Wednesday, November 30, 2011

Cooking up Change for the Holidays

I thought I would return to share this awesome recipe that I tried for Thanksgiving. Earlier this year, my organization, Healthy Schools Campaign hosted Cooking up Change, a healthy cooking contest that challenges high school student chefs to create healthy school meals!

I was fortunate to attend the final competition in Washington D.C. where I witnessed the talent of student chefs from across the country! One of the dishes stood out, the Jacksonville team created these amazing sweet potato muffins.

Several people in my family have health issues, so I wanted to make sure my contribution to the table had a healthy twist. That said, I was so excited to try this recipe for the holidays, but I had no idea that it would be such a hit! 

I followed the recipe that was shared on our HSC blog to the letter and had no major issues outside of a cramp in my hand from mashing the sweet potatoes. I tried to puree them in a blender, but it took forever! I doubled the recipe and it still made more than enough, 40 muffins to be exact! 
The best part was adding the mixture, I loved the smell of brown sugar, nutmeg, and's a smell fit for a kitchen in the Fall and Winter months!

I added maple syrup on some, but most of my family was fine eating the muffins plain! I'd also recommend whip cream as a topping.
It was so great to see these puppies come out well. When we shared the recipe in our newsletter, so many people were interested in trying it. If you did, let me know how you liked it! I was also proud to see how our youth are speaking up for healthy food and eating habits. Earlier this summer, the Cooking up Change Jacksonville team met First Lady Michelle Obama, who commended their efforts to promote healthy eating!

Lessons Learned:
  • None! It came out perfect! 
  • The only observations is that my muffins were a little sunken in because our oven doesn't properly heat, thankfully it didn't matter.
  • Be considerate of guests. As I said earlier, several guests have health issues so they could only eat the plain muffin. As an alternative, provide low-fat whipped cream or maple syrup with no sugar added.

Wednesday, April 13, 2011

Wordless Wednesday

- Posted using BlogPress from my iPhone

Wednesday, April 6, 2011

Honey-Do (get better) List

I have been sick with a cold for almost two weeks:-( I finally got enough energy to go to the doctor, where they ran a battery of tests, only to find out that I have some sort of virus! The doctor's remedy: honey to soothe my sore throat and cough. I love honey and started thinking about some recipes that incorporate honey from some of my favorite blogs. Check them out!

Honey Butter from Our Best Bites
Honey Lemon Oil Muffins with Lemon Glaze from Pinch My Salt
Spicy Honey Chicken from Our Best Bites
Think that an apple a day will keep the doctor away? Well here's some apple recipes you might like.
Apple Pancakes from Smitten Kitchen
Apple-filled Cookies from Technicolor Kitchen
Candy Apple Cake Pops from Bakerella

What are some of your favorite recipes that incorporate apples and honey?

Wednesday, March 23, 2011

Wordless Wednesday

- Posted using BlogPress from my iPhone

Tuesday, March 22, 2011

Chocolate Cupcakes with a Cherry on Top!

Last night, I was CRAVING something sweet, but since I gave up ice cream for Lent it feels more like withdrawal! So I scrambled and pulled out a bunch of stuff out of my cabinets to find that I have an abundance of flour, chocolate, and cherries!

I used Hersey's recipe for Perfectly Chocolate Cake because it's absolutely delish! The cupcakes are super moist and the cherry on top just adds to these indulgent cupcakes. 

Monday, March 21, 2011

Pretty Little Party

We all have our guilty pleasures, mine include leopard print, ice cream, quesadillas, and ABC Family's Pretty Little Liars. I've been in bed all day watching the PLL marathon that leads up to the season finale at 7pm. I got inspired by their different personalities, try these tips for a fun watch party, girls' night in, or a LBD friendly gathering.

Photo Credit: Pretty Little Liars

Tuesday, March 15, 2011

Not So Wordless Wednesday

When I need a mental vacay, I think about how the sand felt between my toes as the ocean rushed over my ankles.
Happy Hump Day!

Monday, March 14, 2011

Puppy Love...A Grrrl's Best's Friend

I know you're probably thinking, "where have you been for the past six month?" Well:

  • I completed my master's degree, officially have a Master's of Sciences in Integrated Marketing Communications from Roosevelt University:-)
  • Went to Hawaii as a graduation/birthday/Christmas trip EVER
  • Slowly adapted to a single lifestyle. I even considered chronicling my efforts in a book...
  • Haven't been in the kitchen as much as I wanted. Found out that my oven doesn't work, tried to replicate my infamous piña colada cupcakes to no avail. I eventually baked them over a friend's house and they came out perfect. 
  • My best friend, Lucky, a German/Belgian Shepard mix of 13 years passed. Don't think I'll ever have another pet like him.
Couple of days ago, I wondered into a pet store to waste some time and play with puppies. I played with a Siberian Husky that was too cute for words. It wasn't five minutes before he tried to eat my purse, shoes, and scarf (which caused me to choke). The nerve, an outfit is all about the accessories! Needless to say, we handed that him back pretty quickly.
Photo Credit: Say Anything