There are three things you need to know before you read any further: I am on a major peanut butter and bananas kick right now, I am obsessed with Chobani Greek yogurt, and I hate anything with fake banana flavoring.
(True story: I once ordered a pint of peanut butter chocolate chip ice cream from the local ice cream stand. I got it home and joyfully dug in, only to find myself gagging seconds later when I realized they had given me fake banana chocolate chip instead. That was a sad, sad day. The end.)
So anyway, I stalk Chobani online a little bit. (A lot.) Their teases about new flavors leading up to the new year were almost more than I could bear. When they finally announced the new flavors, I was half excited and half disappointed: pear (yay! I love pears!) and banana (oh). I was pretty sure the banana yogurt would be gross, but I have so much faith in Chobani that I tried it anyway.
You guys. It wasn’t gross at all. It tastes like real bananas! Not that gross banana flavoring everything else seems to use. I didn’t hate it at all. In fact, I liked it.
Short story long, I found myself with 2 aging bananas, some banana yogurt and a craving for peanut butter one evening. Obviously there was only one thing to do – make banana muffins. With peanut butter. And chocolate chips (duh).
I had a few lofty goals for these muffins that I wasn’t sure I would achieve. First, I wanted them to be kinda healthy. Not so healthy they tasted healthy, but healthy enough I could eat them guilt-free. Second, healthy muffins tend to be fairly dense but I was aiming for something more cakey and moist. I have to say, on those two counts I think I’ve nailed it. The muffins are fluffy and tender, and just on the sweet side with the chocolate chips. Perfectly snack-able any time of day.
But I couldn’t leave well enough alone.
The peanut butter flavor is kind of subtle when competing with the chocolate chips and I was looking for it to smack me in the face. So I frosted my healthy-ish banana muffins. The good news is that the frosting is healthy too because it’s made with – surprise – Greek yogurt! So now you can have your cupcakes and eat them for breakfast too. (Bonus special frosting recipe below the muffin recipe.)
Question: If you frost a muffin, is it still a muffin? Is it a cupcake? A muffincake? A cupmuffin?
Disclaimer: Chobani did not sponsor or commission this post in any way. I just love their yogurt!
Peanut Butter Chocolate Chip Banana Muffins
Makes 12 regular muffins and about 6 mini muffins
These muffins are just barely sweet as is. If you omit the chocolate chips or like your muffins on the sweeter side, use more sugar. Try to be patient and let the muffins cool before eating them, or they’ll stick to the wrappers. Don’t be afraid to bake these ahead. I find their flavors are best after resting for a day or two.
1 1/2 cups (8 ounces) flour
1/4 teaspoon salt
1 1/2 teaspoons baking powder
1/2 teaspoon baking soda
1/2 teaspoon cinnamon
2 very ripe medium bananas
1/4 cup brown sugar
3/4 cup (6 ounces) Chobani banana Greek yogurt
2 Tablespoons milk
1/2 cup peanut butter
1/2 teaspoons vanilla extract
3/4 cup mini chocolate chips (optional, but highly recommended)
Preheat oven to 375°F. Line a 12-cup muffin tin with papers.
Whisk together flour, salt, baking powder, baking soda, and spices in a small bowl. In a large bowl, mash together bananas and brown sugar with a fork. Add yogurt, milk, egg, peanut butter and vanilla. Whisk to combine (may be lumpy). Add flour and stir until just combined. Don’t over mix! (Batter will be thick.) Fold in chocolate chips.
Scoop batter into prepared muffin cups, filling each cup about 3/4 full. (Scoop any remaining batter into lined mini muffin cups.) Bake at 375°F for 15-18 minutes (10 minutes for minis) or until a toothpick comes out clean.
Cool completely on a wire rack. Store in an airtight container at room temperature.
Extra Bonus Peanut Butter Frosting
So here’s the deal. I made this up on the fly and didn’t make enough to frost the whole batch. In other words, use this as more of a guideline than an exact recipe. You’ll probably need to at least double it if you’re going to frost the whole batch.
3/4 cup (6 ounces) Chobani plain Greek yogurt
2-3 Tablespoons peanut butter or PB2
pinch of salt
Mix together yogurt and other ingredients until desired consistency and sweetness. Frost cupcakes. Serve immediately. Frosting should be stored in the fridge.
I thought, hey, wouldn’t it be nice to share one of my all-time favorite stew recipes in January when everyone is in desperate need of some warm comfort food?
Well, joke’s on me. It was nearly 70 degrees outside today! The good news is that it looks like the cold weather will return sooner or later, so you still have the chance to try this stew.
What do I love about this stew? More like what don’t I love. It’s full of tender beef, carrots, mushrooms and onions, and the broth has a deep, rich flavor thanks to the red wine and ample garlic. I also love that it doesn’t have any potatoes in it to get mealy and mushy. Just lots of sweet veggies and savory broth.
Perhaps most importantly, I love that it’s a slow cooker stew. That means I can toss everything in my crockpot and forget about until 4-6 hours later when dinner is ready. It even reheats well, so you can cook it ahead of time! I love to serve it over egg noodles for a warm and comforting dinner on a cold winter night.
My husband and I love so many things about this recipe that it’s a winter staple at our house. I think it will become one at your house too!
Slow Cooker Beef Provencal Stew
Adapted from Cooking Light
To make this recipe gluten free, skip the flour and, if desired, thicken stew at the end using a cornstarch and water slurry. Serve over egg noodles or gluten-free noodles.
2 cups chopped carrots
1 large onion, chopped
8 ounces baby portobello mushrooms, roughly chopped
2 Tablespoons olive oil
6 garlic cloves, crushed and roughly chopped
1 pound stew beef or boneless chuck roast, cut into cubes
1 teaspoons salt, divided
1/4 teaspoon freshly ground black pepper
2 tablespoons flour
1 cup red wine
1/2 cup beef broth
1 Tablespoon tomato paste
1 (14 1/2-ounce) can diced tomatoes
1 teaspoon chopped fresh rosemary
1 teaspoon chopped fresh thyme
Dash of ground cloves
3 cups cooked extra wide egg noodles
Prepare a slow cooker. Add carrots, onions, and mushrooms.
Heat olive oil and garlic over medium heat until garlic is fragrant and lightly browned. Remove garlic from pan with a slotted spoon and set aside. Raise heat to medium-high. Season beef with 1/2 teaspoon of salt and pepper. Brown beef on all sides (in batches, if necessary). Add garlic back to pan. Sprinkle flour over browned beef. Stir and cook until all raw flour is incorporated, 2-3 minutes. Stir in wine, scraping any browned bits from the bottom of the pan. Add beef mixture to slow cooker.
Add remaining ingredients (except egg noodles) to slow cooker. Stir to combine. Cover and cook on High for about 4 hours or on Low for about 6 hours, or until beef is fork tender. Serve over cooked egg noodles.
Hello, friends! Hope you had a delightful holiday and that Santa brought you everything you wished for. Santa brought me everything I wished for – and the flu. I don’t remember putting that on my list.
But enough about me, let’s talk about chocolate. Specifically, hot chocolate – and I don’t mean the kind that comes in a packet. There’s nothing wrong with that kind, of course, but hot chocolate can be so much more. But before you start thinking that improving your hot chocolate is going to take a lot of effort and time, think again.
This hot chocolate whips up in 5 minutes in your microwave.
Yes, that is as awesome and dangerous as it sounds. I’m guilty of indulging in a cup at least once a week (often more). It’s so easy and decadent!
First you heat real chocolate and a little bit of water in the microwave.
I know, I know. you’ve been told to never mix chocolate and water or bad things will happen. Well, it’s 2013. We’re living in the future, where it’s OK to mix water and chocolate. Just go with it.
Once it’s melty, stir it all up to make a luscious smooth chocolate sauce. Then drink it. No wait, that’s not right. I mean, you can drink it, but then you’ll have to start over.
Ready? Ok, add your cocoa powder, salt and vanilla. Stir again. Notice that it smells and looks just like brownie batter, but without the eggs. Resist the urge to drink it (again).
Now slowly stir in enough milk or water to make a full cup of hot chocolate, and heat it up in the microwave until it’s hot.
BAM. Done. Amazingly creamy, rich hot chocolate in 5 minutes.
Use your newly discovered powers for good, OK?
PS. Adding toasted marshmallows is definitely a good idea.
Rich & Creamy 5 Minute Hot Chocolate For One
Adapted from Brett Wilson
I don’t add any sugar because I like my chocolate dark. Feel free to add sugar to taste. Using milk will yield a richer, creamier hot chocolate, but it’s still great with just water. I use Ghirardelli 60% chocolate chips because it’s quick and I’m lazy. If you use chopped chocolate, make sure the pieces are small – no bigger than M&Ms or chocolate chips. You may have to experiment a little with the initial microwave time (15-20 seconds) and water amounts to get perfect results. I find 15 seconds and 1 3/4 tablespoons of water works perfectly for me. If you don’t get it just right? Your initial chocolate sauce won’t be perfectly smooth and may have visible chocolate flecks. Don’t panic and don’t throw it out! Keep going, it will still taste great. Then immediately make another cup… for practice ;)
Variation ideas: Stir in a tablespoon of peanut butter at the end, or add a splash (or two) of bourbon, or add a few drops of peppermint extract. The possibilities are endless!
45g (about 1.5 ounces or 1/3 cup) high-quality chocolate chips or bar chocolate (chopped)
1 to 2 Tablespoons cold water
1 Tablespoon cocoa powder
1/8 teaspoon vanilla
tiny pinch of salt
6 to 8 ounces milk or water
toasted marshmallows (optional)
Combine chips and water (just enough to just barely cover chocolate) in a 12-ounce microwave safe mug. Microwave on high for 15 seconds. Let sit for 2 minutes. (You may poke the chocolate to make sure it’s all covered by water, but DO NOT STIR until 2 minutes have passed.) After 2 minutes, stir thoroughly until a smooth chocolate sauce forms. If after stirring unmelted chocolate chunks remain, microwave for another 5 second and stir again. (If your sauce isn’t perfectly smooth, don’t panic. Just keep going!)
Add cocoa powder, vanilla and salt to mug. Stir until combined and mostly lump-free. While stirring, slowly pour in 6 to 8 ounces of milk or water. Microwave to desired temperature. (This takes about 2 minutes in my microwave, but keep an eye on it because it can boil over!) Stir and serve hot.
The holidays are coming! The holidays are coming!
Sorry. I didn’t mean to alarm you. I just thought maybe you should know, in case you’re like me and waiting until the last possible minute to do your shopping. Lucky for you and me, online shopping was invented just for times like these. You might also want to know that today is Free Shipping Day!
Whether you’re looking for gifts for loved ones who cook and bake, or are just looking for a little something to ask Santa for yourself, check out the list of gadgets and whatsits below. They’re all of my favorite kitchen things that I know, love, and use over and over again.
I swear on the Naughty & Nice list that I’m not getting any money for any of this – no sponsors, no referral fees, nada. I just wanted to share!
Have you ever read a recipe that said “Roll dough out to 1/4″ thickness” and though to yourself, “How thick is that”? Do you know someone who makes a lot of cut-out cookies or cinnamon buns or pizza dough? This adjustable rolling pin is just what the doctor ordered. It has these clever little discs on the sides to adjust the thickness of your dough from 1/16th-inch to 3/8th-inch, ensuring perfect dough every time. It also has handy ruler markings across the middle for measuring out even slices! You can even ditch the discs and use it as a regular old rolling pin.
This is one of those tools I didn’t know I needed until after I had it. It is truly multi-purpose! I’ve used it for everything from dividing yeast doughs, lifting cookies, scraping flour off counter tops and even decorating cakes. Yup, it’s perfect for getting super smooth buttercream on your layer cakes. I love that it has a sturdy, cushioned handle too.
If you make layer cakes, you NEED this. I’m eternally grateful to Zoe from Zoe Bakes for telling us about this gem. It changed everything for me when it comes to cake decorating. The revolving base makes cutting and icing cakes so much easier and your results are much more even. The stand has a heavy cast iron base, which means you don’t have to worry about your cake toppling over, and the top is removable for easy cleaning. I love that it’s pretty enough to use as a display stand too!
These scoops are essential for anyone who makes cookies. Using a scoop is the best way to get uniform cookies that bake evenly in the oven. They have nicely cushioned handles and despite using them on some pretty tough dough, I have yet to break one! Their scoops work well for portioning out muffin batter and scooping out ice cream too. I find the medium (1 1/2 tablespoons) is the perfect size for cookies.
If you are cupcake frosting challenged like me, this kit was made for you. It comes with all of the pastry tips you will ever need for frosting cupcakes, a professional quality reusable pastry bag, and best of all – an online video you can watch teaching you various frosting techniques with the tips. I’m still practicing, but I can almost make pretty cupcakes now!
Available online from Bake It Pretty.
I use these for everything. I love that they’re reusable, that I don’t have to deal with cutting parchment paper or greasing baking sheets, and that nothing sticks to them. They are perfect for baking cookies, but can also be used for things like chocolate dipped candies and sugared nuts.
What can I say? OXO makes good stuff! I am totally in love with this bowl. It’s huge so I can make anything in it – meatballs, cupcakes, yeast dough, whatever. My favorite part, though, is the black grippy part on the bottom. Because it grips the counter on it’s own, you can stir things in this bowl with one hand. Best thing ever! If you’re a kitchen multi-tasker, you will love this bowl as much as I do!
I got fed up with inaccurate, broken $20 thermometers so last year I asked Santa for one of these Themapens and lucky me – he delivered! I love love love it. Thermapens cost a lot more than $20, but they’re instant, durable, and extremely accurate. I use mine for everything. You normally think of thermometers as something you use for meats, but I use mine as a candy thermometer too because it goes up to 572°F! Did I mention they come in a rainbow of colors too?
I love this little gadget and I get a lot more use out of it than I thought I would. It’s great for making smoothies and blended soups, obviously. But did you know you can make whipped cream and the world’s fastest hollandaise sauce with it? The bottom part detaches with the click of a button, making it super easy toss in the dishwasher for cleaning. Also, for a kitchen appliance it’s pretty cheap at right around $30. What’s not to love?