Monday, December 22, 2014

Nestle Toll House Chocolate Chip Pie

I'll start by saying - not healthy!!  But so good!!!  And a little indulgence every once in awhile is ok.  Plus, it's almost Christmas...and that sort of makes it ok.  You're with family, and you're gonna indulge.  It's only human.  


I make this pie every Thanksgiving and we have it at Christmas too.  I did not add the nuts this time, but usually it's walnuts or pecans.  Pecans more so I think.


So buttery and rich and awesome with whipped cream (yes, from a can!) or ice cream.  You can serve it at room temperature or eat cold right out of the fridge...like for breakfast the next morning.  Shhh...I didn't say that!! ;)


Serves 8-10

Nestle Toll House Chocolate Chip Pie

1 unbaked deep dish pie shell, thawed if frozen
2 eggs 
1/2 cup flour
1/2 cup sugar
1/2 cup packed brown sugar
3/4 cup butter
1 cup semi-sweet chocolate chips
1 cup chopped nuts
Whipped cream or ice cream

Preheat oven to 325 degrees.  Beat eggs in a large mixer bowl on high speed until foamy.  Beat in flour and the sugars.  Beat in butter.  Stir in the chocolate chips and nuts.  Pour mixture into pie shell.  
Bake for 55 to 60 minutes or until a toothpick inserted halfway between the edge and center comes out clean.  Cool on wire rack.  Serve warm or room temperature with whipped cream or ice cream.

(Source: recipe from Nestle Toll House)

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Wednesday, December 17, 2014

Crock Pot Santa Fe Chicken

This Crock Pot meal has moved up to our #1 favorite dinner lately.  It is seriously so unbelievably good.  It's a toss up for me whether I like it more in a tortilla like a burrito or just over brown rice.    


One time I didn't have any green onion, so I substituted it with red onion and it was just as good.  Probably about 1/4 cup red onion if you decide to try it.  Be sure to spoon out some of the liquid over rice - really really flavorful.  Use a slotted spoon if you are serving in tortillas or they will get mushy and fall apart!  


It freezes wonderfully too.  If it's just my family eating it, we always have a TON leftover.  Just dump the leftovers plus any juice into a freezer container and into the freezer.  The night before you know you'll eat it again, stick it in the fridge to defrost.  To reheat, just place in a saucepan until simmering!  
Serves 8

Crock Pot Santa Fe Chicken

2 large boneless, skinless chicken breasts
1 (14.4 oz) can diced tomatoes with mild green chilies
1 (15 oz) can black beans, drained and rinsed
1 cup frozen corn
1/4 cup chopped fresh cilantro
1 (14.4 oz) can reduced sodium chicken broth
3 scallions, chopped
1 teaspoon garlic powder
1 teaspoon onion powder
1 teaspoon cumin
1 teaspoon cayenne (or to taste)
salt and pepper

Combine chicken broth, black beans, corn, tomatoes, cilantro, scallions, garlic powder, onion powder, cumin, cayenne pepper and salt in the Crock Pot.  Lay the chicken breasts on top.

Cook on low for 8-10 hours or high 4-6 hours.  A half hour before serving, remove chicken and shred.  Return chicken to the Crock Pot and stir.  Adjust salt to taste.  Serve over brown rice or in tortillas with extra cilantro, green onions, cheese, sour cream, and/or any of your favorite toppings!

(Source:  from Skinnytaste)

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Monday, December 15, 2014

Mini Pumpkin Banana Oat Muffins

We can't get enough of pumpkin muffins in our house!  I make them a LOT so I've been trying to come up with a couple of variations on them.  The mini versions are perfect for snacks for my preschoolers! 


Good and good for you - no butter, white flour or processed sugars!  My kids gobble these up!  You can make a double batch to keep in the freezer.  I simply throw a bunch of the muffins in a freezer bag and toss them in.  When you are ready to eat them, just let them sit at room temperature for a couple of hours.  They taste like you just baked them!  


This recipe is adapted from my regular Whole Wheat Pumpkin Muffins.  You could also do those as a mini version - how cute, right?  I do love the little sprinkle of oats on the top of these though.  Hope you enjoy!     

24 mini muffins

Mini Pumpkin Banana Oat Muffins

1 1/2 cups white whole wheat flour
3/4 cup old fashioned oats + more for topping
1 tablespoon pumpkin pie spice
1 teaspoon baking soda
1/2 teaspoon sea salt
1/4 teaspoon baking powder
2 eggs 
1/2 cup honey
1/3 cup unsweetened applesauce
1 cup pure pumpkin puree
1 ripe banana, mashed

Preheat oven to 350 degrees.  Spray a 24-cup mini muffin tin with non-stick cooking spray and set aside.  In the bowl of a stand mixer, combine the flour, oats, pumpkin pie spice, baking soda, salt and baking powder.  Add the eggs, honey and applesauce until just combined (do not overmix).  Add the pumpkin puree and banana and mix again.  

Divide the batter equally among the muffins cups (I used a small cookie scoop) to about 3/4 of the way full.  Sprinkle a pinch of oats on top of each muffin.  Bake until golden brown and a toothpick comes out clean, 15-18 minutes.  Store at room temperature or freeze.  

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Thursday, December 11, 2014

Overnight Chicken Stock in the Crock Pot

Earlier this week I posted a recipe for Crock Pot Rotisserie Chicken - and this is the easiest stock you will ever make using the bones and carcass from that same chicken.  I do it EVERY time and at this point, probably never have to buy stock in the carton again (seriously, my freezer is packed with it!!). 


Because of how tender the chicken is when it's done, I literally pull the meat off the bones, leave the carcass in the Crock Pot and after dinner, I make this.


Don't worry if you don't have all of the ingredients.  It still turns out great.  I rarely make it with additional onion and a couple of times I didn't have celery.  The taste difference between homemade and stock or broth in the carton is unbelievable.  And when it's this easy, why not make homemade??

Makes approximately 14 cups 

Overnight Chicken Stock in the Crock Pot

Leftover chicken bones and carcass equivalent to one 4-5 pound chicken
1 onion, peeled and loosely chopped
1 rib of celery roughly chopped
1 carrot, roughly chopped (no need to peel)
1 bay leaf
1 spring fresh thyme
salt and pepper, to taste

Remove all the edible meat from the chicken and place (or leave) the bones, skin, cooking juices, etc. in the Crock Pot.  If you are using the chicken carcass from "Crock Pot Rotisserie Chicken", leave everything single thing that's leftover in the Crock Pot.

Add the onion, celery, carrot and herbs on top of the bones and fill the Crock Pot almost to the top with water (leaving about 1/2 inch at the top).

Turn the slow cooker on low after dinner and cook overnight.  In the morning, turn off the heat and, using a soup ladle, pour the stock through a fine mesh strainer to remove all herbs, bones, etc.

Refrigerate for up to a week or freeze into portions - I use 32-ounce (4 cups) or 16-ounce (2 cups) deli containers.  In the freezer it will keep for about 6 months until it starts to lose flavor.

(Source: adapted from 100 Days of Real Food)

Posts may contain affiliate links.  That means The Art of Comfort Baking will automatically receive a small commission, but your cost will remain the same!  Thanks for your support!

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Monday, December 8, 2014

Crock Pot Rotisserie Chicken

I am addicted to making whole roast chicken in the Crock Pot!  We have it weekly.  Not only does the chicken get so tender that it just falls off the bone, there are always leftovers for sandwiches or salads for the next couple of days.


It's also one of the easiest dinners I make.  Chunk up an onion, make a little spice rub, turn on the Crock Pot and dinner is done in 4 hours.  The spice rub is rubbed on the skin, but also UNDER the skin.  That is what makes this SO good.  A must try.  Of course you could do this in the oven, but I love the fact that you barely have to carve this.  I can literally pull the chicken breast off the bone with a pair of tongs, that's how tender it is.  


Side note - I buy my chickens in a 2-pack from Sam's Club.  They are hormone and antibiotic free and so much cheaper than the organic ones at my regular grocery store.  Be sure to check out your wholesale club next time!  And I use a very basic 6-quart Crock-Pot that you can purchase from Amazon.  Mine is about 10 years old and still kickin'!

Serves 4-6

Crock Pot Rotisserie Chicken

1 whole roast chicken, 4-5 pounds
1 medium onion
2 teaspoons paprika
1 teaspoon salt, plus extra for the cavity
1 teaspoon onion powder
1 teaspoon thyme
1/2 teaspoon garlic powder
1/4 teaspoon cayenne pepper
1/4 teaspoon black pepper

Cut the onion in chunks and place in the bottom of the Crock Pot.  Reserve about 1/4 of the onion to place in the cavity of the chicken.  Combine the dried spices in a small bowl and set aside.

Remove the giblets from the chicken and season the inside with salt.  Place the reserved onion chunks in the cavity.  Using your fingers, gently loosen the skin connected to the breast and rub a small amount of the spice mixture directly on the meat.  Rub the remaining spices on the outside of the entire chicken.

Place the prepared chicken on top of the onions in the Crock Pot and turn to high.  Cook for 4-5 hours.

(Source: adapted from 100 Days of Real Food)

Posts may contain affiliate links.  That means The Art of Comfort Baking will automatically receive a small commission, but your cost will remain the same!  Thanks for your support!
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Sunday, December 7, 2014

Asking for the Gift of Health and Fitness

I am a Beachbody coach and SO many of you have messaged me this month asking about the cost of programs. Thanksgiving really took it's toll on a lot of us.  For me too!  I was never so eager to jump back into my workout routine than I was after that holiday weekend!  The most common response I got back? 
"I REALLY want to do it, but it's Christmas and I can't selfishly spend money on myself right now."
Look, I GET IT. I asked for Insanity Max:30 for Christmas because of that EXACT reason! Why do we feel weird asking for a fitness program or Shakeology when deep down we know it's something we want and need in order to feel better?  


So here's what I'm offering. I'm going to make it so easy for you to get the program of your choice and Shakeology for Christmas...just in time to start completely fresh after the New Year.  We are going to create a wishlist for me to share with your family!  This is what I need from you:
  1. Fill out the form below, email me at brookegriffin6@gmail.com OR message me on Facebook to tell me the program(s) and flavor of Shakeology you are interested in. 
  2. Tell me who to contact - name and email (or let me know if there is a better way to get in touch with them)
  3. Forget you asked for it and be surprised on Christmas morning! 
So easy!  A very simple way to get what you REALLY want this year.  2015 will be your best year yet.  Fill out this form to get in touch with me, even if it's not for the wishlist.  I would love to chat with you about your own fitness goals! 


Name:

Email *

Message *




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Wednesday, December 3, 2014

Chocolate Peanut Butter Overnight Oats

Overnight oats are the best!  They take all but what, 5 minutes to make?  And then you have them for a super quick breakfast in the morning.  Easy, healthy and yum!!


Not sure it gets much better than that.  And this chocolate peanut butter version is my favorite way to make them (at least for now!).  I'm always a big fan of chocolate...and peanut butter.  It's not often that you'll find an acceptable breakfast option with those flavor combos.  


So rich and peanut buttery.  The chocolate chips I added for a bit of crunch and they are completely optional.  I like to serve mine heated for about 45 seconds, with a added drizzle of maple syrup.  SO good!! 

5 servings

Chocolate Peanut Butter Overnight Oats

3/4 cup creamy peanut butter
2 1/2 teaspoons vanilla
pinch of salt
1 1/4 cup plain (or vanilla) Greek yogurt
1 2/3 cup skim milk (or almond milk)
2 1/2 cups old fashioned oats
1/4 cup + 1 tablespoon cocoa powder 
2 1/2 teaspoons maple syrup 
semi-sweet chocolate chips (optional) 

In a small bowl, combine the peanut butter, vanilla and salt.  Microwave for 10 seconds, stir, then 10 more seconds.  Add in the yogurt, milk, oats, cocoa powder and maple syrup.  Stir well and make sure the peanut butter is completely melted and mixed throughout.  Evenly distribute the mixture to 5 small mason jars or plastic storage containers (about 1 cup of the mixture per container).  Seal and place in the fridge overnight.  Oats will keep up to 5 days. 

To serve: heat in microwave for approximately 45 seconds, drizzle with additional maple syrup (if desired).  

(Source:  adapted from Chelsea's Messy Apron

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Monday, December 1, 2014

{Healthier} Oatmeal Chocolate Chip Cookies

Ok, I'll admit...I didn't set out to make a healthier cookie.  But I use brown and white sugar so rarely now that I didn't even realize I was (almost) out!!  Since I was ready to make cookies, I made do with what I had...and voila!


Honey and coconut sugar were used as the replacement for the refined sugars.  I did use what white sugar I had left, but it was only 1/4 cup.  The coconut sugar is what really gives these cookies that caramel color, and an almost nutty flavor.  I loved them!  And so did the kids and in-laws that were visiting! 


Ok, there are still 2 sticks of butter...I said they were "healthier", not healthy!  I was just glad that substituting with my go-to clean sweeteners produced a great cookie.  Enjoy!

Makes about 4 dozen 

{Healthier} Chocolate Chip Oatmeal Cookies

1 cup butter, room temperature
3/4 cup coconut sugar
1/2 cup honey
1/4 cup white sugar
1 egg, room temperature
1 teaspoon vanilla extract
2 cups white whole wheat flour
1 teaspoon salt
1 teaspoon baking soda
2 cups old fashioned oats
1 cup chocolate chips

Preheat the oven to 350 degrees.  In a large bowl of a stand mixer, cream the butter and sugars until light and fluffy.  Add egg and beat until combined, then add vanilla.  In a separate bowl, combine the flour, salt and baking soda.  Slowly incorporate the dry ingredients into the wet and beat until completely mixed in.  Stir in oats and chocolate chips by hand.  

Using a small cookie scoop, drop dough onto a cookie sheet and bake for 14-15 minutes.  Cool for 2 minutes on the baking sheet then transfer to a wire rack to cool.   

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I'm a super busy mom of 3 and a Beachbody coach. Follow along as I try to find a balance between eating good food and keeping my family healthy and happy! We eat mostly clean with a few fun treats thrown in every once in awhile. Thanks for stopping by!

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