Greek Yogurt Banana Chocolate Chip Muffins

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It’s been a while since I’ve posted here–life took over for a bit. Don’t worry, I’ve still been cooking. In fact, I’ve written a few pieces for Daily Burn including my favorite White Bean and Roasted Red Pepper Crostini [recipe]:

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But for today, I’ll leave you with a fantastic muffin recipe that will knock your socks off. Thanks to my co-worker for the recipe suggestion, I made these Greek Yogurt Banana Chocolate Chip Muffins in an attempt to use up overripe bananas sitting in the freezer. Damn are these satisfying. The yogurt is a great binding ingredient, replacing much of the oil but retaining the moisture. I added some chocolate chips, because, well…everything is better with chocolate. You only live once, right?

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Makes 20 muffins, or 40 mini-muffins

Adapted from Averie Cooks

3 medium ripe bananas [frozen bananas work well, just make sure you let them thaw]

1 large egg

1 5.3oz container banana Greek yogurt

1/2 cup canola oil

1/2 cup dark brown sugar, packed

2 tsp vanilla extract

1 1/2 tsp cinnamon

1/4 tsp cloves

1/2 tsp nutmeg

2 cups flour

1 tsp baking powder

1 tsp baking soda

pinch salt

1/2 cup semi-sweet chocolate chips

Preheat oven to 350 degrees. Grease and flour muffin pans. 

In a large bowl, mash banana. Add egg, yogurt, oil, sugar, vanilla and spices. Whisk well. Add the remaining dry ingredients, stirring just until combined. Fold in chocolate chips. Spoon batter into muffin tins until three-quarters full. Bake for 20-22 minutes (10-11 minutes for mini muffins). A toothpick should come out clean. Let cool for 15 minutes before removing from pan.

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Healthy Green Peanut Butter Smoothie

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I am a smoothie fiend. I have an arsenal of frozen bananas and yogurt in my kitchen at all times. I particularly like smoothies that kill two birds with one stone. Like this Green Peanut Butter Smoothie which boasts two heaping cups of spinach. Huzzah for vegetable consumption.

Along with the spinach, the protein from almond milk, plain Greek Yogurt, and peanut butter will keep you full for hours. This is a perfect breakfast smoothie or post-workout snack. You can change it up, as I normally do, replacing unsweetened almond milk with skim milk, or Greek yogurt with regular yogurt.

As far as the peanut butter goes, I’m all for it, except that I have no self control. PB2 is a great, lower calorie and lower fat alternative to regular peanut butter. A jar full of the dehydrated peanut butter is pricey, yet it works incredibly well in smoothies. I am in no way endorsed by PB2, and I will be the first to admit that I do not like it plain, however it gives this smoothie the familiar taste of peanut butter without weighing it down.

Green Peanut Butter Smoothie

Makes one tall glass

1 frozen banana

2 cups baby spinach

6 oz. yogurt [plain or vanilla]

1/2 cup milk or almond milk

1-2 tbs. peanut butter or PB2

Blend all ingredients together, adding ice if needed.

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Sunday Morning Blueberry Banana Muffins

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I am home for the weekend. It is snowing. I was hungry.

Solution? These Banana Blueberry Muffins with a Demerara sugar crunch topping. A one-bowl, dangerously good muffin, perfect for a last minute brunch or snow-day treat.

Adapted from Serious Eats, I used dark brown sugar for a deeper molasses flavor and added a half teaspoon of vanilla extract because…uh…everything is better with vanilla. I also sprinkled these muffins with a hefty topping of a Demerara sugar and cinnamon mixture. And unlike the original recipe’s yield of a dozen muffins, my batch perfectly made sixteen muffins.

Blueberry Banana Muffins

Adapted from Serious Eats

Makes 16 muffins

2 cups all-purpose flour

2 tsp baking powder

1/2 tsp baking soda

1/4 tsp salt

2 eggs

3/4 cup dark brown sugar

1/2 tsp vanilla extract

3 ripe bananas, mashed

1/3 cup vegetable oil

2 cups fresh blueberries

Preheat oven to 350 degrees. Grease muffin tin with butter or cooking spray. 

In medium sized bowl, combine flour, baking powder, soda and salt. Add eggs to mixture, then sugar–beat well to combine. Stir in vanilla, bananas, and oil. Gently fold in blueberries.

Pour batter into greased muffin tin, filling cups 3/4 of the way full. Bake for 20 minutes, until an inserted toothpick comes out clean. 

Key West

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Following the drive down the Florida Keys, we stayed overnight in Key West at Papa’s Hideaway. I managed to research and book this bed and breakfast less than 24 hours in advance. Most inns have a minimum night stay, or bust the budget for us poor college students, but Papa’s Hideaway was a hidden, and economical, gem. Located just a few blocks from the busy section of Duval St, and within walking distance to the Southernmost Point, the bed and breakfast gave us refuge from the noise without lacking any Key West charm. Breakfast was simple–nothing homemade, simply boxed cereal, bagels, or toast. However, that was all we needed.

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Wandering the city on foot is the best way to view the city, both in terms of people-watching and architecture. Despite eating breakfast at Papa’s Hideaway, we snuck in another meal at the Six Toed Cat Café.

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No Key West trip is complete without a slice of Key Lime Pie:

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On our way back up the Keys, we serendipitously happened upon this:

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We reached Key Largo just in time to catch yet another beautiful sunset:

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Small Yield Blueberry Muffins

The end of the summertime means goodbyes to friends, house-rattling thunderstorms, packing boxes, and the best local produce of the year. An impromptu brunch for two people called for a quick, small batch of muffins. Blueberry muffins, that is. 

These muffins are dense, and can be lightened by substituting cake flour for some of the all-purpose flour. While the yield ended up bigger than I expected with one dozen muffins, each and every muffin was devoured by the end of the day.

Small Yield Blueberry Muffins

Adapted from: Chef Mommy

1 1/2 cup AP Flour

3/4 cup sugar

1/2 tsp salt

2 tsp baking powder

1/3 cup canola oil

1 egg

1/3 cup + 2 tbsp. milk

1 cup blueberries, washed and dried

For streusel topping:

1/2 cup sugar

1/3 cup AP flour

1/4 cup butter, cubed

1 1/2 tsp ground cinnamon

Preheat oven to 400 degrees.

Mix flour, sugar, salt, and baking powder in a bowl. In separate bowl, mix wet ingredients. Add wet mix to flour mix. Fold in blueberries. 

In small dish, mash together sugar, flour, butter and cinnamon. Sprinkle on muffins.

Bake for 20-25 minutes.

Camden, ME

Cappy’s Chowder House, Camden, ME

 Clam Chowder

Grilled Tuna

With jalapeno sauce and corn salsa, served with grilled summer squash

Judging from the decor of the place, I expected this to be sub-par, pub food. I judged incorrectly. This was surprisingly delicious, and considering that this cost around $15, it was a bargain compared to most places in town.

White Peach Sangria

My initial reaction: is this from the kids menu? The numerous decorations threw me off, but it tasted wonderfully. It was 90 degrees outside, and this was perfectly refreshing. I’m a sucker for anything served in Mason jars, which might have partially attributed to the satisfaction.

Accommodations in Camden, ME:  The Good House Bed & Breakfast 

Located just feet from downtown, I couldn’t have asked for more. The room was spacious, complete with a claw-foot tub in the bathroom. That was enough to win me over. Breakfast was fresh and substantial: blueberry pancakes, fruit salad, and for the boy, lots of bacon. The owner, upon hearing that we were going hiking, provided us with snacks for the trip. Hospitality at its greatest.

Blueberry Peach Muffins

I love peach crumble: buttery, cinnamon-sugary, fruity bites. Add blueberries to that, put the batter in a muffin tin and sprinkle with a little more cinnamon-sugar and these babies are born. I added a simple streusel topping (combine 1/4 cup of brown sugar with 1 tablespoon of soft butter and 1/2 teaspoon of cinnamon), which is added on top of the muffin batter right before baking.

Blueberry Peach Muffins


3/4 cup milk

1/4 cup lemon juice, freshly squeezed

2 cups all-purpose flour

3/4 cup sugar

1 tbs baking powder

1/2 tsp cinnamon

1/2 tsp salt

1 egg, lightly beaten

1/4 cup vegetable oil

1/2 cup blueberries, fresh or frozen (thawed)

1/2 cup peaches, fresh or frozen (thawed) and chopped

Preheat oven to 400 degrees.

Mix milk and lemon in a small bowl. 

In a large bowl, mix flour, sugar, baking powder, cinnamon, and sugar.

Add egg and oil to milk mixture. Mix well. Gently fold this mixture into the flour mixture. Fold in fruit.

Bake in greased or lined tin for 22-24 minutes.

Raspberry Oatmeal Bars

One morning when I was little, I awoke with hives from an allergic reaction. This occurred right before a trip to the dentist to get several molars pulled. I desperately wanted to jump out of the chair in the dental office in order to scratch my skin, but instead I got injected with novocaine, temporarily blind-siding me from my intense itch. My binge drink the day before of ten boxes of Minute Maid Very Berry juice, which contained raspberry juice, was the only potential culprit of my allergy. To this day, I enjoy raspberries but in moderation.

Now, let’s focus in on these babies: Raspberry Oatmeal Bars. They remind me of Nutri-Grain bars, which subsequently reminds me of recess in elementary school. These are twenty times more delicious than the processed bars. Use the best raspberry (or apricot, strawberry, etc.) preserves you can find. The seedless type is the best, but ultimately you can use any preserves, so long as it tastes good when you swipe a spoonful out of the jar. The only change I would make to these bars would be to prepare more dry, oatmeal mixture to crumble on top. But, I can’t complain: these were out-of-this-world amazing.

Raspberry Oatmeal Bars

1 cup quick-cooking rolled oats

1 cup all-purpose flour

2/3 cup light brown sugar, packed

1/4 tsp salt

1/4 tsp baking soda

1/4 cup canola oil

3 tbs water

1 10oz. jar raspberry preserves (I used Bonne Maman”brand which worked out tremendously)

Preheat oven to 325 degrees and grease an 8″x12″ pan.

Mix together oats, flour, brown sugar, salt and baking soda in large bowl until no lumps of brown sugar remain. Pour oil and water over oats and mix with fingers or spatula until evenly moistened. Set aside 1/2 cup of mixture for topping. Press remainder in pan. Spread preserves on top. Sprinkle remaining oats on top. 

Bake until golden 30-40 minutes. 

Cinnamon Donut Muffins

I’m in charge of bringing breakfast into my Creative Writing class tomorrow. Typically students bring in Dunkin’ Donut munchkins. I’m taking it up a notch by making my own version. And these are better.

Dipped in butter and rolled in cinnamon and sugar, these are to die for. The inside is dense, moist, and full of cinnamon and nutmeg. If you want your house to smell good, make these. If you want your stomach to be pleased, make these. If you want others to scream in delight, make these.

Cinnamon Donut Muffins

Makes 12 regular-sized muffins


1 3/4 C All-Purpose Flour

1 1/2 tsp baking powder

1/2 tsp salt

1/2 tsp nutmeg

1/2 tsp cinnamon

1/3 C oil

3/4 C sugar

1 egg

3/4 C milk

Coating:

1/2 C butter, melted

1/3 C sugar

1 tbs cinnamon

Preheat oven to 350 degrees. Grease a muffin tin.

Combine flour, baking powder, salt, nutmeg and cinnamon.

In a separate bowl, combine oil, sugar, egg and milk. Add the dry ingredient and stir until just combined and still clumpy.

Bake 15-20 minutes. While baking, melt the butter in the microwave in a small bowl (the shallower the better). In another bowl, combine the sugar and cinnamon. 

While the muffins are still hot, dip in butter then roll in cinnamon-sugar mixture. Allow to cool.