Cranberry-Apple Granola Muffins

A fall-inspired muffin that is sure to make even the chilliest (and earliest) mornings a little better.  These muffins are packed full of dried cranberries for tartness, granola for some crunch, applesauce to keep them tender and full of apple flavor and then topped with diced Honeycrisp apples for even more sweetness.

muffins

This muffin recipe truly took very little time to make and they’re rather fool-proof.  You simply mix the ingredients and then add the diced apples and a little more granola on top.  I did not use parchment paper to bake them – instead, I went the easy route with muffin/cupcake liners.  There is absolutely no reason to add stress to making muffins.  And I left off the sweet drizzle (though I’m sure it’s incredible) to make these a little more “figure friendly.”

The perfect little muffin to have on hand – whether your expecting guests or not.

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Apple Crisp Muffins

I didn’t mean to disappear on y’all but life sometimes happens.  For those who sent me “feel better vibes” – thank you!  My stomach/pregnancy issues have been tamed but now I’m stuck with a nasty cold.  Let’s hope that I lose the cough and runny nose ASAP.  Thankfully I didn’t let my ailments slow us down this past weekend as we headed to Ocean Isle Beach for the Oyster Festival.  Last year we kind of started a tradition with two couples and it’s a fun weekend getaway that we look forward to each fall.  We ate good food (the crab cake wrap at the festival is insane), laughed and laughed some more, enjoyed golf cart rides, listened to beach music and just enjoyed each other’s company at one of the most relaxing places on earth.  Last Thursday I made a batch of muffins to take with us to have around in case we needed a little snack.

And it turns out that these apple crisp muffins are amazing.  I’m not one to “toot my own horn” but all the guys couldn’t stop gushing about them.  And while the recipe isn’t necessarily “healthy” it sure beats store bought muffins.  These muffins are loaded with apple flavor thanks to applesauce and fresh diced apples.  The best part is the crumb topping – crumbly and buttery.  Instead of cinnamon, I used apple spice seasoning since I had some on hand which simply has a few more spices in addition to cinnamon but it’s totally not a necessary swap.

applemuff

I highly recommend you bake a batch so you can have a sweet treat (or breakfast!) right at your fingertips.  Bonus points if you’re able to pick your own apples! (p.s. that’s definitely on my bucket list for one fall in the near future.)

 

 

 

Almond Butter Banana Yogurt Muffins

This is what happens when you have super ripe bananas staring at you and your freezer is already full of frozen bananas.

ABbananamuffins

Almond Butter Banana Yogurt Muffins are the perfect breakfast or snack and I think Big Guy is going to be verrrrry happy to sample these.  The recipe is very similar to other banana muffin recipes except there is NO oil.  Super ripe bananas and Greek yogurt give these muffins extra moisture to keep them from drying out.  And instead of pieces of nuts, almond butter!  Peanut butter (what the recipe called for) would be equally delicious but I’m OUT.   (Don’t worry, I’m working on my Trader Joe’s shopping list as we speak.)  In addition to sweetness from the bananas, a little maple syrup (or honey) and brown sugar add just the right amount. Feel free to adjust the amounts if you’re watching your sugar intake.  The only other changes I made to the recipe were that I used 2% milk instead of the soy milk and I used all-purpose flour instead of whole wheat.

Since I wasn’t really in need of a lot of muffins, I allowed the muffins to cool before freezing half of them for later.  Also, I think this recipe would make more than 12 muffins – mine turned out HUGE.

Happy Snacking!

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Banana Bread Granola

Hi friends!  We had an awesome long weekend celebrating my youngest brother’s wedding this past weekend.  The Bell family just keeps growing! The wedding took place at Trump National on Lake Normal and the venue couldn’t have been more beautiful.  Welcome to the fam, Sara!

On Monday I had the urge to dirty up the kitchen a little bit and I am more than happy with the banana bread granola that I made.  The ingredient list is short and your kitchen will smell AMAZING as you bake the crunchy goodness.  The granola is perfect for snacking by the handful (yes, please), on top of yogurt, or with a little milk in a bowl.

The base of the granola is oats along with walnuts and pecans for the nuttiness that we all love in banana bread.  For sweetness, maple syrup and a little raw sugar.  I love coconut in banana bread and this recipe calls for coconut oil to help it “clump” and become granola. Everything is spiced with a little cinnamon and salt and a mashed banana lends it’s flavor to really give it that banana bread flavor.

bananabreadgranola

Addicting.

A little sweet.

Super crunchy.

Nutty.

And tastes just like Momma Bell’s banana bread.

Pear and Gruyère Strata

Visits with your grandparents should always end with a something sweet.  When we made plans with Mawmaw and Pawpaw a couple of months ago for them to visit, I immediately started planning our short but sweet visit.  I knew that I wanted to send them home with a full belly on Sunday morning so that they wouldn’t have to worry about stopping to grab lunch on the way (because, well, there’s nothing in between here and there worth stopping for until you get the Wilmington).  Also knowing that our Saturday was pretty full, I decided to pick a breakfast that could be prepped before they ever arrived.

The Pear and Gruyere Strata is incredibly easy to prep and involves no cooking before the strata actually cooks the morning you plan to eat.  Cinnamon bread (I used a gluten free cinnamon raisin bread) is layered on the bottom of a baking dish and then topped with a mixture of sliced pears (I left the skin on), butter and sugar.  On top of the pear mixture goes shredded gruyere and then a final layer of cinnamon bread.  In a bowl, combine milk (I used 2%), eggs (I used 1/2 cup eggs that were whisked instead of egg substitute), sugar and cinnamon.  This all mixture gets poured over everything.  Cover and place in the fridge for at least eight hours (mine sat in the fridge for almost 24 and it worked perfectly).

The next morning, simply uncover, sprinkle with sugar and bake for about 50 minutes.

Breakfast is ready!

strata

Serve with copious amounts of coffee!  And bacon if you really love your grandparents.

 

 

Flying Biscuit’s Creamy, Dreamy White Cheddar Grits

When we have overnight guests, I do my absolute best to plan menus that are made for the people that are visiting.  Like I mentioned yesterday, my parents still talk about the lamb chops that we had at one of our wedding parties years ago so I knew that lamb would be a winning dinner.  And a few weeks ago my dad commented on the homemade pasta we made that I featured on the blog so I really wanted to make homemade pasta while he was here.  My momma loves grits.  And crunchy bacon.  No matter where we go for breakfast or brunch, 99% of the time she orders grits, bacon and fruit.  So that’s just what we had on Sunday before they headed west.

grits

I decided to make some special grits and researched the recipe for the Flying Biscuit recipe.  It didn’t take my long to find a recipe that seemed legit.

Changes I made to the recipe:  I used whole milk instead of half and half and I used regular grits, not quick-cooking (only because those are items I had on hand).

The grits were amazing.  Super smooth, cheesy and perfect.  I really think using white pepper instead of black pepper makes a world of difference.

I served our grits with bacon (crunchy for Mom), sausage and some fruit.

Now my breakfast this morning seems really boring…

Fluffiest Multigrain Pancakes with Almond Butter Drizzle

Oh man!  I wish we were devouring this breakfast right this moment.

fluffypancakes

We enjoyed this plate of flapjacks and bacon on Sunday after a long, long walk.  And while the bacon isn’t the healthiest breakfast option, the pancakes are incredibly good for you.  The pancakes start with soaking rolled oats in buttermilk.  While the oats are soaking, mix together the remaining ingredients (the only change I made was using gluten-free flour instead of whole wheat) and making the drizzle.  I think the drizzle was my favorite part because well, I love nut butter.  The drizzle was made by thinning out the almond butter with some warm water and a little maple syrup for sweetness.

The pancakes were fluffy but didn’t make you feel stuffed.  I also loved the almond butter drizzle as I’m not really a “sweet” breakfast kind of gal.

Do you call them “pancakes” or “flapjacks”?

They’re definitely pancakes in my world.