Tag Archives: baking

Recipe: Healthier Corn Muffins

I was in a definite “baking” mood today.  At Sean’s request, I decided to give homemade corn muffins a try.  I had one problem: we were out of milk & the milk we tried to buy at Shaw’s LITERALLY had YESTERDAY as a “sell by” date.  Each bottle.  This caused me to get creative & try to find a recipe that didn’t require milk.

I actually found a “healthier” recipe that called for fat-free yogurt – which I DO have – instead of milk.  Sounded interesting.  I gave it a try & (if I do say so myself) think the muffins came out well.  They were really easy to make – here’s what you need to make them:


  • 1 c. flour
  • 1 c. cornmeal
  • 1/4 c. sugar
  • 1 tsp. baking soda
  • 3/4 tsp. salt
  • 1 c. fat free vanilla yogurt
  • 2 eggs


  1. Pre-heat the over to 350 degrees
  2. Mix the flour, corn meal, sugar & salt in medium to large bowl
  3. In a separate bowl, mix the baking soda & yogurt
  4. Add the yogurt into the dry ingredients
  5. Beat the eggs and mix in with the other ingredients
  6. Grease muffin tins & add mixed ingredients into the tins
  7. Bake at 350 degrees for 18 – 20 minutes or until the muffins are light golden brown; to test to see if they’re done, insert a butter knife into the center of a muffin.  If, once removed, the knife is clean, the muffins are done.

Yields: 10 muffins

Calories per muffin: 150


1 Comment

Filed under Food for Thought

New Year’s Resolutions/10 Things I’m Looking Forward to in 2010: One Month In

I always think it’s smart to check-in with any goals you make along the way, don’t you?  Helps keep you on track.  These are my New Year’s resolutions & the status of my “things I’m looking forward to in 2010” list, one month in:

  1. Be more FIT. I said I would stick to a gym routine – which has only been quasi-upheld with a crazy January work schedule, but I’m eating even better & exercising more on the weekends (something I never really did).    Weekends also tend to be my downfall because I don’t always eat right: this has also changed. :)
  2. Volunteer. I’ve signed up with BostonCares.org to volunteer.  I went to orientation & now just need to sign up for some volunteer projects!
  3. Save money. Hmm…NOT as successful as I would like.  I have continued to transfer money into my ING account, but I wouldn’t consider it a real “win” just yet.
  4. Reading More: Yes!  I’ve been reading an amazing book Malcolm Gladwell called The Tipping Point.  A. Maze. Ing.

Some of the things I’m looking forward to are also quasi-resolutions.  Two of them (volunteering & saving money) ARE resolutions & are also listed above, but others can also fit the mold:

  1. Visiting Syracuse: (fingers crossed!) I have a tentative Syracuse trip planned for March.  If all goes according to plan, I’ll be visiting the ‘Cuse the weekend before St. Patrick’s Day.  :)
  2. Cooking more: I’m doing a little more of this, but not enough!
  3. Taking more pictures: Yes.  I’ve been better about this.
  4. Getting back in touch with old friends I think this is easier said than done, but it’s getting there.

The others (“a hot summer,” “weddings” and “not moving”) haven’t happened (or not happened) yet, but I’m still looking forward to them.

Leave a comment

Filed under Sometimes I'm random

Top 10 Things I’m Looking Forward To in 2010

Here are the top 1o things I’m looking forward to this year – in no particular order. :)

Reading More: This applies to books, mainly.  I read a ton online, but I think there’s something to reading a good book.  I always seem to start books but they lose my interest.  I just started one…I hope I can stick with it.

A Hot Summer:  This is for 2 reasons: the first being Boston was COLD last summer – we missed out on hot days.  We went directly from spring to fall.  The second reason is I’m DETERMINED to be in the best shape of my life this year.  So far, so good: since December, I’ve been keeping up with the gym & being better about what I’ve been eating.

Weddings: (Not mine,silly.)  I know a few people getting married this year.  Not much is happier than a wedding :)

Not Moving: Hurray!!!  I moved every year in college…then the year after college…& last year.  I’ve moved every year since 2003 & am VERY happy we’re planning on renewing our lease.  Hurray for feeling home. :)

Volunteering: I’m trying to volunteer for Children’s Hospital Boston.  I’m hoping it works out with my schedule – if not, I’ll definitely find somewhere else.

Saving Money: I haven’t really saved much money in a while.  This needs to stop.  No more frivolous spending!!!  I want to pay down (not off…too unrealistic) my credit card bill & save some dough.

Taking More Pictures: I have kept my camera in my purse for as long as I can remember.  (Better resolution/ability to take more than my BB.)  I used to take a ton of pictures everywhere I went but haven’t lately.  This needs to stop.

Visiting Syracuse: Since I haven’t been since Thanksgiving 2008, it’s officially been over a year & far too long.  I WILL visit this year.

Cooking More: I love cooking & baking & started doing a lot more of it in the fall/end of the year.  I have untapped cookbooks.  I would love to cook & bake even more this year!

Get Back in Touch With Old Friends: Well…self explanatory, isn’t it?  This is something else I’m going to make a serious effort to carry out.


Filed under Sometimes I'm random, Uncategorized

My Take on Layered Peanut Butter Bars

I found what looked like a great recipe for peanut butter bars on BettyCrocker.com & decided to give them a try. I switched out a few ingredients for a few “healthier” ingredients & started baking.  I was pleased with the results and the bars seemed to be a hit!  These are REALLY easy to make.  Really, really easy.  The only daunting part is waiting for them to cool.  Below is my altered recipe.  I encourage you to give them a try!

Cookie Base

1    pouch (1 lb 1.5 oz) Betty Crocker® peanut butter cookie mix

3    tablespoons apple sauce

1    tablespoon water

1    egg


1/2 cup butter, softened

1/2 cup low-fat creamy peanut butter

1 3/4  cups powdered sugar

1/4    flour

2      teaspoons milk


1      cup semisweet chocolate chips

1/4 cup butter


1. Heat oven to 350°F. Spray bottom of 13×9-inch pan with cooking spray.

2. In large bowl, stir all Cookie Base ingredients until soft dough forms. Press dough in bottom of pan using floured fingers. Bake 15 to 18 minutes or until golden brown. Cool completely, about 1 hour.

3. In small bowl, beat all Filling ingredients with electric mixer on medium speed until smooth. Spread mixture evenly over cookie base.

4. In microwavable bowl, microwave all Frosting ingredients on High 30 seconds; stir until smooth. Cool 10 minutes; spread over filling. Refrigerate at LEAST an hour.  They’re technically “done” after roughly 30 minutes, but we found the bars became better & better the longer you waited. For bars, cut into 9 rows by 6 rows.

The original recipe called for vegetable oil instead of apple sauce in the cookie base, regular peanut butter instead of low-fat peanut butter in the filling & more powdered sugar instead of flour in the filling.

From reading the comments, people who tried the original version thought the bars were too sweet – which is what prompted my switching some of the powdered sugar for flour.

I wanted to make the bars but didn’t want as many calories as the original recipe (180 calories per 1oz – which is about 2 pieces).  This prompted the decision to use apple sauce instead of vegetable oil & low-fat peanut butter instead of regular peanut butter.  Based on the nutrition labels from the brands I used, this saved about 50 CALORIES PER SERVING (roughly 2 pieces).  130 is still high, but not as bad.  The switch of course also lowered the fat contents.

Tip: these are rich – I originally made them thinking they would be more like “bars,” as the original recipe states, but they were too rich (in the opinion of those who ate them) to eat as a bar; hense the small portions.  When making & eating these, expect them to have more of the affect of fugde than a dessert bar: rich & delicious, but satisfy you in a small portion. :)


Leave a comment

Filed under Food for Thought

We’re Hosting a Holiday Cookie Swap

My inbox is flooded with newsletters from different publications every day. Food & Wine, Good Housekeeping, Fitness…the list goes on.  98% of these get deleted before ever being opened.  Often times they get deleted because I don’t have enough time to read them & feel they’re not as relevant readying them days later – although it is true much of their content isn’t really time-sensitive.  The ones sure to be read are the ones with something specific in the subject line that catches my eye.

That’s exactly what happened this week with one of Good Housekeeping‘s newsletters: Host Your Own Holiday Cookie Swap.  For some reason this immediately spoke to me.  I’ve never hosted or even attended a Holiday Cookie Swap – but it seems relatively obvious what it entails right from the title.  They had great ideas

Immediately I wanted to host one.  Next step: figure out who else is on board. Result: hosting a Holiday Dessert Swap (we expanded it) with my friend Katie next Sunday.  This way, we’ll all have a variety of desserts to share over the holidays.  Genius.

I did a little more digging, and & (no surprise) not only does goodhousekeeping.com have great swapping ideas, but so does bettycrocker.com (my friend Meredith actually came up with that idea) & foodnetwork.com.

I thought it would also be fun to have a variety of holiday-themed drinks, as well, & found these great recipes on fineliving.com.

Anyone hosted before?  Or been an attendee?  I can’t wait to see what people make. :)

Leave a comment

Filed under Food for Thought, Loves It