Monday, January 11, 2010

Coffee Cake Muffins

I love muffins. I think they are delicious and convenient whether it is for a breakfast to go, an afternoon snack, or an after dinner dessert. Let's face the facts, muffins you get at the store or from a local bakery aren't the most healthiest things in the world. Just to give you an idea of how unhealthy muffins could be, let's take a look at some non-store bought muffins that are worth eating.

Costco's chocolate chocolate chip muffins
690 calories
58% total fat
55% total saturated fat

Dunkin Donuts' chocolate chip muffin
630 calories
35% total fat
30% saturated fat

Sprouts' chocolate chip muffin
430 calories
40% total fat (app)
35% saturated fat (app)

35-55% of you daily fat intake is dedicated to eating one muffin! If half of fat intake came from one thing I ate, I would either not eat for the rest of the day or not eat it all. It seems extreme but that is way too much fat for a single item to have. I think making muffins at home is the way to go. First, you can control how big or small you want your muffin to be. A Costco muffin is huge and many people can't finish one but if it is there, people will eat. If you make miniature sized muffins at home, you will think twice before you decide to pop one or two more in your mouth. Also, you can substitute healthier ingredients. For example, you can use yogurt, applesauce, and oil as healthier alternatives to butter. You can also use whole wheat flour, add bran or flax to your muffins as well. This way you can enjoy a muffin without feeling guilty!

The recipe I am sharing with you today, I will admit, is not a healthy muffin recipe. However, I made mini muffins to make up for the heaviness of the muffin. Even if you make the standard sized muffin, it is still healthier for you than if you were to buy store bought. I am sharing a recipe for coffee cake muffins that I found on Brown Eyed Baker's blog. It is great for the on to go breakfast! I have tried many muffin recipes and haven't liked any of them which has led me to buying store bought muffins but this recipe is great that it actually tastes like a muffin. The outside of the muffin has a nice crunch and the inside is moist and delicious just like a muffin should be. I would make muffins more often if they all turned out this great!

Sunday, January 10, 2010


I have recently became a fan of avocado. I have never liked it ever since I first tried it back in high school when I was on my first cruise. I remember my dad saying that it was really healthy for me and I should try it. So I did and I almost spit it back up because it tasted like eating butter. Even though it was healthy, I couldn't force myself to eat being the health freak that I am. That was until I went camping a few month ago and everyone was eating gucamole. I snacked on the plain chips while I watched everyone swarm over the gucamole. I wasn't sure it was because everyone liked gucamole a lot or because we were camping and we only had so much to eat. Either way, once everyone got their fair share, I thought I would give it another try. Yes, I wanted to conform and be like everyone else! Luckily I did because I thought it was delicious.

One thing that appealed to me when I came across this recipe was the word chunky. I like my gucamole chunky where I can distinguish the textures of the ingredients rather than having a smooth paste. When you try this recipe, smash the gucamole to the your desired consistency. This goes great with tortilla chips, low sodium of course, but I think guacamole can really boost the flavor of a lot of dishes. I don't like salad dressing and I know this may sound weird but I added some guacamole to my salad the other day and it was great! It added more flavor to my salad and it is more healthier than salad dressing!

Sunday, January 3, 2010

Almond Crescents

Almond crescents look similar to let's say a Mexican wedding cookies or the Hershey Kiss Snowballs that I made a post about a few weeks back but there is a distinct difference between these cookies. These cookies are not as rich in the butter flavor but there is still a butter flavor present. That with the combination of the toasted almonds makes these cookies melt in your mouth but still has substantial texture to it. Toasting the almonds really bring out the their flavor so don't skip out on that step. These are a favorite at my house. My mom would make them when I was little and I seriously ate five at one time, well when no one was looking of course. I distinctly remember closing my eyes every time I took a bite to savor the flavor as long as I could. Now that I am older, I am much better at controlling my portions and can limit myself to one but it's very hard!

Saturday, January 2, 2010

Pecan Tassies

I must admit that I am not a huge pie fan. I'll eat two kinds of pie, fresh strawberry pie and pecan pie. I think part of it is contributed to the fact that I don't like jelly or cream that tends to be what the fillings are. Now if I had to chose a pie to eat, it would be pecan pie. It's the combination of the pecans and the chewy brown sugar filling that makes it so enjoyable to eat.

This recipe isn't for pecan pie but for pecan tassies. They are mini pecan pise and they are absolutely divine. In my household, we like more pecans in our filling than the sugar mixture and this recipe does exactly that. You get that crunch from the pecans and the brown sugar filling isn't too overwhelming that you forget the pecans are there. Also, pecan pie like any pie, is very high in calories and fat, so eating a pecan tassie will give you the satisfaction of a pecan pie without adding all those extra calories! Also, these are great for parties because your guests can just pick one up and pop it in their mouth.

When we talk about pies, there are two main components. One is the filling and the second is a crust. The crust can truly make a pie from ordinary to extraordinary. The crust for the pecan tassies is not your typical pie crust because there is cream cheese which adds a nice dimension to the pecan tassies. The crust is buttery and flaky and complements the filling perfectly. Give these a try and you won't regret it!

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