Start of Summer

It’s officially summer in our house. You know the whole ‘opening of the beaches’ usually marks the summer season for many cities around the country? Well, in our house it’s the first Slurpee run.

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(& no, she’s not really drinking it!)

I saw a sign for the new Sprite flavored Slurpee as I was getting gas & KNEW I had to try it; it’s delicious, by the way, and I will back for more…probably today. 😉

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I am a HUGE Slurpee lover. Anything cold is so refreshing in this Florida heat (the heat index is over 100 here), especially Slurpees and Italian Ice, specifically Jeremiah’s Italian ice.

I love how we can have thousands of toys for Gabriella to play with, yet she only wants the most random things. Like the cup above, she played with it for a good 30 minutes. Give the girl a cup with a straw & she is in heaven! I took it away for a second & put it on the ground, to get another picture, and she was DETERMINED to get it.

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Needless to say, I did not get my other picture. She just got her cup back. 🙂

I have been meaning to share a new recipe with you for a while, but just kept forgetting. Today is finally the day!

You guys, I have a new favorite quick bread. And I am a HUGE bread maker. I’m always making quick loaves, at least 3-4 a month. I typically make lots of banana bread, only because we often have brown bananas, which I’m not a fan of. I always try different recipes, using different ingredients, just to see what kind of ‘works.’ (example: subbing Greek yogurt for butter, or apple sauce for oil) I want it to be healthy, without it tasting too healthy, does that make sense?

Anyways, I came across this new recipe while I was searching for recipes to use with blueberries. Once I saw this recipe, I KNEW immediately I had to make it. Not just because I wanted it, but because I knew Craig would love it.

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It combines blueberries with lemon, and he is a HUGE fan of lemon! And I am so ashamed to admit this, but I have always tried to buy lemon zest. I never realized you just use a cheese grater & make the zest yourself. It’s a little embarrassing to admit, only because of how long I have been cooking. But it’s never too late to learn something new, right?? 🙂

Lemon Blueberry Muffin Bread

(recipe found HERE)

Ingredients
  • 2 cups all purpose flour
  • 1 ½ tsp baking powder
  • ½ tsp salt
  • 1 stick unsalted butter, room temperature
  • 1 cup sugar  (I used Truvia baking blend)
  • 2 eggs
  • 2 cups blueberries (12 oz)
  • 2 tsp lemon zest
  • ½ cup plain yogurt, regular or low-fat (I used Greek yogurt- Plain 0% Chobani)
Directions
  1. Preheat your oven to 350 degrees. Spray a loaf pan with nonstick cooking spray and set aside.
  2. In a medium sized bowl, whisk together your flour, baking powder and salt. Add the blueberries and lemon zest and toss to combine.
  3. Cream together the butter and sugar until light and fluffy. Add the eggs, one at a time, beating well after each addition. Add the yogurt then the dry ingredients, mixing only until incorporated and being careful not to crush the blueberries.
  4. Scoop batter into your prepared loaf pan and bake for 1 hour 10 minutes, until golden brown. Let cool in the pan for 10 minutes before inverting gently onto a plate.

Yield: makes 1 loaf

The ONLY thing I changed was using truvia instead of sugar. Again, original recipe found here.

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Not only did we EASILY polish this WHOLE loaf off in three days, I am about to make another one. The combination of blueberry and lemon is JUST perfect! I think next time I may add a little more zest, only because we both raved about how we liked the addition of it to the bread.

HIGHLY RECOMMEND making this as soon as you can!! You won’t be disappointed.

Last, but CERTAINLY not least, Happy SEVEN months to our little baby girl! ❤

Favorite kind of quick bread?

Favorite Slurpee flavor? I plan on trying ALL of the flavors this summer! 😉

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Triple Berry Muffins

Good Morning! So, guess what??! You made it past yet another Monday. That should make you smile just knowing that little piece of information. 😉 I think getting past each Monday just makes the week a bit better, don’t you agree?

I know what else will brighten up your morning.
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Aren’t they pretty? Those are my flowers that Craig sent to me for Valentine’s day. Normally I’m not a big rose person (sunflowers are my favorite), but these roses are just particularly pretty. I love when they always bloom in unison. Some flowers that I have received in the past were pretty, but they never bloomed. Luckily these turned out perfect!

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You know what else will help brighten your morning?! A new muffin recipe. (ok, so maybe that doesn’t really brighten your morning, but I’d like to think so. 🙂 )

You know how I shared my love of Chobani with you yesterday?? (Have you entered the giveaway yet? You definitely should, if not.) Well, one of my favorite things to do with the yogurt is to bake with it. (I know this girl does too! Oh, and by the way, have you seen her latest creation?!?! DORITO BROWNIES, yep, you read that right. Check it out!!)

It’s great to bake with because you can cut out the oil, and it still leaves the baked goods moist. It also helps to add a bit of protein. (at 14g per container, you can’t beat that!)

Fruit is finally coming into season, so I have been buying strawberries & blueberries like a crazy woman. I go through BOTH of the LARGE cartons about every 3 days. It’s almost ridiculous how much I eat them. I think I’ve just been missing the summertime fruit, and getting just a bit sick of eating apples everyday. Look at how HUGE this strawberry is that I found in my container. It’s the size of my hand!!!
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When I was coming up with this recipe I decided to include BOTH strawberries & blueberries, since I can’t get enough of them. While I was making these I also think I ate my weight in fruit. I’m shocked I had some left for the recipe. I decided to add even more fruit to the recipe by using a Passion Fruit Chobani in the batter. So I shall call these…

Triple Berry Muffins

Yield: 12 large muffins

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Ingredients:

  • 1 cup whole wheat flour
  • 1 cup all purpose flour
  • 1/3 cup brown sugar
  • 1 tbsp. + 2 tsp. Truvia (you could also replace this with 1/4 cup white sugar)
  • 1 tsp. baking powder
  • 2 tsp. baking soda
  • 1/4 tsp. salt
  • 1/4 cup applesauce
  • 1 container 2% Passion Fruit Chobani
  • 2 egg whites, beaten
  • 2 tsp. vanilla extract
  • 1 cup strawberries, chopped
  • 1 cup blueberries

Preparation:

1. Heat oven to 375 degrees. Grease a muffin pan. (or use muffin liners)
2. In a large bowl combine all of the dry ingredients. (flours through salt)
3. In another bowl, combine the wet ingredients. (applesauce through vanilla) Then add the wet ingredients to the dry ingredients. Mix well.
4. Add the strawberries & blueberries to the batter combine.
5. Divide the batter equally between the 12 muffin tins. Bake for 20 minutes, or until a knife inserted in the middle of a muffin comes out clean.

I suggest topping them with just a pat of butter. Butter makes all things a tad tastier. (I sound like Paula Deen)
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Now just wait. Check out what these look like on the inside.

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I always hate eating a muffin that has like two blueberries in it. Every bite of these are chock-full of berries.

Want to know what else is great about these muffins? Check out these stats: (per muffin)
Calories: 117, Fat: 1g, Carbs: 26g, Protein: 4g

So now you don’t have to feel bad about eating one. Or two. Or ten. 😉