Posts Tagged ‘baking


Blondies by a blondie

I am very forgetful.  About the only thing I can be relied on to always remember are the names of people and actors.  I can spout off useless pop culture trivia.

But I forget to turn lights off when I leave rooms (a terrible thing to admit this close to Earth Day). I forget to bring important documents when they are necessary.  I forget to return phone calls, emails or texts.  For this reason, I was blessed with the nickname “Blondie” by my dad.  Well, he named me that for my forgetfulness as well as my penchant for asking silly questions on occasion.

I may forget to turn those darned lights off (which used to cost me $.25 when I was growing up) but I won’t soon forget the taste of these delicious, gooey Blondies.  I might be forced to remind myself again soon, since my first batch has barely lasted 24 hours.

Chocolate Nut Blondies

Makes 25 (perfect bite) bars

1/3 C butter
1 C light brown sugar, packed
1 egg
1 tsp vanilla
1 C all-purpose flour
1/2 tsp baking powder
1/4 tsp baking soda
1/4 C dark chocolate chips (or any type of chocolate)
1/4 C chopped walnuts (or other nuts)
Preheat oven to 350 degrees and lightly grease a 9×13 baking pan.  In a small saucepan, melt butter and brown sugar together until smooth.
Remove from heat and allow to cool.  Stir in eggs, one at a time, and vanilla.
In a small bowl, combine flour, baking soda and baking powder.  Add in sugar mixture and  stir until well incorporated.
Pour batter into prepared pan and smooth top.
Sprinkle chocolate chips and nuts over top.
Bake 25-30 minutes or until a toothpick inserted in the center comes out clean. 
Allow to cool completely before cutting into bars (they will still be gooey!).

Love at first bite, I promise! 

So is this “blondie” thing good or bad?  I dunno, you tell me..


Chunky Apple Muffins

I’ve been baking alot recently.  Boredom is really bad for my coworkers & parents because, heaven knows, those treats will not stay in this house.  I definitely don’t need the temptation with California calling in a few months! 

Useful tip:  Keep the weights and kettlebells in view.  Keep the baked goods out of sight!

Did you think I was kidding?  I’ve loved having these on hand to do a quick 20-40 minute Exercise TV workout to start my day.  I’ve been trying to find the motivation to also work out in the evenings, but I really hate dealing with the after-work crowds (and accompanying body heat) at the gym.  Guess I’ve really got to get back into my 4:30am routine..

Back to the good stuff..

Chunky Apple Muffins

(adapted from King Arthur Flour

1 C whole wheat flour
1 C all purpose flour
1 tsp baking soda
1 tsp baking powder
1/4 tsp salt
1 Tbsp cinnamon
1/2 C butter, softened
1/2 C sugar
1/2 C light brown sugar, divided
1 egg, slightly beaten
1 C buttermilk
1 large or 2 small apples, peeled and chopped

Preheat oven to 375 degrees and line a 12-cup muffin tin with greased papers.

In a large bowl, whisk together flours, baking soda, baking powder, salt and cinnamon.

In a separate bowl, cream butter for 1 minute. Add sugars and mix well.

Add in egg and mix well.

VERY slowly add buttermilk and mix just to combine.

Stir in flour until batter is moistened. Don't overmix.

Fold in apples.

Divide batter into baking cups and sprinkle with remaining brown sugar.

Bake for 20-25 minutes or until you get a clean toothpick.  Cool on a rack and enjoy!


These, according to the taste buds of myself and my mom, are the best apple muffins I have ever eaten!  I absolutely loved the texture of the apples after baking. 

Mom’s taste buds got 95% of them and my weights only lost about 5% of my attention for the morning.  A girl’s gotta take a break on occasion!


Sweet & Soured

I made a beautiful cake last weekend – the first complicated, from-scratch recipe for a cake since my angel food cake almost a year ago.  Mom’s birthday is once again approaching and lemon cake is on the wish list.  Without any history to pull from, I went a-googling!  I came up with a recipe at Taste of Home and went to work.  The cake turned out beautifully (after much coaxing from the tube pan and the resulting dent), but the icing was such a disaster that I refused to display the iced result.

So now, it’s on to find a better icing recipe.  Can’t have a scratch made cake without scratch made icing.  That would be  a crime!  But for now, my version of Lemon Chiffon Cake..

Lemon Chiffon Cake

7 eggs, separated

1 1/2 C all purpose flour

1/2 C whole wheat pastry flour

1 1/2 C sugar

3 tsps baking powder

1 tsp salt

3/4 C water

1/2 C canola oil

grated zest of 1 lemon

2 tsps vanilla

1/2 tsp cream of tartar

Preheat oven to 350 degrees. Separate eggs and allow egg whites to stand in a large bowl for 30 minutes.  In another large bowl, combine flours, sugar, baking powder and salt. 

Whisk together egg yolks, water, oil, grated lemon zest and vanilla.  Add to dry ingredients and mix until well blended. 

Add cream of tartar to eggs and bit until soft peaks form.

Fold egg white mixture into batter.  Pour batter into an ungreased 10-inch tube pan and run a knife through the batter. 

Bake on lowest oven rack until golden brown, about an hour.  Remove from oven when golden brown and immediately invert to cool completely.


Run a knife around the edges of the pan before removing from pan (good luck with this..)

Once it’s out, trust me.. it tastes great.  I just can’t live with an ugly cake.  Attempt #2 will be happening soon!


Fat Free (nearly) Protein PB Granola

Looky, looky!

Delicious chunks of oats, puffed kamut, almonds, raisins with an awesome peanut buttery taste.. and almost NO FAT.  I’m a proud girl.  I have read probably 100 recipes for fat free homemade granola and got a general idea of how to concoct this stuff.  Then, I decided to wing it. 

What I ended up with was most amazing on my Greek yogurt this morning and it’s got extra protein too.  Who needs to buy packaged granola?!  Not this chica! This was so easy – took me 5 minutes to throw together and only about 10 to bake.

(Almost) Fat Free Protein Peanut Butter Granola

    1 1/2 C rolled oats
    1 C puffed kamut (or other puffed grain)
    1/3 C sliced almonds
    1/2 C vanilla protein powder
    2 Tbsp peanut flour (or PB2)
    2 Tbsp flax meal
    1/4 C unsweetened applesauce
    3 Tbsp agave nectar (or honey)
    1 Tbsp vanilla
    1/4 C raisins
    Preheat oven to 350 degrees. Line a baking sheet with silpat or parchment paper.
    In medium bowl, mix oats, puffed grain, almonds, protein powder and peanut flour well. Stir in vanilla and agave.
    In a separate, small bowl, add 3 Tbsps water to flax and stir. Let sit for several minutes to thicken. Once thickened, add applesauce, agave and vanilla. Pour this mixture over oat mixture and stir until clumps form.
    Spread on prepared baking sheet and bake, stirring every 3-4 minutes for about 10 minutes total or until just beginning to crisp.
    Allow to cool and stir in raisins. Store in an air tight (tupperware) container.


Nutritional Info for 18 servings (1/4 C or 20g)
  • Calories: 72.0
  • Total Fat: 1.8 g  (.2g saturated)
  • Cholesterol: 0.0 mg
  • Sodium: 18.7 mg
  • Total Carbs: 11.0 g
  • Dietary Fiber: 1.4 g
  • Protein: 3.7 g

I’m a big fan of the nutritional info too.. considering most store-bought granolas are much higher in fat and sodium.  A few tablespoons of it on my yogurt definitely powered me through a tough chest/tri/cardio workout this morning.. enjoy!


PB2 makes my day

You already know I love this stuff and the awesome creations that come from the jar –

So I pulled out a new jar to whip up one of Tina’s recipes, with some modifications.  Her original recipe is here.

PB2 Bars

1 1/2 C rolled oats
1/2 C flour
1/3 C agave nectar
1 egg
3 Tbsp PB2 (chocolate, regular or peanut flour is good too) mixed with 1/4 C water

Preheat oven to 350 degrees and line an 8″ baking dish with foil.

Throw all ingredients in a medium bowl and mix well.


Press mixture into baking dish and bake 15-20 minutes, until top is golden brown.

Let cool several minutes and remove from pan, peel foil off and cool completely on rack.

 Stats (with 16 servings):  74 calories, 1 g fat, 14 g carbs, 2 g protein

 I was completely OK with enjoying these today.  I haven’t had a good workout in several days, but was forced to pull out the summer clothes in preparation for Florida.  I am SO glad that everything still fits really well, bikinis included.  Whew…

Planning a good workout session tomorrow with my parents and then  mom & I are getting our toes ready for sandals!  I absolutely cannot wait for 80-degree temps.  It didn’t go over 40 here today and that’s just wrong since we were in the 70s last week.  Boo to you, Virginia!

I need warmth.. and peanut butter!


volume eating and new dietary rules

I have a problem..


I’d actually refer to it as an addiction.  Hello, my name is Heidi and I am addicted to nighttime snackage.

It’s a habit – every night at 9:30, I pop a HUGE (seriously.. we’re talking multiple quarts) bowl of air-popped popcorn.  I top it with a dash of nooch and some salt and for at least an hour, I eat.  I’m not quite sure why I am so obsessed with having my bowl o’ corn every night.  Could it be ..

A: The crunch?  B: The saltiness?  C: The fact that I can eat for an hour straight and not feel guilty?  I’m gonna go with D: All of the above.

I am a volume eater.  I LOVE to feel like I am getting a lot of food accompanied by as few calories as possible.  Anyone else in that boat with me?  For that reason, I switched up my breakfast today.  Every morning, I had been eating a bowl of oats with 4 egg whites, half an apple and cinnamon alongside a 1/4 C plain greek yogurt sprinkled with granola.  Every morning.  I consume about 325 calories every morning with this meal.  Religiously.

Today’s breakfast looked like this:

Egg whites + spinach & broccoli; 1/2 FlatOut with Chocolate PB2; Red pear + cinnamon

215 calories and incredibly filling!  I was excited to not only change things up, but to get more bang for my caloric buck. Check out that variety and the addition of greens.  Apparently, I never knew what amazing green things I was missing..

Frozen spinach + Dole Antioxidant Berry Medley + Ground Flax

So why the self-assessment on eating methods?  Not sure if you have heard the news, but the dietary guidelines have once again been amended.

I’m partial to the 2 major tenants related to calorie consumption seeing as they support my reasoning for eating more nutrient-dense foods (can you even fathom how much fiber is in a big bowl o’ corn?!) and, as someone recovering from an E.D., I often need to be told that balance is key and that a little piece of dark chocolate once in a while won’t kill me.  Anyhoo, here’s what USDA now has to say:

  1. Balance calories over time to reach and maintain a healthy weight –   I LOVE this idea, especially because I go way over my calorie budgets some days.  Who cares if I hit 1,800 calories yesterday.  I’ll balance it out with a lower calorie day today and try not to stress about it (which, I admit, is really difficult sometimes). 
  2. Get most daily calories from nutrient-rich foods – Spinach and broccoli for breakfast?  Berry smoothies for lunch?  I definitely ate more fruit than vegetables in the past, but I like incorporating those veggies into a sweet treat.  Did I mention I have a huge sweet tooth, thanks to my Italian roots?

Those Buonocore’s.. well, it used to be coffee and coffee cakes daily!  Hey, I’m all for a good coffee cake in moderation.  I’m just glad Uncle Sam agrees!

On a side note, if you love healthy eats, swing by Friends for Weight Loss and enter the giveaway for an awesome cookbook!


Shortcut? Not quite.

I love to bake breads.  Crusty artisan breads. Flavorful quick breads. Traditional holiday breads.  So I guess I sort of took a short cut when I whipped up something from a frozen bread dough.  I wouldn’t quite consider this a true shortcut, however, because it was equally as complicated labor-intensive as any of the aforementioned recipes.  The only downside to this dough was that it was so glutinous that it resisted rolling, but it finally caved to my intentions.

Truth be told, I really just waned to see if it came out as good as my own, kneaded bread.  I’ve only attempted 1 recipe, but it was so much fun that more will surely follow.  And yes, the bread itself might just be made (and then frozen) by someone else!

Cinnamon Nut Twists

 1 loaf frozen white or whole wheat bread dough
2 Tbs butter, melted
1 Tbs ground cinnamon
1/2 C granulated sugar
1/2 C walnuts or pecans, chopped
Preheat oven to 375 degrees.

Defrost bread loaf. Roll into a rectangle, approximately 8" x 12".

Brush dough liberally with melted butter, reserving about 25%.


In small bowl, combine cinnamon, sugar and nuts. Sprinkle over dough and press down firmly.


Fold dough in half and pinch edges to seal. Press down firmly again on entire half.


Cut dough into 12 slices with a sharp knife or pizza cutter (You will get spillage at this point - don't worry!).


Twist each slice twice and place on a baking sheet lined with parchment. Brush with remaining butter and sprinkle with any nut mixture that may have spilled.

Bake for 12-15 minutes until golden and serve warm!

I wish I could say that was my serving, but I reserved those for my parents.  It was cinnamony taste and aroma heaven and totally worth the little shortcut.. or as I like to think of it, alternative method of baking!  Most of the twists ventured into work for a surprise breakfast for the girls and they got raves.

I skipped indulging in this one.  My stomach was full of another version of some green stuff.

1 1/2 C spinach, 1 small apple, 1 small carrot and 1 serving lite silken tofu. Nom nom nom!

I’m fully energized from my cardio and shoulder workout this morning.  No shortcuts there!

Hi Ya’ll!

Hiya! I'm Heidi, a 28-year-old "retired" student living in Virginia. I am a newlywed and currently on the hunt for a full-time job that will use either my Biology or Secondary Education degree. In the meantime, I work in retail and at an event venue part-time. When I'm not working, I love to kill hours at the gym, scrapbook, and act as a domesticated diva to keep my hubby happy!