Apple Walnut Yogurt Muffins

Friday I was inspired by the crisp apples I had sitting on the counter and the beautiful fall weather we are having here in D.C. We have just been having day after day of picturesque sun and brisk air that warrant long walks with my dog and just staring out the window longingly when I should be working! Seriously, I love fall in D.C. so so much.

This recipe was inspired by this blog post on Chelsea’s Messy Apron but I adopted it a by adding walnuts, not using cornstarch, and using vegetable oil instead of coconut oil. Its pretty healthy as muffins go because I used whole wheat flour, greek yogurt, and brown sugar rather than less healthy substitutes. There is a teeny amount of butter in the crumble topping but otherwise there isn’t any butter in this recipe at all which I think is pretty amazing.

These have been hitting the spot for breakfast paired with a tall glass of milk. They aren’t super sweet, but I don’t need my muffin to be a dessert! (Ok most of the time I do, but I feel less bad about eating them everyday because they aren’t loaded with sugar). The oat crumble on top gives it an extra something.

A perfect fall-time muffin.

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Homemade Chocolate Chip Cookie Ice Cream

Yum, home-made ice cream! I have been wanting to make this for a while, but since I don’t have an ice-cream maker at home it seemed like a more challenging task than I was up for. Luckily I got to visit my parents and brother/sister-in-law this weekend and spend some quality time with my 8-year old niece and 12-year old nephew as well as my family’s ice cream maker.

This recipe is really easy and taken straight from the ice-cream maker’s recipe book so I can’t take much credit for doing anything special. But it came out so delicious and I got to do some fun “cooking” with my adorable nephew and niece so its worth posting!

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Sticky Rice with Mango

I am not sure when we first discovered the Thai dessert “Sticky Rice with Mango”, but it was within the past 5 years and it was definitely love at first taste for me. I couldn’t believe I had been going to Thai restaurants for ages before this and had never had it!

A friend of ours brought over some mangoes and although I like mangoes, it is definitely not my go-to fruit (I am a nectarine and berry gal all the way).  I decided to use the mango and try to re-create our favorite Thai dessert! It was nearly impossible to find the glutinous, sticky rice that you need for this dish at a grocery store near me, so I ended up ordering a big bag off Amazon.

This dish is really easy to make, so pretty with the mango in the middle, and tastes a lot like Kheer (an Indian rice pudding that I love).

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Peanut Butter & Jelly Cupcakes

Happy Mother’s Day! I think these cupcakes are a perfect mother’s day post because they bring back memories of the peanut butter and jelly sandwiches my mom used to make for me most days to take to school when I was a kid. I don’t miss grade school very much, but I do get nostalgic about those bagged lunches that were always waiting for me as I ran out the door to catch the bus.

These white cupcakes have a strawberry preserve filling and are topped with peanut butter frosting. They really did remind me of eating a super delicious PB&J sandwich. I loved the strawberry flavor but my husband recommends using grape jelly for the filling so that it tastes more like the PB&J sandwiches of his childhood. Whichever filling you choose, you can’t go wrong!

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Samoa (Chocolate-Caramel-Coconut) Brownies

Whats your favorite girl scout cookie? Mine is without a doubt, Samoa’s! When I was a girl scout, I used to hoard boxes of these (I think then they were called Coconut Delite’s then) and I could polish off an entire box all by myself. And now anytime I know a girl scout selling cookies, I buy at least 6 boxes of Samoa’s.  The coconut, chocolate, caramel goodness are just too much.

I bought toasted coconut flakes a few weeks ago so I started looking up recipes to make homemade samoa cookies but honestly, it seemed a little too complicated and I was feeling pretty lazy last night. BUT I still wanted to make something sweet. So I took the easy way out and used a brownie mix but added homemade caramel sauce, coconut and chocolate drizzle. These things were better than the cookies, which is a bad thing because now I can make them any time of year! Ahhh.

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Chocolate and Peanut Butterscotch Bars

Yesterday at the grocery store I saw butterscotch morsels and it totally hit a craving for me that I didn’t even know I was having. I picked that up along with some condensed milk, graham crackers and roasted peanuts (AND about 6 different types of cheese which I need to figure out what to do with…this is why I should never go to grocery stores hungry). I got home and wasn’t exactly sure what to make with my random ingredients but then settled on adapting this recipe from The Pioneer Woman – changing it around to match what I just bought. Much to my surprise, I have grown to love The Pioneer Woman because the recipes are always pretty simple and accessible. Plus its one of the only actual cooking shows left on the food network to watch amidst a million competitions (although I am not going to lie, I can…and do…binge watch Chopped for hours). Three words sums this dessert up: so freaking good.

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