Recipe-Oatmeal Banana Chocolate Chip Muffins

Woke up at 4:30 am to go to swim practice and swim for 1 hour and 15 minutes. Got home, showered, and was hungry.

This happens every day of morning practice. But today, I decided that I was going to make something good to eat, not eat cereal from the cabinet or snack on crackers and cheese, but actually make something that would satisfy my hunger. So I went to my old friend, Pinterest, and started looking. I searched for chocolate chip muffins and you can imagine how many results came up. I browsed the results, clicked on about a dozen links and started eliminating some to find the one I wanted to make. Instead of going for the chocolate chocolate chip muffins (though I did pin one recipe for later) I decided to make something a little healthier and found this recipe: Oatmeal Banana Chocolate Chip Muffins.

So after pinning a couple more (less healthy) recipes for later I made them.

I’ll have to say that these muffins are different than any other muffin I made, and that’s in a good way. These muffins are made using oats instead of flour and you mix them up in the blender. This means there are a lot less dishes to clean. Because there’s no flour (gluten-free recipe) the muffins have a different texture.

There are several changes I made to the recipe from the original and so I’m including my version here:

Oatmeal Banana Chocolate Chip Muffins

Ingredients
2½ cups old fashioned oats
1 cup plain Greek yogurt
2 eggs
½ cup sugar
1½ tsp baking powder
½ tsp baking soda
2 ripe bananas
1 cup chocolate chips

Instructions
Preheat oven to 400 degrees. Prepare a 12 cup muffin tin with nonstick spray (the batter sticks to liners really badly).
Add oats and yogurt to a blender. Mix until smooth. Add eggs, sugar, baking powder, baking soda, and bananas to the blender and mix again until smooth.
Pour batter into a bowl. Fold in chocolate chips.
Fill muffin cups using a cookie scoop (or spoon, cookie scoop is easier). Bake for 13-15 minutes, until a toothpick comes out clean.
Remove to a wire rack to cool completely.

Source: Everything Pudding (Modified from Dinners, Dishes, and Desserts)

You can also download it by clicking here: Oatmeal Banana Chocolate Chip Muffins.

Notes on My Changes:

I didn’t feel that there were enough chocolate chips when I put in the 1/2 cup the recipe called for. So I added another 1/2 cup and that tasted right (you can never have too much chocolate can you?).

I originally added all of the ingredients (except the chocolate chips) as the recipe said to do. My blender could not handle this. I ended up taking out most of the ingredients and then gradually adding them back in as the blender got the mixture smooth. I changed the recipe to say mix the yogurt and the oats together first until smooth (grinding the oats was what seemed to slow the blender down so this should fix the problem) and then add everything else (except the chocolate chips).

One good tip is to use a cookie scoop (thanks goes to my mom for pointing this out) to scoop out the batter. Use one of the really big ones makes it so much easier.

I also decreased the baking time. I used a convection oven and after 15 minutes the tops were a nice light brown (they probably could have used less).

My family all enjoyed them (I’ve already got a request to make them again). So now it’s your turn to pull out your blender and get cooking. Enjoy!

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Papercrafting-Quilled Flower Cards

Quilled Flower Cards crafted by Everything Pudding

When I send a note to someone I like to make a card. For a while I had needed to send cards to two different people. So one day I finally sat down, picked out cards to make, and made them.

Quilled Flowers Card crafted by Everything Pudding

I looked through one of my quilling books: The Art of Paper Quilling and found a real pretty design which I snapped a picture of for you to see. This design was actually meant for a frame, but I liked the flowers so decided I would take two of the flowers, make them, and put one on each card.

Quilled Flower Cards crafted by Everything Pudding

The purple one I made was actually from modifying the middle flower in the picture. I didn’t have the right colors so I used what I had on hand. I think it turned out real pretty.

Quilled Flower Cards crafted by Everything Pudding

The second one I made was using the design for the fourth flower in the pictures. I really liked how it looked using two different pinks and the bunny ear flower petals. The leaves were done using a technique call fan husking. They took the longest to do but I like the way they look.

Quilled Flower Cards crafted by Everything Pudding

I think both the cards turned out real nice. I had so much fun making them. If you want to make them the instructions for these flowers and lots of other cute designs for frames, cards, place cards, and little paper gift bags can be found in the book: The Art of Paper Quilling. I purchased mine at Hobby Lobby but I don’t think they sell it anymore so I linked it to amazon’s page for the book.

Happy Quilling!

Recipe-Oreo Cream Filled Brownies

Oreo Cream Filled Brownie at Everything Pudding

Pinterest is a very dangerous place. You can find so many recipes and fill your boards up with 100s of desserts. Thankfully I think my dessert board is only almost reaching 100 pins so I’m not too bad. However, Pinterest makes it super easy to find a recipe, way too easy.

Yesterday, I really wanted to make something sweet so I went and browsed my Pinterest dessert board. After looking at a couple I chose to make Oreo Cream Filled Brownies. I’d never tried them before but they looked good and we had everything on hand to make them.

These brownies were super easy to make. The brownies smelled really good when they came out of the oven but we had to wait a while for them to cool. Once they were cool I whipped up the filling. The filling tasted really sugary when I had a spoon of it plain, but it wasn’t too sweet in the brownies (it’d also make great whoopie filling too). And as you can see it looks real pretty once it got filled.

Oreo Cream Filled Brownies at Everything Pudding

Unfortunately, when we cut the brownies they started cracking really bad and didn’t look to pretty anymore. They still tasted amazing though.

Oreo Cream Filled Brownies at Everything Pudding

When I first read the recipe and realized what size pan it used I didn’t think it would make 20 brownies. However, the brownies are real rich with all that filling and cutting them into 20 made them the perfect size, though I will admit I had more than one.

This recipe was super easy to make and I loved it. I can’t wait to make it again. Make them yourself by grabbing the recipe from Cookies and Cups.

Enjoy!

 

Recipe-Quick and Easy Granola

Quick and Easy Granola-Recipe from Everything Pudding

I already established the fact that I don’t like cereal that much but I also thought I didn’t like granola either. However when my mom made it probably 6 months ago I realized that I really did like it. So now when we have any granola I eat it for breakfast. Of course I still don’t like cereal so I don’t have mine with milk; I drink my milk separately.

Since realizing what I’ve been missing I have made granola twice. It hasn’t lasted long either time. In fact this time more than half of it was gone by the end of the day I made it (this was due in part to the fact that we sent some of it to my aunt, but that didn’t account for all of it). It’s a super simple recipe though and cooks fast so its no big deal making another batch.

Quick and Easy Granola-Recipe from Everything Pudding

This recipe came from a friend but we modified it slightly. It’s original name was “Quick and Easy but Delicious Granola”. I though that was a bit long and so I shortened it, though the truth remains, it is delicious. The original recipe says 1/4 to a 1/2 cup of nuts, we made it 1 cup because we felt like less than that wasn’t enough. We typically use pecans or walnuts but you can also use almonds.

Quick and Easy Granola-Recipe from Everything Pudding

One recipe will fill a half sheet baking pan (13″ x 18″) but we usually double the recipe and fill two pans. It goes pretty quick at my house so two batches at a time is necessary.

Quick and Easy Granola-Recipe from Everything Pudding

Granola is super tasty and great for breakfast or for a snack. We like to scoop them up using the 3 oz. paper Dixie cups, though they typically get refilled several times. Want to make your own? Read on for the recipe or download the PDF by clicking here: Quick and Easy Granola.

Quick and Easy Granola

Ingredients:

½ cup honey

½ cup butter

4 cups old-fashioned oats

¼ cup unsweetened coconut

1 cup chopped nuts (Pecans, walnuts, or almonds)

Method:

Melt honey and butter together. Pour over oats, coconut, and nuts in large bowl. Stir well to coat. Spread on a rimmed baking sheet. Cook at 400° for 9 minutes, stir, and then cook for another 4 minutes or until medium brown. Remove from oven and let cool 1 hour. Break into chunks and store in airtight container.

Makes ~5 cups

Source: Everything Pudding

 

 

Project-Hooded Blanket and BBF (Baby’s Best Friend)

Hooded Baby Blanket and BBF-Everything Pudding

I am absolutely terrible about finishing projects. But I’ve been finishing some up recently and this is one of them.

There are sometimes when I see a cute pattern and I want to make it, even though I have no idea what I’m going to do with it after I’m done. This project was one of them. I saw the pattern in JoAnn’s. It was one of those free tear-off patterns they have in the yarn aisles. I picked it up and added it to the growing pile of patterns to be knitted (well  maybe to get knitted). Later when I wanted a new knitting project I picked it up and went to JoAnn’s looking for the yarn. They didn’t have it. Thankfully when I went back a couple weeks later they had it. I got all the yarn I needed for it. I also picked up the needles I needed since I didn’t have the right ones in my stash. I’m really not sure how long it took me to knit the blanket. I picked it up every now and then, during movies or trips. I did eventually finish and when I did I had a whole ball of yarn left. What do I do with it?

My little sister was given a “buddy” when she was little and slept with it every night. She gradually got less and less attached as she got older but when she was really little she had to have it. I though I’d look for a pattern for something like it. Her’s had a bear’s head but instead of body it was attached to the center of a mini blanket and had “feet” on all four corners.  I was originally thinking of doing a little bear but I found a pattern on Ravelry for a bunny and loved it. I had never made anything with double pointed needles so I wasn’t sure how it would turn out. But it ended up great. It was so fun knitting and seeing the head form and then the ears. The cute little knotted feet on each of the four corners are so fun. My least favorite part of the whole project though was embroidering the face. It took me several tries to get it right but I love how it looks.

So know that you’ve read my whole long explanation of how I made mine, here’s some pictures and the details for if you decide to make one.

Hooded Blanket and BBF Knitted by Everything Pudding Hooded Blanket and BBF Knitted by Everything Pudding

Blanket with Hood

Pattern: Blanket with Hood by Bernat (Link goes to a page with a download link for the pattern.)

Yarn: Bernat Pipsqueak Baby Baby Print (I got mine at JoAnns.)

Yardage Used: 600 Yards (5 Balls, 120 Yards each)

Needles: Clover Bamboo 36″ Circular Knitting Needle Size 10

Notes: The pattern calls for size 9 knitting needles but I wasn’t able to find size 9 in the right length so I went up a size and got size 10. It worked fine and the knitting is close enough, no holes or anything. This may have been why I only ended up need 5 balls (600 yards) vs. the 660 yards the pattern called for. I even had enough yarn left over from the fifth ball to sew the hood onto the blanket.

Hooded Blanket and BBF Knitted by Everything Pudding Hooded Blanket and BBF Knitted by Everything Pudding

BBF (Baby’s Best Friend)

Pattern: BBF by Linda Skinlo on Ravelry

Yarn: Bernat Pipsqueak Baby Baby Print (I got mine at JoAnns.)

Yardage Used: ~150 Yards (2 balls, 120  yards each)

Needles: 12″  Straight Needles Size 6 (Used to knit the blanket portion)

Clover Bamboo Double Pointed Needles 7″ Size 6 (Pack of five needles, can’t do it with four, used to knit the head)

Crochet Hook: Size G/6 (4.25 mm) (Used for picking up stitches to knit the head)

Cross Stitch Thread: DMC #3689 (Used to embroider face)

Notes: The pattern only called for 105 meters which is 115 yards. I ended up having to buy another ball of yarn because one ball (120 yards ) was only enough to do the blanket portion. I used the new ball to knit the head and didn’t use very much of it. I estimated that I used 150 yards for the project total so plan for somewhere around that. I used a crochet hook to help in picking up the stitches for knitting the head. Because I had never done this I looked up how it was done. I found a blog that had some very useful videos on knitting in the round. View the playlist of the videos here. I was also unsure of what backward loop cast-on was. Found out here.

These two projects were so much fun to make, especially the BBF. Bernat Pipsqueak comes in really cute prints so you could create so many different ones. You could also make these out of different yarns. I’m finishing up another baby blanket from a real pretty pattern and am going to make a buddy to go with it. Hopefully that’ll be finished soon!

When I started this project I didn’t have anyone in mind to give it to, but by the time I finished it I did. A friend just had a baby girl so I gave it to her. Hopefully she’ll get a lot of use out of it!

Recipe-Dakota Cookies

Dakota Cookies by Everything Pudding

There are some days when you just need Chocolate. Yesterday was one of those days. I was in the middle of studying for a science test and I really needed (ok, wanted) a break and some chocolate. So I made one of my favorite cookies: Dakota Cookies.

Dakota Cookies BatterThese cookies are so great when you want a break from traditional chocolate chip cookies. They have rice crispies and oatmeal which gives them a nice texture. They’re also super quick and make a great size batch.

Dakota Cookies by Everything Pudding

So the next time you need some chocolate whip up a batch of these. You can download the PDF recipe by clicking here: Dakota Cookies. Enjoy!

Dakota Cookies

Ingredients:
¾ cup brown sugar
¾ cup white sugar
1 cup butter
2 eggs, beaten
1 teaspoon vanilla
2 cups whole wheat flour
½ teaspoon salt
1 teaspoon baking soda
3 cups oatmeal
1 cup rice crispies
2 cups chocolate chips

Method:

Cream sugar and butter. Add eggs and vanilla. Sift dry ingredients and add to creamed mixture. Add oats, crispies, and chocolate chips. Drop by spoon onto cookie sheet. Bake at 375° for 7-10 minutes. Cool and enjoy!

Makes 8 Dozen

Recipe-Chocolate Scotcheroos

Chocolate Scotcheroos

Rice Krispies are a classic treat. Yet sometimes I have a craving for chocolate which Rice Krispies unfortunately do not satisfy. Luckily though, there is a solution: Chocolate Scotcheroos.

My sister first found this recipe online several years ago and we have made it a couples times. I wanted to make it again to use up the extra Crispy Rice we had (okay maybe I had a different motive, but that one sounds better). So I found the recipe in my cookbook and got going.

Butterscotch and Chocolate Chips

The thing that seemed to take the longest time was melting the chocolate and butterscotch chips. We use a double boiler when melting chocolate on the stove. It works well but takes forever. However after they were finally done and I had poured the chocolate on top I had to let them chill in the fridge to let the chocolate set.

Chocolate Scotcheroos

I was patient and after about an hour I cut them (not very straight, but who cares) and ate one. Ooh they are so good I really could have eaten several, but I didn’t. I replaced them back in the fridge (this is where we usually store ours) and waited ’til the next day to indulge myself.

Try them yourself by clicking here. Enjoy!

 

Recipe-Butterscotch Chewies

Butterscotch Chewies

Recently we had a covered dish supper with some families from our church. It was a small group and we wanted to make sure everything got covered: desserts, sides dishes, casseroles, etc. So my mom, older sister and I got in the kitchen and got busy. I volunteered to make dessert (the cook gets to taste test right?).

Being that I am not always in the mood for cookies and that we wanted something that would make a lot, I chose to make one of our favorite recipes: Butterscotch Chewies. I made two pans and since we served them on a plate, I got to taste test before hand.

The dessert was a hit, I think we only brought home 4 or 5 and with two pans we took almost 48. Sounds like it was a success.

To make your own follow the recipe below or click here to download the PDF: Butterscotch Chewies

Butterscotch Chewies

Ingredients:

½ cup butter
1 ½ cups brown sugar
2 eggs
1 teaspoon vanilla
1 ½ cups flour
1 teaspoon baking powder
½ cup nuts (optional)
semi-sweet chocolate chips

Method:

Melt butter in saucepan. Add brown sugar and bring to boil over medium heat, stirring constantly. Cool slightly. Add eggs one at a time and mix well. Add vanilla, flour, and baking powder. Stir in nuts. Grease 13 x 9 pan, and add batter. Sprinkle with chocolate chips. Bake at 350 degrees for 22-25 minutes. Cut when cool. Makes 24 bars.

Enjoy!

Recipe-Homemade Strawberry Nutri-Grain Bars

IMG_4312 - Copy

I”m a swimmer and swimmers eat lots of food, and I mean lots of food. I probably eat more meals/mini-meals/snacks than Hobbits (they eat 7). So when I’m going to a swim meet I make sure to take lots of snacks. Typically I take bars, chex mix, fruit, and lots of other stuff. Instead of buying bars this time I decided to try out some homemade bars.

Some of my favorite bars are the Nature’s Bakery Fig Bars. However they are expensive. My sister had pinned a recipe for Homemade Nutri-Grain Bars so I thought I’d try them and see if they were similar. They turned out great; everyone in my family liked them.

The recipe for the bars can be found here from Half-Baked Harvest. However, I didn’t follow her recipe exactly. She made her own filling. Since I’m lazy efficient I chose to use Strawberry Jam instead of making my own. I used about 3/4 cup per batch and I made two batches. Other than that I followed her recipe and my family wants them again. Sounds like it was a hit.

Unfortunately, mine didn’t turn out nearly as pretty as hers. As you can see from the picture below, taken right before I put them in the freezer to chill.

From Sarah's Phone 1 - Copy

However, after coming out of the oven they looked much better, still not perfect though.

IMG_4302

So now you have one more recipe to make and one less processed food you have to buy. Enjoy!

Recipe-Copycat Auntie Anne’s Nuggets

While shopping for clothes at our local mall recently, we stopped by Auntie Anne’s and picked up some Nuggets. They were absolutely amazing. They tasted just like the Auntie Anne’s Pretzels we’ve been making, except they were in nugget form.

This spurred a cooking day soon after in order to convert our pretzels to nuggets. Here’s how you do it:

Use this recipe and follow the instructions up to when you divide the dough. Instead of dividing the dough into 12 lumps roll it out into a rectangle roughly 8″ x 12″. Using a pizza cutter cut the dough into 48 pieces by cutting the it into 8 strips on the short side then cutting each strip into 6 pieces. Each “nugget” should be about 1″ x 2″.

Dip in the baking soda and water  mixture, place on a greased pan, and cook until the bottoms are a medium brown. Ours took about 6 minutes. Now dip in butter and enjoy!