The other day I made the most delicious banana bran muffins as a study snack. I know, I sound like an absolute grandma, but they were so tasty and I couldn’t resist trying to make comfort food a little bit healthier (ok, truth is I had some wheat bran sitting around that I literally hadn’t touched since I made a variation on my quinoa granola and I had a few ancient bananas that were minutes away from rotting, so I thought I might as well whip something up while I was thinking about it). The recipe I followed was super easy and the muffins came out so moist and fluffy. Did I tell myself I’d only have one and share the rest then end up eating five in the same day? Yes, but seeing how fast my housemates finished the rest, I will definitely be doubling (or tripling) the recipe during the next go around!
Prep time: 10 minutes
Cook time: 25 minutes
Ingredients: (makes 12)
– 1/2 cup butter, softened
– 1/2 cup sugar
– 3 ripe bananas, mashed
– 1/4 cup milk
– 1 tsp vanilla extract
– 2 eggs
– 1 1/2 cups all-purpose flour
– 1/2 cup wheat bran
– 1 tsp baking powder
– 1 tsp baking soda
– 1/4 tsp salt
Directions: Preheat oven to 375 degrees Fahrenheit. Grease muffin pan. In a large bowl, mix butter and sugar together until fluffy. Then add bananas, vanilla and eggs. Mix well. Finally, stir in flour, bran, baking powder, baking soda, and salt. Pour batter into muffin pan. Bake for 20 minutes then test with a toothpick to see if centers are baked through yet. If toothpick does not come out clean, bake for another 5 minutes. Remove muffins from oven and let cool in pan. Then transfer from pan to wire cooling rack to cool completely. Lastly, dig in!!
Posted in dining, diy
Tagged bake, banana, bran, comfort food, cook, culinary, diy, do it yourself, easy, food, grandma, granola, housemates, muffins, recipe, snack, study, tasty, yum
This spring break I will be headed down to Florida to visit my grandma and meet up with my twin sister who also has her spring break at the same time! I am so looking forward to the warm weather (remember Monday’s post?) and already brainstorming awesome outfits for some fun in the sun. I think this bright and blue collection would be perfect for a day down south. A casual tank and shorts for errands in the morning, a cute dress for an afternoon snack, and a flow-y frock and a classic jean jacket for a breezy night walking in the sand. Anyone else have fun plans for their spring break this year?
Posted in fashion, me!, party, twin
Tagged break, cat, cat ziac, dress, errands, fashion, florida, frock, fun, grandma, J.Crew, jean jacket, Joules, julia, julia ziac, Madewell, morning, night, noon, polyvore, sand, Scotch & Soda, shorts, snack, south, spring break, style, tank, twin, vacation, visit, ziac
Posted in blogs, dining, diy, me!
Tagged 2014, adventure, bars, blogs, brown butter, cat, cook, diy, do it yourself, fit, friends, granola, healthy, homemade, how sweet it is, no-bake brown butter quinoa bar, quinoa, recipe, skiing, snack, winter, ziac
The other day I went on a Pinterest binge looking at recipes (check out by newest board ironically titled “hungry hungry caterpillar” for all of my delicious finds). I am not as much of a cook as I would like to be (although I try here, here, here, here and here), but I am certainly a lover of food and would like to try cooking a lot more. During my hours of mindless searching (when study breaks outweigh study time…oops!) I was inspired to create a breakfast experiment of my own. I tried the combo the next morning and it was remarkably delicious! For a sweet and cinnamon-y surprise, try the following:
Prep Time: 10 min (mostly due to seeding the pomegranate)
– Non-fat plain Greek yogurt
– 1/2 cup fresh pomegranate seeds
– 1 tsp ground cinnamon
– a pinch of dry, unused coffee grounds
Directions: Cut and seed the pomegranate. About half of the pomegranate will yield a healthy number of the sour seeds. Add pomegranate seeds, cinnamon, and coffee grounds to yogurt. Mix and enjoy!
This was such a delicious breakfast, and something with tons of potential in terms of other creative combinations. I especially enjoyed the addition of the coffee grounds because it added a different, almost chocolatey flavor to the mix. I could also imagine making this same meal with yogurt, coconut shavings, vanilla powder, and cocoa powder for an even sweeter treat, or with yogurt, a little olive oil, small heirloom tomatoes, and fresh basil for a simple lunch-time version. How would you put a spin on this sweet snack?
Posted in dining, diy
Tagged 2013, basil, breakfast, capital region, cat, cat ziac, chocolate, cinnamon, cocoa, coconut, coffee, college, college life, cook, culinary, dining, diy, do it yourself, fall, food, foodie, garnet letter, greek yogurt, lunch, new york, olive oil, pinterest, pomegranate, recipe, schenectady, seeds, snack, sweet, thegarnetletter, tomato, treat, union, union college, vanilla, yogurt, ziac
It’s the day after Halloween. Does your stomach hurt? If not, it probably will after you chip away at your ginormous candy stash for #breakfastlunchanddinner. But what if you want to skip the bellyache and use your candy in a more creative fashion? Here are some ideas for alternative uses for all of your delicious, but detrimental, Halloween candy:
1. Sell your candy to local dentists participating in candy-for-troops initiatives. Many dentists will pay $1 per pound for your spooky loot! (Or send it here)
2. Save colorful candy for use as gingerbread house decorations come December. It kills two birds with one stone (or skittle…).
3. Make a combo. If you add a few mini packs of M&Ms to some popcorn, you have a sweet treat that is a little bit healthier than just scarfing down the delicious chocolates solo. Think yummy trail mixes or this recipe.
4. Freeze it for future use. Frozen chocolates will be great in Thanksgiving/Christmas/New Years recipes or as a sweet addition to an indulgent (and infrequent) smoothie. (A great recipe would be Snickers + Frozen Vanilla Yogurt + Milk + Banana, just saying…)
5. Make ants on a log. It’s celery for crying out loud! You burn more calories chewing it than what it’s worth! Just don’t go too crazy on the candy toppings.
In the end, you can just eat the darn stuff too. But, I encourage you to get creative and use your Halloween candy as a component of a snack, not the entire meal. In fact, my sister had some great tips of her own for a candy related recipe I had posted a few days ago:
(she’s referring to this post when she mentions books on tape, btw)
Posted in dining, diy, twin
Tagged 2013, candy, capital region, cat, cat ziac, celebration, chocolate, christmas, college, college life, cook, creative, culinary, december, dentist, dining, diy, do it yourself, donate, fall, food, garnet letter, halloween, kitkat, new years, new york, popcorn, schenectady, snack, thanksgiving, trail mix, treat, troops, twin, union, union college, ziac