Apple Cinnamon Muffins

apple cinnamon muffins
Hey friends! How are you? I am enjoying a peaceful naptime..these have been rare lately due to little man getting his 2 year molars, but the one giving him trouble has seemed to finally break through and we are all getting some relief. Teething is the worst! But we will not let it defeat us & are thankful for a mouth full of healthy teeth.

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I think I’ve mentioned before that I kind of have a routine of activities that get us through afternoons/witching hour as we wait for dad to get home from work. If not, I need to share more details….Mondays are reserved for baking and lately we have been making a lot of muffins. They make great snacks for the week and are such an easy way to sneak in healthy goodness. Plus they look really pretty sitting on the counter under the glass topped cake stand & give the illusion that our life is somewhat put together :)

These banana muffins are our FAVORITE, especially with a few chocolate chips, but you can also find us making blueberry muffins, applesauce muffins, these carrot & cranberry muffins, pumpkin muffins, and even an occasional lemon poppy seed. A few weeks ago we added another recipe to our rotation, apple cinnamon muffins. Chopped apples, brown sugar, and a little maple syrup…you can’t go wrong! Here is the scoop.

Apple Cinnamon Muffins
Yields 12
Delicious muffins full of chopped apples and maple syrup...then topped with brown sugar goodness.
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Prep Time
15 min
Cook Time
25 min
Total Time
40 min
Prep Time
15 min
Cook Time
25 min
Total Time
40 min
Ingredients
  1. 1 large red apple, peeled and chopped into small pieces
  2. 1/2 cup of milk
  3. 1.5 tsp of baking powder
  4. 1.5 cups of whole wheat all purpose flour
  5. 2 tsp of pure vanilla extract
  6. 2 eggs
  7. 1/4 cup of white sugar
  8. 1/4 cup of pure maple syrup
  9. 1/2 cup or 1 stick of softened butter
  10. 1/2 packed light brown sugar
  11. 1.5 tsp cinnamon
Instructions
  1. Preheat the oven to 350 degrees
  2. Using a mixer cream together softened butter, sugar and maple syrup
  3. Add in vanilla and eggs
  4. Add flour 1/2 cup at a time, then baking powder
  5. Finally add in the milk. Mix until well combined
  6. In a SEPARATE bowl combine brown sugar and cinnamon.
  7. Use liners or grease regular sized muffin tins
  8. Fill each muffin hole 1/4 full with mixture.
  9. Then top with 1/2 the diced apples & pat down.
  10. Sprinkle with cinnamon sugar mixture
  11. Cover apples with an equal amount of mixture as before.
  12. Top with more remaining apples and then the cinnamon sugar mixture and pat it down.
  13. Bake for 25-30 minutes or until an inserted toothpick comes out clean
  14. Allow to cool before eating
  15. Enjoy!
Adapted from All Recipes
Adapted from All Recipes
A Step In The Journey http://astepinthejourney.com/

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They are truly delicious! I first found this recipe on All Recipes, and knew with a few tweaks (like reducing the sugar) I could make them perfect for our family. I love substituting things like unsweetened applesauce, raw organic honey, or organic pure maple syrup for sugar in my recipes. You still get the sweetness, but it isn’t as terrible for you. I can’t say it’s healthy, but better than white sugar! This recipe would also be great as apple cinnamon loaf bread, you could follow the same directions, but just pour into a 9×5 loaf pan and cook for a little longer (probably 45-50 minutes)! Enjoy! 

Best Shredded Barbecue in the Crock Pot

Simple Crockpot Barbecue Chicken

Yall, we went the aquarium about a week ago and can I tell you…I am starting to FEEL this pregnancy. We parked at III’s office downtown and walked to the aquarium to save a few bucks. Then we walked ALL OVER the aquarium. It was an absolute blast, and the kids loved it. (Especially “Hank” from Finding Dory!) But when we got home that afternoon it was clear that 1. I wore the wrong shoes and 2. I am starting to be very pregnant. Hello 3rd trimester. Luckily, I already had something in the works for dinner (yay! crockpot) and I was able to put my feet up while III took over the kids solo for a little bit! If you are in Atlanta I definitely recommend a stop at the Georgia Aquarium…it’s incredible!

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So, who else loves the crock pot? I’m pretty sure the answer is everyone. Working moms, stay at home moms, one pot meal folks, guys that love anything that requires very little work… This shredded BBQ chicken recipe is great for weeknight family dinners or large groups. It’s easy, tasty, and makes great leftovers! Promise me you’ll give it a try soon!

crockpot barbecue chicken

Crock Pot Shredded Barbecue Chicken
Serves 6
Simple, effortless, and delicious barbecue chicken made in the crock pot
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Prep Time
5 min
Prep Time
5 min
Ingredients
  1. 2 pounds of boneless, skinless chicken breast
  2. 3/4 cup of Sweet Baby Ray's Barbecue Sauce
  3. 1/4 cup of Sticky Fingers Barbecue Sauce
  4. 1/4 cup of Italian Dressing
  5. 1/4 cup of Brown Sugar
  6. 1 tbsp Worcestershire Sauce
  7. 1 tsp garlic salt
Instructions
  1. Season chicken breasts with garlic salt and place in the crock pot.
  2. In a separate bowl, mix together barbecue sauces, dressing, brown sugar & Worcestershire sauce.
  3. Pour on top of the chicken.
  4. Cook on HIGH for 3-4 hours.
  5. Around 3.5 hours two forks to shred the chicken and then allow it to continue cooking in the sauce until you are ready to serve.
A Step In The Journey http://astepinthejourney.com/
Barbecue Chicken Sliders

We love eating this chicken with King’s Hawaiian Rolls, but it would also be great on any bun or by itself. If you want to double the recipe it’s a great choice for feeding larger groups! Happy Monday. What’s for dinner at your house this week??

Barbecue Chicken Sliders Crocpot

Strawberry Granola Pancakes

Strawberry_Granola_Panckae_Recipe

Brunch is one of III and I’s “things.” We used to go to brunch EVERY Saturday…you know back when we were “DINKs.” Have yall heard that before? It stands for Dual Income No Kids. We loved it so much we even served brunch at our evening wedding. Waffle bar, omelette station, hashbrown casserole, the whole deal. However 7 years into marriage those days are long gone and while we still get to breakfast once, maybe twice a month most Saturday mornings are spent at home making breakfast in our kitchen and hanging out with the kids in our pajamas.  

It’s really more economical…breakfast is extremely inexpensive to make and probably the easiest meal to replicate what they serve you at the restaurant. (Unless it’s a Chick-fil-a chicken biscuit, of course). Plus little kids have a hard time waiting to eat breakfast until about an hour after they wake up, so eating at home is usually better any way you slice it. I made these strawberry granola pancakes a few weeks ago and they were a big hit. You could really use any fruit! And the best part for a sleepy mom, the recipe starts with a box pancake mix! Thanks to the Pioneer Woman for sharing the recipe. You can find it here, on Food Network. The only addition I made was using a tablespoon of vanilla as well, and I chose to use store bought granola. They are delicious! We top both pancakes and waffles with Costco’s Kirkland Organic Maple Syrup. It’s DELISH. Add it to your list, now.

strawberry granola pancakes

So what is your favorite breakfast dish? I’m not sure I could ever narrow it down to one thing! Hasbrowns? Pancakes? Eggs Benedict? And now I’m officially hungry.

Mexican Chicken Taco Bake

Taco Chicken Casserole Bake

Yesterday was III’s 33rd birthday! It was a great day (he was off work), and I hope to write up a quick recap soon. Birthdays should ALWAYS be celebrated, no matter the age! He took to the grill for dinner but when we were brainstorming what he might like this taco chicken bake came up. It is a new dish at our house and was a big hit.

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The kids love most foods considered “Mexican.” Nachos are probably their favorite and this bake is a pretty close second. I try to do some type of Mexican dish a few times a month to satisfy all of our cravings! The beauty of this casserole bake is that you can really specify it to your families liking. 

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Chicken Taco Casserole
Serves 6
Satisfying Chicken Taco Casserole with all of your Mexican favorites!
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Prep Time
20 min
Cook Time
25 min
Total Time
45 min
Prep Time
20 min
Cook Time
25 min
Total Time
45 min
Ingredients
  1. Tortilla Chips
  2. 1.5 - 2 cups of cooked & shredded chicken
  3. 1 cup of Salsa
  4. 1 .5 tbsp Taco seasoning
  5. 1/2 - 3/4 can of black beans
  6. 1 can of Rotel
  7. 3/4 cup of sour cream
  8. 1 cup of monterey jack cheese
Instructions
  1. Preheat the oven to 350 degrees.
  2. In a skillet heat shredded chicken, taco seasoning, 3/4 cup of salsa, 1/4 cup of water. Bring to a boil and then reduce heat to low and simmer for 10-15 minutes.
  3. Spray a 9x13 baking dish with non stick spray. Line the bottom with slightly crushed tortilla chips.
  4. In a bowl combine cooked chicken mixture, the rest of the salsa, Rotel, black beans (amount to your liking), sour cream, 1/2 cup of cheese and any other ingredients you would like (jalapenos, sauteed peppers and onions, etc.).
  5. Spread half of the mixture over the tortilla chips. Then repeat with another layer of tortilla chips and the rest of the mixture.
  6. Cook at 350 degrees for 20 minutes. Then top with crushed tortilla chips and remaining cheese and cook for another 5-10 minutes.
Adapted from Weight Watchers
Adapted from Weight Watchers
A Step In The Journey http://astepinthejourney.com/

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 I think it’s served best with a little sour cream and guacamole. Also, I mention taco seasoning in the ingredient list. I love making my own…it’s SO easy! Here is the spice breakdown.

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Enjoy!

Chicken Stir Fry

How to Make Chicken Stir Fry

Yall, today is a monumental day in our house. As I type this very post there is an amazing lady who is helping us out and cleaning our house. I cannot even begin to describe how happy I am and thankful for a husband that loves me even though I can’t “do it all!” We have brought in reinforcements and for the first time in a LONG time, my whole house is going to be clean at the same time! Yall, this is huge. Before the floors would be clean or the bathrooms or maybe the kitchen, but never all of it…and so today is a glorious day! 

On to why you are here…lately I am trying to cook meals that include lots of veggies. III eats pretty much any vegetable in the known universe. Me, I am slowing branching out and finding more and more crunchy goodness to add to my palette preferences.

Chopped Veggies for Stir Fry

Most of the time when we eat vegetables around here it’s roasted veggies along side our main dish or crispy veggies dipped in humus at lunch, but there are other recipes we are trying that include a mix of vegetables and today I want to share with you one of those recipes.

Chicken and Veggie Stir Fry.

Chicken Stir Fry Recipe

I love this recipe because there is a lot of room to make it your own. You are free to choose different vegetables or maybe serve it over noodles instead of rice. Also you might use steak instead of chicken…lots of options all using a similar method!

Ingredients

1.5 cups of shredded rotisserie chicken
3 cups of chopped veggies (I used red, orange, and yellow peppers, zucchini, shredded carrots, and broccoli)
2 cups of brown rice
1 tbsp olive oil
2 cloves of garlic
1 cup of chicken broth
3 tbsp of soy sauce
2 tsp of sugar
2 tsp of cornstarch

Stir Fry Veggies

Directions

Chop all your veggies & shred your COSTCO (or anywhere!) rotisserie chicken.

In a skillet over medium heat add olive oil and garlic. Once the garlic is fragrant add in shredded chicken along with 3/4 cup of chicken broth, soy sauce and sugar. Cover and continue to cook over medium heat stirring occasionally for about 5 minutes. Add in vegetables. Cover and continue cooking for about 5 minutes, again stirring occasionally. In a separate bowl mix the remaining chicken broth and cornstarch. Pour in the mixture and stir until the sauce thickens. Serve on top of rice (cook according to package instructions) or noodles. Enjoy!

You can also buy and cook your own chicken (cubed) in the olive oil and garlic before adding the veggies and chicken broth!

Homemade Chicken Stir Fry