This is my mom! I love her to pieces. She just got a new smile and looks so beautiful. I am so happy for her. I miss you so much, Mom! I think of you everyday.
PEANUT BUTTER/CHOCOLATE APPLES
I think I saw this idea on Family Fun. I have tried making little caramel apples bites before by taking a melon baller and scooping out balls of apple and putting them on toothpicks, then TRYING to cover them with caramel, which I saw done once. Well, the caramel does not stick to a cut apple. I tried a number of things and it would just run off and pool at the bottom. I loved the idea of bite sized, and was excited when I saw this new idea of melted peanut butter chips.
Taylor and I melted 3/4 cups semi sweet chocolate chips, 3/4 cup peanut butter chips (in separate bowls), chopped up some peanuts and some toasted pecans and got out the sprinkles. We had a good time dipping the apples in all the goo and "decorating" them however we wanted. We used about three apples (they were all different kinds, but I would suggest a Granny Smith as a few of the ones we used from the farmer's market were a tad on the soft side and were trying not to hang on to the toothpick. After we were done with the little ones, we still had some leftover melted chocolate and peanut butter, so we did one more big apple. Then we sprinkled most of the leftovers all over it. The peanut butter and chocolate (we dipped some in the chocolate first, too) stuck to the apples well and it was really fun. I must also say that they were so much easier to eat than a caramel apple, which is often too big of a chewy mouthful, know what I mean? It was also suggested that you could use butterscotch chips, but we did not today. These harden quickly in the fridge!
These were a great, fun, in-the-kitchen activity for kids. The boys LOVED eating them tonight for their snack. I would suggest that they be eaten the same day they are made, but if you use a good, crisp apple like Granny Smith, they may be good for a day or two. Pretty toothpicks and holiday themes would be fun sometime.
And now for some random photos that Taylor took today as he grabbed the camera from me and began snapping away. Maybe a photography future here? Hmmmm.
I'm not sure what I was so seriously reading on the computer, but great photos, T! There were more, but then you'd see how messy my house is, so they will remain hidden. Love how he just randomly took a picture of my foot and hand. Silly boy! (And you may notice the string holding the computer open. Yep, it won't stay open on its own any more. It's one of those big old beasts that was Kevin's OLD laptop. I am lucky to have inherited it. It also weighs about ten pounds. Seriously, Hon, if you read this, I'd rather go to New York with you than get a new computer! ;)
This is the only somewhat decent picture I took of these delicious muffins, but I wanted to share the recipe with you and the blog I got them from. Kevin at Closet Cooking has such a yummy blog! He takes amazing pictures of his food and also makes some really great recipes. If you love good food, add him to your list of blogs to visit often, if not daily.
He recently made some blueberry muffins-with a twist and I just had to try them. I added my own twist to them by adding a little more "healthiness" and using a few lower fat ingredients. Here is Kevin's recipe. And here is the recipe as I made it.
BLUEBERRY MAPLE OATMEAL PECAN STREUSEL MUFFINS
1/2 cup brown sugar
1/4 cup pure maple syrup
3/4 cup nonfat vanilla yogurt (I used Dannon Lite & Fit)
1 mashed banana
2 tablespoons canola oil
1/4 cup Egg Beater with touch of yolk (I love these!)
3/4 cup old-fashioned oats
1 cup unbleached all purpose flour
3/4 cup whole wheat pastry flour (I think these would work fine using all whole wheat pastry flour)
1 tablespoon toasted wheat germ
2 teaspoons baking powder
1/2 teaspoon baking soda
2 teaspoons cinnamon
1/4 teaspoon salt
1 cup blueberries (I used fresh, frozen would work, too--add them to the batter still frozen)
1/4 cup chopped pecans
1/4 cup whole wheat pastry flour
3 tablespoons dark brown sugar
2 tablespoons Smart Balance Buttery Spread
Preheat oven to 375 degrees. Spray muffin tins with cooking spray. Set aside.
Mix the 1/2 cup brown sugar, maple syrup, yogurt, banana, oil, egg and oats in a large bowl. Let sit for 10 minutes.
Mix the flours, baking powder, soda, cinnamon and salt in a separate medium sized bowl. Carefully fold in the blueberries to the dry ingredients. After the 10 minutes, add the dry ingredients to the wet mixture and carefully mix together with a rubber spatula just until incorporated. Do not over mix. With a cookie/ice cream scoop, fill the muffins tins until 3/4 full. (I made 12 mini muffins and 10 regular sized ones with this recipe.)
Mix the pecans, flour, cinnamon, brown sugar and Smart Balance with a fork until they form crumbs. Sprinkle some of the streusel onto each muffin. Bake mini muffins for 12 minutes and larger ones for about 16 minutes. Remove from tin after cool enough to handle and cool on wire rack.
Yum, thanks Kevin!
Okay, it's now 10:30 and I have to get up before 5 a.m. for my water aerobics class. It's good and fun to be doing something different from jogging everyday, but MAN--it's early and I've been SO tired. I just can't go to bed any earlier! I love my evenings after the boys are finally in bed (usually by 9:00) and if I went to be too early, I wouldn't be able to sleep.