Good morning! I am so thrilled you all liked the tips for fitting in fitness (especially in the cold winter where motivation may not be as high) I cannot stress enough that you do NOT need to set aside a full hour to get in some exercise and you definately do not need a gym either. Get creative! Use the stairs in your house, use my workout bible to create your own workout. Just get moving!
Well if you are a long time Onefitfoodie reader, you all know that I cannot bake (nor do I really enjoy it, simply because I have not mastered the baking skills necessary to make an easy batch of cookies) Anyways, I think this is pure genetics. My mom is the most amazing cook, but baking is just not her thing. Sure, she does it and most of the time acutally does a great job, but there is no joy. There is a dirty kitchen with flour everywhere.
I must give myself a pat on the back because for about 2 hours yesterday I was a baking machine. I acutally felt like I was working in a pastry shop or something like that. I decided to whip up my secret santa some homemade goodies! (hopefully they aren;t reading this!) but if they are, they will get it in the mail in a few days! I went with peppermint bark (I used this recipe that I made last year) and pumpkin-gingerbread muffins with cream cheese frosting!
The pumpkin muffins were SO easy to make! This recipe is definately a keeper and I believe was created for people like me who need easy peasy recipes to follow.
Pumpkin-Gingerbread Muffins with Cream Cheese Frosting from Whole Foods.
- 1 C flour
- 1 C whole wheat flour
- 2 tsp ginger
- 2 tsp baking powder
- 1 tsp cinnamon (I used 3 tsp)
- 1/4 tsp salt
- 1/4 tsp nutmeg
- 1 C sugar
- 1/2 C canola oil
- 2 eggs
- 1 tsp vanilla extract
- 1 C pumpkin (not pumpkin pie filling)
- Mix all of the dry ingredients into one bowl and set aside (flours, sugar, spices, baking powder)
- Mix all of the wet ingredients into one bowl
- Add the dry ingredients into the wet ingredients and mix until well combined (do not overmix!)
- Pour into 12 muffin tins (previously sprayed with pam or vegetable oil spray OR lined with cupcake liners) and bake at 350 degrees for about 15 minutes or until a toothpick comes out clean
- Let cool on a wire rack for about an hour before frosting
Cream cheese Frosting (my mom had this recipe which she used before)
- 1/2 C unsalted butter (1 stick)
- 2 cups confectioners sugar
- 1-8oz container of cream cheese (the full fat stuff--don't skimp out on the frosting!)
- 2 tsp vanilla extract
- Cream butter and cream cheese with an electric mixer until well combined
- Add the vanilla extract
- Slowly add in the confectioners sugar. I added 1 cup at a time. Add more if you want it sweeter
- Mix until well combined and contains no lumps. Enjoy!
***To assemble the muffins. I took a serrated knife and cut off the muffin tops. I slathered each topless muffin with about 2 tablespoons of frosting and replaced the top back on! They were so pretty, so easy and delicious!!
Next up was the peppermint bark! I made this last year and for all of you who don't bake or don't 'like' to bake, let me tell you that this is the EASIEST recipe to make and there is no oven involved. It takes about 5 minutes to assemble!
Eat your heart out!
First I melted 16oz (1 lb) of good quality dark chocolate
Spread evenly on a sprayed piece of wax paper
The star of the show!
I took the wrappers out of the candy canes and set them aside
Placed them in a Ziploc bag and banged them with the back of a pot to crush them into small pieces
The next step is to separate the candy cane "sand" with the candy cane pieces. I put them in a small sieve and let the sand fall into the bowl, while the bigger pieces stayed in the sieve
Candy Cane Sand!
And the larger pieces.
While the chocolate bark was in the fridge cooling, I went ahead and melted the white chocolate. (microwaved for about 2 minutes, but checking it and stirring in 30 second intervals)
I mixed the candy cane 'sand' into the white chocolate. Mix slowly because you do not want the white chocolate to turn pink!
Voila! Then I added about 2 drops of peppermint extract into the white chocolate. This stuff is STRONG, so go easy with it!
Layer time. As you can see the dark chocolate is hard and cold. You want to make sure its hardened completely before pouring on the white chocolate
Slowly shake on the candy cane pieces on top of the white chocolate
Let the whole thing cool in the fridge, and when its completely hard, break into pieces!
I broke them up into pieces and made them all pretty to send away to my secret santa! I hope she likes them!
Layered Peppermint Bark (from this recipe I made last year)
- 1 lb dark or milk chocolate
- 1 lb white chocolate
- drop of peppermint oil
- 12 candy canes
- Crush candy cane pieces on a dish towel. When crushed, run through a sieve and separate candy cane pieces from candy cane 'sand' (see pic above) Set aside.
- melt milk or dark chocolate in the microwave stirring every 30 seconds. When melted, spread evenly on a wax paper coated cookie sheet into the desired thickness. Let harden completely
- Melt white chocolate using the same method. WHen done, stir in drop of peppermint oil and candy cane sand.
- slowly pour white chocolate over the hardened dark chocolate layer
- sprinkle candy cane pieces evenly over and lightly press in. Let cool and break into 'bark'
I also made some delicious healthy turkey chili but we'll save that recipe for another day.
Tips for the day:
- Drink at least 64 oz of water today
- Compliment a stranger
- Send an email to an old friend wishing them a happy holidays
- Stay off facebook for the day and instead, take the time to read a book
- Be yourself (everyday)
Question of the day: What makes you, you. what makes you unique?