Tag Archives: cooking

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:

INGREDIENTS:

  • 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

DIRECTIONS:

  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

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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.

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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.

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My New Favorite Thing to Make: Pesto Pizza :)

While reading an old issue of Cooking Light in the doctor’s office (I know, I know – I should NOT be touching magazines in the doctor’s office…), I was inspired to make something I hadn’t made since I lived at home: pizza.  My mom made

Pesto pizza with a garlic & herb crust
Pesto pizza with a garlic & herb crust

the best homemade pizza when I was growing up.  Cooking Light had a recipe for pizza that looked delicious, so I decided to give it a try.  I didn’t have a pizza stone, so I decided to go out & buy one.  Long story short, the pizza was a failure.  The recipe called for whole tomatoes instead of sauce, which made the pizza really soggy, and the pizza stone CRACKED in the oven.  No joke – cracked.  Right down the middle.  Awesome.

I decided to buy a perforated pizza crisper (aka circular baking sheet with holes in it) instead.  Sean had the good idea to mimic the pizza we got from Canestaro’s (delicious Italian restaurant in the Fenway.  Definitely worth the trip if you get the chance.) – pesto pizza with chicken.  Success :)  You should make it, also.

Ingredients:

  • Refrigerated pizza dough
  • Grilled chicken
  • Pesto (see pesto recipe here.  It takes 5 minutes – seriously.  You need to make your own pesto.)
  • Mozzarella cheese
  • Corn meal (for the pan)
  • Flour

Directions:

  1. Preheat oven to 350 degrees
  2. Roll out pizza dough, using the flour as needed to ensure the dough isn’t sticky.  The dough should be thin and even.
  3. Evenly sprinkle a small amount of corn meal onto a greased pizza pan
  4. Move rolled-out dough onto pan, on top of the corm meal
  5. Add pesto onto center of dough and evenly spread outwards with the back of a spoon, creating an even layer on the dough, leaving a 1/4 inch around the edges for the crust
  6. Add a thin layer of cheese
  7. Add grilled chicken
  8. Add additional cheese on top of the whole pizza, leaving space around the edges for the crust
  9. Place pizza in preheated oven
  10. Cook for 12-15 minutes, or until crust is golden brown
  11. Enjoy your pizza :)

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My New Favorite (& the Easiest!) Thing to Make

One of my favorite things to do is cook dinner with the BF. :)  We recently tried making pesto – who knew that pesto is the easiest thing to make – ever???

*Pesto*

Ingredients:

Mmmm... Lingine with pesto

Mmmm... Linguine with pesto

2 cups fresh basil

1/3 – 1/2 cup Olive Oil (depends on how much you like – I tend to like to go lighter on the oil)

1/4 cup pine nuts or walnuts – pine nuts (in my opinion) taste slightly better in pesto, but the difference in flavor is minimal.  The difference in price, however, is fairly large – walnuts are definitely the cheaper way to go.

Salt & pepper to taste

To Make:

Add nuts to blender with basil on top.  Pulse the blender until it’s thoroughly mixed.  Slowly add oil while still blend.  Ad salt and pepper to taste.

That’s it!!  The most time-consuming part is rinsing the basil – which takes all of two minutes.  We had it with linguine and chicken – quick and easy – not to mention delicious. :)

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