Homemade Apple Muffins

Another day means another apple recipe. I had a few that I baked that I didn’t get a chance to take pictures of to post along with a recipe because they went too quick! But since it’s a Wednesday afternoon and I’m the only one home, I was able to bake up a batch of these delicious apple muffins and snap a few photos. Hopefully they are devoured by someone(s) other than me. Diets can be hard, especially around the fall time when everything is baked.

 

Homemade Apple Muffins
Yields 18
A simple recipe using fresh apples to bake a delicious, flavor-packed muffin.
Write a review
Print
Prep Time
15 min
Cook Time
24 min
Prep Time
15 min
Cook Time
24 min
Ingredients
  1. 2 cups granulated sugar
  2. 2 large eggs
  3. 1 cup canola oil
  4. 1 tablespoon vanilla extract
  5. 3 cups all-purpose flour
  6. 1 teaspoon baking soda
  7. 1 teaspoon cinnamon
  8. 1 teaspoon salt
  9. 3 apples, peeled, cored and diced
  10. ½ cup brown sugar
Instructions
  1. Preheat oven to 350 degrees. Line a cupcake pan with paper liners or well-grease pan. Set aside.
  2. Using a large bowl add granulated sugar, eggs, oil and vanilla extract. Use a large wooden spoon to combine ingredients until well mixed.
  3. In a medium size bowl shift together flour, soda, cinnamon and salt. Slowly add dry ingredients to wet ingredients (sugar, etc) in the large bowl; mixing well. Batter will be thick! Add diced apples, stirring well. At this point your batter will become a little easier to work with.
  4. Split into 12 paper liners carefully, filling about ¾ of each. You’ll have leftover batter to make an additional 4-6 more muffins after baking the first dozen. Sprinkle a pinch of brown sugar onto the top of each muffin.
  5. Bake for 20-24 minutes. Allow to cool about 5-10 minutes before handling.
fitgirlnic http://fitgirlnic.com/

Homemade Apple Pie

It’s Day 2 of my Apple Recipe Week and today I’ve baked an Apple Pie for the very first time. As expected, I’ve already got my cheat-meal pants on because this pie recipe is pretty darn delicious; I knew so when I read one of the ingredients were 8 peeled apples! Plus it’s nothing too complex. I didn’t want to dive into the deep end of pie baking for my first round. Maybe I can do the fancy crust toppings my second time around. 

Homemade Apple Pie
Write a review
Print
Prep Time
35 min
Cook Time
1 hr
Prep Time
35 min
Cook Time
1 hr
Ingredients
  1. 9-inch double crust pastry pie
  2. ½ cup unsalted butter
  3. 3 tablespoons all-purpose flour
  4. ½ cup brown sugar
  5. ½ cup granulated sugar
  6. ¼ cup water
  7. 8 apples, peeled and cored
Instructions
  1. Cut apples into thin slices. Set aside.
  2. If you’re using a store-bought pie crust (and that’s perfectly OK to do), bake accordingly prior so that the pie is prepared and ready.
  3. Preheat oven to 425 degrees.
  4. Using a medium size saucepan, melt butter. Next add flour and stir until you’ve created a thick paste. Slowly add brown sugar, granulated sugar and water, mixing well and allowing to come to a boil. Once boiling, reduce the heat to simmer and allow to cook for an additional 5 minutes.
  5. Fill your crust pan with apple slices. Cover with lattice crust pattern, following by gently pouring the buttery sugar mix overtop crust. Try not to let it drip off crust too much.
  6. Bake pie for 15 minutes. After, reduce heat to 350 degrees and cook an additional 35-45 minutes.
  7. Serve with a scoop of vanilla ice cream or by itself.
fitgirlnic http://fitgirlnic.com/

Apple Cinnamon Bread

Happy Fall! Yesterday we spent the later of the day apple picking at a fruit farm just a little outside of the city. Fall is especially my favorite time of the year because of events like this. I love baking, especially when the weather has just begun to cool down and you can leave the windows open while spending an afternoon in the kitchen. I am sure we will either run out of apples or my family will grow tired of eating all-things-apples before I can try all the recipes I want to, but I sure am going to try and cram as many in as I can!

So I deem this and possibly next week as “Apple Recipe Week(s).” This first recipe is Apple Cinnamon Bread, something that didn’t take very many apples (just 1 large to be precise) but smells and tastes like you baked a dozen. You don’t need to visit a fruit farm to make these recipes, unless you really want to. Most only ask for a handful of apples or less.

Apple Cinnamon Bread
Yields 8
A delicious addition to your collection of bread recipes.
Write a review
Print
Prep Time
15 min
Cook Time
55 min
Prep Time
15 min
Cook Time
55 min
Ingredients
  1. ½ cup light brown sugar, packed
  2. 1 ½ teaspoon ground cinnamon
  3. 2/3 cup granulated sugar
  4. ½ cup butter, softened
  5. 2 large eggs
  6. 2 teaspoons vanilla extract
  7. 1 ½ cups all-purpose flour
  8. 1 ½ teaspoons baking powder
  9. ½ cup whole milk
  10. 1 apple, cored and peeled
Instructions
  1. Start by preheating your oven to 350 degrees and greasing a 9x5 loaf pan.
  2. Dice the apple into small pieces. Set aside.
  3. In a small bowl, combine brown sugar and cinnamon; mixing with a spoon until combined. Set aside.
  4. In a large bowl, add granulated sugar and butter and beat with either a handheld mixer or using a stand mixer on medium speed until smooth.
  5. Add eggs and vanilla, mix on medium speed until combined. Next add flour, baking powder and milk; mixing on medium speed again until smooth and well combined.
  6. Pour half of the batter into greased loaf pan. Add half of the diced apples on top, patting gently with the back of a spoon to combine them to batter. Sprinkle half of the sugar and cinnamon mixture.
fitgirlnic http://fitgirlnic.com/

Zucchini Bread

With fall approaching, I’m getting the bug to bake more. I’m not sure why I’ve always associated baking breads with fall time. Maybe because of the recipes for all things pumpkins. Maybe because the thought of a warm piece of banana bread with a cup of coffee on a cold morning sounds incredibly appealing.

My SIL gave us two huge zucchinis from her garden: one I plan on using for dinner tonight and the other I baked two zucchini breads out of. Thankfully zucchini bread is favored in this household, even by the pickiest eater on the planet. And since I can’t get everyone on board with the whole white wheat or almond flour, I can make one “family friendly” and one healthy so that everyone happily enjoy a piece guilt free. Just alternate the flour listed in the recipe below to one that suits you best.

Zucchini Bread
Yields 2
This recipe is for two loaves of delicious zucchini bread.
Write a review
Print
Prep Time
15 min
Cook Time
1 hr
Total Time
1 hr 15 min
Prep Time
15 min
Cook Time
1 hr
Total Time
1 hr 15 min
Ingredients
  1. 2 cups zucchini, peeled and grated
  2. 3 eggs
  3. 1 cup oil
  4. 3 teaspoons vanilla extract
  5. 3 cups all-purpose flour
  6. ¼ teaspoon baking powder
  7. 1 teaspoon soda
  8. 3 teaspoon cinnamon
  9. 1 teaspoon salt
Instructions
  1. Preheat oven to 350 degrees. Grease two loaf pans and set aside.
  2. Using a large mixing bowl, combine all ingredients, whisking well. Divide among loaf pans and bake for 1 hour, or until top is browned and fully cooked through.
fitgirlnic http://fitgirlnic.com/

15 Minute Garlic Croutons

Have you ever passed by the marked down aisle of food at the grocery store and wondered what you could do with any of the marked down bread? So much! Yesterday I bought a bag of french loaf pieces that was marked down to 49 cents with the intentions of making croutons out of it. I’ve got a salad planned for my lunch this week, as well as a soup and croutons go well with both.

Anyone can make their own croutons with just 4 basic ingredients and an oven. Add some spices or parmesan cheese to give them a more flavorful taste to match whatever entree you have planned to incorporate them in. I promise you won’t buy store brand croutons again!

Homemade Garlic Croutons
Yields 4
You can make your own croutons with just 4 ingredients and an oven.
Write a review
Print
Prep Time
5 min
Cook Time
10 min
Total Time
15 min
Prep Time
5 min
Cook Time
10 min
Total Time
15 min
Ingredients
  1. 4 cups of bread, cut into small cube shapes
  2. ¼ teaspoon garlic powder
  3. ¼ teaspoon sea salt
  4. 1/3 cup olive oil
Instructions
  1. Preheat oven to 375 degrees.
  2. Add bread cubes to a large bowl. Sprinkle both garlic powder and sea salt overtop, gently stirring. Next drizzle olive oil overtop and carefully fold; making sure to coat all bread.
  3. Using a cookie sheet, add bread; spreading out evenly so none overlap. Cook for 10-15 minutes depending on how quickly they brown.
  4. Remove from oven and allow to cool 5-10 minutes before adding to your recipe or storing in a gallon size ziplock bag.
fitgirlnic http://fitgirlnic.com/

Ham and Cheesy Hashbrown Casserole

Happy 2017! I decided to start up the new year with a more strict diet and exercise plan due to adding a few pounds on over the last year that I’m not too happy about, just like pretty much everyone else in the world. With bikini season a few months away, I know that winter time would be the best time to start focusing on tightening up my healthy lifestyle a bit, starting with what I eat.

While putting together my meal plan for the week, I decided to include a breakfast casserole that would not only taste good reheated, but hold me over until my morning snack. This previous week I enjoyed an overnight oats breakfast and while that was delicious, I was craving something more “solid.” With a breakfast casserole, not only would I be getting a good source of protein from the eggs, but I’d also be getting a good source of calcium from the dairy; something we all could use. Plus I’d feel more full after eating my portion!

A breakfast casserole can vary in ingredients but usually consist of a basic build; eggs, milk and cheese. To add taste and a better base to mine, I decided to add southern hashbrowns and ham as well. The hashbrowns would give a nice golden crust feel to the casserole while the bacon and ham would just be a bonus addition for the tastebuds. It also helps that I already had all of these things on hand.

As for my dairy; I love to purchase products that are locally made whenever opportunity arises and Reiter Dairy has over 20 dairy farms here in the state of Ohio. Our nearby grocery carries Reiter’s milk product DairyPure and after doing a little research on the brand, I decided I wanted to give it a try. 

What I love most about DairyPure is their 5-Point Purity Promise. When you purchase DairyPure milk you’re giving your family not only a product that comes from cows that are fed a healthy-diet, but also has no artificial growth hormones, has been tested for antibiotics, is continuously quality tested to ensure purity and is cold-shipped from their dairy. Hearing that, I knew that this would be a product that I can feel confident feeding to my family. 

Be sure to check out Reiter Dairy to see which of your local groceries carries their products. 

 

Ham and Cheesy Hashbrown Casserole
Serves 8
In need of a quick and delicious breakfast for brunch, "Breakfast for Dinner," or something you can reheat in the morning throughout the week? This breakfast casserole is perfect for just that and can be thrown together in just 5-10 minutes.
Write a review
Print
Prep Time
10 min
Cook Time
1 hr
Prep Time
10 min
Cook Time
1 hr
Ingredients
  1. 16 oz diced ham, package should state that it's already fully cooked
  2. 8 oz shredded sharp cheddar cheese
  3. 8 cups frozen southern hashbrowns
  4. 4 pieces of bacon, cooked and crumbled
  5. 12 large eggs
  6. 1 cup DairyPure milk
  7. 1 teaspoon salt
  8. a pinch of ground pepper, for taste
Instructions
  1. Well grease two quiche pans or a 9x13 size casserole dish with cooking spray and set aside.
  2. Preheat oven to 350 degrees.
  3. Using a large mixing bowl, combine ham, cheese, hashbrowns and bacon well. Add to combination to casserole dish, spreading evenly.
  4. Wash out large mixing bowl and next add eggs, DairyPure milk, salt and pepper (optional) whisking well. Pour overtop ham and hashbrowns, making sure that it is evenly spread.
  5. Cook for one hour.
Notes
  1. If you'd prefer to just make a smaller serving - cut ingredients in half and use just one quiche pan.
fitgirlnic http://fitgirlnic.com/

This is a sponsored post. All thoughts, and opinions I have expressed here are that of my own.

Pumpkin Donuts

 

img_3727

img_3734

The best pumpkin donut I have ever tasted!

Baked Pumpkin Donuts
Yields 18
Krispy Kreme Pumpkin Spice Donuts will be a distant memory after you try your hand at making your own pumpkin donuts!
Write a review
Print
Prep Time
15 min
Cook Time
15 min
Total Time
30 min
Prep Time
15 min
Cook Time
15 min
Total Time
30 min
Ingredients
  1. 1½ cup puree Pumpkin
  2. 3 large eggs
  3. ½ cup vegetable oil
  4. 1½ cup granulated sugar
  5. 1¼ teaspoon cinnamon
  6. 1½ teaspoon salt
  7. 1½ teaspoon baking powder
  8. 1¾ cup all-purpose flour
Buttermilk Icing
  1. 4 tablespoons unsalted butter
  2. 2 cups confectioners sugar
  3. 1 teaspoon vanilla extract
  4. 1 tablespoon whole milk
Instructions
  1. Preheat oven to 350 and lightly grease a donut pan. Set aside.
  2. Meanwhile, in a medium size bowl add pumpkin, eggs, oil, granulated sugar, cinnamon, salt and baking powder. Mix well until completely combined. Slowly add flour, mixing well.
  3. Fill each donut til it is ¾ filled and bake for 15-17 minutes, or until a toothpick is inserted and comes out clean. Remove each donut gently using a fork and place onto a cooling rack.
  4. While donuts are cooling off, add butter into a small size saucepan over med-high heat. Stir well, using a wooden spoon if able. Remove from heat when butter has melted and pour into a medium size baking bowl. Add powdered sugar, vanilla extract and milk. Stir well.
  5. If donuts are cool enough to handle, dip the top carefully into icing mix and return to the cooling rack. The glaze will harden at a generous speed.
Notes
  1. To maintain a cleaner space - place a piece of parchment paper underneath cooling rack to catch donut icing when it drips.
fitgirlnic http://fitgirlnic.com/

Slow Roasted Seasoned Tomatoes (Sauce)

A gas range is something I am still getting used to. No one quite understands the difference between an electric stove and a gas range until they actually go from having one to the other. I’ve always heard that a lot of food not only tastes different when using a gas stove (or oven), but also cooks much quicker. It’s still too early for me to validate the taste answer, but I can absolutely attest to the cooks quicker one! I learned just how quick after burning french toast.

IMG_3461

Since we are now officially in the new home, I can settle in more comfortably and get back into the swing of things – meaning actually cooking again; something I desperately missed both mentally and physically. I always feel so much better about myself when I know where my meals came from and who prepared them. Don’t get me wrong, eating out every once in awhile is nice but not only does it get expensive but it’s also most likely not healthy.

Tonight’s dinner was a late one due to schedules so it had to be something more on the simple side. It’s been some time since I made a marinara sauce and pasta can be both satisfying to all tastebuds and a quick clean-plater. I had most things already on hand, aside from the tomatoes which I happily walked over to Whole Foods to acquire. It’s awesome just how good even a basic marinara sauce can taste. Those tomatoes really do their job!

IMG_3468

Tomato? Tomahto? Marinara is a personal preference. I happen to like mine sweet so cherry tomatoes that were roasted in an oven were sure to give my marinara a sweet taste. I made sure to marinate them with some olive oil, minced garlic, sea salt, italian seasoning, oregano and fresh basil leaves before I cooked them in the oven for a couple hours. And if you don’t want to get out the whisk and crush your tomatoes after they’re done roasting; you can puree them the lazy (and super smart) cook way – in a blender! Just make sure to pulse for less than a minute if you would like to have some “chunk” pieces to your sauce.

What would you add in your marinara sauce?

Healthy Banana Blueberry Bread

IMG_3324

I could go on and on about how blueberries seem to make everything tastes so much better, even delicious banana bread. But instead of wasting your time and trying to convince you just why; I’m going to assume you already like blueberries because you clicked on a link somewhere just for this recipe. So just right below the pictures, you’ll find a list of ingredients and instructions. Get to it!

IMG_3327

IMG_3338

IMG_3339

IMG_3342

Healthy Banana Blueberry Bread
A delicious bread baked with fresh bananas and blueberries, healthy enough that you won't feel guilty while enjoying a slice.
Write a review
Print
Prep Time
15 min
Cook Time
55 min
Total Time
1 hr 10 min
Prep Time
15 min
Cook Time
55 min
Total Time
1 hr 10 min
Ingredients
  1. 1½ cups whole wheat flour
  2. 1 teaspoon baking soda
  3. ½ teaspoon baking powder
  4. 1 teaspoon cinnamon
  5. ½ teaspoon salt
  6. ½ cup brown sugar
  7. ¼ cup coconut oil
  8. ¼ cup unsweetened applesauce
  9. 2 eggs
  10. 1 teaspoon pure vanilla extract
  11. 3 ripe bananas, mashed
  12. 1 cup fresh blueberries
Instructions
  1. Preheat oven to 350 degrees. Grease a loaf pan and set aside.
  2. In a medium bowl add flour, baking soda, baking powder, cinnamon and salt. Mix together.
  3. Next, in a large size bowl add brown sugar, coconut oil, applesauce, eggs and vanilla extract. When all ingredients have been whisked well, add mashed bananas. Whisk well again. Next, gently fold in blueberries.
  4. Add dry ingredients into large bowl with banana mixture. Combine well and pour into loaf pan. Check at 55 minutes by inserting a toothpick in the middle. If toothpick comes out clean, bread is ready. If not, bake for an additional 3-5 minutes.
  5. Remove bread from oven and allow to cool down for 10 minutes before transferring to a baker's rack. Serve warm.
fitgirlnic http://fitgirlnic.com/

Parmesan Chicken Casserole

IMG_3295

Have you ever wanted to take the same meal you enjoy immensely, but switch it up just a little bit? Same ingredients and hopefully the same taste; it’s just prepared a little differently. That’s what this casserole reminds me of. The list of items just scream Chicken Parmesan, you’re just giving it a whole new look!

I had spotted this recipe while browsing my Pinterest feed quite some time ago and was intrigued. I’m not quite sure who came up with this fun recipe, as I quickly jotted the ingredients down and added it to my list of potential meals. I can see how this can be either a family favorite or something you bring to a potluck party at work.

IMG_3296

Unlike the original recipe for Chicken Parmesan, you’re using creating a base for bake (breadcrumbs) last instead of coating the chicken in it before adding the marinara sauce and cheese. It gives it a crispier outer shell, while enjoying a more moist italian taste when you bite in. I recommend using rotisserie chicken if you’ve got it, but any leftover shredded chicken will do.

IMG_3300

I allowed my casserole to bake for 25 minutes, but that can always vary depending on your oven. If your breadcrumb topping has begun to take on a golden brown shade, there’s a good chance it’s ready.

IMG_3310

Chicken Parmesan Casserole
Serves 6
Craving something hot and easy to prepare? This Chicken Parm Casserole is a great bake for when you've got leftover chicken and an extra jar of marinara sauce.
Write a review
Print
Prep Time
10 min
Cook Time
25 min
Total Time
35 min
Prep Time
10 min
Cook Time
25 min
Total Time
35 min
Ingredients
  1. 2-4 cups shredded rotisserie chicken
  2. 28-ounce jar marinara sauce
  3. 1½ cup shredded mozzarella cheese
  4. ½ fresh parmesan cheese
  5. 1 cup panko bread crumbs
  6. 2 tablespoons olive oil
  7. 2 tablespoons italian seasoning
  8. 1 tablespoon oregano
  9. salt and pepper
Instructions
  1. Preheat oven to 350 degrees.
  2. Use cooking spray to well coat an 8x8 casserole pan. Add chicken to bottom followed by marinara sauce. Mix well, evenly spreading throughout the pan. Cover with mozzarella cheese and parmesan.
  3. Add panko bread crumbs, olive oil, italian seasoning and oregano to a medium size mixing bowl. Stir well and add a pinch of both salt and pepper. Spread bread crumb mix over-top cheese layer, covering well.
  4. Bake for 25 minutes.
fitgirlnic http://fitgirlnic.com/