Nov 242014
 

I am so glad I’m not sick anymore. Having bronchitis and being segregated in the house for four days straight made me stir crazy and aching for some social interaction!

Friday

First swim in two weeks! Bronchitis is an ass-kicker. I wasn’t sure how I’d do because swimming is the #1 barometer on fitness in my opinion. If you are not up to par you will know it immediately in the pool. I had my inhaler with me just in case, but didn’t need it. I was able to swim and breathe normally and didn’t cough once! The only thing I noticed was I was getting really tired towards the end of the swim. Despite all that I did 1.125 miles without any breaks and felt great.

Saturday

Back at the Warrior Room! Thank goodness. I was still not back to normal. My stamina isn’t fabulous. My muscles were getting fatigued quicker than normal and I had to stop to rest in between sets. Other than that the class was really fun and the workout was challenging. There was one set we did where we held kettle bells in each hand and did front raises then Ashley would say “hold” and we’d have to hold the kettlebells in mid-air. It is SO MUCH harder than it sounds, trust me. Even with super light weight kettle bells it was brutal. Then we did the same thing with side lateral raises and holds. Ouch!

photo 2

Later on Saturday we went to our friend’s house for a housewarming party. They bought a house together recently and have been fixing it up so this was our change to catch up with them and see the new place.

photo 3

Michael made his famous mac n’ cheese to bring. Trust me, this is the perfect mac n’ cheese recipe. If you ever make this for a potluck or holiday party, be prepared to be nominated to make it for every following potluck for the rest of your life. Word will spread. People will request it. Trust me, I know. Michael made it one year for my family Christmas party and I think there would be a mutiny if he ever skipped it a year!

photo 2

While I ate some of the mac n’ cheese, I tried to limit how much because it’s so high in calories. I was trying to practice what I preached when it came to holiday eating…try a little bit of everything I want but don’t go overboard.

photo 1

Christi also made some roasted nuts that were AMAZING and I ended up eating way too many of those babies. They were seriously so good. Butter, brown sugar, cayenne pepper, rosemary and thyme. Amazing. We ended up playing Cards Against Humanity for a few hours and before we knew it, it was really late. It was a fun night though!

Sunday

Sunday I was finally back to yoga class. I’d missed it. So had my stiff joints and muscles. I also got in a two mile run on the treadmill before class. Which was nice because both things loosened up my tight muscles after the Warrior Room Saturday.

photo

After class Michael and I went over to a friend’s house for lunch and board games! Something else I had missed terribly lately.

My friend Courtney made chili so I found a cornbread recipe and made that. I decided to do mini muffins and used my mini muffin tray that we got as a wedding present. I liked the mini size. :) Because I used the mini muffin tray and I substituted the Splenda Blend, the calorie came out to 60 calories per muffin. Obviously if you do regular sized muffins that will change.

Cornbread Muffins

Prep Time: 14 minutes

Cook Time: 15 minutes

Total Time: 30 minutes

Yield: 12 or 32 depending on size

Serving Size: 1 muffin

From: http://princesspinkygirl.com/delicious-cornbread-muffins/

Ingredients

  • 1 1/4 cup yellow corn meal
  • 1/4 cup melted butter or margarine
  • 1 cup all-purpose flour
  • 1 tablespoon baking powder
  • 1/2 cup sugar
  • 1/2 teaspoon salt
  • 1 cup milk
  • 1 egg

Instructions

  1. Preheat oven to 400 degrees.
  2. Combine corn meal, flour, baking powder, sugar and salt.
  3. Combine milk, egg and butter/margarine and mix well.
  4. Combine the dry and liquid ingredients in a bowl and mix (do not overmix, should be slightly lumpy).
  5. Pour batter into a well greased muffin pan.
  6. Bake 15 – 20 minutes or until golden brown.
http://www.110pounds.com/?p=44890

I made three changes to the recipe: first I substituted Splenda Blend for the sugar and then I added about 1/4 cup of corn kernels. I like cornbread that has actual corn in it. Lastly, I heated the oven at 350 instead of 400 because they are so much smaller than other muffins. I thought they might get overdone.

photo 1

I liked the muffins and I liked the flavor. They were a little on the dry side eating them on their own. But with some butter melted on top or with chili, they were fine. I’d make these again but I’d probably add maybe some shredded cheese to make them a little moister? Other than that it was good.

photo 1

I love chili! It was fantastic and she used chunks of beef instead of just ground beef. It was really good and next time I make chili I want to try using chunks of beef in it. Usually I just do ground turkey or beef. This was a nice variation.

photo 3
photo 2

We played two games, Love Letter and Gloom. They were both really fun. I liked the Gloom game but it was really involved and intricate. I need to play it a few more times to really get it I think.

It was the kind of weekend that was jam-packed and I didn’t have any downtime to myself, but it was worth it. It was a ton of fun!

Do you have any game recommendations? Looking for something new!

Share
Sep 092014
 

More zucchini…zucchini…zucchini! Everywhere! Recently Michael and I received a wedding gift from a very lovely friend who sadly can’t make it to the wedding. One of the items was a mini muffin baking pan. I was really excited to use it (and I was also doing some research on making some “dog” muffins that Bella can eat). But I had so much zucchini I decided to make some human muffins first and use up some zucchini. Here is the recipe:

Banana Zucchini Chocolate Chip Muffins (vegan)

Prep Time: 30 minutes

Cook Time: 30 minutes

Total Time: 60 minutes

Serving Size: 1 muffin

Adapted From: http://www.averiecooks.com/2014/07/banana-zucchini-chocolate-chip-muffins.html

Ingredients

  • 3/4 cup granulated sugar
  • 1/3 cup coconut oil, melted (vegetable or canola oil may be substituted)
  • 1/4 cup light brown sugar, packed
  • 2 tablespoons unsweetened vanilla almond milk (coconut, soy, rice, cow's milk may be substituted)
  • 2 teaspoons vanilla extract
  • 1 teaspoon cinnamon
  • 1 cup ripe mashed bananas (about 2 small/medium bananas)
  • 1 1/4 cups shredded zucchini, measured loosely laid in cup (not packed in or squeezed; about 1 medium zucchini, I didn't peel it)
  • 1 1/2 cups all-purpose flour
  • 1 tablespoon baking powder
  • pinch salt, optional and to taste
  • about 11 teaspoons mini semi-sweet chocolate chips divided, about 1 teaspoon for each muffin (regular-sized chips may be substituted)

Instructions

  1. Preheat oven to 400F. Spray a Non-Stick 12-Cup Regular Muffin Pan very well with floured cooking spray or grease and flour the pan; set aside.
  2. In a large bowl, add the wet ingredients and whisk to combine.
  3. Add the bananas and whisk to combine.
  4. Before adding the zucchini, put it in a paper towel and squeeze tightly for about 10 seconds to remove some moisture. After squeezing, you should have about 3/4 cup of compacted shreds. Add zucchini to bowl and stir.
  5. Add the flour, baking powder, optional salt and stir until just combined; don't overmix.
  6. Using a large cookie scoop turn batter out into prepared pan. Each cavity should be filled to about 3/4 full, but not exceeding or batter could overflow.
  7. Sprinkle the top of each muffin generously with mini chocolate chips, about 1 teaspoon each.
  8. Bake at 350F for 12 minutes (for mini muffins) or until muffins are set, domed, golden, and a toothpick comes out clean or with a few moist crumbs, but no batter.
  9. Allow muffins to cool in pan for about 10 to 15 minutes, or until they've firmed up and are cool enough to handle. It's normal for muffin tops to be flatten as they cool.
  10. Muffins will keep airtight at room temperature for up to 1 week, or in the freezer for up to 6 months.
http://www.110pounds.com/?p=43945

I used the recipe as a base and adapted it. So the changes I made…

I used real milk (1%) instead of almond. I also used the Trader Joe’s gluten free flour. To make this a little healthier and reduce the amount of sugar,  I made another substitute. When you bake with Splenda it’s a 50-50 mix. For example, if the recipe calls for 1 cup of sugar, you use 1/2 cup of Splenda instead. For this recipe I halved the sugar and used splenda and I also included 1/2 cup of unsweetened applesauce. I probably could have skipped the Splenda/Sugar altogether honestly.

IMG_0544

I wanted to use the mini muffin tray, which was 24 mini muffins but I had a ton of extra batter after filling those so I did a few regular sized muffins as well. Because of that it kind of made the calorie count impossible to calculate but I’d say that the mini muffins are probably around 75 calories each and the regular muffins are around 100 calories, maybe a little less.

IMG_0543

These muffins were awesome! And addicting! And because they are so tiny, bitesize really, it’s easy to just keep popping them in your mouth. The muffins were definitely DIFFERENT than any I’ve ever done. They were very moist and gooey which I attribute to the addition of the applesauce. I think maybe using the melted coconut oil also did that. I’ve never baked with coconut oil before. It gave it a richer flavor I think. Each muffin had maybe 2-3 chocolate chips in it and so the chocolate flavor wasn’t overpowering at all. Just the perfect amount of sweetness.

IMG_0552

I would say that these tasted more like banana muffins than zucchini. Every once in awhile I’d get a bite of zucchini and really taste it but the most dominant flavor was the banana. These were great and I will make them again for parties. I ended up taking a bunch to my book club group and then I took some to a friend’s house the next day when Michael and I went over for dinner.

book2

book1
The muffins were a hit at the book club. I really, really liked them, too. They had such a different texture than I’m used to with muffins but it was pleasant. I think this is a great “base” muffin recipe. You could make some really interesting alterations…like maybe shredded carrots instead of zucchini or maybe dried cranberries instead of chocolate chips. I think the mini muffins were too small for nuts, but maybe with bigger muffins it would work well. Depending on how you end up changing the ingredients in the recipe, these muffins could be dessert or could easily be a breakfast treat.

I’ve never baked with coconut oil before and I have to say, I kind of love it! Will definitely be using coconut oil instead of vegetable oil in more future baking experiments.

Share