Thursday, March 29, 2012

Breakfast Muffins - Lots of banana goodness!!

I have been following the blog for several weeks, and have read some GREAT workout tips (I am trying to beat my abs into submission before the summer!).  Last week I saw this post for a muffin recipe - LifePlusFitness.COM: Breakfast Muffin

I love to try new recipes (hence, a topic for my blog) and the muffins seemed pretty healthy, so last night I gave them a whirl.  They came out awesome!  I had a few bananas that were edging past their prime, so they were nice and easy to mash up.  I didn't use carrots, however, because I didn't have any in the house, so I modified the recipe a bit by using a full cup of applesauce.  I love the smell of the cinnamon/nutmeg/ginger combo, and my place was full of that spicy scent when I baked last night. 

Here is the original recipe - LifePlusFitness.COM: Breakfast Muffin

And here is the version that I made (very similar!)

*One warning, I am not sure how using more applesauce affected the calorie count if you are counting cals, sorry I don't have an accurate amount!
  • 1 cup flour
  • 1 1/4 cups oatmeal
  • 2 1/2 teaspoons baking powder
  • 1/2 teaspoon salt
  • 1 teaspoon cinnamon
  • 1/2 teaspoon nutmeg
  • 1 teaspoon ground ginger
  • 2 cups ripe bananas, mashed (I used 4 and it worked out well)
  • 1 cup applesauce (I used the unsweetened kind - less sugar!)
  • 1 large egg
  • 2 tablespoons unsalted butter, room temp.
Preheat oven to 375*. Line a 12-cup muffin pan with papers, or spray with cooking spray.

Combine the first 7 ingredients (flour through spices) in a large bowl. Stir to blend well. 

In another bowl, combine everything else (bananas through buter). Stir until it is combined well. I used the fork I used to mash the bananas and it blended everything pretty well.

Add wet ingredients to the dry ingredients and sirt until combined well (the batter will be pretty lumpy).

Fill the muffin cups about 3/4 of the way full.  Bake at 375* for about 20 min.  These are a hearty muffin, so when they are done, they will spring back a bit when you push on the tops.


Tuesday, March 27, 2012

Bruce Springsteen-Tenth Avenue Freeze Out Boston March 26, 2012

An epic performance by The Boss & Co. last night.... unspoken tributes to Big Man and Dan induced goosebumps. Amazing.

Tuesday, March 20, 2012

Lonely Planet’s 10 best food hotspots of the world

I had to share...I love trying new cuisine wherever I go, and the Lonely Planet has amazing resources whether you are traveling near or far. Check it out!!

Lonely Planet’s 10 best food hotspots of the world

When Irish eyes are smiling...

...they must have had these cupcakes! I found this recipe for Irish Car Bomb cupcakes on an awesome blog, Brown Eyed Baker, and HAD to give them a try. But I had to get some key ingredients first.....
Yes, it is a lot of butter.
Yes, all of those lovely items go into making these cupcakes amazing. Guinness in the chocolate cupcakes, Jameson in the chocolate ganache filling, and Baileys (and lots of butter) in the frosting... oh goodness... 

I have to admit, however, that the process was not without its perils (none of which were alcohol-related, I swear!!).  The cakes baked up wonderful (side bar: I haven't *quite*  figured out the oven in my apartment has only been 2 months.. I may have had a disasterous batch of corn muffins last month!).  The ganache, on the other hand, gave me a run for my money. It didn't set enough, so when I tried to pipe it into the hollowed-out cakes, the chocolate went EVERYWHERE. Into the freezer it went for a bit, then I was able to fill the pastry bag and pipe the chocolatey goodness into the cakes.  Lastly was the Baileys frosting. I channeled Paula Deen for this one (holy butter!).  This process was MUCH easier than the ganache. I piped the frosting on with a star tip, then sprinkled with green sugar sprinkles.
Ta da! Irish Car Bomb Cupcakes
I made 4 dozen all together. Made a couple stops that day/night and brought these to those stops. They got many, many thumbs up!

Here is the recipe if you care to try - Irish Car Bomb Cupcakes. Slainte!

Monday, March 12, 2012

View through an arch - Grand Mosque

mosque by aecance37
mosque, a photo by aecance37 on Flickr.
I took this photo in February 2010 in Abu Dhabi, United Arab Emirates. Construction of the Sheikh Zayed Grand Mosque (or Grand Mosque, as everyone calls it) began in the late 1990s and although the structure itself is complete, the landscaping and grounds work was still in process when I visited. It is truly an impressive and sacred place. It can accommodate over 40,000 worshipers is roughly the size of 5 football fields! The cool marble was a welcome relief from the desert heat (about 90 degrees in February!)

Read more about the Grand Mosque on the Visit Abu Dhabi tourism website here:

Sunday, March 11, 2012

Views of Mayflower Beach

Here are some pictures I took on Mayflower Beach, Dennis, MA (Cape Cod).  My mom and I went for a walk on New Years Day with Fenway Sally (our black lab) and Chapin (my brother & sister-in-law's dog - a Connemara Jack Russell).  It was a gorgeous day - sunny, 40* or so, blue sky.... 

I decided to experiment with my camera a's what I captured...

Toy camera effect

Bright color setting

Afternoon shadows

Pup prints

My beach companions - Mom, Fenway, Chapin

Friday, March 9, 2012

Zucchini, Onion and Feta Frittata - Dana-Farber Cancer Institute

Not quite a relevant topic on my blog, however it looks really delicious! And I hope to get some pictures of a GIANT zucchini I grew last season up soon (so there, I made it fit in!) LOL! Enjoy!

Zucchini, Onion and Feta Frittata - Dana-Farber Cancer Institute