Happy Saturday morning! I am up really early today for no reason other than I just couldn’t stay asleep. I guess that’s what happens when you go to bed before 10 PM. Related: I get about the same amount of sleep during the work week so then WHY is getting up at 5:40 so difficult?! If you have any thoughts, let me know. Anyway, yes, I’m sitting here in the dark with my Pumpkin Spice candle lit because what else I would I be doing? I mean, it’s (almost) fall right? The other day I baked Pumpkin Spice Muffins and the candle smells just as good but lingers a lot longer 🙂
The thought of eating pumpkin anything used to really weird me out. I mean, don’t get me wrong, I loved carving jack-o-lanterns, scooping out the guts, and toasting pumpkin seeds for a salty snack. But the idea of… eating… a pumpkin? Just. Weird. I never ate any type of squash or gourd growing up, let alone pumpkin! So I just never really got the hype about pumpkin spice anything. Especially those disgusting lattes. Yes, I know. I just alienated like, 90% of my reader-base (American women). Don’t care. Pumpkin spice lattes are disgusting. I’ll stick to my iced (or hot!) coffee until peppermint mochas are acceptable.
Moving on… I first tried spaghetti squash back in college and then graduated (ha) on to acorn and butternut squash. And by golly, I love those! I decided to take a leap and see what this pumpkin craze was all about. And am I glad I did! If I hadn’t been ~adventurous (ha again), I would have never made these delicious Pumpkin Spice Muffins that I’m sharing with you all today. So, LUCKY YOU! You’re welcome.
I actually got the idea to make these when I was home a few weeks ago and saw Costco size pumpkin spice muffins on the counter. My dad can eat a whole one for breakfast nearly everyday but my stepmom, Lynn, was saying she can’t really eat too many treats like that because they’re so big! And calorie dense! And she is quite literally half the size of my dad so it only makes sense.
My Pumpkin Spice Muffins are by no means a healthy alternative to other snacks but they’re moist, fluffy, and I normal sized! But I’ll let you in on a little secret: you can use any size muffin tins (or even bread tins!) that you’d like. Crazy, right? Maybe Lynn will give these a shot. My favorite time to eat these muffins is anytime, but they’re especially good before a run because #carbs
I used skip milk in this recipe because it's what I have on hand Also, you made need to warm up your coconut oil if it is a solid Speaking of oil, I tried this with another mild-tasting oil and it worked well
Looking for more pumpkin flavor? Try these pumpkin spice bars! They go great with a cream cheese frosting (and who doesn’t love a cream cheese frosting?!)
Happy Friday, friends! It is a beautiful day in Chicago and it’s going to be an even better weekend! I finally have nothing going on. HURRAY! I am desperate for a few days to do absolutely nothing at all (besides running, blah) – or whatever I want. Like listen to the new Taylor Swift single on repeat (ahh!). Or, just as likely, make these Blueberry Crumble Bars over and over. And over.
I made these Blueberry Crumble Bars earlier in the week because I had a few spare minutes. Growing up, I absolutely hated blueberries. I didn’t like the texture and the taste which was always weird because I lived for blueberry muffins. Actually, I don’t think it’s all that weird. Who doesn’t like blueberry muffins? Weirdos, that’s who. And I am certainly not a weirdo (at least not when it comes to muffins).
As I started to learn more and more about food and healthy eating, I really wanted to like a wider variety of fruits and vegetables. So I did what anyone would do and forced myself to eat blueberries. I mean, they’re so healthy! And as it turns out, I learned that blueberries actually taste pretty alright when they aren’t stuffed inside a sugary muffin! Crazy.
Anyway. Now I’m officially a blueberry lover. I have them almost every day as a snack at work, along with some strawberries. YUM. What a tasty, healthy snack. Did you know? Blueberries are the only naturally occurring blue food in nature? Everything else: FAKE NEWS.
I just. I’m not even capable of describing how delicious these bars are. I tried one right out of the oven and it was melt-in-your-mouth delicious. These bars are just as good room-temperature or frozen! They’re the perfect fuel for after a long run/workout, a Labor Day picnic (hint-hint it’s next weekend!), or when you’re just jonesin’ for a sweet treat.
And if you don’t like blueberry pastries (you’re a weirdo, know that), you can substitute in strawberries, raspberries, blackberries, or even mixed berries! I know you’ll enjoy the Blueberry Crumble Bars just as much as I do – good luck not eating the whole pan in one day 😉 If you make these Blueberry Crumble Bars, be sure to share on social media and tag me @kilroys_kitchen or hashtag #kilroyskitchen. I’d love to see your creations!
Looking for more blueberry recipes? I’ve got Blueberry Lemon Muffins on deck, too!
What are your plans this weekend? Anything exciting? Let me know in the comments below!
Good morning & happy Friday, my friends! It has been quite a gloomy week here in Chicagoland and apparently now we’re in a State of Emergency because of all the flooding. Crazy, right? I have never seen so much water! Usually when we get heavy rainfall, only the east side of the town is impacted (close to the river) but the rain was non-stop early on in the week so now, even the west side is effected. Like, even Six Flags was closed due to the flooding and Six Flags NEVER closes. #youknowitsbadwhen… But to make this gloomy week a bit brighter, I’ve got some Blueberry Lemon Muffins to share with you today!
I have been wanting to make Blueberry Lemon Muffins for-freakin-ever and for one reason or another, I put it off. Until now.
Let’s back this up a little bit, okay? About a year and a half ago, I was at my local Jewel when I was roaming through the bakery section. The bakery section smells so good all the time so the smell + my hunger (runger? I stopped by after a workout) = I NEED FOOD. I decided to “be good” and I only bought 1 muffin (instead of a 4-pack) when they caught my eye: BLUEBERRY LEMON MUFFINS. What a delicious combination of flavors! I just had to have one. And I did!
And then I never saw that beautiful combination again. I’ve had my heart broken in the past but never like this. Shame on you, Jewel (I’m kidding, I love Jewel). Instead of creating my own version of a blueberry lemon muffin, I have spent the last year and a half wallowing in my self-pity.
That stops TODAY. These muffins are so gosh darn beautiful. And delicious. And so easy to make! You probably already have everything you need in your refrigerator or pantry. Lucky you! You can have these muffins done in less than 30 minutes if you’re speedy, but definitely less than 45 minutes. Amazing!
HEY everyone! Today we’re baking cookies! Well, not today. Because it’s 10PM here. I have a job. And other stuff to do. Get off my back.
Thank you to everyone who read my post from yesterday. Really, truly, THANK YOU! I’ve gotten a few messages from readers thanking me for being so open and honest and I REALLY appreciate that. It makes me feel all warm and fuzzy inside.
I’m sharing a cookie recipe below. Cookies that MATT AND I BAKED. And they are delicious, let me tell YOU! I’m not much of a baker; I like to do easy banana breads and basic chocolate chip cookies but otherwise, gimme a box of brownie batter. Clearly, I’m no Martha when it comes to baked goods. But Matt. Wow. He is so patient in the kitchen. Messy, but patient. And he loves to experiment, whereas I’m like “no, no, no, it has to be THIS WAY.” It has definitely been fun to see him play around and perfect these Salted Caramel Chocolate Chip & Pretzel cookies. We’ve baked together in the past but this was the first (THE FIRST!!) time we did so without a fight. PROGRESS.
I ran 8 miles yesterday. I drove over to Independence Grove so I could do a little running there and a little running on the Des Plaines River Trail without fearing for my life. I’m psycho, I know. Here are my thoughts for every dang mile:
8 shweaty and shlow miles but they were done and it’s only gonna get easier, right? FINGERS CROSSED. Can we move on to the cookies now? I think we should.
Matt and I combined our love for salty and sweet in an easy-to-eat and super delicious cookie form. These cookies are perfectly chewy and not too thick so be careful or you’ll be 4 cookies deep!
Preheat your oven to 350F and line your baking sheets with parchment paper or a baking mat
In a stand mixer: combine butter, eggs, brown sugar, white sugar, and vanilla extra in a bowl
In a mixing bowl: combine flour, baking soda, baking powder, and sea salt
With the mixer on low, slowly add in the dry ingredients until incorporated well
Stir in the chocolate chips & pretzels
Form a ball of dough and insert a piece of caramel candy into the middle. Place dough ball onto baking sheet
Bake cookies for approximately 3-4 minutes and remove from oven, place pretzel twist on top, and continue baking for another 4-5 minutes
Sprinkle cookies with a generous (or not!) helping of sea salt
Helloooo and happy December!
Today marks 4 days until I start my first full-time clinical job and I am… a little excited. Being underemployed definitely has its perks: nearly unlimited free time to do whatever I want! So I did a lot of cooking and baking and some running and binge-watching TV shows. But I got really bored really fast so I’m happy to start working!
So on to the food… I LOVE BANANAS. Like, in all forms: straight out of the peel, dipped in peanut butter or chocolate, pancakes, in my smoothies, and BREAD!
Banana tip: save your overripe bananas – don’t throw them away! If you don’t feel like using them right away, peel them, cut them into smaller pieces, and put in a freezer safe bag to use in smoothies or other banana recipes another day.
When I got out of bed the other morning and saw that I had 3 very ripe bananas, I knew I had to use them in some way and since my frozen smoothie fruit comes with bananas already, I decided on baking banana muffins. Why muffins instead of bread? Truth be told, it’s easier to limit consumption of the sweet treat when it’s in muffin form (no generous slices here!) and if there are excess muffins, you can pop them in the freezer for busy mornings.
These muffins are a perfect pre-workout snack as they’re filled with fast-digesting carbohydrates for quick energy. They’re also made with Greek yogurt (no butter!) to save on fat (if that’s what you’re into).
Time for the recipe…
Makes: 18 muffins (8 large muffins)
Prep Time: 15 minutes
Cook Time: 20-25 minutes
Total Time: 35-40 minutes
1 ½ cups whole wheat flour
1 tsp baking soda
¾ tsp salt
2-3 overripe bananas
¼ cup honey
1 TBSP vanilla
1 TBSP olive or coconut oil
½ cup nonfat vanilla Greek yogurt (or plain)
1 TBSP unsweetened almond milk
Optional: chocolate chips
Preheat over to 350F and spray your muffin tin with a nonstick cooking spray. In a medium-size bowl, mix together your flour, baking soda, and salt. In another bowl, mash up your bananas reeeeaal nice and mushy (I use a fork!). Add honey, vanilla, oil, egg, almond milk, and yogurt and mix until creamy. Add your wet ingredients to the dry ingredients until just mixed – you don’t want to overdo it. Optional: mix in your chocolate chips. Pour mixture into muffin tin and bake for 20-25 minutes, or until toothpick comes out nearly clean. Cool for a few minutes and eat! Or freeze and pop into the microwave for 15 seconds for grab-and-go breakfasts.
I don’t wanna come off as super basic but… I’m pretty basic. I love all things fall: pumpkin bars, apples, baking, my flannel shirts, LL Bean boots, bonfires, football, and seasonal beers. Notice how pumpkin spice is not on that list? BUT GREEK YOGURT PUMPKIN BARS ARE.
Growing up, I never had pumpkin anything in my house, aside from the Jack-o-Lanterns we carved every year. It was never apart of our meals so I was never exposed to the (wonderful) gourd. My first taste of pumpkin and pumpkin spice was a pumpkin spice latte and I gotta say… not a fan. Gimme a skinny peppermint mocha and I’ll be a happy chick but if you order me a PSL – prepare to die.
So I avoided pumpkin for years after that. That is, until today. Today I bring you my first attempt at Pumpkin Bars with a cream cheese frosting. Everybody and their mother goes crazy for pumpkin come October 1 so I figured I’d try baking with it. I must say, I really outdid myself.
I used my banana bread recipe and just replaced the mushed bananas with a can of pumpkin puree and what followed was Heaven in my mouth. The bars are spongy and flavorful, but not overpowering. And the addition of the cream cheese frosting is a bonus (though, not a must!).
I ended up with 24 bars and if left unfrosted, they’re only 75 calories each! Perfect for dessert and way better for you than those sweet “coffee” drinks that are so popular right now.
You can completely omit the frosting for a lighter treat and the bars are still really moist and delicious