer in the headlights. I really wish my very last memory of high school wasn’t such an embarrassing one! Public speaking is still something that I struggle with, but I’m working on it and I definitely plan on using the tips that Jenny offered up. My favorite tip that she shared is to pretend that you are talking to a non-native English speaker or five year old. I know I definitely tend to rush my words when talking in public and could probably stand to slow down a bit so that people actually have a chance of understanding me!

Blackberry Orange Muffins

You guys know how I love a good muffin, and these are no exception. I have a hard time eating blackberries on their own, but baking them into a sweet muffin sounds absolutely divine! Again Jenna, I’m putting the offer out there to be your taste tester for free!

One Mom’s Extreme Search for Healthy Living

This is a very moving piece about the lifestyle changes Amanda was driven to make for her and her family after being diagnosed with cancer. I love how she gives very real examples of trying to remove the Fraken-food from her family’s diet, but ends with the wisdom that you can only do the best you can do. It’s impossible to avoid food made out of unknown substances all together in today’s society, so don’t hold yourself to unattainable standards. This article is definitely worth reading, if for no other reason than to learn some fun facts such as the average American consumes 160 pounds of sugar each year compared to a century ago when the average was only four pounds!

In Defense of Crunch

Another article written by Amanda about the changes she’s making with the products inside her family’s home. This really made me stop to think about how I’m exposed to so many chemicals throughout the day in products I would assume were safe. I must confess, I also love this article for the term “crunchy people”. My college roomie used to refer to the all-natural hippies as “crunchy granola people” and it always made me laugh!

And to end on a sweet note…

Brownie Batter Chocolate Chip Cookies

Seriously Heather, you’re killing me with these sweets! There’s nothing that I enjoy more than a soft chewy cookie that still has a little texture to it. I can absolutely imagine myself eating the whole batch of these within a week (you guys know I’m capable of it). Good thing Heather says that the batch counts as one serving! ;-)

Check back next week for more reading material and of course give a shout out in the comments section to any of your favorite posts/articles/bloggers!

Carrot Muffins

A while ago, I shared with you guys the recipe I use for carrot bread. Lately, I’ve been making copious amounts of carrot muffins using the same recipe, and since I make quite a few adjustments, I thought it’d be worthwhile to share the recipe in its entirety.

I’ve been making these muffins so often, that they may quickly become my “signature” thing.

Carrot Muffins

adapted from Alton Brown’s recipe

  • 12 ounces grated carrots (or 1 bag of pre-grated carrots)
  • 1 cup whole wheat flour
  • 1 and 1/2 cups all purpose flour
  • 1 tsp baking soda
  • 1 tsp baking powder
  • 1/2 tsp ground allspice
  • 1/2 tsp ground nutmeg
  • 1/2 tsp ground cinnamon
  • 1/2 tsp salt
  • 3/4 cup granulated sugar
  • 1/4 cup brown sugar, firmly packed
  • 2 Tbsp honey
  • 3 eggs
  • 6 oz plain, nonfat Greek yogurt
  • 3/4 cup unsweetened applesauce (or 1/2 cup oil)
  • 1 and 1/2 cups chopped walnuts, divided


Directions: In a large mixing bowl, combine flour, baking soda, baking powder, spices, and salt. Stir in carrots until fully coated. In a separate bowl, whisk together granulated and brown sugar, honey, eggs, yogurt, and oil. Pour yogurt mixture into the flour mixture and stir to combine. Gently stir in 1 cup of the chopped walnuts. Pour mixture into a greased muffin tin. Sprinkle the remaining chopped walnuts on top of the batter. Bake at 350 degrees for approximately 25 minutes. Makes a dozen muffins.

I cheat when it comes to the carrots and buy a bag that is already grated. I just have to give them a quick chop to shorten them a bit.

Even though I love my Kitchen Aid stand mixer to death, there is something very satisfying about mixing ingredients together by hand. But on that note, you could also make this recipe by combining your sugars, honey, egg, yogurt, and oil in a mixer and then slowly add in your flour mixture and stir in the carrots and nuts at the very end by hand.

And once they come out of the oven…

These are perfect for a snack morning or afternoon to hold you over. Or they pair together excellently with a banana or orange for a quick breakfast on the go. And I haven’t found anyone yet that hasn’t liked them!

What’s your favorite flavored muffin?

White Chili a.k.a. Crack Chili

As soon as I saw Jenna feature Beth’s White Chili, I immediately knew that I wanted to try it. I had it on my ‘to make’ list for the longest time and finally got around to making it last week.

Oh.My.Gawd.

I have never had something that tasted so good. This is seriously the holy grail of all food. Each night, I would enjoy a bowl for dinner. And then I would go back for seconds. And then, if I could manage it, I would roll myself back into the kitchen, and I would have thirds. Hence my name for it, Crack Chili.

Naturally, this recipe immediately went back to the top of ‘to make’ list and this time I managed to show enough restraint to take pictures before slurping down the entire bowl.

The best thing about this recipe? It’s the easiest thing to make in the entire world! Once you get your chicken and onions diced, over half the work is done!

White Chili aka Crack Chili

  • 1 Tbsp oil
  • 1 lb chicken, diced
  • 1 onion, chopped
  • 2 cans Cannellini beans
  • 2 4 oz cans diced green chilies
  • 14.5 oz chicken broth
  • 1 tsp salt
  • 1 tsp oregano
  • 1 tsp cumin
  • 1/4 tsp cayenne
  • 2 garlic cloves, minced
  • 1/2 cup half & half
  • 8 oz sour cream

Directions: Heat oil in a large pot over medium heat. Add the chicken and onions and cook for approximately six minutes, or until the chicken is no longer pink on the outside. Add the garlic and cook for another three minutes. Add the beans, spices, chicken broth and green chilies and bring to a boil. Reduce heat and simmer for thirty minutes. Remove the pot from the heat and add the sour cream and half & half and stir until well blended.

My only change to the recipe was to cook the chicken and onion in a separate pan before adding it to the pot with the garlic, spices, and chicken stock. The first time I made this, I cooked the chicken directly in the pot and found that I had little oil lipids sitting at the surface of my chili at the end. While it tasted great, it didn’t necessarily look the best. Cooking the chicken in a separate pan this time helped me keep any excess oil from getting into my chili.

Also this time around, I doubled the recipe. No, I’m not that addicted to it. I’m actually making it to bring into my work’s potluck lunch tomorrow! Let’s hope I’m a little bit more coordinated than Kevin and don’t have issues carrying it in.

Jenna suggested topping the chili off with a little shredded cheese and sour cream, but I found the chili to be plenty rich enough on its own, plain. However, a little cheddar cheese on top does make it look pretty!

I also wanted to bring something else to go along with the chili and debated for a long time between tortilla chips and bread. Thankfully Kristin shared her pumpkin cornbread recipe just in time to save me from my dilemma! I followed her recipe exactly, but added in about a teaspoon of honey and half a teaspoon of nutmeg. For the purpose of a potluck lunch, I turned them into mini cornbread muffins so they would be easier to eat. Cute, right?

I have a feeling that this will be a big hit tomorrow!

Question:

What’s your favorite dish to bring to a potluck meal?

I’m all about comfort food. I usually will bring baked mac n’ cheese, but decided to shake it up a bit this year with the chili.