Sunday, October 28, 2012

Check out the new site!

Food Ramblings has moved!  I have moved the blog from blogger to wordpress.  Come check out the new look at

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Wednesday, October 24, 2012

Peanut Butter Banana Muffins

Muffins are my new go-to breakfast.  Making a batch of muffins takes almost no time, but I like a home-baked muffin so much better than the same English muffin I've been eating for months.

Try out this great recipe from Chelsea Eats Treats.

Light Peanut Butter Banana Muffins

2 ripe bananas
1/3 cup honey
1/3 cup peanut butter (reduced fat)
2/3 cup fat-free plain yogurt (Greek)
1 tsp vanilla
1 tsp baking soda
1 tsp baking powder
1/4 tsp salt
1/2 tsp cinnamon
1/4 cup sugar
1 3/4 cup whole wheat flour

Preheat oven to 350 degrees. In mixer, mash bananas, and add in peanut butter, honey, yogurt, and vanilla. Then, slowly add flour, baking soda, baking powder, salt, cinnamon, and sugar.

Place liners in a muffin sheet and lightly spray with nonstick pray. Spoon muffin mixture into pan until 3/4 full.
Bake 20-25 minutes.

Monday, October 22, 2012

Apple-Pumpkin Pie

Can you tell I love the combination of pumpkin and apple?  This recipe is courtesy of Betty Crocker's cookbook, my lovely mom, and modifications I made with the pumpkin :)

This pie is so delicious!  I sometimes make my own crust, but when I want pie in a hurry, the Pillsbury pie crust is the ticket!

So here's the recipe for my fav pie filling!

Apple-Pumpkin Pie Filling


  • 3/4 cup sugar
  • 1/2 cup whole wheat flour
  • 1/2 tsp nutmeg
  • 1/2 tsp cinnamon
  • dash of salt
  • 5 cups, peeled, cored, and sliced apples
  • 1 cup pumpkin (not pumpkin pie filling)
  • 1 tbs butter, cut into small pieces.
Preheat oven to 425 degrees.  Use refrigerated Pillsbury pie crust.  In large bowl, mix sugar, flour, nutmeg, cinnamon, salt.  Stir in apples and pumpkin.

In 9 inch pie plate, place one piece of pie crust.  Put filling in pie plate.  Dot with butter.  

Cover with top pie crust, with slits added. 

Seal and crinkle edges.  

Put foil around edge.  Remove foil for last fifteen minutes of baking.  Bake until crust is brown and juice bubbles.

Saturday, October 20, 2012

Butternut Squash Macaroni and Cheese

I hate chopping butternut squash.  I chopped two of those suckers, and it took 20+ minutes, and my hand was killing me by the end.  Yuck.  Any recommendations on how to chop butternut squash better, besides for buying it pre-cut?

Anyways, after the chopping, the rest of the recipe was easy to make and pretty delicious.  This recipe is adapted from SheKnows.  I love the color that the squash and the cheese make this dish- it's wonderful!

Butternut Squash Macaroni and Cheese

2.5 cups diced butternut squash (about 2-3 squash)
1 tbs olive oil
10 ounces elbow noodles (whole wheat preferred)
2 tbs skim milk + 3/4 cup skim milk
2 tbs butter
2 tbs whole wheat flour
salt and pepper
1/2 tbs garlic powder
1 1/4 cup low-fat shredded cheddar cheese

Preheat oven to 400 degrees. Spray baking sheet with cooking spray. Place the butternut squash cubes on the baking sheet. Drizzle with olive oil.

Roast for 15 minutes. Flip squash cubes over and roast for another 10 minutes.

Place the squash and 2 tablespoons of milk into the body of a food processor. Pulse until the mixture is smooth. Sprinkle with salt and pepper.

Boil the pasta according to the package instructions, drain, and set aside.

In a large pan, heat the butter until melted over medium-high heat. Add the flour and whisk until the mixture is thick, about 2 minutes. Stir in the milk and butternut squash puree. Heat until the sauce is thick. Sprinkle again with salt and pepper and add garlic powder.

Remove from the heat, and stir in the cheese. Add pasta to the sauce and mix.

Thursday, October 18, 2012

Pumpkin Apple Muffins

I heart fall.  I love everything about it-- mostly, I like baking with apples and pumpkin!  This is one of my favorite dessert recipes of my mom's, and I'm so excited to share it (and also adapted to make it a little healthier).  I eat these muffins for breakfast, snacks, dessert, and everything in between.  I actually try to give them away, so I don't eat them all :)

Pumpkin Apple Muffins


  • 1.5 cups whole wheat flout
  • 1 cup flour
  • 1/2 cup brown sugar
  • 1/2 cup sugar
  • 1 tbs pumpkin pie spice
  • 1 tsp baking soda
  • 1/2 tsp salt
  • 2 tsp cinnamon
  • 1/2 tsp nutmeg
  • 2 eggs, lightly beaten
  • 1 cup pumpkin (not pumpkin pie filling)
  • 1/2 cup vegetable oil
  • 2 cups apple, peeled, cored, and sliced into small chunks
Preheat oven to 350 degrees.  Add muffin liners to muffin tins (about 18).

Combine dry ingredients.  Add eggs, pumpkin, and oil.  Stir until moist, and stir in apples. 

Spoon mixture into muffin tins.  Bake 35-40 minutes or until toothpick comes out clean.

3 weight watchers points per muffin.

Tuesday, October 16, 2012

Crock Pot Rotisserie Chicken

I am in Utah right now for work, but before I went to the airport back in Virginia, I left Austin a little present to come home to after work :)  Yes, I made him dinner!

We both love rotisserie chicken, and this recipe from laaloosh gave the great taste of a rotisserie oven but in a crock pot.  Genius.  Austin sent me the picture of his dinner-- only problem was that the chicken fell off the bone (only a problem for pictures!), so he tried to piece it back together :)

Crock Pot Rotisserie Chicken

1 whole chicken
1/2 cup fat free chicken broth
1 tbs paprika
1 tbs minced onion
1 tbs garlic powder
1 tbs cajun seasonings
2 bay leaves
salt & pepper to taste

Preheat broiler. In a small bowl, combine paprika, onion powder, garlic powder, cajun seasoning, and salt & pepper. Rub chicken all over with seasoning, and place in a shallow baking dish.

Place chicken under broiler for about 10 minutes or until skin begins to darken and crisp. Remove from oven and transfer to crock pot. Add broth and bay leaves, and cover. Cook on low 7-8 hours or high 4-5 hours.

Serves 8, 3 Weight Watchers points a serving.

Monday, October 15, 2012

Help Me Walk to End Alzheimer's!

I’m joining the fight against Alzheimer’s disease, the nation's sixth-leading cause of death, by participating in Walk to End Alzheimer’s in less than two weeks on October 27, and I need your support.

Help me reach my goal by making a donation to my fundraising page.  I'm participating along with other members of the Young Emerging Professionals of Williamsburg (YEP).

I hope to make a big contribution in the fight against Alzheimer’s by reaching my personal fundraising goal of $100.00, and I’d be so grateful if you could sponsor me.

Your support of Walk to End Alzheimer’s will help the Alzheimer’s Association to enhance Alzheimer’s care and support and advance critical research for all those affected by this devastating disease.

Thanks so much for your support of Food Ramblings and my effort to help the Alzheimer's Association.  Click here to sponsor my walk.



Sunday, October 14, 2012

Apple Cinnamon Pancakes

It's the weekend- yay!  Time to make a good family breakfast :)  This weekend I experimented with pancakes and apples since I have apples coming out of my ears.  The apples are from our CSA, and I have no idea what kind is which, but I know they're all delicious.

Anyone want to tell me know about apples and which kinds are best for making certain kinds of foods?  In the meantime, I'll use whatever apples I grab first out of the fridge :)

Oh, and now-- let's talk about my new, fabulous gadget!!!  It suction cups to your counter, so it doesn't move.  When you attached the apple, the gadget peels, slices, and cores your apple while you turn a crank.  It is the best thing ever!!!!

Now onto these delicious pancakes!!!

Apple Cinnamon Pancakes


  • 1 apple, peeled, cored, and sliced
  • 1/2 tsp nutmeg
  • 1 tsp cinnamon
  • 1 tsp vanilla
  • 1 egg
  • 1 cup milk
  • 2 tbs oil
  • 1/2 cup whole wheat flour
  • 3/4 cup flour
  • 1 tbs sugar
  • 2 tsp baking powder
  • 1/4 tsp salt
Combine all ingredients except apple.  Fold in apple pieces.

Heat griddle/frying pan, and spray heated pan with cooking spray.  Spoon 1/2 to 1 cup of pancake mix on pan and cook.  When done, top with your favorite pancake accessories.


Friday, October 12, 2012

Baked Zucchini and Tomato Casserole

Okay, I know zucchini season is almost over-- or it's done, but I had to share this recipe.  I found zucchinis in the bottom of my fridge and scrambled to make something to use them before they went bad!  I did a quick search, found this recipe from LaaLoosh, and adapted it slightly.

It was a wonderful meal.  It can be a main dish and filling or a side dish too.  Very versatile, simple, but oh so delicious!

Baked Zucchini and Tomato Casserole

2 medium zucchini, peeled and sliced lengthwise
2 medium summer squash, peeled and sliced lengthwise
4 large plum tomatoes, sliced thinly
1/2 cup Italiuan style breadcrumbs
1/4 to 1/2 cup grated parmesan cheese
1 tbsp dried basil
1 tbsp dried oregano
1 tsp garlic powder
1 tsp salt
1 tsp black pepper

Preheat oven to 375 degrees, and spray 13 x 11 cooking dish with cooking spray.  In a small bowl, combine basil, oregano, garlic powder, salt and pepper.

In the cooking dish, place a layer of zucchini/squash along the bottom of the pan.  Evenly sprinkle seasoning mix and then add a layer of tomatoes.  Repeat until there are no zucchini/squash and tomatoes left.

Cover and bake for 25 minutes.  Top casserole with cheese and breadcrumbs, and lightly spray top of casserole with cooking spray.  Bake uncovered for another 20 minutes.

Serves 6.

Wednesday, October 10, 2012

Applesauce Oatmeal Cookies with Maple Glaze

The maple syrup used in Monday's recipe got me excited to use it again (granted, I made both in one day-- so ingredients on hand were key!).  These cookies were so moist and tasty-  I could have eaten the whole batch.  Good thing I was sending most away!!

Applesauce Oatmeal Cookies with Maple Glaze
adapted from Baked by Rachel

4 tbsp butter, softened
1 cup brown sugar
1/2 cup sugar
1 egg
1/2 cup applesauce
1 1/2 cups old-fashioned oats
3/4 cup all purpose flour
1/2 cup whole wheat flour
1/2 tsp baking soda
1/4 tsp baking powder
1/4 tsp salt
1/2 tsp cinnamon
1/4 cup white chocolate chips
1/2 cup dried cranberries
3/4 cup powdered sugar
1 1/2 tbsp water
2 tbsp maple syrup

Preheat oven to 350 degrees. In a large bowl or stand mixer (I used my BRAND NEW Kitchen Aid mixer), cream butter and sugars.

Add egg and applesauce, mix until blended well. Add baking powder, baking soda, salt, flour and oats. Mix well. Stir in white chocolate chips and cranberries.

Prepare baking sheet (mine are air bake, so I didn't have to do anything to prep) Using a medium cookie scoop, scoop and space dough mounds a few inches apart.

Bake 14-15 minutes or until golden around the edge. Remove cookies to a wire rack to cool completely and put wax paper underneath wire cooling racks.

In a small bowl whisk powdered sugar, water and maple syrup together until smooth and creamy. Place a wire rack over parchment paper. With cookies on wire rack, drizzle glaze over cookies.

You can eat immediately, store for a few days, or freeze.

Monday, October 8, 2012

Chocolate, Peanut Butter, and Strawberry Baked Oatmeal Cups

When I told Austin I was making Chocolate, Peanut Butter, and Strawberry Baked Oatmeal Cups, he asked if I wanted to throw some more ingredients in the title.  Yeah, I guess the title is a mouthful, but what do you leave out?  Each piece is important to the recipe, and I think it all goes well together!!  I adapted the recipe from Happy Healthy Mama, and it's a great combination of breakfast and dessert!

Chocolate, Peanut Butter, and 
Strawberry Baked Oatmeal Cups

2 cups old fashioned oats
1/2 cup whole wheat flour
1 tsp baking powder
1/2 teaspoon salt
1/4 cup unsweetened cocoa powder
1 cup skim milk
1 egg
1/2 cup pure maple syrup
1 cup strawberries, cut into small pieces
1/4 cup peanut butter chips 

Preheat the oven to 375 degrees.  Grease muffin tin or use muffin liners.

In a large bowl, combine the oats, flour, baking powder, salt, and cocoa powder.  Add the milk, egg, and maple syrup.  Stir well.  Add in the strawberries and peanut butter chips.

Divide the mixture evenly among muffin cups.  Bake 20-25 minutes.  

Great to eat right away, or you can freeze and eat later!

Sunday, October 7, 2012

Care Packages

This week is devoted to baked goods and care packages!!  I participated in My Love for Cooking's online bakesale, and my sister-in-law (a freshman in college) indicated that she wanted me to send her some goodies after she saw the peanut butter nutella cookies.  So I had a lot of baking to do!!

Here's what I made:
-Strawberry shortcake cookies
-Strawberry banana muffins
I love this picture and my new, amazing camera :)
-Chocolate, peanut butter, and strawberry baked oatmeal cups (I know, crazy long name!)
-Applesauce oatmeal cookies with maple glaze

The last two recipes I haven't made before on the blog, so they will appear this week.

While I made packages for the bakesale and my sister-in-law, I also decided to send my sister a package in California (she is also a college freshman).  I, of course, waited to bake until mid afternoon, so I was waiting on cookies in the oven well into the evening.  But it was worth it, especially when I get I get tagged on facebook with this picture:

Here's a line-up of the pictures of my packing-- I loved sending out the care packages.  Only problem- I was left with way too many cookies and muffins that I had to eat :)

The boxes ready to get packed

My awesome cards for the sisters!

Package for one sister

Package for another :)

Friday, October 5, 2012

Apple BBQ Chicken

Crock pot season is here- hurray!  I printed out this recipe in July and have been holding onto it for the right moment.  Last weekend was that time-- nothing is better than smelling dinner cooking in the crockpot all day.  Don't you agree?

Apple BBQ chicken is a great combo between local fruits and your favorite BBQ sauce.  It can even be Weight Watcher's friendly, thank to Hungry Girl.

Apple BBQ Chicken

1 lb raw boneless skinless chicken breasts, cut into cubes
1 tsp salt
1/2 tsp black pepper
3 cups chopped apples, I did a variety of apples in my fridge, red and green alike
1 large onion, chopped
1/2 cup BBQ sauce (we used Sweet Baby Ray's)
2 cloves garlic, chopped
1 tbsp cornstarch

Season chicken with 1/4 tsp each salt and black pepper and place in a crock pot. Top with apples and onion.  Mix garlic and BBQ sauce in a bowl (I mixed it in my mini food processor).  Pour sauce mixture over contents of the crock pot, and lightly stir.

Cover and cook on high for 3 to 4 hours or on low for 7 to 8 hours.  Turn crock pot to low (if needed). In a small bowl, stir to dissolve cornstarch in 1 tbsp cold water. Stir mixture into the contents of the crock pot, along with remaining salt and pepper.  Let food sit until it's thickened-- about 10 minutes.

It makes great leftovers too!

Serves 6, 6 WW Points per serving

Wednesday, October 3, 2012

Zebra Bundt Cake

Happy Birthday to Me :)  For my birthday, I sent the hubby a list of cake and cupcake recipes that I wanted, and it was up to him to select the one he wanted to pick.  My birthday cake list included some easy and hard recipes, and, of course, Austin picked the hardest one.  The zebra bundt cake from Tales of an Overtime Cook.

Words don't do this recipe justice.  Let's just take a look at the pictures!
The final product!!

At the beginning- yes, three bowls are required.

Starting to swirl

Ready for the oven.

Just out of the oven :)

So, only half the cake came out.  Guess someone forgot to grease and flour the pan :)

The half that came out!

And it doesn't even look like we had to piece it together!

Look at that zebra swirl :)
Zebra Bundt Cake

2 1/2 cups plus 2 Tablespoons all purpose flour
2 tsp baking powder
1/2 tsp salt
2 1/2 cups sugar, divided
1/2 cup cocoa powder
6 Tbs water
1 1/2 cups (3 sticks) butter, melted and cooled
1 1/2 tsp vanilla extract
5 eggs
1/2 cup skim milk

Preheat the oven to 350 degrees. Grease AND flour a bundt pan well. Set aside.

In a small bowl, mix together the flour, baking powder and salt. Set aside.  In another bowl, mix together 1/2 cup sugar, the cocoa powder and the water. Stir until a smooth paste forms. Set aside.

In the bowl of your mixer, cream together the cooled melted butter and the remaining 2 cups sugar. Add vanilla and beat until combined.  Add the eggs, one at a time, beating well after each addition.

With the mixer on low, add 1/3 of the flour mixture, then half of the milk, then repeat until all the milk and flour have been incorporated.  Measure out two heaping cups of the mixture and mix into the bowl with the chocolate mixture. Stir to combine.

To make the zebra look- use two medium cookie scoops:

Spoon a heaping tablespoon of the white batter into the bundt pan. Spoon an equal amount of the chocolate mixture directly in the middle of the white. Next, spoon some white into the center of the chocolate. Repeat until all of the batter has been used.

Bake at 350 for 50-60 minutes, until a toothpick inserted in the center comes out clean.

Remove from oven and let cool.

Chocolate Glaze
1 1/2 cups confectioner’s sugar
1/2 cup cocoa
2 Tbs oil
1-3 Tbs water

Mix all ingredients for the glaze together to form a drizzling consistency. Drizzle glaze over cooled cake.

Monday, October 1, 2012

Foodie Penpal Reveal

The Lean Green Bean

It's reveal day-- yay!!  My package came from Marie, an avid food blog reader.  Her package arrived to me at the PERFECT time. I have been unbelievably stressed recently, and I haven't had time to really eat properly.  Her package came, I opened it, and I took out a couple things for dinner and lunch the next day almost immediately.  

I forgot to take a picture of the package when it first arrived, but here it everything except the already cooked quinoa (excellent lunch!).

Here's a picture of the other goodies that I already ate :)  Notice the half empty cookie bag and empty cracker box... (at least I remembered to keep the box to take a picture)

I have never tried wasabi puffs, but I'm really excited.

Thanks Marie for this AMAZING Foodie Penpal box!

Saturday, September 29, 2012

Meatloaf Parm Cups

One of my favorite fall foods is meatloaf.  It just screams back-to-school family dinner to me.  My biggest problem with meatloaf is that I have no portion control.  Enter:  the muffin tin.  It's a cute way to present your food but also really helps with portion control!

I adapted my recipe from Emily Bites-- her recipe was Chicken Parm Meatloaf, but I kept the flavor profile the same and used ground beef instead of chicken. Two meatloaf muffins was perfect for me; three for Austin.

Meatloaf Parmesan Cups

1 ½ lbs raw ground beef
2 large egg
6 Tbs dried breadcrumbs
1 tsp dried basil
¾ tsp dried thyme
¾ tsp oregano
3 garlic cloves, minced
1 red onion, chopped
¾ tsp salt
1 tsp black pepper
¾ cup Parmesan cheese
¾ cup pasta sauce
¾ cup reduced fat shredded Mozzarella cheese


Pre-heat the oven to 350.  Spray muffin tin with cooking spray.  In a bowl, combine ground beef, eggs, breadcrumbs, basil, thyme, oregano, garlic, onion, salt, pepper, and Parmesan cheese.  Mix together-- using your hands is the best way.
Form the meat mixture evenly into the 12 cups of your prepared muffin tin.  Use spoon to make little bowl in the meat mixture to cup the pasta sauce. Spread the pasta sauce evenly over the tops of each muffin. Bake for 20 minutes and remove from the oven. Top each muffin with about a Tbs of shredded cheese and return to the oven for 2-3 minutes until the cheese is melted.