Blueberry Muffins

Advent is coming up soon and I absolutely love this season. The new liturgical year always gets me excited, and my kids are getting old enough to participate in some of the studies I like to do. I have a great calendar from Kendra Tierney that starts us off on Dec 1st. I will also be doing the new Blessed is She advent study, and my oldest girls are looking forward to tea time and journaling.  Plus, we can share some muffins while we talk about our loving God and what this season is all about! I hope you love this recipe.

Blueberry Muffins

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You will need:

  • 1 3/4 c whole wheat flour (+ 1 tbsp to toss the blueberries in)
  • 1 c blueberries
  • 1 tsp cinnamon
  • 1 tsp baking powder
  • 1/2 tsp baking soda
  • 1/2 tsp sea salt
  • 1 c plain Greek yogurt
  • 1/2 c maple syrup
  • 1/3 c light tasting olive oil
  • 2 eggs
  • 2 tsp vanilla
  • *optional* 2 tbsp raw or white sugar

Preheat your oven to 350*F and line a muffin tin with cups, or use a silicone muffin pan that is lightly coated with nonstick spray. This recipe makes exactly 1 dozen muffins.

In a large bowl, combine the 1 3/4 c whole wheat flour, cinnamon, baking powder, baking soda, and salt. In a separate bowl, combine the Greek yogurt, maple syrup, olive oil, eggs, and vanilla. Whisk around until completely smooth. In another small bowl, toss the blueberries with the 1 tbsp of flour. This will prevent them from sinking to the bottom of the muffin cups.

Add the wet ingredients to the dry ingredients and gently fold until it is *mostly* combined. Add in the blueberries and carefully fold until they are mixed in. Do not over mix your batter. It will become dense and your muffins will not rise or be as fluffy on the inside.

Spoon the batter into the muffin cups until each cup is equally filled.  If you want, go ahead and sprinkle some raw or white sugar on the top of each muffin. This will give them a little crispy sweet topping. If you want to skip this step, it won’t make the muffins any less delicious.

Bake for 22-25 minutes or until a toothpick comes out clean when inserted. I bake mine for exactly 23 minutes and they come out perfect. DSC_0138-2

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Let them sit for 10 minutes before serving. The blueberries get super hot on the inside and will burn your mouth like crazy (speaking from experience here).

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These muffins are delightfully fluffy and full of great flavor. They are perfectly sweet from the maple syrup, and the cinnamon and vanilla will fill your kitchen with a pleasant aroma. Enjoy them with some tea, coffee, or a cold glass of milk.

As always, thank you for your support.

Lots of love and many blessings,

Chelsea

Shine like lights in the world,
as you hold on to the word of life.

Philippians 2:15

 

 

 

 

 

All Saints Day Dark Chocolate Stout Cake

All Saint’s Day is approaching, and if you are planning on having a special dinner or lunch after Mass, I have the perfect dessert for you. After all, our wonderful saints come from every corner of the world, and this cake contains ingredients that are not only rich in flavor, but also in history.

Chocolate originated in mesoamerica and made its way to Belgium, France, Spain, and the Netherlands. Stout beer has roots in Sweden, Ireland, England, and the Baltic states. Coffee’s historical beginnings are found in Ethiopia, where its eventual road trip began and resulted in its implementation in cuisine all over the world. Each ingredient has a history, and so do our saints from all over the world.

This cake is delicious, and my favorite thing about this recipe is that it is not overly sweet, and it won’t hurt your teeth with each bite. I much prefer a bold flavored cake that will satisfy my dessert needs. The dark chocolate and stout make this cake, so if there is any advice I can give you it is please don’t substitute those ingredients.

I hope you love this cake as much as I do! Enjoy.

Dark Chocolate Stout Cake

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You will need:

  • For the cake:
    • 1 cup of AP flour
    • 3/4 cup Dutch processed cocoa powder (if you cannot find it, regular cocoa is fine, but the color will not be as dark)
    • 1 tsp salt
    • 1 tsp baking soda
    • 1/4 tsp baking powder
    • 1/2 cup stout (Guinness works great here, and you can find it just about anywhere)
    • 1/2 cup strong coffee
    • 1 Tbsp vanilla extract
    • 1 1/2 sticks of butter, softened (12 Tbsp or 3/4 cup)
    • 1 cup sugar
    • 3 eggs
    • 1/4 cup sour cream
    • 4 oz dark chocolate chips
  • For the dark chocolate ganache frosting:
    • 8oz dark chocolate chips
    • 1 cup heavy cream
    • 1 tsp vanilla
    • 2 Tbsp butter

Preheat your oven to 325*F (160*C). Prep two 9 inch round cake pans by smearing butter along the bottom and sides, and putting a piece of parchment paper on the bottom as well. Go ahead and smear butter on top of the parchment paper too. I use silicone pans, so I just butter the bottom and sides and skip the parchment step.

We’ll begin with the dark chocolate ganache frosting. This seems backwards, but it requires some refrigeration, so it has to go first.

Dark Chocolate Ganache Frosting:

  1. Add the dark chocolate chips and butter into a bowl. Pour the heavy cream into a coffee cup or microwaveable bowl. Microwave for 1-2 minutes until it is steaming hot. Pour over the chocolate chips and butter and let it sit for 30 seconds or so.
  2. With a whisk, stir the mixture until all of the chocolate is melted. It might seem stiff at first, but this is normal. Keep stirring until it is smooth and shiny.
  3. Once that is done, pop the bowl into the fridge and move onto the cake.

Dark Chocolate Stout Cake:

  1. In a large bowl, sift the flour, cocoa powder, salt, baking soda, and baking powder together. Add in the chocolate chips. Give it a quick mix. In a separate bowl or glass measuring cup, add in the stout, coffee, vanilla, and sour cream. Give that a good stir.
  2. In a bowl attached to a stand mixer, or with a hand mixer and a separate bowl, cream together the butter and sugar. You want to cream this for about 5 minutes total. Mix it for 1-2 minutes, scrape down the sides, and continue to mix. You want it to be super light and fluffy. Once is it creamed together, add in the eggs one at a time until they are all mixed together.
  3. Next, alternate adding the dry and wet ingredients to the butter/sugar/egg mixture until they are all combined together. Stop every couple of minutes to scrape down the sides of the bowl to ensure everything is getting mixed together as thoroughly as possible.
  4. Split the batter evenly between both cake pans. Get them into the oven and bake for 30 minutes, or until a toothpick comes out clean when inserted.
  5. When the cakes are done, let them cool in the pans for 10-15 minutes until you can touch the pans comfortably. Flip them onto a cooling rack, or a clean towel/surface to cool COMPLETELY. Emphasis on the completely. If you put frosting on a cake that is still warm- it will become a melted mess.
  6. Once the cakes are cooled, assemble your frosting station. I use an offset spatula and a cake turntable (or just a butter knife/back of a spoon and a plate you can move around easily). Whatever you use, make sure it is where you cake is going to stay once it is done.

Cake Assembly:

  1. Remove the chocolate ganache from the fridge. It should be firm and kind of shiny. Whip it on high for 1-2 minutes until it is fluffy with either a hand mixer or a stand mixer with the whisk attachment. Add the vanilla and whip for another 10-20 seconds.
  2. Using your frosting tools, frost the cake however you see fit. I like to put a little frosting down in the center of my cake plate and put the first layer down (like cake glue). I put about 1/3 of the frosting on the middle of the cake and spread it towards the sides. You want to put more on this layer than you think. The frosting will move to the sides of the cake as you push the top layer down.
  3. Once that is done, put the top layer on and frost the top and sides with the remaining frosting. Add fresh strawberries, shaved chocolate, or a combination of the two on top for decor. Slice and serve with a good cup of coffee and great company.

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As always, thank you for your support!

Lots of love and many blessings,

Chelsea

Brothers and sisters:
Grace was given to each of us
according to the measure of Christ’s gift.

Ephesians 4:7

 

 

 

Roasted Garlic Compound Butter

I have a confession to make. When I was little (we’re talking two years old) I used to eat butter like it was candy. I would eat it by the stick dipped in sugar, or with a spoon out of the container. It is pretty gross to think about that as an adult. Anyway…I still love butter, but not as much as I did when I was a two year old. I know that eating it in moderation is just fine, and it also adds great flavor and texture to foods.

I like to make compound butter (softened butter+herbs/spices/flavorings) to use for steaks, sauteing vegetables, or melting over baked breads. I also like to put them into different shaped molds to take to holiday gatherings to accompany some fresh baked bread or delicious crackers. Amazon and Michael’s sells all kinds of different silicone sheet molds, so the ideas are really endless when it comes to shapes.

Below you will find a great recipe for compound butter that can be used in many different settings. Enjoy!

Roasted Garlic Compound Butter

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You will need:

  • 2 sticks of softened butter (salted or unsalted is fine)
  • 2 whole heads of garlic
  • 1 Tbsp olive oil
  • Silicone mold (I just used a cupcake mold for this one and put 2 Tbsp in each spot, but feel free to use parchment paper, plastic wrap, or a mold size of your choice)

Preheat your oven to 350*F. With a sharp knife, carefully slice the entire garlic heads in half cross-ways down the widest point (the ends should face left to right). Some cloves might fall off, and that is okay. Lay the heads open side up in a loaf pan or small baking dish and brush with olive oil. Top the pan with foil and roast for 1 hour until the garlic is golden brown.

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Once the time is up, remove the pan from the oven and let the garlic cool down a bit before handling. Go ahead and put your softened butter into a bowl. Add in the cooled garlic by either squeezing the cloves out, or using a spoon to dig them out. With either a mixer or a spoon, give the butter and garlic a thorough stir making sure to press the garlic cloves into the butter as much as possible. Once you feel like it is mixed enough, go ahead and scoop it into your molds (or parchment/plastic wrap) and pop into the freezer. And that’s it! They should be solid in about an hour or two. To spread on bread, pop them out of the molds and let them hang out at room temp for an hour on whatever platter you plan on using.

The holidays are right around the corner. This is a great way to prepare for all of those family gatherings. You can make plenty of these ahead of time and volunteer for a butter/bread platter. Some other combinations I like are:

2 sticks of butter +1/4c chopped jalapeno + 1 head of roasted garlic

2 sticks of butter + 1/4c chopped fresh parsley + 2 Tbsp lemon zest

2 sticks of butter + 1/4c chopped fresh chives + 1 head of roasted garlic

2 sticks of butter + 2 Tbsp honey + 1 Tbsp red pepper flakes

2 sticks of butter + 1/2c Parmesan cheese + 1 head of roasted garlic

2 sticks of butter + 1/4 c sugar + 2 Tbsp honey + 1 Tbsp cinnamon

I hope you love this recipe idea. As always, thanks for your support!

Lots of love and many blessings,

Chelsea

Stay awake!
For you do not know when the Son of Man will come.

Matthew 24:42

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Slow Cooker Sundays: Week 5

We had a busy weekend, but it was a good kind of busy. Our son, Will, was baptized on Saturday and it was absolutely beautiful. It was such a surprise to see how many people showed up to celebrate his special day. Thanks be to God!

I’m sure you noticed that today is definitely not Sunday. I fell asleep last night and completely forgot to post the slow cooker week 5 recipe. Technically this is week 6, but last week’s recipe bit the dust pretty hard. I will explain that one later. This dish is also named after my sister’s boyfriend, Scott, who we hope goes from Mr. Scott to Uncle Scott very soon. No pressure there Scott. None at all.

Mr. Scott’s Honey Garlic Chicken

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You will need:

  • 6-8 boneless skinless chicken thighs
  • 3/4 cup soy sauce
  • 1/4 c honey
  • 2 Tbsp white vinegar
  • 2 Tbsp brown sugar
  • 1 Tbsp minced garlic
  • 1 Tbsp butter
  • 2 Tsp minced ginger
  • 2-3 Tbsp chopped scallions (green onions) for toppings

Put the chicken thighs in the bottom of the slow cooker. In a separate bowl, combine the soy sauce, honey, vinegar, brown sugar, garlic, and ginger. Pour half over the chicken, and reserve the rest in the refrigerator. Cook the chicken on low for 6 hours.

When the chicken is done, go ahead and shred it using a pair of tongs or a couple of forks. Once that is done, heat a skillet over med-high heat and add the butter and remaining 1/2 of the mixture from earlier. Let it bubble until it starts to thicken into a sauce. Add the shredded chicken to the skillet and toss around in the sauce until it is lightly coated.

Serve the chicken alongside steamed vegetables and top with chopped scallions. This makes for great leftovers, and it is also very kid friendly.

I hope you enjoy this dish. If you make it, please give me some feedback!

Lots of love and many blessings,

Chelsea

Blessed are the poor in spirit;
for theirs is the Kingdom of heaven.

Matthew 5:3

Cheddar Cornbread Waffles

Yep. You read that right…. cheddar cornbread waffles. I just earned some serious cool points with my kids. We usually have grilled cheese sandwiches with our tomato soup, but I did not feel like eating bread at dinner tonight. The look on their faces when I put the waffles in front of them was priceless.

I have made cornbread waffles before, but I did not put cheddar cheese in them. Let me tell you… the cheddar is where its at.  It is storming here from Hurricane Michael ( we are fine… just lots of rain) so it was definitely appropriate to have soup. Serve these with chili, soup, gumbo, beans, etc. There are plenty of possibilities! Let’s get to it.

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You will need:

  • 2 boxes of Jiffy cornbread mix prepared as it is on the box (if you don’t like Jiffy, feel free to use your preferred brand)
  • 1 cup of cheddar cheese
  • non-stick spray

Set your waffle iron to a med-high setting. If your waffle iron doesn’t have changeable temperature settings, it’s not that big of a deal. I advise you not to stray too far from it while the waffles are cooking.

Spray the waffle iron with non-stick spray. Ladle on a generous scoop of the cornbread mix (about 1/2 cup). Don’t fill the waffle iron to the border or the mix will spill out of the sides once it starts to cook. Close the waffle iron and let it cook for 5 minutes. The waffle will be golden brown (slightly darker in the middle). Gently lift it off of the waffle iron and set it to the side. Repeat until all of the waffle mix is gone.

These are awesome. They are also freezer friendly and can be reheated in the toaster.

I hope you love this recipe! My kids enjoyed it and now think I am extra cool…. something us parents can appreciate at the end of the day.

Lots of love and many blessings,

Chelsea

Hail Mary, full of grace, the Lord is with thee.

Blessed art thou among women, and blessed is the fruit of thy womb, Jesus.

Holy Mary, mother of God, pray for us sinners, now and at the hour of our death.

Amen

 

 

 

Crispy Roasted Chickpeas

I have decided to start a new category under my recipe index titled “Snacks and Small Bites.” I have too many of these recipes floating around in my head, so I will be whipping them up here and there to add under that category. These are great ideas to keep in the house for a go-to snack or something you can prepare to take to a holiday gathering (plenty of those ahead in the coming months).

I don’t really discriminate when it comes to snacks. I like sweet, salty, spicy, crunchy, etc. This recipe is easy and always turns out delicious. I hope you love it!

Crispy Roasted Chickpeas

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You will need:

  • 2 15oz cans of chickpeas (aka garbanzo beans), drained and rinsed
  • 1 tbsp olive oil
  • 1 tsp sea salt
  • 1 tsp chili powder
  • 1/2 tsp garlic powder

Preheat your oven to 375*F. Spread the chickpeas out onto a sheet pan lined with a silicone baking mat or parchment paper. Dry roast them for 30 minutes. It’s okay if they have some moisture on them when they go into the oven. The dry roasting will get rid of it. Half way through, give the pan a shake.

Once the time is up, transfer the hot chickpeas into a bowl and add in the olive oil, chili powder, sea salt, and garlic powder. Give it all a good stir, and move the chickpeas back to the sheet pan. Roast for another 15 minutes, or until golden brown. Let them cool for about 10 minutes before diving in. Be warned…. they are delicious.

I hope you love this recipe. If you try it out, give me some feedback! You can also make these with curry powder, cayenne, lime zest, etc. The seasoning combinations are endless.

Lots of love and many blessings,

Chelsea

Blessed are those who hear the word of God
and observe it.

Luke 11:28

 

Slow Cooker Sundays: Week 4

My husband has tomorrow off of work, and my kids are out of school for the day. I am pretty excited to get all of this extra time together. Family time is valuable to me… it is something I never tire of, and even when my kids are having “a day” (you know what I mean) I still try to soak it up. They won’t be little forever!

This week’s meal is a crowd pleaser. Everyone in my family enjoyed it and asked for seconds and thirds. I hope you love it!

Green Chile Pulled Pork

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You will need:

  • ~4-5lb pork shoulder
  • 8oz mild green chiles
  • 2 packages of low sodium taco seasoning
  • 1 yellow onion, thinly sliced
  • 4 cloves of garlic

Add the onion slices and garlic to the bottom of the slow cooker. Lay the pork on top of the onions and garlic. Cover the pork with the taco seasoning and green chiles. Cook on low for eight hours. Once it is finished cooking, shred it up and serve it inside some tacos, burritos, or by itself alongside some yummy side dishes.

As always, thank you for your support! I appreciate your feedback. If you make this dish, please comment and let me know what you think.

Lots of love and many blessings,

Chelsea

If we love one another, God remains in us
and his love is brought to perfection in us.

1 John 4:12