Banana Cream Bread

Good Morning!

Hard to believe the weekend has already come & gone. It went way too quickly. I actually had to work most of the weekend, to play ‘catch up,’ because I wasn’t able to do much during the week. This past week was pretty rough with Gabriella, and I tie it mainly to teething. I feel bad, I really wish I could help her because I know she has to be in pain.

One thing that kind of caught me off guard though is that she is kind of going through a regression. We got over the ‘only Mommy can hold me or be around me’ phase about a month or so ago….or so I thought. It’s baaaaaaaaaaack!

She only wants to be around me, or have me hold her. Most of the time she won’t even go to Craig, well I take that back, she will go to him, but only if she can see me. If I’m out of the room she has a break down. Just to further explain how much the attachment phase has come back, I can’t even take a shower or bath without her. She actually crawled into the shower with me while I had her playing on the floor. The second she saw me, she came right in (the door was open of course- I have my eye on her the entire time) WITH her clothes & diaper on. I just had to laugh! She looked up at me like, ‘oh hey Mom! I just wanted to get cleaned up too.’ Love that little girl & I love how much she makes me laugh.

Aviary Photo_130178659432049396

Sometimes it’s hard though, because I really can’t get any help. I just remind myself that she won’t be this little for long, and it’s actually pretty cute HOW much she wants to be with me. And one of my VERY FAVORITE things is that when she goes to look for me if I am out of the room, is that she heads straight to the kitchen! LOVE that!! She knows how much her Mommy likes to cook.

The other day I had a bunch of super ripe bananas. (YUCK!) I always buy a ton because Gabriella will eat them too- especially in her morning oatmeal. Her favorite breakfast right now is oatmeal with chia seeds, mashed banana and a little bit of YoBaby banana smoothie mixed in. It’s quite tasty, I must say. She has good taste! Smile

I also had one of my very favorite packages arrive in the same day.

IMG_6972

Makes my day when you see this arrive on your porch! Chobani is my very favorite yogurt company, not only for their delicious yogurt, but also because they have one of the VERY BEST customer service teams. I love how they instantly respond to comments on any social media and always want to make the consumers happy! You don’t see that too often these days.

When I opened up the box I happily found a TON of yogurt!

Aviary Photo_130188887729898165

0% Vanilla, 0% Plain & 2% Plain. I really like the new labeling for the vanilla! The plain varieties are PERFECT substitutions for so much like sour cream, heavy cream, oil, butter, mayonnaise, and cream cheese.

Once I saw that I had over ripe bananas and a new shipment of Chobani, my mind got to work & I decided to make quick bread, because that’s what over ripe bananas are best for. Smile

One of my favorite desserts is actually banana pudding, or banana cream pie. NOTHING is better than homemade banana pudding with fresh cream, bananas & vanilla wafers. My mouth is watering just thinking about it. I wanted to re-create that same flavor, but in bread form. That is how this recipe came to be- Banana Cream Bread.

Aviary Photo_130188885282902973

Banana Cream Bread

(adapted from this recipe)

Ingredients:

  • 1/2 cup butter, softened
  • 1/2 cup sugar
  • 2 eggs
  • 1/2 cup plain Greek Yogurt (I used 0% Chobani)
  • 1 teaspoon vanilla extract
  • 1 3/4 cup all purpose flour  
  • 1/2 teaspoon baking powder
  • 1/2 teaspoon baking soda
  • 1/2 teaspoon salt
  • 1 teaspoon ground cinnamon
  • 3 large ripe bananas, mashed (the riper the better)
  • 1/2 cup chopped pecans, divided

Directions:

  • In a large bowl, cream butter, and sugar until fluffy. Beat in eggs, one at a time. Add Greek yogurt and vanilla; mix well.
  • Combine the flour, baking powder, baking soda, salt and cinnamon; stir into creamed mixture just until moistened. Fold in mashed banana and 1/4 cup nuts.
  • Pour into a greased 8-in. x 4-in. loaf pan. Sprinkle with remaining nuts. Bake at 350° for 65-70 minutes or until a toothpick inserted near the center comes out clean. Cool for 10 minutes; remove from pan to a wire rack to cool completely. Yield: 1 loaf.

Aviary Photo_130188886366826965

Aviary Photo_130188886903863430

The addition of the Greek yogurt gives the bread a nice flavor, and adds in the ‘cream’ flavor without the added calories & fat of REAL cream.

The house had such a nice smell while it was baking, and of course I could barely wait for it to cool before slicing it. So I had to cut a few slices since the first couple crumbled, which meant I had to eat them. Smile

I know that there are THOUSANDS of banana bread recipes, but I guarantee you this one will not leave you disappointed!

I know it’s hard to think about, but tell me your favorite part of Monday.
Mine is that it’s long run day!! I truly enjoy starting the week off with a long run- usually 12-13 miles, just depends on how my legs feel…and if my child will continue to nap Winking smile

If you eat Chobani, what’s your favorite flavor?

Advertisements

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.

IMG_5224

(& 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. 😉

IMG_5252

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.

IMG_5243

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.

IMG_5098

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.

IMG_5096

IMG_5100

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! 😉

Thursday Ramblings

1. My husband likes Chobani. I am a happy wife. Randomly he decided that he wanted to try it. I had given it to him before, but he didn’t love it. But he tried it again & he LOVES it. And he eats it almost every day like me. Mission accomplished 😉 His favorite flavors: Blood orange & lemon. Boy loves his citrus.

I had to stock up on it at Target when it was on sale- only $1 a piece!! SCORE.

IMG_2758
^that’s only about half of our current stash 😉

2. Gabriella is FOUR months. How did that happen??

IMG_2674-1

Her new favorite thing? Her feet. She LOVES them. And a plus for us: it keeps her entertained for a few minutes. 😉

IMG_2675-1

Another update: She STILL REFUSES the bottle. I mean ABSOLUTELY REFUSES. SCREAMS bloody murder. It’s terrible. We have just decided to kind of give it a rest right now. It just makes us all miserable & after a month of trying every night, and then ending up with a crying baby..it’s been hard.

3. You know I have to tell you something else about Gabriella, because well, she’s my whole world. Guess who can start solids now?!? Yep, G Marie!

We haven’t tried any yet, we may wait just a little bit, but I think within a week or two we will try the rice cereal. I picked this kind up at Target the other day, I hope she likes it.

IMG_2759

We CANNOT wait to try solids with her. It’s going to be FUN!!

4. I have one of my VERY favorite races this weekend in Jacksonville!! The River Run!

rr

I can’t wait. It is one of the VERY best courses I have ever ran. It is so scenic & a TON of cheering fans along the way. It’s going to be weird running without a stroller.

Anyone else out there running in it??

PS: I’m looking for more races in the Florida area- preferably half & full marathons. Would you happen to know of any?

5. New debate, which is better… Dunkin Donuts Dark roast or Starbucks iced coffee?

IMG_2760

I had to try the Dunkin before the picture. (oops) I have to say, Starbucks still wins in my book. Just because it’s stronger, love the bold flavor. But Dunkin is a good alternative with their new dark roast!

6. We ate one of my favorite meals the other night.

IMG_2764

Sweet potato, broccoli & shrimp with Old Bay. I could seriously eat this twice a week, every week. Easily. I always forget how good sweet potatoes- I need to incorporate them into our dinners more. Oh, and that shrimp…COATED with Old Bay. I don’t believe in too much Old Bay. 😀 (& believe it or not, that was actually before Craig too.)

Hope you have a good Friday Eve! One step closer to the weekend!!!

Grocery Store Findings

Good THURSDAY Morning!

I’m so mixed up this week, I keep thinking it’s a day behind than it actually is. I’m sure it’s because we got back from our trip Monday afternoon- so we both only worked a half day. The good thing is that on Friday I’ll actually think it’s Thursday…but it will really be Friday! 🙂

Anyways, today I thought I’d show you some of my favorite new finds at the grocery store. Sometimes I like to take a little extra time to find some new items & these happened to catch my eye. Of course I threw some old favorites in there too.

And because I needed a model to display my purchases, you know who volunteered 😉 (Ok, so maybe she didn’t volunteer…but the pictures are much cuter with G in them!)

1. Fiber One 80 calorie chocolate cereal

IMG_2598

This cereal is SO GOOD! I’m usually not a chocolate cereal fan, I typically stick to Special K with red berries, but this just sounded good. I’m glad I tried it! I don’t eat cereal for breakfast, I just use it in ‘yogurt messes’ (yogurt, fruit, & cereal) – which is what I typically eat for lunch everyday. Yesterday I had a yogurt mess with Pear Chobani, a pear, an apple & a cup of this cereal- LOVED it.

2. Popchips- Katy’s Kettle Corn & Barbeque

IMG_2603

I’ve had the barbeque before, which I love, but never had the Kettle Corn. I’m not a huge fan of Kettle Corn popcorn, but Craig is, so I thought I’d pick up a bag for him. Well, I probably should of gotten TWO bags because they are just THAT good! Perfect when you need a sweet treat, but you just want something light.

3. SmartFood Cinnamon Brown Sugar Popcorn

IMG_2606

I know, a LOT of snacky foods, huh?! They are just easy to grab during the day when I have a child in one hand, I can grab with the other. 🙂 This popcorn has become one of my favorite after dinner snacks. I am a BIG BIG BIG popcorn lover. As in, I would eat it every.single.day if I had my way. Whenever Craig is out of town & I don’t feel like cooking dinner, I usually eat a bag of popcorn…because I like it that much. (& well, it’s super easy 🙂 ) But I like sweet popcorn too, and this is right up my ally.

4. Chobani Greek Yogurt

IMG_2611

This is definitely NOT new, but I CANNOT get over the new pear flavor. You guys, it is the BEST! Please try it immediately if you have not yet. It is my absolute FAVORITE of all time, especially with a chopped up pear in it. Pear obsession, anyone?! 😉

I told Gabriella my favorite was pear, but she kept insisting that her favorite was blueberry.

IMG_2615

It’s ok, she’ll come around to the pear side. 🙂

5. Dannon Light & Fit Greek Yogurt- Pineapple

IMG_2616

Ok, so it may appear that I am ‘cheating’ on Chobani, but I promise I’m not. Chobani is still my favorite Greek yogurt & always will be. But to be honest, I am not a fan of the Pineapple 2% chobani, it tastes like cheese to me. Weird, no?! I do really like pineapple though, and when I saw this I thought I would give it a try. (& I thought this was the Greek yogurt my friend Jenna had on Instagram the other day, but it’s not. Bummer.)

6. Light Chocolate Silk Soy Milk

IMG_2624

I had NO idea they made this! I have had the Silk Pure Almond Dark chocolate milk and really liked it, but when I saw this I knew I HAD to have it. This is EVEN BETTER than the dark chocolate milk…and it’s less calories! Win win 😉

Gabriella was giving it a loving look. IMG_2627

She can’t wait to get bigger & try it.

7. Jell-O Pudding Mix Ins

IMG_2629

I have a sweet tooth and it always strikes after dinner. I typically eat frozen yogurt then, but because I gave it up for lent, I have been trying to find alternatives. When I saw these new Jell-O pudding snacks I figured I would give them a shot. The different flavors are Birthday Cake, Oreo Dirt Cup, Strawberry Shortcake & Banana Caramel Pie. I got the dirt cup one for Craig because he really loves dirt cake, especially with gummy worms. 🙂 We haven’t tried them yet, but I’m SURE they are tasty, pudding is always a winner in my book.

There ya go, some of the newest products that I picked up while grocery shopping! I always enjoy trying new things.

And if you were wondering about all of these goofy pictures of Gabriella, this is what you do when your daughter is having a fussy day…make her do a photo shoot. She was NOT having a good day yesterday, she wouldn’t nap & was just crying nearly all day, poor girl. 😦 But whenever I had the camera out she seemed to perk up, at least for a minute. Whatever works, ya know?!

I’ll leave you with a photo of her being extra cute.

IMG_2589

Oh how I just love that girl…even when she has a bad day. 🙂

Sunday Dinner + Whipped Chocolate Chunk Peanut Butter Pie

Boy do I have a treat for you guys today. I promise it will banish those Monday blues.

IMG_1713

But before I get to that…let me tell you about our dinner last night.

On occasion Craig’s Italian roots really show. For example, he loves pasta. But not just any pasta, Craig LOVES just plain pasta. I think it’s odd, but I make it for him when I’m not hungry for dinner, or when he’s having a rough day. He likes it that much. I other on the other hand need some kind of sauce with it.

Another thing is that he is obsessed and I mean OBSESSED with Italian movies- Goodfellas & The Godfather. I know most guys are, but he is EXTREME. He will quote both movies (well, all of The Godfather movies) LINE BY LINE. He says he can relate things growing up to the movie…not quite sure what that means, considering all of the blood & guts…but hey, whatever floats his boat. 😉

Recently he decided that he wanted to create a new tradition for our little family of three. Big Sunday dinners. But not just any type of dinner, an Italian dinner. Full of pasta, bread, cheeses, you get the picture.

It works out because we usually eat a big breakfast, skip lunch & then have a large dinner. So then we have plenty of room for a feast!

We started it last Sunday, with the Rigatoni Pasta Pie.

This Sunday was another type of pasta- Crunchy Oven Fried Cheese Ravioli.

IMG_1716

I will not be surprised if I immediately get a phone call, email or comment on this post as to WHY on earth I have not made these for her yet. It is one of her FAVORITE foods to order out, and since she was just down her for a girls weekend with me & G, I know she is saying right now WHY didn’t Holly make these for me then?!! Well, Mom it’s because I just found the recipe & I do apologize, I promise to make these for you soon! 🙂

Now the best part of these is that they are NOT at all fried, as the recipe may imply. They are 100% baked! Gotta love a pasta recipe that is somewhat ‘healthified.’

IMG_1717

I followed Jessica’s recipe exactly- no changes were made. No need to mess with a good thing!

I served them, as suggested with a side of marinara for dipping.

IMG_1720

And because it’s necessary to get our greens with every meal, I made a side Caesar salad (with light dressing). Oh, and don’t laugh at my Valentine’s placemats, they are being replaced with St. Patrick’s Day ones tomorrow. 🙂

IMG_1724

Now onto dessert. I mean that’s the part you were really waiting for, right?! Isn’t that WHY we eat dinner, so that we can have dessert?! 😀 I know that’s what I did as a child, my parents said ‘Three more bits & then you can have dessert.’ Oh boy! It was like dangling a carrot in front of a horse. 🙂

This recipe was one that I just came up with on the fly. I saw a big container of Vanilla Chocolate Chunk Chobani in my fridge & decided to run with it.

IMG_1693

And then I got to thinking…which lead to pulling random ingredients out of the pantry and refrigerator. I swear I was just grabbing whatever sounded good.

IMG_1705

Favorite part about this pie? How EASY it is to make. It’s literally dump everything in, mix it up & freeze.

Whipped Chocolate Chunk Peanut Butter Pie

Ingredients:

For the crust:
-1 1/2 cups graham cracker crumbs
-2 tbsp. vanilla chocolate chunk Chobani (or just plain vanilla Chobani)
-2 tbsp. brown sugar
-1 tbsp. smooth peanut butter, melted
-1 tbsp. butter or margarine, melted

For the pie:
-16oz. (one large container) 2% Vanilla Chocolate Chunk Chobani
-8oz. Cool Whip
-3/4 cup chunky peanut butter (can also use smooth)
-1/4 cup light chocolate Silk Soymilk
-1/4 cup powdered sugar
-1/4 cup mini chocolate chips, optional
-Reese’s peanut butter cup, chopped (optional)

Directions:

1. Make the crust. Preheat oven to 350 degrees. Grease a 9” pie pan. Take all of the ingredients for the pie & mix together well. I used a potato masher to really mix it up well. It will NOT be smooth, be course, but that’s how it is supposed to be. Bake for 5 minutes.

IMG_1695

2. While the crust is baking, take all of the ingredients for the pie EXCEPT the Reese’s peanut butter cup & mini chocolate chips. mix well in a stand mixer. I mixed everything for about 3-4 minutes on medium low. It was a nice smooth texture. I then poured in the mini chocolate chips & mixed it by hand, until combined.

IMG_1703

3. Pour the pie mixture into the baked pie crust. Top with chopped Reese’s’ if desired. Freeze for at least 4 hours, or overnight.

IMG_1706

IMG_1712

IMG_1725

IMG_1726

I drizzled melted peanut butter & chocolate syrup over the top….makes for a prettier picture 🙂

**Notes about the pie: ”
-The is PLENTY of filling, it will almost look like too much, but it should JUST fit in the 9” pie pan. It may look like it is about to overflow, but it end up all fitting in the crust.
-I recommend that you like Greek yogurt if you decide to make this pie. Since it is a main ingredient, it definitely does taste like Greek yogurt. Just a heads up!

Now I do NOT normally make dessert for dinner when it is just Craig & I. But yesterday I just felt like baking, and I thought Craig deserved a treat. I mean he does have to live in a household with two crazy girls. 😉

Poor little Gabriella is teething & she has been pretty fussy for the past couple of days. She is too little to use Oragel, so we are just giving her lots of things to chew on. Her favorite is my finger though, and she LOVES when I rub her little gums. She just smiles at me. Craig has been awesome with her, and I really appreciate it. I had to run a few errands yesterday, and although I normally do them with her, it’s MUCH quicker if I can run them without her. Nothing like a little chocolate &peanut butter to show him my appreciation. …the way to a man’s heart…;)

I hope that you have a great Monday, if you are working! For those that have off for President’s Day, ENJOY every moment!!

Streusel Pear Coffee Cake

Good Morning!

It’s finally back to reality in these parts…well, kind of. I think we will be living on our Superbowl high for a while! 🙂

But it’s back to regular blogging, and as promised I have a DELICIOUS recipe to share with you today.

First I have to share with you the package that arrived at my doorstep Friday morning.

IMG_1323

Oh Chobani, you spoil me!

IMG_1324

I was SO EXCITED to tear into this package, but I never expected to see that cute spoon!

IMG_1325

Adorable, right?! You better believe that I ate my Chobani with my new spoon that very day!

& then I kept digging into the box for the GOOD STUFF….

IMG_1334

YUM!! The new flavors- Pear (0%) & Banana (2%)! You guys, I had been hunting HIGH & LOW for these flavors ever since I saw they were released. I found the pear about a week ago, but I had yet to find the banana.

The pear was love.at.first.bite! Pears are, by far, my favorite fruit. I typically eat at LEAST one a day. I cannot get enough of them. As for the banana, another HUGE HIT by Chobani. I don’t think they have made a flavor a don’t like! But these two flavors are topping the charts on my favorites. Pear has definitely taken over my #1 favorite spot, it was once dominated by black cherry. The 2% Strawberry banana & 2% Banana are TIED as my #2 favorites. Too hard to pick between the two. 🙂

With all of the greek yogurt that was in my fridge, I got a REALLY bad itch to bake. As you know I LOVE substituting not so healthy ingredients in recipes with greek yogurt and I was on a mission to come up with a recipe using Pear Chobani.

I had a few ideas go through my head, the first one being a pear breakfast bread, but I wanted something a little different than just bread. I mean, don’t get me wrong I LOVE all types of breakfast breads (especially banana bread), but I felt the need to branch out a bit.

Then this came to mind….

IMG_1396-1

Streusel Pear Coffee Cake

(recipe adapted from this recipe)

Ingredients

  • Cooking spray
  • 1 cup all-purpose flour
  • 1 cup whole-wheat pastry flour or regular whole-wheat flour
  • 1 teaspoon baking soda
  • 1/2 teaspoon salt
  • 4 tsp Truvia baking blend (or 3 tbsp sugar)
  • 1 teaspoon ground cinnamon
  • 1/4 cup chopped walnuts
  • 1/2 cup packed brown sugar
  • 2 tablespoons butter, at room temperature
  • 2- 6oz. containers Pear Chobani
  • 2 egg whites
  • 1 teaspoon vanilla extract
  • 1 cup fresh pears, seeded and finely chopped, & divided
  • A dash of cinnamon, for topping, if desired
  • Powdered sugar, optional

Directions

Preheat oven to 350 degrees F. Spray an 8-inch square cake pan with cooking spray.

Whisk together the all-purpose and whole-wheat flours, the baking soda and salt. In a small bowl, stir together the granulated sugar, cinnamon and walnuts. In a large bowl, beat the brown sugar, butter and 1 of the 6 oz. Pear Chobani containers. If necessary, use the back of a spoon to press out any lumps in the brown sugar. Beat in the egg whites, 1 at a time, beating until fully combined. Beat in the vanilla.

Add the flour mixture in 2 batches. Then add the other 6oz. container of Pear Chobani. Stir until just combined.

Spread half of the batter into the prepared pan. Sprinkle half of the nut mixture over the batter and top with half of the pears, gently pressing them into the batter.

IMG_1374

Spoon the rest of the batter into the pan, smoothing the top. Sprinkle the remaining nut mixture over the cake, and then finally the rest of the pears pressing them gently into the batter. Sprinkle with a dash of cinnamon, if desired.

IMG_1377

Bake until a wooden toothpick inserted in center comes out clean, about 35 to 45 minutes. Let cool slightly and then unmold and allow to cool completely on a cooling rack.

IMG_1378

IMG_1399

IMG_1402

Now I have some real feedback for you on the recipe! My Mom came down to stay with me & G Friday & Saturday night, because Craig was out of town, and we just had a girls’ weekend. 😀

While I was baking this, the whole house smelled of cinnamon & brown sugar. Drool. But once it came out of the oven, I was so happy to see how much it had risen- it was nice & fluffy.

I let it cool for a bit & then we dug in. The first thing both of us said was that it’s not OVER the top sweet. In our opinion, it was the perfect amount of sweetness. Sometimes coffee cake can be a bit too sweet, in my opinion, and you can only have a small piece without feeling like sugar overload. But not with this cake, it’s more of a subtle sweetness.

But my Mom had a good idea, if you wanted to sweeten it up a bit- either sprinkle it with a bit of powdered sugar OR make a simple glaze with powdered sugar & milk- which you can just drizzle over the top. The two of us enjoyed it as is and we both thoroughly enjoyed it.

IMG_1401

What I also love about the cake is that there is NO oil & minimal butter. It’s also full of protein from the greek yogurt and very low in fat. For one serving of the cake, which there are 9 servings in this recipe, the nutrition stats are AWESOME!

Calories: 225, Fat: 3 grams, Carbs: 44 grams, & Protein: 8 grams.

You cannot beat that! This is perfect for breakfast on the go- just make the coffee cake on the weekend & you have breakfast for the week! It’s also freezer friendly, so you could always make it & freeze half of it for later.

This has to be one of the best recipes that I have ever come up with. It might be because I’m a little partial to anything pear, but I also thought it was nice & fluffy, with the perfect balance of sweetness.

Please let me know if you try this recipe, I would love to hear what you think! 🙂

Thanks again to Chobani for helping supply my Greek yogurt addiction. 😉

Skinny Bowtie Cheesy Pasta with Chicken Sausage

Good Morning!

We’ve made it half way thru the week. That’s an accomplishment in itself this week! I don’t know why, but this week has been NON stop for me. I’m looking forward to the weekend, especially because of that little game known as the Super Bowl on Sunday 😉

I know I’ve talked about my Pinterest addiction before, don’t we all have it..at least a little bit?! 🙂 I love going on there for new ideas, particularly for new recipes. I found one for Spicy Romano Chicken with Artichoke Hearts & Sundried Tomatos and I knew I had to try it right away.

I actually tried it about a month ago, but added the two teaspoons of cayenne pepper as the directions indicated…even though the author warns about the extreme spiciness of the dish. I figured, eh, why not?! I can handle the heat. HA! Boy was I wrong. I thoroughly enjoyed the dish, but literally had to chug a glass of water between each bite.

I KNEW I wanted to make this meal again, but I just had to put my own little spin on it. I made it healthier by using Greek Yogurt instead of heavy cream, added some seasonings, left out the cayenne (replaced it with red pepper flakes), and changed the type of cheese used.

Skinny Bowtie Cheesy Pasta with Chicken Sausage

(Adapted from this recipe )

Ingredients:

The Sauce:

  • 2 cups plain Greek Yogurt (I used 0% Chobani)
  • 4 Tbsp butter (or margarine)
  • 2 tsp  salt
  • 1 – 2 tsp pepper
  • 1/4 cup mozzarella cheese
  • 1/4 cup parmesan cheese
  • 1/2 tsp red pepper flakes
  • 1 tsp Italian seasoning
  • 1/4 cup chicken broth (optional, but makes it a little more ‘saucy’)

The Rest:

  • 12 ounce package of bowtie pasta cooked and drained according to package directions – al dente.
  • 1  Tbsp melted butter (or margarine)
  • 1/2 cup sliced mushrooms (or small can sliced mushrooms, drained)
  • 1 small jar artichoke hearts, drained
  • 12 oz chicken sausage (can be more than 12oz if you wish- can also interchange different protein types)
  • 1/4 cup sundried tomatoes, chopped
  • 1 Tbsp Greek Yogurt (again, I used 0% Chobani)
  • 2 Tbsp parmesan cheese

How To Make It:

Sauce:

  • Melt butter in saute pan or skillet. Add greek yogurt, salt and pepper, heat to a boil. Remove from heat and fold in cheeses, cayenne pepper, Italian seasoning and chicken broth. Set aside.
    IMG_1240

(Yes, I know that looks kind of gross, but I promise it tastes good!)

The Rest:

  • In a large skillet over medium heat, melt butter, then add mushrooms, and sundried tomatoes. Stir for one minute.
  • Next add artichokes and chicken sausage. Stir.

IMG_1238

(that’s the sausage that I used- DELICIOUS- and from Target.)

  • Stir in 1 ounce heavy cream and 1/2 of the sauce. Add bowtie pasta followed by rest of the sauce. Stir gently. Serve. Top each portion with a bit of parmesan cheese.

IMG_1245

IMG_1249

IMG_1257

This dish is SO easy to make, and it comes to together pretty quicky. You can also MAKE IT AHEAD of time (which is what I did), just make the meal, cover & refrigerate it. Once you are ready to eat it, heat you oven to 300 degrees, and bake covered with foil for about 25 minutes, or until heated.

I love taking recipes & making them healthier. One of my favorite substitutions for butter, sour cream & heavy cream is Chobani 0% greek yogurt. Not only does it reduce the calories in the recipe, but it also adds protein!

We are VERY much a Chobani family! 🙂

IMG_1236

G is working on becoming the next spokeswoman for Chobani 😉

As always, I would love to know if you try the recipe, ALL feedback is welcome.