diy: zucchini muffins

You know that phrase, Those that can’t do, teach…? There is a similar one. Those that can’t afford, make it themselves. I’ve been going through food “kicks” lately. I’d say it’s because of the pregnancy, but really I do the same thing when I’m not hormonal and with child. And then inevitably I get sick of that food and won’t eat it forever. Alright, where was I going with this?
Oh, yeah. My food kick. I started getting my iced white mocha at a different coffee stand lately, and to my delight, not only is their coffee fabulous, they have the BEST zucchini muffins. In fact, if Hayden is with me, we fight over the muffin. She yells from the back seat “Mama, share! Your supposa share wif me!” But at $5-$6 a pop, that craving gets expensive.

So my solution. I had a few of those delicious little green guys in my fridge, and I have an espresso machine too, turns out I’m just lazy sometimes. With the weather being warm and beautiful lately, and a book to finish for this months book club, I opted to whip up my favorite treat at home and have a laid back morning.

muffin

Zucchini Muffins

1 cup whole wheat flour

2/3 cup all purpose flour

1/2 cup sugar

1 tsp cinnamon

1 1/4 tsp baking powder

1/2 tsp baking soda

1/4 tsp salt

1 1/3 c shredded zucchini (I used one small zucchini, a handful of baby carrots and a few chunks of fresh pineapple)

1/2 cup milk

2 tbsp. oil

2 tbsp. honey

1 large egg

Preheat oven to 400 degrees. Combine dry ingredients. Mix zucchini with milk, oil, honey, and egg. Pour liquids into flour mixture and stir until moistened. I found the batter a bit drier than I like so I added just a little water. In a separate bowl, mix a tbsp. of brown sugar with cinnamon and sprinkle on top of muffins once in pan.

Bake anywhere from 10-14 minutes depending on oven. My oven cooks really hot so my time is always shorter than the recipe calls.

My white mocha is pretty self explanatory. Espresso, milk, white chocolate syrup. Stir, over ice.

I’m not going to blow this up and say it was above and beyond and I’ll never need to go back to get my fix, because I will. Probably soon. But I definitely won’t be complaining about this…

coffee

diy: chocolate mint ice cream

I have an almighty sweet tooth. Like diabetes inducing, colossal, no resisting it, craving for sweets. And with my second pregnancy, all I want is chocolate. Well, that’s not all I want but normally I’m not a big chocolate eater, so this time around it’s a doosy.

The remedy for that? Homemade chocolate mint ice cream.

Here’s all you need:

Whole milk, heavy cream, sugar, peppermint extract, chocolate syrup, and chocolate mint candies of your choosing.

Oh yeah, and your ice cream machine…

ingrediants

I personally love York peppermint patties and wanted something more in my ice cream than chunks of just chocolate. All those patties got chopped up and set aside for later. Simply mix all your other ingredients in a bowl, until combined, about 2-3 minutes.

stir

If you follow the recipe exactly, your ice cream will be pretty minty. I wanted a more chocolate flavor to mine so I upped my chocolate measurement by another 1/4 cup or so.

Pour that immediately into your ice cream machine, and turn on.

(Disclaimer: Be sure to follow proper instructions with your machine. Ours for instance, requires that the insert be frozen solid before mixing. Or else you’ll just have chocolate milk and you don’t need a machine to make that. Hopefully.)

machine

(Little people hands may not necessarily be included in your process)

This will churn in your machine for 25-30 minutes. I’ve found it works best to incorporate your add ins after it’s completely done. In the past when I’ve added it in the mixer it only really mixes into the top half of the ice cream. I turned my machine off, added my peppermint candies and divided into freezer worthy containers.

mint

Right out of the machine it will be in soft serve form, which is still delicious. But I think it tastes best when you’ve let sit it in the freezer overnight.

The next step is to scoop yourself up a tasty treat and kick back and pretend it’s already summer!

cone

Chocolate Mint Ice Cream

 1 1/2 cups whole milk

3/4 cup chocolate syrup ( I used about 1 cup)

3 tbsp. sugar

3 cups heavy cream

1 tsp. peppermint extract

I cup chopped chocolate mint candies

In medium bowl, mix all ingredients except candy. Mix together milk, chocolate syrup and sugar for a few minutes until sugar is dissolved. Then add in heavy cream and extract, stir.Pour into freezer bowl of ice cream machine and churn for approx. 25-30 minutes. Mix in candies, and serve immediately, or freeze overnight for a firmer texture.

DIY: Champagne Cake

This recipe is super easy and looks fancy. Like you worked really hard to impress your guests. But the secret is, it’s still a cake made from a box. Ssshhh…

mix

You’ll need:

1 box moist white cake mix

1 1/4 cup dry champagne (tip: just use one of the mini bottles, it’s basically this exact measurement without the hassle)

1/3 cup vegetable oil

3 large egg whites

1 can whipped white frosting

champagne flavoring, if available

Preheat your oven to 350 degrees. Lightly coat your cake pan of choice with cooking spray.

Combine the cake mix, champagne, oil and egg whites. Beat on low speed until well combined. Pour into cake pan and bake for 30-35 minutes or until toothpick comes out clean. Remove and cool completely.

Empty the frosting into a bowl and mix in desired flavoring. If you can find champagne flavoring, fantastic. I came up short on that part. I chose to use orange flavoring and made a Mimosa cake.

cakepic

You can make this as a fancy cake for a party, or darling cupcakes for a shower. Or perhaps you just need to spice up your Friday night. Enjoy!

a diy for your sunday

Homemade oreo cookies. Those, you can never have just one, chocolate sandwich cookies. Now this version might not be just like the originals, with their cocaine like addictive qualities and all, but they are still downright tasty and easy to make.

We start with the basics. Butter and sugar.

butter and sugar

Mix those up until you get a nice creamy texture, and add your vanilla and egg, making sure it’s all incorporated well.

egg and vanilla

In a separate bowl, your going to combine your flour, baking powder and cocoa powder. I used regular Hershey’s cocoa but I can imagine the dark chocolate powder would be even tastier in this recipe.

cocoa

Your going to add your flour mixture to your sugar base and mix slowly. I used a hand mixer and needed to actually get down and dirty and use some arm muscle to finish mixing, your dough will quite stiff. Once mixed, your have a nice mound of chocolate delicious dough.

dough

You’ll divide your dough into two discs and wrap in plastic wrap. I lightly floured the plastic wrap so it made it easier for me to manage later. Now throw those puppies in the fridge to chill for an hour.

fridge

While our dough is resting, we’ll make our filling, which is just your simple buttercream frosting. Mix together your butter, which I melt mine a bit to make stirring easier, along with your vanilla, milk and oogles of powdered sugar.

frost

If your fancy, unlike me, you’ll have a frosting bag to throw this into for later use. I do not, and use what I always have on hand. Gallon ziplock bags. They are just as easy as a frosting bag and it’s one less thing I have to wash, once I use it all, in the trash it goes.

bag2

frosting

When your dough is done chilling, take out and let the dough get to room temp. This will make rolling it out so much easier. Roll out one disc at a time so it’s about 1/4 inch thick, like so.

rolled out

This would be the time that you pull out your handy round cookie/biscuit cutters. You open your drawer though and find they’ve gone missing. You question the usual suspect, yet she pleads the 5th and rolls away on her pink pony.

hayd

So we went with Plan B. Our oreos will actually be chocolate star sandwiches.

star

Preheat your oven to 350 degrees. I cut out what seemed like a million little stars and loaded them up on a greased cookie sheet. No need to use tin toil, it makes an easier clean up for me. By easier I mean that I hate washing dishes, so one less thing to wash is always a perk to me.

pan

The recipe states to cook for 10-12 minutes. I did a smaller shape so I cooked mine for 9 and they came out just right. Let cool on a wire rack until ready to frost. Simply cut the tip of your frosting bag off and squeeze the desired amount onto one side of your sandwich. This is the fun part. Are you a regular or double stuffed person? The ball is in your court my friends. Throw another cookie on top of the frosted ones and admire your tasty treats.

end

(Makes approximately 3 dozen)

Dough:

  • 1 cup unsalted butter, softened
  • 1 cup granulated sugar
  • 1 egg
  • 1 tsp pure vanilla extract
  • 2 cups all purpose flour
  • 3/4 cocoa powder
  • 1 1/2 baking powder
  • 1 tsp salt ( I opted out of using salt)

Filling:

  • 1/2 cup unsalted butter, softened
  • 2 tbsp half and half, or milk
  • 1 tsp pure vanilla extract
  • 3-3 1/2 cups powdered sugar