Pinterest

Pinterest: Success or Fail?

I feel like it’s been too long since I’ve done one of these. So up for today is Apple-Oat Muffins. I wanted something apple, snackie, and easy to travel. Apple-Oat Muffins fit the bill.

This recipe comes from Good Housekeeping. It makes it a little different from my past Pinterest pieces because the recipe doesn’t come from a fellow blogger.

Recipe:
2c oats
1 1/4c flour
1/2c packed brown sugar
2t baking powder
3/4t baking soda
3/4t salt
1/2t ground cinnamon
1c buttermilk (I made my own. 1c milk with 1T vinegar. Let sit for 5 mins)
2T vegetable oil
1 large egg, lightly beaten
1c (1 to 2 medium) shredded, apples
1/2c walnuts, chopped

First off, we start with my changes. For the flour I did 1c white flour and 1/4c wheat flour. I like to throw wheat flour in with most recipes. If I use all wheat flour, it makes the food too dry. I mentioned above on making my own “buttermilk”. This saves me from buying a container of it that I won’t ever use the entire thing. Instead of vegetable oil I used applesauce. I do this with cake mixes too. Instead 1-2 apples I used 3 and I chopped them instead of shredding. My changes shaved off 5 calories a muffin. oooOOOooo lol

I know the recipes always say mix dry ingredients and wet ingredients separate then mix them together. I don’t. I do not understand why you should. I used to, then I realized it didn’t make a difference so screw it. Everything goes in the mixer!!!

Dry Mix

I put my walnuts and oats through my mini chopper to pulverize the chunks. The only chunky thing I want in these muffins is the apples. Of course, neither of them were supposed to be turned to dust but I do what I want.

Finished Mix

I was really concerned with how many dry ingredients were in this. I didn’t think the milk would make the consistency right. It did. It was the perfect sloppy muffin batter consistency.

Apple Peeler

I have to say, if you do any baking with apples you need to have one of these gadgets. It slices, cores, and peels in seconds. I’ve spent too long doing all three tasks by hand. I feel spoiled now. I bought mine from Amazon for less than $10. Love it! Anyways. Like I said before I chopped my apples because I wanted them chunky. I want to know they are there and not hidden with the oats and nuts.

Poured Mix

Here’s what the batter looks like in the muffin liners. They are heaping. Maybe that’s why they said shredded…or only 1-2 apples. Whatever. When I placed them in the oven to bake I made sure to put a large cookie sheet underneath in case of spillage. Surprisingly nothing spilled over.

Muffin Pan

They came out moist and fluffy. I’ve tried them warm, room temp and cold. Surprisingly they are best cold. Having said that, they really don’t have that great of a flavor. It’s really boring. It’s like cinnamon apples with squishy stuff in between. I swear there is no such thing as a yummy, healthy apple muffin. This one goes in the fail pile.

Finished Muffin

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Pinterest: Success or Fail?

It’s time again for another Pinterest creation. I’m someone who enjoys Halloween. For my work Halloween celebration, it was encouraged to bring food that embraced the holiday. Last year I stuck with something easy (witch’s hats created with Hershey kisses and fudge striped cookies) but this year I wanted something a little more difficult. I spied Reese’s Frankenstein Cupcakes created by Lizzy from Your Cup of Cake.

They are so adorable and they didn’t look too difficult. I don’t know if it was stupidity or ambition that got the best of me by picking this creation. Now don’t get me wrong, I can bake. Making food items cute and fancy on the other hand is not my forte.

So I didn’t follow the recipe. Really no surprise there… I didn’t make my own cake mix. Mine came from the grocery store. I didn’t use white chocolate or Reese’s pieces or whatever she suggested to use for the dark part of the eyes. Why? Two reasons: I can’t melt chocolate correctly for the life of me and secondly I’m cheap.

RECIPE:
I left out what I didn’t use. If you want the full list check out Lizzy’s page.
Chocolate Cake Mix
Icing:
1/2 C. butter, softened
8 oz. cream cheese
3-4 C. powdered sugar
2-3 Tbsp. milk
Green Food Coloring
Decorations:
Reese’s Cups
Chocolate Chips

I made the cupcakes the night before to save me some time before construction. I knew it was going to take me a while to do this. I was prepared to allow extra time for frustration ie. cussing and throwing.

Cupcake?w=620

Here’s some happy, naked cupcakes. All prepped and ready to become monsters. I started off making the icing. Nothing too special about it, it’s close to a typical cake icing but this one calls for cream cheese. I can’t complain about that addition.

White icing?w=620

First shot of my icing. I’m still feeling good about this. I followed the directions and I did end up using all 4 cups of powdered sugar.

Green icing?w=620

I made the icing green. Yet again, easy kid stuff. I loaded up “my” (my mom’s😉) cake decorator to pipe this stuff on the naked cupcakes. I’m still feeling confident at this point. I grab the first cupcake, shoot some icing on it. “Hmmm… That seems a little runny. Oh well.” I give 5 more cupcakes green tops. I whip out my knife and try to start smoothing the icing out and up. This is where that frustration I spoke of started to set in.

I scraped the icing off of the cupcakes who now looked sickly because of this green ooze sitting atop their fluffy heads. I stirred in more powdered sugar to thicken it up and tried again. Nope! That’s it. It goes back into the mixing bowl and I added at least 2 more cups of powdered sugar into the bowl. I’m now grumbling about why I felt the need for cute cupcakes and 4 cups of powdered sugar!?! REALLY!?!

The perfect thickness for this icing is: if you scrape it up in a spoon, turn it over and it doesn’t fall off, then you’ve got it! At this point, I’m starting to feel nauseous. I don’t know if it’s all the “frustration” or the thought of the amount of powdered sugar going into this icing.

Frankenstein?w=620

First, pathetic Frankenstein. I kept a little bit of icing out before coloring the rest green. I used that for the white part of the eyes. I also used chocolate chips pushed deep in his head for the dark part of his eyes.

Frankenstein Army?w=620

The army of pathetic. Poor little guys. Their creator had such high hopes for them. There was no loud cackling of celebration after making these guys. It was more of a quiet, hide them in the fridge kind of moment. I deem this a Fail. Not only on my part but on that icing recipe. I think I should stick with food that tastes good and stay away from cute.

Pinterest: Success or Fail?

It’s time again for me to tryout one of my bazillion pins on Pinterest. Again it’s food; Banana Oat Greek Yogurt Muffins! I’ve been eyeballing these little muffin guys for awhile. I’m not really one for banana and chocolate together but I thought I’d give it a go anyways. They are supposed to be healthy and I consider a muffin more of a treat so a healthy treat is all the better. The recipe comes from Running With Spoons. There’s really not much to the recipe. It’s rather super easy to get together.

RECIPE
1 cup plain Greek yogurt
2 ripe bananas
2 eggs
2 cups oats
1/4 cup brown sugar
1/2 teaspoon
1 1/2 teaspoon
1/2 cup chocolate morsels

Right off the bat I changed a few things. I didn’t use plain Greek yogurt. I had vanilla on hand. I used three bananas. I had three so I figured why not? I threw in some walnuts, just 1/4 cup. Banana and walnuts are a match made in heaven. Lastly, I used dark chocolate chips. No big game changers here.

When you’re mixing all this up it looks like vomit. No lie. Vomit. This is everything but the oats and chocolate chips.

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Speaking of the oats… I had a heck of a time getting the oats chopped up to a fine texture. I have one of those cheap-o mini choppers. I could only put 1 cup of oats in at a time and I shook the chopper as it ran to hopefully chop up every oat. This is as good as it got for me. I wanted it a bit finer but cheap-o wasn’t having it.

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Alright, here’s everything mixed together. It’s a bit lumpy but that’s the non-finely chopped oats and the walnuts. Still a little vomit like. Sort like you just had a meal and it’s starting to process.

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This recipe makes 12 muffins. You’re only supposed to fill the tins 3/4 full. Yeah, not happening. Each little guy was completely full. I did make sure to put a baking sheet under the muffin pan on the lower rack just in case there was spillage. 12 guys ready for the oven!

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I did not sprinkle the tops with extra morsels. I didn’t think it was necessary. They turned a nice golden brown in about 19 minutes. My muffin tops aren’t as smooth as the original but we all know who is to blame for that (cheap-o).

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This is what mine look like up close and personal.

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I have to say surprisingly, even after looking at the difference between mine and the original, it’s good. It’s actually really good. I think it could stand to even have more bananas in it. I like the little bit of chocolate. It’s a taste of it but not overwhelming. The walnut gave the muffin some nice texture. The oats that cheap-o didn’t chop into a fine texture weren’t even noticeable. This is a definite success and a good change up for regular banana bread.
Here’s the calorie count for 1 muffin 159 calories for Running with Spoons version. Mine was a bit higher at 181 calories. That would be the walnuts doing.

Theirs vs Mine

Pinterest: Success or Fail?

For the hubby’s b-day treat, I made a peach cobbler. Since it’s one of my fav treats I figured it would be best to make him a backup dessert just in case I devour his peach cobbler on my own. I found a recipe for a Reese’s Cup Cheesecake. The recipe comes from Taste and Tell blog. The cheesecake looks extremely rich and chock full of the hubby’s fav candy.

I have never made a proper cheesecake from scratch with the whole spring form pan and all. I didn’t feel deterred by this. I’m pretty stubborn and with the mindset “if I see it, I can do it”, I started off.

I’m going to say outright that making this cheesecake is expensive! Luckily I didn’t have to buy a spring form pan, I borrowed it from Mom. The recipe calls for a 9″ and she had a 10″. That’s pretty much the same thing.

RECIPE
Crust:
30 Oreos
6 tablespoons Butter Melted
Dash of Salt
Filling:
32oz Cream Cheese
5 Eggs
1/2 cup Whipping Cream
1 1/2 cups Brown Sugar
1 cup Creamy Peanut Butter
1 teaspoon Vanilla
12oz Reese’s Cup Miniatures
Ganache:
1/2 cup Whipping Cream
1 cup Semi-Sweet Chocolate Chips
8oz Reese’s Minis

I’m not going to go into complete detail on this because you can check out Taste and Tell’s blog for a complete break down. Start out by making the crust and squishing the mess into the spring form pan. It’s all nice and shiny from all that butter…makes me a little sick.

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So here it is after baking.

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See how the sides that I so carefully built fell down? Bunch of crap. Oh well, we trudge on! When making the filling I strayed from the recipe. I know, I know. Not smart for someone that has never made a cheesecake like this. I do not care! I have no fear! 🙂 Instead of using all the brown sugar I may have only used 1 1/4 cups. I was talking to Hubby at the time and not paying strict attention to what I was doing. I also didn’t use all the Reese’s miniatures. I used probably over half. I figure this is saving me a few hundred calories, not that this is in any means a low-cal treat. This is how many I used. I think it looks like a ton of little cups. You can see the on lookers in the back that will be eaten at a later time by Hubby.

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I baked the cheese cake for 1hr and 20min again straying from the recipe. I’m such a rebel. It has a slight brown color across the top. I don’t know if this is right because the original recipe doesn’t really tell you what it should look like. I was starting to think this recipe is for people that have made cheesecakes before. Not good for me.

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Here she is cooled and out of her spring form. I really wasn’t sure when was a good time to remove it. It didn’t say. I was terrified either it would stick to the sides and just tear into pieces or run everywhere like a gooey mess. Neither happened so I was already feeling triumphant. Now onto the ganache.

I’ve never been good at melting chocolate. It constantly seizes up. I’ve tried the microwave method and stove top. Neither are my friend. So creating a ganache had me quaking’ in my boots. Honestly it didn’t come out bad. It was smooth but seemed a little runny. I tried letting it cool off a bit but it still wouldn’t thicken. Again the recipe didn’t tell me what my consistency should be. Chocolate syrup? Hot fudge? Mine was leaning more towards the syrup. I poured it on very slowly afraid of creating a giant pool of chocolate on my counter. I sprinkled not even half the bag of minis on top and here’s what I ended up with.

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I’ll admit she turned out pretty. The amount of time it took to make her was ridiculous! People, it took all day! Needless to say, I don’t care how much Hubby loves it, it’s never being made again. The taste is okay. I don’t know if it’s because it’s my first cheesecake and I don’t know what I’m doing but I give it an “Eh”. Not “Best cheesecake ever!” and not “Eww that’s awful”. I’ll say it’s a Pinterest Success. It’s edible, Hubby likes it, and she’s easy on the eyes.

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