DIY Twix Bars {w/Biscoff} – recipe update; Peanut free option

I’ve started this post several times.  This morning I woke up with renewed energy and determination to block out the horrible events of last Friday, and make this a great week for myself and my children. Then I took my three kids to school.  I cried after I dropped each one of them off.  The realization that I cannot protect them all of the time hit me.  The despair of what has happened in that small Connecticut town hit me with renewed force.  I cried all the way home.  I can’t block it out.  I can refuse to watch the news.  I can avoid the newspapers, etc.  But the tragedy of that day’s events is embedded into my heart and mind.  However, I also realized I can curl up in despair this week before Christmas and mourn for those poor children and teachers and families, or I can honor their memory in the best way I can and continue to make this a wonderful holiday for my children.  My children, that I feel so blessed to have and that I love with all my heart.  So, I came home (which I know I am so fortunate to be able to do), turned on the Christmas music and the Christmas lights, said a prayer for the victims and guidance for myself, and started this post again.  (I also broke out the Christmas M&M’s but let’s keep that just between me and you.)

I made these Homemade Twix Bars a couple of years ago.  They were delicious.  On Friday, in an effort to avoid the news and reality, my youngest two kids and I made them again.  But this time, I made a little change.  And this time….they taste almost exactly like a Twix candy bar!  (which happens to be one of my favorites!) They are soooo good.

DIY “Twix” Bars 

Club Crackers (or store brand)
1 c. Graham Crackers, crushed
3/4 c. Brown Sugar
1/3 c. White Sugar
1/3 c. skim milk
1/2 c. light butter
 
For frosting –
1/3 cup peanut butter (or PB replacement – I used WowButter)
1/3 cup Biscoff spread

1 cup semi-sweet chocolate chips

  • Place a single layer of Club crackers in the bottom of a 13×9 baking pan, set aside.
  • In a saucepan, combine graham cracker crumbs, sugars, milk and butter and bring to a boil.  Continuously stir and boil for 4-5 minutes. The mixture will thicken and have a caramel consistency, and pull away from the sides of the pan. 
  • Pour caramel mixture over the crackers and spread evenly to coat.  Careful, it’s HOT.
  • Immediately top with another layer of Club crackers, pressing down slightly.
  • Chill for about 30 minutes. (I don’t think we waited that long!)
  • While bars are chillin’ – combine peanut butter/wowbutter, Biscoff and chocolate chips in a microwaveable bowl.  Microwave for one minute. Stir well to combine.  Microwave in 15 second increments if needed until mixture is smooth.
  • Pour chocolate mixture over cooled bars and spread evenly.  Allow to cool, then cut into “Twix” bars or squares.  ENJOY!
Verdict?  SO GOOD!! We all loved them and my kids agreed that they tasted very much like a Twix candy bar.  They are definitely a keeper!  They would make a great addition to your cookie tray, to give as gifts, or just enjoy with your family.  It’s also a great recipe to make with the kids b/c they can layer the bottom layer of crackers (just make sure they understand that the crackers need to be touching each other. We had a few gaps 🙂 which made the caramel stick to the bottom of the pan.)  An adult needs to handle the caramel mixture b/c it does get super hot.  I also did the second layer of crackers to prevent any burns.  The kids can also measure things out for you, stir the chocolate mixture, and help spread the frosting.  Most of all, the kids can help eat them!
 
I hope everyone has a great week, holds their loved ones a little tighter, and prays to make this world a safer, better place for us all.
 

Hot Ham Dips on Homemade Slider Buns

I hope everyone has fared well from Hurricane/Tropical Storm/Post-Tropical Cyclone Sandy. It looks like she did quite a bit of damage in some areas.  We had lots of wind and rain. And rain….and rain.  I thought we were about out of the woods, when I noticed how much standing water we had in our yard.  And then one of the toilets wouldn’t flush. Then we discovered standing water in our detached garage.  To make a long story short, our septic system was starting to back up.  So, I packed up the kids and dog, and headed inland to the parentals.  No way was I going to stay in a house with non-functioning toilets and 3 kids. So anyway, I’m posting from my parents. Who just got internet service back…what did we do prior to the internet?!  So, now that everyone’s mind is in the sewer….let’s re-direct shall we?!
Seriously, go to your happy place, b/c these sandwiches deserve your full not-influenced-by-sewage-talk attention!  They were delicious!
This is yet another recipe by Plain Chicken. I love her recipes b/c they are so easy, and kid-friendly.  French dip sandwiches are a favorite of mine, so I was intrigued by the use of ham instead.  Let me tell ya, it is a great variation!

Hot Ham Dips

slightly adapted from Plain Chicken
1/4 cup butter, cubed
1 tsp garlic powder
6 pretzel slider buns or 4 ciabatta rolls, split *I used homemade buns, recipe below

1 cup shredded cheddar cheese
1 pound thinly sliced ham
1 can (14-1/2 ounces) beef consommé or beef broth *I used a packet of Charlie’s Pride Au Jus mix
1/2 tsp garlic powder *I omitted

In a small bowl, melt butter in the microwave. Add 1 tsp garlic powder.
Place rolls on a baking sheet; brush cut sides with garlic butter.

Sprinkle with cheese. Broil 3-4 in. from the heat for 2-3 minutes or until cheese is melted.

In a large saucepan, combine broth consommé and 1/2 tsp garlic powder mix Au Jus according to package directions (you just add water!); bring to a boil and then reduce heat to low.

Place ham into beef consommé and garlic Au Jus. Heat ham for 30-60 seconds, until slightly warm.  Using tongs, place ham on rolls. Serve sandwiches with remaining broth for dipping.

And check out my cute little buns! (In my dreams. haha)
These also come together pretty quickly, and are SO good.
Speedy Slider Buns 
*adapted from here
  1. 2 Tablespoons Active Dry Yeast
  2. 1 Cup plus 2 Tablespoons Warm Water
  3. 1/3 Cup Olive Oil
  4. 1/4 Cup Sugar
  5. 1 Egg *or egg replacer; I used Ener-G
  6. 1/2 teaspoon sea salt
  7. 3 1/2 to 3 3/4 Cups unbleached all-purpose flour
  • In a large bowl, dissolve the yeast in the warm water. Stir in the oil and sugar, and let the mixture stand for 5 minutes.
  • Add the egg replacer, salt, and 3 1/2 cups of flour.  Combine until it forms a soft dough. Add the additional 1/4 cup of flour as needed to prevent the dough from sticking to your hands (if you need a little more, that is okay too). Knead the dough until it is smooth and elastic, about 5 minutes or so.
  • Divide the dough into 16 pieces, shape each into a small, thick disc (about the size of a biscuit – a regular not a Grands!) and place them on silicone mat lined baking sheets about 2 inches apart.  
  • Preheat oven to 425ºF. Lightly cover the balls of dough and let them rest for about 10 minutes (or longer if you wish).
  • Pop them in the oven and bake for about 8-10 minutes, or until nicely browned. Cool on a wire rack.

Verdict? As I said, these are DELISH! Everyone loved them. Mr. Three, of course, had his without ham, and garlic butter.  So, yes, he had a plain roll, with plain rolled up ham on the side. Don’t ask. These are definitely a keeper, and will be made again soon.  They made a great dinner, but would also be great for parties!

 

Speaking of parties, I’m linking up with these!  Naptime CreationsMandy’s Recipe BoxIt’s a Blog PartyWeiner Tales33 Shades of GreenBlessed with GraceSimply Sugar and Gluten FreeOur Delightful Home, Adorned from Above, Lady Behind the Curtain, Tessa the Domestic Diva, Ginger Snap Crafts, The Newlyweds

© copyright 2013 – All rights reserved

Monster Magic Bars

You know how sometimes you get those crazy intense chocolate cravings that have to be satiated immediately? Please tell me I am not the only one.  Mine usually hits when it’s getting late, and I don’t want to spend a lot of time in the kitchen, or do not feel like going to the store for a particular ingredient. Enter Monster Magic Cookie Bars! They have a short ingredient list and I knew with chocolate and sweetened condensed milk, they would be delicious. And I was right.  Again.  (I know my sweets peeps!)
When I first saw these at Something Swanky, I drooled all over myself.  Her pics are amazing!  Those bars were pinned in a flash, and called my name until I relented.  Okay, that sounds a little creepy.  I’m not hearing voices or anything.  But, ya know what I mean.  These bars had to be made.

Monster Magic Cookie Bars

slightly adapted from Something Swanky
  • 9 full reduced-fat graham crackers
  • 4 tbsp. butter  *I used 2 T. butter and 2 T. coconut oil
  • 1 can fat free sweetened condensed milk
  • approximately 3/4 c. (old fashioned) oats
  • approximately 3/4 c. M&Ms;
  • approximately 3/4 c. chocolate chips *I used mini semi-sweet choc chips

 

  1. In a zip top bag, crush the graham crackers using a rolling pin.
  2. Once crushed, add the 2 4 tbsp. butter & coconut oil to the bag. (not necessary if your coconut oil is already in a liquid state – then you can add after you heat the butter)
  3. Place in the microwave and heat up for about 20-30 seconds.
  4. Remove from microwave, let out the air and make sure the bag is sealed (be careful, it’s hot!), and “mush” the butter, coconut oil and graham crackers together until fully incorporated.
  5. Press the graham cracker crumbs into a well-greased and parchment lined (I did not line mine with parchment paper) 9×13 baking dish.
  6. Evenly pour the sweetened condensed milk over the graham cracker layer.
  7. Sprinkle the oats, M&Ms;, and chocolate chips evenly over the sweetened condensed milk and gently press in a little.
  8. Bake at 350º for 30 minutes or until browned and pulling away from the edges.
  9. Let cool and serve.
Someone was very eager to give these a taste test….
Moving in…. 
a little closer… 
Yay! Mom is finished taking pictures and I can have one!
Another perk to this recipe, it’s egg and nut free! (M&M’s do have a warning on the bag that they may contain an occasional peanut. However, I still let him have them. I wouldn’t recommend this to anyone who has a severe nut allergy.)

Time to make the (healthier, egg free) donuts!

You know those cute little powdered donuts that come in a bag in the grocery store? Kids love those things. Have you read the nutritional label?! Scary. Very scary. Donuts are a popular treat at school now b/c they are prepackaged and can easily be served at school (a lot of schools do not allow home baked goods anymore). Well, not only are they a nutritional disaster, they contain eggs…so my son has never had a commercially prepared donut! (yep, no Krispy Kremes or Dunkin’ Donuts either. Ever.)

However, I could never deprive my kids of donuts! They are fun to eat, they have a fun shape, they come in all kinds of yummy flavors…so, I make homemade donuts. They are baked, with much more wholesome ingredients, AND they are allergy friendly.  Boo-yah!  (Oh yeah, and most importantly….they’re easy!) You wouldn’t feel deprived eating these would you?

(Ok, I won’t lie…they are not as good as a chocolate cake donut from DD. Or the blueberry cake donut, which is my all time fave, but pleezzee, if I ate those things, I would need bigger doorways to fit through. And cholesterol medication.)
They made this little guy happy 🙂
and my girls help make them!
So, the recipe already….

Almost Healthy Chocolate Doughnuts 

slightly adapted from 52 Kitchen Adventures (my changes are in italics)
 
Makes 12-15 small doughnuts
  • 1 cup white whole wheat flour  (slightly rounded cup)
  • 2 tablespoons Hershey’s Dark cocoa powder
  • 1 teaspoon baking powder
  • 1/4 teaspoon baking soda
  • 1/2 cup sugar or Stevia for baking 
  • 1/2 teaspoon ground nutmeg
  • 1/4 teaspoon sea salt
  • 2 tablespoons coconut oil
  • 1/4 cup buttermilk (I used 1/4 cup skim milk mixed with 1 teaspoon of lemon juice)
  • 1/4 cup plain non-fat yogurt
  • 1 teaspoon vanilla extract
  • 1 large egg or egg replacer (I used Ener-G)
  • Optional: glaze, powdered sugar or your favorite frosting, sprinkles
Preheat oven to 350℉. Lightly spray a mini donut pan with non-stick cooking spray. 
In a large bowl, combine flour, cocoa, baking powder, baking soda. Whisk in sugar, nutmeg and salt. Add in the coconut oil and use your fingers to rub it into the dry ingredients until it becomes coarse crumbs.
In a separate bowl, mix together buttermilk, yogurt, vanilla and egg/egg replacer. Pour the wet ingredients into the flour mixture and mix until just combined (do not overmix).  Fill prepared pan 1/2-3/4 full (my batter was pretty thick).
Bake until donuts spring back when touched (between 6-10 minutes, depending on the size of your doughnut pan). Let cool before frosting.

**If you do not have a cute little donut pan, just make these as mini muffins.**

Chocolate Glaze – 1 cup powdered sugar, 1 t. dark cocoa (or more, to taste) and milk. Mix powdered sugar and cocoa together, then add milk by the teaspoons until you get desired consistency.
I have several recipes coming up using Coconut Oil (and a giveaway!). I had to see what all the hype was about! However, you can use butter, olive oil, canola oil or applesauce in its place if you do not have any. 

Healthier Pancakes for Father’s Day

My little man loves pancakes, but with an egg allergy, I have to make them from scratch. I have been fooling around with the recipe for years now, always trying different versions.
This one is a healthier version using white whole wheat, but taste like ‘regular’ pancakes!  They would be perfect to serve for a Father’s Day breakfast, easy enough for the kids to help out, and tasty enough that the whole family will enjoy. At least ours did!
(This recipe can easily be made vegan as well.)

Whole Wheat Pancakes

3/4 cup milk* (plus 1 Tablespoon)
2 T. white vinegar
1 cup white whole wheat flour
2 T. sugar*
1 t. baking powder
1/2 t. baking soda
1/2 t. vanilla extract
1/4 t. sea salt
1 egg (or egg replacer, like Ener-G; flax/chia egg)
dash of cinnamon (optional)
Combine milk and vinegar and let sit for 5 minutes or so in a medium size bowl. (Makes “buttermilk”)
Mix flour, sugar, baking powder, baking soda and salt (and cinnamon if using) in a large bowl.
Add egg (or egg replacer) and vanilla to ‘buttermilk’, whisk together.
Mix wet ingredients into dry ingredients and mix together.
If using an egg replacer, cook immediately.  If using an egg, let batter sit for 5-10 minutes while griddle/pan is preheating.
I like to use my griddle, so I can cook several at once.  Spray pan/griddle with a little cooking spray and spoon batter onto hot pan.  Flip when bubbles form around edges of pancake.  This recipe makes about 9 four inch pancakes, so often I double it.  Leftovers freeze well.
*NOTES – could use Almond or Soy milk if desired. Sugar could be replaced with stevia or sweetener of choice. I needed an additional tablespoon of milk once my batter was mixed (noted in ingredients), but if you use a regular egg, that may or may not be necessary.  Finally, for a pancake with the crispy, buttery edges – use butter instead of cooking spray to cook pancakes.  Not as healthy, of course, but I’m sure delicious!
I wouldn’t mind having this served to me!
and this little fella enjoyed them.  Several of them 🙂
Do you have special plans this weekend?!
and don’t forget to enter these great giveaways!
Prize Package from Simply Cranberry!

Banana Ice Cream with Oreos

Yesterday I posted this pic –

and asked if anyone could guess what it is.
On Facebook I had a guess of “maybe a smoothie of some sort? With blueberries and chocolate??”
 
Excellent guess, but it was actually
Yes, once again, I have taken something perfectly healthy and uhh….de-healthified it?
oops. my bad.
My kids wanted a treat, and I had frozen bananas on the brain since having an email conversation with another blogger who is preggars, and ‘enjoying’ all the crazy food obsessions and repulsions that come along with pregnancy. And yes, that conversation included the healthy banana.
For whatever reason, I had Oreos in my house.  Which is such a NO.NO.  Since I have absolutely zero will power.  Anyways, I decided I would take the bananas we had in the freezer, blend them up and toss in a few Oreos.
My kids thought it was a delicious, decadent treat!

Oreo Banana Ice Cream

 I used 3 frozen bananas
4 or 6 Oreos (sorry, can’t remember!)
1/2 T. cocoa (mainly for color – my kids eat anything chocolate)
and had enough to fill 3 ice cream cones, plus some leftover!
**Don’t throw away those over ripe bananas, just peel and stick in the freezer in a freezer bag.  Then you can enjoy ‘ice cream’ whenever the mood strikes.  Leave out the Oreos, and it can be completely guilt free!

Banana, Oatmeal, Chocolate Chip Cookies (egg free)

or – things I’m really craving right now.  I had this crazy notion that I would cut out carbs this week.  Why?! Why do I do this to myself, knowing it’s going to make me a deranged carb-cravin’ lunatic?!  I’m not sure either.  I’ve lost two pounds, it’s Day 5, we’ll see how long this self-inflicted torture continues.

In drooling going through my pics, I realized I had never posted these bad boys-

Banana, Oatmeal, Chocolate Chip Cookies. 
yeah, it’s a mouthful.  Literally.  This is a hearty, dense, almost-good-for-you cookie.
Packed with all kinds of yumminess.

Ingredients adapted from Banana, Oatmeal, Chocolate Chip, Pecan Cookies from For the Love of Cooking

•1 very ripe banana  I buy bananas knowing they all will not get eaten.  I’m pretty sure this is why.

•3/4 white sugar (brown sugar if you have it)  *I used 1/2 cup brown sugar

•1/4 cup unsalted butter, softened  *I used Smart Balance 50/50

•1 large egg  *I used a “flax egg” (2 T. milled flax seed in 3 T. warm water)

•1 tsp vanilla

•1 1/4 cups of whole wheat flour

•2 cups quick cooking oats  *I used 1 cup quick cooking and 1 cup regular

•1 tsp baking soda

•1/2 tsp salt

•3/4 cup milk dark chocolate chips

3/4 pecan pieces  1/4 cup Heath toffee chips  (I omitted the pecans so my little allergy boy could eat them)

Preheat the oven to 350 degrees. Place a silpat mat on a baking sheet.

Combine the banana, sugar, butter, flax egg, and vanilla in a large bowl; beat with a mixer at medium speed until mixed thoroughly.

Mix the salt, baking soda, flour and oats together. Add the oat mixture, chocolate chips, and pecan toffee pieces to the banana mixture and mix well with a spoon.

Drop cookie dough on the baking sheet covered with a silpat mat 2 inches apart. Bake for 15-18 minutes or until golden brown. Cool on racks then serve (or eat them while they are still super hot and the chocolate is all melty and burns your tongue.  Not that I did that.)  **These cookies do not spread out, so I flatten mine a little before cooking.
****************
This is a hearty cookie, especially with the addition of the regular oats, which I like.  The toffee chips keep the cookies from being too dry, and the dark chocolate just makes them….mo’betta.  I want some bad. These cookies are definitely a healthier alternative to many other cookie recipes, and you get your chocolate fix.  Along with the health benefits of the oats (whole grain), dark chocolate (antioxidants) and if you use the flax, you get the added bonus of some Omega 3’s.  Score.  And all 3 of my kids like them.  Unbelievable!  Since only one of my children will eat a banana, and none of them will eat oatmeal, I don’t feel too bad making these cookies every now and again.  Also, to increase the moistness of the cookie, and increase the banana flavor, you could add 2 bananas.  You know me, cooking is all about experiementing!
Hope everyone is having a good weekend.  We’re trying to keep from being blown away.  No, I don’t live in the ghetto, no drive-by’s going on…but the wind is terrible.  haha.  I’m warped, I realize that.
I’m also linking up this recipe @ Eat at Home for ingredient spotlight – Bananas

hump day hankerin’

On Tuesday I made a quick stop at The Fresh Market grocery store.  It’s pretty awesome compared to the grocery stores near my house, so I was like a kid in a candy store.  Even my 9 year old was thoroughly impressed – but, she was a kid in a candy store…with the huge display of candies, chocolate covered goodies, etc.  I picked up just a few items (and lunch) but they have sparked some serious cravings.  And the best thing to do for cravings is SATISFY them – otherwise, you’ll obsess over them, consuming everything else in the house and still will be left with that unfulfilled yearning, that gnawing sense of NEED in the pit of your stomach…..oh….sorry, got carried away.  That’s probably just me that OBSESSES over things.  So anyway, back to my purchases.  I picked up this lovely jewel –

I don’t even like tomatoes, but this one was so pretty i had to have it.  I’ve got tomatoes on the brain b/c mine are not growing in the garden.  Well, they are growing, but not very big, and not turning red.  And then the stupid birds are pecking at them.  I want red freakin’ tomatoes.  See, that obsession thing again.  I did get my first, perfect, red cherry tomato today – so I’m feeling a little less over the top about them not growing.  Once again, I digress.
I found this gorgeous tomato and bought it thinking it would go into a pasta recipe I saw.  (Which now I can’t find, otherwise I’d share).  However, after looking at this tomato and my sister mentioning BLT’s, all I could think about was piling some bacon on this bad boy.  So much so that I caved and made a special trip to the store with Mr. Two to get everything I would need for a mac daddy BLT.  I should also mention that I have never eaten a BLT before.  But I had a hankerin’.  I’m pretty sure this is another Southern-ism
I guess I had a BLOT – since I added onion!
don’t ask me why it’s blurry in the middle
and can you believe my local grocery store ONLY had iceburg lettuce…that’s it! ugh!
Neither shot can do this sandwich justice.  All I can say is….OH YEAH!  It was that good.
And then I did something really mean…I hid the bacon so my husband wouldn’t eat it all, so that I can have another sandwich later.  hmmm, better keep that quiet.
This was another purchase.  It’s not nearly as pretty as the tomato, but for some reason I wanted it.  It’s called ‘Morning Mix’, and is full of healthy sh…um, stuff.  Oats (obviously), cinnamon covered raisins and apples, sunflower seeds, etc., etc.  It looked very….healthy.  So I bought it.  and don’t know what to do with it.  I’ve mixed it in some yogurt – that was good.  I took some, mixed it with almond butter and mini chocolate chips for a snack – that was the bomb.  But this morning, I really wanted MUFFINS!!  So what did I do?  I made muffins.
and added some mix to the tops of half.  YUM.  I made Lemon Blueberry Muffins (again).  Made my usual changes – 1/2 white flour, 1/2 wheat, made it “egg-free”, added a little extra lemon juice since I didn’t have any zest, and threw in a half of a peach I had left in the fridge.
I am also not a huge fan of peaches (surprise, surprise) so I wasn’t sure how this was going to turn out.
but the combination of blueberry, lemon and peach worked.  They were deeelicious.  Unless you’re Mr. Two, who took one bite and pushed it away “not good”.  I said “it IS good, it’s yummy and good for you, take a bite”.  He said “NOOOOOO, no good”.  and he ate Cheerios.  and I ate his muffin.

{egg free} Chocolate Chip Zucchini Bread

So, I have bananas left AND I have zucchini….what can I make?  (Egg-free) Chocolate Chip Zucchini Bread of course!!  It just came out of the oven (and I immediately ate some) and it is so good I had to begin blogging about it immediately.  I sort of combined two recipes, one from For the Love of Cooking (Chocolate Chip and Walnut Zucchini Bread) and one from Madhuram’s Eggless Cooking (Eggless Chocolate Chip Zucchini Bread).  I guess I made enough changes to warrant typing out the recipe – it’s going to seem strange, but it is ooooh soooo good!

{egg free} Chocolate Chip Zucchini Bread

  • 2 very ripe medium sized bananas
  • 1/2 cup brown sugar
  • 1/2 cup white sugar
  • 2 cups raw, grated zucchini
  • 3 tsp vanilla extract
  • 1/2 cup canola oil
  • 4 oz. jar of baby food carrots or 1/2 cup cooked and pureed carrots
  • 2 cups whole wheat flour
  • 1 cup all-purpose flour
  • 3 tsp cinnamon
  • 1/2 tsp nutmeg
  • 1 tsp salt
  • 1/2 tsp baking powder
  • 1 tsp baking soda
  • 3/4 cup of mini chocolate chips – I used a very well rounded 3/4 cup 🙂

I then followed the directions from For the Love of Cooking recipe – My loaf pan was larger than 8×4, so I made one loaf and 6 muffins.

The muffins cooked in about 30 minutes I think.  They are so moist and delicious and the kids didn’t even complain about the flecks of green!!  (and they have no clue I added the carrots.)  They were moist enough with the bananas that I think I could use all whole wheat flour next time, and I love that I was able to cut the sugar in half!!
This really was the best I’ve made, so I will definitely be making this again.  I also LOVE sneaking veggies into my kids!!  I have some other zucchini recipes to try, but only have a couple of zucchini left, because unfortunately, my zucchini plants died 🙁   (Can I say zucchini one more time?)  I think they suffered dehydration and heat stroke.
I’m linking this recipe up at i should be mopping the floor Iron Chef Mom: Battle-Carrots

Going bananas

 After a visit to Sam’s Club, I have about 100 lbs. of bananas.  I knew when I bought them, they would not all get eaten b/c only one of my children even likes bananas.  (including me)  However, subconsciously I was probably thinking about the awesome recipes I have that call for bananas.  Somehow, when you mix bananas, sugar and chocolate, they go from blah, too AWESOME!  Imagine that.  So last night I decided that we (read “I”) would make Chocolate Banana Muffins this morning.  I did really good and gathered all the ingredients I would need (and utensils) and put everything on the counter last night so I wouldn’t wimp out and not fix them this morning.  This really made things easier since I’m so NOT a morning person.  Made the muffins, and all I can say is….THANK YOU PAM!!  I don’t personally know Pam, who does the For the love of cooking blog, but, I heart her.  Some of my favorite recipes are from her site.  Check it.
Don’t they look yummy and delicious and chocolaty?
  I love that the recipe calls for whole wheat flour, and only a 1/3 cup canola oil.  The only changes I made were:  instead of 1/2 cup white sugar, I cut it back to 1/4 cup – b/c I figured bananas are pretty sweet.  We did not miss that extra 1/4 cup.  Next time I might cut the white sugar all together!  Of course, since I cut back on the sugar I thought, hmmmm, why don’t we add some powdered sugar on top?!  It looks so pretty on chocolate.
Also, I had to make it “eggless” for my little allergy boy, so I used my standard baking substitution – 1 T. milk, 1 T. white vinegar, and 1 t. baking powder in place of the egg.  The only difference I can tell is that the muffin is a tiny bit crumbly, but not bad – and a little butter on the hot muffin takes care of that 😉   I use Smart Balance Light w/ EVOO.  Adding mini chocolate chips would make it even mo’betta, and I would definitely cut the sugar then.  Also, this would be a good recipe to add in zucchini or some pureed carrots/squash whatever.  I didn’t do this today b/c I am making zucchini bread later….lots of carbs today.
My little runny nose man after eating TWO muffins – he “stole” the second one!